House of Assembly: Vol2 - THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY 1985
Order! I have to inform the House that in terms of the power conferred upon me by Standing Order No 145(1) of the House of Assembly, I have directed that division bells henceforth be rung for three minutes in order to enable members who have offices in the Marks Building to be in time for divisions.
laid upon the Table:
Mr Speaker, in reply to a supplementary question on Question No 9 on Tuesday, 5 February, I inadvertently used the word “opvoeding” when translating the word “instruction”. The correct word should of course have been “onderrig”. It was definitely not my intention to refer to any person’s upbringing.
I should like to thank the House and yourself, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity afforded me to correct myself on this point.
Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned yesterday evening, I was indicating why this side of the House supported this Bill. We did so because it entailed an extension of the existing scope of this legislation. We on this side of the House will support all legislation and measures which are in the interests of all the people in South Africa—in this case it is in the interests of their health. In its annual report last year the Department of Health reported the following inter alia:
It is most gratifying to learn that progress is in fact being made in this connection, but one must add at once that there is probably a great deal of room for improvement still. If one looks at the sky in Cape Town on a calm day, particularly when the wind has not been blowing for a few days, it is alarming that there is still such a high degree of atmospheric pollution. It is also sometimes appalling to see the high degree of atmospheric pollution when one flies over the PWV area in an aircraft during the winter months.
A very important cause of atmospheric pollution, particularly during the winter months, is of course the old conventional coal stoves used in Black residential areas in particular. In the PWV area alone there are, for example, 146 500 of these stoves, and in total there are still 260 000 of these stoves in use. Particularly during the winter months this type of heating is generally used in these residential areas. The National Air Pollution Advisory Committee is still investigating possible ways of overcoming this tremendous problem. It may for example become necessary for Black local authorities, as they will now be acquiring the power to do in this legislation, to make a contribution themselves towards preventing pollution. It is not only in the interests of the residents of those areas but also—depending on the direction in which the wind is blowing—in the interests of all the people living in that neighbourhood.
In his Second Reading speech the hon the Deputy Minister said the following inter alia:
I want to add that the local authorities really have a part to play in many other spheres as well, and are in fact doing so. This statement could possibly leave one with the erroneous impression that only smoke and fumes emitted by vehicles are controlled, whereas factories and foundries within the area of jurisdiction of such local authorities are also thoroughly controlled by those local authorities as far as pollution is concerned. One also thinks of the prohibition on open fires and the prohibition on the use of fireplaces, which some local authorities have already introduced to achieve the objective of preventing atmospheric pollution.
Consequently we on this side support the Bill because the scope of the principal Act is going to be extended and this is in the interests of all the inhabitants of South Africa. For that reason I take pleasure in supporting the Bill from this side of the House.
Mr Speaker, we thank the hon member for Pietersburg for the support his party is pledging this extremely important Bill. In my short speech I shall return to certain aspects he raised.
I have here a copy of a newspaper article which appeared in Die Vaderland of 19 July 1982 under the headline “Suid-Afrika versmoor onder ’n dik rookkombers”. Anyone who lives in the PWV complex or in any other urban complex will know that this headline is no exaggeration. As a matter of fact, what is stated in this article confirms what experts have been warning us about for years now, namely that man actually has the ability to destroy himself. One of the ways of doing this is to allow so much carbon dioxide to be pumped into the atmosphere that the oxygen disappears and one simply suffocates. That is why people were already wearing oxygen masks in the streets of Tokyo as long ago as the late ’sixties.
In order to prevent something of this sort happening in South Africa, I think any Bill which is aimed at preventing atmospheric pollution of whatever kind is to be welcomed. For that reason it gives us great pleasure to support this addition to the existing Act of 1965.
I want to concentrate very briefly on two aspects which have to do with the combatting of pollution, specifically smoke pollution and pollution caused by motor vehicle exhausts, which are also delegated to local authorities by the Act.
It is a very good thing that the power a White local government institution already has to combat atmospheric pollution is now also being delegated to local government institutions of Coloured residential areas and Black residential areas. Having said this, at the same time I must say that on the one hand it is a pity that some of these local government institutions will not be able to make use of these powers being assigned to them, owing to the specific situation in such residential areas. In this regard I want to agree with the hon member for Pietersburg.
I think we all know that there is only one way to combat atmospheric pollution, specifically in Black residential areas, and that is the electrification of these residential areas. Unfortunately the electrification process is going very slowly in many of these residential areas.
I also want to add at once that I am of the opinion that when people want to make use of an amenity, they must also pay for it. Nevertheless, I think we sometimes mistakenly adopt the standpoint that the residents of Black residential areas are not prepared to pay for it.
Allow me to mention an example from my constituency. Over a period of months the community council of Mothlakeng began preparing their own people with a view to increasing tariffs so that the town could be electrified. After they had succeeded in doing this under difficult conditions, the increased tariff in their budget was rejected because at that stage it was suspected that a riot was going to break out in that residential area on account of this tariff. I think that suspicion was unfounded, and if that budget had not been rejected Mothlakeng would have been electrified now, and then we would at least not have had atmospheric pollution in Randfontein. All I am trying to say is that I think we must do everything in our power to get this electrification process implemented in the Black residential areas.
In conclusion I should like to say something about the combating of atmospheric pollution caused by the exhaust systems of motor vehicles. The Atmospheric Pollution Act of 1965 and various provincial ordinances have given local government institutions certain powers to take action against vehicles contravening this law.
But in practice it is a different story. If one drives through a built-up area at 70 km/h one is immediately pulled off the road and fined. But sometimes one has to drive for kilometres behind a vehicle which is emitting so much smoke that one actually suffocates in one’s own vehicle, but no one takes action against the owner of that vehicle.
I want to refer specifically to Transvaal Ordinance 21 of 1966, Regulation 81(c). In this ordinance specific requirements are laid down, and I think it is now high time that local authorities implemented the regulations in this ordinance. I think this is the only way in which this kind of pollution can be prevented. I think that a person driving through a built-up area at 70 km/h is not nearly as much of a danger to the community as a vehicle exceeding the limits set down in respect of the emission of fumes. I take pleasure in supporting this amending Bill.
Mr Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly with the hon member for Randfontein on the points he dealt with, in particular those regarding the electrification of Black residential areas.
The problem of smoke is not confined to a certain province or area. It is found countrywide. It is especially prevalent in residential areas situated between hills or mountains. Here smoke may be trapped for hours, days or weeks. I agree that electrification is the only solution. The question of atmospheric pollution by vehicles is also important, but neither of the points actually forms part of this Bill. Electrification does, because it affects Black local authorities.
†We will support this measure, which is purely technical. It will change the name of the Minister and of the Department, and will deal with constitutional changes in the case of Black local authorities, boards of management etc. We have no objection to the Bill itself. It is logical, and we will support it.
I want to refer briefly to the hon member for Pietersburg who chose to start his speech by referring to a discussion which took place in the standing committee. I do not know if it was in order for him to do this, but that is not the point. I will not deal with the details of the matter. On that occasion he and others tried to impose on members of the committee something which we had voluntarily agreed to do, provided it was not made mandatory. I would like to point out to that hon member and those who think like he does, that this attitude of mind, of wanting to impose one’s own norms on everybody else, is the most arrogant and intolerant characteristic that any human being can have—denying anyone else something which one either does not like, or is unable to do, or has managed to stop doing. [Interjections.] I take exception to trying to impose, mandatorily or by resolution, personal behaviour patterns on any person. [Interjections.] I will not take this any further. I merely wanted to point it out. By the way the hon members of the CP are complaining, it is clear that this accusation of intolerance has touched a raw nerve and that this fact is recognized. There is no one more intolerant than a convert or a person who has knocked a vice or habit. Those are the most intolerant people in life, and I merely want them to know that it is a two-way trade and that we recognize that characteristic.
This Bill which deals with atmospheric pollution on the widest possible scale, will enjoy the support of this party.
Mr Speaker, I take pleasure in following the hon member for Durban Point. But I feel that for the record we should set one matter straight this afternoon. Yesterday afternoon the hon member for Koedoespoort, who is unfortunately not here at the moment, saw fit to express criticism and said inter alia that notifications to standing committees were not reaching them in time. I just want to make a friendly appeal to the hon member and his party to show some understanding for the great and responsible task resting on the shoulders of Mr Speaker, the Chief Whip of Parliament and the officials assisting them in putting a new process into operation.
Yesterday the hon member for Pietersburg went even further. For the sake of a cheap party political point he referred to events in a standing committee. This afternoon I should consequently like to make an urgent appeal to the hon member for Pietersburg and his party not to drag events in the standing committees across the floor of this House.
During the by-election in Primrose the CP saw fit to voice negative criticism regarding the fact that a person of colour was the chairman of the Standing Committee on Health and Welfare, and I deplore this. That party must take cognizance of the fact that this arrangement is working.
Atmospheric pollution is a very serious problem and should not be dealt with flippantly. I feel it is important for us to take cognizance of the danger of atmospheric pollution to mankind. We are aware of various disasters in this connection, inter alia the disaster which struck London in 1956 when 1 000 people died as a result of atmospheric pollution. Between 5 and 9 December 1962, 4 000 people died in the same city as a result of polluted air. The events in India a few months ago are probably still fresh in all our minds. We must consequently take cognizance of the danger of atmospheric pollution.
The hon member for Durban Point will remember that in the ’sixties one out of every six men between the ages of 45 and 64 years in Durban died of lung cancer. [Interjections.] I do not want to become involved in a dispute with the smokers, but merely want to point out the danger.
Mr Speaker, may I please ask the hon member a question?
Mr Speaker, I am not prepared to reply to questions because my time is limited.
We all breathe 16 times a minute; this means that we breathe 22 000 times a day. We must consequently take cognizance of the air we inhale and the danger of its pollution to mankind. If a smoker or anyone else has not yet had an opportunity to see the organs of someone whose lungs are polluted, he will never realize the dangers of atmospheric pollution to mankind.
As far as the measure before us is concerned, it indicates that in 1982 this House accepted the responsibility of placing the Black Local Authorities Act on the Statute Book in order to delegate functions and responsibilities to those authorities as well. But this afternoon I should like to put it to the hon the Deputy Minister that I am rather concerned about these functions and these responsibilities—including this measure before the House this afternoon—that we are delegating to Black local authorities and to the rural Coloured areas. I ask myself whether those bodies have the staff to carry out that function. If we want to apply this measure we shall have to make a serious appeal to White local authorities to be of assistance in this regard as well, because atmospheric pollution cannot be restricted to one area. The Heavenly Father has blessed us with winds and with rain, but atmospheric pollution also spreads to other areas.
I am particularly grateful that the necessary courses are being offered at our technikons to train people in the combating of atmospheric pollution. But I want to make a very serious appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister for us to go much further. In our communities, and even in our schools, we must make our people thoroughly aware of the dangers of atmospheric pollution to human health.
I take pleasure in supporting the measure before this House with this friendly request, namely that we shall assist those local authorities at all times. Last year we delegated the implementation of the Public Health Act to Black local authorities. Just two weeks ago there was a proclamation in the Gazette in terms of which it is now possible to delegate other functions such as traffic control, licensing and ambulance services to those people as well. All I am asking is that we help those people to help themselves, also as far as atmospheric pollution is concerned, so that our people’s health is not impaired.
Mr Speaker, I should like to thank the hon member very heartily for supporting this Bill and also assure him that the Department of Health is very definitely paying continued attention to the training of people in local authorities having to apply these laws.
The hon member will naturally agree with me that at the moment there are few if any Black local authorities capable of carrying out the functions prescribed in the Act. Nevertheless they may call for assistance from neighbouring White local authorities or from my department at any time. We are only too eager to help.
†Mr Speaker, I want to express my gratitude for the general support of this measure, and I wish to refer to certain matters raised by various hon members, particularly in regard to smog and the pollution of our air by smoke. It was referred to by the hon member for Hillbrow as well as the hon members for Pietersburg, Durban Point and Randfontein.
*I just wish to say that we are all in complete agreement that it would be in the interests of all if we could do away entirely with coal stoves or open fires as a source of energy. A very large part of our community, especially some of our Black and Coloured communities, cannot, however, afford electricity, and a very high percentage of Black residential areas do not yet have electricity. From a recent survey conducted by a section of my department it emerged that the majority of people in the PWV area could not afford an electric stove. The proposal was then made that the possibility should be examined of the Government’s subsidizing those people in the purchase of stoves. Such a subsidy alone would cost the Government more than R100 million. Large amounts are at stake here for the private consumer. Then there are also people who use coal fires as a source of heating, especially during winter. It is very expensive to heat a house electrically and now people make use of perforated drums. I am not siding with those people now, but am merely stating facts so that we may take them into account. Fires in perforated drums are an important source of heating and we cannot summarily forbid people to continue this practice.
We do not often have the opportunity of discussing this subject. In the short time at my disposal I should like to give a brief survey of the facts relating to the problem. In this review I shall deal with many of the questions put by hon members and the doubts which they raised. I should like to quote a few statistics to illustrate the gravity of the problem. The hon member for Pietersburg pointed out—and I am grateful to him for this—that the pollution problem had decreased by almost 50% since the Act was placed on the Statute Book. It was accomplished at great cost. What is the situation at present? Power stations release 101 billion tons of fly-ash into the atmosphere annually. Over the same period power stations also emit nearly 1 million tons of sulphur dioxide. Refineries and sulphide ore smelting industries also contribute to the latter figure. Iron oxide originating in steelworks is released at a rate of approximately 10 000 tons per annum. Fortunately, however, these pollutants are released from high chimneys. By the time these materials reach the ground and can harm people and animals or damage structures such as wire fences, buildings and so on, they have already been substantially diluted so as not to cause all that much damage. Domestic smoke pollution causes far more damage than that of industry. We are concerned about pollution at ground level and it is actually the smaller fuel-burning appliances which are dangerous. In my talking of “danger”, it is naturally a relative concept because the standards we maintain and the readings we receive are relatively satisfactory in comparison with figures and statistics from overseas.
Annually approximately 50 000 tons of sulphur dioxide and about 250 000 tons of hydrocarbons are released into the atmosphere by means of domestic appliances. The latter gas is also emitted by motor vehicles. According to the 1974 figure, which is the latest at our disposal, it was found that domestic consumption of coal in South Africa ran into approximately 3 300 000 tons per annum. Fortunately or unfortunately my colleague, the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, is not present at the moment and will not hear what I now have to say about his products. The sulphur content of South African coal is 1,2%, of which approximately 70% is released by combustion. The point is that our coal is not totally combustible, and therefore approximately 45 000 tons of sulphur dioxide are released into the atmosphere in an about our residential areas as a result of the domestic use of coal, the use of coal by hospitals, in hot water installations and so on. Naturally motor vehicles, especially those that are diesel-propelled, are also a great source of pollution, but our pollution figures are still considerably lower than those of Los Angeles, London or New York, for example, where steps have already had to be taken to neutralize exhaust gases. This is, of course, a very expensive process because the use of platinum, a very expensive metal, is involved. Fortunately the level of pollution in South Africa is still within completely acceptable limits. We forget that the lead emission of petrol-driven vehicles is also a great source of atmospheric pollution. Recently a reasonable amount of concern was expressed regarding the high concentration of lead found in children here in the Peninsula. We monitored the situation thoroughly and found that the lead content of the air was less than 2 microgrammes per cubic metre of air, which is altogether acceptable and within reasonable limits, and most certainly holds no danger of poisoning the human system, as is certainly the case in other countries.
†Pollution by airborne lead is a very controversial problem, and it is a well-known fact that lead is toxic at sufficiently high levels of absorbtion. So we must always bear that in mind and monitor our cities where lead poisoning is of course always possible. However, steps are continuously being taken to monitor this situation, and we have found that we have this matter fully under control. Unfortunately, it is true that lead is the cheapest anti-knock additive that can be used in petrol. It would of course be very expensive to find and use another anti-knock additive to replace lead in petrol.
