House of Assembly: Vol2 - THURSDAY 14 FEBRUARY 1985


laid upon the Table:

  1. (1) Promotion of Local Government Affairs Amendment Bill [No 43—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning).
  2. (2) Trade Practices Amendment Bill [No 44—85 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Trade and Industry).

To be referred to the appropriate Standing Committees, unless the House decides otherwise within three sitting days.

SUPREME COURT AMENDMENT BILL (Second Reading) (Introductory Speech delivered at Joint Sittingon 11 February) *The MINISTER OF JUSTICE:

Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

During the 1984 session of Parliament the criminal jurisdiction of lower courts was adjusted in view of the currency situation. The same consideration compels us to reconsider certain prescribed fines in the Supreme Court Act, 1959. The present maximum fine which may be imposed for offences in the Act relating to non-appearance has remained unchanged at R50 since 1963. The maximum fine for similar offences under the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 has since that year been in excess of R50, namely R100. In view of this and the fact that the limit of an admission of guilt fine and a fine which may be imposed on an accused after a plea of guilty was increased during 1984 in the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, from R100 to R300, it is being proposed in clauses 2, 3 and 4 of the Bill that the maximum fine of R50 be accordingly increased to R300.

†Section 40 of the Act prescribes a maximum fine of R200 for certain offences relating to execution. This fine was last adapted in 1970. In view of the fact that a maximum fine of R500 is prescribed for similar offences under the Small Claims Courts Act, it is proposed in clause 6 that the amount of R200 in the Supreme Court Act, 1959, also be increased to R500.

Due also to the depreciation of the monetary unit, it has become imperative to increase the extent of the exemptions relating to certain classes of property, for example, necessary furniture, tools and implements of trade, etc, which are exempt from execution to the maximum value of R400. The said amount was last adapted in 1962 and we now propose that it be increased to R1 000.

Furthermore, it is being proposed that the Supreme Court’s power to double this amount in certain circumstances be extended so that in future the amount may be increased by the court in its discretion.

The opportunity is also being utilized to substitute an obsolete reference as a result of the provisions of the new Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, and to substitute an obsolete official title.

Second Reading resumed


Mr Chairman, we in the PFP support this measure.


Mr Chairman, it does not look as though there is another speaker on the Government side who is going to say something. Therefore, all I want to do is to say that the CP has read the hon the Minister’s memorandum thoroughly. We agree with every proposed amendment. We have nothing further to add, and we therefore take pleasure in supporting the present statutory amendment.


Mr Chairman, we in the NRP support this legislation.


Mr Chairman, on behalf of hon members on this side of the House I support the present measure.


Mr Chairman, I must say it is remarkable that even hon members of the PFP have been able to say that they support a measure without taking an entire half an hour to tell us so.

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.

MAGISTRATES’ COURTS AMENDMENT BILL (Second Reading) (Introductory speech delivered at Joint Sittingon 11 February) The MINISTER OF JUSTICE:

Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Due to the depreciation of the monetary unit, the criminal and civil jurisdiction of lower courts was adjusted during the 1984 Parliamentary session. The same reason compels us to consider adjustments in the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944, of certain prescribed fines, the amount of a judgment debtor’s total debts which determines the court’s power to grant an administration order, and also of the extent of the exemption relating to certain categories of property which are exempt from execution.

In terms of the provisions of certain sections of the Act, certain offences are created for which maximum penalties are prescribed. Some of these sections provide only for a fine and others for a fine as well as imprisonment in the alternative. The fines that may be imposed alone, amount to a maximum of R100. Where a fine and alternative imprisonment are prescribed, the penalties are R100 or three months’ imprisonment and R200 or six months’ imprisonment. However, seeing that the limit of an admission of guilt fine and the limit of a fine which may be imposed on an accused upon a plea of guilty has recently been increased from R100 to R300, it is now being proposed in certain clauses of the Bill that the said fines be increased accordingly from R100 to R300.

*Section 65 and a number of other sections of the Act create the offence of contempt of court. In view of the fact that a maximum penalty of R500 or six months’ imprisonment is prescribed for similar offences under the Small Claims Courts Act, it is being proposed in clauses of this Bill that the fines mentioned in the sections concerned be increased accordingly to R500, and that when imprisonment other than six months is prescribed as an alternative to the fine, it also be increased to six months. Since the offence created by section 74W of the Act is related to the offence of contempt of court, it is being proposed in clause 7 of the Bill that the prescribed fine of R200 also be increased to R500.

Other sections of the Act prescribe a maximum fine of R200 for certain offences relating to execution. In view of the fact that a maximum fine of R500 is prescribed for similar offences in terms of the Small Claims Courts Act—this was an important Act because it set the whole process in motion—it is being proposed in clause 12 that the amount of R200 also be increased to R500.

During 1984 the magistrate’s court civil jurisdiction relating to actions based on liquid documents or mortgage bonds was increased from R3 000 to R10 000. The same consideration justifies the adjustment of the amount of a judgement debtor’s total debts which determines the court’s power in granting an administration order, and therefore we propose that the prescribed amount be increased from R4 000 to R10 000.

†For the same reason it has become imperative to increase the extent of the exemptions relating to certain categories of property—as I pointed out in my second reading speech on a previous Bill—for example necessary furniture, tools and implements of trade, etc, which are exempt from execution to a maximum value of R400. This amount was last adjusted in 1962, and we now propose that it be increased to R1 000. Furthermore, it is proposed that the magistrate’s court’s power to double this amount in certain circumstances be extended, so that in future the increase may be granted by the court in its discretion.

Second Reading resumed


Mr Chairman, we in the PFP do not oppose this measure.


Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in supporting the proposed statutory amendment.

Before resuming my seat, I should just like to focus the attention of the House on two particular clauses in the present Bill.

Firstly, there is a clause which provides that the jurisdiction of magistrates’ courts over debtors who apply for an administration order be increased to R10 000. I welcome this as a particularly practical provision. Nowadays it is indeed true that a person whose possessions are valued at only R3 000 is hardly someone whose assets can be sequestrated. He does not have that many assets which can be sequestrated meaningfully in order to settle his outstanding debt satisfactorily. Since it is now being increased to R10 000, this is a potent provision which is to be welcomed. Secondly, when a sequestration order is served on a debtor, the latter’s employer—on whom the order is also served—is compelled to make the deductions, and his fine on default is increased from R100 to R300. I am of the opinion that it would speed up the execution of justice if such an increase in the fine is introduced in order to emphasize the importance of that aspect. I take pleasure in supporting the legislation.


Mr Chairman, there is an old adage which says that if one has nothing to say, one should say it, and with these few words the CP says that it also supports these proposed amendments. [Interjections.]


Mr Chairman, it is a great pity that the NP are, as usual, seeking to filibuster and waste time this afternoon as evidenced by the actions of the hon member for Port Elizabeth North. I hope we do not have to put up with any more of that sort of thing this afternoon. We support this Bill.

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.

ANIMALS PROTECTION AMENDMENT BILL (Second Reading) (Introductory Speech delivered at Joint Sittingon 11 February) The MINISTER OF JUSTICE:

Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

My apologies that I must delay Parliament with the increase in fines, etc. With the exception of section 5 of the Performing Animals Protection Act, 1935 (Act 24 of 1935), the maximum prescribed penalties which may be imposed in terms of this Act and the Animals Protection Act 1962 (Act 71 of 1962), were brought into line with the then maximum criminal jurisdiction of magistrates’ courts during the 1983 Parliamentary session. Again due to the depreciation of our monetary unit, the maximum jurisdiction of magistrates’ courts in respect of fines was increased from R1 000 to R2 000 during the past Parliamentary session. The maximum compensation which a Lower Court may award in terms of section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Act was also increased. We therefore propose to bring all these in line with the criminal jurisdiction of magistrates’ courts as it stands at the moment.

Clause 2 of the Bill is also aimed at the adjustment of the maximum period of imprisonment which may be imposed in terms of section 5 of the Performing Animals Protection Act, 1935, so as to bring it into line with the maximum period of 12 months imprisonment which may be imposed for a similar offence in terms of the Police Act, 1958.

*The maximum amount which may be awarded by a magistrate’s court as compensation in terms of section 4 of the Animals Protection Act, 1962, has remained unchanged since the enactment of the Act. In view of the value of animals we are proposing that this amount be increased from R400 to R5 000.

The requirement in terms of section 8(l)(c) of the Animals Protection Act, 1962, that an animal or thing which is seized, be taken to a magistrate, is no longer practical. Pounds are no longer generally available everywhere, and the magistrate’s court premises are not always large enough for this purpose. Consequently we are proposing that property that has been seized be dealt with in some other way.

Second Reading resumed


Mr Chairman, this legislation may pass unhindered, but I should like to ask the hon the Minister one question, which I shall be grateful to have an answer for. While the legislation itself has been updated, has the hon the Minister given thought to the updating of the regulations to the various animal protection laws, which in fact take the legislation considerably further? There have been representations over the years by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in regard not only to the Acts concerned and to the upping of the fines but also to the regulations to those Acts which I do not think have been modernized for some while. Therefore, I should like to ask that these regulations be looked at afresh so that this aspect of the legislation can be dealt with.

I should also like to say, in passing, that I am aware that this legislation is before this House as a result of discussions and negotiation among the various animal protection societies and the Department of Justice. Having spoken to the animal protection societies, I am delighted to say that they are also in full agreement with this Bill. With these few words I support the legislation.


Mr Chairman, since the hon spokesman for the Official Opposition put a question to the hon the Minister regarding the regulations, I should like to say that we on this side of the House wholeheartedly support this legislation and the amendments contained therein.


Mr Chairman, in this case I just want to say that the CP takes pleasure in supporting the proposed amendments.


Mr Chairman, I just want to break from the average batting time for a moment. I am glad that the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs is in the House. This legislation deals with increased penalties for transgressions in relation to the Protection of Animals Act, and I should like to make a plea to the hon the Minister about his department’s concern in this regard. I have many very disturbing letters here, which I am not going to bore the House with now, which concern the Railway’s treatment—or lack of treatment—of animals. Sometimes, due to bad administration, animals are kept on rail far in excess of the period they should be kept there. There is serious doubt as to whether they are in fact watered or fed, since they often arrive at their destinations in a shocking condition. When one tries to get through to the department about this, one meets the proverbial stone wall and the regulations are brought to one’s attention. One is told that they were properly loaded in the right condition and that sort of thing. I really want to appeal to the hon the Minister that since these fines are now quite heavy and they must obviously apply to the department equally, he should circularize his people in respect of the observance of the regulations in regard to the handling of animals. Very strict steps should be taken to obviate the present sort of treatment about which I can let the hon the Minister have copies of the documents in my possession.

Apart from that point which I wanted to make, we in these benches shall support this Bill.


Mr Chairman, I should very much like to see those documents, but I am already paying serious attention to this problem, and I shall come back to the hon member. He should not talk about a stone wall because he may phone me anytime during the day, at night or over weekends. He need not go to the officials, but if he does contact them and he cannot get a response from them, he can phone me personally and I shall give attention to such problems.


What about Ferdi Hartzenberg’s telex?


Ferdi Hartzenberg farms with emaciated old Jersey cows.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Sandton asked me whether we were paying attention to the regulations, and the answer to that is positive. The regulations have already been formulated, and we shall circulate them to the respective interested bodies for comment and so forth. The hon member for Sandton may also examine them. I have already given him the same information per letter, and now I should like to affirm it.

The hon member for Roodeplaat as well as other hon members support the Bill and I thank them in this connection.

The hon member for King William’s Town put a question to the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs. He pointed out that there were considerable and severe penalties which could also be imposed on the State. The hon member will realize, in view of the genial nature of the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs, that one can take it that if the hon the Minister were to end up in a situation in which he had to accept responsibility in this regard, one would treat him much more reasonably than any other party if, for example, he were to become the guest of certain institutions which I control. I want to give the assurance that we shall also depend on other members to pay him the necessary visits, and in this connection our doors will always be open.

†I deem it of importance to point out to the House that two matters have been raised from time to time relating to animal protection. The one matter relates to rodeos and the other one to experimentation on animals. I deem this of so much public interest that I envisage discussing it with my colleagues in the Cabinet so that we may embark upon legislation in connection with these matters.

I want to discuss with my colleagues the possibility of subjecting the matters in question to investigation by an appropriate committee of either Parliament or the President’s Council. Attention may then at the same time be given to the question of whether the existing legislation as far as animal protection in general is concerned still complies with the needs of our time.

