House of Assembly: Vol23 - THURSDAY 4 APRIL 1968
Mr. SPEAKER announced that Mr. Renier Jacobus Johannes Pieterse had been elected a member of the House of Assembly for the electoral division of Pretoria (West) on 3rd April.
When delivering the first portion of my speech in a House which I can only describe as very tense last night, I was very surprised indeed to see the reaction of certain hon. members opposite to the suggestion I made that the hon. the Minister of Finance should apply his mind to trying to find a formula to assist the urban Bantu in South Africa. This was, I believe, a perfectly reasonable request. I think we all appreciate that the urban Bantu in South Africa has played his part very well indeed in building up the prosperity we enjoy to-day. One is quite surprised to find that when one, as a public representative charged with the task of raising matters in this House for a section of the population which does not have representation here, does so, one finds hon. members opposite making the type of interjection we had last night. I want to say immediately that by and large I have no objections to interjections. We know that this is part of the hurly-burly of politics. But I want to say that the type of interjection that we heard here last night certainly did not become certain of the hon. members who made them. I want to say that some of these interjections came from the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration. This surprises me no end because after all he is the man who is charged through his office with the duty to listen very carefully when suggestions are made which might have the effect of improving the lot of the urban Bantu in South Africa. I want to say too that I did not take very much notice of those particular interjections, because the matter I raised here was a very topical one. We know that the hon. the Minister of Finance in his Budget did not provide any concessions whatsoever for the urban Bantu of South Africa. I merely raised this matter to put the suggestion to him that because of the really prosperous Budget which we have before us to-day, the hon. the Minister of Finance could possibly see his way clear in his next Budget to grant a certain amount of relief to the members of the Bantu races in this country. Sir, the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration seemed to think that some of the figures that I quoted here were not quite factual.
Of course, they were not.
I want to say to him quite categorically that he should do a little bit of research and go into these figures which I mentioned here. He will then see that they are not only correct, but that they are slightly on the conservative side.
I want to say to the hon. the Deputy Minister that if he is not prepared to do the work himself I am prepared to provide the information for him. My information came from very, very reliable sources.
I know exactly where it came from.
It came from reports and surveys which were done by experts and I can tell him that any figures I mention in this House can stand up to very close scrutiny. Sir, I like to think that the type of interjection we heard here last night was rather the result of the lateness of the hour and the fact that members of this House were able to enjoy the very, very nice dinner which was served in the dining room next door.
Order! What does the hon. member imply by that? He must withdraw those words.
I withdraw them because I honestly do not think that some of the interjections I heard here last night could have been quite serious. I mean no disrespect to the Chair whatsoever, and I am very happy to withdraw those words. Sir, we must remember that we are in fact the custodians of the Bantu people in South Africa. I believe that it is our bounden duty to do whatever we can to improve conditions for them. I want to say to hon. members on that side, as I mentioned last night, that nothing that they say will deter me. I am a member of the United Party and I am not here to say things which are going to please that side of the House. I am here to raise matters of topical interest, and as a duly elected member of this highest forum in the country I reserve the right to raise matters at any time in regard to any section of the population, and nothing at all that hon. members on that side may say will deter me from this particular course. I know what my duty is. I know that all sections of our people in this country have played their part in building this very wonderful country in which we are living, and whenever I feel that something of a constructive nature should be raised here, I shall raise it in this House. Sir, hon. members on that side can interject by all means, but I want to appeal to them not to make interjections of a personal nature. I think I have proved in this House that I never become personal and that I make no personal attacks on hon. members. I want to say that the matter I raised in this House deserves the very earnest attention of the hon. the Minister of Finance. He is the person who is charged with handling the finances of this country and I think he knows—he is the type of person who would know—that every section of our population is entitled to share in any prosperity that we may enjoy. Despite the interjections we heard last night, I have every confidence that the hon. the Minister of Finance will take very serious note of the suggestions I have made and that we may see some good come from what I have said in his next budget.
Mr. Sneaker, if one looks at the hon. members of the Opposition this afternoon after the result in Pretoria West, then I must sum them up by saying that they are looking quite down in the mouth this afternoon. If I were to describe the way in which the hon. Opposition conduct a debate, then I must say that they put me in mind of a cat on hot bricks. They tried to cover practically every field, but in regard to every matter raised by the Government side, things were made so hot for them that they had scarcely begun to deal with those matters when they were forced to drop them again.
I should like to address a few words to the hon. the member for Johannesburg (North). I have always been under the impression that the hon. member was a quiet, unassuming and very moderate type of person. I knew him before he came here as a person who had quite a good deal to do with diamonds, but it seems to me that as a political diamond he has marked flaws. He is not even a piece of polished glass. I have heard that he has often had a good deal to do with soccer, but last night when he was making his speech, he was continually off-side. I have also heard that he was a wrestler, but when we are finished with him, we will pin his shoulders to the floor each time for the full count. It was perhaps the “body of Dave”, but it was the “voice of Helen” we heard here. This year the National Party Government has been in power for 20 years, and I want to state very emphatically here this afternoon that it is the easiest thing to-day for a Nationalist, young or old, to present and defend the policy of the National Party anywhere in the world. That is not something which any member of the hon. Opposition can say in respect of their policy.
To which one of all your policies are you referring?
I want to tell that hon. member that he has already appeared in my constituency, and he only succeeded in upsetting the young people there to an even greater extent, even though I have to say this now to an hon. front bencher. For 20 years the National Party has been governing and now the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) is trying to give out here that the National Party has, through the years, done nothing at all for the South African Bantu.
When did I say that?
It was implied throughout in the hon. member’s speech. A week or two ago we dealt with the entire question of the economic development of the homelands, and we indicated from this side of the House how much was being done for the Bantu. But now the hon. member suddenly comes forward and talks about the so-called urban Bantu. I want to state quite unequivocally here this afternoon that that side does not have any idea of who and what the urban Bantu are, how they live, and what their aspirations are. I now want to point out what has been done in recent years for the urban Bantu, and for the Bantu as a whole in respect of their education, their social services, their housing and the opportunities for employment which are being offered to the Bantu, in contrast to the United Party, a Party which not only has no understanding of the way of life, the traditions, the descent and the future of the Bantu, but which is a Party which has in any case never really felt much concern for the Bantu. Let us glance for a moment at the record of the United Party. How much did they spend on and what did they do for Bantu education? What did they do for Bantu housing? What did they do for Bantu social services? I can still call quite clearly to mind the slum conditions in which the National Party found the Bantu. A great deal of the disfavour which has been brought upon South Africa in the world is in fact the result of the examples, the products and the remains of United Party policy. The condition in which the United Party left the Bantu was a disgrace. The National Party was the first party that really took the Bantu problem in hand. To-day we are finding a solution to it in an honest way. But I want to leave the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) at that.
I want to return for a few moments to the speech made by the hon. member for Durban (Point). Some time ago the hon. member for Durban (Point) introduced a private motion here, which read as follows—
- (a) the serious discontent within the Public and Railways and Harbours services;
- (b) conditions of service, promotions, pay and allowances;
- (c) resultant shortages of staff, inefficiency and virtual collapse of public administration in many spheres; and
- (d) wastage and unnecessary red tape.
The hon. member for Durban (Point) introduced this motion, not because he cared two hoots about public servants, but because he realized that a by-election would be held in Pretoria. Pretoria is to a large extent the Public Servants’ constituency. He introduced this motion to try and create the impression that the United Party cared about the public servant. But I want to say that the result of the Pretoria (West) election is irrefutable proof that not only the voters of Pretoria, but also the voters of the Transvaal and the entire country support our hon. Prime Minister as well as our Government and the policy of the National Party. After 20 years they support and have once again subscribed to the policy of the National Party. This proves that for the next 20 years we will continue to grow from strength to strength. I also want to say that I arrived in Pretoria for the first time in 1952 as a student. Then the constituency of Rissik was still under the terrible representation of the United Party. I want to state to-day that in the 18 years in which I was connected with the Rissik constituency I never saw a United Party candidate there. I saw the late Mr. De Kock, who was my predecessor, the first time on the day of his official nomination.
What has that to do with the Budget?
I am teaching those hon. members a lesson. As far as Pretoria and Rissik are concerned, the United Party was the epitome of decline and a “verkrimpte” and diminishing party. In this Budget debate they should really have followed up on the arguments of the hon. member for Durban (Point) and indicated where, in this Budget, justice was not being done as far as the public servants were concerned. Up to now not one of them, least of all the hon. member for Durban (Point), have arrived at this particular point.
But what has organized officialdom asked for? An increased State contribution to the compulsory medical aid scheme was requested, as well as take-over by the State of 50 per cent of the State’s contribution to the pension funds, the lifting of the restriction which applied to the vacation savings bonus, and an improved housing scheme for public servants. What was granted? Subsequently, when the Vote of the Minister comes up for discussion, we will go into these matters in far greater detail. What is it this Government has done for the public servant now as well? An amount has been appropriated for measures in regard to the day-to-day implementation of the activities of the State. In the first instance there was an increase of the hourly overtime remuneration, and an increase in the subsistence allowance, while there was a decrease in the members’ contributions to pension funds, i.e. 2.5 per cent for men and 1.5 per cent in respect of women. There was an increase in the State’s contribution to the compulsory medical aid scheme.
That is mere chicken-feed.