In the United States they extract the lead from petrol.
Yes, but the United States produce their own oil. They do not have to buy it from Kuwait or those places where one has to pay 30 dollars a barrel. [Interjections.] Does the hon member have anything to contribute to this debate? [Interjections.] Then he had better keep quiet.
Oh, you are a clot.
Was that remark directed at an hon member of the Official Opposition or at the hon the Deputy Minister?
Mr Speaker, it was directed at the hon the Deputy Minister.
Order! Would the hon member please withdraw it?
He is lucky, Mr Speaker, because I wanted to call him something else, but now I shall resist the temptation.
*Sir, in this country of new undertakings and industries everyone should pay very painstaking attention to the provision of adequate air purification installations, and they should also install them before being permitted to carry on their businesses. I wish to give a few examples: Since 1969 new cement kilns have been constructed in South Africa with electrostatic precipitators capable of reducing the dust loading to less than 500 mg per cubic metre of air. In 1973 this figure was reduced to 200 mg, which means a recovery effectiveness of above 99,7%. Improvements have also already been made to various power stations. Power stations are now all being equipped with electro-filters to reduce their dust-loading. Do hon members know, however, what the cost is per power station of installing such apparatus? It is over R200 million. Hon members will see that huge amounts are involved in combating pollution.
Our water is also being polluted because it is used in our smelting furnaces for ferro-alloys. Recently a filtration plant was installed at a cost of more than R1 million. Steel works near Witbank—this may interest the hon member for that constituency—recently spent R40 million on installing air purification equipment. I am pointing this out merely to give hon members an indication not only of the importance with which my department views the entire matter of air pollution, but also of the co-operation we receive from the private sector. Do hon members know that putting the Rand mine dumps under ground cover now costs more than R20 000 per hectare? Nevertheless, this is still continuously being done.
I omitted mentioning a short while ago that the manufacture of coal-burning stoves is no longer permitted in this country. There is a regulation which provides that all stoves should be equipped with an apparatus which will cut out atmospheric pollution to a very great extent.
Since this Act was introduced two to three decades ago, firms in the private sector have already spent in excess of R1 800 million on making installations smoke-free or, rather, pollution-free. Orders for control equipment by South African firms amounts very close to R200 million annually. The point I am trying to bring home is that our industries and the private sector are very much aware of the dangers of atmospheric pollution and go out of their way to combat it.
Recently two very controversial problems in this country were discussed at an international conference held in Pretoria. I may point out just in passing that this is the sixth time that the international congress on atmospheric pollution has been held here in South Africa. Eleven countries were represented at the most recent congress and the searchlight was turned onto two pollution elements in particular, namely the matters of acid rain and lead pollution. In large cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo lead pollution is becoming a fundamental danger. Acid rain, which is the result of the emission of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere combining with rain and then possibly falling far from the source of that pollution, was also examined there. There is a very real danger that we shall also find ourselves faced with acid-rain precipitation here in South Africa. The overall majority of our power stations which generate energy through coal are situated in the Eastern Transvaal, and by coincidence these are also large wooded areas and forests. In Europe they have experienced the problem that this acid rain is completely destroying woods and forests. Relatively speaking, we are still protected against this.
This Bill is aimed largely at giving Black local authorities …
Mr Speaker, may I ask a question?
I was just trying to find the appropriate moment to pose the question. The hon the Deputy Minister has just spoken about that conference dealing with lead pollution, and earlier, I gather, he said that it would be too expensive to reduce the lead content in petrol in South Africa. I would just like to ask the hon the Deputy Minister whether he is aware that his colleague the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, in the discussion of the vote last year, said that he and his department agreed that lead in petrol was a major contributor towards pollution in the atmosphere, and that they intended to reduce the lead content in petrol in South Africa?
He may have said that. However, he did not consult me before he said it. [Interjections.] I have never denied that lead is an additive to petrol. I said that the emission from the exhausts of motorcars was well within normal limits, namely two micrograms per cubic metre of air.
There are readings that show that that is not correct.
I should like to have those readings at my disposal because the figure I have quoted is the official figure issued by my department, and I would rather believe my department than the hon member. [Interjections.]
*We are now adding a very important aspect by also making Black local authorities and Coloured rural authorities responsible for dealing with atmospheric pollution. With their added expertise and the control they can exercise in their areas, they can play an important part in combating atmospheric pollution.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Certified fair copy of the Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days to refer the Bill to a committee.
Mr Speaker, I move:
This measure is not of a contentious nature and I will be very brief about it.
In terms of section 71 of the Mental Health Act, 1973, only expenses incurred in connection with the compulsory detention and treatment of a patient may be reimbursed.
In some cases, especially in the case of children in private homes, there is no need to have a patient certified in order to obtain the detention order which is a prerequisite for financial assistance. In these cases applicants usually find the present procedure not only cumbersome, but also humiliating because it entails extensive administrative and court procedures.
The proposed amendment will enable the Minister to eliminate unnecessary red tape and address the real issues involved, namely, the reimbursement of expenses in respect of the maintenance of patients, and essential expenditure incurred in connection with the care and treatment of patients.
Second reading resumed
Mr Speaker, we will be supporting this Bill, not because we want to encourage Government expenditure but because we believe that a civilized society ought to have a real concern for mentally ill and psychiatric patients.
According to the report of the department, of the about 20 700 patients living in State institutions or non-State institutions, there are approximately 1 000 who reside in the Midlands Hospital in the Pietermaritzburg area. In fact, there are three hospitals which make up part of the Midlands Hospital. Of course, this figure does not necessarily include institutions located within the self-governing homelands and under the health departments of the various states. As far as the Midlands Hospital is concerned, I believe that the hon the Deputy Minister would do well to make enquiries about the need for money, particularly at the Fort Napier complex in that hospital. There are really poor conditions for many of the patients there. I know his department is aware of the situation, but I should nevertheless like to urge them to improve conditions at that historic old hospital, Fort Napier.
I should also like to bring to the attention of the hon the Deputy Minister the need for assistance for better psychiatric facilities in Durban. Only some three weeks ago at a meeting of the Midlands Hospital Board we had to deal with a patient whose mother had to travel from Durban to Howick to be interviewed by the board because she wanted her son to be released. There is no decent public transport…
Mr Speaker, is the hon member not confusing the discussion of this Bill with the discussion of the Budget Vote? He is now raising matters that really have nothing to do with this Bill.
Of course the matter which I am raising could also be raised under the Budget Vote. However, if we had been given more time by the Government to debate issues we could raise them under the various Votes. [Interjections.] Sir, you will know that people who know anything about parliamentary practice have means of making use of their opportunities. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to raise a matter of grave concern to the province of Natal in respect of the treatment of mental patients in that area. I want to assure the hon the Deputy Minister that I will only be another minute or two. I suggest he pays careful attention because what I am going to say next is of great interest to him as a conscientious medical doctor.
The point is that this woman has to travel—I am using her simply as an example— from Durban to Pietermaritzburg to deal with a problem associated with psychiatric care for her son. There is no decent and convenient public transport available for Whites, and she had therefore to hire a taxi to get to Pietermaritzburg. I believe his department should as a matter of urgency expedite the provision of adequate psychiatric facilities, and especially the establishment of a decent hospital in the Durban area, because it is an imposition on the very large population in that area to have to travel to Pietermaritzburg for their psychiatric needs, although there are limited facilities at the Addington and George V hospitals. I know the hon the Deputy Minister’s department intends building hospitals, but I think one should not lose sight of these problems.
We support this Bill because we are obviously keen to see decent and adequate financial provision being made for our psychiatric and mental patients.
Mr Speaker, I thank the hon member for supporting the Bill. I shall not be referring to the psychiatric problems in Natal as well; just looking at their politics made me suspect a long time ago that there were problems!
Sir, since this is the first opportunity we have to discuss health matters this year, I trust you will permit me to express our sincere gratitude, on behalf of the medical corps in South Africa, and also on behalf of the other related professions, that the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare is in such good health again that he is able to take his place here in the House.
We, as doctors who know what illness entails and have to treat patients who are seriously ill, are able to formulate a pretty good idea of the problems the hon the Minister and also his family must have had. There is an Afrikaans saying: “Nood leer bid”, and I want to tell the hon the Minister that we prayed for him very earnestly. I believe that the department and the entire country—and I am not only referring to the medical sector—are much the richer for having the hon the Minister in our midst. We should like to assure him that we do not only pray for him in a time of need, but that we shall continue to pray for him.
I also want to take this opportunity to welcome the hon the Deputy Minister, since this is only the first or second piece of legislation he has dealt with here. Bearing in mind the post he held until recently, I should like to tell him that I am of the opinion that he is likely to do better as a doctor than he did as a witch-doctor!
I serve on the council of the Sterkfontein Hospital, one of the most renowned hospitals for the mentally disturbed. This hospital, of course, falls under general affairs, as does this amending Bill. In addition, however, there are certain of its activities which fall under own affairs, activities which have certain financial implications. This amending Bill in fact deals with financial matters. We may perhaps refer to this again during the appropriation debate.
Because of our life style—the stress, the drugs, the hustle and bustle, urbanization and many other factors—the mental health aspect has become increasingly important and for that reason it has become essential that we regularly scrutinize the legislation controlling and administering psychiatry and update it from time to time.
If we look at the proposed amending Bill we should ask ourselves what the real object of the Bill is. Act 18 of 1973 seeks to do the following, and I quote:
If one wants to provide for the reception, detention, etc, of mentally ill persons, it is of the utmost importance that adequate provision is also made for the financial aspects involved in such matters. The finance must, consequently, come from some additional source or another. I shall refer to these sources again later on. The object of this Bill is to substitute section 71 of the principal Act. For the sake of the record I shall quote the proposed new section 71(1):
The keywords are “of a patient”.
The original section 71 read as follows:
In this section the keywords are “the compulsory detention”.
Sections 42 and 72 are concerned with patients from other countries who take ill while on board an aircraft etc.
It is consequently clear that the existing section deals with the compulsory admission of people; in other words, it deals with people who are in actual fact certified. According to the new section the patient would not necessarily have to be certified. Financial provision is made for voluntary patients who cannot afford hospital treatment, children who can be treated at home, etc. It is for this reason that I give this legislation my whole-hearted support.
Perhaps I should mention, in passing, that sometimes speeches made here are not made for the benefit of the listeners here. Sir, the hon member for Rissik did not even look at you once while he was making a speech the other day. He stared into the distance towards the Free State and Harrismith. Now I also want to make a bit of a speech here, not for the edification of the Speaker, but I do want to say that it is true that the people who administer these laws … [Interjections.] I am just being completely honest. The hon member must not get excited about it. Section 13 of the principal Act provides that it is compulsory for a doctor to report a person, who is mentally disturbed and dangerous, to the relevant authority. I shall not report the hon member though, for he is not dangerous. [Interjections.]
It is in fact true that the people who administer the legislation, the staff of psychiatric hospitals etc, also read Hansard to discover the purpose of the legislation. For the sake of the record I just want to quote from the explanatory memorandum on the objectives of this amending Bill. It reads as follows:
I just want to state, in conclusion, that subsection (2) of the proposed new section 71 deals with the persons who are responsible for the financial aspects of the administration of the legislation and who are held accountable for it. I think that this provision is, once again, very important in the light of the fact that we are in a difficult financial situation and that mistakes can also be made, as has been shown again recently. As far as the regulations are concerned, I am of the opinion that they must be given further consideration with a view to establishing whether the financial control has been brought completely up to date.
This Bill is a minor piece of legislation, but it is absolutely essential, particularly because it is concerned with mental health, and the cost of medical services in this connection is astronomical. While we all agree that the State should be able to bear these costs, it does not exempt the private sector from its responsibility to make its contribution as well. When I say this I also want to add that we should always adopt the standpoint, in our policies and in our legislation, that we should not prevent the private sector from making a contribution, as is in fact the case in certain provinces as far as private hospitals are concerned. We should not make it difficult for the private sector to play its part as well. I very gladly support this legislation.
Mr Speaker, please allow me at the outset to add something to what the hon member Dr Vilonel said with reference to the hon Minister of Health and Welfare. We on this side of the House wish to associate ourselves with the remarks made by the hon member in this connection. We, along with the hon member, are also grateful that the hon Minister is once more able to take his place in this House and we would like to express the wish that his health will continue to improve in future.
The amendments contained in the Bill are aimed at eliminating much of the red tape in regard to determining the contribution the State may make in respect of the supervision, control and treatment of certain categories of patients. I am referring specifically to the category of patients to which the hon Deputy Minister also referred in his Second Reading speech, namely the children who for example, have been received in private institutions. In these particular cases, it should no longer be necessary, for example, to have to obtain a detention order and to have to go through all the procedures involved before the State is able to make a financial contribution in respect of those children. I also assume that these arrangements will also be applicable to other psychiatric patients in regard to whom the obligation of detention initially existed, which then lapsed due to the fact that it was possible for them to be discharged at a much earlier stage and be treated as out-patients because of our present methods of treatment.
It is interesting to page through the annals of that period back in 1973, when this legislation was originally passed. As an example, one could read an extremely brilliant speech about this by one of the hon members at that time, the late Dr Willie Vosloo, made here in this very Council Chamber. On Friday, 2 March, 1973 he said the following here in the House and I quote him as follows (Hansard, Volume 42, col 1816):
Now of course things are completely different. Today the treatment of psychiatric patients has in fact become a medical discipline and many psychiatric patients can at present be treated as effectively as patients in any other sphere of medicine. In fact, the Van Wyk Commission stated the following on page 10, paragraph 297 of its report and I quote again:
I should therefore just like to ask the hon Deputy Minister to enlighten us about the following aspect. If a mentally ill patient, who does in fact qualify for financial assistance, is also a member of a medical aid scheme, I assume that the obligation rests upon the medical aid scheme involved to bear the cost of the treatment of the patient in question instead of that burden falling upon the State.
Those of us on this side of the House, agree wholeheartedly that the unnecessary red tape involved in financial assistance should be eliminated because it is, in particular, in the interests of this category of patient in our country.
Mr Speaker, this measure makes provision for outpatients, those patients who are not in institutions and who are not certified—in other words those who are not dangerous but who have imaginary visions of things such as miracles of reconciliation etc—to be nursed in their own homes. [Interjections.] Yes, I can think of a few candidates but I shall not select my team for possible treatment. Be that as it may, this is a step forward. It is something which is necessary, and we in this party will give it our full support. We hope that some of those patients who cause their families certain problems can now be cared for with less hardship on the part of the breadwinner, or quite often, in cases in which there is no breadwinner, on the part of mothers or other relatives who try to look after these unfortunate people. We support this measure.
Mr Speaker, I want to start off by answering the question put to me by the hon member for Pietersburg. At the same time, I also want to thank him for his party’s support of this legislation, support which, in fact, we are receiving from all the parties in this House. I should like to continue by also thanking the hon member Dr Vilonel for the good wishes he addressed to me personally. I think I can also thank him, on behalf of the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare, for his good wishes. I know that the hon the Minister values it greatly that the hon members remembered him in their prayers, while he was seriously indisposed.
For the information of the hon member for Pietersburg, I want to point out that patients who are treated at home but who in fact belong to a medical aid scheme, are in fact the responsibility of the medical aid scheme concerned. I accept that a child who is registered as his parents’ dependant, would be able to receive treatment too with the medical aid being responsible for the payment of the medical costs involved.