It is of course not only animals that need protection against human conduct. Human beings also need protection against animals. Of late numerous Press reports have appeared regarding people, in most cases children, who have been savaged by dogs where in subsequent court cases relatively low sentences were imposed on the owners of such dogs. We have gone into the matter and we have found that such animal conduct is punishable by various local measures regarding dangerous dogs. These measures vary from local authority to local authority, and in some cases they are inadequate. The same applies to the penalties that are prescribed. In some cases the maximum penalties vary from R100 to R300 or twelve months’ imprisonment. This not only causes disparity in sentences imposed by our courts but also exposes our magistrates to unnecessary criticism. In the present circumstances where attacks of this nature are on the increase, uniform measures and more realistic penalties are in my opinion necessary. It is therefore my intention to contact the Administrators of the various provinces within the near future to promote uniform legislation in this regard, since the local authorities fall within the ambit of jurisdiction of our Administrators.

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.

Precedence given to Private Members’ business.


Mr Chairman, I move the motion printed on the Order Paper in my name, as follows:

That this House—
  1. (1) condemns the Government’s neglect of the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region and its failure to recognize the economic problems that have arisen or have been aggravated by the distortions that have resulted from the Government’s decentralization policy;
  2. (2) in the light of the Government’s commitment to regional development, condemns its failure to persuade a certain motor manufacturer to continue with its manufacturing operation in Port Elizabeth;
  3. (3) calls upon the Government to equalize, as an emergency measure, the Port Elizabeth incentive package with that available in East London;
  4. (4) calls upon the Government to give attention to the problem of workers who will lose their jobs, with a view to providing immediate relief and alternative employment; and
  5. (5) calls for the immediate appointment of a Select Committee to review the Government’s decentralization scheme.

I hope that by the end of this debate everybody in this House will realize that Port Elizabeth’s problems, which have been highlighted by the Ford/Amcar merger, are not just domestic problems but that they are national problems. They raise issues which cry out for attention.

In order for all of us to be on the same wavelength, I shall give a brief review of the economic developments in that area over the past 25 years. In 1965 the area produced 65% of all cars used. The operation was essentially one of assembly and distribution. The local content programme was introduced in 1963. This was a watershed period for Port Elizabeth. Modest Government assistance at that time would have made it an attractive area to prospective industrialists.

Tragically, the Government did the exact opposite. For ideological reasons it declared the area a Coloured labour preference area in contravention of the views of the population. The Coloured labour force was inadequate, and in the early seventies the labour turnover average was 70% per annum. Yet it was illegal to appoint unemployed Blacks. Industrialists inevitably chose to establish themselves elsewhere where labour was less regulated. The shoe and clothing industries were early casualties. The policy on border industries also helped to tip the scales against Port Elizabeth at that time.

I have never been able to understand what lies at the root of the Government’s discrimination against Port Elizabeth. Perhaps it falls into some sort of “no-man’s land” in Government thinking. On the one hand they have a strong emotional attachment to the Western Cape; on the other hand they are prepared to pour resources into the border areas in order to make apartheid’s ultimate solution work.


Mr Chairman, on a point of order. The hon members of the NP on the other side are making such a noise that it is impossible for me—and I am sitting near to him—to hear what the hon member who now has the floor is saying. [Interjections.] I think that the hon members should have the decency to listen to what is being said.


Order! I should like to ask the hon members of the House not to converse so loudly and to give the hon member for Walmer the full opportunity to deliver his speech as he sees fit.


I was saying, perhaps Port Elizabeth falls into a sort of “no-man’s land” in the NP’s thinking. On the one hand it has strong emotional ties with the Western Cape and on the other it is prepared to pour all resources it has into making apartheid’s grand solution work in the border areas. It regards Port Elizabeth as a sort of Black stepping stone between the Border and the Western Cape. I have little doubt that many people on that side would be very pleased if the town did not exist.

The attempts to control Black influx to Port Elizabeth failed, so the Government inhibited industrial growth in order to arrest and possibly reverse the Black influx to the town. What other explanation could there be for the decision that Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage should be virtually excluded from the incentive benefits announced in March 1982? It was not until November 1984 that a meaningful package of incentives was awarded as a result of sustained pressure and the impending Newton Park by-election. Nationalist MP’s from the area either did not have the clout in their own party to bring the area’s needs to the attention of the powers that be, or else, with one exception, they failed to appreciate what was happening. The hon member for Algoa said in early October that the area had been given handsome incentives during the past three years. The hon member for Port Elizabeth North outdid him when he said that compared with East London, Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth was not at a disadvantage. How he arrived at that conclusion, heaven alone knows. Statements by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning indicate that he too was misinformed about the economic position of the region. For example, in October he dismissed the general perception that Port Elizabeth’s and Uitenhage’s economy was lagging behind that of the rest of the country. He said that from 1968 to 1980 the GDP of the area had grown by 17,2% per annum. However, the latest figures issued by the Central Statistical Office show that this area’s manufacturing share of the national total dropped by 54% in the period from 1970 to 1975. The net result was a decline of 10% in the area’s overall share of GDP. This trend has subsequently continued so that whereas in 1965 we had 65% of the car market, we only had 34% of that market in 1984.

It would be tragic if the misery and hardship in the area is in part due to decisions made by Ministers who have not been properly informed about the situation. Government members must understand that they make the rules by which we live and trade. To suggest, as the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry did, that because I criticize the Government’s decentralization policy, it is in some way not right for me to ask that Port Elizabeth be fairly treated in terms of that policy, is logic unworthy of a child, and yet it is urged by a Cabinet Minister. My motion condemns the Government’s failure, in the light of its own regional development policy, to persuade Ford and Amcar to continue to make their product in that area. The automobile industry receives incentives to manufacture in East London and Atlantis, but none if they manufacture in Port Elizabeth. This extraordinary anomaly was emphasized by the hon member for Uitenhage. He is quoted as describing Ford’s move as a blow to the whole decentralization policy. Until such time as the rules of the game are changed, Port Elizabeth demands to be dealt with fairly in terms of those rules, otherwise it will bleed to death.

The criteria for development assistance have been laid down, namely unemployment, the need for improved living standards and the potential for development. What we ask is that we should be judged in the light of the Government’s own criteria. Unemployment in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage is acknowledged as the highest in the country and is at the moment probably in excess of 25%. We must therefore surely qualify with regard to the first criterion. The second is the need for improved living standards, and this can be seen in the inability of local welfare organizations to cope with large numbers of hungry Blacks in the townships. Undernourished children are dying and the incidence of severe cases of malnutrition and TB is escalating. A spokesman for Port Elizabeth charitable organizations says that many babies brought to them are so undernourished that they die. The organizing secretary of the Port Elizabeth School Feeding Fund says that the number able to pay 20c per week towards their daily midday meal has shown a marked drop. In the shack areas the numbers are escalating as people fail to pay their rents.

On the industrial front, idle productive capacity explains the poverty and the hardship of the people. One of the companies claims that cutbacks and lay-offs have decimated staff and that machinery gathers dust in the worst recession since the 1930s. Mr Onvlee who runs an engineering shop, says his company has no production and no sales. Mr Mike Dibbin who runs a press shop, says: “We are on our last legs.” The pathetic list goes on and on. Can anybody doubt that Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage fulfil the second requirement for maximum Government aid—the need for development?

The last of the three criteria is development potential. If one looks at the development points which the Government promotes, not many have the natural advantages of Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth has been unable to compete in the face of disproportionate incentives despite its harbour, its underutilized infrastructure and its sophisticated industrial work force.

Between 1982 and 1984 the Decentralization Board agreed to assist nearly 2 000 industries to establish themselves, in a crazy scatter, at 166 different places across South Africa. However, it did not assist one single industry to establish itself in Port Elizabeth in the course of those two years. Is that the way to encourage agglomeration advantages? In Port Elizabeth the investment, the total economic community structure is complete. It just has to be put to work. Nowhere can job opportunities be created half as cheaply. Port Elizabeth therefore complies fully with the third criterion of development potential.

If having been offered the same incentives as those available to Mercedes-Benz in East London, Ford had decided to move, the people of Port Elizabeth could have accepted it as inevitable. Now the only inference that can be logically drawn is: Unemployment is of less importance to the Government in Port Elizabeth than elsewhere; the Government is pursuing an ideological, not an economic, goal and is deliberately inhibiting the growth of the city; or it is treating Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage differently from other areas because it has run out of money.

One frequently hears comments that Port Elizabeth businessmen should get off their butts and do something. These are generally made by people who either have very little commercial nous or are in positions which they want to defend. Let me illustrate this with an example.

Let us say that the hon the Minister and myself decide to start a company. It is going to be called Savage and De Villiers and we intend to produce rugby boots. We know that the total capital employed will be R1,5 million, R500 000 will be for land and buildings, and R1 million for working capital. We shall employ 200 people. We estimate that we shall turn over R6 million per annum. We shall make a pre-tax return of about 25% on capital employed. Transport of our finished goods will cost us 3,33% of sales.

In Port Elizabeth we would get the following incentives over 10 years: 40% as rental rebate on the land and buildings, amounting to R370 000; 40% on half the working capital, amounting to another R370 000; a rebate of 40% on transport, an account of R200 000 per year, which amounts to another R800 000. These figures amount to a handsome contribution of R1 540 000 over a period of 10 years.

However, should we start in East London, we would get: A rental subsidy of 60% which is R555 000 over that 10 year period; an interest subsidy which would be R555 000; a transport rebate which would be R1 200 000, and a tax-free wage incentive of R1 200 per annum for each of our 200 employees amounting to R1 680 000. As we cannot, however, look at some figures on a pre-tax and other figures on a post-tax basis, I have doubled the tax-free incentive so that we can look at all on a pre-tax basis. What are the two figures then? If Savage & De Villiers start in Port Elizabeth, they get, over 10 years, R1 540 000 while if they start in East London, they get R5 670 000. Can I ask the hon the Minister, as my new partner in this business, whether he would agree to us going to East London? Or has he given Port Elizabeth a 5-foot ladder to get out of a 10-foot hole? This little example has not just been sucked out of my thumb. I have not given the capital or labour content of this company any special structure to suit my argument.

I am connected with a medium-sized, profitable company in Port Elizabeth and last year I asked this company to carry out an exercise. I asked them to check what the result would be if another company were to open up in an area of maximum incentive benefits and produced exactly the same product as we do. After the exercise had been completed, the answer came back that we would either have to close down or move to that area.

An industrialist decides to locate his industry in a town on the basis of considerations of comparative advantage and not on the basis of the confident look on a town clerk’s face. We need some action now! Firstly, the Government should immediately award the same package of incentives to Port Elizabeth that East London enjoys. These cities are virtually mirror images. Secondly, it should announce a uniform steel price throughout the country. Thirdly, it should seriously consider piping Mossel Bay’s gas to Port Elizabeth for conversion. Fourthly, it should give immediate consideration to channeling state and semi-state operations to Port Elizabeth to compensate for the loss caused by the removal of Ford.

For 3 years I have warned against the distortion to the economy that has been caused by the decentralization scheme. I quote from what I said in May 1983 (Debates of Standing Committees, 23 May 1983, cols 407-8):

The Government is making the private sector an offer it cannot refuse, but it involves a wrong allocation of resources that we cannot afford. We shall see the result in the inability to compete on export markets and uncontrollable inflation. … the Minister must attempt to change the thrust of the decentralization policy away from remote regions towards those which should logically be next in line for development, where much of the investment has already been made, and which have the infrastructure and other advantages.

Port Elizabeth obviously features high on that list.

Up to now the gross distortions caused by the decentralization incentive scheme have been felt by individual firms. The Executive Director of the National Clothing Federation—hon members must have seen this the other day—points out that Ciskeian textile firms employ labour at around R60 per month and get R110 back as a tax-free incentive for every person they employ at R60 per month. I wonder how many hon members on that side realize that one can enjoy a tax-free wage incentive higher than the wage one actually pays. What hope does a clothing manufacturer in Cape Town have in a situation where the more irresponsibly and wastefully his competitor employs labour, the more profit that competitor can make?

These are not isolated instances. Take the case of Hall & Sons who have successfully produced timber products in the Nelspruit area for years. Similar industries started up in the area. They applied for incentive benefits and were awarded them. Hall applied and was not awarded these benefits. The consequence is that they may well have to close down. The transport benefit alone would mean R180 000 per year to Hall.

Contractors in Port Elizabeth are short of work. This week they lost a R280 000 contract to a firm from Ciskei. The Managing Director of Improvair, one of the firms in Port Elizabeth who lost that contract, spoke bitterly of “losing work to competitors from other areas that are heavily subsidized with our taxpayers’ money.” Policies that violate free enterprise principles but are couched in the jargon of free enterprise, are now beginning to have a wider effect. The difficulties that Port Elizabeth is experiencing, illustrate this. Our national economic difficulties have more to do with the failure to harness our factors of production to the best advantage than they have to do with the backroom tinkerings of economists. The decentralization policy contributes to this failure, and it is dangerous for the following reasons: Firstly, maximum incentives for the most unsuitable areas lead to the least advantageous location of our industries.