If a chicken should see that hon. member it would gulp him down. The State’s contribution will in future be calculated on a rand-for-rand basis, instead of the present per capita contribution of R24. The percentage at which the vacation bonus is calculated is being increased 8⅓ per cent to 10 per cent for Whites. These approved improvements are not a salary revision, but rather an improvement, or rationalization, of other conditions of service, of which some nevertheless have the result that the income of officials is being increased without any change in the existing scales.
When one is dealing with public servants, one must achieve a certain depth and see what the Government has already done for the public servants. In regard to any employment and service institution it is essential that there should be investigation into those aspects which affects its primary function directly. For the State, as the largest single employer, and as an institution which employs persons in the greatest variety of employments, who have to render and provide service under any circumstances imaginable, an investigation, for which the hon. member for Durban (Point) asked, is almost a matter of course. However, this investigation is not a unique or an ad hoc matter, as the hon. member for Durban (Point) thinks, but it should for the public service be a continuous, planned process. In the past there were two commissions of inquiry, namely the Graham commission in 1918 and the Centlivres commission of 1944, both appointed under the United Party Government, in other words, with more than 30 years in between. Apart from the passage of time in between the investigations, the recommendations of the Centlivres report were more of an academic than of a practical interest. However, the big disadvantage was that the then authorities regarded the problem as solved or dealt with the moment those reports appeared. With the exception of a general salary revision in 1946, which at that stage was long overdue, very little else, if anything was done to implement these recommendations. In dealing with the various aspects which the hon. Opposition wanted to put to us, it will therefore be possible to indicate to what extent the Government’s planned actions has made an ad hoc investigation unnecessary, proof that the United Party has no understanding of public servants.
I only want to touch upon one aspect; time will not allow me to do more than that. The hon. Opposition said that there was great dissatisfaction in the public service. This was grossly misplaced. To achieve absolute satisfaction when one is dealing with people, each of whom have their own views and independent ideas, is an unachievable ideal. Individuals or groups in a specific organization will always adopt one or other specific attitude, even if it is only for the purposes of debate or the stimulation of thought. Organized officialdom is no exception to this and to interpret it now as serious dissatisfaction, is to exaggerate the actual state of affairs. If it were possible for me to take this hon. House back to the forties I could have shown them what real dissatisfaction amongst the Public Service was. I can still remember how mass protest meetings were held on the steps of the City Hall in Pretoria to give vent to the dissatisfaction on the part of officialdom in regard to the control and management of the Public Service as it existed at that time. Mr. Speaker, I can give the assurance that as far as the Public Service is concerned, they have done with a United Party Government.
To-day there is in reality the closest liaison and co-operation with organized officialdom—by means of the various associations and the Joint Public Service Advisory Board. It is obvious that things like conditions of service will come under discussion from time to time, but there are no signs whatsoever of general dissatisfaction. I say again—there is close liaison and good co-operation between the State and its officials. The Government will in future, just as it has in the past, always be prepared to eliminate any points of friction which may arise.
While listening to hon. members of the Opposition during the past few days it became clear to me that they were not interpreting the opinions of the people outside, not even the opinions of their own supporters outside. I have never heard such bitterness in my life before. I do not know whether the Pretoria (West) result is what left that bitter taste in the mouth of the hon. member for Johannesburg (North). But I think the hon. member for Rissik has dealt with him quite adequately.
Mr. Speaker, the Bantu have the habit of covering their feet and their head in one blanket when they go to sleep. Now there is the case of the Bantu who when his feet were covered, was unable to cover his head. What did he do then? He then cut a piece from the bottom of the blanket and sewed it onto the top! That is precisely how matters stand with the United Party with their Bantu blanket policy. Their pleas here were fraught with contradictions. On the one hand they pleaded for a decrease in taxation, despite the fact that it was put to them time and again here that our taxation compared very favourably with that of other countries, and was also much less than it had been in 1948.
Are you satisfied?
I am quite satisfied. On the other hand the Opposition is pleading for increased expenditure, for additional services which the Government should for example increased pensions and cost-of-living allowances. But goodness alone knows how one can balance a budget by having one’s income diminish on the one hand, and having one’s expenditure increase on the other. That goes so well with the Bantu blanket policy of the United Party—cut off the one end and sew it onto the other in order to make it longer. They complained here about the high cost of living. It puts me in mind of the United Party placards during the last general election. There it was stated. “Vote for the United Party and for the old prices of 1948”. Added to that in big letters was written, “Butter at 15 cents a pound; meat at 20 cents a pound”, etc. But that is typical of the United Party. They walk around with two sets of speeches. When they come to the farmers, they tell them that they are not receiving enough for their produce; and when they come to the towns and cities, the people there are told that they are paying too much for the products they buy. We find the same in regard to their Bantu policy. In the rural areas, they tell the people the National Party consists of “kafferboeties”; in the cities they tell the people there, as the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) has once again done now, that the Government is not doing enough for the Bantu. One thing is very clear to me—the United Party lives only for to-day. It seems to me they are saying, “Come, let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die”. That is what is reflected in their attitude.
But this Government is aware of its responsibilities towards the farmer, the official, the worker and the pensioner. We on this side of the House do not live only for to-day. We want to make provision for the future. If the United Party has its way, it will merely go ahead and dish out these surpluses.
They are a frivolous lot on the other side of the House, Mr. Speaker. Last night the hon. member for Orange Grove made a very frivolous speech here. And to crown it all, the United Party did not come forward with any alternative. The United Party puts forward no alternative policy. However, I must admit that they have not pleaded for a lottery yet this Session. I do not know what has become of that lottery policy of theirs. However, we have heard the television story here. That is because the United Party is slowly taking over the National Party’s policy. The process is speeding up now. I want to predict that they are now, after the result of the election in Pretoria (West), going to approach even closer to the policy of the National Party. The United Party has also gradually taken over the Government’s policy of separate development. They are beginning to become even greater republicans than we are. However, that is an old habit of the United Party. The United Party prowl the rubbish dumps like political wolves, looking for the crumbs we leave them. They have never yet had the opportunity of sharing with us in the feast of ideals which we have achieved after having striven to achieve them for so long. However, it is not only in regard to our domestic policy that the United Party is passive, they are also the people who at every possible opportunity try and present South Africa in a poor light, and try to calumniate South Africa in the eyes of the outside world. When the abolition of the Coloured representatives in this House was being discussed, they were the people who stated, for overseas consumption, that the Government was depriving a minority group of certain rights and trying to oppress it. It is the hon. member for Yeoville who at meetings still speaks of a state of Nazism in South Africa. I should like to take this matter a little further. I asked a certain hon. member, since you are such an enemy of Nazism, why did you not have the courage to go and fight against them, where were you hiding away? I was then told that the man had been declared medically unfit. But after all provision was made for medically unfit men, to guard bridges for example. Why did he not go and do that? I maintain that they are trying, at every possible opportunity, to present South Africa in a poor light overseas, and to calumniate it. Here I have a newspaper clipping taken from the Rand Daily Mail of 31st July, 1965. This was a few days after the Sunday Times and the Rand Daily Mail had announced in great banner headlines, as a result of certain statements that had been made to them, what terrible maltreatment was taking place in certain of our gaols. Before any member on the Government side could say anything, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition issued the following statement to the Press. I want to read only one paragraph of the entire statement he issued to the Press—
What disgraceful and irresponsible behaviour!
What date was that?
I say that it is disgraceful behaviour on the part of the Leader of the Opposition to say a thing like that!
The entire matter was thrashed out in this House.
Yes, and the court gave its decision, but I have not subsequently heard the hon. the Leader of the Opposition say: “Friends, I was wrong again, and I apologize.” Instead of saying that he said that we should express our appreciation for the good work and the achievements which were being accomplished in the prisons under the guidance of the staff; those are the words he used. [Interjections.] The Leader of the Opposition will probably have another subsequent opportunity to speak if he wishes. To proceed, I maintain that instead of telling us that the prisons are rendering a highly essential service to society and undertaking educational work and rendering valuable service for the upliftment of some people there, the hon. the Leader of the Opposition calumniated the prison service. But we know that the Government has confidence in our prisons service, because it has reached a high level of achievement in its aims and objects, and its work compares very well with the work being done in prisons overseas. But, as was to be expected, this also caused a reaction abroad. I do not even want to go into it, I only want to say to the hon. the Leader of the Opposition that the Red Cross has on a number of occasions already instituted an investigation into our prisons, and they could find nothing wrong with them.
To proceed from something negative to something positive now, I should like to convey my sincere thanks to the hon. the Minister of Finance for the concessions which have been made in respect of pension contributions, holiday savings bonuses and other steps which bring alleviation for our public servants and provincial officials. We are grateful to him for that, and hon. members opposite as well, because their supporters will share these privileges with us. We realize that the Government cannot increase salaries at will, because the Minister has informed us that the struggle against inflation has not met with complete success yet, and in any case people will always be dissatisfied, no matter to what extent salaries are increased. But I want to draw the Minister’s attention to certain bottlenecks in the teaching profession.