The matter being referred to in this legislation does not really have anything to do with the medical care of these people. I think we tend to read things into this Bill which are not there. The aim of this Bill is to enable the hon the Minister to devise a modus vivendi in consultation with the hon the Minister of Finance, allowing him to pay a child’s parents a maintenance grant for his care, without the child having to be certified—a procedure entailing much unpleasantness and to which a stigma is attached. This is desirable in cases where mentally retarded or psychiatric patients, especially children, can be treated at home.
There is an increasing tendency for children, even children who are dangerous owing to their mental defectiveness, to be placed in the care of their parents. It is, however, possible that the parents cannot support the child due to a lack of finance. This Bill accordingly empowers the Minister to grant the child’s parents a maintenance grant in consultation with the Minister of Finance. This is all the Bill really boils down to, but we sometimes forget, or perhaps there is not a general awareness of, how much red tape is involved in having someone certified.
Psychiatric patients fall into two groups. In the one case we have those who voluntarily go to an institution and are admitted as patients by the superintendent of the institution under certain conditions. The person who voluntarily goes to an institution may even give his consent to being committed to that institution. The parents of a child, for example, may give their consent. It is therefore a voluntary committal, however, this is generally not very satisfactory because of the fact that these people may leave the institution whenever they want to. It often happens that they leave the institution before their treatment has been completed and so on.
It has correctly been mentioned that due to modern methods of treatment, many more patients may now be treated simply as out-patients. Even the dangerous ones and children under the care of their parents may now be treated as out-patients. It is, consequently, not necessary for each child to have to be certified before he may be received for his own care, but the parents may take charge of that care. If one examines the issue of compulsory reception one would agree that it is a fairly formidable process to have to go through before such a child would qualify for a maintenance grant.
In terms of section 9, in which provision is made for when children are dangerous and therefore certifiable—for example when they wander about in the streets or endanger themselves and so forth—and therefore deals with compulsory receptions, it is laid down that application must be made to a magistrate locally or elsewhere for such a child to be certified and received.
Two doctors must then examine that patient. Let us for the sake of the example assume that it is a child. Two doctors, one of whom has to be a district surgeon must then examine that child and both must issue a certificate in which they state that the child is certifiable or that he is suffering from a specific mental illness or defect. The magistrate, or in the case of the institution, the Superintendent, then has to forward a report to the Attorney-general, who would then in a case such as this be regarded as the person’s curator ad litem.
He, in turn, would send it to the Registrar of the Supreme Court for submission to a judge-in-chambers. The Judge may recommend that the patient be detained. The patient and the Attorney-general may be summonsed to furnish reasons why the patient should not be detained. The Judge may also recommend that the patient be discharged, or he may appoint a curator bonis to look after the persons affairs.
It is consequently clear that a tremendously cumbersome procedure has to be followed just to obtain a maintenance grant for the child. That is why we have introduced these procedures. This is not going to change—in many cases it will still remain applicable— but in cases where the Minister is satisfied that such a child can be cared for at home and that he can receive treatment at home, he can follow a certain procedure involving less red tape to ensure that such a child’s parents or who ever takes care of him, would receive a maintenance grant.
This is the simplicity of this Bill. This is the result it will have, nothing more and nothing less.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Certified fair copy of the Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days to refer the Bill to a committee.
Mr Speaker, I move:
The object of the Bill is only to consolidate the existing legislation relating to the control of stock exchanges and matters incidental thereto. This legislation is presently contained in the Stock Exchanges Control Act of 1947 (Act No 7 of 1947) as amended. Hon members will know that there were 13 amendments. The Bill contains no amendments of the provisions of the existing legislation controlling stock exchanges, and the customary certificate to that effect has been issued and furnished by the Government law adviser.
Mr Speaker, this Bill is a consolidation Bill and therefore you will limit the scope of the debate rather strictly. I should like, however, to draw attention to the fact that the rules provide that the Bill should be accompanied by a certificate. Presumably the Bill which is in your possession is accompanied by a certificate, but the Bill which is in my possession is not accompanied by a certificate. What I think is desirable is that when there are consolidation Bills in the future, the relevant explanatory memorandum actually contain such a certificate or a copy thereof because that will save a tremendous amount of bother and trouble. One obviously assumes that there is such a certificate, but I think it should be done so that one can see that it is in terms of the rules accompanied by a certificate and hon members will know it.
There is something else which I should like to mention in so far as the rules are concerned before I deal with the Bill itself. This Bill did not go to a standing committee. What happened is that in terms of the rules you, Sir, are allowed to present the Bill and to let a period of five days elapse. Then you do not have to refer it to a standing committee.
I should like to suggest to the hon the Deputy Minister that this Bill should at some stage in the future be presented in this form to the relevant standing committee. It should be presented to the standing committee so that a number of its features can be reviewed, features which in terms of the rules cannot be reviewed during the course of this debate. In terms of the rules one cannot in the course of this debate move amendments because the Bill is purely a consolidation Bill.
The reason why I suggest that is that I believe that there are a number of provisions in the Bill which require to be adapted to circumstances which are changing fairly rapidly in regard to the whole question of dealing not only with shares as we have known them in the past but also with the whole concept of, for example, the gilt security market.
What is interesting is that we have another Bill which is before the standing committee and which contains amendments to the Companies Act which deals with this very issue of gilt securities, but we do not have an opportunity to deal with it in regard to the Stock Exchanges Control Bill because it would go beyond the scope of this Bill. I think that the whole issue of the gilt market needs to be looked at fairly carefully. I think it is a market that is highly desirable. In fact, what we should try to do in South Africa, instead of having gilts only as an investment medium for institutions and perhaps for those who try to invest in them just shortly before they die in order to get the benefit for state duty, is to have it as an investment medium in which ordinary people can actually invest and in regard to which there can be a proper market. I have drawn attention to the fact before that there is presently a situation where, if one tries to buy a small quantity of gilts, one cannot buy them. Similarly, if one tries to sell a small quantity of gilts, it is impossible because there is such a limited market in regard to gilts in South Africa. This matter really requires our attention. In these circumstances it does seem to me that the standing committee is the ideal vehicle to have the legislation before it. It should in fact be given the mandate, as it could, to hear all the interested parties in regard to such an issue, and then come forward with an amending Bill in order to deal with what may well be a very desirable situation: The establishment of a gilts market in South Africa.
The more we move away from compulsion in respect of investment in gilts by institutions, the more necessity there is for ordinary people to be able to invest in gilts. In those circumstances I would like to commend to the hon the Deputy Minister that he use the procedure of the rules in regard to the standing committee. Let us then see if this procedure works, and let us see if the standing committee can, in regard to a matter which is not political, but purely commercial and financial, produce the kind of legislation which a standing committee is designed to do, without its having to emanate from the Executive.
With these words I would like to say that we obviously have no objection to the consolidation measure, but we commend this for the attention of the hon the Deputy Minister.
Mr Speaker, we in the CP are very grateful that the hon the Deputy Minister has introduced a consolidating measure. I want to agree with the hon member for Yeoville and this is also my first question: Can the hon the Minister give us the assurance that this has been done? We do not want to pass legislation here unless the correct steps have been taken.
Now that we are dealing with consolidation, I want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister: What about the other laws falling under the hon the Deputy Minister? I am thinking of income tax, for example. Will the hon the Minister also consider the consolidation of the other laws in future? We support the Bill.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I merely want to refer you to section 55(1), and (2) and (5) of the Joint Rules and Orders. I shall only read out (5) to you:
Yes, that is in order. The hon member for Smithfield will note that the discussion up to now has merely involved suggestions made to the hon the Deputy Minister which he may accept or reject.
Mr Speaker, I thank the hon members for Yeoville and Sunnyside for their support in this measure. I would just like to say to the hon member for Yeoville that I think there is something in what he says. I heard what he said in respect of this legislation as far as the standing committee is concerned. There is wisdom in what he said as far as this legislation is concerned, but if one wants to accept the principle that all legislation which was passed before, now has to be assessed again by standing committees that are busying themselves with that discipline, it would create an impossible load on those committees. However, as far as his remarks on the gilt market are concerned, I agree with him. As he himself said, there is a proposed amendment to the Companies Act that will enable the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to establish a company in which those commercial banks who are approved by the Registrar, will participate. This company will create a new clearing house for gilts. I think that this market is growing, and this is actually the whole reason for the proposed amendment of the Companies Act. The market is not very old but is continually growing, and I think that some of the things which the hon member said would come, should be encouraged, especially as far as small investors in the gilt market are concerned. I believe that the mechanism is growing whereby this will become possible.
The hon member for Sunnyside did not raise anything new, except to support the Bill.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
Various control measures relating to the prevention and combating of insects and plant diseases are provided for in the Agricultural Pests Act, 1983. The contravention thereof or the refusal or failure to comply with the provisions of the said Act could result in large-scale outbreaks of such insect pests or plant diseases. Provision is also made in the Act that such contravention, refusal or failure shall constitute an offence in terms of the Act.
*Specific penalties are linked to particular offences to enable the measure to be applied effectively. When the principal Act was being drafted, however, two omissions crept in in the separate languages when certain penalties were being linked to certain offences. Although these differences are reconcilable according to certain decisions of the Supreme Court, a degree of uncertainty in regard to the differences between the two texts arose in the lower court, in which a judgment was given on the relevant offence.
Owing to the importance of this legislation to the agricultural industry it is essential that the differences in the wording of the two texts be rectified so as to eliminate the existing uncertainty.
Second reading resumed
Mr Speaker, in 1983 the PFP supported the principal Act and, since the purpose of this amendment is to simply reconcile some differences between the English and Afrikaans texts, we will naturally support the Bill.
Since we are dealing with pests and by implication with pesticides, I would, however, like to take this opportunity to say something about the subject of dieldrin that has been very much in the news in recent times. For the benefit of those who are not aware of it, dieldrin is an insecticide so deadly to humans and to the environment that it is outlawed here and in most Western countries. Sharp-eyed conservationists have, however, recently spotted empty barrels which had previously contained dieldrin and which had been supplied to neighbouring countries by a South African company. This pesticide had been manufactured right here in South Africa and supplied to our neighbours as a cheap method of controlling tsetse fly.
Dieldrin is very easily assimilated into the gastro-intestinal tract through the skin or by inhalation. The poison works in the brain cells and, even if taken in minute quantities, can cause liver failure over a period of time. It does not break down and can be transferred from one organism to another in the food chain, and it is reported that traces of this substance have, after some years, recently been discovered in milk here in Cape Town.
Conservationists have further claimed that in the Chobe area where dieldrin has been supplied from this South African source for use against tsetse fly, it has had a serious effect on antelope, bird and fish populations. This is completely out of step with modern thinking on the control of pests such as tsetse fly in terms of which biological techniques rather than insecticide techniques are being promoted.
What must concern the House is the following: In 1981 this Government issued a Government Notice which banned the acquisition, disposal, sale or use of any remedy containing dieldrin. However, now we discover that in spite of this Notice, this banned poison is being manufactured right here in South Africa, in Durban, for export to our neighbours. It further emerged that traces of dieldrin had been discovered in Natal rivers and in Durban harbour. A large quantity of this substance was also found in a dead bird that was found in a dam supplying Durban with water. I have already mentioned the recent discovery of traces of dieldrin in milk here in Cape Town. In other words, the supply of dieldrin from South Africa to our neighbours is not only a threat to their systems, their people and their environment but, has also become a danger to our South African environment as it drifts across our borders. This is what I want to raise with the hon the Deputy Minister of Agricultural Economics. It has been alleged that certain farmers in this country have broken the law by buying this substance in neighbouring states. That is the allegation. It would be even worse if it was available here in South Africa, but let us keep to the allegation at this stage that they have been buying it across the borders and illegally importing it into South Africa. Presumably they did so in order to save a few rand on their insecticide bill.
This House must regard this as a most serious matter which requires some response from the department. The farmers involved, the dealers or whoever must be discovered. They are showing a criminal disregard for the South African environment and something must be done about it urgently. I hope the hon the Minister will respond to this in this debate and say whether he knows of these allegations and whether he knows who the culprits are. If he does not know, what is he going to do about the matter and, if he does, what is he then going to do about it?
There is something else that I should like to mention and which perhaps has even more serious implications. I have a letter here on the letterhead of one of the major agricultural co-operatives of this country. I will not mention the name in the House but I shall be happy to show the hon the Minister the letter so that he can see who it is. It is certainly one of the big 5 and one that immediately comes to mind to a layman. This letter was dated 1 May 1984. It is a letter to one of its members and says: “We would like to remind you that we are holding debits against your account in lieu of chemicals, some dating back to January 1983”. Then there is attached to this letter a long list of substances and items including chemicals. One of the items listed, dated August 1983— more than 2 years after this ban was supposedly instituted—is the item dieldrin to the value of R2 472,60. This has come from the warehouse of a major South Africa co-operative and is listed in the account of one of its members. One asks: How can this be? How can this possibly be? We require some answers from the hon the Minister involved and the department.
The key point is that the regional environment of Southern Africa is indivisible. It is no use if we ban dieldrin and then do not monitor that ban correctly and, on top of it, allow the export of dieldrin to our neighbours. There are both moral and environmental objections to this. The environmental objection is obviously that dieldrin cannot be confined to the other side of the border; it can, and it has, found its way back into this country in the form of illegal importations and in the form of the natural movement of water, animals, birds, etc.
Perhaps equally serious is the moral objection to our permitting a company to manufacture dieldrin in this country and supply it to our neighbours. I think we are laying ourselves open to the charge or accusation that we are behaving like drug pushers, a drug pushers who recognize the dangers of the drug they are dealing in and do not take it for themselves but are prepared to deal in it and sell it to innocent consumers for profit. Needless to say, drug pushing is possibly the most morally bankcrupt form of exploitation in the underworld. I do not believe South Africa can afford to lay itself open to the charge of behaving in even a remotely similar way.
For this reason I want to call upon the Government, firstly, to investigate the extent of the trade in and the import/export of dieldrin in Southern Africa and, secondly, to place a complete ban on the manufacture and/or trade in and export of dieldrin in, from or via the RSA. I would like to see a complete and effective ban placed upon this deadly insecticide which all other western countries have recognized as such and have done something about, so that it is eradicated from Southern Africa.
Mr Chairman, I do not intend to react at this stage to the tirade of the hon member for Constantia. It seems to me as if his party wants to use this legislation, which is not at all contentious, to exploit the dieldrin matter and try to cause panic for political gain. The hon member for Constantia referred to certain co-operatives and cases, but as far as I am concerned provision has been made for severe punitive measures and if the hon member is aware of such cases, he knows what procedure he should adopt. But I believe that the hon the Deputy Minister of Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs will give adequate replies regarding the dieldrin affair.
I do not want to say much about the Bill, because it merely embodies a few verbal changes, to rectify certain uncertainties which existed in the law.
Because the hon member for Constantia took the opportunity to discuss the dieldrin matter, I should also like to refer to a certain matter, namely the termite plague in our country. During the past few years we have suffered a serious drought in the Highveld region. This caused the condition of the veld to deteriorate a great deal. Farmers withdrew a certain part of their livestock from the veld in time, but then the termites took over, to such an extent that large tracts of natural grazing were seriously damaged. While I have the opportunity, I should like to ask the hon the Deputy Minister whether it is possible for the Department of Agricultural Economics to undertake more research into the termite plague in future. It has been found that the termite plague increases tremendously during droughts in particular. Consequently I want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister whether we could not draw up a plan of action so that it could be implemented immediately if such a plague were to break out again. Possibly the State could also give financial assistance in this connection. I take pleasure in supporting the Bill.
Mr Chairman, the NRP will also be supporting the Bill.
I think the hon member for Schweizer-Reneke’s reaction to what was said by the hon member for Constantia is part of the old style of debating which we want to see the end of. For him to take the hon member to task for mentioning so serious a matter during the discussion of legislation which has a bearing on the subject, is somewhat strange. We on these benches feel equally strongly about the dieldrin matter and support the points made by the hon member for Constantia.
