House of Assembly: Vol2 - THURSDAY 21 FEBRUARY 1985
laid upon the Table:
To be referred to the appropriate Standing Committee, unless the House decides otherwise within three sitting days.
laid upon the Table:
announced that he had called a joint sitting of the three Houses of Parliament for Monday, 25 February, at 14h15, for the delivering of Second Reading speeches on certain Bills.
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, relative to the Foreign States Immunities Amendment Bill [No 39—85 (GA)] as follows:
G P D TERBLANCHE,
21 February 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
Mr Speaker, I move:
Mr Speaker, this debate, which is actually a precursor to the main Budget, has now reached its final stage, and it is obvious that there is far more concern about the forthcoming main Budget than there has been for many a year. There are of course very many reasons for this.
Firstly, there was the unfortunate 1984-85 Budget. Secondly there are the recessionary conditions, which are causing bankruptcies and the liquidation of numerous companies, and which are also the cause of increasing unemployment. There is a climate of escalating prices. One has only to look at the media, be it television or press, in order to see that virtually every day there are further price increases. The community is also still suffering from the shock of the all-time low to which our currency has sunk and from which it is only now beginning to show signs of recovery. Our currency is at the moment at a rather debased level vis à vis the previous position it has held during better times. The result of all this is that there is in our community an uncertainty, a speculation about the future, particularly in respect of the new forms of taxation and the possibility of increased taxation in the near future. There is a degree of buying in order to avoid increased taxation, and there is also a resentment and a disillusionment in respect of what appears to be never-ending price increases.
Although the position seems to be changing, there is still a disinclination on the part of private individuals to save because, despite high interest rates, there is the feeling that inflation will erode the value of money even further. The destruction of firms which employ people, is a matter which obviously causes concern. I believe one also has to admit that there is a degree of exploitation of the present economic uncertainty with the aim of setting up destabilizing actions in our community. That is one of the unfortunate byproducts of the present economic situation. Therefore, I believe one can say without any fear of real contradiction that this is neither a normal year nor a normal budget.
In addition to all these economic circumstances, we find ourselves in the situation where we have to deal with the new Constitution, which means that we shall have to pilot the Budget through three Houses. Furthermore, this year—far more so than in previous years—there is a growing movement in South Africa for greater participation by the private sector in the formation of fiscal policy. The private sector is demanding a greater degree of participation in the formulation of those policies.
I believe that certainly on the part of this hon Minister of Finance—I may not be able to say it about others—there is a commitment to seek consensus in the decision-making process. That is why I think that today’s debate will be slightly different from yesterday’s debate, because the latter was a prime example of a Government not seeking consensus. I hope that today’s debate will be an example of how a Government seeks consensus. [Interjections.] I want to say, that the low level of the debate has no relevance to the name of the person responsible for it. That is a separate matter altogether. The reality is that despite yesterday’s debate, we shall attempt to conduct today’s debate in quite a different spirit and try to find a solution. I hope the hon the Minister will respond accordingly. In the light of those circumstances, I am going to ask the hon the Minister—and through him make an appeal to the Government—that he should actually try to formulate the forthcoming Budget on the basis of consensus, which is now his party’s policy.
I should like to make the following proposals. At the present moment there is a Standing Committee on Finance which considers the estimates after they are presented. As we all know, however, the estimates are already available. They have been worked on for a long time, and are now prepared and available. Since those estimates are now available there is no reason why they cannot be used for particular purposes, which I shall indicate.
Secondly, I think the hon the Minister knows by now what his financing needs are for the next year. I am sure he knows, because if he does not know he should actually not have this job. However, I assume that he knows and that he is preparing to deal with the situation.
Thirdly, the proposal as to the alternative methods of financing, which involve not only taxation but also the extent of the deficit before borrowing and other related matters, could in fact be a matter of discussion in an open debate in the Standing Committee on Finance before the Budget is submitted on 18 March 1985. That is the appeal that I specifically make to the hon the Minister, because there are safeguards which can be applied. If the hon the Minister says that somebody could gain a personal advantage in respect of certain taxation matters, there are safeguards which could be taken both in regard to disclosure and in regard to the people who handle it. Therefore, that would not be an argument. I believe that if we actually use the Standing Committee on Finance as a budgetary committee in the American sense of the word, instead of merely meeting after the presentation of the Budget in order to receive a presentation and explanations in respect of matters already decided upon and already finalised, we will really be able to achieve a form of consensus in budgeting and consensus in respect of what is to take place in the future. If a committee consisting of members of all the Houses and thus of all the parties in all the Houses were to deliberate not only with the hon the Minister and his officials but also with representatives of business and industry, mining, labour and consumers in order to deal with these matters, then we would have a true Budget of consensus.
What would be the result? The result would be that the hon the Minister would have a budget in which the level and the nature of the expenditure would be acceptable to the broadest base of the community as a whole. One of the major problems that we have is that one actually has to deal not only with taxation but also with the question of how one apportions the money which is available, how one allocates it, to whom one allocates, what one’s priorities are and what has to be dealt with. If we can get consensus in that respect then we will have achieved quite a lot.
Secondly, the deficit before borrowing would be acceptable to those concerned with it and particularly to those who are able to express an informed opinion on it the hon the Minister said he did not want a deficit before borrowing of more than 3% of the GDP, but he himself will concede that there are different views as to that deficit depending upon the circumstances and depending on what one wants to achieve. I believe he also knows what the views of the IMF are in certain circumstances. Perhaps he will tell us something about that a little later. There are also other people with views in the community which I think are valuable in regard to this particular aspect of economic policy.
Thirdly, although the hon the Minister has to present taxation proposals, the result will be that those proposals, while not being painless, because no taxation is ever painless, will be understood and agreed to by the opinionmakers of the country and by all the parties in the three Houses of Parliament if consensus can be achieved. It will also be something in which the business community—in other words industry, mining, labour and consumers—will have had a role. Let me put it as follows: If one administers a medicine to oneself, even though it may not taste very good, it is much more palatable than when somebody else has to administer a medicine to one in the formulation of which one has played no part. That form of taxation will be far more painless to the community.
The result of all of this, if one takes the sum total of what I have said, will be that at a time when there is an economic crisis in South Africa—there is no question about it that these times are economically of such a nature that we have seldom had as bad before—the hon the Minister will, in what for South Africa will be a unique situation, be able to present and to proceed with a budget which will have the full backing of the country, and a broad consensus budget will have been achieved.
That is the test in regard to consensus which has to be put to the hon the Minister, and I put it yesterday during the discussion of the Part Appropriation Bill dealing with own affairs, unfortunately with very little success. I could not even get an answer, but I hope I shall get an answer today. All one got yesterday was a degree of abuse and insult from some of the hon members on the other side.
I put a very simple point to the hon the Minister and he knows what the issue is. Does he want consensus only among the majority parties in the three Houses or does he also want consensus with the minority opposition parties in respect of economic matters? [Interjections.] Does he want that? [Interjections.]
Sir, do you notice the howling? One tries to get a reasonable answer from reasonable people and what one gets is this rather strange reaction to this issue.
I ask the hon the Minister of Finance to deal with this issue. I ask whether he wants that kind of consensus because the reality is that if he does not want consensus of the nature that I am suggesting to him, then what he is doing is that on the one hand he wants confrontation in this House, which is what some of his colleagues apparently are seeking, and on the other hand he wants consensus among majority parties in the other Houses. I must tell him that it will not work, it cannot work and there is no possibility of its working if that is what the objective is.
That is why I ask the hon the Minister now—it is his test—whether in matters of the economy and matters relating to the finance of the country he really wants to find consensus not only among ourselves here in this House but also with the business community, between himself and consumers, between himself and labour and between himself and all the people who make up the whole economic structure of South Africa. Is the only thing in which the Government is interested an effort to get the majority parties in the other two Houses to agree? If that is the objective, then I must tell the hon the Minister that there is no prospect of consensus as a form of government ever succeeding in South Africa.
Mr Chairman, I wish to react very briefly to what the hon member for Yeoville had to say. In the first place I want to refer to the “despair” expenditure that can occur in expectation of the budget. The fact that the Press is creating the expectation that certain indirect taxes may be increased, may have an effect on the spending power of the consumer. In the nature of the matter this may have a detrimental effect on our economic situation. We therefore share the concern of the hon member for Yeoville in this regard.
The hon member for Yeoville referred to consensus with regard to the standing committees. It is very clear, and it is probably generally recognized, that consensus is necessary and that it is necessary that all of us be prepared to achieve it. Does the hon member for Yeoville at all times possess the will to achieve consensus? Without the will to achieve consensus we shall certainly not achieve it in the committees. Therefore I think that the hon member for Yeoville should turn his finger around and point it at himself for a change, in order to decide whether we really can and want to achieve consensus as far as the House of Assembly is concerned. We have certainly reached the stage now at which we will have to adopt a very sober and responsible tone as far as our financial and economic statements are concerned. Particularly those of us—and here I include myself—that are not fully acquainted with the factors affecting our economy must refrain from drawing specific inferences and conclusions. However this does not mean that we must refrain from participating in the general debate on the present financial situation. On the contrary, I believe that the present debate, the debate that is taking place in homes, among friends and on the street about the economy and our financial problems, is to be welcomed. Why? It is simple; probably we all experience in concrete terms the weakening of our own financial situations.
The general tendency to seek a scapegoat in this regard is cause for concern. Naturally this has nothing to do with our own involvement and the contribution as to the reason why we are having difficulty keeping our heads above water financially.
The blame for high prices and inflation is immediately attributed to others. Our own spending power in 1984 is not at issue. We no longer think about that; we ignore it. We conveniently forget about it. Until we break out of this “who is guilty” cycle, we shall not be able to place ourselves in a better financial position.
It is of course very easy to point one’s finger at someone else, particularly at the Government. The members of the Opposition, the man in the street and the businessmen do that. Everyone joins in the game of putting someone in the accused’s bench. The first person they want there is the hon the Minister of Finance. In certain business circles they want him crucified and they are demanding his head. Once again, the question is why? It is because he has had the courage to announce remedial measures, measures that, as we know, cut deep. Since he became Minister he has constantly had to apply medicine to the economy. It has not been pleasant, nor do I believe that it was pleasant for him to do so. One does, however, expect recognition when the results of the application of the medicine have not been lacking. I have yet to hear anything about that from the Opposition.
One has often heard it said recently, by the Opposition as well, that Government expenditure has got out of hand. To attack the Government has almost become a cliché. The blame for that, too, is laid at the door of the Government. There are three kinds of nuance in particular that are linked to this. The first is that of misspending. What does misspending mean? Misspending in the narrow sense of the word means to spend incorrectly. This means that there is deliberate negligence with regard to expenditure, a kind of negation of the stated rules of the game. Misspending of State money therefore means that someone has acted negligently, recklessly and irresponsibly. The Opposition, together with certain sections of the Press and, unfortunately, certain sectors of business as well, make free and whole-hearted use of this terminology in an effort to make political capital. They accuse the Government of misspending, which is a very vague concept. However, they should realize that in bandying this word about they are by implication blaming the officials. I take it amiss of the Opposition that they are, by implication, accusing the directors-general, as accounting officers, of misspending State funds. They are accusing the officials of acting bureaucratically, of having a “red tape” mentality etc. We on this side of the House will have nothing whatsoever to do with that accusation of misspending. We reject any accusation or any insinuation to the effect that the officials, and the directors-general in particular, are recklessly and irresponsibly spending the State’s money.
The other concept is overspending, viz the spending of more money than has been budgeted for. We can argue about that, and we can discuss the matter further during the discussion of the Additional Appropriation Bill. Only, we must first determine the real reason for the overspending. One matter concerning which we can fruitfully differ from one another relates to savings on Government expenditure, viz judicious and orderly savings in respect of, or pruning of, State expenditure. We could all fruitfully participate in a discussion of this nature. For example, there are the pensioners who demand higher pensions. Then there are the officials who, by way of careful and detailed planning, were able to avert demands for higher salaries to some extent. All these things are aimed at curbing expenditure. State expenditure must be linked to effective management of the State with a view to developing a sound governmental establishment. There is a certain margin, and if State expenditure were to drop below that margin or breaking-point, it would have a tremendous effect on all sectors in the country. I therefore request that we take care that we do not simply regard State expenditure and the curbing of State expenditure as the solution for all our economic problems. Certain limits must be set, and because this is being done, I take pleasure in supporting the third reading of the Bill.
Mr Speaker, before coming to the real subject of my speech, viz how the present economic climate and the present fiscal and monetary measures affect an important sector of our economy, viz agriculture, I just wish to refer briefly to the remarkable phenomenon we have had in recent times. We now have a Minister who passes his days issuing a new statement every day. I refer to the hon the Minister of Cooperation, Development and Education. I appeal to the Minister to spend two days issuing one statement so that everyone can know what he has in mind. From the latest statement—this is the one we had today with reference to Crossroads—I can draw one conclusion only, and that is that we are dealing here not with a refugee government— something one heard a great deal about in the past—but rather a government on the run, a government that yields in the face of anarchy and youthful stonethrowers. However, I shall leave that for a later debate.
In his second reading speech the hon the Minister of Finance set himself certain targets. He also said at one stage that the achievement of his targets would depend on certain factors. He put it as follows: “In this regard the following factors will be crucial: Will we have a reasonably successful agricultural year?” I think that the picture is clear to everyone who is informed about the agricultural situation of our country, particularly in the summer grain areas in these times, and we hope that our maize yield will be sufficient for our domestic consumption. At the same time, however, I want to say even if that harvest is sufficient for our domestic consumption, it will not be sufficient to get our maize farmers out of trouble. I think I can state that as a fact. Accordingly I take it that the hon the Minister of Finance as well as the hon the Minister of Agricultural Economics and of Water Affairs will be aware that it is for them to implement crisis measures, particularly in this year in which the finances of farmers in general, and the farmers in the summer grain areas in particular, are assuming crisis proportions, in an effort to rehabilitate agriculture. The previous speaker said here that the Minister had been compelled to apply certain medicine to cause the economy to recover. That is all well and good, but that medicine must not be such as to kill off one of the most important economic industries in this country, viz agriculture.
In the time at my disposal I wish to refer briefly, in the first place, to the effect on the agricultural industry of the monetary measures implemented—I take it that these were implemented in good faith and in the interests of the country in general. I refer—probably ad nauseam—to the destructive effect that the existing pattern of interest rates is having on agriculture in South Africa.
What, then, is the solution?
The hon the Minister asks me what the solution is. I know what the result is of an interest rate of 25%. It is going to destroy agriculture in South Africa. He ought to know that. Organized agriculture in South Africa has made submissions to the hon the Minister of Agricultural Economics indicating that with an interest rate of 8% almost half of the farmers of South Africa have their backs to the wall. At the present interest rate, and if this pattern of interest rate continues, it will not be possible for approximately two-thirds of the farmers of South Africa to rehabilitate themselves financially with normal harvests. And then the hon the Minister asks me what my solution is! It is not possible in agriculture to farm profitably at the present pattern of interest rates with the existing production cost inputs.