We know that the position to-day is that our best people are no longer being attracted to the teaching profession. In this materialistic world, with its high standard of living, it is probably true that no one whose only object was to make money would become a teacher. He is more likely to turn to the commercial world, with all the possibilities it offers. Not that I am concerned so much about the finances of the teachers, but our best teachers are resigning from the profession to-day, and the best men and women are not equipping themselves to become teachers to-day. But fortunately we still have men and women who are inspired with that idealism, and who are prepared to render that national service for the sake of our children. But no matter how inspired those people are with idealism, they cannot exist on idealism alone, because the teacher also lives in a realistic world and at the end of the month he also has to meet his obligations. I know that we can never compete with the private sector. They simply increase salaries at will because it is so easy for them to increase the prices of products, and in addition they also offer other benefits. That is why I want to appeal to the hon. the Minister to give consideration to improving the salaries of the teachers to such an extent that we will attract only the best men and women to the teaching profession. That is asking a great deal, but I am convinced of the fact that when it comes to education and training, finances cannot be our principle consideration, because only the best can be good enough for the future of our children.
There is another matter I should like to mention, i.e. it is probably a fact that we have this Government to thank for there having been such a tremendous economic up-surgence in South Africa. Most of the industries here owe their establishment and development to the confidence which this Government had in them, and the assistance which the Government has, directly and indirectly, offered to them, assistance in respect of decreased customs and excise duties, import permits and protection against overseas competition, etc. In the midst of these benefits being offered by the Government we find in the same industries that there is a tremendous neglect of our language, Afrikaans. I think the greatest market in South Africa for most of the products which are being manufactured by our industries is probably amongst the Afrikaans-speaking people, and amongst that number we can also count the Coloureds because they are for the most part Afrikaans speaking. Approximately 60 per cent of our population is Afrikaans speaking, but now we have this tragic phenomenon that the labels appearing on most products appear only in English, as if we were living in a country which did not have two official languages.
I want to concede that the Government cannot legally compel those people to make all those labels bilingual, but I do want to say that as regards goods which are being manufactured for consumption here in South Africa, it is our God-given right that Afrikaans should be acknowledged here too. I do not want to single out any products, I merely want to mention that in South Africa millions of rands’ worth of motor cars are being sold. I am not aware of any make of motor car which provides a manual in Afrikaans or where the particulars on the instrument panel of the motor car are at least in two languages. I do not want this information to be unilingual, i.e. in Afrikaans only, but it should at least be bilingual. That is why I want to make an appeal to our industrialists to put a stop to this neglect of Afrikaans. I want to make an appeal to our right-thinking buying public to demand recognition for Afrikaans, because I say that if our money is good enough, our language is also good enough.
I am just wondering, Sir, why the hon. member who has just sat down found it necessary to make at any rate the first half of his speech. I saw no point in it except a deliberate attempt to try to blacken the character of my hon. Leader with the quotation which the hon. member read out from a document, a document which has been quoted in this House, which has been dealt with and replied to. The thing has been denied and cleared up in debate here and there can be no reason, unless it is a personal reason, why the hon. member chose to use this opportunity to try to throw discredit upon my hon. Leader.
Have I cut to the quick again?
Sir, I do not know who he is trying to impress, but I do not think he will impress Parliament, and I think he will have to change his style if he is going to impress Parliament. That is not the kind of speech we want to hear in this House and I say that in all frankness to the hon. member.
I want to come now to the hon. member for Johannesburg (North), and I do not want the interruptions and the accusations that we had from the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education. I am coming to him in a moment. The reason why I am standing up is to deal with him and his colleague, the other Deputy Minister. I had no intention of coming into this debate until yesterday evening.
I will make as many interruptions as Mr. Speaker will allow.
You will exhaust the patience of Mr. Speaker.
The Deputy Minister has said categorically that he will make as many interruptions, Sir, as you will allow. Let me say at once that interruptions very often are the spice of debate in this Parliament and as long as they are in good taste and according to the Rules of Parliament, I think nobody on this side of the House is going to take any exception to the interruptions, the senseless interruptions which the hon. the Deputy Minister usually makes. They are without substance, they are without sense; they are entirely nonsensical and in those circumstances, why should we object to them?
They are typical.
I would appeal to you, Mr. Speaker, to allow the hon. the Deputy Minister to make his interjections.
Do not be so sore about Pretoria (West).
Seventeen per cent of the Nats voted against you.
Sir, I got up to deal with what happened in the debate yesterday evening when the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) was speaking. He finished his speech this afternoon. I sat here from the start and I listened to the hon. member’s speech and I listened to the interruptions and interjections from the other side of the House, and I accepted that many of the interjections were a sort of robust kind of expression of opinion from hon. members opposite. We are accustomed to that and we take all that in good part. But, Sir, let us look for a moment at what the hon. member was saying when all the interruptions blew up. He was putting the case for the urban Bantu, the people whom he says quite rightly—I think we all agree—are part of the labour backbone of the economy of South Africa. They are necessary for the development of our economy. They are not in the so-called white areas merely because they choose to go and live there to have a happy time. They go there because of economic causes and for economic reasons and the hon. member was quite right in drawing attention to that fact and then to point out that in this Budget that we have before us he hon. the Minister of Finance has not made any provision to deal with these people, some of whom have fallen on evil times. The hon. member mentioned the example of the widow of one of the people in Johannesburg, a widow with three or four children. He mentioned what income she was living on and he said that he would appeal to the Minister of Finance in a future Budget to take these people into account and to see whether something could not be done for them. Sir, at that stage the interjections became the loudest and the most violent, and then we started to hear the interjection that the hon. member was a “Kafferboetie”. My reason for coming into this debate is to say this. [Interjections.] Sir, the hon. the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development was sitting alongside of the two Deputy Ministers and there were interjections from the hon. member for Heilbron. It was rather interesting that while the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) was pleading for some assistance for this widow and people in that class, who were still working, who were still legally resident in the so-called white area, shouts were going up from the other side that he was a “Kafferboetie” because he was pleading for the Bantu.
That was never said.
At that precise moment the hon. member for Heilbron was shouting out and saying, “Why don’t you make your employers pay the Bantu more?” He was pleading for more to be paid to the Bantu at a time when his colleagues were calling my hon. friend a “Kafferboetie” because he was asking for something to be done for this Bantu widow. Can you imagine anything more illogical and incongruous? These shouts were coming at one and the same moment. I could hardly believe my ears as the hon. member for Heilbron, in his usual enthusiastic manner, raised his voice higher and higher to be sure that we got the gist of what he was saying, namely that we must get the employers to pay more and then you would not have the widows in this parlous position.
Why this post mortem?
I am coming to the reason for the post mortem. Sir, this could have been left at that stage. The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) is quite capable of defending himself, as I am sure any hon. member opposite will find out if he chooses to challenge him. I heard one hon. member talking about diamonds that were not so hard when he was referring to the hon. member. I suggest that he should try to test the hardness of that diamond. Sir, my reason for coming into the debate is that that situation at that moment made me realize what course we will be set upon in this country, if we are not careful. We will be setting ourselves upon a course where hon. members are not supposed to deal with the affairs of the non-Europeans which for some reason or other are brought to their attention.
That is a ridiculous thing to say and you know it, it is absolutely ridiculous.
You are ridiculous.
Why then did the hon. the Deputy Minister shout out all those interjections to my hon. friend if it is ridiculous?
Order! The hon. the Deputy Minister must withdraw those words.
The hon. member for Yeoville …
Are you the Speaker?
Sir, let us recognize that this is Parliament. What I am going to say now applies not only to members on this side of the House but to every member of Parliament. Every member of Parliament has the right, irrespective of whether a case is put to him by one of the Bantu people, by a Coloured person, by an Asiatic or by a white person, to deal with it here in Parliament. There is a double duty laid upon us now because some of these folk are not represented. The Bantu are not represented in Parliament; the Asiatics are not represented in Parliament in the sense that they have a direct representative for whom they have the opportunity to vote. They are not represented in that sense, but I think that we lose something from Parliament and that we lose something from the dignity of Parliament if every member here is not prepared to accept the fact that he represents all the people in his constituency, irrespective of whether they have the opportunity to vote for him or not. Whether those people are Bantu, Asiatic, Coloured, or White, whether they have the franchise or not, makes no difference whatever. It is the duty of a member of Parliament to represent the people in his constituency. Yesterday afternoon the thought struck me that I could see, if we were not careful, the way things were going was that if a member got up on this side of the House—we who are a minority—and pleaded the cause of a non-White who did not have a direct voice in this House, he could be shouted down apparently for no other reason than that he was making an appeal for those people … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon. member is reflecting on the Chair. Nobody is shouted down in this House. The hon. member must withdraw those words.
I withdraw those words, Mr. Speaker. The position was that the interjections from that side were full of ridicule, full of scorn, and were directed personally against the hon. member. I want to repeat that the language used is, in political parlance, used only on the hustings, in the heat of political battle. The word “Kafferboetie” was used, a word which has not been used in this House for a very long time. When that climax was reached, it was the climax of scorn and contempt in the interjections thrown across the floor by certain hon. members, many of whom were hiding their faces behind their benches and only peering at us over their benches, so that the Deputy Speaker—you, Mr. Speaker, were not in the Chair then—could not hear what was being said and who was saying it. It was deliberate. I think the time has come when we should make it abundantly clear that every member of this House—not only hon. members on this side—shall feel it is his duty also to represent the views of the people in his constituency, irrespective of colour.
That is axiomatic.
An hon. member opposite interjects “that is axiomatic”. I hope he will get up and say so. If one looks at the Hansard of the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) it will show precisely the reason why all those interjections were being made. He was pleading the cause of a Native widow. That is why.