In either today’s or yesterday’s newspaper there appeared an article about the use of DDT, which is also a banned substance. This substance has been banned by the Government, but is allowed to be used by certain State authorities for the control of malaria. Here we have another situation where there appears to be a “double-speak” about the use of very toxic substances. Of course, DDT is nowhere near as toxic as dieldrin. However, it would appear that a certain amount of lip-service is paid to legislation when it comes to the question of protecting the environment. We would therefore support the hon member for Constantia’s request to the hon the Deputy Minister and his department in respect of the very serious attitude we would like him to adopt in this matter. We include in this the question of the use of DDT. Quite obviously, if some use is made of such a substance, its availability is open to abuse by all sorts of people once the source becomes known to them. There are always ways and means of getting hold of something and using it. It would appear that the matter of passing legislation in this regard must go hand in hand with a very serious attempt to monitor its use, especially in respect of those who are likely to manufacture it. If one can stop it at that source, one can iron out the whole problem. We will be supporting the Bill.
Mr Chairman, the CP supports this legislation. But I want it placed on record that we were very upset that the members of the standing committee were summoned from all over the country to consider such a simple piece of legislation. I think this cost the State a great deal in difficult financial and economic times. I am sorry that this could not be done in another way, but in any case I think we shall all support the hon the Minister if he wants to exterminate pests, possibly in the political sphere as well. All I am trying to say is that we support the legislation.
Mr Speaker, because we have very little time at our disposal to conclude this discussion, I should like to confine myself to the Act.
The hon member for Constantia raised a matter which has attracted a great deal of attention in the Press recently, and which has aroused a great deal of emotion, namely the entire matter of dieldrin.
†I do not think that it is possible for me to give a complete answer to the whole question within two minutes. However, I should like to refer the hon member for Constantia and also the hon member for King Williams Town to a Press release during the course of this week, dealing with the whole dieldrin affair. It is a fairly lengthy release in which I deal with the whole matter.
*It is true that dieldrin is a very dangerous substance and that is why we banned it in South Africa. We must attempt to maintain very strict control over it. But there were— and probably still are—supplies throughout the country. Officials of my department are at present undertaking a complete investigation and inspection in Natal in an attempt to trace remaining stocks of dieldrin issued prior to 1981. This morning they reported to me that so far they have traced 200 kg of the dieldrin and have confiscated it. The stocks they found were packed away in stores and were not being used. So far we have not found any trace of dieldrin pollution in our rivers flowing from the neighbouring states. But we are keeping a very close watch on the entire matter.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Deputy Minister a question?
There is only half a minute left. I shall meet the hon member outside if I can be of assistance to him.
I should just like to refer to the matter of termites raised by the hon member for Schweizer-Reneke. The department has been undertaking research on termites for twenty years now. The use of dieldrin was one way of combating termites, but we may no longer use it. Termites are indigenous to South Africa. We cannot actually consider them a plague. They are an ecological phenomenon and we have this problem as a result of disturbances to the ecology, for example drought and overgrazing. But I want to tell the hon member that the Department of Agriculture is constantly monitoring the entire situation and undertaking further research on the matter. I should like to thank hon members for their support for this legislation.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Certified fair copy of the Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days to refer the Bill to a committee.
Mr Chairman, I move:
On this occasion it is an honour and a privilege for me personally to be able to move such a motion as a Nationalist in this House. In our party we have for many years been conducting a fruitful, beneficial and open dialogue on the political future of the Blacks. I should like to say that I am proud to belong to a party in which one can debate and argue about the most penetrating questions of this country openly, freely, pleasantly and enjoyably. In my short political career I have received a few good blows on the head as well as a few nice bruises because of this specific matter, but today I stand here together with all my colleagues and I want to say that what we are experiencing today with the new constitutional initiatives concerning Blacks, is very agreeable to us and signifies great progress.
By way of a joke I should like to say that I remember the late Oom Willie Delport, our ex-colleague, with compassion. On many occasions on the commission he said to me, the hon member for Randburg and the hon member for Bellville: “Come, come, you young men who have all the answers: What must we do?” When we introduce this motion today, we do not do so in a spirit of bravado, a spirit of knowing better than anyone else or a spirit of “we have all the answers”. We are introducing it in a spirit of “now we in South Africa must co-operate”.
The motion reads that we are appealing to all people … I chose the word “people” specifically. Politically we speak in South Africa of “communities” and of “peoples”, but in our political dialogue we must also speak of people as individuals. Many of the leaders who emerge, stand for specific standpoints in their own, individual human right. In our public debate we must pay more and more attention to this. All of us, the Whites, the Coloureds, the Indians and the Blacks, must together become full partners in the dialogue on the constitutional future in South Africa. All of us in this House, all of us as politicians—my good friend, the hon member for Rissik, the CP, the PFP and members of Parliament in the other Houses—must be full partners in the stimulation of the constitutional dialogue, because it affects the future of all of us.
Our church leaders and churchgoing public must become partners in the dialogue, because this dialogue affects not only the political constitutional structure, but also the climate and the society in South Africa. I believe that our church leaders too, have a responsibility to speak more openly and more frankly to our people about human relations. In this regard I am addressing my own church and specifically—and I am saying it here across the floor of the House—one of my own ministers.
In the course of many years, despite many blows raining down on them, the Press and the media have, with great insight, tried their best to get constitutional structures in South Africa changed. Today I want to pay tribute to everyone in the Press. I want to pay tribute to everyone attached to the media in South Africa, except those people who have propagated violence as a solution. I want to pay tribute to those people of the media who have stimulated the political dialogue in South Africa and to everyone who has brought home to us the seriousness of the situation over the years. Many academics in South Africa have also received many blows for their remarks. I thank all the people who have stimulated a good dialogue with freshness and crispness.
I am now going to do a strange thing. I want to tell the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition—I think I can say it here as someone who has been in the Parliamentary milieu since 1963—that although we differ with him about basic standpoints, his contribution to stimulating the political dialogue in South Africa on a higher level, has, in my opinion, been a healthy and sensible contribution.
Initiative is a human attribute with unlimited possibilities. Therefore, if we can say to everyone, let us work together—politicians, church leaders, the media, academics, as well as the bureaucracy which performs its task with great dedication, also in the area of human relations—we are in fact saying that we are going to utilize the initiatives with their unlimited possibilities. We who are seated on this side of the House, do not foster any illusions among our voters. Let us admit frankly that we put the matter candidly to our voters: Full political say for all Black peoples, communities, and individuals on all levels in South Africa. I want to tell the hon member for Rissik that I had the privilege of speaking to my regional managers last week. I do not want to dwell on this point. I should just like to say that I am proud of our people, the Nationalists of South Africa, who in certain respects have adapted dramatically in the course of so many years, in the interests of South Africa. There is a saying that if one gives someone a pinkie, he will grab the whole hand. Concerning this constitutional process I want to say today that we are not giving the Blacks of South Africa a pinkie; we are giving the Blacks of South Africa our whole hand. We are reaching out to them with the open hand of friendship, because we do not want the debate to degenerate into a foolish, interminable debate about political pinkies.
Why have we deviated from the homeland model as an absolute solution? That is a question our voters put to us. I should like to tell the hon members of the CP—without wishing to pick a quarrel with them—that in the referendum they debated the point times without number, that if certain rights were given to Coloureds and Indians, the Blacks were also entitled to these rights. Their debating methods helped us to cause our people and also their own voters to realize that South Africa cannot run away from the fact that we do not have an absolutist political solution with the homeland concept alone. [Interjections.] That is essentially what we shall be discussing in future.
I should like to tell the hon members of the CP that we are busy with great ideas; we in this House, indeed, everyone in South Africa, must guard against stifling these great ideas with silly, petty debates. [Interjections.]
May I ask the hon member a question?
No, my time is limited. People say that we are being pressurized by overseas countries; people say we are being pressurized by the leftists and the radicals. This Government, however, took constitutional initiatives in connection with Blacks because we were being pressurized by the realities of South Africa, and any sensible government which sees certain realities all around it, and which cannot cope with them, is a weak government. We perceived the realities in South Africa, and it is because these realities must be dealt with that we intend to take these steps.
What other people say matters a lot to us in the NP. Blacks in South Africa are cobuilders of this country’s wealth and therefore we in the NP listen to what they say, and do so gladly.
When all is said and done, they do have a case, do they not? I should like to request those people who say that we should strike out in one direction only to bring me a man who will stand up in this House and point out a single leader of an independent State in South Africa, or of a national state, who says that the political answers that we have, are final. Therefore, the leaders of our own constitutional creations in the Black States are standing up today—in 1985—and saying that there are still a few constitutional steps we have to take.
We as Nationalists, together with our voters, are proud of our State President who leads the way along this road. He is displaying daring in the interests of our people. I should also like to say that the hon the Minister for Constitutional Development and Planning will go down as a giant in the history of South Africa because of his efforts to bring about constitutional changes. [Interjections.] We thank those people who have such pluck.
When we speak of the rest—let us call them the “political rest”—then, I feel, we should not always speak only of urban Blacks. Together with the Black leaders we must speak of Blacks on the whole, in other words, the political problem of all Blacks, which remains to be solved. We must not simplify it and say that the problem is only that of urban Blacks. During the recent referendum we spoke to our people about this matter. I left my constituency with the conviction that the White voters of South Africa were asking us to move faster in connection with these matters. In a certain sense we have removed the last apartheid sign from the political discussion chamber. I am proud to be a participant in such a political party.
I do not think there is a final or absolute solution in South Africa. I agree with the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning that constitutional creation is a continual process in every country, and most certainly in South Africa as well. Our old political style, the “baas-klaas-enraas” politics, has gone forever. The greatest guarantee for White security in South Africa—the hon the Minister has already said this—lies in providing the Blacks with political rights and political security. [Interjections.] If everyone around us in the country is in a turmoil, the White man cannot have peace. We want to give all our voters—this also includes my voters—peace of mind and heart. That is why we intend to inform our people fully. We shall not cram them halffull of lies. In South Africa we cannot make ideals of political myths. We must build ideals around realities, and that is what we are doing. It is not the cheering on the grandstands that counts; it is the work we do down here below, that counts. We must create the correct climate. I want to congratulate the entire Cabinet on the initiatives which have been announced in this time of constitutional dialogue with regard to influx control, resettlement, land ownership and discrimination.
I want to recount just one incident which may mean something to the hon members. During December I had four Black high school children at my house to help me out with certain clerical work. Two of those Black children, whom my own workmen had brought to my house, had passed matric in 1983. They live in the homeland adjoining Pretoria, and since 1983 they have not worked at all. I asked one of them why he did not look for work, to which he replied: “I came to Pretoria three times and three times I paid R30”. Sir, I am not trying to be emotional about this. I thank the Government for its initiative. It is right to plan for urbanization, but we must all get together and consider some of these matters.
It is interesting to note that all these things such as influx control, resettlement, land rights and discrimination, have been central themes since the founding of the ANC and in the course of the whole history of Black political movements in South Africa. I have no doubts on this score, and therefore we can never flee from these realities. Black political opinion with regard to these matters has radicalized very seriously during the past few years. In a certain sense we have a dormant potential of a serious level for rebellion in South Africa. There are those who say that we are already in the midst of a revolution, physically as well as psychologically. Whatever we want to call unrest, rioting, strikes, boycotts and resistance, we must end this mounting spiral of violence in the interests of all people in South Africa.
I note in a report in today’s Rand Daily Mail that Mr Oliver Tambo spoke about violence. For me as a politician it is staggering that one can sit in the lap of luxury overseas and openly advocate and instigate violence. If that is true, I wonder how such a political leader must feel, someone who lets innocent people suffer and tells them that they must suffer, that it is good for them to die, that it is good for them to get hurt and that they must suffer for their freedom. With these constitutional initiatives we are saying to the Blacks: We stand for the liberation. We are fully in favour of the total liberation of Blacks in the sense that we want to help to free them and all our people from communism, enslavement and socialism in South Africa.
The hon member mentions apartheid. I hear people say that apartheid is dead. That is not true. Apartheid, the caricature of discrimination which the world has made it, that apartheid is alive and well throughout the world. Every hon member in this House who has been overseas, knows that. The hon member for Houghton says that that is not statutory apartheid. She knows, however, that overseas governments are adopting statutory measures to apply influx control, to stop immigration from Africa and other Third World countries. Most of that legislation is aimed primarily at people of colour. People must not use us as punchbags because of their own guilt feelings, as Kennedy came here to do.
We shall look at apartheid. Old-fashioned apartheid is out; contemporary co-existence is important to all of us in South Africa. There are good reasons for our believing that Blacks outside the Black states must be given political rights, according to our new pattern. In the first place I do not think it is humanly possible for any government in South Africa ever to end the spiral of rioting in South Africa without giving people a sound, strong political platform. There is no one as dangerous as a person who has nothing to lose. The person who need not share the responsibility, has no responsibility whatsoever.
There are two further reasons for the further development of political rights. It is the logical consequence of our policy that everyone should have a say. That also goes hand-in-hand with our feeling of fairness. In the USA they have the expression: “Perception is reality”. We as politicians should all project that expression, “perception is reality”, in our constituencies and in the South African political scene. Then we would know what was going to happen.
The struggle in South Africa is held up by the world as a struggle between Blacks and Whites. We say that is not so. In this Parliament, and in our own politicking outside, we in fact cause people to see the so-called battle in South Africa as being a struggle between Blacks and Whites. We must get rid of that type of thing.
I mentioned that people were saying that apartheid was dead. We, the National Party Government, get the blows for apartheid and for apartheid legislation in South Africa. The hon member for Houghton, who is probably one of the best informed people on Black politics in South Africa, knows that what I am saying is true. We need only look at the Lagden report of the Native Affairs Commission of 1903 and 1905. I do not have time to enter into it, but we can look at the pre-Union legislation in Natal, in the Cape, the Free State and the Transvaal. We can look at legislation which was initiated by colonial powers. There is legislation on separate residential areas, separate territories and passes. I want to tell the hon member for Houghton that we as the National Party Government have a colonial legacy of statutory discrimination. Just as we cannot maintain order in South Africa by instantly throwing everything overboard, those hon members cannot do it either, nor can any of the people who humiliate and trample on us. [Interjections.]
Without political rights for the Blacks, the Whites in South Africa will always remain the scapegoats. We are now assembling in a forum of discussion in South Africa. The forum table has been prepared. The agenda of discussion lies open for all to see. The agenda is open for anyone to place any item for discussion upon it. Dominance, white power, black power, integration; anything and everything can be discussed. Every living soul can have a say in the matter—the ANC, the PAC, Azano, Azapo, Azaso; every single movement which exists and which is still to be established. Everyone can go and have a say there. There is only one condition: We are not going to the conference table with a concealed R1-rifle. Nor will we tolerate anyone sitting down at that conference table with an AK-47 beside him. That, then, is my reply to hon members on the opposite side with regard to the ANC. No one comes into that conference chamber carrying an AK-47.
We on this side of the House know that one of the points on the agenda is that of domination. I shall refer to it briefly. It is said that the Whites in South Africa are guilty of domination. Surely that is not true. After all, all people in South Africa fear domination. That also includes the Whites. Fortunately South Africa’s Blacks are intelligent enough to realize that they should not let themselves be used. The dramatic constitutional initiative of the Government proves that we on this side of the House do not advocate dominance. Therefore we have come forward with this constitutional initiative.
People who refuse to talk now—and this is the interesting point—are actually champions of what they profess to oppose, namely domination. When they refuse to talk, they are advocating exactly what they say they oppose. We listen gladly to everyone who strives for freedom from domination. We also say we do not believe in domination or in Black power. We believe in inner strength and therefore reject domination totally. We also reject violence.