Secondly, massive subsidies are a form of indirect control that is as real and as arbitrary as direct control.

Thirdly, the scale and risks of this strategy are immense. In the 1982-83 year, R2 500 million was involved in decentralization ventures.

Fourthly, the chief cost of the scheme will be felt over the years in the forms of inflation, the disruption of existing businesses, and in an inability to compete on export markets.

Fifthly, the scheme is full of economic compromises because of its ideological origin. If the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry sincerely believes what he said— about the scheme’s being originated because of economic considerations—he should talk to his colleague, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. This hon Minister has made many statements, quite the opposite to the contention of the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry. For example, in Worcester in 1981, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning said: “A more balanced development action in a regional context is necessary to carry separate development to its logical conclusion.” When will he learn that the ideological objectives of apartheid are incompatible with a healthy, free-enterprise economy?

In the sixth place, what happens when the incentive period expires? We will have painted ourselves into a comer and will be completely unable to pay these people to continue in the decentralized areas where they produce and yet be unable to shrug off our responsibility for them.

In the seventh place, the scheme is shockingly administered. Hardworking, sincere officials are appraised by the number of projects approved, not by the number of projects that are viable.

Nobody knows what the cost of job creation is. All the hon members on that side of the House quote this cost but not one of them knows it. This is clearly apparent from the latest report of Board for the Decentralisation of Industry. The report says:

The Board is responsible only for the payment of concessions. Infrastructure is the responsibility of the relevant authorities. A total figure is not readily available.

Nobody even bothers to check up on how many of the approved applications ever get started. We are committing thousands of millions of rands to this scheme and we do not even know what the results were for the 1982-83 year, let alone last year.

I believe that a decentralization scheme can be justified. It should, however, be based on a flat incentive, at a much more realistic level, to industrialists who establish themselves outside the PWV area. It should go hand in hand with a uniform steel price, a uniform power tariff and measures to phase out indirect subsidies to metropolitan areas. Entrepreneurs would then ensure optimum geographic location of industry.

Urbanization is now accepted as an inevitable phenomenon. Let us create an economy that can afford to make this phenomenon as painless and as productive as possible.

For these reasons, in the last point of my motion, I call for the immediate appointment of a select committee to review the decentralization policy.


Mr Chairman, right at the outset I move the following amendment to the motion moved by the hon member for Walmer, namely:

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House—
  1. (1) reaffirms its support of the regional development strategy for Southern Africa;
  2. (2) notes with deep gratitude the wide range of steps taken by the Government in regard to the development of the Eastern Cape as well as the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area; and
  3. (3) notes with appreciation the marked positive effect already shown by these steps at this early stage on the development climate in the region.”.

The hon member for Walmer contends that the Government is neglecting the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area. These are hard words, but they are also words used by someone who has not considered what he is saying. When we talk about industrial development in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage metropolis, we must go back in history a little. The announcement of the Government’s regional development policy held out no prospect of special benefits for the metropolises; in other words, the feeling was that the metropolises—including the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region—could stand on their own feet.

National Party politicians and business leaders of this region did, however, try to convince the Government that owing to circumstances, this metropolis should be treated differently from the other metropolises. [Interjections.] Various reasons were advanced, amongst others that this metropolis is so far removed from the large markets in the north and that it is such a small region.

Under the leadership of NP MP’s discussions were held on 19 August 1980 with the Economic Advisory Council at the University of Port Elizabeth. At these discussions inputs were made by all the municipalities of the metropolis, by the Chamber of Industries, the Afrikaanse Sakekamer, the Chamber of Commerce, the University of Port Elizabeth and the Administration Board. On the advice of the Economic Advisory Council, a firm of consultants carried out a thorough investigation of the growth potential of the region. As a result of the findings of these consultants, during October 1981 I accompanied a delegation of the region’s business leaders to what was then the Planning Committee of the Department of Economic Affairs.

As a result of these and further representations to the Minister concerned, the Cabinet decided that the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage metropolis would get the following concessions as from 1 April 1982: Firstly, a transport rebate on all outgoing manufactured products; secondly, a training concession in cash; and, thirdly, an electricity subsidy to enable consumers in the metropolis to buy power at the price at which Escom sells it to the Eastern Transvaal from its undertaking there.

There was a snag with the electricity subsidy, however, because it was only payable on power provided by Escom, whereas Port Elizabeth itself generated 60% of its total power consumption. After further negotiations with the Minister concerned, and after eventual talks with the Chairman of the Decentralization Board in Port Elizabeth, the region then received a subsidy on the total power consumption. Accordingly I should like the hon members to take note of what approximately R16,4 million meant to that region last year.

After this, representatives of the NP were constantly negotiating with the Ministers concerned about the adjustments to and improvement of the existing concessions. Last year, during the discussion of the Industries and Commerce Vote, I requested a preferential treatment with regard to tenders for the area, which we then received. On 10 August 1984 I received a letter from the former Deputy Minister of the department, in which he informed me that the Cabinet had decided in principle that the concessions in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage metropolis could be extended, and that the Regional Development Advisory Committee was being requested to make submissions. This committee consisted of business and community leaders, and had its submissions ready early in October. The representatives of the NP met the committee and discussed the suggestions with the business leaders.


Where were the Progs?


I am coming to them. It must be borne in mind that all industrial and business leaders made contributions to the proposals of the Advisory Committee. Hon members must listen carefully now. Everyone was satisfied and the opinion was voiced that if the proposals were to be converted into concessions the region could look forward to a very fine future. On 19 October 1984 the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning visited Port Elizabeth especially at the request of NP representatives, to discuss the proposals with the Advisory Committee, NP representatives, community and business leaders, and—please note—members of the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates. Unfortunately the PFP was not present on any of these occasions. We understood that they were on extended overseas voyages. [Interjections.] The managing directors of three motor companies were also invited to have private talks with the hon ministers. On this occasion all those concerned were delighted at the proposals. Within two weeks after these talks the proposals were accepted by the national body and the Cabinet announced new concessions for the region, exactly as suggested by the Regional Development Committee. Six concessions, instead of the three with which we began, were announced. In actual fact, therefore, received more than we had asked for.

Now the hon member for Walmer says that Port Elizabeth is being neglected. [Interjections.] I want to ask him why he did not tell the business leaders of Port Elizabeth that they were wrong and that they should have asked for more? Has he or the PFP ever contributed to any representations made to the Government by business leaders of this region? [Interjections.] I find it very strange that three months ago the business leaders of Port Elizabeth were satisfied with the concessions awarded to Port Elizabeth, but that the PFP now comes along and contends that the Government is neglecting Port Elizabeth. [Interjections.] Can the hon member be so out of step, or must I take it that his motives for this motion are not entirely pure? [Interjections.]

In addition the hon member claims that the Government did nothing to keep the Ford Motor Company in Port Elizabeth. Of course this statement is incorrect. In fact, the Government made urgent requests to the company, even asking them what it should do to keep them in Port Elizabeth.


If you had bought Fords for all your new MPs, they would still have been there. [Interjections.]


My personal opinion is that nothing would have kept this company in Port Elizabeth. The move was planned by the company for economic reasons and nothing could have kept them there. The concessions granted to the region have nothing whatsoever to do with this move.

I am as concerned as the hon member about the motor industry in Port Elizabeth. Approximately 50% of my voters are dependent upon the motor industry for their incomes. It would be a sad day if another motor factory were to leave Port Elizabeth, because then all the components factories would collapse as well. My approach is completely different, however, from that of the hon member. I believe that public debates such as this one will get us nowhere. [Interjections] I believe in negotiations with and submission of facts to the responsible Ministers so that their decisions are based on facts. These public debates arouse enormous expectations in people which eventually fall fllat. This is also true of newspaper announcements. I see in a local newspaper dated approximately two weeks ago that the hon member for Walmer and his colleague for Port Elizabeth Central are going to request an urgent interview with two Ministers in order to conduct an in-depth discussion of the position in Port Elizabeth. The NP representatives continuously consult the Ministers concerned without making a fuss about it. [Interjections.]

The climate for investments must be right. People should be positive towards their regions. [Interjections.]


Apparently your representations are worth “bugger-all”.


That is why I am grateful to see that business people of the Port Elizabeth region …


Order! A certain standard of language and a certain volume must be maintained in this House, and I call upon the hon member for Bryanston to bear that in mind. The hon member for Algoa may proceed.


Mr Chairman, on a point of order; that terminology has already been used in this House by an hon Minister. [Interjections.]


Order! I addressed a request to the hon member for Bryanston. If he disregards it, I shall be forced to take further steps. The hon member for Algoa may proceed.


Thank you, Mr Chairman. I say that I am therefore grateful to see that the business people of the Port Elizabeth region are thinking and acting positively and believe that in the long term there are good prospects in this region. In the short-term we do have problems, and we shall keep the Government fully informed on conditions in the region, without a commission of investigation. What I can say to the people of Port Elizabeth, is that this Government will never leave them in the lurch. We had short-term problems with illegal strikes previously, when people in Port Elizabeth wanted to work and could not and therefore had no income. The hon the Minister of Manpower intervened and helped the people to keep their home fires burning by making an amount of approximately R2 million available. Unrealistic wage demands by trade unions are among our greatest problems.

I have great confidence in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region that we shall overcome our short-term problems and that the time will come when we shall be able to offer every person in that region a job opportunity with the Government as our partner.


Mr Chairman, at the moment the CP has no representatives in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region. I want to tell you, however, that the CP is looking eagerly at Algoa, Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth North. [Interjections.] After the next general election a member or members of the CP will be representing those regions in these benches in order to champion the interests of the Whites in that area.

The hon member for Algoa told us what the NP’s Members of Parliament have done there. If, however, we look at the state of emergency there, it seems that they have not had much success in achieving anything in order to relieve the state of emergency in that area.

The hon member for Algoa also said that the NP will not leave the people of Port Elizabeth in the lurch. I want to tell the hon member that they have already done so, and in the course of my speech I shall return to that point.

The hon member for Walmer attacked the Government on the basis of the conditions prevailing in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region at the moment and which arose as the result of certain circumstances. The purpose of the hon member and his party is to make the Government abandon its decentralization plan. The CP says that unemployment amongst Blacks in and around our metropolitan areas can be directly ascribed to the fact that the Government has allowed influx control to fail, and that today metropolitan areas are being inundated by Blacks from the Black national states. In the Cape Peninsula we have the situation that a new city is being created where leasehold rights will now be granted to these people. In Port Elizabeth, too, we find that Blacks who do not have jobs in their own national states flock to the metropolitan areas because a weak Government is not capable of controlling the influx. [Interjections.]

Unemployment of Blacks in and around our metropolitan areas is the result of the Government’s inability to carry out its decentralization policy by creating job opportunities for Blacks in and around the national states. [Interjections.] The hon member for Prieska is reacting nervously. He knows that his party has failed to create job opportunities for Blacks within their own areas in the Northern Cape, and that as a result, Blacks are flocking to the White areas in their tens of thousands. It is because that Government is not capable of carrying out its decentralization policy. The unemployment amongst Blacks in Cape Town and especially in Port Elizabeth is largely attributable to the lack of any proper influx control measures.

The CP says that a dynamic decentralization programme should be actively executed so that job opportunities for Blacks can be created in their own homelands. If the Government does this, this party will support them in this connection.

I want to ask that hon temporary member for Potgietersrus who is sitting there making a noise, whether he is going to make the same plea to the Government, viz that development must take place within the homelands. I want to tell him how it can be done. Put the CP in power, and then we will show them. [Interjections.] The hon member might as well relinquish Potgietersrus to us too. We shall not hesitate to apply influx control or to cause development in the homelands to take place. Moreover we shall not allow the Whites to be displaced from their own residential areas.

We say that priority must be given to a dynamic decentralization programme and that job opportunities must be created for Blacks in and around their own homelands. In a region like the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region, preference should be given to the White worker. When it comes to the creation of job opportunities in this region, preference should be given to the creation of job opportunities for Whites in this region. Now I want to ask the hon member for Algoa if he agrees with me.




The Conservative Party says that if job opportunities must be created in and around Port Elizabeth, the White workers of Port Elizabeth should be given preference. Does the hon member agree with me? I am asking the hon member whether he agrees that they should be given preference. [Interjections.] Sir, that hon member is silent. [Interjections.] I ask the hon member for Uitenhage: Should preference be given to the White workers in this region?


We must provide work for everyone. [Interjections.]


Sir, the CP represents the Whites of South Africa here, including the White workers of Port Elizabeth, and we shall fight for them here. That hon member can continue to fight for “all”; we shall fight for the Whites of South Africa. [Interjections.] I want to appeal today to the Chairman of the Ministers’ Council of the Whites to do his best from his position in this Council to get the Government so far as to create job opportunities for the White people in the Port Elizabeth area, who are in a state of emergency.