That is a sob story.
Oh, it is a sob story. We have to realize that so far as our Bantu in our so-called white areas are concerned, the urban Bantu are here to stay and to increase in numbers. The complete volte-face on the part of the Government as regards its policy is remarkable. They have changed their policy completely as regards the idea of sending these so-called temporary sojourners back to their homelands. This idea has gone completely by the board as a result of the change in Government policy. Here is a policy which sees the end to all idea of the consolidation of the homelands. In terms of this policy those Bantu are going to Stay in the white areas because they are needed. It is a complete change, a 100 per cent change, a complete volte-face. The Bantu are going to stay in ever-increasing numbers, associated in the commercial and industrial life of our country with the white areas and with the white economy with which they are associated and of which they are an integral part. When the hon. member was asking yesterday for some consideration for the widow, for the people who were themselves working and who were dependent upon a wage-earner who had lost his life, he put the case very clearly. But I think he should have put it more strongly and said that the whole of our economy in South Africa is built up on that Native labour. Not a single facet of our economy in South Africa has not been built up on non-white labour. Perhaps in the Cape the Coloured people have done more, for the time being, but that is by the way. Yesterday the hon. member for Jeppes asked the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) how much he paid his Bantu. The hon. member for Johannesburg (North) then asked him, “How much do you pay yours?” and he replied “I do not pay anything because I do not employ them; I work for myself.” That is excellent, that is fine, but that is not a policy to adopt for the people of South Africa. We cannot say to the people of South Africa who are White that they must do their own work. Good luck to the hon. member if he is so fortunate as to have that kind of business. I know nothing about his business, of course. As I say, I congratulate him if he has a business where he can do all the labour himself. Perhaps he is a dentist. But that principle cannot be applied to the South African economy.
As I say, the Government has changed its policy completely to fit in with the hard facts and the economic laws of the country. So these Bantu people will be with us. I say with the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) to the hon. the Minister, who has got his R180 million safely tucked away, his nest full of golden rands safely behind him, that a huge percentage of that amount—the exact percentage I am not able to say—is due to the labour of the non-White in South Africa and to a great extent the Bantu people. I ask the Minister to give them back a moiety. Do something to help them, to make them feel that the economy of South Africa is not a white man’s economy but it is an economy which belongs to all the various races and groups which make up our population and which built up one central economy under one economic law in our country.
Mr. Speaker, perhaps I should not have risen to speak now, because I am half annoyed. Perhaps I should have waited until my temper had subsided a little. I can quite understand why the hon. member for South Coast is so upset, and it would be quite natural to-day to refer to the result of the Pretoria (West) by-election. I want to tell the hon. member that the result in Pretoria (West) is a great triumph for our present young Prime Minister, it is a great triumph. It is also the most lethal blow the United Party has ever been dealt. It was achieved under the most difficult circumstances. They and their people tried to give out that there was a tremendous quarrel in the National Party. They talked about this nonsensical, so-called “verkrampte-verligte” struggle. They and their newspapers thought they could make political capital out of the presence of black diplomats in our country. They thought they could make political capital out of the Government’s sports policy, and what is happening at present in regard to the Olympic Games. They and their newspapers, in conjunction with Du Preez, and this applies to the entire United Party, tried to exploit these things at the expense of the Government.
That is not true.
Of course they did. Of course they exploited all these things. The hon. member was nowhere near Pretoria (West)—he would not dare go there. The only place he could state his policy is Sea Point. They tried all these things, but for all that the fortunes of the Du Preez group, have, if anything, deteriorated, and the National Party remained as strong as it ever was, and the number of United Party votes decreased from 3,000 in 1959 to a little more than a 1,000 in 1967. They have lost 66 per cent of their support in Pretoria (West) over a period of eight years. So I can quite understand why that side is so disconcerted. If this result proves anything, it proves that the National Party’s position is unassailable. It proves something else as well, it proves that the United Party is irrefutably on the way out, out of the political life of South Africa. I have great respect for that hon. member for South Coast, and he knows it. But I tell him to his face that in all the 15 years I have been in this House I have never heard a more irresponsible speech than I heard him make this afternoon. I think he ought to feel ashamed at making such a speech. He said the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) had put the case for the black man in this House. He pleaded for the urban Bantu, who are supposedly the backbone of cur labour market. The position of the black men in Johannesburg was never worse than during the time when that hon. member was mayor of Johannesburg. I shall return later to the role he played in respect of the Blacks in Johannesburg. I want to tell the hon. member for South Coast that when he discusses the widows and those people, that the Blacks in the urban areas, and I am now talking about Soweto and those areas, have never been better off than they are to-day under this Government. The figures mentioned by the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) are the most arrant nonsense which has ever been proclaimed in this House.
I shall prove it.
He had a half hour to prove it, and he did not come forward with a shred of evidence. He based it on a survey which was made by the Johannesburg Municipality. They take the head of one house, and then state that he is earning 12½ per cent less than the poverty datum line. But all those hon. members know that the Bantu are much more economically active than merely to the extent of one member in a family. They are economically active to the extent of one to 3.2 in a family. In other words, every Bantu family has one, two or three people who are working, and that places them far above that line.
In every family?
Yes, now I want to ask the hon. member for Johannesburg (North) why they did not pay the Bantu more when he was mayor of Johannesburg. Why did the City Council of Johannesburg not pay its Bantu more so that they could live above the poverty datum line. At that time they did not want to increase the taxes of the white people. At that time they were looking for votes to retain control over Johannesburg. They refused to pay their Bantu more on the grounds of these political reasons only. Then that hon. member has the presumption and the audacity to say that this Government should see to it that the Bantu are paid more. What is preventing Harry Oppenheimer, the hon. member for Hillbrow, the hon. member for Orange Grove from paying their Bantu more? Is there anything standing in their way?
What do you pay your Bantu?
If I had that hon. member in my service, he would have had to pay me. If the hon. member really wants to know what I pay my Bantu, I shall tell him. I paid the old Zulu Bantu who worked for me R25 per month. I have been doing so for the past 20 years, board and lodging excluded. [Interjections.]
Order! If the hon. member for Pietermaritzburg (District) makes one more interjection, I shall have to ask him to leave the House.
Mr. Speaker, that would be a setback for me. Now he is pretending that that is not the case. I shall furnish him now with all the facts, because all these matters have been recorded, and then I hope he will have the decency to apologize. But now they are coming forward here with their stories, and the hon. member for South Coast maintains that if someone advocates the cause of the non-Whites in this House, the Government members shout him down. Is the hon. member not ashamed of himself? He is the hon. member who has accused this Government of allowing Bantu policemen to arrest white people.
Yes, did you not say that in this House?
This hon. member who is pretending to be so sacrosanct now, and who is such a champion of these people, came and complained in this House because the Government was allowing white people to be arrested by Bantu policemen. That is the kind of man he is. That is why his Party presents the appearance it does, and why that hon. member presents the appearance he presents. He ought to feel ashamed of himself. I want to maintain that the position of the Bantu in the urban areas has never been better than it is to-day. His housing is better than it has ever been in the history of this country. There is no undertaking which was more opposed to better housing for the Bantu than the City Council of Johannesburg, under the leadership of that hon. member sitting there. When we wanted to clear up the slum conditions, we experienced great opposition from that hon. member and the entire United Party. When the former Prime Minister was Minister of Bantu Affairs, he had to establish a special council in order to clear up the slum conditions in Sophiatown, Martindale, etc. I want to go further and say that the average income of the Bantu has never been higher than it is to-day under this Government. His educational services have never been better than they are to-day. It is better than any comparable situation in the rest of Africa, and in the rest of the world.
I now come to the negrophile story. Nobody said that that hon. member was a negrophile. When that hon. member complained and said that we should do this, that and the other, an hon. member stated that if we should do those things, they would call us negrophiles. That is precisely what they did. That is what they have now done in Pretoria (West). I shall tell them who did so. It was old Suitcase Du Preez. He also leveled the accusation at me that we were doing too much for the Bantu. Those are the people who are now complaining about the black widows, etc. The difficulty with these hon. members is—and I can understand why they are feeling so frustrated now—that they not only realize that they are dying politically, they also realize that our policy and its implementation is succeeding. We are succeeding not only in establishing a high economic standard for the Whites, and it is one of the highest in the world, we are also establishing a higher economic standard of living for the black man in this country than any other government on the continent of Africa has succeeded in doing, even when there were still white governments. We are succeeding in reducing the inflow of Bantu to the white areas considerably. I think we are gradually reaching the stage where we will stem that inflow. In this regard to mention important figures. Let us take Pretoria. From 1951 to 1960 there was an increase of 78,000 Bantu, that is to say an average of approximately 8,000 Bantu per year. From 1960 to 1967, a period of seven years, there was an increase of only 5,000. The number decreased therefore from 8,000 per year to less than 800 per year, more than a 1,000 per cent. I want to concede that the apparent reason for that is Rosslyn and Ga-Rankuwa. I want to concede that this has been our easiest border industry. But whether or not it was our easiest border industry, the figures in respect of Pretoria, Ga-Rankuwa and Rosslyn prove one irrefutable fact, i.e. that our policy of border industries is succeeding in reducing the inflow of Bantu to the metropolitan areas. We will ultimately stem it. The same applies to East London, Hammarsdale and Pietermaritzburg. With a little more effort we will in the years to come succeed in stemming that inflow.