Violence is indeed on the agenda. There are many people in South Africa—Black and White—who believe that violence is the answer. It may interest the hon member for Houghton to know that there are White voters in my constituency who are very serious when they say that shots will have to be fired in the end. Those are people who are in favour of violence. Many people advocate violence. We on this side of the House reject violence.
Blacks do experience certain things as violence. Therefore we are investigating matters like influx control and certain other related matters. For us violence is not on the agenda at all. Blacks in South Africa are also sick and tired of violence. I believe that the hon member for Houghton and I read The Sowetan every day of our lives. Irrespective of whether one agrees with the political points of view of that newspaper, one need only read it—from the first page to the last— to realize that the Blacks are yearning to escape from this spiral of violence. They reject it. They are sick and tired of it.
Boycotts, in whatever form, are totally unacceptable to us. Without its gold South Africa would have been penniless. If we allow this golden opportunity of constitutional discussion with Blacks and the giving of authority to them to pass us by, I believe the White man will become politically bankrupt. We are a small country with a great message. We, the White children of Black Africa, have a message to our Black fellow-countrymen. Let us try to forget the conflicts and the injustices of yesterday. Let us abandon our mistrust. Let us bury the knobkerries and the muzzle-loaders. Let us discuss the future of South Africa together.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Innesdal is a serious person. We have known each other since 1974, and I have always listened with great interest to the hon member’s contributions here in the House. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that the hon member is making an honest and serious effort to understand the political, economic and social developments in the country, to analyse them and to determine sincerely where he stands in respect of all these questions, in accordance with his own political points of view and those of his party. Therefore I welcome the opportunity to take part in this debate on the motion which appears on the Order Paper in the name of the hon member for Innesdal.
The hon member urges that we renounce violence. In this respect I want to say at once that I am in complete agreement with him. I agree with him for many reasons, but one important reason is that violence has proved itself throughout history to be unpredictable as a political instrument in the relationship between ends and means. In the majority of cases it is clear that what people envisaged achieving with violence was never in fact achieved. In this respect the second characteristic of violence as a political instrument is that it is counter-productive. Quite often it is not only a case of their not achieving what they believe can be achieved by violence, but of their achieving the exact opposite.
While I was listening to the hon member for Innesdal, I could not help thinking back to the past 20, 25 years. I tell myself that there are organizations which did not believe then that violence is the only solution, as they do now. Now there are individuals who have committed themselves to the use of violence. In those days they had not. If we could, in those days, have heard the words from the Government which we heard today from the hon member for Innesdal, we could have prevented immeasurable violence and bloodshed in South Africa.
I should like to tell the hon member of two personal experiences in this connection. In 1959 I was a first-year student at the University of the Witwatersrand. I came from the far Northern Transvaal, from the region which the hon member for Pietersburg now represents. One can imagine what a tremendous adjustment it must have been for me as a first-year student at Wits. There was a society which organized meetings during lunch-breaks. It was the so-called “Fellowship Society”, and it approached various organizations to send speakers to come and address us. One such meeting was to have been addressed by a Black political leader. We sat and waited for the man, who was a lecturer at that University, to arrive. He was approximately 15 minutes late, and offered his apologies when he eventually arrived. The reason for his being late was that when he had crossed the road outside the University grounds, he was stopped by a policeman and asked to produce his passbook. Once the policeman had determined that the passbook was in order, it was thrown to the ground, his foot came down on the passbook and he said: “Pick it up”. The delay was attributable to that whole situation.
Is that really true?
It is true, and the man to whom this happened, was Robert Sobukwe. I listened to him, and also spoke to him afterwards. I could not believe it either, but he said that it had really happened. Since the hon member has asked whether it was true, I shall tell him of another incident.
In 1961, two years later, I was at the University of Stellenbosch. It was shortly before the events of Sharpeville. As was the practice in those days—I assume it is still so today—we did mission work in the Black residential areas. On this particular Sunday a group of theological students and I went to Langa. The previous week photographs had been published in Die Burger of nurses in a car with blood on their faces, because stones had been thrown at them. We were so naive in those days, however, that we did not even associate that with the fact that there was a great deal of dissatisfaction in those Black residential areas. We were a group of theological students from the Dutch Reformed Church who had gone into Langa with the Professor of Missionary Sciences. We had gone quite a way into the residential area when suddenly we were surrounded by those people. They literally frog-marched us, including the 60-year-old professor out of Langa. Sharpeville followed only a few days later. Everyone knows what happened then.
I mention only these two cases, for after that Sobukwe was sent to gaol for three years, and he had to stay on Robben Island for a further six years.
If in those days we had had a speech like the one which was made today, and guidelines like those that were laid down today and last week, I think they would have made an enormously important contribution to drawing off the political heat from the debate. Perhaps it would also have made it possible to prevent many young people on both sides, but especially Black, from taking the path of violence.
Therefore I say that it is the responsibility of this Parliament, and especially of the House of Assembly, to create a climate to show those who have not yet turned to violence, that there is more profit in negotiation politics than in confrontation politics. That is our responsibility.
In this respect I am greatful for the contribution of the hon member for Innesdal, because from what he said today, it is clear to me that he has this approach and feeling. Therefore one can take him seriously when he requests that we think in terms of creating this climate. He has just said that we must create such a climate. He also explained what he believed had to be done to promote this climate.
In his motion the hon member asked us— what are the words the hon member used? I quote from his motion: “ … to become full participants in the Government’s continued constitutional initiatives … ”. I have problems right there, because I said that the guidelines which have been sketched …
I just want to point out that the hon member used the word “initiatives” and not “guidelines” in his motion.
Yes, the word is “initiatives”; I am sorry that I quoted him incorrectly. I thank the hon the Minister for rectifying the matter. The hon member for Innesdal referred to “constitutional initiatives”.
I have a dilemma right there, for in the no-confidence debate last week I said that these guidelines and these initiatives could be the beginning of the creation of a climate, the beginning of a new debate, but they had to be spelled out, they had to be spelled out more clearly to us so that we could know what it was all about.
I am therefore asking for a declaration of intent, a clear declaration of intent, so that one can go to people and make it clear to them: Look, this is what is meant. An important aspect of that declaration of intent is the standpoint of the State President on Mandela and other such prisoners, and also the standpoint that any organization which renounces violence, can take part in this process of negotiation. It is an important step in such a declaration of intent, and I think that all people who wish to oppose violence, will welcome it.
In addition it is also important that we spell out what steps the Government is contemplating in respect of, let us say, the removal of discrimination. It is important that the Government state clearly and unequivocally what the new constitutional initiatives mean.
I want to point out two problems on which there may be uncertainty. To a certain extent the hon member clarified matters, but I want to go a little further. When the hon member says that the homeland policy is now no longer the only model for the constitutional development of the Blacks, it is important that we must take cognizance of this, but it is equally important that we should think of a model which is going to replace the homeland policy, especially for those outside the homelands.
If we return to the State President’s opening address as recorded in column 14 of the English edition of Hansard, 1985, we see the following:
The concept here is “entities which in their own right”. Until now, the “entities” with which we worked and which the NP very seldom wanted to relinquish, were an ethnic group of people. The question here is: What is the entity?
The hon member for Innesdal says we should not really talk of the urban Blacks.
Not only the urban Blacks.
Yes, not only the urban Blacks.
We must talk of the Blacks in the cities, as I always argue too, because if one tries to draw a distinction between, let us say, the urban Black and the rural Black, one is saddled with precisely the same dilemma the Government had before, because in the end one is still creating the administrative machinery to distinguish who the urban Black is, just as one had to do it earlier to distinguish who the rural Black was, not so? One must have the same machinery to say who must stay outside and who inside, for in the end one has to ask a man for his documentation, and as soon as you have to do that, you have a dilemma and, to a certain extent, you are creating an artificial political entity for yourself.
We must get clarity on this point. What is “this entity in its own right” which is being referred to? In this paragraph the State President went on to say:
*Discretion is being introduced. I am merely reading what is stated there, and I do not want to give an interpretation now.
It is an open discussion.
Exactly. It is an open agenda, says the hon member. It must be stated clearly in a declaration of intent that it is an open agenda. The hon member says that anyone can come and speak. If we say that, we must make it clear that such matters as the homeland policy can be discussed on that agenda.
In the next paragraph it is said:
The phrase “within the same overall framework” is important.
†What are the entities that will participate within the overall framework?
*If we say that that is also part of the open agenda, we can debate that point too. Greater clarity should be given.
These are questions which will not only be asked by us, but to a greater extent by the Black groups and Black communities which the Government wants to involve in this debate. The hon member will concede that the actual debate must not take place amongst us in this House, but between the Government and the other people who must now be involved in a process of peaceful negotiation, with the purpose of undermining violence.
If there is no clarity on this aspect with regard to Black constitutional development, confusion will develop and it may be difficult to set this debate in motion.
Let me take a second case. Here I am referring especially to the speech made by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning yesterday in the House of Representatives. There the hon the Minister spoke again of the need for the Group Areas Act. The hon the Minister said the following, and I quote from Die Burger of today:
He said “vanweë ’n universele neiging tot groepsvorming”. He said that a desire to form groups is a universal tendency among people. Then the hon the Minister went on to say:
It was there already, and that is just where the paradox lies, and we have often discussed it before. If people have a universal tendency to form groups, and it reaches to the root of their being, no law is necessary to tell them where to live. They would live there voluntarily. They do it in Swaziland, Botswana, Nigeria, and in Kenya. Why cannot they do it here?
If that universal tendency is there, and in addition legislation is necessary to regiment them into residential areas, why is the Government now announcing that it is going to appoint a standing committee to get rid of section 16 of the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act? After all, the Government accepts in this case that if this universal tendency exists, these laws are no longer necessary. In general people do not marry or have sexual intercourse across the colour line. Of course, there have always been exceptions in history, even from Biblical times.
But one cannot say on the one hand that the universal tendency now requires the help of legislation, and on the other hand that the universal tendency no longer requires legislation. Either there is voluntary association, or there is not.
Rather go and read the whole speech. I do not think it is fair to judge a speech on the basis of a newspaper report.
I just want to tell the hon the Minister that we have not all had the benefit of his speech, but that is what was stated in the newspaper. It is the Press which is creating the climate for proper negotiation. If that is all that was stated in the newspaper, I believe it is in the interests of all of us that the hon the Minister explain the matter to us more fully in public, so that confusion will not arise. Because of this confusion which arises, I move the following as an amendment:
- (1) which discriminatory measures are to be removed; and
- (2) what steps are envisaged by the Government to create a favourable climate,
in order to promote negotiation politics in preference to confrontation politics.”.
†Let me conclude with the point on which I concluded when replying to the no-confidence debate. I said then that we had two essential problems which intersect, ie the problem of political domination and the problem of racial discrimination. I did not have time to elaborate on that point, but in regard to the problem of racial discrimination, I said that we had to legislate ourselves out of our difficulty. Why? Because we legislated ourselves into our difficulty. We do not need to change constitutions to do that. We simply have to have the political will.
Why must we now again set up a standing committee to enquire into section 16 of the Immorality Act and into the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act? We have just had a standing committee in this regard, and they were almost unanimous in their findings. Hon members on that side were also in agreement on the issues. Why then do we have to go into this again? We simply have to get rid of the Acts; it is as simple as that, and it takes will on the Government side to do that.
If one really wants to get away from racial discrimination, one needs legislation. However, when one wants to get away from political domination, one cannot use legislation, and the irony of it all is that the Government has now realized it. One cannot legislate away the problem of domination. The only way to get away from the problem of domination in a society such as ours, is through negotiation. One has to negotiate with people. One has to say: I do not want to be dominated, and I accept that you do not want to be dominated; let us negotiate a constitutional structure that will get us out of this difficulty. However, in the process of negotiating ourselves out of political domination, individual and group problems are inevitably going to present themselves. Once we agree on an overall structure, once we agree that there are matters of common concern and matters of own concern, we cannot discriminate on the individual level in the manner in which we participate in overall structures. We can, however, look at constitutional mechanisms to prevent domination of one group by another, whether it be an ideological group, a political or ethnic group or a racial group. We have to find that solution, but we will have to negotiate that solution because the most difficult problem of all is where the problems of discrimination and of domination intersect. Inevitably, in Africa, there is a kind of racial ethnic discrimination which is essentially also a problem of political domination. That is where the real negotiation is going to lie in the future, but in the meantime this Government can create a conducive climate—and we can all assist in that—by legislating ourselves out of the problem of discrimination, so that people can feel that there is a new climate in which they can take the invitation seriously that the hon member for Innesdal has again extended on behalf of the Government. There is, however, no point in repeating an invitation if one does not tell people what the basis of negotiation is. Once one has said: This is my declaration of intent; these are the steps that I am going to take and— might I add—once one has translated one’s words into deeds, one will create a climate conducive to effective political negotiation which, I believe, is absolutely essential if we wish to solve the problem of domination.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition steered this debate in a direction I do not wish to pursue for long, but nor do I want to do him the injustice of not reacting to his speech. If we look back at the address of the State President at the opening of Parliament, it is, to a very large extent, “open-ended”— as the hon member for Roodeplaat said. However, it contains certain basic points of departure with which the hon the Leader can have no problem. One of those points of departure is group security—and that includes the White group. We are not arguing now about how we define or do not define it, but it is essential for a peaceful dispensation in the future. Within the framework of that group there must also be participation in politics, in other words, a power base for the group. After all, the constitutional proposals of the Official Opposition have this built in in a different way, and it can therefore not object to that premise.
The second totally positive point of departure, viewed from a different angle, is the requirement that all people—in the group context at all levels of government—must have an effective say in decision-making that affects their interests. Firstly, according to the principle of the devolution of power, they alone must decide on what affects them only. Where the interests of individuals or groups overlap, a process of joint decisionmaking at all levels must be developed.
The hon member referred to violence and said that our task would be to convince people that peaceful participation is more profitable than opting for violence. I want to approach this from a different angle. When I initially saw the motion under discussion, it was a very direct motion which really left nothing to the imagination—without wanting to offend my hon colleague. I wondered whether there was not perhaps a hidden motive in the motion and whether it did not contain some deeper meaning. This compelled me to go and look at it introspectively. Particularly when I read the last part of the motion—the part dealing with the rejection or renouncement of domination, violence and boycotts—I asked myself what the debate was really about. I do not think there is any doubt that all of us in this House reject domination as an option. The question is how to get away from it.
The hon member must give me a chance. I want to treat him decently today and not quarrel with him. However, I would also like to get through to-his understanding. We must and want to get rid of this domination because it places us in a privileged position by way of political power. However, we must do so by establishing structures that make it possible for others to exercise power.
I said that we all endorse the standpoint. My thoughts then ran chronologically and arrived at domination and violence, and on examining them, I saw them almost as being interchangeable. I am saying very calculatedly that in the total debate today domination and violence are interchangeable. We are familiar with the concept of structural violence. I think everyone in the country would say on principle that we should get rid of violence and never regard it as an option. Many would do so for pragmatic, practical reasons. For us who at this stage find ourselves in a privileged position, it is an obvious, logical attitude. Those who do not share this privileged position would probably see it from a different angle. Whereas one person would perhaps want to get rid of it morally, another person would look at it from a practical point of view and see the potential for profit.