We have the situation today that the Government is granting decentralization benefits for the development and the creation of job opportunities for Blacks within and adjacent to the homelands. Nowadays the Government is granting decentralization aid for the creation of job opportunities in certain scheduled areas for Coloureds. I want to tell the hon the Chairman of the Ministers’ Council and the NP today that if they are going to negotiate benefits for the creation of jobs for Whites in White South Africa, especially in regions such as the Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage region where there is a state of emergency at the moment, the CP will support them in doing so.


Only for the Whites?


Where is White South Africa? [Interjections.]


Before continuing with my speech, I want to move an amendment to the motion of the hon member for Walmer; an amendment which I have already motivated to a large extent. Consequently I move as a further amendment:

To omit all the words after “That” and to substitute “this House, mindful of the fact that for the sake of developing the policy of separate development decentralization schemes should be initiated and executed expeditiously, condemns the Government for—
  1. (1) not giving urgent priority to developing infrastructures and the creation of a climate for industrial development and growth in the decentralized areas;
  2. (2) its failure to create sufficient employment opportunities, especially in the areas more seriously affected by the economic recession; and
  3. (3) impairing confidence in the economic strength of the Republic of South Africa, causing the withdrawal of capital and undermining the security of its inhabitants.”.

Mr Chairman, I do not wish to question the motives of the hon member for Walmer as far as this motion of his today is concerned. I am, however, convinced that this motion of his is aimed at helping the PFP to prepare the battlefield for the coming by-election in Newton Park. [Interjections.] The nervousness of the hon member for Algoa and Uitenhage and, of course, also the hon member for Port Elizabeth North, who is not even present today to participate in the discussion of this motion … [Interjections.]


No, I am here! Just open your eyes and you will see me.


Oh, there the hon member is. I apologize. [Interjections.]

The numerous visits by the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry, the interest of the SABC and its television service, and so forth, in that region is to my mind another very clear sign that preparations are being made for the battle in Newton Park—the battle between the NP and the PFP. [Interjections.] The CP now wants to request— and the hon member for Algoa may do it on our behalf—that the elected candidate of the NP in Newton Park, who is the MPC for Algoa at the moment—Mr Louw—be requested to resign his office, as was done in the past, and start to take a hand in the election campaign in Newton Park. We request this so that the election campaigns in Algoa and Newton Park can commence right away. Then we shall be able to determine whether the voters of Port Elizabeth are satisfied with the present state of affairs. The CP requests that Mr Louw resign his office now in order to do what we ask of him. [Interjections.]

We want to ask the NP to afford the voters of Port Elizabeth the opportunity to indicate on 1 May, in Algoa as well as in Newton Park, whether they are satisfied with the coalition government of Mr P W Botha. The CP is fully aware of the state of emergency in Port Elizabeth. The CP is being flooded with evidence of the hardships and misery caused by the conditions which are prevailing, especially in the Eastern Cape. It is the White worker especially who has been left in the lurch by the Government, and who is suffering most in that region today. There we find honest, hardworking Whites who have had to sell their furniture piece by piece in order to buy a little food, to pay their insurance premiums, to make provision for their future, to pay their house instalments. I even know of cases where people have sold their houses to b able to subsist. These are White people who have been left in the lurch by an unsympathetic Government. [Interjections.]


That is absolutely untrue!


It is true. The NP Government has left the White worker of South Africa in the lurch. Those hon members need only look at the labour legislation we have in this country at the moment … [Interjections.]

White voters who ensured a yes-majority in the referendum of 1983 on the new constitutional dispensation, have been left in the lurch by the Government. They are the White voters who had to hear unceasingly on the radio and television, as well as read ad nauseam in the newspapers that support the NP, that they had to record a yes-vote so that there could be peace and prosperity in th country. [Interjections.] I remember how hon members of the NP told voters of Port Elizabeth that if they voted yes, there would be peace and prosperity in that part of the country. And what do we have there now? It was claimed here earlier that the NP did not leave the people of Port Elizabeth in the lurch. In Port Elizabeth the majority of voters voted yes. Just look at what is happening there now. Do they have peace? There is not a place in South Africa where more schools are burnt down and more stones are thrown than in Port Elizabeth.


Vote Nationalist, and pay.


The Government said the people should vote yes and prosperity would be awaiting them. Where is that prosperity now? In listening to the debates here in the House, one hears over and over again the refrain that one must support the NP in the interests of peace and prosperity. Those hon members of the NP recite their little rhyme like parrots, while the people in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region in particular, and South Africa in general, are in a wretched state. People who were strong supporters of the NP at first, who still agreed to the multiracial coalition cabinet that South Africa has, ask today: “Where is the prosperity? Where is the peace that the new dispensation was to have brought us? Where is it?” There is a chorus of voices from Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage today, saying that it no longer trusts the NP Government and the representatives of Port Elizabeth. The NP Government achieved a yes vote with the promises of peace and prosperity, and then chose the course of integration. The political course chosen by the NP has resulted in revolts and clashes of a nature unknown in the history of the past half century. The more the Government gives in to outside pressure, and even contemplates the release of a communist like Mandela, the more stones are thrown and schools burnt down, and the greater the demands become. The question in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage region is: Is the Government going to back down even further? The people of that region want to know when the Government is going to draw the line.

Events such as these cause people to lose confidence in the future. The hon member for Uitenhage was one of the people who talked the voters of South Africa into despondency, as it says in this little book: “Maak hom moedeloos met getalle”. I think that to a great extent the hon member has succeeded. [Interjections.]

Black expertise was discussed, as well as the demands made. According to the NP, provision must be made for the rise of the Blacks and Coloureds, and job opportunities must be created for those people. It was said: “Ons moet die mense moedeloos maak”. I claim here that NP members have disheartened South Africa.


You are disheartened, man.


No, the CP is not disheartened. We fight, and we do so with conviction! I want to tell that hon member that the CP is going to become the governing party in this House while he is still here, because the NP has neglected to look after the interests of the Whites in South Africa. [Interjections.]

People are afraid to tackle projects; some of them even leave the country under fine pretexts, but the real reason is that they do not have confidence in this country. The political course chosen by the NP has created a lack of confidence in the future in the people of South Africa. A strong White Government has been destroyed by that party, and replaced by a multiracial coalition cabinet. I should like to read what was said by the NP when we wanted a Republic. I quote:

What will be the economic repercussions for South Africa when she becomes a republic?:—Overseas investors are more interested in whether a country has a strong and stable government, offering security for their investments, than in the actual form that government may take.

They go on to say:

Investors will have the added assurance of knowing that the Union will continue to be governed by Europeans.

The NP says here that foreign investors want the assurance that a country has a strong and stable government, a factor that ensures the security of their investments. Foreign investors want the assurance that South Africa is governed by Whites. Why? Why did the investors want this assurance? What happened in the rest of Africa when the White man let the political power out of his hands was fresh in their memories. Where the White man lost political power in Africa, chaos, anarchy and famine set in. When we still had a strong White Government, which consistently applied separate development, things went well for everyone in South Africa. Everyone who wanted work, could get it. Everyone had food, and a roof over their heads. South Africa was prosperous in the economic field, and the country developed. Foreign investors invested money here, helped to develop South Africa, and helped to create job opportunities. Prosperity and progress were the order of the day. Now I want to ask: Who will invest in South Africa now, and help with development and the creation of job opportunities, if a member of State President Botha’s Cabinet says:

The Labour Party gives this new dispensation five years, and if all forms of discrimination have by then not been removed, the Coloureds will withdraw from the new dispensation, and the new Constitution will collapse.

If he goes on to say:

Our participation in the new dispensation is conditional. If we do not have our way in five years, we will withdraw and leave the country in chaos, without a legitimate government.

Who will come and invest in the country if a member of State President Botha’s Cabinet says that? Who will come and invest if a member of the NP—I refer to the hon member for Innesdal—says (Hansard, 7 February 1985):

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.

What I want to know today is: Who invested in Rhodesia after the Whites’ political authority was abandoned there? Who invested in Mozambique once the Whites’ political authority had been abandoned there?

The NP and the PFP tell us, however, that there will be development in South Africa if the White man abandons his political power. The political course taken by the NP has shaken the confidence of people within and outside South Africa because the NP has destroyed a strong White government here and replaced it with a multiracial coalition cabinet.


Mr Chairman, we have the odd phenomenon that the CP wants to use a highly questionable Prog peg on which to hang its shabby political hat this afternoon. I do not think that attempt by the hon member for Kuruman deserves a serious reply.

Although the Sunday’s River constituency is not as directly affected by the matter under discussion as some of the other constituencies whose hon members are participating in this debate, there is one aspect of the motion of the hon member for Walmer concerning which we are able to join in the discussion knowledgeably and with experience. I refer to the hon member’s condemnation of the Government’s decentralization policy, and in particular to his allegation that the Government is neglecting Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.

Apart from all the other incentive measures which hon members have already mentioned, and which they will perhaps still mention, this allegation by the hon member is expressly belied by the extension of the Sunday’s River Irrigation Scheme, which was announced by the Government through the then Prime Minister himself, if you please, at the end of 1983.

The benefits of that scheme do not only spill over to my constituency, but to the entire Eastern Cape, in the form of a stimulus to economic development in the entire region, which can hardly be overestimated.

It is significant that before that announcement the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central allowed no opportunity to pass to reprimand the Government for not announcing this scheme. He even charged the Government with allegedly failing to approve the go-ahead for that scheme. At that stage he tried to use it as a whip to get at the Government and he could become very loquacious about the wonderful advantages of the scheme which the Government supposedly did not want to implement. He believed, and perhaps even hoped, that it would not be approved, for he would then have lost that whip. [Interjections.] It is significant that we have not heard another word about the matter from the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central since October 1983.


Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?


No, there is no time for questions.

We have reason to believe that this is not the end of what the Government is going to do for that region either. We also believe that further phases of the Orange River Project will probably become more of a reality for the Sunday’s and Fish Rivers shortly.

The potential for further agricultural development in the Fish/Sunday’s River phase of the Orange River Project is almost unlimited. Moreover, it constitutes mainly export-orientated agricultural development, in conjunction with sound possibilities for semi-secondary industries.

It is an acknowledged fact world-wide that agricultural development is the most economic form of creating employment opportunities. In view of the fact that unemployment in that area is by far the single biggest and most urgent problem, we can assume that it is being given very high priority. Fortunately, everything points to the fact that it is not only being given priority, but that according to the planning of the Government, it is also high on the list of priorities of planned development schemes.

What also deserves special mention in this regard, is the boost the tourist industry has been given by recent announcements concerning the extension of the Addo Elephant Park and the creation of better tourist facilities there.

Today we find the hon member for Walmer posing as a prosecutor. Of course, that is his intention and he fancies himself in that role. However, it is merely technical, since the hon member is really standing in the dock today. He and his colleague, the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central, are here today as the accused. The prosecutors are the community of Port Elizabeth, and more particularly, the business community of Port Elizabeth. The charge against them is that they have left the metropolis in the lurch. They have insulted the people of the Eastern Cape and harmed their image, more specifically, as I have said, the business community of Port Elizabeth. Those hon members need only look at the attitude the Midlands Chamber of Industries has recently adopted on this matter, and they would see that their people do not stand by or behind them.

The hon members came here with a so-called charge, but they have no brief from the people on whose behalf they presume to speak. Those hon members say that the Government’s policy is directly responsible for the problems in the Eastern Cape. Moreover, they say that it is the Government’s responsibility to salvage the situation. On the one hand, they advocate the free market system, but on the other, they do not hesitate to expect the community of Port Elizabeth to be saved by unlimited spoon-feeding. However, those hon members have made an error of judgment with this conduct of theirs. They did not take into account the inborn pride and self respect of our people in the Eastern Cape. Nor did they take into account the inherent flexibility of the economy in that area. In their greed for a little political gain they adopted a standpoint on false premises, on assumptions that are not valid, thereby discrediting the community and even insulting it. In particular—and note that both hon members are English-speaking— they shamefully disregarded and violated the proud Settler spirit of our part of the world.

The result is that today they stand alone and isolated in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. They think that the people—and the businessmen of Port Elizabeth in particular—stand by and behind them, but they are wrong, since that is not the case. Not only do those hon members stand isolated, but they have also been repudiated. One need only look at the recent headlines and reports in the newspapers of the Eastern Cape to realize that they have been repudiated. They stand accused of being defeatists, political opportunists and people who have introduced a motion of no confidence in their own community. Their community does not stand by them, and they will realize this very soon. They thought that the entire community of Port Elizabeth would follow them blindly and raise a hue and cry with them, but the hon members have made a dreadful mistake. They will be experiencing the change in the wind in this regard.