And what about Soweto?
We shall still succeed in that case as well. [Interjections.] No, we shall not do that, but we shall in fact succeed in stemming the inflow to Johannesburg as well. We shall even succeed in reversing the flow. The economic progress we are making in the homelands is of course not as great as we would have liked, but the progress we have made has already been considerable. I should just like to mention a few figures in regard to the Transkei. In 1963 Bantu savings accounts at three of the largest banks in the Transkei amounted to R200,000. In 1967 it was R642,000. I would now also like to mention figures in regard to the economic growth of the Transkei. These figures were not compiled by the Government, the Bantu Development Corporation or by the Xhosa Development Corporation. These index figures were compiled by one of the largest banks in South Africa. These figures indicate that the economic growth of the Transkei has increased as follows—
During this four-year period the economic rate of growth of the Transkei increased by almost 250 per cent. I can understand why hon. members on that side of the House are frustrated, because the policy of the Government is succeeding. The hon. member for Pinelands can laugh as much as he pleases. I challenge him to prove the contrary of what these figures prove.
Those figures prove nothing.
What proves anything to that hon. member? These are not my figures, but those of one of the biggest banks in South Africa. I shall furnish him with the name of the bank, but I do not want to do so here. These figures are not mine, or those of my Department. The Government’s policy in respect of the Transkei is succeeding. Hon. members are only carping criticism now. In their frustration they are opposing not only the Government, they are trying to calumniate this Government, and particularly South Africa, abroad. What else did the hon. member for South Coast do but say that when they champion the interests of the non-Whites in this highest council of the country they are being shouted down by hon. members in the Government benches? That hon. member ought to feel ashamed of himself. He knows that that is not the case. The Opposition Party has become nothing but a lot of fault-finders.
You have a guilty conscience.
I do not have a guilty conscience.
You were one of the leaders.
To do what?
You were one of the leaders during all that shouting that was going on when my hon. colleague …
It is untrue, and the hon. member ought to feel ashamed of himself. Hon. members on that side of the House are a lot of fault-finders. I have now reached the stage where I am no longer willing to take the United Party seriously, because they refuse to make any contribution to the solution of any problem. They refuse to hold any serious discussion in regard to any subject affecting South Africa. They are continually trying to score political points off the Government. This afternoon I am grateful to be able to say that the National Party is not only succeeding in its policy, but that the National Party has now reached that stage, as was proved by the election in Pretoria (West), where the nation of South Africa, and particularly the white men of South Africa and also of Africa, have finally taken refuge with the National Party. The National Party not only has the confidence of the white man, it is also, in spite of sabotage by hon. members on that side of the House, gaining to an ever-increasing extent, the confidence and support of the Coloured groups, and particularly the Bantu. There has never before been a Government in South Africa which has had the confidence of the Bantu to such an extent, as this Government has. There has never been more consultation with those people than there is to-day. Last week at Flagstaff I had the privilege of participating in the installation of the first Bantu magistrate in South Africa. Did anything like that ever happen in the days of the United Party government? I also saw the Transkeian Government there, and I saw how proud those people were to be Xhosa, and not imitation Mitchells or Connans. I do not think those people would be so very proud of being genuine Mitchells and Connans either. I stood up in this House this afternoon to reply to the statements made by the hon. Leader of the United Party in Natal, who is supposed to be a responsible man. He was guilty of something here this afternoon for which I will most certainly not forgive him easily.
Mr. Speaker, I should like to begin by heartily congratulating the hon. the Deputy Minister on the efficient and thorough way in which he dealt with hon. members opposite. He destroyed many of the statements made by the hon. member for South Coast. We want to concede that it is no easy matter for a Government that has been in power for 20 years to do exactly the right thing at exactly the right moment over such a long period. In addition we want to concede that hon. members of the Opposition should have the opportunity of criticizing things which they think are wrong. Suffice it to say, however, that it is really pitiful to note the way in which they are doing so. While we have the opportunity of participating in this Budget debate, we want to congratulate the hon. the Minister of Finance on this strong Budget. I therefore want to avail myself of this opportunity to tell hon. members opposite, as well as the rest of South Africa, of the efficient way in which this Government is utilizing the funds made available by our Minister of Finance, and that by means of a method of government of which everyone of us in South Africa may be rightly proud.
Now, I want to refer to the Department of Agricultural Technical Services and to a former Minister of that particular Department as well as to a task which they tackled and have been performing up to this stage in a way which fills us with nothing but the greatest admiration. Some years ago, after the Soil Conservation Act had been in operation for some time, we found that the progress made in the soil conservation programme and the praiseworthy examples set by farmers who had been carrying out all plans relating to their farming operations most conscientiously for a number of years, were in fact teaching us three important lessons. The first lesson was that the agricultural potential of our country was in fact much greater than had generally been assumed. In the second place we found that a well-planned system of conservation farming was bringing not only greater stability but that—and this is important—the potential of an area could only be developed to the full if planning was undertaken on a basis not of separate farming units but of catchment areas as a whole. To my mind this was one of the most important occurrences in respect of the agricultural industry over the past number of years. It was necessary to gather certain basic information before planning on this basis could be undertaken on a large scale.
It is in this regard that I want to give credit to the Department of Agricultural Technical Services as well as to the then Minister, the hon. P. M. K. le Roux, for the orderly, well-organized and well-planned way in which they set about this. In order to obtain that information the assistance of the University of Pretoria was enlisted. To-day the contribution made by that University in respect of this very important matter is history. The University of the Orange Free State, the then Natural Resources Development Council and the Department of Education, Arts and Science, were also brought in and these bodies jointly decided to make a survey of the entire catchment area of the Upper Orange. You will ask, Sir, why this particular area and region was selected for this pioneering attempt. The reasons for selecting that area—and we must note them—were the following. In the first place the inhabitants of that region had previously shown the most cordial co-operation which enabled the University of the Orange Free State to conduct a socio-economic survey of most of that area, and that work could be tackled with the whole-hearted co-operation of the members of the Regional Development Association. The second reason was the great potential of that area, one in which many ramifications of the farming industry were to be found.
The last though not the least important reason was the fact that this area formed an important part of the catchment area of the Orange River as a result of which the reclamation and conservation work would have a much wider field of influence. In the light of what we have just mentioned to you, Sir, we are glad that we are able to state that Prof. Kolbe and the University of the Orange Free State and its people, together with a team consisting of no less than 32 post-graduates launched that survey at the beginning of 1966. A matter which received the particular attention of these people—and this is important—was the necessity of first investigating the farming and conservation conditions of the area so as to ascertain what the major obstacles were in achieving ideal farming conditions and promoting conservation farming. In the second place, a calculation had to be made, and this is important in this Budget debate, of the costs of removing these problems and creating an ideal condition.
An investigation had to be made into the living conditions of the farming community, and in the fourth place the role of each sector of the community and of the State in the future development of the area had to be ascertained. This investigation has been carried out and we may mention in passing—this is not official—that in view of the fact that the entire area of the Upper Orange has to be planned as a catchment area, we gain the impression and are quite certain from the information at our disposal, that the costs involved in the execution of this task will in fact exceed the actual costs at present being incurred on the development of the Orange River basin. But we are quite certain that this project, after this investigation, has furnished us with clear proof that the Government is prepared to take active steps. Therefore we want to avail ourselves of this opportunity to-day to convey our sincere thanks to all those who were concerned and made a contribution to this investigation for the fact that a division of the Department of Agricultural Technical Services for catchment area protection has been established under the efficient leadership of Dr. S. G. Pienaar.
Now, we want to make a serious appeal to the hon. the Minister of Finance, in view of the fact that work is going to be done on that basis, that that attempt should as far as humanly possible also be an attempt to rehabilitate our farmers who are carrying on farming operations on their farms in that region. What we have in mind here is, as far as the physical implementation of this plan is concerned, the greatest possible employment of the services of people living in that region in the first place so as to afford those people, people who ran into financial difficulties as a result of difficult farming conditions over the past few years, an opportunity in that way of earning an additional income while still continuing their farming operations. We endorse every step which the Department of Agricultural Technical Services has taken in connection with this matter up to now. It was with appreciation that we took cognizance of the establishment of that strong division of the Department at Aliwal North, and we are looking forward in eager anticipation to what will be done in those 16 magisterial districts in the years to come. Every hon. member of this House who witnessed first the announcement of the Orange River Scheme and subsequently its development, will realize that it is a matter of urgent necessity to decrease the present silt load of the Orange River to a minimum. The way in which the Department of Agricultural Technical Services does things, is the very thing which will enable us to bring stability to farming in that catchment area and to see to it at the same time that the silt load of the Orange River will be decreased to a minimum. We are making an appeal to-day to the effect that when this matter receives attention, we shall take a broad view and act accordingly, but that we shall also have regard to looking after the interests of the people who live in that area, inside those 16 magisterial districts, and that this project will also be used as an attempt to rehabilitate those people.