The rejection of violence has also become a religious debate. I think it is important for us to examine this. The dilemma is that violence and revolution have even become theologized. People come forward with violence as a theology. In their view, revolution must be used in the service of Christ. They are very sincere. We could disagree with them. We need not agree with them, and I do not agree with them—in fact, I hope that not one hon member in this House agrees with that. The good faith of these people is above suspicion, however. For example, we can say what we like about Bonhoeffer, who, together with the active underground movement, rose up against Hitler, opting for violence, but I do not think anyone can doubt his Christianity. The other day I discovered a little book entitled The Violence Inside by the French theologian/philosopher, Paul Tournier. This man examines the difference between what he calls aggression, and violence. If one looks at what he is speaking about, one realizes that one could equate it with structural violence and revolutionary violence. He asks where the dividing line between the two is and in his analysis he reaches the conclusion that one cannot determine the dividing line. He uses the example of the triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey and Cato, and Pompey’s actions over a long period, which made it almost impossible for Caesar and Cato to work with him. He provoked Caesar in particular, until Caesar moved across the Rubicon and the civil war broke out. Cato writes that there is no way he can approve of Caesar’s actions, but at the same time, there is no way he even has an excuse or sympathy for Pompey’s actions, for the aggression he was continually perpetrating. He therefore rejects both. We must try and put ourselves in Cato’s position. In a certain sense—and again I am saying this very calculatedly—we must strive for his objectivity, otherwise we are going to have problems in understanding it and bringing about communication, which the State President spoke about in his speech. We shall have to try to understand how other people think. Should we not act introspectively and ask ourselves whether we do not present our political opponents in such a way—and this happens often—that it is convenient for us to destroy them politically. I want to take Bishop Tutu as an example. In all his speeches Tutu rejects violence. He rejects the structural violence of the order to which he refers, but he also rejects revolutionary reactionary violence as a method. I am not saying that we should judge at this stage whether or not he is telling the truth, but that we should take cognizance of his standpoint. We can then assess his standpoint, since I think it is necessary that we assess it. I want to issue a warning that we should not only look at the times in which we are living and at what is convenient for us. There are many examples in our own history of pronouncements in respect of conditions which, if we were to judge them today, we would describe as structural violence. Ferdinand Deist quoted examples of this from our own history in his recent publication Verandering sonder Geweld. He refers specifically to Rev S J du Toit who wrote the following just after the annexation of the Transvaal by Shepstone:
That was his appeal. However, on another occasion the same man wrote the following in Die Patriot of 31 December 1880:
One must therefore judge it against a certain background. He also quotes Dr C D Brink, who expressed himself as follows at the National Congress:
In a certain sense that is what we regard today as revolutionary language. It is important that we understand this. However, we must reject violence and oppose those who advocate violence. I reject violence as an option with my whole being, more than with my mind. I find it extremely difficult to reconcile myself with violence in any form, and I trust that that is true of most of us here.
The motion calls upon everyone to change this public conscience. There was a time— despite changes in policy—when we were caught up in a kind of impasse which I believe the State President has broken out of with his address at the opening of Parliament. This speech of his will stand as a new landmark, a new point of departure. In that speech he spelt out motives and points of departure which I put to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition very briefly at the commencement of my speech.
The State President’s address reiterates and confirms that the points of departure that have been set include all people and communities. This includes representative participation in decision-making by everyone at all levels, and provision for the devolution of power in terms of decision-making in regard to own affairs, but participation in decision-making in respect of matters of a general nature. Yet there is no ideology in that speech. There is no rigidity; there is an open-endedness, but there is a basis and there are points of departure.
The address appeals to us not to emphasize or over-emphasize our own interests at the expense of a general interest, which has a bearing on everyone in this country. There is a breaking away from the domination. There is an appeal to abandon the theology of revolution and really to seek and develop a theology of peace for our time. I wish to associate myself with that address and add my humble appeal: We cannot think in terms of domination; we cannot think in terms of control or domination. At most, we can think in terms of joint control and joint domination, security and guaranteed participation in decision-making. At the same time we must think in terms of effective participation for everyone else who does not yet have political participation like us. We cannot see the one whilst excluding the other. At the same time, we cannot allow the process to proceed in such a way that the other people obtain rights whilst we lose them. To the extent to which they are entitled to those rights—which is what is being recognized, what is really being pleaded for and appealed for in that address—we who are already in a privileged position also have those rights.
In his motion the hon member for Innesdal also calls for the rejection of boycotts. Our country wants participation, not withdrawal; it wants action and not omission. However, we want this action within the framework of peace; without violence. That appeal was addressed to all of us and it also goes to those who have already chosen violence as an option. The State President’s address breaks away from what these people see as structural violence. Nor do we opt for what they describe and experience as structural violence. From their point of view, the State President and the Government are just as much enemies of order as people who have opted for violence are enemies of order. However, the question is: What is the new order towards which we should move? Under these circumstances, one is probably justified in asking, in fact, in demanding that these people do not opt for revolutionary violence. The State President’s address offers them nothing less. South Africa requires loyalty from its citizens; a truly positive nationalism.
P W Botha’s speech will remain a landmark. I plead that all of us will stand behind him; each with his own political preferences, but projecting peace.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Randburg devoted the greater part of his speech to the question of violence, and I shall not react to that immediately. However, I hope to say something more about that later.
I first want to come back to the hon member for Innesdal for a moment. I want to remark that when I read his motion I expected what we usually expect when he speaks in this House. He is one of the members on the opposite side of the House who usually opens up. He says things the others still keep hidden. He is always a step or two ahead in revealing or spelling out policy.
For example, I could refer to 13 March last year when the hon member participated in a debate on another topic in this House. He was reacting hastily to an interjection and made the following very important revelation that had not really been stated by anyone on the Government side until that moment (Hansard, 13 March 1984, col 2894):
He then made the following very important remark:
At that stage the State President had only referred certain matters concerning the Blacks to the Special Cabinet Committee which had to investigate them and which was to come forward with proposals. The hon member for Innesdal, however, had told us in advance: The decision has been taken; these people are obtaining political rights within the Republic of South Africa; the only question that still remains is how they should be accommodated politically.
I personally appreciate that openness of the hon member. That is why, after having read and analysed this motion, I came to this House today expecting the hon member to lift the veil a little further so that we could gain a precise insight into what the Government wants and what that “how” the Government is engaged in with regard to Black politics looks like. Now I must honestly say that the hon member was a little disappointing in this respect this afternoon. He did not lift that veil for us. He spoke about the whole question of influx control and that kind of initiative. In respect of the important initiative the State President announced in his address on 25 January, however, he did not lift the veil any further for us as far as the “how” is concerned. I hope that someone on the opposite side of the House will have the courage of his convictions to lift the veil in that respect so that the inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa, and the White voters in particular, will know what the Government wants in this regard.
To me, the motion of the hon member for Innesdal contains four important points I want to single out. Firstly, the hon member speaks of “all people in South Africa”; secondly, he speaks of “full participants” in the Government’s initiatives; thirdly, he speaks of “continued constitutional initiatives”; and finally, he refers to the question of domination, violence and boycotts. This motion is really based on the speech of the State President, to which I have already referred. In his address the State President also spoke of “the Government’s general constitutional goal”. The general constitutional goal of the Government is to involve “all the country’s people, all the population communities in South Africa”. It therefore no longer only concerns Whites, Coloureds and Indians. It also concerns the Blacks who find themselves in the Republic of South Africa. They must all be included and involved in this matter, this constitutional goal of the Government. This goal is also spelt out clearly in terms of constitutional structures:
We then come to the important part:
The first important question about these constitutional structures involving the Blacks, is: Does this mean that they are being involved in the existing constitutional structure spelt out in the 1983 Constitution, that Constitution that was really created for the Whites, Coloureds and Asians? In his opening address at the first racially mixed Parliament on 18 September 1984 the State President said that the Constitution was not sufficient to accommodate all the people who find themselves in the Republic of South Africa. My first question, therefore, is whether this is an indication that the existing constitutional structures shall be such that the Blacks must be involved. Later I shall quote another statement of the State President which convinces me that my conclusion that they have to be involved in the existing structures is the correct one. The fact is that we are dealing with the recognition of the permanence—this is part of the initiatives— of a large number of Blacks within the Republic of South Africa who have to be involved constitutionally. It is also being said that the opportunity will be created for those people to decide on their own affairs up to the highest levels—levels higher than third tier government—and that they will also be included in the general decision-making process in respect of general affairs. I have a question in this regard as well. In the Constitution of 1983 a distinction is made between general and own affairs: General affairs are those all important affairs affecting all three population groups on a continuous basis, whilst own affairs are reduced to a small group of affairs that are still subject to general laws, and which are bound and determined by those general laws. In other words, it is a small group, whilst the large, dominant groups consist of general affairs. If the Blacks acquire a joint say or participation in these general affairs, they are also going to have a joint say in this general set-up in which the interests of the White man, the Coloured and the Indian are also going to be affected. In other words, the Blacks are going to be given a say in matters that also affect the interests of the Whites in this country. I want to clarity on that point.
The main issue about which I want clarity has a bearing on point 4 of the speech. In point 4 two statements are made which deserve further elucidation. I shall reveal my personal interpretation of this in a moment, but it concerns the following:
In other words, the purpose is to prevent unnecessary fragmentation—unnecessary fraying, unnecessary division—so that the unity of the constitutional structure can be retained. To me this is the indication that the unity of the structure points to the present structure, that of the 1983 Constitution, and that it is that structure that must not be fragmented when the Blacks are included. It goes on to say:
In the long term, therefore, the Blacks must be involved within the same general structure. What is the interpretation of this? One should not try to understand and read each individual idea the State President has expressed in the past—and in this speech as well—but in relation to one another. [Interjections.] The answer to the question I put earlier, viz whether the Blacks will be involved within the present dispensation of Whites, Coloureds and Indians and are therefore going to gain a foothold politically, has already been revealed by the State President. I should like to hear what the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is going to say in this regard. When the State President was still the Prime Minister of South Africa he made a statement on 22 February—shortly before the split—in the year in which the NP split. In that statement he rejected the whole question of a separate Parliament for Coloureds and said, inter alia:
There can therefore only be one Parliament with one Cabinet. I would like to know how the Blacks are going to be involved up to the highest level in this regard. After all, there is talk of “involving”. Are they going to become part of the present Parliament and are they going to sit in the Cabinet, or not? [Interjections.] As Prime Minister at that time, the State President also said in his statement:
In one Parliament and in one Cabinet. That is the issue at stake now. What is the answer to this? Are we correct in our inference, or is it going to be said tomorrow or the next day that it is simply a piece of CP gossip? Here is the pronouncement of the State President in respect of only one central power structure being brought in relation with this speech in which the Blacks are going to become involved. It is very important for us to have an answer to this.
In the past things have been said that have simply passed by. Mr Thebehali, a former mayor of Soweto, said in London that the Blacks would be in the Government within a period of five years. That period has not yet expired, but he did in fact say this. He also said that politically, the Blacks were on the verge of integration as permanent members of the urban community. According to Die Transvaler of 23 October 1982 the hon the Minister of Internal Affairs said in London:
It was then stated that this concerned the constellation of states, and that kind of thing. However, it is clear now that that is not what it was about then, but that it concerned the Blacks being involved in the present dispensation of the 1983 Constitution which will have to be amended to involve the Blacks in such a way that only one power structure can remain in existence.
It is a great pity that the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs is no longer in the House. After all, he and other hon members on that side of the House said that they would leave the moment the Blacks came in. [Interjections.] I want to ask that hon Minister whether or not he is going to leave. Does he have the guts to leave, to do what he said he would, or not? [Interjections.] He is going to stay. He is not going to budge.
The hon member for Innesdal also referred to the question of realities we are contending with, as well as problems. Before dealing with that point, I should like to move the following further amendment on behalf of the CP:
- (1) power-sharing among Whites, Coloureds, Indians and Blacks is a fatal recipe for conflict, clashing and bloodshed; and
- (2) separate development and the self-determination of peoples, each within its own fatherland, eliminate domination, conflict and clashing.”.
I now come to the question of realities. The hon member for Innesdal says that the Government of the day is being pressurized by the realities of the day, and that is why it has pursued this policy of power-sharing and political integration. That is why it has accepted this policy. This is the policy they have accepted now. He said that it has changed, that they have pursued new methods. The reality of Blacks, Coloureds and Indians in South Africa is not a reality that has come about since the present Government came to power. It became a reality a long time ago. It was a reality as far back as 1902. On 31 May 1902, when the two Boer Republics surrendered to England, they insisted on a clause in the Treaty of Vereeniging in terms of which the franchise would not be granted to Blacks in those two republics. Those people who were on their knees, whose wives and children had died in their thousands in concentration camps and who knew that they would not be able to continue the battle, insisted that people of colour would not have the vote in their territory. [Interjections.] That was a reality in 1913, as well as in 1936.
In 1946, when the old UP Government gave the Indians the franchise by way of White representatives, it was a reality. It was a reality when the NP came to power in 1948. At that time it was a greater reality pressurizing them, but Dr Malan and Adv Strydom were wrestling with the Coloured franchise on the common voters’ roll in those years. It was a grave matter, and they simply tackled it. Dr Verwoerd entered the struggle with the Blacks when he came to power, and Adv Vorster removed the Coloureds from this Parliament. These people were engaged in the realities of the day all the time. However, those leaders had the guts to pursue the policy of separate development. They believed that they could deal with these realities within the policy of separate development, because that policy meant partition through which separation would come. Dr Malan said that apartheid was not oppression or domination, but the removal of areas of friction.
Dr Verwoerd said a very important thing in this regard. On becoming a Republic in 1961 he said:
It was not NP policy that it would be a common fatherland for everyone. It was not NP policy that there would be a joint Parliament or a common people for everyone. [Interjections.]
The State President said earlier that the Whites, Coloureds and Indians would be relatively one nation. According to Hansard, however, he spoke of one people (“een volk”). Die Vaderland also reported it as “een volk” at that time. Now I just want to ask whether the Blacks are going to become part of that “one nation” of the State President when they become involved in this dispensation? [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Koedoespoort has of course re-enunciated very clearly what used to be the old National Party policy. There is no doubt about that. The hon member must appreciate of course that politics is some sort of an evolutionary business, and whilst that may have been the National Party’s policy way back in the 1950s and the 1960s and also in the early 1970s, any political party that merely stays put, especially in this modern world, is just not keeping abreast with reality. It is therefore clear that change was inevitable.
I looked at this motion as printed on the Order Paper, and I gained the impression that the original intention was clear and that there were two legs to the first part of the motion, viz that the Government was making a clear statement of intent that the constitution was going to be developed—which means of course constitutional initiatives— and further, that the Government was making an appeal to all people in South Africa to assist in accomplishing that end.
Referring now to the first part of the hon member’s motion, I make the following point. If we are going to ask all people in South Africa to become full participants, they can only be full participants on a basis of equality because if we maintain a master and servant relationship we will not achieve proper and full participation. Similarly the “baasskap” attitude of the past can obviously not apply if we are trying to get full co-operation for this participation. In this regard we have no difficulty whatsoever in supporting the concept of all people trying to assist in the new initiatives.
As I have already said, I believe this to be a declaration of intent on the part of the Government, first of all because of the person of the hon member who moved this motion, who is one of the up-and-coming young members of the NP, and secondly, as I say, because it is clear to me that it is the intention of the Government to develop the present constitutional dispensation. I do believe, however, that we can only get people to assist us if we have them speaking as equals around a table without a master and servant relationship. We do not, however, have any difficulty in this respect and we will be only too pleased to assist in getting people to sit around a table in order to remove a massive flaw in our constitution, in relation to Black South Africans. We are quite happy about that.
On the question of violence I can only point out that this is indeed a subject on which we in this party have never failed to speak up clearly and loudly. We have always spoken against violence. We believe that to try to bring about political change on the basis of violence—through the barrel of a gun, in other words—seems to be the African way. It is, however, not acceptable to us. Furthermor I also believe that the statement made by the State President recently to the effect that he was prepared under certain conditions to release Mr Nelson Mandela was a good statement because it clearly indicated that in terms of the conditions under which he would be released Mr Mandela would commit the ANC to peaceful change as opposed to violent change—change through the barrel of a gun.