I now challenge that stupid member to come up with an answer and tell the farmers of South Africa how they are to produce economically.
The Minister who are concerned with agriculture have a far better grasp of this problem than that hon member. That is why the Government rightly introduced interest rate subsidies for agriculture last year, subsidies that we welcomed and that were essential. However our standpoint is that they did not go far enough. Something drastic will have to be done. In a motion before this House we argued last year that it was for the State to determine on an individual basis, from farmer to farmer, in which cases assistance would still be a paying proposition—not to make a macro-determination but to determine which farmers in this country were still able to get by if given assistance.
And the others?
Incidentally, that is just what the Agricultural Union is asking for today. I do not know whether the hon member differs with that. [Interjections.] The hon member had better excuse me, but I really do not take any notice of him.
There is another matter which I have also raised in the past. There is a rumour in circulation—and it is not merely a rumour— that this Minister may increase GST. Nor did he want to deny it. He said: “Maybe, maybe not.” I want to repeat what I said in the past in the agricultural debate and in other debates: In the present economic period the farmers of South Africa cannot afford to pay GST on agricultural inputs. There are the implements. Let me just refer to tractors. The cost price of tractors has risen so astronomically that agriculture cannot afford to pay GST of 10% on them, particularly if one has to borrow money from one’s bank at an interest rate of 28% to pay that GST. In the past we had the argument that that part of agricultural inputs could not be exempted from GST. I am still waiting to hear a valid argument as to why certain goods can in fact be exempted and why agriculture cannot be exempted in this regard. Surely it is as plain as a pikestaff: In the same way as I need fertilizer, seed and diesel oil to plant a crop, I need a tractor too. A tractor—almost a toy nowadays—can barely be bought for R30 000. And then I am not even talking about a decent tractor of the kind that the hon the Minister of Agricultural Economics uses to farm with. The cost in GST amounts to many thousands of rands for the individual farmer. I wish to address a plea to the hon the Ministers who are concerned with agriculture. I do not have any influence with the Minister of Finance but I hope I still have influence with him. My appeal to them is the following: In the interests of the farmers of South Africa in the present economic period they must please intercede for the farmers of South Africa with the Minister of Finance in order to relieve the farmers from this additional burden as well in a period of disaster.
Order! The hon member for Barberton spoke about “that stupid member”. I did not know to which member he was referring—he did so carefully—but it is obvious to me that he was referring to an hon member of this House. He must withdraw the word “stupid”.
Sir, I was referring to the hon member for Turffontein and I withdraw it.
Mr Speaker, when one listens to the standpoints put forward in this debate one thinks that the hon the Minister of Finance is in a difficult position, although he is sufficiently skilful to distinguish among the various standpoints. However, if he were to utilize the medicine recommended here today to heal the present economic and financial situation I fear that that medicine would be far worse than the disease. I think that we are in the fortunate position of having a Minister who is, in any event, able to use his common sense.
The hon member for Barberton has just made a fiery appeal on behalf of the farming community. I think that everyone in this House sympathizes with the economy of that sector of the country. We understand their circumstances. The hon member speaks about crisis measures and he uses other fine, winged words, but he does not say how they are to be implemented. He asks that the affairs of the approximately 70 000 farmers in this country be analysed individually, and that a solution be presented for each of these farmers. I think that those are fine words but I do not believe that his proposals are practical. Unfortunately, in the short time at my disposal I cannot elaborate further on the hon member’s standpoints.
There is another matter that I wish to mention briefly. In my opinion this is a matter which also plays a role in the present economic conditions. I refer to the role of the formation of professional groups and the influence of the statutory professions on the economic life of our country. Voices are being raised expressing concern about the conduct of these interest groups, which is sometimes in conflict with the economic interests of the country and which also causes problems for the general public, who are dependent on these services. In general, the members of these groups provide specialized and important services that are indispensable to the public. In some instances the limited access to certain professional groups has resulted in a shortage of members of these important professions. There is even talk of an artificial scarcity. In a free market economy this is not acceptable because the important work done by the professional people has an important influence on the prosperity of the country.
This artificial shortage of members of a specific profession is not in the interests of the profession and may also have a detrimental effect on the quality of the service. That a specific professional group should close its ranks in order to protect its members’ interests and promote discipline cannot, of course be questioned. Therefore, we must guard against its being done in such a way as to be detrimental from a broader point of view. Limited access, and price fixing with regard to minimum tariffs for services, are not desirable. There ought to be a choice, between those who render the service and those to whom the service is rendered, to decide on the quality of the service required or on the tariff to be paid, as is also done in other respects. In this instance, however, it is simply a matter of fixing minimum tariffs which are non-negotiable.
It would be unwise to generalize, and it is probably not advisable to use this forum to single out certain professional groups. I do not wish to do that, but I do just wish to mention a few examples to illustrate this problem. However, I want to emphasize that when I do this it is not with the aim of pointing a finger at a specific professional group. I want to take the example of architects and quantity surveyors. These people’s fees represent a percentage of the construction costs of the specific building or structure that they design, and that is not open to negotiation. They impose a minimum tariff, and that cannot be disputed. The institute in question determines the minimum tariff or percentage and any member of the institute is bound to that. The economic conditions or the circumstances at a specific time are not taken into account at all.
Then, too, one can ask why there is a shortage of people in certain professions despite the fact that there is an oversupply of suitable candidates. Surely it is logical that there should be a certain correlation between the demand for members of a specific profession and the number of students admitted for training. If the facilities for training are not available, something ought to be done about it. Here, too, I want to mention one example to illustrate a problem. A boy in the constituency I represent approached me after having passed his matriculation exam with very good results. He applied to a medical faculty but was not selected and was urged to study for a B.Sc degree in the mean time, after which he could apply again. The same young man successfully passed the B.Sc degree—indeed he achieved exceptionally good results—but when he re-applied to the medical faculty, he was once again turned down. However, he was selected at another university 1 200 km from his parent’s home, and successfully passed the first year there; subsequently he moved to the university at which he had originally applied, and he qualified recently. In the process, however, he had to study for three years longer, which entailed considerably additional expense.
I reiterate that I do not wish to generalize but only wish to mention a single case. However, I am of the opinion that in this connection there is a deficiency that must be taken into account, particularly in the case of those professions in which there is a shortage of trained workers. These people do important work and play an exceptional role in the economy.
There is a Competition Board for commerce which must ensure that undesirable practices are avoided or combated as far as possible. A similar body to keep an objective, watchful eye over undesirable practices and trends in professional life would undoubtedly also be able to contribute towards promoting the image of professional groups. It could also contribute towards avoiding unjustified condemnation of the professional groups and in that way winning the confidence of the public at large, with reassuring results. It is also true that unfair criticism is sometimes levelled at certain professional groups. However, if there is a body that could consider these matters judiciously and objectively, both sides could be fairly treated, both the professional groups and the public at large who are dependent on their services. As I emphasized earlier, these are important, specialized services that have a marked effect on the smooth functioning of our economic life and on the financial structure of the country.
Mr Speaker, I should like to commence by thanking the hon the Minister for the courteous reception he gave my contribution in the second reading. I should also like to thank him for having persuaded the Cabinet to go along with the idea of making life a little easier for the motorist as far as the perks tax is concerned. It was one of the major points I raised in that particular address.
It is rather unfortunate that there was confusion, and it created a certain amount of inconvenience to have an announcement made earlier in respect of one aspect of perks tax and then to have it amended. Nevertheless, I am quite sure that everybody is grateful for the easing of the situation.
This hon the Minister has one devil of a job in my opinion, because, as the hon member for Yeoville said, this is not a normal year and it is not a normal budget. Mind you, I do not think that in the years that I have been here, which are not so very many, I suppose, any year has been a normal year, nor has any budget been a normal budget because there has always been a considerable amount of criticism levelled at any budget. So one must presume that any budget will be abnormal in the opinion of some people.
However, this is a particularly difficult year because the economy is in a dreadful mess. There is no question about that. I believe this hon the Minister has to use as his criterion, when applications for further appropriations are made, not whether something is desirable, but whether it is essential, whether it is vitally necessary. We cannot afford, in the next few years, to go on spending money on the luxuries on which we have spent it. Similarly, when the provinces come forward and ask for money for schools, they must not build five-star schools. Let us bring them down to three-star and two-star schools. In a similar way we should deal with the demands of the medical profession for hospitalization. In the medical profession money can be spent as if it is going out of fashion.
Our hospitals are costing enormous amounts of money, in my humble opinion quite unnecessarily. I am not suggesting that we cut out capital expenditure. In fact, I think it would be undesirable to do so. We must make sure, however, that every rand gives us the absolute maximum value.
I believe that inflation, as I have mentioned before, is the killer in this country at the present moment. This is why, no matter how high the wages go, one will not get people to save because, no matter the interest one gets on one’s money, inflation is still destroying the value of the money one saves. I believe the primary interest of this hon the Minister must be to look at this question of inflation. Every time there is an increase in wages, it increases inflation. I am just wondering, Sir, whether the reverse might work, whether if one were to have a national decrease in wages of 5%, it would not reverse the inflationary spiral. I cannot help but feel that there might be something in that and perhaps it would be a good idea for honorary members—I mean hon members—to start here by advocating say a 5% reduction for ordinary members and 10% to 15% for Ministers and the like. They can afford the difference. It is, however, quite important that inflation should be curbed and brought in hand.
The financial pundits tell me that inflation is likely to go up to as much as 20% this year. I sincerely hope that that is not so because that is going to make it even more difficult to persuade people to save.
As if that were not enough to give the hon the Minister a headache or two we also have the question of disinvestment or divestment rearing its ugly head in the United States of America. I do not believe that we should become hysterical about this. Nobody wants to see disinvestment or divestment, but you know, Sir, this country has got on very well with the United States in the past and I believe that we will continue to get on well with them even if the United States is so stupid as to cut off its nose to spite its face as far as financial investment in this country is concerned.
The United States is a peculiar country in that it brings its domestic policies into its foreign affairs far more than any other country of which I know. Much of the nonsense that we are getting from them is not in terms of wanting to ensure that the Black people derive certain benefits although I concede that this may be part of its moral approach. However, to my mind the real reason behind its massive interest in what is going on here is in relation to the US domestic policies. If we have to endure not only the problems of politicians in South Africa and their convolutions in trying to resolve our domestic problems, but also the problems of the Americans, I can assure you, Sir, that we do not have a hope in Hades of ever surviving. I say, therefore, that as far as I am concerned, I would be sorry to see American disinvestment in this country. I do not believe that this sort of thing can be successful because, if the Americans divest or disinvest, there are many, many people in Europe and possibly also in South Africa who are just awaiting their chance to pick up those divested assets.
I say, therefore, let us take note of their approach, try to teach them the error of their ways and point out to them the people who will suffer if such a step is taken, but do not let us go into hysterics about the whole matter.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Umbilo will pardon me if I do not react to his speech.
The hon member for Barberton referred somewhat contemptuously to certain statements released by the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education concerning the riots and violence at Crossroads. Recently the use of violence to achieve political aims has often been in the foreground again. This is largely a financial debate, but the fact remains that if violence, chaos and disorder prevail, where law and order are overthrown and anarchy prevails, all our financial measures and all our financial ideas will not succeed in keeping the country on its feet economically.
The hon member for Umbilo has just referred to the issue of disinvestment. It will not be necessary to disinvest in South Africa if chaos prevails here. [Interjections.]
May I ask a question, please?
Does the hon member not think that the time has now come for the South African Police to be put in a position to bring about peace in Crossroads?
Mr Speaker, I want to say to the hon member for Kuruman that everything in our power must be done to assist the Police to maintain law and order. Behaviour such as that of the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central in launching blatant attacks on the Police the other day are to be deplored. Flagrant attacks of that nature on the South African Police are totally unnecessary. While hon members of the CP have said that we must not unleash the tiger in our people, I want to tell the hon member for Kuruman that they must not unleash the hell in our people. If one wants to start measuring the effectiveness of the Police by counting the number of corpses lying around in the streets, then one is unleashing the wrong kind of thing among our people. That is exactly what those hon members achieve by way of some of the things they do. If I have the time I should like to come back to that. However I say that this is another element of violence. It is the violence which is committed by those hon members and which must be stopped. No violence ought to be incited, from whichever side and under whatever pretexts, even if the pretexts are that the Police are not acting effectively because not enough corpses are lying in the streets. That is certainly not our standpoint.
What is our standpoint on violence? The State President expounded our standpoint on violence very clearly when he discussed Mr Nelson Mandela and others. On 31 January he said the following in the House of Assembly (Hansard, col 310):
Later he goes on to say (Hansard, col 310):
That is the standpoint of the NP and the Government with regard to violence.
What, then, is this violence? The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central quoted so-called affidavits. I just wish to quote one paragraph to indicate what this kind of violence really is. In the Republikein of Friday 16 March 1984 the following report appears:
This is evidence submitted under oath in open court. This Black woman testified as to how her son had been shot dead after the terrorists had arrived there in ordinary clothes and hauled out a firearm and the people tried to hide. The report goes on:
That is the kind of violence that must be foresworn and that the State President was referring to.
I can mention further examples. Die Burger carried the following report on the Durban bomb attack on 4 April last year:
I address this question specifically to the hon member for Pinelands and the hon member for Houghton: What exactly is their standpoint on this violence? Both of those hon members have spoken in this House this year. What did the hon member for Houghton have to say? The hon member stated, and I quote (Hansard, col 137):
However the hon member does not spell out clearly what exactly her attitude to this violence is.
†The hon member for Pinelands said the following (Hansard, col 257):
The question is however, does that include this violence which I am talking about? In the same speech the hon member goes on to say (Hansard, col 258):
“But”, Sir, “but”:
However, he does not spell out to us straightforwardly and in plain, simple terms what his point of view is as far as this violence is concerned.
*What was the reaction to the State President’s invitation? According to Die Burger— to save time I shall not mention all my sources, but I do have them available and I shall give them to anyone who asks for them—Mrs Winnie Mandela said: “My man sal nooit so ’n ooreenkoms sluit nie.” She said that immediately.
The Guardian, which is a left-wing British newspaper—right up the street of the hon members of the PFP—writes as follows:
A different reaction came from Mr Patrick Lekhota, publicity agent for the UDF. He said that if Mandela decided to abjure violence it would amount to abdication. Mr Lekhota said that the UDF would take it amiss of Mandela, although the UDF itself did not believe in violence. What Mr Lekhota has to say here therefore shows a striking resemblance to what the hon member for Pinelands, too, had to say. He said that he and his party were opposed to violence, but …
What does Mr Oliver Tambo have to say? He says that there is no alternative to the armed struggle against the regime in Pretoria. He states that the establishment of the Black homelands is in itself an act of violence, and therefore it is wrong to say that the ANC will abandon the armed struggle. He goes on to say, and I quote:
According to the same report Mr Mandela said that he agreed 100% with Mr Tambo. Now I want to ask hon members of the PFP whether they agree with Mr Mandela. Do they support him in what he says? They must tell us and the world whether they are to speak to those people even though they say that they will not abandon violence, even though they continue to commit this very same violence.