Mr Chairman, in the absence of the hon member for King William’s Town who would have spoken on this motion, I wish to make one or two points in the short time at my disposal.

I want to say immediately that we understand and sympathize with the situation in Port Elizabeth. It is, after all, the fourth largest manufacturing centre in South Africa, producing 6% of the total manufacturing output of this country, only 3% behind the Western Cape. It is a city and industrial centre which has had a lot to put up with. The hon member for Walmer listed a number of items from its history, but he could have mentioned others. There was the establishment of the Sishen/Saldanha railway line. A predecessor of mine in this party put a lot of pressure on the Government at the time to export iron ore through St Croix at Port Elizabeth. There were other instances where Port Elizabeth did not get the most just treatment. The SATS, perhaps to compensate for the Sishen/Saldanha line and for having to open a complete systems office for that small line which is a private line carrying iron ore only, is now contemplating moving the systems office of the Railways at East London to Port Elizabeth. The problem is, however, that they cannot find office accommodation.

What we have here therefore, both from the Government side and from the hon member for Walmer, is a split personality problem. In the one case the Government has taken with one hand and given a little back with the other, and in the case of the hon member for Walmer, he is someone who is deeply committed in principle to the free enterprise system. Nevertheless, he has had to stand up here today and plead with the Government to give benefits under a system of decentralization which he has consistently condemned. I found this split personality strange …


You should have listened to what he said.


What is important, is what he did not say. He did not talk about Newton Park. [Interjections.] This was so obvious that I had to point it out. In reality the free enterprise system can only be distorted to a certain degree by artificial benefits such as subsidies, tax rebates etc. If one distorts the system beyond that, one is not going to achieve any of the objectives which are desirable for stable industrial growth and stability.


Now you are coming round.


Yes, but it was the hon member’s colleague who pleaded that those benefits should be given, even though they would distort the system.

There is yet another aspect. It is not solely the economic situation in Port Elizabeth which should be considered. One of the negative factors is one in respect of which I believe the PFP could have played a major role in influencing its removal and perhaps helping to remove altogether, namely the unstable labour relations which have bedevilled the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage complex. I believe the Official Opposition had a major responsibility to try to guide the infant Black trade unions and to help them to get over their growing pains. They could have tried to help avoid the sort of industrial confrontation which has bedevilled relations there. Entrepreneurs are not going to invest their millions if they are going to be bedevilled with strikes, with unrest and with an unstable labour force.

Here I must say quite honestly, that I have seen no evidence of positive leadership from the members of the PFP in Port Elizabeth. In fact, if anything, one seems to sense that they have an image of being sympathetic to the unions and to the strike leaders. It is not too late now for the other hon members who are going to speak in this debate, to stand up here and condemn irresponsible trade union leadership in the Eastern Cape, and play a major part in efforts to bring about stability in that area. It is not too late. Some amazing things are happening in that party, and one could quite easily see them take a responsible line of action like that which would be in the interests of the country. I do not think that the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central can do it, it is not in his nature, but others can do it.

There is one other point that I want to make very firmly. Whilst we sympathize with Port Elizabeth’s need for growth, for industrial expansion and for all the things that it needs in order to stabilize and protect its future, we believe that it should not be done at the cost of East London. East London is an island among the millions of the Ciskei and the Transkei. The need for employment opportunities in that region is part of the basic security of South Africa. Unless there is stability in that area, unless there are opportunities for employment, there will be an unstable population movement to the cities and there will be squatting, as we have at Crossroads and elsewhere. Millions of people will be moving out and will be creating problems elsewhere. So whatever is done to help Port Elizabeth, should not be done at the cost of East London. I am not talking from a narrow parochial point of view: I am talking from the point of view of the national interest and the industrial stability of South Africa as a whole.

Therefore it is strange that this Government and some of its parastatal organizations should be damaging the prospects of stability in East London at this stage. They were going to move the Escom office away from East London to take it to Port Elizabeth. That has been stalled for the moment. However, they are now talking of moving the Railway systems office with 500 families from East London to Port Elizabeth. So with the one hand they give decentralization benefits to an area which has all the advantages of a development area, and with the other hand they take business away, for instance, moving maize exports to Richards Bay. This was another blow against East London. I hope that when the fugitive hon member formerly of East London speaks later in this debate in the interests of Port Elizabeth, he will remember that he also once had an interest in protecting the stability of East London.

The last point I want to mention is that both Port Elizabeth and East London are part of the D-region. However, their interests are competitive, and one cannot have two core cities in one region and balance their interests. I want to put it to the Government and in particular to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning that consideration should be given to the possible subdivision of the D-region, because East London and Port Elizabeth are, both in the same development region. I think that that should be looked at. Unfortunately my time has expired, so I cannot develop that argument.


The possibility of establishing a sub-region is being investigated.


I thank the hon the Minister for that information. I am afraid that, since my time is up, I cannot take this matter any further.


Mr Chairman, it gives me great pleasure to follow on the hon member for Durban Point as he has made some valid points. I first of all wish to commend him for observing that the motion moved by the hon member for Walmer is connected with a by-election in Newton Park.

*The same applies to the hon member for Kuruman.

I have here an Information Bulletin of the Midlands Chamber of Industries in Port Elizabeth, and in it reference is made to the transfer of Ford, and other events in Port Elizabeth. Inter alia, it states:

… and the media are full of evidence of these outbursts.

That is what we had from the hon member for Walmer this afternoon. It was an outburst motivated by the fact that a by-election is at hand. The hon member is not even original. An independent candidate, a Mr Stander, first came up with these outbursts about the neglect of Port Elizabeth by the NP. He was the first to charge NP members with not doing their duty towards the Port Elizabeth area. Now the hon member also has to climb onto the bandwagon. He also has to make a noise, since his party has also put up a candidate there. I want to warn the hon member for Walmer: It is no use, since Mr Stander will still draw the votes of his party and not the votes of Nationalists.

As far as the hon member for Kuruman is concerned, I want to say that he does not even realize that progress is sometimes made on this side of the House. One progresses from a back bench to a middle bench. He was looking for me in a back bench, but I have progressed to a middle bench.


Hear, hear!


The CP does not even have a candidate. Why did the hon member for Kuruman make such a fuss then? They are afraid to put up a candidate. That is just by the way.

At the beginning of the hon member for Walmer’s outburst, he said that the Government has neglected the Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage region. To test the validity of such a statement, I suppose it is necessary for one to be clear about what expectations a region like Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage can have. What can it expect of a government? As a point of departure—and I think the hon member for Walmer would concede this— the primary duty of a government is to maintain law and order. The second duty, which is probably equally important, is to provide an infrastructure. The hon member went back 25 years to approximately 1960. Surely he is old enough to know that there is a harbour in Port Elizabeth. Whose name does one find there? There is the Chari Malan Quay. Who is that? He was an NP Minister of Transport in the ’twenties. There is a technical college. Who laid the cornerstone of that college? It was laid by someone by the name of D F Malan in 1928. Does the hon member see?

I come to the ’sixties. What happened in those years? Port Elizabeth got a university, a training college and a technikon. Everything a region like that could expect from a government it got as far as the provision of the infrastructure was concerned. It did not end there. There is the container wharf, the airport and railway facilities. The container wharf is much larger than necessary, but it is there for businessmen and entrepreneurs— as the hon member for Walmer would like to see himself—to use. Those facilities were provided by this Government.

Apart from the things I have referred to there is another important thing, viz the supply of water. It is the only city in the country I know of which says that it will not need any more water until the year 2 000 and thereafter, because there is sufficient. By whom was it supplied? Then people still say that the Government has neglected the region.

The hon member for Durban Point referred inter alia—I know my hon colleague from Uitenhage is also going to refer to this—to certain excessive demands that are sometimes made by a trade union. It has been placed on record—I need not refer to that. This has caused workers in Port Elizabeth in particular to suffer badly as a result of what we would normally call illegal strikes. I say that the Government has taken particular steps in that regard as well. Firstly, there is the general legislation. We must also bear in mind that it is the Government of the country, not only of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. After all, the Government has other interests, too. For example, it has to look after the interests of the hon member for Durban Point. When I look around me, it seems to me that many come from areas the interests of which have to be looked after by the Government.

Firstly, there is legislation in respect of manpower which is regarded and which is certainly accepted by us as being some of the most modern legislation in the world. A new problem has come to the fore in that area in particular. There are people who are striking illegally. They harbour different motives and are striking for demands other than those of the factory floor. Here and there their actions have been supported and encouraged— not completely blatantly, but indirectly—by certain hon members of the PFP. The result is that people who want to work legally are unable to do so.

By its actions the Government has made provision for the people who do not wish to strike. They are also paid out in terms of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

However, there is another aspect. Time does not permit me to give the details, but there is the aspect of the training of employees. One of the biggest problems in South Africa is that the greatest number of work-seekers are really unqualified and untrained people, for example, labourers, as we normally call them. During 1982 413 work-seekers were trained. The figure rose to 1 221 in 1983; and last year the figure was 1 910. There is also service training on which an amount of approximately R3 900 000 was spent, apart from training at the Enthomjeni Centre. The Government has done its duty in Port Elizabeth.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Port Elizabeth North has attempted to bring the Newton Park by-election into this debate. He has accused the hon member for Walmer of trying to make party politics of the issue. I would like to say to the hon member for Elizabeth North that the issue at stake is of far greater importance than any by-election. If we are to try to make petty party politics out of it, future generations of Port Elizabethans are not going to thank us for it. We must concentrate rather on the very serious situation that has arisen in that part of the world.

The hon member for Walmer dealt very effectively with the consequences of the Port Elizabeth crisis on the metropolitan area of that city. I wish to draw attention to certain aspects of the crisis which have not yet been given proper consideration. These concern the effects that the crisis will have on the Eastern Cape hinterland.

The first aspect concerns the agricultural industry in the Eastern Cape. As is well known, Port Elizabeth is a regional centre and the economic hub of a large area which stretches well beyond the Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage metropole. It is by far the most important commercial and industrial centre in Development Region D. The area served by Port Elizabeth stretches from Ciskei in the east to the Orange River in the north, and roughly the Storms River in the west.

The major economic activity in this vast region is agriculture and in particular livestock farming on a large scale. Many hundreds of farmers and farm labourers are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. One of the most important products of the livestock industry is meat, and Port Elizabeth is by far and away the largest market in the Eastern Cape for this commodity. For this reason the fortunes of livestock farmers in this area are closely aligned with the fortunes of Port Elizabeth and its market. In particular they are aligned with the largest employer of labour in this market which is of course the motor trade. It has long been a well-known saying in the Eastern Cape that “when the motor trade sneezes, the farmers catch cold.”

Not only will a downturn in the economy of Port Elizabeth be reflected in the fortunes of the local community, but large-scale retrenchment and unemployment will send shockwaves throughout the entire farming community of the Eastern Cape. Because of our geographically isolated position, we will have the greatest difficulty in developing suitable alternative markets.

The second serious consequence of Port Elizabeth’s economic crisis concerns Black communities throughout many towns and cities of the Eastern Cape. Whereas large-scale unemployment in the Port Elizabeth townships is an almost inevitable consequence of the crisis, unemployment is already one of the features of Black communities in all Eastern Cape towns and villages. Conditions in some towns are worse than in others. In Grahamstown, for example, Black unemployment has been variously calculated at between 45% and 55%. This situation is largely a result of two factors. The first is the economic stagnation of the smaller town, and the second is the effect of influx control laws. These have affected the mobility of Black communities.

With regard to the economic plight of the smaller towns, it is predictable that the economic decline of the major metropolitan area of Port Elizabeth will have the effect of aggravating their plight. This, together with the overall economic climate pertaining in the country today, will mean that we can expect an increase in the rate of unemployment in platteland towns.

The second factor is the influence of influx control legislation which has in effect caused a “damming up” of Black populations in platteland towns. These smaller towns are incapable of providing employment opportunities for their people. Take Grahamstown as an example again. There are some 7 000 Whites in that city and approximately 60 000 Blacks. There is no possible way in which the Whites can provide employment opportunities for all these people, and this is reflected in the unemployment percentage of 45% to 50% which I quoted earlier.

The relevance of this is that it has always been accepted by those who are concerned about the implications of unemployment that Port Elizabeth represents the natural economic magnet that will attract people away from impoverished rural communities. In the inevitable process of urbanization which will take place in the future, Port Elizabeth must be the logical centre for urbanization for the entire Eastern Cape region. It is ironic that at a time when the Government is starting to heed the persistent calls made upon it to repeal influx control measures and to embark on an organized programme of urbanization, and when there seems to be a real prospect of unemployed Black people being able to move away from the platteland in search of work, the cities will be least able to accommodate them.