Here again it is very important to bear in mind that peaceful change is the only way in which we can not only accomplish the desired change but also maintain that change once we have brought it about. As far as I have been able to ascertain, almost everywhere in the world where change has come about through the barrel of a gun there has not really been any mentionable peace after that.
Sir, I want to refer now to the question of boycotts. I have no particular wish to throw history in the face of people. In fairness, however, in respect of sports boycotts this NP Government bought it. They begged for it on bended knees.
They invented it.
I would not say they invented it, because they did not boycott going and playing overseas, but they certainly begged for it. I refer, of course, to the silly D’Oliveira case. I am quite sure that all hon members on the other side are very regretful of that affair in respect of the whole cricket association. [Interjections.] The question of the Maoris playing rugby did not help us very much with our friends in Australia and New Zealand. I also think of the business involving the Japanese jockey. So there were numerous incidents, all of which the members of my party strongly objected to and opposed, because we believe that this practice of trying to choose who should play for another side is quite wrong and amounts to dictating to other people. We felt it was the wrong principle. It is as a consequence of that that one has sports boycotts today.
Admittedly, South Africa has made dramatic changes in the sports field, but unfortunately a weapon has been put in the hands of the anti-apartheid merchants, and they are not going to let go if change merely takes place in the field of sport. In fact, I do not even really think they will let go as a result of changes in Government policy overall. I think they will only be satisfied when we have handed the country over to the Russians, but I say that merely in passing.
The fact remains that we have actually bought the boycott. As far as boycotts in trade are concerned, we can obviously not support that. Neither can we support disinvestment, an issue on which there have been many discussions. We cannot support this for a number of reasons, but primarily because it would be rather stupid and disruptive, and secondly it would really damage the people whom the boycotters are allegedly trying to assist.
I am in a bit of a quandary in so far as the question of domination is concerned. We have always spoken against domination, but the present constitution happens to have domination built into it. I say this because in no way can the Coloured and Indian Houses of this Parliament outvote the White House on matters of common interest. In terms of the present constitution it cannot be done. One must assume, therefore, that, if one is going to get rid of domination, that is also going to go.
However, we feel that this is quite a good motion. I have great hopes because less than a week ago I said that there were eight major points of difference between the NP’s policy and that of the NRP. What is the situation now? In less than a week five major points of difference have already been taken up by various hon Ministers as being open to review. I refer specifically to White domination, the debate on Black participation in Government, Black citizenship, mixed marriages and section 16 of the Immorality Act. If these reviews are taken to their logical conclusion, then that will be rapid progress indeed. There is only one further remark that I should like to make. I wish this motion also included a reference to unjust discrimination, because that is equally important.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Umbilo will pardon me for not reacting to his speech. He is a friendly and well-bred gentleman and he will understand that I have very little time.
The South African population is in a state of tension. That is general knowledge. That, at least, is one thing about which we in South Africa are in agreement. No one I know in our country believes that we are a restful and relaxed society. Whether it is possible that as diverse a population as ours will ever live in a fully relaxed fashion is to be doubted. Personally, I do not think it is possible.
I think it would be as well if we could accept here and now that there will always be a certain degree of tension in our community. I think it would be realistic to recognize that. It would also help us to approach today’s situation in a realistic way. It would help us to accept the over-tense situation that prevails in our community at present. It would also prevent us from striving to achieve the impossible. It would instil in an approach that would enable us, firstly, to live with community tension, secondly, to prevent it from ever reaching breaking-point and, thirdly, to harness it positively in the interests of peace, freedom, prosperity and progress for everyone living in South Africa.
There is no doubt in my mind that such a future is indeed possible for the South African population, in all its diversity. We have a promising future as a community of population groups. Each of the peoples, population groups and cultural communities comprising our community has, within the unit, its own unique future which, in turn, forms the basis of self-determination. Our future, if it is to be peaceful, free and prosperous, will therefore be one of communality in diversity, or we could also say in spite of diversity; the communality being necessitated by a common destiny in the same part of the world. After all, we must at least all agree that it should go well with this country of ours, so that it can go well with us as well.
The one concept, that of communality, and the other, viz diversity, are antithetical, and therefore the common future of the people of South Africa can never be free of tension. It is necessary to grasp and accept this truth. If we are in agreement on this score, then that will already go a long way towards tempering our goals and ideals with realism. The invitation I wish to help to extend by my support of this motion is accordingly extended while taking this into account. A future of communality in diversity also implies that no one will be dominated by anyone else on the grounds of his different colour, creed, culture or sex. Whoever should attempt to do so would not only disrupt or even destroy the communality, but would also reduce to inferiority elements of the diversity. In so far as one would still have a certain degree of communality and co-operation, this, too, would be inferior.
At best, efforts at domination lead to inferior communality. Real progress and prosperity are hindered in this way. Usually it is the strong, those who have the resources, that seek to dominate the weak. Unfortunately this takes up so much of their time, strength and resources that it also limits their potential.
If, then, we accept that the future of our country belongs to more than one group of people, if we desire progress and prosperity, then there is no place for group domination. It is true that group domination was the order of the day in our country for many years, but the Government makes no secret of the fact that in so far as it still exists, group domination must make way for a system of self-determination and co-responsibility.
This is a system aimed at reducing tension in society to tenable and manageable levels, at affording all in South Africa the opportunity to express their full potential at eliminating fear and lack of confidence and freeing energy which is at present expressed destructively, for use in the interests of prosperity and progress.
Therefore, if we are striving to achieve peace, progress and prosperity for all living in South Africa, it will get us nowhere to, say, work towards Black majority rule. It is also true that the dream of separate territories for the various population groups implies such artificial fragmentation that there would be little hope of a drive towards unity for the sake of peace and prosperity. Some people speak about socialism, but that is not an option either; that, too, divides. It distributes poverty equally. Communism even destroys the hope of freedom. Therefore our hope today is pinned on the Government’s rejection of continued domination, on its commitment to a free capitalist market economy, on its endeavour to achieve peace, progress and prosperity and its intention to bring about change in an orderly fashion. Orderly change is a prerequisite for peaceful diversity in the future communality. Whoever initiates, promotes or condones violence in our country cannot really be serious about the ideal of a peaceful future of communality and diversity. The motives of such people must be suspect. Even if it is done in the honest conviction that it will promote the liberation of those who are now regarded as oppressed, it will still be destructive in both the short and the long term. Whoever works towards violence at this stage simply does not have time to prepare himself for a future of peace. Violence breeds violence. Violence destroys, it also destroys confidence and the goodwill that is necessary to enter the future together. Violence breeds feelings of tension which will continue to exist in the future. Today’s violence destroys tomorrow’s opportunities. Violence can also become a way of life. Therefore we must assist the Government, that rejects violence, and do everything in our power to help it prevent violence becoming endemic to our country.
If we believe that our road ahead is one of self-determination, co-responsibility and peaceful co-existence, and if enough of our people believe in that and have the will to achieve it, then there is no reason why we should dawdle along that road. Boycotts will serve no purpose. At best, boycott campaigns can only delay the process and promote frustration and tension. Moreover, we find too often that those who resort to boycotts are on the extreme fringes of South African politics. Too often their solution for the South African relations problem is so extreme that they themselves realize that it cannot be implemented in a lawful fashion. All that can be achieved by boycotts is disruption of the process of development on the path to what is feasible. As we know, a great deal of damage is done in this process. People who must participate in the decisionmaking dispensation of the future must already enjoy the opportunity, firstly, to be partners in the design of the dispensation. Therefore it is unnecessary for us to have a declaration of intent as regards the details of our future at this stage. If we give one at this stage, why, then, should we invite the people to come and plan with us?
Secondly, attitudes that will help to create confidence for the future must be cultivated now. Boycotts are too negative. If a matter is worth boycotting, it is also worth working for. Anything that is not worth the trouble, cannot really be boycotted either. At most it can be ignored. To boycott something takes about as much effort as working for it. In the latter case the end result is just so much more satisfactory for so many more people.
Our Government rejects group domination as an option in South Africa. The Government recognizes that violence can achieve no lasting solution. The Government sees no point in boycotts, nor does it boycott anyone. We have a Government that seeks to work towards the situation in which everyone in South Africa may share in peace, freedom, prosperity and progress to the utmost degree. It is a Government which, by all indications, is going to be in power for the foreseeable future. South Africans with the same aims cannot do better today than to throw their weight behind the Government’s initiatives.
Mr Chairman, I listened with great respect to the hon member for Stellenbosch. I hope in the course of my speech to react to some of the things he said. At this stage I just wish to say that if I understood him correctly, it seems as if he did not fully understand one of the points in the amendment moved by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. The hon member for Stellenbosch said, if I understood him correctly, that it was not necessary to come forward with a declaration of intent at this point because that would create the problem of what to debate and negotiate about with the other people.
A declaration of intent of details.
Very well, a declaration of intent of details. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition stated very clearly why he was asking for such a declaration. He did so in the final sentence of his amendment: “In order to promote negotiation politics in preference to confrontation politics.” He stated very clearly in the course of his speech that that statement was essential specifically with a view to creating the atmosphere in which successful negotiation could take place. I doubt whether we should be able to achieve our aim without that atmosphere. However, I must admit at once that we have made a great deal of progress if we in this House, as citizens of the country and as Afrikaners, can discuss the political rights of Blacks in this calm and sober fashion. This undoubtedly constitutes considerable progress, because for years the discussions of this issue were marked by emotional accusations and counter-accusations. We on this side of the House accused the Government of practising ostrich politics, whereas the Government side contended that we on this side were only out to plough the Whites under and bring about Black domination. We have certainly made progress if we can discuss this matter in this sober fashion.
I believe that it is with the greatest interest that we have all taken cognizance of the State President’s announcement to which my hon Leader and other speakers referred today. It is very clear to me that whatever the merits or implications of those announcements—and in this regard the hon member for Koedoespoort is correct—the debate has shifted. Today the issue is no longer whether it is desirable or essential for Blacks to be involved in the political system; the questions relates to the “how” and the “when”. We may have the best intentions, but if we do not draw up a timetable for those aspects we shall get nowhere, because the powers and the forces that have a disintegrating effect on our society, those powers and forces that believe that violence and violent action are the only ways in which change can be brought about, can only be curbed if we are able to say: Here is a programme that we wish to dispose of within a specific time. Therefore my request to the Government is that it must achieve clarity, not only as to how it is going to do it or what it is going to do, but also with regard to when it wishes to do so. However, I shall come back to this again later.
I have been pursuing this course for a considerable time and have, moreover, often been on the receiving end—as most of my colleagues know—and in my opinion we have now at last achieved unanimity on several fundamental points. The first of these— and this is a very important development that has taken place—is that all permanent inhabitants of our country are entitled to participate in the political dispensation. I believe we have reached agreement on that point.
A second point is this: Whatever political system is envisaged or brought about, domination of one group by another must be avoided. It will not work. It is not a workable alternative if a political dispensation does not provide the necessary guarantees that there will be no domination of one group by another. In that regard, too, we are ad idem.
That is the crucial question.
That is the crucial question, and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has spelt it out on several occasions.
The third point, which has also repeatedly been emphasized here is that change in this field can only take place in a peaceful or non-violent way. The hon member for Innesdal, the hon member for Stellenbosch and in particular the hon member for Randburg, emphasized this point very strongly. Moreover, I have the greatest appreciation for what the hon member for Randburg said about the concept of violence, viz that it is essential that we must turn to due consideration of the merits or otherwise of the concept of structural violence. To what extent that concept, or the efforts towards structural violence, have led to the reactions or type of reactions we are getting today, is something to which the hon the Leader of the Opposition has also alluded today. Let me state very clearly that I and hon members on this side of the House reject unconditionally any violent action aimed at bringing about change. We believe that changes brought about by violence will inevitably fail, and can only lead to consequences which those who advocate or practise violence, could never have foreseen.
The fourth requirement, or the fourth point on which we agree, is that that governmental system must be democratic, and the continued existence of a democratic system of government must be guaranteed. However, there are specific prerequisites for the creation of such a system. Those prerequisites have been spelt out in this House on several occasions. Let me just, by way of repetition, mention some of them. The first is that such a system, if it is to succeed and survive, can only come about by way of negotiation and bargaining. That is implicit in what the State President said and was also very clearly stated by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition in his amendment.
The time is past when a single group could design a political system and impose it on other groups, or even sell it to other groups. Our experience with this constitutional dispensation we have today has in my opinion clearly indicated the truth of this statement. When we consider the percentage of votes cast in the elections for the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates, it is abundantly clear that the way—and this is no accusation, merely an observation—in which a constitution is designed will have to be different. A constitution for South Africa that provides for the effective participation of all people can only come into being by a process of purposeful negotiation and bargaining. That is a prerequisite. We have said time and again that that negotiation will have to take place among people who are regarded by the respective groups as their own, accepted leaders. Moreover, the time is past when we or anyone else could prescribe to other groups who may speak on behalf of those groups.
We are now faced with the dilemma, particularly as far as the urban Blacks are concerned, that we do not really know who is able to speak on behalf of those people. Therefore it seems to me that one of the first steps to be taken in giving effect to the initiatives is for the Government to create the instruments whereby that part of the population will be given the opportunity to say whom they accept as leader. In this regard I do wish to address a serious warning—if I may put it that way—to the Government. There will be no point in our asking the homeland leaders or the leaders of the independent states to designate the people in the urban areas who will form part of the machinery for negotiation.
Really, we have never said that.
Correct. I am pleased to hear that, because there is no certainty that those people would in fact be accepted by the urban Blacks as their leaders.
The point of the amendment moved by the hon Leader of the Official Opposition is that urgent steps must be taken to create an atmosphere in which that negotiation can take place. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition put that very clearly. I wish to take the liberty of putting to the Government several things which in my opinion are essential in order to create an atmosphere in which fruitful discussions and negotiation can take place. The first point I want to mention is the one mentioned by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, viz the repeal of section 16 of the Immorality Act and of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. In practice that legislation means nothing, it protects nobody and only harms people, due to the affront to their dignity that underlies that legislation. I wholeheartedly agree with the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition that it is unnecessary for a Select Committee to consider these things. All that is necessary is that the Government should come up with legislation to remove those two measures from the Statute Book; nothing more and nothing less. Moreover, there is no reason or justification for the Prohibition of Political Interference Act to remain on the Statute Book. It has lost its force and importance, it is an insult to thinking people and is in conflict with the principle of free association, which is of special importance when we advocate rapprochement and co-operation. I reiterate that there is no reason whatsoever why that Act cannot be repealed immediately. It would be to no one’s detriment and will not harm anybody. However, it could clear the way for greater co-operation and understanding among all groups in South Africa. In spite of the objection advanced by the White Mineworkers’ Union there is no reason, in my honest opinion, why the provision in the Mines and Works Act, in terms of which Blacks are forbidden by law to obtain the necessary certificates of competence, should remain on the Statute Book. This is discriminatory, and there is no justification for it whatsoever. In all honesty, I cannot see why the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act should continue to exist. Why can we not begin to create this climate by summarily removing those measures from the Statute Book. It is also essential that the Group Areas Act be repealed, or at least fully revised, and in this connection processes are already under way. The restrictions imposed by the 1913 Act, eg the prohibition of the acquisition of land or land rights by Blacks outside the released areas, no longer have a right to exist. We cannot speak about people participating in the political system while we have measures that discriminate against them so flagrantly. The State President spoke about free property rights, but he did so in such a way that I was still unsure whether we would get free ownership rights or not. All that is necessary is a simple decision by the Government. All it has to do is say that it wishes Blacks in the homelands and in the urban areas to have full and free property rights. At this point I do not wish to go into the reasons why he must do so, because this no argument is necessary in this regard. Who would suffer if we were to say today that we were going to make it possible for, say, Blacks in the urban areas to obtain full and free property rights? That is the biggest and best guarantee we have against those people who seek the violent overthrow of the order in this country. There is no reason why we should be unable to do this today.