Finally, I should like to refer to what one of the most well-known writers of classical times had to say about violence. In his Aeneid, the Roman author Virgil discussed the subject of violence at some length. This work of his was translated into Afrikaans by N A Blanckenberg under the title Van Wapens en ’n Man. I should like to quote one specific extract from it because it reminds me of someone like our own State President. The following is the extract I wish to quote:
We owe it to South Africa to stand behind our State President in that way.
Mr Speaker, I want to begin by replying to the hon member for Yeoville. The hon member referred quite correctly to the liquidation of companies having almost become the order of the day. What he said about this matter was absolutely correct. There are many companies which find themselves in trouble. Many of them have planned—in the past and also under present circumstances—to the best of their abilities. However, events have overtaken them. It is also true, however, that many of the companies that find themselves in troubled waters today—and this we must bear in mind—are those companies that made use of overseas borrowings.
It is being drawn to our attention now that in many instances it is not so much the high interest rates that are catching up with them but their heavy overseas commitments. That is of course also a factor which is causing our interest rates to remain rather high right now. This has been occasioned partly by the great demand for credit which still persists in our economy. The reasons for this are many and complex. An important factor here, however, is that companies now begin to apply for loans to local banks, and with the increased value of the rand against that of the dollar, convert those loans into dollars. These loans they then use to pay off their overseas loans and the interest they owe. They do this in order to get rid of part of their overseas commitments. The fact is that many companies, without having properly consulted their banks, and without having appointed people with the necessary expertise in their organizations, dabbled in the foreign exchange market, and unfortunately burnt their fingers.
There are many who say the Reserve Bank encouraged the banks to encourage their customers to do it.
Mr Speaker, I have also heard people say that the Reserve Bank encourages them to do that. I should be really surprised if the Reserve Bank ever encouraged anyone to enter into an overseas loan agreement without the necessary cover. That is where the difference lies. The moment someone begins to obtain adequate cover the great attraction of an overseas loan rapidly disappears. This is exactly what happens.
That was what Escom did.
It is important for a country such as South Africa to borrow overseas, because as a developing country we cannot supply all our own capital needs. It is actually to be encouraged that we borrow overseas for a variety of other reasons. I just want to make the point that there are countries that find themselves in that position. However, as far as those businesses are concerned who really find themselves short of money on account of the effect of our monetary policy, our sympathy must go out to them because in nominal terms interest rates are high and secondly, turnover in the market is slow, and there are many of them who have been caught with large amounts of stock in hand.
The hon member referred to the shock that everybody suffered as a result of fluctuations in our currency. I am afraid that that is the name of the game today. If companies find it difficult to adjust to that kind of environment it must be pointed out that it is equally difficult for the Government to do so which only has an annual budget for adjustment purposes. It only has the opportunity to adapt to this environment once a year. I am afraid we simply have to cope with it. It is a fact of life. Let us look at what has happened in Britain: As soon as the pound came under severe pressure the interest rates started rising. In a matter of days, over just a couple of weeks, the interest rate in Britain rose from 9½% to 14%—proportionally a much greater percentage increase than in South Africa. I shall come back to that a little later.
The hon member for Yeoville is supposed to be the shadow Minister of Finance, but he must concede one point. I think he will agree with me that it was grossly unfair of him to ask me to answer yes or no to his question as to whether there is going to be an increase in GST. What kind of a reply can one give to such a question? A Minister of Finance can never commit himself either way when answering such a question. The fact that I replied “maybe or maybe not”, was used in public statements by him and I think that was rather naughty of him, to say the least. [Interjections.] The fact is that that remark was used as an indication without pointing out that a Minister of Finance can never commit himself in any way. We shall all have to wait until Budget Day to satisfy our curiosity, and I want to say to that hon member today that a budget is subject to change up to the very last moment before presentation. This is my very first experience, but I have people around me who have been in this game for a long time. The very last thing to be finalized is in fact the revenue side. The hon member said that there was a disinclination towards savings, but I find it difficult to reconcile that statement of his with an article in a newspaper which he certainly regards as very creditworthy, namely The Argus. A leading article in yesterday’s Argus reads:
That was after our strict monetary measures announced on 2 August 1984. These figures are tremendously encouraging. While I have this paper in my hand I want to quote further from yesterday’s Argus. In the column “So they say …” Dr Benjamin Spock, a US paediatrician, is quoted as having said:
I think that holds equally true for politicians, and we may just take a leaf from the book of Dr Benjamin Spock. I shall give it to the hon member to consider next time we have a budgetary debate.
The hon member then challenged me to seek consensus on the Budget. I truly wish that I could today, with any degree of credibility, say that I share his hope and belief that that will be possible. I do not believe it is possible to achieve full consensus among ourselves and all the minority parties in so far as the Budget is concerned. I say this for the simple reason that the Budget is the main policy instrument of the Government. It must finance the Government’s political mandate and it must also policywise influence the functioning of the economy of the country according to the wishes—as far as they are possible to execute—the views and the objectives of the Government in respect of the economy of the country.
I share this one aspect of the argument of the hon member, and that is that this new system which we have, significantly expands the possibility of seeking consensus.
If we want to refer the Budget to the Standing Committee on Finance before it is announced publicly, I presume we shall have to change the rules because, when a Bill is tabled, it lies on the Table for three days before it can be submitted to a standing committee.
In terms of the rules it can be done now.
Well, we can talk about the rules later. I do believe, however—and the hon member must accept my bona fides as far as that is concerned—that we can explore the possibilities of having a greater degree of consultation, not only immediately before the presentation of the Budget but also at an earlier stage by means of the standing committee. If the standing committee is to do its work according to the workload that it has and will have, then during the recess we shall have an ongoing platform for consultation and influence that can be exercised from the platform of the standing committee in respect of various policy amendments which will of necessity have to be made in the course of a financial year, particularly at times of fluctuating interest rates, exchange rates and so on. From that point of view I believe that the suggestion of the hon member was constructive and I shall certainly endeavour to find ways and means to accommodate that ideal. We can have further discussions in this connection.
There is a further point I should like to add insofar as that is concerned, and that is that the key difference between an ordinary policy measure and the Budget is the degree of accountability which I believe lies squarely in the lap of the Executive. We shall have to consider very carefully any involvement outside of that. A certain tradition has evolved, and the hon member correctly said that if certain aspects of the Budget become known beforehand, it will be quite possible for individuals to benefit to a considerable extent financially because of their advance knowledge of such measures. For that very simple reason particularly the revenue side of the Budget is kept absolutely secret up to the very, very last moment. This is the tradition which has developed under the Westminster system although I know that we are off the Westminster system in many respects and that we are developing our own unique system. It has happened, however, that Ministers of Finance have had to resign on account of the fact that certain details of the Budget had leaked out before the actual Budget Day.
I want to touch on a last point in that connection. It is common knowledge that even in organized commerce and industry consensus cannot be found on certain policy matters. Therefore, if consensus is the name of the game, then certainly we must seek consensus among people and interested parties who can reasonably achieve consensus. Ultimately, however, somebody must take responsibility also for those measures in a budget which by their very nature are unpopular. Everybody has a different view. It is like selecting a Springbok team. Every second person in the street knows better than the selectors themselves. If we use the old example of plucking the goose and getting the most feathers with the least amount of hissing, then we know that each one of us will have a different approach to that particular goose. I appreciate the hon member’s attitude. We are in early days as far as our new dispensation is concerned, and we can develop his idea of a greater degree of involvement further along the lines of what is reasonable within the realm of achievement.
*The hon member for Gezina made a few very important points about State expenditure. We in the Department of Finance have, in the past few months, been under constant scrutiny, with demands being made for a curtailment of State expenditure. We cannot, however, simply go ahead and say that we shall summarily be curtailing sensitive items of State expenditure. One cannot say that one is going to curtail expenditure without touching pensions, hospital services or education, and whilst still having to maintain a certain profile in regard to one’s security services. If one imposes all these conditions and is still duty-bound or compelled to curtail State expenditure in the short term, one finds oneself faced with the inexorable demand not only to curtail certain services, but to eliminate them completely.
I concede that it is certainly possible for certain services to be removed from the sphere of State responsibility. This matter is going to receive in-depth attention during the coming financial year. If something is so important that it should not be cancelled, it is possible to find some means of financing it other than from the Central Revenue Fund. This is a long-term matter that requires thorough investigation.
When all is said and done, the fundamental philosophy underlying this is that in terms of its mandate the executive authority, the Government, decides what State services it should have and at what level those services should be provided. The elimination of a specific service is not so much an administrative matter as one that should be evaluated in terms of its significance, the undertakings that have been given and the effect of removing, or lowering the level of, the service. When all is said and done these criteria can only be employed by the executive authority, because it is responsible, at the next election, for the way in which it has carried out the mandate. The hon member, however, made a few very useful remarks in this connection, for which I thank him.
The hon member for Barberton spoke about the ravages to which interest rates had been subjected. Quite logically we are faced with an inexorable choice: Must we have a downwards adjustment of the interest rate, contrary to economic trends, or must we subsidize it even further? Because we have a long-term view of the matter, the Government’s choice has been rather to subsidize. If, contrary to basic economic potential, one were to effect an artificial downward adjustment of the interest rate, one would quite simply have disintermediation. That in turn would mean the development of an enormous grey market.
On the basis of sound economic considerations the interest rate is where it now still stands. Interest is nothing more than the price of money. If someone desperately wants money, he is prepared to pay for it at a high interest rate.
We therefore chose not to force an artificial lowering of the interest rate on the economy. There were two banks which read the market as being ready for such a move. To the best of my knowledge they are not NP-orientated. To my knowledge one of them is definitely orientated towards a party which is not the NP. The insinuation at the time that it was a Government undertaking was an insult to the top banking echelons in South Africa. I think that anyone who said that in public owes specific individuals an apology. Those banks nevertheless felt that the time had come for a downward adjustment of the interest rate. It was not, however, the proper time. The Reserve Bank followed suit, a step which subsequently proved to have been a wrong one. Then the interest rate was back to where it had been previously.
This year a time will come—this is our view, based on a sound economic evaluation—for the easing off of the interest rate. People are waiting with bated breath to see what is going to happen in the budget, and if our budget is on target as far as that is concerned, we shall see an easing off in interest rates. The private sector is waiting to see if we are going to introduce a budget which is again going to necessitate a large degree of Government activity in the capital market. If the private sector sees, however, that this year the authorities are not going to borrow extensively on the capital market, it will quite simply have to accept that the available capital will probably be sufficient for the private sector, which will allow interest rates to drop.
A further aspect is that the view is that inflation will be decreasing towards the end of the year. The forces bolstering inflation are in the process of easing off. Firstly the money supply figures, calculated on an annual basis, are extremely encouraging. I quoted them to hon members in the House the other day. They have decreased drastically. Secondly the circulation rate of money has drastically diminished, which means that from that quarter there is less inflationary pressure. Thirdly, consumer demand for funds, for credit, for goods, has virtually reached a nadir. The graph has hit rock bottom. In this regard there is consequently no longer a push-pull component as far as inflation is concerned. As far as the exchange rate is concerned, the value of the rand is fluctuating in the vicinity of 50 American cents, but that is anticipatory and will have an effect on the market. In the past few weeks, however, the rand has improved fairly strongly and we trust that it will stabilize at approximately 50 cents and only begin to increase after the budget, if the budget is well received. That portion of inflation, ie costly imports when the value of the rand was so low, will also have resolved itself by the end of the year. So even that factor bolstering inflation is in the process of easing off.
The last factor that has to be brought under control is that of wages. Those in the know say that 60% of the cost of an article is still the product of manual labour. If we could stabilize or decrease wage costs, the cost-push portion of inflation, which depends chiefly on labour costs, would begin reducing its inflationary pressure. It is therefore logical that towards the end of the year inflationary pressure will decrease considerably. If inflationary pressure begins to decrease, as a consequence interest rates will necessarily have to start dropping.
We are therefore looking at the right way to help agriculture. What has the Government done? The Government is holding ongoing consultations. My colleague, the Minister of Agricultural Economics, will be conducting further discussions with the SA Agricultural Union tomorrow. We cannot summarily start subsidizing the farmers’ current accounts. The Government has asked the SAAU to devise a method for dealing with farmers’ current accounts so that the Government may see whether it can furnish the relevant assistance. The Government has not said that the door has been shut as far as further subsidies are concerned. The insinuation that the Government has now done with agriculture because a few drops of rain have fallen is an unfair insinuation. It is simply not true. The truth in regard to current accounts is that the Government cannot give taxpayers’ money to subsidize farmers so that they can also cover their personal current expenditure. That cannot be done. We must bear in mind that for every rand given to the farmers, or to anyone else who is being subsidized, someone else must be taxed to the tune of R1. Urban dwellers also have their limits when it comes to being taxed. If we want to know the degree to which urban dwellers are in debt, we must take a look at the assets of the United Building Society and other institutions. We must have a look at the figure for urban home ownership debt. Urban dwellers also have small assets and also bear the burden of high interest rates. We must therefore be careful in advocating a continuation of subsidies to farmers on their current accounts. We must be certain to draw a distinction between production debt and personal debt. Let me tell hon members categorically that it is unnecessary for the hon member to make certain allegations here against my hon colleagues. Each day of their lives these colleagues of mine are engaged in interceding for the farmers.
I asked this hon member to give me a solution. The difference between the hon member’s plea today and the day-to-day pleas of my hon colleagues is that they have to come to light with practicable solutions. They must approach the Treasury and say: “Sir, this money I want for the farmers, I need it for this subsidy, this is how I quantify it, this is how I am going to spend it and these are the controls I am going to exercise so that the money ends up in the right person’s pocket. ”
When the hon member for Barberton stands up in the House again and asks us to do something about the farmers’ interest burden, let me ask him to tell us, too, what we should do, how we should artificially decrease the interest rate and what the longterm effect of that would be on the economy. The surest way of turning this country into a banana republic, with an inflation rate of 100%, 200%, 300% or 400%, would be to do anything to pressurize the economy, for example by asking for a lower interest rate than the economy is ready to accept. If the hon member is wise enough to choose the second avenue and says “Very well, get more money to help the farmers with interest subsidies”, he must tell us where that money is to come from.
The hon member’s next argument was that we should abolish GST on tractors and farm implements. Here are all the lists my hon colleague gave me. By the way, in this financial year R429 million was spent on subsidy aid to farmers.
That was the total departmental appropriation.
But there is surely overspending too. It seems to me as if hon members cannot do their arithmetic. The hon member for Lichtenburg did, after all, do some arithmetic during the referendum. That was when he said that in the new dispensation the Whites would end up with so little. According to him, general affairs account for 70% of the work, leaving 30% which he then divides by 3: Ten, ten, ten. Now the Whites have only 10%. [Interjections.] It is figures of that kind that do not tally.
How many own affairs Bills have there been this year?