I am sorry the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration has disappeared from the scene, because my sole object in getting up now was to reply to his speech. He made some of his usual allegations, which I do not think should be allowed to go unchallenged. He has, of course, repeated his old story about the tremendous benefits this Government has brought to the African population, and once again he has used the old, completely irrelevant argument that the standard of living of the Africans here is better than that of Africans anywhere else on the African Continent. Since he has repeated that old argument, I have to repeat the old rebuttal of that argument, namely that the standard of living of South African Africans must be compared with that of other South Africans, and not with the standard of living of other Africans on the African Continent. He told us, too, that never before has there been such wide consultation with the non-white people as since this Government came into power. I am not denying that it is very likely that Ministers and Deputy Ministers, going round the country, have consultations with all sorts of people.
What is the insinuation in regard to having consultations with “all sorts of people”?
I mean with Africans of all types and with other non-white people. There is no insinuation.
Do you not approve of it?
On the contrary, I do approve of it and I wish it would be extended, and I hope the Deputy Minister is not going to be too touchy. I have not even told him the full story. Perhaps he will have a lot more to be touchy about later.
The Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration told us that there were wide consultations, and he said that he had recently been to Flagstaff to witness the installation of the first African magistrate there. Well, good for him, but I wish he would spend a little more time not only consulting with tribal Africans and, I might say, with tribal chiefs, who have a good deal to gain from the Government, but he should consult with urban Africans as well and if he does so he will find that they are not quite as satisfied with Government policy as some of the tribal hierarchy are, the Government supporters.
I am opening their Council next Friday.
Very good. I hope they will tell him a home truth or two, although I doubt it, because again the hon. the Deputy Minister does not seem to realize that it is very difficult indeed for people who have no representation whatever in this Parliament really to have access to ministerial ears in a way which will make any difference to their lives. They know that full well. What the Minister takes to be approval is in fact reluctant acquiescence, because there is no other option for these people. They cannot express their disapproval of Government policy through the ballot-box. They are not given any constitutional way in which they can approve of Government policy. There is very little political organization. Everybody has been intimidated out of his wits and is frightened of political organization among non-Whites, the Government sits back and says therefore they are entitled to assume that all the non-Whites agree with their policy. Have they consulted the other non-Whites like the Coloured people who are presently being deprived of their franchise? The little consultation that did take place revealed exactly the opposite from what the Government says the Coloureds want them to do.
Do you read The World?
Yes, I read it regularly.
Does that look as if they are being intimidated?
Well, they criticize the Government, but it does not help and they know that very well. When they come face to face with such a frightening type as the hon. the Deputy Minister, they are unlikely to reveal their inner feelings, so they naturally thank the Minister and the Deputy Minister, because they are likely to do better that way than by voicing their disapproval. I believe the Deputy Minister lives in a protected dream-world of his own. He talks, for instance, about the fact that there is nothing to stop employers from paying higher wages. Sir, he has never been in the competitive world, it seems to me. He has never known what it is to be in business and what it is to be competing with other people in the same line of business. He should know that business men are not philanthropists, and the vast majority of them do not pay their employees any more than they have to do, and it is up to the Government of the day, and every government in any democratic country has found it necessary in fact to do so, to lay down minimum wages below which employers may not pay their employees. It is not that our employers are any worse or that they have more male fides towards their employees than the employers of other countries. This is a natural tendency and this is the only reason why employees’ organizations ever got off the ground. In England, at the end of the 18th century, there was a law prohibiting combinations of workers because it was fully realized that it was only when the workers got some power into their hands that they were going to be able to improve their own conditions. And since it was the employer who had control of the legislative body in those days, they tried to see to it that employees could not combine to bring about better wages and better conditions, and that is exactly what has happened in this country. This Government, firstly, has not laid down minimum wages which are equal to or above the poverty datum line below which employers may not pay the African employees. The Government has not done this and I believe that the Government should introduce a minimum wage below which nobody can be paid from the most unskilled job upwards. As far as skilled jobs are concerned, one does not have to worry about the wages because the workers are in short supply; they have trade unions; they are white workers mainly and they have managed by collective bargaining machinery to get the employers to agree to fair and decent wage conditions—pretty good ones in some respects. In South Africa no such thing obtains as a national minimum wage. In America there is a minimum wage—I think it is $1.25 per hour—below which nobody can pay their workers. There is nothing like that in this country and therefore employers here naturally pay the lowest wages they can to increase their profits as much as they can. This is the normal thing in a capitalist society and hon. members opposite should know that. The Government does not lay down minimum wages, but much worse, the Government does not allow the African workers to combine into legally recognized trade unions, and therefore they are unable through collective bargaining machinery to get decent wages and conditions for themselves. This is the nub of the whole thing. Recently there has been a tremendous upheaval in the Trade Union Council of South Africa because the hon. the Minister of Labour has made it clear that he is not going to encourage the recognition of African trade unions although the white workers in those unions in fact were trying to get him to do so. When the Labour Vote comes under discussion I want to deal with that in a little more detail. But in the meantime can the hon. the Minister explain to me whether he considers these new wage rates, for instance, which have been gazetted for the iron and steel industry in this country, to be justified? Does he know that as a result of the fragmenting of jobs and allowing some of the so-called skilled jobs to be re-graded as semiskilled jobs which Africans are now allowed to do, the overall picture for the vast majority of Africans in the iron and steel industry is a parlous one? They are in a parlous plight. The wage rates, which have gone up materially in the high, skilled brackets in the iron and steel industry, have gone up by as much as 10 cents an hour, but I might add, of course, that hardly any—I believe none because of the shortage—of the white workers in the iron and steel industry in fact worked at the minimum wage rate of 86.5 cents per hour, which was the old rate. The new rate is now 96 cents per hour in the upper bracket. Most of them were earning well above 100 cents an hour because of the shortage of white workers in the skilled occupations. But, of course, in the unskilled jobs there was a super-fluidity of labour. There always is, because the Government maintains a reservoir of unskilled labour and therefore the employer is never short of unskilled labour.
I get exactly the opposite complaint from the employers.
Unskilled workers were getting 17 cents an hour, and their wages have gone up to 19 cents, an increase of two miserable cents per hour. The weekly wage is well below the minimum that is required just to maintain a minimum standard of living. Sir, the increases have been as low as half a cent to two cents. There is one bracket, just above the lowest unskilled jobs, where the wage has gone up 3.5 cents; it has gone up from 18.5 cents to 22 cents per hour. Will the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration seriously tell me that he thinks that is a fair wage for a hard, arduous job done in one of the toughest industries, one of the key industries of South Africa, the iron and steel industry?
Why do they sneak in in tens of thousands to come and work in this country?
Because the alternative is starvation. It is as simple as that. The alternative that they face in the rural areas is starvation.
I am talking about other countries.
Even in other countries they do not have the resources to maintain their working people. Surely the hon. the Deputy Minister knows that Southern Africa is the treasure trove of Africa. This is where all the mineral wealth is to be found; this is where the industrial development is taking place. They do not come streaming in from Zambia and the hon. the Deputy Minister knows that. But in any case Zambia’s copper cannot compare with South Africa’s gold and diamonds and iron and steel and the secondary industrial development which has taken place over the last 50 years. That is the simple reason why they come here, not because they love the sight of the hon. the Deputy Minister. It is not because of that at all.
They love the sight of you.
It is simply because they know that they can earn higher wages in this country. The hon. the Deputy Minister’s argument is really a silly argument, and I hope that the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration will take up the cudgels on behalf of the 150,000 African workers in the iron and steel industry; that he will take up the cudgels with the Minister of Labour in whose hands the ratification or otherwise of this industrial agreement rests, and see to it that some alteration is made before that agreement is in fact ratified.
There is nothing wrong with it.
The wage is far too low and the hon. the Deputy Minister should know that. Sir, I know perfectly well that there has to be a re-classification of jobs; that it may be argued that some of the jobs which were classified as skilled were not really skilled jobs and that therefore there is an argument for lowering the wage rates in the middle category of jobs when they are released to African workers who were not previously permitted, because of job reservation, to do those jobs. But I do not believe that that should be done at the expense of the vast bulk of the workers in the industry—and they are the vast bulk—whose wages are then raised by a miserable half a cent to two cents and 3.5 cents in one category alone under this new agreement. This could only happen because the Africans do not have collective bargaining machinery; it could never happen otherwise, and the hon. the Minister knows that. That is the reason why employers do not pay the wages that they ought to pay in very many of our unskilled occupations in South Africa (a) because there is no collective bargaining machinery available to Africans, and (b) equally important, because a reservoir of labour is maintained, a reservoir which is now going to be greatly extended by these new labour regulations which were gazetted last week and which are now designed to see that no new entrant into the urban area is allowed in on any basis other than as a migratory worker pure and simple.
Do you want us to allow collective bargaining in the mines?
I am all for collective bargaining, even in the mines.
Will you get the Chamber of Mines to agree with you?
Of course not, but I am not on the side of the employers in this regard. The hon. the Deputy Minister does not seem to understand that. There was in fact a union which operated on the mines years ago until various Governments killed it. I believe that collective bargaining is one of the normal concomitants of a modern industrial society, and just because a man’s skin is black I do not believe that he should be denied the right of collective bargaining. We do not deny it to Coloured workers; we do not deny it to the Indian workers. They are allowed to have legally recognized trade unions. We do not deny it to the white workers, and I should hope not. I dare say that if it were left to the employers and perhaps even the Chamber of Mines they would not want unions at all, including white workers’ unions. But the hon. the Deputy Minister will not tell me that he thinks that there should not be white workers’ unions.
Why do you argue with me? You want a black Government and I do not.