The next aspect I want to raise is the matter of influx control, which was also raised by the State President. I do not know when influx control is discriminatory and when it is not, but we have been waiting a long time for the hon the Minister to submit to us the third so-called Koornhof Bill which deals with this matter. We know that the Cabinet Committee is considering the matter, but in Heaven’s name, let us announce a moratorium until such time that the Cabinet Committee comes up with its recommendations, rather than going on with the arrest and prosecution of people in terms of the existing control measures. There is nothing that causes as much hatred and bitterness as the fact that hundreds of thousands of Blacks fall foul of the law every year due to these measures. Can we not, in Heaven’s name, instruct the officials and the police to wait until the Cabinet Committee comes up with legislation in regard to these measures? Once again, who would be harmed by that? [Interjections.] Unfortunately it is true that some of our officials concerned with influx control are not complying with the Rikhoto ruling in the letter and the spirit. We all know of cases where people have been denied the privilege of deriving benefit from the Rikhoto ruling by way of red tape and deliberate delaying tactics. In this regard I want to make an earnest appeal to the department to see to it that officials are under no illusion, that they are expected to implement the Rikhoto ruling to the full. In the Western Cape it is said that the coming Appeal Court ruling on the Nthia case is awaited, and in the interim they are making it impossible for Black people to enjoy the privileges they are entitled to as a result of the Rikhoto ruling.
As far as the Western Cape is concerned—and I reiterate that these things can be done—we can ensure stability and peace by giving the people in the Black townships—Langa, Nyanga and Guguletu—the assurance that they will not be compelled to move to Kayelitsha. We shall also have to tell them that the 99-year leasehold system, or property rights, if they are permitted, will not be applicable in Kayelitsha only, but in those residential areas as well. We must say to those people: We accept you there as a permanent part of the population complex in the Western Cape, and therefore we are going to improve your facilities there to the best of our ability. The time has come for us also to give serious consideration to investigating and questioning police action in Kayelitsha. We can do all those things without loss, without damage, without harming anyone.
I should like to discuss Black education and Black citizenship, but time does not permit me to do so. In conclusion, however, I want to refer to the crucial point that was also referred to by the hon member for Randburg, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and the hon member for Innesdal, viz that we must speak to everyone. All we ask is that those people do not come and sit at the negotiating table with an AK47 rifle. However, if that is the case, I want to ask in all sincerity and honesty, whether the time has not come for us to consider lifting the ban on the ANC? [Interjections.] I want to say at once that I have stated my standpoint on violence very clearly. In South West Africa Namibia the internal wing of Swapo enjoys full status whereas we are engaged in battle with the external wing of Swapo. I certainly do not wish to say that we must make common cause with those people who advocate violence. However, let us ask ourselves, in all seriousness—we can carry on here and make emotionally-laden speeches—whether the ANC activities have in fact lessened in all these years that the ANC has been banned. Why have the majority of people been arrested? Was it due to propaganda for the ANC or due to membership of the ANC? All I ask is a sober approach; only a sober consideration of the question whether the time has not come for us to lift the ban on the ANC as a prerequisite to the creation of a better atmosphere for negotiation politics in South Africa.
Mr Chairman, I think that the hon member for Innesdal made a happy choice in proposing this motion for discussion here, and I am very grateful to him that we could have this discussion in consequence of his motion.
Initially I wish to re-emphasize specific aspects. The first—and this is very important to me—is my motivation for wishing to introduce reform. What I can accomplish will depend upon my motivation. If my motivation for reform is to be found in my dread of the alternative, it is a negative formulation or motivation. If, however, my motivation is to be found in the fact that I have to bring reform to an imperfect society and to an imperfect world, to approach more nearly the concepts of justice and fairness, then I say that from the nature of the case my initiatives have a greater possibility of succeeding.
Secondly, there ought to be no doubt that the willingness of the Government to negotiate should not be interpreted as passivity when it comes to ensuring order, stability and effective government. The fact remains that if we wish to make successful headway with the concept of constitutional reform, it is essential—the hon member for Innesdal also said so—for us to have an honest and accurate image of reality; secondly, for us to have an equally accurate image of what is desirable and attainable in our country; and, thirdly, for us to have an image of the instrument or the vehicle we want to use to achieve what we consider to be attainable ideals.
There is no hon member of the House who will not agree with me that, concerning the process of reform, regardless of the sphere of life in which it takes place, what may be attained at a particular time can differ from what is attainable at other times. It is interesting that we can discuss this sensitive subject in the spirit and atmosphere in which hon members have discussed it today. A few years ago this was impossible. Is that no so? The fact that Coloureds and Indians can conduct a debate on sensitive laws, as they see them, in Houses of this Parliament, is something that was not possible in the recent or not so recent past. The fact is that it is possible now. One important factor, therefore, if there is to be a sustained process of orderly reform, is that we shall have to understand that it requires sensitivity to examine what is possible, desirable or attainable.
In the first place there is not a single member of this House who will not endorse the sentiments of the motion of the hon member for Innesdal. It is the responsibility of my Department to undertake the planning of these initiatives and many other development initiatives, including those of a constitutional nature, for South Africa. In this respect it should be clear that this responsibility is not one of control, but rather of planning. As far as I personally am concerned, I shall do everything in my power— and the people of my Ministry have instructions to do the same—to deal with this with the sensitivity demanded of one by a potentially explosive society. Whether we shall succeed is another matter. I know, however, that without actual motivation we shall fail in any case.
The call by the hon member for Innesdal is directed in the first place at all reasonable people. It means specifically that in our consideration of the possibilities for the country we should adopt the rational and reasonable course because all of us can without much effort greatly exaggerate the emotional limitations of society. Then we should be aware, however, that we have not chosen negotiation politics; then we have chosen confrontation politics. There are examples of this throughout the world. If, therefore, we wish to discuss the motion and the amendments effectively, we have to bear the reality of the population situation in this country in mind. We should have no illusions. The deciding factor in South African politics is the perception, by political parties, of the prevailing population situation in our country. In fact, that has been the divisive factor in White politics since we arrived here.
We need to analyse the population situation to which I am referring: Firstly, a Constitution exists today within which Whites, Coloureds and Indians function. I am not debating whether this is adequate or not; I am saying it is part of the reality with which we have to contend at present.
A second aspect of reality is that four independent States are in existence and that 5,07 million people live within their borders.
A third aspect of reality is that self-governing States exist. All the leaders of these States tell me that the autonomous existence of those States is not negotiable. 6,1 million members of their various ethnic groups live within their borders.
Fourthly, a reality we have to take into account in carrying out these initiatives is the fact that 10,1 million people—members of Black communities—reside outside the borders of the independent and the national States. Anyone ignoring this reality is not helping to find answers. 5,3 million of the 10,1 million people live in the large metropolitan areas of South Africa.
The relevance of this for purposes of our discussion lies in the fact that the historical course of the legislative policy has found substance in the acceptance by all in this House, at one stage or another, that some of these people have rights of permanent residence in terms of the legislation of this Parliament.
The fact is that we all accept the permanence of Black communities within the borders of South Africa itself. That applies to all political parties represented in this House. All of us in this House further accept—and I should like to deal with this so that at least we may achieve consensus on the realities, the facts pertaining to South Africa—that Black people, regardless of where they live, also have the right to participate in the political decision-making affecting their lives. We may argue about the method and the time; the fact remains that we have accepted it. It has also been accepted already that the urban component of the Black population within the borders of our country will exercise its political rights in a particular way. Once again my argument is not whether this is adequate or inadequate; I am dealing with the facts of the matter. All of us in this country, all of us in this House, accept that this country has a three-tier system of government, not so? There is local government, provincial government and a central government. When we all accepted that Black communities were entitled to participate in the third tier of government we included them in the political dispensation of the country. What I am about to say is not intended as a reproach, but in 1981 the hon member for Waterberg and the hon member for Lichtenburg formed part of a Government which approved the legislation to give effect to this specific reality.
There is not one hon member of this House who is unaware that not all Black people outside the national and independent States can realize their full potential within their independent or national States. That is not only true; the fact is that the hon member for Waterberg and the hon member for Lichtenburg led commissions of enquiry into the particular problem of the lack of liaison or ties. Those commissions also published reports on the subject. I should like us to refer to that, not in a spirit of reproach, but to enable us to examine the facts.
The hon member for Lichtenburg’s enquiry into the question of ties, or that of political liaison, immediately raised implications, according to his own report, about the concept of citizenship. Sir, I can refer you to his recommendations you will find them there. At one stage the hon member for Lichtenburg and other hon members recommended that extra-territorial jurisdiction over areas within South Africa itself be granted to governments of Black States. [Interjections.] What are the implications of this reality of which I am speaking? The reality is that the assumption of independent statehood or self-government is not the final answer to all the problems in respect of Black participation. Those hon members struggled with that, just as I am struggling today.
We are still on the road of separate development. [Interjections.]
That is a crucial element of the linking-up policy. The hon member knows that in terms of the Act of 1959— I do not wish to refer to it in detail—the governments of the self-governing States were granted the right to have delegates of their peoples within the Republic itself. What are the implications of that? They are that the lives of Black people living within our borders are regulated by the Government of the Republic and not by the governments of the States of which they are citizens.
The hon Minister has come a long way.
Of course. I also have a long way to go. [Interjections.] The hon member for Lichtenburg urged its abolition. He himself, however, had doubts about whether his idea of extra-territorial jurisdiction for the States would be viable. He then said in his report that if it did not work we should consider the concept of city states. [Interjections.] What are the implications of this? The hon member for Koedoespoort is now doing exactly what the hon member for Waterberg does: He puts questions, draws his own conclusions and then answers his own questions. Incidentally, there is a very interesting similarity between a certain bishop and the hon member for Waterberg. The bishop says: “The Black people will repossess South Africa.” The hon member for Waterberg, on the other hand, dreams of a White ethnic state. [Interjections.]
We have to realize that we should not confuse the cultural ties between Black communities and their peoples and States with political ties. Urban Blacks have insignificant economic interests in the national States (2% on average). These are realities, not of our creation, but they exist nevertheless. I am not reproaching the hon member, but in a report on interstate relations he propagated the concept of nationality or dual citizenship. In other words, the subject of citizenship was not put forward merely as a result of present-day sentiments. The fact is that renouncing citizenship is an obstacle to the assumption of independence by States. An impression exists that renunciation of citizenship implies being cut adrift from the financial and economic capabilities of the Republic.
South Africa has now begun giving new content to the concept of citizenship. When we were negotiating about the assumption of independence by four States and the renunciation of citizenship, we entered into agreements with the governments of those States with regard to rights their citizens would retain within the Republic of South Africa. This would apply to their job opportunities and movement. In other words, we have already given new content or privileges attached to citizenship of those States. This is true, is it not? That is why the subject of citizenship is on the negotiating table. We are negotiating with the leaders of States on this matter. The problem has to be decided rapidly. I pledge myself to assist in doing so.
The hon member Prof Olivier spoke on the matter of proprietary rights. Surely we have long since acknowledged land tenure for Black people within the Republic. The system of 99-year leasehold is a specific form of land tenure and proprietary rights have no legal or political implications beyond those of 99-year leasehold. That is a specious juristic argument. [Interjections.] It is purely emotional. It has no legal or political implications whatsoever.
We have our own processes—as the hon member well knows—for negotiating with our own instruments within the political context. My standpoint is that I shall have pledged myself to persuade influential and policy-making entities of our political party to acknowledge proprietary rights.
The hon member for Waterberg says that this policy and the initiatives announced by the Government are ambiguous. I wish to ask him, however: Is the fact that we recognize political rights for Black people outside their States not ambiguous too? Let us take this a step further. I am now addressing hon members on the other side who also once belonged to the Government party. They supported Mr Vorster; at least they did so ostensibly.
You also ostensibly supported Verwoerd. [Interjections.]
What was Mr Vorster’s view on the political rights of Black people outside the independent national States? He said that their political rights within the structure of local government implied more powers than local authorities have at present. [Interjections.] It is quite unnecessary for us to argue about it now.
Just keep to the facts!
Here are the facts. On the basis that powers of decision-making by Black people in South Africa may exceed those of a local authority, that hon member has acquired membership of the governing party. [Interjections.]
Is that a fact, Chris? [Interjections.]
The hon member for Kuruman had better not say too much. He has much more cause for diffidence than any other hon member of this House. [Interjections.] That is a fact as well. [Interjections.] The fact is that I do not intend providing a blueprint or drawing up an agenda for the negotiations. Were I to do that, I would be telling participating parties in advance what my precepts were. I have no intention of doing so.
The fact is that it is necessary … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon the Minister was courteous enough not to interrupt other members in the course of their speeches. That is as I recall it. Hon members may not, from their seats, carry on a continuous dialogue across the floor of the House. Will hon members please contain themselves. The hon the Minister may proceed.
Did you hear that, Jan?
Order! Will the hon member for Kimberley South also please contain himself.
What further facts do we accept? We accepted the fact that Black communities were political entities when we gave them Black local authorities. We all accepted this. Regarding certain metropolitan areas we also accepted that they could be multi-ethnic. The fact remains, however, that more than 90% of the Black populations of the Western Cape, the Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage area, East London and the Durban-Pinetown area comprise a single ethnic group in each separate area. I grant that this considerably facilitates accommodating those groups. I have no intention of trying to escape these facts.
I believe that in the future we can lead those States which are not independent to maximum autonomy if they do not wish to accept independence. Regarding independent States we have already accepted that structures for consultation and decision-making on matters of common concern will have to be created. That is why a multi-lateral Ministers’ Council exists among the five countries. This Council is not embodied in statute, but is truly effective. We are working on the development of parallel structures for discussions between Ministers of the Republic and Ministers of the self-governing national States according to the same guidelines which apply in respect of the independent national States.
There is no reason why urban areas and each form of government there, as well as their leaders, cannot be involved within such a negotiating structure.
My time is running out, so I shall have to conclude my argument. I wish to deal with the forum that is to be established because I do not want any misunderstanding about it. In his opening address to Parliament on 25 January this year the State President announced the establishment of such a forum to this House. Let me say first that this is a negotiating forum. It is not a Government institution. It is a negotiating instrument for representatives of Government and interest groups whose members are to sit on an ad hoc basis …
Does that include the HNP?
It includes neither White ANC members, nor the others.
I wish to say at once that members of all population groups will be included in that negotiating body. It is not a negotiating instrument for Black people to negotiate with White people. Neither is it a substitute for a Black Council which Black leaders did not accept. I should like to make this quite clear because I am afraid that incorrect interpretations regarding the composition and functions of this forum may be counter-productive to the whole exercise.
The rights of the Whites in this country are a condition for the quality of the rights of Black, Brown and Asian groups. Nobody will differ with me that the solution, whatever it may be, has to ensure the security of White rights. The reason is not merely that these people are white, but also that they are exposed to the instruments and values we are propagating for the whole of South Africa.
The spectre of White fears and Black frustrations in the country should be banished. In its stead we should have a future vision of White security and Black hope for South Africa. I think that was the message the State President wished to convey.
I have no doubts that a wonderful future awaits this country. I think the country has the economic capabilities to grow and to develop. I think the people of this country have the spiritual resources to develop. I do not claim that it is an easy road to follow, but it is the only one.
I wish to repeat today that we will be able to succeed in reminding each other ad nauseam of pronouncements of yesteryear, but the future is not ruled from the grave.
Is that a reference to Dr Verwoerd?
No, in his time the late Dr Verwoerd judged circumstances in the light of what he considered desirable, and I give him credit for that. Dr Verwoerd can no more continue living after his death than I or any of the other hon members are capable of doing so.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 30 and motion and amendments lapsed.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at