That is not the criterion. I ask the hon member for Barberton to do his arithmetic and then, in a subsequent debate, give us his calculations involving his plans. What the hon member neglects to say is what happens to the GST payable on tractors and farm implements. Someone else could also go and buy a tractor for the purposes of holding demonstrations and not to farm with, or he could use the tractor to drive around town. [Interjections.] The point is, however, that the tractor can be used for purposes other than farming, and because it is therefore the end product of a slice of capital, we impose GST on it. The Government agrees with the hon member that GST on implements should fall away, and that is why the farmers are told that in the first year in which tractors are taken into service they can get a full deduction for them, GST included. The farmer therefore gets back all his GST and all his capital. [Interjections.] It is clear that the hon member’s calculations involving what the Government is doing for agriculture did not quite tally. Let me conclude my reply to him with the following point which I just want to emphasize. There are two hon colleagues of mine sitting in these benches whose life’s work it has been to make things as easy as possible for agriculturists in these tremendously difficult times. We know very well— the hon member said there could be a good harvest—that it would not be simply this one crop that would be needed to put agriculture back on its feet in the summer grain areas, but that many more good harvests would be needed. That is why we do not adopt any short-sighted policies on agriculture. These two hon colleagues of mine are giving that matter their close attention, but they are doing so in a systematic fashion and with the closest co-operation with organized agriculture.
The hon member for Welkom broached a very specific matter, and I just want to tell him that the Competition Board is examining a variety of the aspects the hon member mentioned. In due course they shall come to light with a report, and I think that in that regard the hon member will be receiving replies to his questions.
†I come to the hon member for Umbilo. If I heard him correctly, he pleaded for realistic and functional norms to be applied to the erection of state buildings, including particularly schools and hospitals. I should like to say to him that on that particular issue we are in complete agreement, because in no way can we even look beyond functionality in the circumstances in which we find ourselves today, for the near future or, for that matter, for ever. The increasing demands coming from the various sections of the population in South Africa, particularly with regard to education, will be such that we shall be able to afford only the bare minimum. In the Treasury, under the chairmanship of the Secretary to the Treasury, we have a norms committee which has done sterling work in connection with the drafting of basic norms and various standards which must be applied when any state building is designed and built. I invite the hon member to come across to our offices and have a conversation with the Secretary to the Treasury on this very issue. I think that what he will find there will make particularly interesting reading for the hon member.
Unfortunately it apparently went unnoticed by the hon members, because I did not hear anyone laugh, but when the hon member for Umbilo said that maybe a reduction of 5% in income was the answer, he referred to “honorary” members instead of to “honourable” members.
I changed it. I corrected it.
Yes, but it was a Freudian slip and it was very apt. I also think it was extremely funny, because if we should continue accepting cuts in our salaries, we would eventually become honorary members.
Business interrupted in accordance with Joint Rule No 43(2).
Question agreed to.
Bill read a third time.
Fair copy of Bill certified and presented to the State President for his assent.
The House proceeded to the consideration of private members’ business.
Mr Speaker, it is my privilege to move:
To begin with, I wish to refer to an idea which is often raised and which comes up in politics, too; viz that once we have promoted good attitudes towards one another, that will be more or less the final answer to the problems of South Africa. I wish to say here and now that no one has any objection to the promotion of good attitudes. Indeed good attitudes—and even, in some respects, better attitudes—are imperative. When we talk about good attitudes, this undoubtedly also applies to the relations among the various Houses of Parliament. In this regard I want to refer to a report in Die Burger of a few days ago according to which an hon Minister of one of the other Houses charged me with promoting or preaching race hatred, of supposedly inciting hatred. I sent a note to the hon Minister concerned in which I asked whether he could furnish me with the source of his allegations to the effect that I had incited hatred … [Interjections.] You see, Sir, the chickens come home to roost. That hon member has become so aware of sources that he even has to say that he has a whole lot of sources there. I ask the Minister what his source was for saying that:
I want to ask that hon Minister whether he did not perhaps read that in something written by a columnist. I am also interested in his allegation that South Africa will never revert to the position it was in in 1948. I asked him whether he could give me a reference to show I had alleged anything of the kind. I went on to tell him—since he appealed to me as a former clergyman—that I should like to hear from him what special Christianity was implied by a policy in accordance with which Black people will dominate the RSA and there will be no further self-determination for either Whites or Coloured. I have not yet received a reply from the hon the Minister. I want to refer in passing to a report which has come to my attention deriving from Mr Jac Rabie. I just wish to say to him that I am a White man; I am proud to be a White man and I am proud to participate in the struggle for the freedom and the survival of Whites in South Africa. [Interjections.] I also wish to say to him that his behaviour is the best way of bedevilling good relations among the various groups.
I now refer to the motion and the concept of partition. I wish to add, while I am referring to attitudes, that it should not be argued that attitudes, however important they may be, can ever replace vigorous steps to maintain a legal order among separate peoples and groups. I have a suspicion—and it sometimes it sounds to me that way—that when good attitudes are emphasized, what it amounts to is that the Whites have to display this good attitude to the extent of forfeiting specific rights in this country for the sake of a broad humanity in South Africa. I refer to a quotation from one prof C A W Manning, in which he states that one can hope to make a good family of the Flemings and the Walloons, but that that kind of effort was no longer made as far as the British and the Irish were concerned. He went on to say that a change of heart was a matter of life and death for White South Africa as a European community. He said that for the British, with their perfectionistic demands, and for Black Africa, with its different aspirations, there was no question of such a demand been made. He says:
His final sentence reads as follows:
That is all I wish to say about attitudes.
Our State President, when he was still Prime Minister, uttered a word of warning in this connection and I should like to associate myself with what he said at that time. He said in 1973:
[Interjections.] I agree with that, and I think he still says the same thing.
I now turn to the issue of partition, on territorial separation. [Interjections.]
Now, I wish to make a statement that if the hon members are now stumbling over the word “partition”, this concept is inherent in everything the NP does with regard to the establishment of separate political contexts for the Black peoples and in the separation—territorial separation—that the NP has effected between Whites and Blacks, between Black and Black and even territorial separation between White and Coloured and Asian as far as the Group Areas and other areas are concerned. [Interjections.]
I want to say that this word and this concept or idea is by no means alien to NP thinking. I think that one of the most well-known statements in this regard is contained in a speech made by Dr Verwoerd in 1959. I know that I am being historical in this context but, as Otto Fraenckel said, history is the only reality; the future still has to be made. It is the only reality. That is what was said and this is what happened.
Dr Verwoerd said:
I quote this because it was said by a celebrated leader and pioneer of the NP, a person who in my opinion was paid the highest tribute by his followers that a leader has ever been paid in South Africa. There was no shilly-shallying about that kind of statement, no saying that he had said too much.
I now refer to a few years later when, in 1961, the NP broadcast its propaganda. Let me quote just one sentence. It is the NP that says:
This summed up the thinking of the NP— that its territory belonging to the Whites, and that the Whites wanted to have the sole say in that territory. [Interjections.]
I wish to quote from an article by M C Botha which appeared in a book which is often being mentioned in this House—En nou die toekoms. I was very disappointed at Mr M C Botha because he tried to get away from what he had written. The title of the paragraph I wish to quote is specifically “Afrikaners en Kleurlinge”, and Mr M C Botha said the following:
In other words, the Bantu and the Whites are an example for the other groups as well; that is to say, of the idea of separation, separate homeland areas. I have already said that I am disappointed that Mr M C Botha tried to get away from this by saying that he certainly did not have the Coloureds in mind. However, he wrote this article and it appears to me as if he now wishes to get away from it.
On 5 November 1974 a former Prime Minister, Mr B J Vorster said the following:
I believe that this is a very significant statement in so far as Whites were identified, and a territory was identified which would, and had to be, governed by Whites.
Here is another important propaganda document of the NP in which I read the following:
The whole speech consists of quotations.
I can understand the hon member for Welkom being somewhat nervous, because this is the history of his party.
In a document dealing with political power sharing, the NP says the following:
I could quote more to this effect but I think the extracts I have quoted here are sufficient.
I should now like to refer to the speech of the State President in which he spelt out several guidelines, and indeed, did so more clearly than on previous occasions. On pages 2 and 3 he touches on a subject, and then a certain political formula is put forward. Page 2 concerns the “constitutional development in Black communities”. Then there is an intervening paragraph, and in a subsequent paragraph reference is made to “the diversity of our society”, “our country’s population”. In other words this speech does not only concern the constitutional future of the Coloureds but the constitutional accommodation of the Black community.
We now come to the political formula. The political formula is the following:
The PFP also says that:
The language and idiom used is the same language and idiom we heard in the preamble to the new dispensation, in which the Coloureds and Indians would not only obtain a kind of advisory say, but would ultimately be included as members of a parliament, in Houses of Parliament as joint rulers of South Africa, and as members of a full-fledged Cabinet of the whole of South Africa and joint rulers of the Whites as well. It is the same kind of terminology. He then adds:
On the next page there is something else again. On page 4 in the third paragraph the following appears:
The example is used of the Black local authorities and the Council for the Co-ordination of Local Government Affairs. Therefore there is no question of Blacks being excluded from the dispensation, but the example used, even at the local level, is the Council for the Co-ordination of Local Government Affairs, in which they have already been included. Before I come to page 9 one must first look at page 12 and read the first sentence at the top of the page:
This refers to the permanence of large numbers of Black people in the Republic of South Africa: Permanence, in other words, acceptance as a permanent part of the population of the Republic of South Africa. I do not believe there is any argument as to what that means.
Then I read on page 9:
This is a say, a joint say, in the decision-making of the country for all groups—“all the country’s people”. Surely this necessarily means that the Black people, who have now been accepted as permanent inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa, are going to have a part in this. When one speaks about “a say in decision-making” then that decision-making is a function of Parliament, as the highest authority. That decision-making is a function of the Cabinet, the Government of the country, and that can mean one thing only, viz that already on this page, by implication, the way is being prepared for the Black man, in whatever fashion, to obtain a say in the deliberations of Parliament and in the government of the country.
It is true that in the following paragraph they stall somewhat by saying: “It is neither desirable nor practicable to accommodate all communities in the same way.” That we have already heard. We know that it is not going to take place in the same way. The real question is, however: How, then? How are they going to obtain this say? How are they going to obtain a say in the decision-making process concerning all the matters affecting them? What is decided in Parliament affects them, what is decided in the Cabinet, affects them. They are now going to be given a say there; joint decision-making.
Then there is talk here of “different structures”. This may be so, but we ask what those structures are going to look like. Particularly if one turns to where this is taken further on page 12, in paragraph 3. There the hon the State President says:
In other words, the bonds of the people of Soweto with their homelands, the Zulus with kwaZulu, the Sothos with Lebowa or Qwaqwa, are being cut off as far as higher political expression is concerned. They are now citizens. They are now permanently in the Republic of South Africa and must now be accommodated here. It is put in the following way:
This, therefore, is not merely at the same level as Soweto’s Community Council; it is higher. It is now moving towards the provincial and national levels. He then goes on:
“… up to the highest level.” “Up to the highest level”! [Interjections.] What does that mean? [Interjections.] I am pleased the hon member for De Kuilen says: “Hear, hear!” To sum up, it states the following:
Firstly, according to this millions of Black people are permanent inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa, are they not?
Secondly, these millions of Black people cannot participate in the governments of the Black states. Therefore this must take place elsewhere. It must therefore take place within the Republic of South Africa. Therefore the Black people are obtaining a political say at a higher level than local management, even up to the highest level within the Republic of South Africa.
Now I say that one of two things is going to happen. Either the Black people are going to obtain their own Black representative body within the Republic of South Africa and a Black Cabinet of their own, in order to give them a say up to the highest level, or else they are going to obtain that say in the same Parliament and in the same Cabinet as ourselves.
The governing National Party has put forward the idea of one government in a country as an absolute requirement. The idea that there may be a Black House and a Black Cabinet with powers equivalent to those of this Parliament and this House, is therefore something it has rejected. There cannot be two governments in one country. There is only one government in a country, and at present that government is the multiracial coalition government that exists at present. The only choice is: Either the Blacks get a Cabinet, or they obtain a seat in this Cabinet, together with the Whites and the Coloureds and the Indians in this Parliament.
Yes, that is so. Apparently the hon member knows his algebra, or is it geometry?
Stating the obvious.
Yes, it is stating the obvious. However, out of the obvious come the conclusions. I hope that the hon the Minister is going to tell us frankly, but I do not know whether he is going to react. I want to ask him: Is it so obvious that the Blacks will come and sit in the same government which is going to govern the whole country? Is that obvious? Is that so obvious? Tell us that! [Interjections.]
Even in terms of the present constitution the Whites have been robbed of their sovereign parliament, and that despite the fact that assurance after assurance has been given, at various levels, that the Whites, who governed the country at that stage, would continue to govern the country. [Interjections.] Oh really, Mr Chairman, I know that there are certain hon members who are a little nervous because these things trouble them. [Interjections.] I know that there are hon members sitting there who appreciate a little joke, just to relieve the tension. [Interjections.] I like a lively debate. [Interjections.]
The establishment of one Parliament for Whites, Coloureds and Indians, the establishment of multiracial committees and the establishment of a multiracial Cabinet constitute political integration at the highest level. It is a moving away from, it is a total abandonment of the clear guidelines laid down by Dr H F Verwoerd when he said that the moment one has multiracialism, particularly in the government of one’s country, one is heading for unceasing (at least cold) “civil war” for one’s own survival and power.
Now I say that by introducing Black people into political structures, into local and regional governments, into decision-making up to the highest level, there is in principle even less possibility of White self-determination, and there are even fewer matters over which the Whites can decide alone, and there is even less possibility of an own White fatherland.
An ambiguity has crept into the approach of the NP. By way of the independence of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei we rejected the principle of one common fatherland for Black and White.
We rejected that specifically by implementing partition. By awarding political rights to Black people within the Republic of South Africa, however, an element of ambiguity enters the picture, and thereby the political rights of Whites, Coloureds and Indians are very gravely jeopardized. That is where the first step is taken on the road to a Black majority government. I do not believe that there can be any doubt whatsoever about this. After all, it is a matter of numbers, and this brings us once again to a statement by the late Dr Verwoerd which, I believe, is generally valid for all time, viz that ultimately the majority is decisive. Therefore we can say what we like about consensus and so on; ultimately the majority is decisive. In the functioning of this new dispensation we are already saying that we speak in terms of consensus. However, if consensus is not achieved, we say that the majority decides!
By way of this concession the principle of a unitary state for Blacks, Whites, Indians and Coloureds is openly accepted. It is openly accepted, and thereby the Black peoples in principle get, as it were, the best of two worlds. In fact, they obtain two states—a national state of their own, and the Republic of South Africa into the bargain! [Interjections.] We therefore have a ridiculous situation. If hon members were just to agree with this analysis of the matter we could begin to discuss the solution. However, if those hon members still think they have a White South Africa, if they are still going to say to the voters that the NP still supports separate development … [Interjections.] what does separate development mean? It means that we are confined to a few White islands in South Africa; and eventually they will not be White islands but a uniformly grey father-land. [Interjections.] We therefore have the ridiculous situation that the Black people get their own fatherlands with their own governments, and in addition they get a joint say over the Republic of South Africa, whereas the Whites, according to that approach, cannot lay claim to any fatherland of their own, whereas they have to abdicate their politics, whereas they are confined, residentially speaking, to White islands, perhaps even in grey uniformity, and are pushed out of their own living space and their own cultural context, impoverished by the expenditure of billions of rands on the consolidation of Black states, and so on. Hon members would do well to take another look at last year’s Main Budget and calculate what is being spent on the consolidation of the Black states. According to my quick calculation the amount is R2,5 billion spent on the development and the other interests of Black peoples within and outside South Africa.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?