When one considers the history of labour employment in the Eastern Cape, the irony is compounded. As the hon member for Walmer mentioned earlier, during the years when the motor industry desperately needed Black labour, the labour was prevented from moving to town. Not only did influx control measures apply, but Port Elizabeth was a Coloured labour preference area. Now that the labour is no longer so urgently needed, the movement of these people is to be facilitated or even encouraged. Jobs are going to be needed more urgently than ever before, but job opportunities are going to be allowed to move away from the Eastern Cape.

It is very obvious that, whether we like it or not, urbanization in the Eastern Cape will proceed at an ever-increasing tempo, and in the present climate this will create difficulties which we must attempt to foresee and forestall. There is no evidence that the Government has taken the consequences of the situation in Port Elizabeth into account. There is no evidence of forward planning by Government to compensate for the loss of these jobs in Port Elizabeth.

It has also become obvious that the Black population throughout the Eastern Cape is highly politicized. Unemployment has serious political consequences for this region and for South Africa as a whole. I am greatly concerned that unrest on the platteland will become endemic unless the socio-economic problems which confront these communities are resolved. The key to solving these problems lies in the economic health of Port Elizabeth because Port Elizabeth must provide an ever-expanding labour market to serve the hinterland. Allowing this centre to enter into stagnation and decline is not the way to ensure the economic health of either the city or the region; neither is it the way to ensure political stability in the metropolitan area or in the region.

For these reasons it gives me as a platteland MP pleasure to support the motion moved by the hon member for Walmer.


Mr Chairman, I agree with the hon member for Albany that Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage obviously is the key to prosperity in our region. I shall try to deal with some of the matters which he raised in the course of my own speech.

During World War II Sir Winston Churchill once said that he had many crosses to bear none heavier than the cross of Lorraine. Our area certainly also has heavy crosses to bear and none heavier than the hon members for Walmer and Port Elizabeth Central. [Interjections.] The negative, over-critical attitude which these hon members and their party apparently adopt as part of their public image has been of absolutely no assistance to our region. In fact, it has been as sterile as their contribution to the general political debate. The wording and, certainly, the substance of this motion has been a constant refrain in our newspapers for quite some time. I think to a certain extent it is also a motion of no confidence in the members of the business community who serve on the Regional Development Advisory Committee. Is the suggestion that these people do not have the interest of the area at heart? What was asked for in November has been acceded to by the Government. What we did not hear from those hon members, however, is what they did to persuade Messrs Zac de Beer and Gordon Waddell not to move the major portion of their plant to the Reef. [Interjections.] What does the hon member for Walmer actually want? Does he want direct Government intervention? Is that justified and prudent? The motion condemns the Government’s failure to persuade the parties to the merger not to move a portion of their operations to the Reef. What does the hon member mean by “persuade”? Does it mean twisting their arm or making them an offer which they cannot refuse? The hon member wants it both ways. If the Government twists their arm, he will say the Government is interferring in the market. If we make them an offer they cannot refuse, then he is against decentralization. Decentralization has been under constant attack from these hon members for quite some time; they attack the principle, the package and the implementation. However, the overriding objective of job creation, expansion, and an even spread away from overconcentrated areas by industry, is never conceded. Even the latest progress announced by the hon the Minister last week, encouraging as it was, has just been laughed off. This short-term approach—obviously with an eye to the Newton Park election—is in fact selling our area short. I believe that the voters will not tolerate this opportunistic approach.

The fact that we are embattled, unsure of and anxious about our financial future cannot be argued away. It is, however, in my view self-defeating to approach the problem in this negative fashion. All the current problems of the area are laid at the door of the Government. However, this statement is contradicted by the facts as well as by leading personalities in the area who have shown a far more balanced approach in assessing, discussing and handling the situation. Hard times are never welcome. Bad news in hard times is more unsettling and more depressing than normally, and one can understand the local concern and pessimism which was created by the announcement. Some civic leaders and some of our newspapers at least realized the dangers of defeatism, and they started looking at the problem in its proper perspective. Positive statements, encouraging engagement of the problems rather than running away, appeared in the leader pages of the Evening Post and the Oosterlig.

*The Oosterlig indicated that confidence is needed and that we must proceed with a positive spirit. The very last thing we must do is to wear sackcloth and ashes. Of course we must all look afresh and with greater urgency at the potential of this region and attempt to improve matters through a joint effort.

†Throwing stones and looking for scapegoats will get us nowhere. Taking stock and a level-headed assessment of our whole position is what is required. It is often said that the financial community bets on potential. If we can show them that we can turn this thing around, the smart money will certainly follow us.

The question arises: What is our potential and how do we turn this thing around? Firstly, the motor and related industry remains the dynamo and mainspring of our local economy, and consequently we must look at protecting and assisting this industry. Country-wide the industry has been very hard hit by the economic recession and the measures taken last August. Therefore I welcome the statement made by the hon the Minister of Finance yesterday concerning the gradual phasing in of the perks tax on motor vehicles. This will be a big help to the motor industry to adjust to this new situation.

The Ford/Amcar merger was clearly brought about by market forces at work, and had been on the cards for a long time. I maintain that it has nothing to do with the decentralization package at all, and I think it is mischievous to endeavour to confuse the issue in an attempt to get at the Government. The renegotiated decentralization package implemented last year is adequate at the moment and puts our industry on a competitive basis. This fact has even been conceded by leaders in the motor industry. So much for the allegation of neglect.

I am sure, however, that the detrimental effect of overconcentration in one dominant metropolitan area will enter this debate very soon, forcing industry to look very hard at certain irrefutable facts. The cost of providing the infrastructure in these areas is becoming prohibitive, and these costs will have to be passed on to industry. Higher water rates are on the cards. Regional taxes and other indirect forces may well start playing an ever-increasing role in turning around the overconcentration in favour of our area. Senior Government Ministers have expressed themselves in this regard, but most important is the fact that the State President himself, in the no-confidence debate, stressed this aspect, underlining in no uncertain terms the Government’s concern about overconcentration.

If the rationalization of the motor industry continues, as some people suggest, it is the responsibility of all to encourage such rationalization in our area, and certainly to encourage it to be moved away from the overconcentrated Witwatersrand. It can certainly be directed our way. The most modern motor plant in Africa is situated in my constituency. The high technology, expertise and trained labour force needed in this industry are all available and still under-utilized. At the same time our area is very well geared to exports, and a hard and serious look is being taken by industry at export possibilities at the moment.

We also know, however, that the Government has indicated its commitment in support of exports. I should therefore like to ask the hon the Minister to give particular attention to the motor component industry and to give it a high priority when finalizing the export incentive package in due course. A very vital role in the process of turning around the present situation can and must be played by possibly the most important cog in our industrial wheel, viz our trade unions. They have been very vociferous and high-profiled in my constituency. Generous training incentives by the Government bring about the continued upgrading of the quality and skills of our labour force to the obvious advantage of our whole region. A positive response from this quarter could be of tremendous assistance in causing the tide to turn.

In the recent past labour costs in the motor industry in the Eastern Cape vis à vis labour costs on the Witwatersrand have been far too high—as much as 20%. This has blunted our competitive edge, and although the situation has now been corrected it added to our regional disadvantage. Mature labour reaction when their companies were fighting for survival enabled Boeing, Pan American and Chrysler—to mention but a few—eventually to reap the benefits when the American economy recovered. Their labour forces were even prepared to have their wages reduced to help improve their companies’ economic plight. A continued unstable labour situation could very well be the straw that will break the back of our area. A reliable, motivated and productive labour force, with a sober realization of our vulnerable market position, is as essential an ingredient in realizing the potential of our area as are all the others I have mentioned.

I am informed that our labour unions are showing some restraint and co-operation in the current wage negotiations that are being conducted. This is certainly good news. It is also certainly about time this happened.

I wholeheartedly support the amendment moved by the hon member for Algoa.


Mr Chairman, having listened to this debate so far today I am forced to certain conclusions, the first of which became evident when the hon member for Walmer was speaking. That was that the level of conversation among hon members of the NP in this House indicated a complete lack of interest in the problems of Port Elizabeth. One of this party’s hon members actually had to take a point of order while our own spokesman was speaking to draw Mr Speaker’s attention to the high level of conversation.

Then, Sir, I should also like to refer to hon members of the NP who have spoken in this debate so far. First of all there is the amendment moved by the hon member for Algoa. As the hon member for Kuruman has said, if the NP has done as much as that amendment seems to suggest, why then the problem in Port Elizabeth today? Then the hon member said a very interesting thing. He said they did not believe in an open debate. He said that an open debate was no good. What is he implying? He is implying that hon Ministers do not listen to us when we address them in this House. He is talking about the people in their big coats and their slouch hats who scurry along the corridors of power. I believe that in this country we have had enough of deals behind closed doors. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Sunday’s River was next. He was absurd enough to suggest that I had, for two years in a row, pleaded for the Wellington Grove Scheme, on the Orange River, and that I had done it in the hope that it would not materialize. How can one ever be more absurd than that? I should like to put a question to that hon member, Sir. How much has the Government spent to date on the scheme announced by the State President, and when will the scheme be completed? I ask this because—as I will say later in my speech—what we need is action. We do not just need words. The hon member also mentioned that the Midland Chamber of Industries was not behind us. May I ask the hon member if he was at last week’s MCI meeting on decentralization? He shakes his head. I wonder if any of his colleagues from Port Elizabeth were at that meeting. I notice that not one of them answers. That demonstrates very clearly that he is speaking from no knowledge whatsoever.

We now come to the hon member for Port Elizabeth North. He was unwise enough to bring up the case of Johan Stander, the independent candidate for Newton Park. Mr Stander is obviously an independent Nationalist because he was a member of that party. At first he said in Port Elizabeth that if he was satisfied with the candidate the NP put forward, then he would not stand. When the NP put forward its candidate, he immediately announced his candidature. Now really, what else can one expect from that hon member?

Finally, I come to the hon member for Uitenhage who is talking to the hon member for Prieska at the moment. I should like to congratulate him on his speech, but with some notable exceptions. He made a positive speech, including positive suggestions, but I only wish that his colleagues who represent Port Elizabeth in this House had done the same, instead of being as destructive and attacking as they were.

There can be little doubt that Port Elizabeth is suffering a crisis of unemployment. It is known that it currently has the highest unemployment percentage of any major centre in South Africa. The major manufacturers laid off thousands of people in the last few months of 1984. Most of those who are still employed are working short time. Many more in subsidiary industries have lost their jobs. The Evening Post surveyed nine firms allied to the motor industry. I should like to quote some of the results of that survey, published in the Evening Post of Wednesday, 30 January 1985:

A company which last year employed 80 people now has only 20 employees and is working a two-day week. In a second company only 25% of the staff have survived retrenchment before the Christmas holidays.

A third company is quoted as having said:

We are on our last legs here. We had 70 employees; now we have 25 people working a three-day week.

A fourth company has cut back on 65% of its staff and works a two-day week. The company’s comment was:

We are still keeping a small staff busy. Things look very bleak.

There are more examples, but I do not have time to mention them all. We now have the latest move of the Ford Motor Company, which will cost Port Elizabeth in excess of 2 000 jobs. One can picture the result in human terms. What does one do when no money is coming in to one’s home—just starve. We must not forget that the Black labour force losing jobs in Port Elizabeth does not have mobility. The White labourer can go to Pretoria and get a job with Amcar up there, but the Black labourer cannot.

The current situation in Port Elizabeth has been described as a worse depression than the one in 1931-32. We must ask why it has happened. Port Elizabeth has many advantages. I should like to read out some of those advantages to this House. It has a modern container harbour, uncongested and well-known for its efficient and speedy handling of goods; it has a freeway and road system, providing rapid transit; it has a well-developed airport; it has assured and adequate water supplies until beyond the year 2000. Furthermore, it has energy from Escom and from its own power station; it has a large labour force; it has educational facilities—tertiary, secondary, primary and technical; it has serviced industrial land at low cost. Finally it has housing, help, and recreational amenities equal to anything. Our experience in Port Elizabeth is that when people are transferred there they do not want to be transferred away again. I am sure that the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs will confirm that.

I have mentioned the advantages, yet from 1972 to 1976 Port Elizabeth’s manufacturing employment increased by only 2,6% per annum. The rate of increase in other metropolitan areas was 3,3%, 5,5% and 5,8%. Ours was the lowest in the Republic. From 1975 to 1980 only 35 hectares of industrial land were sold. The total spent on new factories over the same period, including additions and alterations, was only R16 million. Why this low investment? Well, I give three basic reasons: Firstly, the advantages that growth points in other areas enjoy, and my hon colleague from Walmer has pointed very clearly to those; secondly, the high cost of electricity; and thirdly, the high cost of transport. All three of these factors are controlled by the Government. Private enterprise does not control them; the Government does. Can one wonder that our motion blames the Government?