No, I do not want a black Government; I want justice, Sir.
Of course, there is justice in this country.
No, there is a great deal of injustice. I want a multi-racial country run by all people who are qualified to accept the responsibilities of running the country, irrespective of colour.
Who would judge their qualifications?
Well, you would obviously have to have an arbitrary standard and that would be an educational standard. It will not be lowering the age to 18 because that Government thinks that it will suit it from the electoral point of view to lower the age to 18—not because 18-year-olds are so much more responsible to-day than they were but because it suits the Government. I say that there should be an educational test. Sir, I am not going to get involved in this argument because I have something more important to do than to argue with the back-bencher over there. I want to argue with the Deputy Minister. He is much more my cup of tea.
Don’t tempt me too much.
I know that the hon. the Deputy Minister falls for temptation very easily.
How do you know it?
Rumour has it Sir, these regulations were gazetted last week. They are designed to turn the whole labour system of South Africa into a migratory labour system. At the moment that excludes people presently in employment in the urban areas, those who are living here because they are stabilized urban people or those who have been here for a certain number of years, who have not yet qualified under section 10 but who nevertheless, as long as they stay in a job, have some modicum of protection against these regulations. The minute they lose their job, if they are not section 10 Africans, as I see it, they have to leave the urban area, and once they go back to their tribal homelands, which they may not have seen for 13 years and a day, if they have not yet qualified under this 15-year system, they will not be allowed to re-enter the white industrial area unless they register as work-seekers. I believe that is correct. That, of course, excludes the Transkei, interestingly enough, because the Transkei runs its own labour portfolio, I presume, but I have also got no doubt whatsoever that right now all these cosy little consultations which the hon. the Deputy Minister tells us about are probably taking place with Matanzima and his Cabinet, because, for one reason, there is a reward being offered to the tribal authorities to come in on this system. It is a monetary reward; it is a reward of R1 per head for labour recruited, and for every work-seeker who is recruited and is in fact signed up under these regulations the Bantu authority is going to be paid R1—the carrot.
Are you accusing us now of paying them too much?
I think this whole system of paying so much per head for workers is a repulsive system. It has all the stigma of indentured labour and I do not like it one bit.
What absolute nonsense.
Do you prefer the Native Recruiting Corporation?
I do not like that either. There should not be a Recruiting Corporation. I like a free system of labour. I like mobility of labour. I like labour to be able to move to the area where it will receive the best rewards. That is the normal thing in an industrial country—in every country there is movement from a rural area to an industrial area where the wages are better. As a result of that people in the rural areas have to pay their labour more and that is what the farmers do not want, of course. Do not let us have any illusions about this system.
Do you want uncontrolled influx?
I want to tell the hon. the Deputy Minister that I do not approve of the migratory labour system, whether it is on the mines or anywhere else. I think it is basically a bad system, because it is always a symptom of poverty in the area where the workers come from, because it is only under those conditions that they would come as migratory workers. This is the same in every other country. For example, where you have the Mexican Wetbacks, as they a e known, the migratory workers, coming from Mexico, and moving across the border into America to do seasonal labour, it is always the worst-paid labour and it is always a symptom of poverty. The correct labour system for this country would be to have a stabilized agricultural peasantry living on the land and farming the land, and to have a stabilized labour force on the white farms, properly paid and well-rewarded for their work, not bound to the farmer because of pass laws, but staying there because the conditions are such that labour is attracted, and to have a stabilized urban African labour force which can be properly trained to do the semi-skilled and skilled jobs for which this country so badly needs workers. Then you will have full utilization of your whole non-white labour force. The only thing that stops this is that the hon. the Deputy Minister and his colleagues have got the idea that the minute an African considers himself to be permanently in the white areas, then his political ambitions rise. Well. I do not really know why he imagines that it is only when a man is permanently stabilized that he gets these ambitions. Whether he is migratory or not he is going to want to improve his conditions. And these same difficulties are going to be faced by future generations of South Africans, whether the African labour force is on a migratory basis or not. But what the future generations will not also have to face is this vast turnover in labour with all its uneconomic implications, nor this whole rootless, shifting and restless mass of people who, I believe, are much more dangerous en masse than a stabilized middle-class urban African population. This to me is quite obvious.
I have a lot of questions to put to the hon. the Deputy Minister about these regulations, some of which are not yet clear to me. But unfortunately I grasp the basis thereof only too clearly. Perhaps he would be so kind as to answer one or two questions which I jotted down here while I went through the regulations this morning. But let me say first that I see I was right when I said negotiations were pending with the Transkei. Obviously they are not going to exclude the whole of the Transkei from this lovely and lucrative system of paying R1 per head per worker nor, incidentally, white South Africa from the benefits of using Transkeian labour. I see there are to be 17 categories of labour and recruits must register themselves in one of these categories. Has the hon. the Deputy Minister any idea whether vertical promotion will be allowed in the particular occupation a man takes? In other words, if a man signs on for a particular occupation for a particular employer in a particular industry, and the employer finds this man to be particularly apt and consequently likes to move him to a higher category, will he be allowed to do it?
So, there is not going to be a sort of stultification of the use of labour in that respect?
Of course not.
I should like to have that on record.
You do not perhaps want me to say that under oath?
No. The hon. the Deputy Minister took the oath when he first came here, with me, 15 long years ago. We took the oath together—so I do not want him to repeat it. I should also like him to tell me what protection there will be for the worker against unscrupulous employers? Of course, there are such employers. Or does he not care?
I care a lot. I shall especially have to watch the Johannesburg City Council.
Maybe. I do not hold any brief for the Johannesburg City Council—heaven forbid. However, I hope he is going to watch unscrupulous employers. He is going to have to employ a vast inspectorate to see that all these regulations are carried out. Incidentally, what amuses me is the way in which this hon. Deputy Minister works. He does not come to Parliament to discuss this, the introduction of an entirely new system of labour for South Africa. Oh, no. He does it behind the scenes under the supreme authority of the State President, who is the Supreme Chief of the Bantu areas.
Where does he get the power to do that? Surely from this Parliament.
Yes, but I am sure Parliament never envisaged that the entire labour system was going to be changed by means of regulations and without ever discussing it in Parliament. This new system is altogether a new departure. Of course, he can only do it in respect of the Bantu areas. He cannot do it if he wants to change the labour regulations for the areas outside the reserves. For this he has to come to Parliament. But for the main source of labour, the so-called “homelands labour”, the hon. the Deputy Minister simply gazettes a whole lot of new regulations changing the entire labour structure of South Africa. It is his habit to do that. He sends departmental chits all over the country, and these then become law—just like that. Parliament never discusses these things. I think that shows disrespect for this institution.
But who else but Parliament gave us that power?
Yes, but the hon. the Deputy Minister is applying these powers very widely indeed. Why did he not come to Parliament to discuss this? Why did he not discuss this new labour system here? He did not do so because he knew there would be a great big argument about it. That is why.
We are having a great big argument now.
Yes, but only because I happened to read my Gazette—something most hon. members do not bother to do. But I say it should have been discussed here over the floor of Parliament before it was gazetted. In any event, I should like to know what protection there is going to be for these workers, who are now going to be one vast migratory mass, having to register every single year—as they are allowed to take a contract only for one year and after that back they go to their homeland. An awful lot of additional trains shall have to run up and down between the homelands and the urban areas. I hope, therefore, the hon. the Deputy Minister has discussed this aspect with the Minister of Transport, because he shall have to have many more trains laid on. There is going to be one vast labour turnover going on all the time. Every time an African goes back he has to re-register unless he stays in the same job. If his employer wants him, he has this new little call-in card system whereby he can return to the same employer.
Of course what will happen is that when an employer sees his worker is reaching a stage of skill where the inspector of labour might say the worker ought to be paid more, he will simply dismiss the man at the end of the contract, send him back and take on a new worker altogether. That happens already—does not the hon. the Deputy Minister know that? Of course it happens, and it is going to happen more and more under this system because the Minister will never be able to supply a sufficiently large inspectorate. Does the Deputy Minister realize that four copies of this contract are made out? That is under regulation 10. Who gets the copies?
They get it at the labour bureau.
Yes, and who else gets a copy?
The worker can get a copy if he wants it.
No, the worker himself does not get a copy.
Of course he can get one.
He does not get one under the regulations. I wonder whether the Deputy Minister will undertake to have that inserted in the regulations, because under the regulations as they are now the tribal authority, the Bantu labour officer, and the employer each get a copy, and there is one copy for the record, but there is nothing for the employee himself. The man most intimately connected with the contract is not given a copy thereof. He is told he is working under a contract, he is sent off on the train to whichever employer has recruited him, and when he arrives and the employer has changed his mind then the man himself cannot even produce written proof there and then to the regional bureau to say: “I have been employed under this contract.” I think it is a scandal. Can we imagine a white worker ever being treated this way, that he is recruited for a job and everybody concerned gets a copy of the contract except the man himself?
If he asks for a copy he can get it.
The hon. the Deputy Minister must not say that. He is dealing with a tribal African, the least sophisticated of all the Africans.
Those contracts are not secret; they are there for everybody, also for all the shyster lawyers, to see.