Unfortunately my time is extremely limited. Therefore I shall not be able to reply to questions now. [Interjections.] Of course, I am not saying that too little money is being spent on the Whites. However, very little is being spent on securing for the White people their own White fatherland. It would be stupid, indeed unchristian, to watch Black and Brown, as our neighbouring peoples, living in wretched misery and poverty and do nothing about it. That is certainly not our approach. No-one lives for himself alone. Nor does any people live only for itself. [Interjections.] However I can see no wisdom or moral justification— and I say this in particular to the hon member for Smithfield, with whom I should like to hold another meeting one day—that Whites are being impoverished and ground down, while billions of rands out of their pockets are being utilized for the development of the Black states, while the Whites are being smothered—socially, politically and economically—in a minority position in a multiracial state.
What is misleading is this: In its approach the National Party uses the concept of separate development. What is misleading about this—in two respects—is, in the first place, its reference to own residential areas and schools, separate voters’ rolls and a separate community life, which provides only an illusion of security, because the country that is forfeited, is forfeited as a communal possession, as a fatherland for everyone, of which all are citizens and over which everyone has a joint say, with regard to the Government as well.
Next I should like to deal with the estimate provided by the Office of the former Prime Minister—now, of course, the State President—with regard to what a Coloured homeland according to the CP formula would supposedly cost. I regret to say this, but it is one of the most unscientific and ill-considered documents I have ever set eyes on.
Typically P W Botha! [Interjections.]
It is clear that my time has almost expired. Nevertheless I just wish to refer briefly to the following examples cited in support. We read in this inter alia the following, and I quote:
I now wish to ask the following question. If the Government proceeds with the implementation of its present policy, will it not have to allocate precisely the same amount in the Cape Peninsula for the same purposes? That is indeed the case. Therefore this is not an account which can be addressed to the CP, as representing the cost of its homeland policy; it is an account which the Government will in any event pay for the development, whether or not it is to be mixed, and whether or not it is to be a separate residential area for the Coloured people.
“Maatskaplike onderbou: R1 500 miljoen”. Here provision is made for an expansion of the water supply, but surely in any event one would have to supply water in the Cape Peninsula. The creation of additional job opportunities and industries is also included in the calculation: R10 500 million. Where does this figure come from? Then, too, there is the further question: Is the State going to do all this? What, then, becomes of private initiative? Will all this be a dead loss, or will funds be generated out of this as well?
Then, too, R2 000 million is to be spent on buying out White land on the Cape Flats. This may be regarded as the amount that will have to be paid out to buy land to establish Coloureds. Surely that price will have to be paid whether the land is purchased in the Cape Peninsula or outside it. However, this is not an account that the Government must submit to the CP.
I should very much like to go further by saying to the hon member for Prieska that his party began with a solution, viz to bring about partition among the various Black peoples and the Whites, and we say: Carry on with that policy! I also want to say to that hon member that if he could make a self-governing and independent state of Bophuthatswana, which, in 1959, consisted of a few separate tribes and areas—it is still spread across several areas—then his party has no leg to stand on in its opposition to a Coloured fatherland. The existence of the various core areas belonging to the Brown people today—these include the group areas of the Cape Peninsula, Atlantis and the rural areas—further confirms the fact that the NP does not have a leg to stand on. I make this statement because it is unjust to say to those people who already comprise 60% of the Brown population and live in those areas: You cannot have a fatherland of your own.
Mr Speaker, in the few minutes at my disposal, it is not possible to react to all the commonplaces and flights of the imagination that the hon member of Waterberg gave voice to. However, in his motion the hon member made certain statements to which I should like to react.
The first statement made by the hon member is that political integration already exists in South Africa. I took the trouble to consult the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal as to the meaning of the concept “political integration”. I find on page 633, in Volume IV of this source, that political integration, more particularly in the South African context, is defined as follows:
I repeat: “… sonder dat daar van owerheidsweë, op welke gronde ook al, gedifferensieer word.” If we refer to the Constitution of the RSA—Act 100 of 1983—what do we find there? We find that the Constitution makes provision inter alia for a separate legislative assembly for each of the three population groups concerned, each of which sits in a separate House of Parliament, each of which is separately clothed with exclusive legislative powers and responsibilities relating to the own affairs of the population group in question. We also find that the constitution provides for separate voters’ rolls and different and separate constituencies for the election of members of the various Houses for the three population groups in question. Provision is also made for a separate Minister’s Council for each of the three population groups, each of which is separately clothed with exclusive executive powers and responsibilities relating to the own affairs of the population group in question, and for an own, separate budget for the own affairs of each of the three relevant population groups. The Prohibition of Political Interference Act (Act 51 of 1968) also imposes a prohibition on interference by members of one population group in the political expression by members of another population group. Political expression takes place by way of separate political parties, and in terms of the Standing Rules and Orders of Parliament, no joint debates or voting ever takes place among the three Houses of Parliament.
I now ask the hon member for Waterberg; does this point to political integration, or does it represent irrefutable proof of the recognition and maintenance of group identity and group differentiation? If that is the case—and I contend that it is most certainly the case—then in accordance with the definition I quoted the outset, there can by definition be no question of political integration.
If it is conceded that the facts in question indicate, not political integration, but rather political separation, on what basis is it alleged that political integration already exists in South Africa?
The second statement made by the hon member for Waterberg is that it is the intention of the Government to expand the existing political integration and power-sharing to include Blacks. Even we were to accept, for argument’s sake, that the existing constitutional dispensation did entail political integration and power-sharing among the three population groups in question, it can still be asked what source or authority the hon member for Waterberg has for his allegation that it is the intention of the Government to include the Blacks in this constitutional dispensation.
Your President’s speech.
When asking for the hon member’s source I wish to caution him to make sure that he does have a source and that he quotes it correctly.
On the contrary, a fourth House of this Parliament for Blacks has repeatedly been unambiguously and authoritatively rejected by the Government. In the speech of the State President to which the hon member for Waterberg has just referred, he says in col 12 of Hansard 1985:
It is more than clear that it is not the Government’s intention to accommodate Black communities in the existing structures but, specifically, to establish own and separate structures whereby the Black people may be accommodated. That is the obvious implication of the State President’s words. Of course, the hon member for Waterberg is a master of the art of taking flights of the imagination and conjuring up images. However, anyone who argues against what I have just said, as the hon member for Waterberg did, is either ignorant or wilful or both.
A third statement made by the hon member is that partition is the only meaningful political solution for South Africa. Partition is no new idea. It is a well-known concept in South African politics. It is not the discovery of the hon member for Waterberg. It has been presented over the years in different forms and has been advocated as a solution to the political challenges presented by South Africa. However it has been rejected time and again by the voters of South Africa, because the South African community cannot be politically regulated by way of partition alone. Partition cannot provide answers to all the political questions of South Africa. Therefore partition, as a political policy, has consistently been rejected by the voters of South Africa in the past. Until recently partition was also rejected by members of the CP, who now advocate it.
Of course, the Government’s policy on Black people contains elements of partition; the Black homelands, the national and independent states. However, it is a fact that through the instrumentality of Whites, millions of Black people live permanently in the so-called White area outside the Black national independent states. Partition offers no answer to the question of how these people are to be accommodated politically. The problems of South Africa are too complexed and multi-faceted to be dealt with by a simple recipe like partition.
I therefore take pleasure in moving as an amendment to the motion of the hon member for Waterberg:
Mr Speaker, it has become customary, in the dialogue between the CP and the NP, for the members to make what are in fact caricatures of one another’s standpoints. However, I must say that in this private quarrel the hon member for Mossel Bay began by advancing an objective argument, although towards the end he began to flounder somewhat with regard to the issue of exactly where the NP stands nowadays in regard to the policy of partition. I wish to come back to that briefly later.
Many of the arguments advanced by the hon member for Waterberg were for years standard intellectual material of the average Nationalist. There is no question about that. They are the same arguments we used to hear repeatedly from hon members on that side of the House. What is now evident, is that the CP has finally hijacked the arguments relating to partition in White politics. [Interjections.] There are elements of partition arguments being bandied across the floor of this House between these two parties.
Before dealing with the specific arguments of the hon member for Waterberg, I wish to make a few general remarks about the principle of partition itself. Partition is a political option in all situations in which the self-determination of groups is at issue. It is not a new argument in South Africa.
It is only one of the options.
Yes, it is one of the options. It is an option which is considered and discussed. I call to mind, for example, Nigeria. Sudan, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka. There partition has been applied by various groups.
Interesting differences can be noted. We can draw a distinction between so-called enforced partition on the one hand and voluntary partition on the other. Usually one finds that where enforced partition is envisaged, the situation is that there is a minority which is the dominant group in a country, and it tries to solve the problem of self-determination by imposing partition. Examples one can call to mind are Northern Ireland and, of course, South Africa. Here the White minority tried for a long time to impose a form of partition. Voluntary partition, on the other hand, one usually encounters where a dominated minority tries to maintain itself by seeking to move away from a situation in which it is dominated by a majority or where it finds itself in a coalition of minorities. In this regard I call to mind, for example, the Ibos in Nigeria and the Tamils in Sri Lanka. I cannot think of any case of partition in which the line eventually drawn did not continue to be a source of conflict in that society. The moment the line is drawn it becomes a source of conflict. One need only look at the relationship between Pakistan and Bangladesh, between West and East Berlin, etc. I need not remind hon members of the problems and conflict we have here in South Africa with regard to the so-called borders of homelands, independent states, etc. They continue to be a source of conflict.
All this raises the question whether equitable partition in a society is a possible solution to the problem of self-determination. We can ask the same question in South Africa, viz whether equitable partition is possible here. If we look at the literature we see that it was Hoernlé in particular who, in the thirties, tried to apply the philosophy of partition to South Africa. He said that there was nothing wrong with it in principle and that it could be a just dispensation if it complied with certain requirements, as long as there was voluntary agreement among the groups and as long as the groups were satisfied with the way in which that society was divided among the various groups. Experience has taught us that where the line is drawn is usually where the fighting stops, and that as soon as the line is drawn, peace prevails for a short while, after which the fighting simply begins again. The line will either be justified by falling back on history and saying that one’s own group won the war, and therefore one is entitled to this or that part, or there will be a reliance on historical statements and arguments of various kinds. One need only listen to the debate between the Swazis and the Zulus concerning Ingwavuma to realize that one needs three doctors’ degrees in history to ascertain who is in fact telling the truth about what exactly happened in that region.
When one looks at the history of partition in South Africa, the only document of which I am aware which tried to advocate a partition line for South Africa in a logically and ethnically justified manner was the article written by Jurgen Blenck and Klaus van der Ropp, in which they considered the gross domestic product in South Africa on the basis of the various magisterial districts. They argued that if the gross domestic product was divided up, one could draw a line from Upington down to Port Elizabeth such that the Blacks would live above the line and the Whites, Coloureds and Indians below the line. They justified this on the grounds of the capacity of the country to yield more or less the same gross domestic product on both sides of the line. If we go further and say that the CP seek to propose a policy of equitable partition for South Africa and accept the division of Blenck and Van der Ropp, then they will be in a position to justify it morally. They will also be in a position to justify it economically, because this is not to the detriment of the groups. They would be able to tell the world that they could not be accused of racism, exploitation, etc. However, is this a feasible solution? If so, hon members of the CP should try to sell this policy. They must now go and explain to the farmers in Northern Transvaal that they must leave there. They must leave and come and live here in the Cape. I do not think that they will win many seats on that side of the line. No party that tries to do that would succeed. That is the kind of dilemma that hon members of the Government faced from the outset when they tried to sell consolidation proposals.
In terms of your solution as well.
I am coming to that now. I am now discussing the motion of the hon member or Waterberg. The point I am making is that there is no obvious, equitable and practicable solution for South Africa entailing partition. The question is now: Why is partition really necessary? Why do the hon members of the CP advocate partition? Why does the hon the leader of the party advocate it? Their reason is a valid reason. It is a valid reason for any diverse society, because it is a matter of the self-determination of groups, the maintenance of identity, etc. However, if it is not possible to bring about a just and practicable partition and one persists with this idea, then one’s efforts to maintain partition represent a threat to the self-determination one is trying to maintain. In that case self-determination itself is in jeopardy.
It is pointless our spending many millions of rands or giving people false hope as to the feasibility and practicability of partition, particularly if, in the process of implementing it, that partition becomes a threat to the self-determination which one initially tried to protect. Take, for example, the position in which hon members of the CP find themselves now. As I said, they have hijacked the NP’s policy of partition. They have taken it over. They say: “We stand by the original policy of separate development of the NP.”
We are the extension piece.
Yes, they stand for the extension piece of the original policy of separate development. I just wish to put the following questions to the hon members of the CP: Do they really think that the NP did not do everything in its power for at least 30 years to implement this policy of partition?
Not these leaders.
No, that does not matter. Let us, then, forget about the present State President and the present Cabinet. Did the NP not do everything in its power up to and including 1979? Or do hon members think that Mr Vorster did not try? [Interjections.] After all, they tried for 30 years.
I want to ask a second question. Do those hon members really think that the present Government, from 1979 up till the present, would have abandoned their partition policy if they had seen that it was working? [Interjections.] Do hon members think they would have said: “Here we have a policy that is working, but we think it is not good enough and we are going to drop it. Well, we are now going to look for—what is the new word—‘co-operative co-existence’ because we no longer like separate development.” Why did it not work? That is the question we must discuss. It did not work because it was never planned as a full-fledged partition policy. Dr Verwoerd did not believe in partition when this policy was announced. I want to quote from Hansard of 1951, col 7817, what Dr Verwoerd said. He was attacking the United Party because they had told him that he was speaking about separate states, and he said:
The United Party added all this, according to Minister Verwoerd.
Now you are talking like a Nat. [Interjections.]
But that is exactly what I am saying. I am now talking like a Nat because I am quoting what Dr Verwoerd said. Let me just finish quoting.
It is a Nat who is speaking.
Yes, it is a Nat who says all this. Let me proceed:
I shall quote up to that point.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?
I have very little time. The hon member has an opportunity to speak just after me. How can he come and steal my time here? He can react in a moment.
The first point I want to make, therefore, is that it was never conceptualized as a policy of partition in the full sense of the word. However, I concede that it did develop along those lines later. Secondly, it could not work because it was too expensive. It is as simple as that. It was, quite simply, too expensive. We know that on one occasion the then Deputy Minister Hennie van der Walt told us in this House that even if we were to consolidate all the relevant areas in terms of the 1975 proposals, it would cost us R6 000 million, and that by doing so we should not have increased the productivity of those areas by 0,5%. He said that we lacked the money to do so. I think we have still less money to do that now. It is simply too expensive. Thirdly, it could not work because it denied the economic realities of South Africa. Fourthly, it could not work because it had in fact become a threat to the self-determination of the Whites. That is the irony of the whole affair. It denied the demographic realities of our situation. Moreover, it cannot work for the simple reason that it is rejected by the vast majority of Blacks.