In 1981, in my first session representing Port Elizabeth in this House, I warned the Government of a number of things. I said (Hansard, 1981, vol 96, col 426):

To suggest that Port Elizabeth is a metropole is patently absurd.

I pointed out that in the PWV area 2 million people had obtained employment; in Cape Town, 0,6 million; in Durban, 500 000; but in Port Elizabeth, only 200 000. I then continued:

In other words less than half of the next biggest so-called metropolitan area.

I also said (col 427):

… if the new economic plans are going to actively discourage investment in Port Elizabeth, then I believe the consequences will be serious. Very serious indeed.

And that has happened today. There are other points that I made, for example:

It happens because Port Elizabeth suffers from the same disadvantages as the whole of the Eastern Cape and Border. The most serious of these are the high costs of railage and electricity.

This I said on 7 September 1981. Not because there was a Newton Park by-election going on, but we on these benches have talked consistently about the damage that has been done to Port Elizabeth by Government policy.

This brings me to the undertakings that could have been put by the Government Port Elizabeth’s way, but which went elsewhere. First of all I want to mention deconcentration points. Every other metropole in South Africa has a deconcentration point, but Port Elizabeth was not given one. Why, may I ask? Cape Town which employs far more people than Port Elizabeth has a deconcentration point at Atlantis with fantastic concessions, but where is the deconcentration point for Port Elizabeth? Why did the Government not give one, and is it too late?


Because there is spare capacity in the city.


Was there spare capacity in 1981? I suggest the hon the Minister should look up those facts.

The other point was Atlantis Diesel Engine. Port Elizabeth was the logical position for that factory to be established. It was the home of the motor industry. Ford, General Motors and Mercedes in the near vicinity 200 miles away, all manufacture trucks there and yet the Atlantis Diesel Engine plant was placed at Atlantis. Why?

What were the NP MPs in Port Elizabeth doing at that time? There are some of them sitting over there, but what did they do to try to get Atlantis Diesel Engine for Port Elizabeth?

The hon member for Durban Point mentioned the Sishen/Saldanha railway line. This, without doubt, has been South Africa’s costliest white elephant. At the time it was mooted that an offshore loading bay should be put on the island of St Croix at Port Elizabeth and that all the iron ore should come down to Port Elizabeth on an established infrastructure. Yet, that Sishen/Saldanha scheme went to where it is, and it has been an economic disaster from that day to this. The hon the Minister when he rises can tell us what was said in this latest commission which they had to appoint into the viability of that whole scheme because of the problems which are being experienced.

Iscor was established in Natal. What has been established in the Eastern Cape?

While all this was happening, unemployment continued. In 1984 a White Paper gave the Port Elizabeth unemployment figure as 14,9%, the highest mentioned in that paper. In January 1984 unemployment in Port Elizabeth was 10 644 people—31% higher than in January 1983. That does not include Black unemployment which was estimated at that stage at 60 000 people. By comparison with today, those were the good old days. Today it is much worse.

The Government has continued to hammer the motor industry which represents 61% of Port Elizabeth’s manufacturing capacity. The motor industry has slumped, and this has been caused by the deliberate actions of this Government. What were those actions? I shall mention them. The hon the Minister looks as though he disbelieves me.

There was the ad valorem tax which was put on by the hon the Minister’s colleague who has now retired. There was the GST rising from 4% to the current 10%. Heaven alone knows what it will be after the Budget next month; one need only look at the headlines in the newspaper. GST on a small car today is R1 000 and this is repeated over and over as that car changes hands to the second, third and fourth owner. As much as R3 000 can be collected in sales tax on one small car.

Thirdly there was the forcing up of interest rates resulting in impossibly high HP interest and consequently very high monthly payments. Then there was the 40% hike in fuel, and finally, the fringe benefits tax.

I can go on. In public spending the Government has neglected region D. In 1984, 2,77%, in 1983, 2,35% and in 1982, 2,14% of total public sector spending was spent in Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage. That is a very low percentage.

Then there is the situation of job creation in Port Elizabeth. Early last year Escom announced that it was to move its regional head office from East London to Port Elizabeth. The hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs—I am glad he is here—immediately stepped in to freeze the move. I pleaded with him—Hansard, col 6688, last year—to allow the move to happen. An East London MP—I think he is sitting over there—lobbied hard while the Port Elizabeth MPs of the NP apparently did nothing. The result has been that it has recently been announced by the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs that Escom will no longer be moving. The same reasons are now given against the move as were given for it. This is a political decision if ever there was one. Only afterwards did the hon member for Algoa step in and last week he brought a delegation from the Port Elizabeth Municipality to see the Minister. While I am on that, why did he not see fit to invite us to that meeting?

Let me quote from a letter I received from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Then the Minister was J C Heunis. I had applied for a meeting on behalf of the mayor of Port Elizabeth. The Minister said:

I want to point out that there is a standing arrangement that a discussion on a subject of this nature involves all the members of Parliament for the area, and I am therefore prepared to meet such a delegation, provided the members of Parliament are included in the delegation.

Why were we then not included in the delegation by the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs if this—and I have evidence—is the case? [Interjections.]

I can quote another example which is even worse. On 6 July last year I put a question on the Question Paper asking the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning—the same J C Heunis—whether he had recently received a request for an interview from the mayor of Port Elizabeth and whether he had agreed to this request. The answer was that he had received the request, but that he had not acceded to the request because he was of the opinion that such an interview would serve no purpose at that stage. This is the way Port Elizabeth is treated by hon Ministers on that side of the House.

While this goes on, while these jobs are lost—and my colleague mentioned the opera house contract which was given to a decentralized industry—this Government continues to spend money in its favoured areas. Only last Sunday it was announced that R11 million was being spent on the Union Buildings in Pretoria, some of it without tenders even having been called for. I hope that will come up before the Select Committee on Public Accounts.

Last week 121 passengers travelling to or from Port Elizabeth were stranded by SA Airways. Why? The reason was the lack of an instrument landing system. The Department of Transport has seen fit to provide instrument landing systems in one direction only, whereas East London and Cape Town have two.

Let us get on to the positive suggestions I want to make. I have sketched the background. Let us now try to be positive. My colleague has called for full incentives and I support his plea. If the Government will not do this, then at least it must do for us what it has done for the other metropolitan areas, and I refer to the deconcentration point.

Why do we not have a deconcentration point when all the other metropoles have one? I have asked this question in this House before.

Secondly, Port Elizabeth should be made the regional capital of the Eastern Cape in the second tier Government structure. This city is too far from Cape Town for a second tier function to be successful from there. Thirdly, I believe that a percentage of white collar State employment should be moved to Port Elizabeth. The largest percentage of the country’s employment is provided by the State. There are also about 90 quasi autonomous non-Government organizations. Why cannot this administrative function be decentralized? This will be nothing new, because it happens in Europe. France has its foreign ministry in Nantes, while in the UK central government bodies have been placed in Wales, Southend and Newcastle. Why is something like the Mohair Board not situated in Port Elizabeth when the bulk of mohair comes from the Eastern Cape? Why are weather forecasting and the offices of the Weather Bureau not situated in Port Elizabeth? The breeding ground of our weather is the South Atlantic, and we are a lot closer to it in Port Elizabeth than they are in Pretoria.

I now come to parastatal organizations. I believe that the Escom regional head office should logically be in Port Elizabeth and I call on the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs to see that it goes there, because that was the request of Escom only last year. The hon member for Durban Point has mentioned that the SATS have considered moving their administrative functions from East London to Port Elizabeth. The hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs suggests that it is a lack of money which prevents this, but there is a Ford headquarters building in Port Elizabeth which is going to be empty very shortly. Perhaps the State can rent that and place their Escom head office there. Port Elizabeth has spare manufacturing capacity and obviously the Ford factory at Neave Township …


May I ask the hon member a question?


I am not prepared to answer a question, because I am afraid I am short of time. [Interjections.]


Order! Hon members must please lower their voices.


Thank you, Mr Chairman. It merely shows the disinterest of this House in Port Elizabeth’s problems.

Why cannot Armscor utilize some of the spare manufacturing capacity in Port Elizabeth? Why cannot the Minister of Defence move or establish new facilities for Armscor in this city? If the Government is serious about decentralization, it should practise what it preaches. Another possibility is a ship-repair yard. Is it not possible that the manufacturing of small boats, perhaps by Armscor for the SA Navy, could be undertaken in Port Elizabeth?

Certain infrastructural improvements are necessary. The PFP public representatives from Port Elizabeth have for some time been making representations for a medical faculty at the University of Port Elizabeth. We have seen the Minister and the University authorities. We even invited the NP MP’s to come with us, but they would not come. We know that the Eastern Province branch of the Medical Association favours the project. I want to quote from a letter of the chairman of that body to the Administrator of the Cape Province, as follows:

The situation would be that on either the Witwatersrand or in the Western Cape there could be 3 medical schools in close proximity to one another. I contend that the dearth of clinical material being experienced by the present medical schools will not allow for the establishment of yet another institution, and will certainly not be able to sustain it. Yet in Port Elizabeth there is an abundance of clinical material.

The present head of the University of Port Elizabeth has been obstructive on this issue, perhaps because it should logically be a multiracial teaching hospital. However, he retires shortly and the new man, from what I hear, is far more likely to be helpful. I have no doubt that Port Elizabeth is the logical place, and if we are overlooked, the Government is shirking its obvious duty.

The hon member for Sundays River has referred to the Orange River Scheme. I have mentioned the Wellington Grove Scheme and I do not need to repeat what I said then, but I appeal to the Government to get on with it. Let us spend the money it has said will be spent. This could create up to 4 000 jobs. We need some action.

Then there is the question of a small boat harbour. In 1982 I was in touch with the Minister of National Education, after a speech in this House, on the need to develop tourist potential in Port Elizabeth. Algoa Bay could be the finest yachting venue in South Africa, but we need a small boat harbour. In 1983 the Minister replied to me and said that initiative on the part of private and local organizations towards a more detailed study of Port Elizabeth would be useful. That study was done and was submitted to the Minister concerned, but since then we have heard nothing.

Finally, there is the matter of an export process zone being established in Port Elizabeth. We have sent people to Taiwan to investigate this. They can be successful, and that can also provide relief. We are suffering from a crisis of confidence in Port Elizabeth. I appeal to the hon the Minister to help us to help ourselves. This Government must announce something of major benefit to Port Elizabeth, such as a medical faculty, or it will stand condemned as the Government and the party which are trying to kill Port Elizabeth. There is no way we will let them succeed.


Mr Chairman, it is a pity that the hon member for Walmer and his colleagues in the first place used this motion this afternoon to prepare themselves for the by-election. If they had moved the motion in the same spirit in which the hon member for Port Elizabeth North, in concluding his speech, argued for an attempt at combined action to create confidence in that area, I think the motion would have served a purpose. It was clear, however, that the hon members were attempting to play political games. We need go no further than to listen to the hon member for Constantia on the subject.

†The hon member for Constantia let the cat out of the bag this morning. In The Cape Times one can read about “the PFP’s three-pronged strategy in the crucial by-election. One of the prongs is to protest against the Government’s economic mismanagement, and its neglect of Port Elizabeth’s local economy”. There we have it! This is part of the election campaign, and they have already fired the first shots. It is not in the first instance, an effort to further the best interests of the people in those areas. [Interjections.]

*I wish to associate myself with the point raised by the hon member for Algoa. The hon members for Port Elizabeth are out of touch with their own people. They are out of touch with the business community of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. Only last week a meeting took place at which the Chairman of the Decentralization Board, Mr Dougie de Beer, met almost 300 businessmen. That meeting was preceded by discussions with the local authority, the mayor and also the chamber of commerce. The spirit prevailing there was one of optimism, determination and confidence. Naturally Port Elizabeth has problems, but we are midway through a recession and the motor industry is experiencing problems throughout the country, not only in Port Elizabeth. That is why I say hon members are not in touch with the spirit prevailing among the people of Port Elizabeth. Hon members of the PFP do not speak the same language as the businessmen and residents of that community who have confidence in the future of their city.

The hon member for Walmer attended the meeting. He therefore knows what I am talking about. On that occasion a spirit of determination was evident, and there was gratitude for the steps taken by the Government to help Port Elizabeth to help itself. Naturally we are sympathetic towards unemployment and the attendant misery, but that is a problem that goes hand in hand with recession. We are aware of its extent and gravity in the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area, but these problems are also being experienced elsewhere in the country.

†In The Argus of 17 January 1985 one reads a serious report. Under the heading “3 360 Firms will Flounder” the following is stated, and I quote:

The toll of companies going bust in the recession is likely to soar to a record 3 360 or even higher in the next 12 months, according to country-wide surveys by a credit bureau which monitors distress signals.