Let me say here and now that logically and ethically, the people who believe in partition cannot summarily be described as racists. I think it is unjust to say that because a person advances an argument in favour of partition, he is a racist. However, there can be no doubt on one score, and that is that the consequences of the half-baked partition policy of the NP over 35 years were in essence, racist. If that were not so, why should we be saddled with the problems we have today? Therefore we must make a plan to get away from them and that, too, is why I can understand that we are moving away from them.
It is ironical that all the arguments I have just advanced against the CP cannot be used against them by the NP because the NP is as yet unable to establish whether it still partially believes in partition or not. The hon member for Mossel Bay said that it was a question of a little partition here and a little “co-operative co-existence” there. [Interjections.] That is the dilemma. At present the Government falls between two stools in this regard. One can achieve self-determination by way of partition—yes, one could argue along those lines—but one also gets self-determination through negotiation. There are two possibilities. [Interjections.] One can have one’s own independent state, but then, too, one can have an entity which is able to co-operate within an overall framework. These are two possibilities on which a decision must be taken. One can abolish section 16 of the Immorality Act, but one still wants one’s separate group areas, etc. Therefore, the dilemma that the NP must work out for itself is: Partition or non-partition?
May I ask the hon leader a question? In terms of co-operation, will the hon leader tell me what his standpoint is concerning the existence of independent states cut off from the rest?
If I have time, I shall do so. If I do not do so now, I shall do so later. I promise that; I am not trying to evade the question. [Interjections.]
The Government crossed the Rubicon by way of the State President’s speech. It is an important speech. It is a speech which gives direction. The NP now find themselves in new political pastures. They are now sniffing the breeze a little, and it is a new breeze that is blowing there, because we are now talking about the politics of negotiation. In the politics of negotiation we do not speak about one-sided partition, about one-sided citizenship, about one-sided group membership or about enforced membership of groups. If this politics of negotiation is to succeed, then at least three things are essential: Firstly, the Government must recognize that there will be only one constitution for the Republic of South Africa. In that one constitution, common citizenship without domination will have to be worked out. That will have to be the starting point for negotiation about a constitution.
Secondly, they must realize that there can be no statutory discrimination in such a constitution.
Thirdly, we shall have to recognize that there must be voluntary association of individuals and groups. These, in passing, are the most important points of difference between this party and the governing party. The lack of voluntary association; statutory discrimination concerning which the Government does not wish to make a statement to specify in which direction we must move; and the fact that the Government is still vacillating about the possibility of a little partition and a few umbrella bodies there, and one Parliament here.
Clear guidelines must be spelt out if the politics of negotiation are to succeed. However, if there is one thing that will cause the politics of negotiation to fail it is a lot of constitutional principles that look like a potpourri; in which one tries to say one thing to one group of Whites and to Blacks, and something else to the rest; when one tries to negotiate at different levels and in terms of different points of departure. Therefore I say to this Government that I cannot support the motion of the hon member for Waterberg. I cannot see how partition can afford South Africa a solution. However, it is essential that we should spell out clearly and without ambivalence what the basis for negotiation politics is to be in the future.
Mr Speaker, I am quite disappointed by the performance a short while ago by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. [Interjections.] I was not expecting the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition to agree with us, but since he left the academic world 12 years ago to enter the world of practical politics, I certainly did not expect him to tell us today that partition cannot work because land cannot be divided fairly.
I did not say it would not work; I said it would only work if the land were divided fairly.
Yes, but the hon member did imply that it was impossible to do so.
A few years ago the hon member for Benoni said to this House:
Now that hon academic—the Leader of the Official Opposition—finds himself in a predicament: Partition cannot take place on a just basis, nor can power-sharing. This is where one ends up when one is dealing with academics. Now there is no solution. That is why it is a good thing to have parties like the CP, which is practical and can offer a solution. It has, in fact, become obvious that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is the spiritual leader of the NP. He has become their spiritual leader, because the Minister who is the Chairman of the Committee said to him: Please tell me what your policy on co-operation is with regard to the Black states? That hon Minister must, after all, establish a policy for that particular committee. [Interjections.]
The conduct of the hon member for Mossel Bay, however, takes the cake. He now tells us that integration is not envisaged in the Constitution. Can that hon member tell me, in all honesty, whether the present Cabinet is a separate or an integrated Cabinet? He does not serve on the Cabinet and hence does not know, or so it would appear to me. The President’s Council is going to take final decisions, but can the hon member for Mossel Bay tell me whether it is a separate or an integrated President’s Council? Can he tell me whether the standing committees are separate or integrated? [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?
Speaker, I have only 15 minutes at my disposal.
The hon member puts questions to me, but does not give me a chance to react.
The hon member can answer me without interrupting me.
Today there is no arguing about the fact that the new Constitution has brought about integration in South Africa; it has brought about power-sharing, as the State President said. [Interjections.] I must admit that hon member is right. The process of integration has not run its course yet. It has not furnished yet; it has just begun. That process is, however, in the process of being completed; in fact, the State President has indicated a further step to be taken. In his opening address of this session he announced a further step in carrying out that process when he said the Blacks would be brought into the country’s existing political system. The State President also said the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning’s special Cabinet Committee should make recommendations about structures which include the Blacks. The State President’s opening address therefore leaves no room for doubt— the Blacks residing outside their states are acknowledged as being part of South Africa. They will not exercise their political rights in their own states, but here in South Africa, and that hon Minister must announce overlapping structures in terms of structures in terms of which this can be done so as to include the Black people. This is consequently political power-sharing. There is no doubt about this, and that is why I say Government policy is in the process of evolving. It is, however, not a policy of separate development; it is a policy of integration that is in the process of evolving. It is influencing the whole spectrum of the life of our people. In fact, we see this happening every day.
The speech of the hon member for Mossel Bay is typical of the speeches made by members of the Government when they inform the electorate about South African politics. When the history of this part of our country’s development is recorded, I believe the main chapter will deal with the fact that the Government of President P W Botha succeeded, in an unbelievable way, in deceiving the White electorate of South Africa under the cloak of nationalism. [Interjections.] The speech of the hon member is a specific example of this. The hon member today made the statement here that there is no integration inherent in the Constitution. Prior to the referendum the State President did exactly the same thing. He told the students of the University of Pretoria: The same people governing you now will govern you in the new dispensation. That, however, is untrue. Is the presence of Minister Hendrickse and Minister Rajbansi in the Cabinet absolutely without significance? Are they simply two spare cogs in the Cabinet? Or are they full-fledged members of the Cabinet? So surely we do not have the same people governing us. Indeed, Coloureds and Indians are also governing Whites today.
Those hon members told the electorate about own affairs. Everything is own affairs. Today, however, own affairs are an absolute trifle, and it is not at all necessary to try and prove this statement any further. The hon members on the other side are therefore deceiving the electorate. The Minister of the Budget said in the House yesterday that the CP was unsympathetic towards people of colour. That is untrue. We say that we want full control over the taxes the Whites have to pay. This does not mean that we are not prepared to help other people. When any one of those hon members does charity work and give a donation, does he tell the people concerned they can now become joint owners of his undertaking and decide jointly how big his donation should be? We say we are prepared to help other people, within our limits, of our capabilities, but we are not prepared to give up our say over ourselves.
The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development was the chairman of the committee concerned and knows that the hon members of our party present on that committee did not vote against the preamble to the Constitution, but even so he tells all the world we voted against it. Not to mention the hon member for Turffontein who put pen to paper after my hon Leader had challenged him. That is why I want to tell the hon members that the most significant chapter on the history of these times will deal with the electorate having been deceived by this Government. This Government and its Leader, the State President, will not, in the history books, the books written in his lifetime, be placed among the great men who made history in South Africa and whom we have regarded as heroes in the past. That final chapter is already taking shape.
I should like to read to the hon House what I read in The Cape Times a while ago:
This is the category, scheme of things, in which President Botha’s name is already being mentioned. [Interjections.] I want to tell you that he will eventually be a great figure among the Kitcheners, the Milners, the Hofmeyrs and the Bothas who did not place South Africa on a road to self-determination, order and peace.
Now those hon members are asking what the CP is going to do. Let me tell hon members that they told the electorate two or three days before the referendum that the CP and the ANC were as thick as thieves. That made the referendum take a very strange turn. They placed us with the ANC, knowing full well that it was a blatant untruth. Nothing can be further from the truth. Who is crawling to Nelson Mandela today, begging him to come out of jail? [Interjections.] Who has already set members of the ANC free? And now I say …
You are doing some political mud-slinging.
No, Sir, that hon Minister’s Leader and their Minister of Foreign Affairs say that if the ANC abandons violence, it will be allowed to participate in the political decision-making process in South Africa. The CP is opposed to the ANC, not only on the grounds of violence, but also on the grounds of its ideology. We are against the ANC because it is communistic and atheistic. A CP Government would oppose the ANC and would not negotiate with it, as the Government is now doing. Moreover, we would not allow the outside world to dictate to us. We would not go looking for trouble with the outside world, but the Government has allowed itself to fall into the hands of the Americans who are blackmailing it into coming up with a solution, and they will never accept a settlement of which the ANC is not a part. That is why the Government has to get the leader of the ANC out of jail, because they cannot negotiate with the ANC while its leader is still in jail.
Shame on you!
No, I am not ashamed. Those hon members say I am not speaking the truth. Their Leader, the State President, however, says himself:
The State President himself says that he has been placed under pressure at every turn and from every quarter. What South Africa needs is a Government which does not allow itself to be placed under pressure by everyone, a Government that does not ask the Americans and the rest of the world how South Africa is to be governed. We need a Government that asks: What are the demands of South Africa and how should South Africa be governed to bring about stability, order and peaceful progress? We do not need a Government that allows itself to be pressured and blackmailed.
A CP Government would acknowledge the fact that there are different peoples in South Africa. There is no doubt about that. The Black peoples are peoples; the Indians are a people; the Coloureds are already a people—there is scientific proof; and the Whites have functioned as a “staatsvolk” for the past 70 or 80 years. That is why we say that every people must be acknowledged and be able to have its own territory. We have indicated which territory could serve as the heartland of the Coloureds, an area which could be extended. The Black states are there, and after the Coloured, Indian and Black areas had been allocated, what remained would be White South Africa. [Interjections.] We say that every people must have full sovereignty and the full right to self-determination over its territory. Joint matters must be dealt with on an inter-state basis between the Governments of those states. No collective Government structures, where joint decision-making takes place, would be instituted by a CP Government.
We would introduce an active programme to allow each people maximum fulfilment in its own territory. We would succeed in doing so by a strong decentralization programme which it would not be possible to cancel by other measures such as those the Government now has. Statistics indicate that 50% of the Blacks living outside the National States are living in districts adjacent to the national states. That is where we would begin. We would put a stop to this enormous urbanization process for Blacks which the Government has instituted. We would begin in the districts where 50% of those people are living by providing transport adjacent to their states and by encouraging urbanization within those states. In this way the CP would settle each people maximally within its own territory, where it can govern itself and be a totally free people. The states will be able to conduct a dialogue with one another as free, disciplined people.
Mr Speaker, it was really with such high expectations that I looked forward to the speech of the hon member for Lichtenburg. I was convinced that the hon member for Waterberg would explain to us the dangers of integration and why partition would be necessary in South Africa. I had hoped that he would instruct the next speaker, the hon member for Lichtenburg, to tell us what partition was, what they understood by partition and what it meant. I hoped he would tell us how it would be accomplished and where in South Africa partition would be effected, and what instruments would be used to bring about partition in South Africa. What, however, did we hear from the hon member for Lichtenburg this afternoon? With his usual highhanded arrogance he again simply put up a few rag dolls which he could shoot down again in public. I do not think it at all possible to react to the hon member’s speech in a meaningful way, because one would only be getting the same dirt on one’s hands as that which the hon member is usually rummaging in.
Even so, I want to say one thing with certainty, and that is that the right-wing radical party has changed dramatically over the past two years. If someone again tells me that the right-wing radical party is opposed to change, then I can only say he is violating the truth. There was, as in many other cases, a volte face on partition. Two years ago the method of bringing about partition involved the massive, forced displacement of people. The CP said this quite frankly in its election pamphlets. Now it has changed to the deepfreeze theory. [Interjections.] The CP says this specifically in one of its election pamphlets distributed in Parys during the by-election campaign. [Interjections.]
Bring that pamphlet and show it to us!
Very well, I shall. I will definitely bring the pamphlet for the hon member to see. His party issued the pamphlet in which this statement was specifically made. What, however, has the hon member just told us? I maintain that this approach on the part of the right-wing radical party has now changed to what I want to call the deep-freeze theory. I do not know what they would like to have frozen. Whether they want to have the numbers of Blacks as a whole frozen, or only a portion of them, I do not know. Exactly what their approach in this regard is I do not know either. What is important, however, is that the right-wing radical party is telling us, with this deepfreeze theory it has, that it acknowledges the permanence of Black people in South Africa. With some of his references the hon member for Lichtenburg has just touched lightly on this aspect. They are no longer saying all Blacks should be accommodated in the Black homelands. Nor are they saying any longer all Coloureds must be accommodated in so-called Hexania. This is no longer said. So they acknowledge that Blacks and Coloureds are also going to be living in South Africa on a permanent basis.
When the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition had the floor, he brought up a very important point. It entailed the difference in approach of the parties in this House when it came to the concepts of self-determination and co-determination. The right-wing radical party only believes in self-determination. But of course it does not call it self-determination. In an earlier debate in this House it denigrated the concept of own affairs to such an extent it was actually funny. This happened a day or two ago. That party does not believe in own affairs. All it believes in is sole determination. This is all the right-wing radical party believes in.
The PFP, on the other hand, does not believe that self-determination is possible in South Africa. It does not believe that self-determination should be sought as a solution in South Africa. It only believes in the concept of joint determination. Of course they do not call it co-determination. Whether it is a system of one man, one vote in a unitary state, a geographic federation or whatever, the fact remains that the PFP only believes in the other extreme, which is that only one solution is possible in South Africa, namely co-determination or co-responsibility.
I believe that there is no one single solution to South Africa’s constitutional problems. We in the NP believe that the solution lies in partition per se, as we see it. In fact, here are our monuments as proof of this: The independent national states; the self-governing national states, which ultimately will all gain independence. We acknowledge, however, that there exists in South Africa the need for co-responsibility. With regard to the Black people, too, there are matters of common concern which affect us all. The hon members of the right-wing radical party were still members of the National Party when our leaders used concepts such as that of a council of states. This concept was used by Dr Verwoerd himself. They were also still members of the National Party when concepts like that of a constellation of states were used. Many things, among others the customs union, which has been in existence for many years, are all instruments aimed at dealing with the co-determination aspect. No matter what those hon members did, and even if they ultimately succeeded in bringing about total partition, South Africa would eventually force such a party—a party which regards partition as the only solution—to implement co-determination and mutual consultation with regard to our neighbouring states. That is how simple it is.
The hon member for Lichtenburg is a agriculturist. He therefore knows what foot-and-mouth disease is. He should consequently tell the hon member for Waterberg that foot-and-mouth disease is not a sickness which someone suffers who talks too much and walks about too much at night. It is a sickness which afflicts animals and which very easily spreads across the boundaries of states. So whether the hon member for Waterberg wants to or not, he will be compelled to consult Mozambique and all the other self-governing states around us on this matter. He will have to take certain decisions, in conjunction with those people, about how to control the spread of a disease such as foot-and-mouth disease. He has no choice, whatever he might do! In Southern Africa he will have to attend to the aspect of co-determination. [Interjections. ]
The National Party believes it has a calling. The National Party believes that it has an important calling even today. The National Party has already been in existence for 70 years, and today it is still as dynamic, as lively, as 70 years ago. To my mind the NP is the only party in South Africa which can find the solutions to the new challenges we are faced with. It is the NP’s intention to fulfil its responsibility towards South Africa in order to ensure peace and security for all in the country in a situation in which one group will not dominate another. The State President’s recent opening address, with the pronouncements it contained, was part of this exciting development lying ahead of us. We intend to fulfil that responsibility on behalf of South Africa.
Mr Speaker, I will come back almost immediately to the internecine strife raging between the CP and the NP, but first I want to move a further amendment in order to clearly indicate the viewpoint of this party.
†Mr Speaker, I move as a further amendment:
I move this amendment to try to bring the debate back to the realities of South Africa from this cloud cuckoo-land into which it tends to float every now and again—the belief that South Africa can be so partitioned that everyone can live in his own comfortable, independent little homeland and be happy. I do not know how anybody can take this seriously, but here we sit and debate earnestly about a concept that is totally crazy. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has spent time this afternoon seriously debating it, but I do not intend to spend any time debating it because, like a geographic federation of states in South Africa, it can only be talked about if it is defined.
In terms of boundaries.
Yes, in terms of boundaries. The CP has given no indication even of the ratio of land, the ratios of the areas, it will make available to the different states, let alone define them. Moreover, the PFP has also not tried to define those states which will form part of their geographic federation.
There is only one hope for South Africa. I believe South Africa has taken the first hesitant steps to implement it. I should like to emphasize that it has only taken the “first” hesitant steps. I do not run away from the consequences and I do not know why the Government speakers are running away from the consequences. Why do they try to duck the fact that this country has embarked upon a new road to the future? It is not busy with an “ontplooiing” of old policy. It is a new road to the future which offers the only hope for a peaceful future. That road is one of joint responsibility. It is a road of joint responsibility among all races for the future of this country. I have spoken often—hon members will find it in Hansard—of co-operative co-existence. I see now that the State President’s speech is published under the headline “Co-operative Co-existence”. I am glad when our ideas are used, even to the taking over of a phrase.
This concept of the future, what I call the new unity of South Africa, does not only comprise joint responsibility but joint loyalty too—joint patriotism and joint dedication to the same goals in this country. This new future can only come about if it is based upon the consensus of the centre among all races, including Blacks. It cannot come about by the tyranny of the majority being imposed. Any system which will lead to majority rule can only lead to the tyranny of the “have-nots” who will use that majority rule and the power they have to try to grab for themselves from the “haves” what they have not enjoyed in the past.
Then there is the idea of partition. Even the CP admits that there will always be Blacks in their White South Africa, that there will always be Coloureds in their White South Africa and that there will always be Indians in their White South Africa. In that admission alone they admit that there will be an inevitable conflict with aliens in their own land, in the land of their birth; those who have become aliens with no say and no right of participation in the joint decision-making on the issues which affect their daily lives. When there are no rights and there is no participation in decisionmaking, one has an inevitable conflict.
I want to issue this warning particularly to the CP: Let us learn from history. In Germany there was a polarization between the radical right and the communist left. In the centre there were moderate, politically responsible Germans, but they bickered and quarrelled among themselves. They disagreed over personalities and leadership and over minor differences. The centre in Germany emasculated itself and became impotent and lost. One was left then with the rise to power of a man called Adolf Hitler. He only came to power because the moderates of Germany could not find one another and because they allowed that polarization.
This sideline fight between the Nats and the Conservatives is something which we cannot afford. The real enemy, the real danger in South Africa, is not even the Prog left—it is beyond them. It is the real left of the ANC, the UDF and the Communist Party, the coalition of those three elements and those who go along with them.
South Africa dare not allow the moderates in this country to be divided. South Africa dare not allow that coalition of the left which will lead to a communist government if it ever takes power, to happen any more than we dare consider a Herrenvolk master race in South Africa exercising baasskap over all those whom they regard as different or inferior to them.
That also brings a warning to the Official Opposition to watch their flirting on the left, to watch what happens when they encourage organizations which out of folly or ignorance or emotion or sentiment get themselves involved with the far left. They must come out firmly against the excesses and not always to be on the side of the agitator, on the side of the person who is fighting the legal authority.
Equally to the CP, the speech of the hon member for Lichtenburg was plucking at the tender strings of the deepest emotions of the Afrikaner. We cannot afford to play with our future. We cannot afford to exploit those emotions at the cost of eventually finding South Africa polarized with a force none of us in this House wants to see coming into power.
Mr Speaker, I may perhaps refer briefly to one or two of the hon member for Durban Point’s arguments during the course of my speech.
I want to demonstrate to the NP today in what way the party, with the help of its own spokesmen and speakers, is destroying the policy of separate development, parts of which the NP members tried to defend here today. I have the evidence here to substantiate this. Before I come to that I want to refer to the document I have here. It contains words spoken by the late Dr D F Malan, the great co-founder of the policy of separate development. When he spoke these words he could also have had the hon leader of my party’s motion in mind. Dr Malan said:
I want to break off here to say that I wonder whether the NP Government and the State President are aware of how many thousands of South Africans today live with the worry, with the fear: Is it not too late in South Africa?
It is being said that several of the like-minded people who were with the State President at the Carlton and Good Hope Conferences are now packing their bags and leaving the country. Why? They believe that under the present Government South Africa has neither political nor economic stability. [Interjections.] The late Dr Malan went on to say:
That was the late Dr Malan. Those were his words because he believed in what is stated in my hon leader’s motion.
The words of this motion ought to be music to the ears of a good 127 members on that side of the House. They ought to be because those hon members grew up with that political ideology. Surely the hon members knew it and propagated it? Surely the hon members gave active expression to it in their lives? It ought to sound good to them.
These words sound fit and proper to 18 hon members in this House because it is our political creed. We believe in it in the same way as the hon members of the NP believed in it all these years. [Interjections ] It is our conviction, our life, our belief, our idealism, our driving force and our calling to fulfil the words in this motion.
Our leaders—Malan, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster—saw it this way. Malan believed in this and worked for it, and because of these convictions he was abused and he tasted defeat. Eventually, however, he triumphed, and tasted victory. He laid the foundations for Strydom and Verwoerd en Vorster to continue building. But what happened then? In February 1982 the then Prime Minister, now State President, tried to break down this policy of separate development. I want to prove it. I have here the Sunday Times of 8 July 1984 in which there appeared a huge sketch of Alan Paton with, in front of him, a small picture of the State President busy opening a grave. The inscription on the tombstone is: “Liberal policies”. The caption to the picture reads: “Oh the irony! What we liberals were doing in 1968, P W is trying to do now.” Hon members will say this is just the Sunday Times, but now I want to quote to them what their spokesman said. I want to quote what one of the NP’s great mentors said. This opinion-maker of the NP is of course Dr Willem de Klerk. He is a confidant of the State President, and a man whose political views the State President values very highly. He spoke about Bishop Tutu and said, inter alia:
I want to quote from yet another spokesman of the NP, namely Mr Harold Pakendorf, who wrote in Die Vaderland of 23 August 1984: “Tot siens aan die NP-Regering—en dit is net die begin.” He continued:
Has the NP ever tackled him on this point or repudiated it? He also said:
That is what he said about the NP. Mr J S Liebenberg, a columnist for the same newspaper, wrote the following on 3 December 1984:
The latter, of course, refers to the by-election in Primrose. The heading of his column is: “Primrose is nie rede om welgemoed te wees nie”. Primrose is no reason for the NP to be cheerful. About the by-election he said:
I can continue in this vein to prove how the rank-and-file members of the NP have become weary; to such an extent that their election organization no longer works because they no longer believe in their cause. [Interjections.]
On the other hand, the CP believes as Dr Malan believed because we have a leader who has also followed the path that a good leader ought to follow. He began in the pulpit. He was a newspaper editor and also leader of the strongest NP province in the RSA, namely the Transvaal, just as Dr Malan was in his day leader of the strongest NP province in the Union of South Africa, namely the Cape. I want to say today that the CP will follow this leader of ours. We shall raise the flag so that it can flutter inviolate and the Whites can once again say with conviction: Here in White South Africa live the Whites who govern themselves, and we allow others to govern themselves as the Whites govern themselves. It is possible when one follows such a leader.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Waterberg began by referring to correspondence between him and members of the Ministers’ Council and another administration. He also referred to speeches made in other Houses. I suggest that it is a subject that he had better go and settle with them. The hon member referred, however, to sources. On 13 February 1985 the hon member for Waterberg made an attack on a speech in which I had made reference to certain of his actions. I do not intend discussing that now, but I shall go into the matter at a later stage. What I want to say now, is that the hon member for Waterberg has a pathological inability to deal with the facts and the truth. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Lichtenburg has made his excuses to the Whip as he cannot be here, but look at the manner in which he dals with the truth. He says that I accused the CP of voting against the Preamble to the Constitution.
You know what happened in the subcommittee, don’t you?
Of course I know. I have the information. In the first place there was a motion that the Constitution should have a preamble. The voting was recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The hon member for Rissik and the hon member for Brakpan voted against the principle of a preamble. In the second place, amendments were moved by the hon members of the PFP and also by the hon member for Durban Point. According to these minutes, which have been certified as the correct minutes, both the hon members voted for the amendments of the PFP, and against the preamble. A third vote then took place. This concerned the preamble itself. Once again—I refer hon members to the minutes—the hon members did not vote against the principle of the preamble but against the preamble itself.
You should be ashamed of yourselves!
Then those members come along and claim to have acted honourably!
You voted against religious freedom.
Morrison, you understand nothing about this matter.
Really, Sir, I did not interrupt any of the speakers in the debate.
Sir, with all due respect, I cannot take over your function of calling the speakers to order.
I want to begin by saying that I welcome the fact that we have a motion before us that we can discuss. If we go back in history, we shall see that the most important influencing factor which dominated the social, economic and political development of our country, was the composition of the population in the country. Without being prophetic, I contend that for a very long time, motions will not be the most important factor. The reason for this is that there are no final blueprints for the regulation of a community like South Africa’s.
The motion of the hon member for Waterberg bears on the central problem of the politics of our country. Inevitably all parties, within and outside this House, have a specific policy reflecting their view of how it is possible to try to regulate this community. If we did not refer in the first place to the essence, the fundamental features, of the political questions in South Africa, I should not be able to state the Government’s point of view in this particular connection. What are they? I think general unanimity should exist amongst all hon members in the House—and I should like to conduct a debate on that level if I can—that our central problem is that we must try to find an acceptable and reasonable formula, if it can be found, according to which the interests and the often divergent expectations, demands and aspirations of the different population groups can be reconciled in a constructive and harmonious way. This is the essence of our problem. In the first place this problem results from the heterogeneous composition of the population. This is intensified or strengthened, however, by the fact that a few of the sharpest dividing factors or—to formulate it differently—a few of the most sensitive causes of potential group conflict, must be reconciled historically within the same political system in the circumstances of this country. I am referring to race, ethnicity, culture, class differences, and development levels.
Not one of us in the House can stand up and say that he has the final and complete answer to that. On behalf of this side I am prepared to say today that nobody has a final blueprint for the political problems of South Africa. Nor do I know of anyone in history who could claim to have had that. Before we can conduct a meaningful discussion about the solutions, as I see it, we must make sure of the facts, not in terms of a vague description of multinationalism or multiracialism, but taking the facts into account. Therefore we must quantify this multinationalism for once.
I think we must acquaint ourselves with the course of history, and the historical and existing settlement patterns of the country’s population. We must remember that it is not possible to put the facts of the country in a strait-jacket and to try and design a political model from that. Our responsibility is different. But, if we can and if time allows, we shall have to design a model which can be applied to the factual conditions of the country—conditions which are not changeable, because there are some that are.
In his motion the hon member for Waterberg makes two basic mistakes in his premise. The wording of this motion—and I do not mean this in a humiliating way—involuntarily reminds me of a well-known figure in Spanish literature, a rural nobleman who attacked windmills with great enthusiasm. He wanted to save people, but in the process he became entangled in the sails of the windmills. If there is one costly lesson which we—or at least some of us—must still learn daily, it is that it is impossible for us to solve the problems of our country by piling concepts up in the air, to which we then attribute certain meanings willy-nilly to soothe our preconceived ideas and sense of self-satisfaction. It is the easiest thing on earth—and I do not say this reproachfully—to flee from reality, or to pretend it does not exist. It is much easier to design a model for the reality one wants than for the reality as it is. [Interjections.]
Let us look at the basic mistakes that I think the hon member has made in his motion. We must at least try to argue rationally with one another about this.
I want to assert that in the first place, the motion displays the same misconception as other, regularly heard points of view about models and terms that we in South Africa see as absolute. I say it arises chiefly from a delusion of wanting to adapt the reality to a cherished ideal or framework of ideas rather than facing the facts that comprise the problems and seeing whether we can deal with them. The Government’s standpoint has always been based on firm principles. It has always been prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve the objectives, within the limits of our specific conditions, and has guarded against setting up specific models to be pursued at all costs. Again I say that we all agree that the circumstances of the country must be managed, that we should not bow down to models, but that models should be designed to adapt to those conditions. Therefore every party in this House is committed to changing the political dispensation or system which applies in South Africa today.
Even this Constitution?
Yes, even this Constitution.
The hon member for Waterberg said in the no-confidence debate that the Government had committed itself to a consociation model. Now he asserts that the Government has placed itself on the road of integration. Surely both cannot be true.
In contrast to his assertion, the Government has repeatedly and very clearly stated its standpoint concerning this matter. Stereotyped academic models cannot be applied to the complex South African community. That is why academic models are not the answer, and unique solutions must be developed for the specific needs and conditions of our situation.
After all, South Africa has never been a White state. Inevitably the settlement patterns of the country brought about concentrations of people at specific points which have also changed in the course of time and which will continue to change on the road ahead. [Interjections.]
The Government has warned repeatedly, and I want to issue a warning again today, against an approach of trying to design models according to a crude over-simplification which ignores the reality of our country totally. In my opinion history will not have patience with the protagonists of such a system.