*There are distress signals right across the country. So let us rather look at the source of the problem. Let us get the economy right, right across the country. That is the spirit in which the NP Government is attacking these problems.

The hon member for Walmer now holds it against me that I say he rejects decentralization. He criticizes decentralization but nevertheless requests incentives under that scheme. He may compare this with a school debate, but that is the truth of it. The hon member has never let fall a positive word on the policy of regional development. As far as I am aware, not once over the past two years have the hon member and the members of that party made representations to me or my colleague, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, to improve the regional development package. [Interjections.] Now a political opportunity has arisen and the hon members are making a big fuss here about how concessions to Port Elizabeth should be improved.

I think it necessary to put the Government’s regional development policy into the right perspective again briefly. For the same reason applicable to countries such as England, France, Italy, Brazil and others, the Government also pursues a policy of regional development to correct economic imbalances within the country with a view to achieving a more equable distribution of economic activities. The objective of regional development, however, is not to persuade industries, by means of excessive incentive measures, to fly in the face of all economic laws in establishing themselves and then to support them over a long period with subsidies. The intention is, by means of moderate and responsible incentives, to create a climate conducive to exploiting the development potential of the respective regions and areas.


Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?


My time is limited. The hon member should be fair to me. He himself was not prepared to answer a question.

The fact is that the Eastern Cape area has been singled out as one with the greatest need for job creation. We are not arguing with the hon members. That is why, since its inception, within the regional development package the highest levels of concessions in the whole of the RSA, the whole of Southern Africa, have been granted to the Eastern Cape.


To East London, but not to Port Elizabeth.


I am just getting to Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth is one of the four metropolitan areas in South Africa. Port Elizabeth—the hon member for Durban Point referred to this—is the fourth largest industrial complex in South Africa, Port Elizabeth has a broad economic base. The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central himself referred to that base. By any normal standards Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage should strictly speaking not qualify for any concessions.

Let me supply further perspective. The contribution of Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage to the economic activities of the entire Region D, including Transkei and Ciskei, was 47% in 1980. The economic base of Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage cannot simply be compared with other points in the region, nor with East London. The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central himself spelt out the particular potential, capabilities and economic base of Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage. Other hon members also referred to these. I do not need to enlarge on this as it speaks for itself. In a very short but relevant speech the hon member for Durban Point referred to the particular problems of East London. We cannot compare these points without further qualification. Notwithstanding the fact that, strictly speaking, Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage should not qualify for concessions as a metropolitan area, they have been granted from the very beginning, since April 1982. That made Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage the only metropolitan area to be granted concessions. The money spent by the Government in Port Elizabeth on concessions over these years is not insignificant. For the period April 1982 to December 1984 concessions to Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage amounted to the following:

Training Allowance

R 3,9 million

Transport Rebate

R21,0 million

Electricity Subsidy

R37,9 million


R62,8 million

The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central again referred to the high cost of electricity. The electricity subsidy alone amounted to R37,9 million in less than two years.

Since then the Government, after due consideration, has made adjustments to these concessions. These were not solely in consequence of continuous representations from Nationalist MP’s over the two years. Let me honestly concede there were times when I tried to get the MP’s off my back for a while, but they did not give up. These adjustments were not plucked out of thin air; they were not made arbitrarily. Structures were created on the basis of which adjustments could be brought about in the regional development concessions.

†In the manual issued by the Government in this respect, it is clearly explained how changes to the concession package can be determined. For the record, I should like to draw the attention of the House to two short paragraphs on page 37 of the manual:

As regional industrial development is an ongoing process, the results achieved in this regard will be closely scrutinized and evaluated on a continuous basis. Adjustments to the incentive scheme may therefore become necessary from time to time. In this connection the regional development authorities will liaise with all interested parties.

The manual goes on to explain how the regional advisory committees, should advise the Government on the implementation of this programme.

*On the advice of the Regional Development Advisory Committee of Region D, substantially increased concessions were granted to Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage at the end of last year.

It should be borne in mind that regional development advisory committees comprise interested parties from that region. Who is better qualified to advise the Government on the application of its regional development policy than the people of that region itself— organized commerce and industry, agriculture, trade unions, local authorities and the tourism industry? Advice received from those bodies was accepted by the Government without modification. The Government did even more, however. In addition to considerably improved and expanded concessions—about which I do not want to say much now as I do not have time—the Government went even further. We also instituted a 40% rebate on harbour dues, a 40% rebate on coastal shipping costs, a 40% rebate on air freight and a 40% rebate on the motor industry’s transport of its manufactured cars by road to central markets. These additional concessions will probably amount to a further R15 to R20 million during the 1985-86 financial year. Furthermore, the special incentive package designed for small industrialists with a capital investment of less than R50 000—excluding land and buildings—was also made applicable to Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. According to this any small industrialist qualifies for the existing long-term concessions of a monthly tax-free wage subsidy of R50 per worker plus a 20% allowance, bringing his monthly subsidy per worker to R60—tax-free.

The attention the Government has given the economic problems of the region ranges much further, however. A cohesive regional development policy cannot be based on industrial development only. Such a strategy is also made possible by vigorous contributions by the agricultural and the tourism industries, the services sector and so forth. In an area with an abundant supply of water, as the hon member for Sundays River pointed out with justification, attention can certainly also be paid to possibilities of involving agriculture in regional development in a more dynamic way. From its very nature the agricultural industry is an important source of employment, as also stressed by the hon member for Albany. He also pointed out the importance of agriculture, especially in the hinterland of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.

In the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area as well as in Region D, where the provision of water is good, the Government is conducting an investigation into the possibilities of involving agriculture more dynamically in regional development. More may be said on this subject at a later occasion.

Furthermore the Government has naturally also paid attention to living conditions of employees in Region D, in the Eastern Cape, but in particular in the Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage region. Let me just remind hon members that the Government accepted the recommendations of the Rive Committee. The total calculated cost of upgrading the conditions of employees in that area, in accordance with the recommendations of the Rive Committee, amounts to R203 million. During the 1984-1985 financial year an amount of R17,7 million was spent in this regard. The amount envisaged for upgrading and accommodation will amount to R57 million in the 1985-86 financial year.

Obviously this expenditure itself will also be an important shot in the arm for the economic activities of the Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage area. The amounts to which I have referred do not apply to the region as a whole, but only to the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area. The comprehensive draft guide-plan drawn up by the Planning Division of the Department of Constitutional Development and Planning and submitted to the Regional Development Advisory Committee of Region D is further evidence of the continuous attention paid to the development of that area by the Government. The plan was accepted in principle and is now being given further substance.

It therefore emerges clearly from these few examples I have provided that there can be no question of the Government’s neglecting the Eastern Cape and in particular the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area; on the contrary, the Government has given continuous attention to that area. In fact, the latest recommendations and the recently improved concessions are producing good results. I referred to this in the no-confidence debate. Nevertheless regional development is not determined by concessions alone, but also to an important extent by the attitude of the local community—by what the local community contributes. This also includes contributions by politicians.

For some considerable time the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area has been a burning question because of negative commentary and reporting on its development possibilities. That is why a positive spirit is required now. In the interest of the Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage area I earnestly call upon hon members of the Official Opposition to examine Port Elizabeth and its problems in a new spirit rather than to ignore the interests of that area for political gain.


Where is Ford now?


Right, I am getting to Ford now. The hon member appears to be interested in that and I should like to refer to it. I need not say much about the motor industry because anyone who takes note of what is going on in South Africa knows the problems that industry is experiencing today. They are naturally problems of structure. Not one of the hon members of the Official Opposition who have spoken in this debate referred to the fact that we have too many manufacturers and too many models of cars within too small and confined an industry. Not one of those hon members pointed out the structural problems currently being experienced by the motor industry nor the necessity of rationalizing the motor industry to benefit its viability and vigour. Neither was it mentioned that rationalization of the motor industry would also be to the consumer’s advantage. It would even be in the interests of the hon member for Bryanston and naturally also those of the Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage area.

†The hon member for Walmer poses as a champion of free enterprise. The hon member for Uitenhage exposed him on that point. When he moves around in private enterprise circles among the business community he poses as a champion of free enterprise, and yet he comes here and appeals for direct Government intervention, contrary to his own beliefs. Not only did he ask the Government to interfere directly to stop Ford from moving from Port Elizabeth, but he also appealed for a uniform steel price. I should like the hon member to explain to the House how that is to be achieved. Does he suggest that we should nationalize Highveld or does the hon member suggest that we should introduce a scheme of control of such a nature that steel prices and profits will be controlled by this Government?

*No, if the hon member comes up with the proposal that Ford should have been persuaded to remain in Port Elizabeth, there is only one answer. What would it have cost? I wish to emphasize that Ford’s decision had nothing to do with the policy of regional development. Ford’s decision to scale down its activities in Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage was not related to a decision by regional development. To tell the truth there are industrialists, leaders in the motor industry in Port Elizabeth, who have stated that these concessions are now adequate for the motor industry, but not for counteracting the rationalization in the motor industry.

The fact is that in consequence of the merger between Ford and Amcar they were forced, in the interests of their own industry, to rationalize and fully utilize their existing capacity. Let me first just say that the Government took every step in its power to make it possible for Ford to remain in Port Elizabeth. We adapted the export incentive scheme to convert tax concessions into promissory notes so that Ford, which was under extreme pressure through losses, could benefit from this as did other exporters of motor cars. Last year, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, we adjusted the excise duty on exported motor cars to benefit Ford and place it in a better position. In spite of our assistance, however, it was impossible to solve the deep-lying structural problems of the motor industry.

The hon member and his party are always making a great fuss about Government expenditure.

†The Government must curb its expenditure, they say. The hon member said in a debate in this House—and I quote (Hansard 2 April 1984, col 4241):

It was in his attempt to exercise fiscal discipline, however, that the hon the Minister of Finance had his most abysmal failure. The reason was that his colleagues were completely uncontrollable. Every single department overspent.

Now the hon member is appealing to us to spend between R70 and R90 million a year to keep Ford in Port Elizabeth against all economic common sense. That is what the hon member is asking the House to do. That is the consequence of his plea.

*I have only a minute left and I wish to emphasize again: Port Elizabeth has a sturdy economic base. It is interesting to note that the nominal growth rate of Port Elizabeth/ Uitenhage in the seventies was higher than that of the Western Cape and exceeded that of the RSA as a whole. What has created the problem? The problem arises when cost factors such as wages have to be used to adjust these nominal figures. High wages in Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage have meant that, when these figures were reconciled, that metropolitan area was considerably worse off. True, the labourer is worthy of his hire, but if wage demands cause industries to lose their competitiveness and they ultimately have to retrench workers and are no longer able to compete in the national economy, those industries are not only destroying their own job opportunities, but also undermining confidence in that area.


Mr Chairman, unfortunately I do not have much time. If the hon the Minister reads my speech, he will see that I did not ask that Ford be moved by direct Government intervention. I asked that Ford be made the same offers that Mercedes had in East London, the same opportunity to use the same incentives.

There are two aspects of this issue that the Government has completely failed to appreciate. The first one is the comparative nature of a business decision. It is absolute nonsense to talk about sums of money given to Port Elizabeth over a period. It is like saying that Johannesburg uses more aspirin than De Aar. It is a question of where one establishes one’s industry in order to achieve the maximum advantage. The little example that I gave the hon the Minister with facts and figures, and a company structure, he significantly failed to reply to.


He does not understand it.


Perhaps he does not understand it.

Then there is another aspect which has never been touched on, and that is the question of the effect of the industrial decentralization policy on the international competitiveness of South Africa.

Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 30 and motion and amendments lapsed.


Mr Chairman, I move:

That the Bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House.

Agreed to.

Committee Stage

Clause 2:


Mr Chairman, I move the amendment printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

  1. 1. On page 4, after line 8, to insert:
    1. (b) by the substitution for paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of the following paragraph:
      1. “(b) an official in the Department: Mineral and Energy Affairs designated by the Minister;”.

Mr Chairman, all this entails, is that an official of the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs is being designated by the Minister. In terms of the present Act it has to be the Director-General. I am now proposing that it should be an official as appointed by the Minister, and not necessarily the Director-General.


Mr Chairman, we think the amendment is a useful one and we will be supporting it.


Mr Chairman, the CP supports the amendment.


Mr Chairman, the NRP supports the amendment.


Mr Chairman, we on this side of the Committee also support the amendment as moved by the hon the Minister.


I thank the hon members for their support.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

House Resumed:

Bill, as amended, reported. Bill to be read a third time.


Mr Chairman, I move:

That the House do now adjourn.

Agreed to.

The House adjourned at 17h06 until after the disposal of the business of the Joint Sitting on Monday.