Let us look at the statistics in this regard. In the whole of South Africa there are only six towns or suburbs in which Whites are in the majority. In the Transvaal it is the case in Pretoria, Randburg and Roodepoort; and in the Cape, in the Cape Town district—I am speaking now only of magisterial districts—Bellville and Simonstown, whereas in Natal and the Orange Free State there is not a single town in which the Whites are in the majority.
That is part of the reality that a government, whichever it may be, must take into account. It is the single reason that all parties in the House find the concept of one man, one vote in a unitary system of government unacceptable for the circumstances of South Africa. [Interjections.]
What is happening now however? Now the hon member for Waterberg and his party come up once again with a single model as the final answer. If one is under an obligation—and I am—to accept the bona fides of the hon member, I must accuse him of an inability to see the reality.
What is the Government’s approach in this regard? In its approach to the political development of South Africa, the NP has certain standpoints or principles to which it is committed, and according to which it must govern the country. The Government recognizes the multiple ethnicity of our community, not only in terms of lip service, but also in terms of the reality that it represents. We are aware of the potential for conflict that exists in a multi-ethnic society such as ours each day.
The State President warned, and his warning is true today, that the further we progress with peaceful solutions, the more intense will be the efforts of the people who do not want evolutionary development in our country.
We not only recognize the multiple ethnicity of our country, but we also contend that it can be enriching and can enable us to think creatively. Therefore, the political goal of the Government is peaceful co-existence in a community which we have not brought about, but which is our responsibility. That is our purpose, rather than to unleash a monster of violence in South Africa.
Thus it is just here that we find the basic difference between the approach of the Government and that of the party of the hon member for Waterberg. Because the CP does not accept the implications of the multinationalism, it flees from its reality. For that reason it is easy to regard a simple standpoint of partition a final, single answer to the problems of the country. The implications of multinationalism are that we are not dealing with a mass of individuals whom we can throw into one political or constitutional melting pot, but on the other hand we are not only one people here who can push others around and evict them from where they want to live. The hon members learned those lessons when they were on this side with us. In fact, they debated the matter meaningfully. I spoke to the hon member for Rissik about this often, and he knows it. The last implication is so overwhelming to the CP that, as far as the reality of multinationalism is concerned, it pushes its head into the sand as an ostrich does—and I hope I am not insulting an ostrich—and says: I will not accept it.
I contend that here again we are dealing with an example of how a specific system or model is seen as absolute. Of course, it is his disregard for reality that makes it so easy for the hon member for Waterberg and his party to make partition absolute and to say that that is the final point.
In this connection, however, let us look at the following set of facts, because they are important. The total number of Blacks in the White cities is 5,3 million people. The total number of Blacks on White farms in the rural areas is approximately 4,8 million people, and 3,3 million of the Blacks in White urban and rural areas are citizens of independent states. What, however, is the distribution in 304 local authorities? Ninety eight of them have fewer than 2 000 Blacks. One hundred and eighty-eight have fewer than 5 000. Thirty-five have fewer than 20 000 and only twelve have fewer than 50 000. Let us look, however, at the ethnic pattern of settlement. Only 103 of these 304 local authorities are more than 90% homogeneous. Seventy of the 304 have no more than 50% of the same population group as far as the Blacks are concerned. Of these 12 out of the 304 that have more than 50 000 people, only five have an ethnic group which represents more than 50% of the inhabitants. Forty-one percent of the marriages that took place in the urban areas in 1976, when those hon members were still with us, were inter-ethnic.
These are the realities that we must contend with. I aver that partition is being made absolute. What the hon member has in mind in that regard is important, viz that Coloureds and Indians must exercise their political rights in their own sovereign territories. I want to know where those territories are. Where is the White state?
Are you really interested?
I am really interested. This was never the policy of Dr Malan or of Dr Verwoerd, however. Our development pattern in the course of 37 years—for 34 years of which the hon member for Waterberg took part—is in exactly the opposite direction. Despite the fact that it is unacceptable in principle because the Coloureds and Indians are not separate peoples and in any case it is not acceptable to them to be settled in a homeland, and despite the fact that the CP cannot find a suitable territory for the Coloureds and Indians, which would cost astronomical amounts in any case, they still propagate an own country with an own sovereignty for these two groups. They advocate this despite the fact that it has been Government policy that they have all had a hand in since 1948, when we adopted a different direction with these groups. This is the policy in which the hon member for Waterberg had a hand for 34 of the 37 years. Now he wants to sweep it off the table.
He also makes partition absolute in another respect. He says that obviously his party has sympathy with the idea of a White state somewhere along the Orange River, as propagated by a small group of right wing people. These are the absurdities to which the hon the Leader of the CP is leading his people with his guidance, philosophy and policy. I put it to the hon member that he knows that his absolutism with regard to division and partition is impracticable. He knows that its impracticability will lead to the maintenance of a situation in which Whites will have power over other peoples, as he himself says. He quotes standpoints from the past to support this, despite knowing that the outcome of his partition policy, if he were able to implement it, would be permanent dominance of one people over another. It would have to be maintained with violence, something that does not succeed anywhere. He does not seek self-determination for groups, he seeks self-determination only for the Whites. In his terminology, self-determination for the Whites means government over all. The hon member does not realize that what we are doing in respect of the political development for Coloured and for Asian and for Black, we are also doing for the sake of the preservation of the rights of the Whites in the country. The surest way to destroy the rights of Whites, is by withholding equal rights for others. [Interjections.] The hon member said that the gods have made me mad, but the devil is working with him.
On this basis peaceful co-existence in South Africa is impossible and causes conflict just as surely as the one man, one vote policy in the same state. In essence the CP is projecting a dismal prospect, illustrated so flagrantly by its leader with his motion. I do not think that the South African community needs a vision which lets optimism and hope die. I think the South African community wants a vision of hope, expectation and optimism.
I want to refer to the clear standpoints and principles that the NP has laid down as its foundations over the years in order to deal with this reality to which I have referred and to cope with the implications of this reality and the demands it makes upon us.
We recognize the group basis of the community, not only as such, but accepting that that basis should be reflected in the political models and plans that we are going to design. We argue for the preservation of the self-determination of the groups, because we know that they who ignore this, ignore the essence, not only of the community, but also of the solutions.
However, while we accept self-determination, it is a foolish and unreal dream to try to evade the community of interests which exists amongst the groups. We accept that without co-operation, without mutual trust among these groups, we shall be caught up in a windmill of tension and retrogression. The hon members of the CP believed this themselves. What is more, they worked on this with us. They know that the domination by one group—including the White group— of another group has never been our policy. The Government’s interpretation of democracy is embodied in this political aim, an effective say in the decision-making process which affects the life of the particular group or individual.
In addition it is the Government’s conviction that White self-determination and the political integrity of the Whites should be protected, but that at the same time our Christian conscience and our democratic political principles compel us to ensure that just as the recognition of the rights of others should not deprive the White of his rights, the granting of inferior participation to other people cannot be justified and is indefensible. I want to stress once again that the Government places a high premium on a White say and on the assurance of the Whites’ rights as a condition for order, stability and the assurance of justice for each group in South Africa. The evidence at our disposal—evidence applicable to conditions comparable to ours—plainly shows that the degree of preservation of the rights of people, the degree of security of the rights of people, the degree of stability, are very closely related to the security that the Whites themselves enjoy. It would be tragic, however, if we were to hold the view that it should not also be for the sake of the other people.
I have always believed that the White’s calling entails maintaining and protecting the other groups’ rights as well. When the Whites forsake this calling, they forfeit their own claim to rights in South Africa.
In the no-confidence debate the hon member asserted that the State President’s announcement in his address on the occasion of the opening of Parliament sounded the death knell for the Whites’ right to self-determination. That is what the hon member says, whereas that announcement by the State President shows us the road of the future, the road of the development of the concepts of self-determination in South Africa—the self-determination of groups other than the Whites; but especially too for the sake of the Whites. I believe that in considering that remark by the hon member we must bear in mind that to him, self-determination implies White self-determination only. In order to achieve its political aim, therefore, the Government has taken certain steps on the basis of the stated principles of th National Party.
The hon member for Lichtenburg accuses us of wanting to bring the Blacks outside the national states into the political system. He and the hon member for Waterberg took part in the decision-making process in terms of which just that has already been brought about at a certain level. They fell in behind a leader who said that the Blacks in the urban areas outside the national states could obtain higher powers than those of the White local authorities. In this way they have accorded recognition to the concept of political participation within the systems in South Africa itself.
Now that is your false logic! [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, the NP Government has gone even further and has taken the best from certain models in order to cope with the problem. The steps which the Government took, were unique to the situation. We now have an unconventional Parliament. That is why there are separate arrangements at the political level in connection with the separate groups and peoples, and why our political structure, too, is regulated by a variety of measures—including statutory measures. The Constitution in terms of which we are sitting here today, forms part of those processes of development and their expression.
On the level of local authority we are making other arrangements for decision-making on a group basis.
With regard to the Black communities, it was possible to propagate autonomous states with their own territories as part of the answer. Institutions have been created out of some of the different areas in which the peoples live, within which they exercise self-determination in order to avoid conflict. Four of these states have become independent. Independence, however, was not the end of the political road for them, nor for us, because we had to create multilateral committees to consider, deliberate and decide about the community of interests.
The hon members were part of those processes. [Interjections.] As far as the nine million people who live in Black areas and states are concerned, it is our point of view that territories should be set aside for them where they can implement self-government to the full.
The Government cannot escape the year 1985. The Government cannot find answers for 1985 and the years ahead on the basis of statements made 30 to 40 years ago. Over the past decades—the hon members boasted of it—the country has undergone an economic transformation; it has become an industrial country. Many CP members own industrial enterprises that make use of the services of Blacks. In the industrialization of our country we have experienced an inevitable urbanization process. It makes the solutions of 30 years ago different from those of today, and vice versa.
What are the demographic facts? One of the most important consequences—I want to deal with it—is not only the urbanization of the population as a whole, but an urbanization of the Black community in South Africa. Let there be no doubt on this score: There is a constant and growing awareness among them of the need to take part in the decision-making which affects their lives. I now ask in all fairness: On what basis can we deny that aspiration?
You denied it for 30 years.
The hon member says we denied it, but he, too, followed a policy which seeks to grant them participation in the decision-making, even where he lives. [Interjections.]
In reality we are being confronted by the growing awareness of these communities. If we ignore the need of the Black communities to participate in the regulation of their daily lives, we are not only being unfaithful to our own points of view, we are not only being unfaithful to the aspiration of searching for democratic solutions, but we ourselves are becoming the apologists for a different form of change than the peaceful one.
The hon member said that we had given permanence of residential rights to the Blacks. That is not true, however. In 1952 the NP Government, of which the hon members were part, amended section 10 of the Urban Areas Act, which embodied the acceptance of permanence. In terms of that, more than 5,5 million people were given permanence. We did not give it to them, but it was obtained by way of those steps.
Just take the responsibility for what you are doing.
But I am doing so. [Interjections.]
Sir, my time is limited and I shall be pleased if I may have your protection.
In addition, the hon member for Waterberg says that by way of these decisions the Government is causing division amongst the members of a people within a national state and the people outside that state. He has no concept of the difference in cultural bonds as against political bonds. He should know— after all, he was in that department—that only 13% of the Blacks who live in the cities have taken citizenship of their states. Everything the hon member does flies in the face of the reality with which we are struggling. I listened to the hon member for Waterberg this afternoon and asked myself: What would he have done with South Africa had he been sitting here next to me? [Interjections.] What would he have done? The Government does not differentiate among peoples who do not want it to. The question is how they are to exercise their political rights. What is the party’s vision of the future? In contrast with the hon member for Waterberg and his party, the announcements of the Government in the speech of the State President are indicative of our preparedness to face the facts. I assert that they reveal a sensitivity to the problem areas in our country. They strengthen trust and give people certainty. They have brought certainty and clarity, and that also goes for the Blacks as regards their political expectations for the future.
Both the parties directly opposite me fought the Constitution because of the position of the Blacks. The one was dissatisfied about their exclusion and the other, about their inclusion. Both, however, regarded it as being inadequate for South Africa. The Government continues to exist. Let there be no doubt that structures above local level will have to be developed for Black communities outside their areas, to enable them to enjoy full self-determination in respect of their own affairs within those defined areas. They must be decision-making structures vested with legislative and executive powers. Their composition is a matter for negotiation. The fact that this must come, however, is indisputable.
The hon member for Lichtenburg led investigations. He pleaded for city states in order to recognize political entities outside national states. These structures for self-determination must co-operate with other government bodies of and in South Africa with regard to common interests. This co-operation will take place at the level of executive authority and may imply the creation of either structured or ad hoc co-operation mechanisms. At the local level this is being done by regional service councils which have been announced. The various political entities find themselves in the same framework of co-operation with regard to each one’s existence within the South African context. This applies to both the independent and the self-governing states. Structures for co-operation are being developed to deal with the community of interests. Hon members took part in this.
In future we shall have to consider the manner in which the various entities, including the Whites, the Coloureds, the Asians and the Black communities, can eventually work together to promote common interests outside their areas, within an overall framework. The purpose, therefore, is to work together, with retention of the group basis, to the mutual advantage of all. This Government will strive every day to establish such structures of co-operation.
The Government’s announcement in the political sphere has obvious implications for the regulation of citizenship. The hon member for Lichtenburg found this himself when he spoke of a citizenship, of an association and of a state. That is why it is on the agenda and we shall discuss it. We shall not run away from it. We shall find an answer to the problem. The Government has built White security on this foundation. It will be so in the future.
Negotiations with and among those concerned have already been entered into with the creation of the Constitution within which we are functioning. If the acceptability of our solutions is to be increased, they will have to be based on negotiation in future. We must improve communication and we must build trust. We must obtain acceptable political institutions. The Government’s announcements constitute the completion of a picture with a vision of the future. I believe that the Government is providing more certainty and security.
The future does not really belong to us. The future belongs to those who come after us.
That is we.
We do have a responsibility however. [Interjections.] The hon member for Langlaagte is correct; he always comes after someone else but never leaves before anyone else. [Interjections.] I repeat, it belongs to those who come after us. The least we can do is to create a vision that they can shape in the future. Our policy is one of peaceful co-existence, because we hope to try to achieve certainty. On the other hand, I could be accused of being false if I did not warn you that there is no other country in the world—with our conditions—which can maintain a democracy as we know it; if I do not warn that if we arouse emotions by way of our arguments—and we can—and suppress reasonable standpoints, the chances of finding a democratic answer will diminish and not increase.
From the outset the policy of this Party has been one of separateness in diversity. That, however, was only one component of our point of view, because, together with the separateness which recognizes the group basis, development has taken place. The problem was that too many of the hon members on the opposite side rejoiced about the separateness, and whispered about the development. [Interjections.] As a result they gave only nominal support to the policy of the NP. That they are in the position in which they find themselves today, is proof of the fact that deep down they never supported NP thinking. They wanted to use it as a vehicle to achieve their own political aims. [Interjections.]
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 30 and motion and amendments lapsed.
Mr Speaker, I move:
The House adjourned at