I am not saying they are secret. I am making a simple point and the Deputy Minister must not try to get away from it. The simple point is that the worker does not know his rights, and indeed under these regulations he does not have the right to get a copy of the contract, and I think the least the Deputy Minister ought to undertake here and now is that the regulation will be amended in such a way that the worker himself is handed a copy of the contract. Otherwise he does not know what wages he is getting—somebody babbled something to him; he has to accept or leave it, and if he leaves it he does not have a job. He cannot come and look for a job himself because he is tied hand and foot to these regulations. And the Deputy Minister knows it. The least he should know is the wage rate he is supposed to get, what protective clothing he may or may not be getting, and the rations he is entitled to, which may or may not appear in the contract. I think he should at least be given the protection of knowing what contract he has entered into and be given a written copy thereof. As I say, everybody else concerned is given a copy, except the man himself.
I understand, as I read these regulations, and perhaps the Deputy Minister will clarify them for me, that an African woman from now on is not going to be able to come into the prescribed areas at all, except with special permission.
The African female is now being immobilized inside the reserves or outside the prescribed areas which, of course, is the rest of South Africa outside the reserves. She is never going to be able to move at all. She will be absolutely immobilized in the rural area. I think this is a disgrace because there is no work for these women there. The hon. member knows it; he knows there is no work, he says: “Hear, hear!” As I say, there is no work for them there. There is no work in the towns which are being set up. About two-thirds of the money allocated for the development of the reserves is being spent on housing, not on the infra-structure for industry, not in order to try and build up the reserves economically, but just to house the families of migratory males who are going to be working in the towns. So the women must sit there doing nothing at all, nothing whatever. The Deputy Minister made the point earlier that the figures given by the Johannesburg Bantu Affairs Department about the average wages earned by an African family was nonsense because, he said, there was always more than one wage-earner in an African family. [Time expired.]
Mr. Speaker, it would surely be a memorable day if the hon. member for Houghton were to get up in this House to champion the cause of the underprivileged white man as well. But instead of doing that, what she is continually doing is not only to advocate the cause of the black man but also to present the white man in an unfavourable light in the eyes of the black man. We bitterly resent that conduct on the part of the hon. member. She said this afternoon that she was not prepared to argue with a back-bencher; she wanted to argue with the hon. the Minister. But on the whole her conduct is on a lower level than that of a back-bencher, because we back-benchers on this side of the House most definitely display more highly developed sense of responsibility than that which she displayed here this afternoon. I want to draw the hon. member’s attention to one aspect only.
If she really had the interests of the South African non-White at heart, she would support the policy of this Government and she would also be prepared to admit here to what extent the policy of the Government was benefiting the non-White of South Africa. I want to ask her whether she knows to what extent the non-White used to be exploited in South Africa by her own people prior to the implementation of our policy, and to what extent that exploitation is still taking place at the present time, in areas in which we still do not have complete separation. I want to refer her to the business potentials which have been created for the non-Whites in Soweto. To-day those people have the benefit of that business. Prior to the establishment of Soweto her people pocketed that business and her people exploited the non-Whites. To-day I want to lay that at her door. At that time she did not say a single word against that. Then she did not take it amiss of her people for exploiting the black man for their own personal gain. This makes me think that the hon. member is not honest in her views. She wanted those conditions to continue so as to afford her people the benefit of the business of the black man. They wanted to continue their process of exploitation. Thanks to the National Party, that sees to it that justice is being done to everybody and that everybody is being treated fairly, an end has been made to that process, and where that process is still in operation an end will be made to it eventually. A few weeks ago we heard what a fuss the Opposition made in this House because the hon. the Minister of Community Development was being enabled by means of legislation to put an end to that process of exploitation. At that time the hon. member did not get up to support us. She objected to that legislation. I do not think we need pay any further attention to her. The electorate of South Africa will bring her to book further as will the black man who has no confidence in her at this stage and is not interested in what she is continually advocating.
I should like to say a few words this afternoon about the first two points in the amendment moved by the hon. member for Pine-town. I do not know whether the hon. member knows anything about the working man in South Africa or his circumstances in South Africa, because if he did have such knowledge I do not believe he would have included those two points in his amendment. I want to tell the hon. member that the worker of South Africa is squarely behind the National Party. Nothing will budge him from that position as was plainly proved in Pretoria (West) yesterday. If ever the Opposition had an opportunity of proving that the working man of South Africa no longer had any confidence in the National Party, they had that opportunity yesterday and they failed to carry the day. As the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration and Education said just now, the only deduction we can make from that result is that it means the end of the United Party in politics. Now they have moved an amendment like this. Before long it will be 26th May, a day which will mark the 20th anniversary of National Party rule in South Africa. That is a red letter day in the history of the United Party.
In the future 3rd April, 1968, will probably be another red letter day in the history of the United Party. But ever since 26th May, 1948, the National Party has been moving steadily in the direction of stabilizing and safeguarding the position of the working man in South Africa and of giving him that security which every working man desires. The working man has not asked the National Party to provide him with a luxurious way of life. Nor does the working man in South Africa asks for higher cost-of-living allowances at the present time. He does not concern himself so much about the increasing cost of living. He takes cognizance of the prosperity which is prevailing in the country, because that gives him the necessary security. Just as it has been our experience since the establishment of the National Party in 1914 that the United Party, or the old S.A. Party as we first knew it, opposed every step taken by the National Party to make South Africa independent constitutionally, it has been our experience that the United Party opposed every step of the National Party to safeguard the position of the working man. Just as it completely reversed its attitude each time as far as the constitutional developments were concerned and subsequently accepted them, it subsequently accepted the labour legislation placed on the Statute Book by the National Party so as to tell the electorate outside that they had pleaded for that legislation.
We can go back to the establishment of Iscor, which laid the foundations of not only the South African economy but also the prosperity and security of the working man in South Africa. That was opposed by these people, because they had never known something like ties with one’s own nation. They have never shown any love for what is their own. Now they expect the working man to be of the same mind. Consequently they have opposed every undertaking which has been launched to give security, safety and prosperity to the worker. Because they wanted to catch votes for the by-election held in Pretoria (West) yesterday, they pleaded for steps to be taken to combat the cost of living. They asked for greater efficiency. If the working man were to accept that, surely that would be an insult to the working man from them. But the working man in South Africa is efficient as it is. He does produce. But the difficulty lies in the running of the business concern. The management of the business concern does not see to it that the productivity of the working man increases. The worker is not at fault. Nor is the Government at fault. The Government cannot tell the industrialist how he is to run his business concern in order to bring about higher productivity, although I think that where it is possible for the Government to do so, the Department of Labour is already doing so.
This afternoon I want to refer to one division of the Department of Labour and that is the division dealing with vocational guidance as well as with the rehabilitation of handicapped persons, etc. To-day we find that the Department of Labour is geared for doing everything in its power to ensure that the working man will be properly equipped for his task. Where that is not the case, they are doing what is necessary for achieving that ideal. The question is, however, whether we always receive the co-operation of the industrialist. Is he always prepared to make a contribution for maintaining, stabilizing and developing that productivity? I myself have worked in industry, and consequently it is a great pleasure to me to speak on this subject. That is why I have said that I wonder whether the hon. member for Pinetown knows what is happening in industry and what the position of the working man is.
After the National Party had come into power and the first Minister of Labour of the National Party Government, the present Minister of Transport, had asked the industrialist to pay incentive wages to workers, we found that the basis on which they calculated working time entitling workers to an incentive wage was so impossible that the worker was working himself into the ground but could not qualify for an incentive wage. That was proof that nothing was being done on the part of the business concern to bring about that productivity. Therefore I am saying to-day, as far as the worker of South Africa is concerned, that we are squarely behind the National Party. We are proud of what the National Party has achieved during the years it has been in power and we are proud of the fact that the National Party has created that prosperity in South Africa which affords security to the worker.
Mr. Speaker, I want to refer to only one aspect more and that is to what happened subsequent to Sharpeville. As on previous occasions when the United Party thought that we had reached rock-bottom, that the banks and the factories would close down and people would find themselves on the streets, the National Party came forward with the clarion call: “Spend for prosperity.” Shortly after Sharpeville we had the biggest industrial development in South Africa ever experienced anywhere in the world. That safeguarded the position of the working man. That was what the working man had asked for. That is what the working man wants in the future. He wants a government that will see to it that his security will always be safeguarded, that he will always be in a position to work and earn in order to be able to provide for his family. Now these people must not come along and make appeals on behalf of the workers of South Africa, because the National Party consists of the workers of South Africa and the National Party will see to it that the worker of South Africa will always be able to make a secure living in this beautiful country of ours. We may rest assured that the worker will always do his duty and will see to it that the National Party will not be disappointed.
Mr. Speaker, to-day is the fourth day of this Budget debate, the third Budget debate it has been my privilege to attend in this House. Now, hon. members opposite must not hold it against me when I say that the level maintained by that side of this House during this Budget debate has been the lowest I have experienced since coming to this Parliament. One asks oneself on the one hand whether the Opposition is no longer able to criticize this Government effectively and constructively, and on the other hand whether that may not be due to the fact that the hon. the Minister of Finance presented a Budget to this House for the people of South Africa which speaks volumes.
At the outset I should also like to avail myself of this opportunity, and hon. members on the opposite side of this House may laugh if they wish—we know, after all, that they are a comical party—to congratulate the hon. the Minister of Finance most heartily on this Budget he presented.
There we have it!
On this occasion, the presentation of his second Budget for the nation of South Africa, the hon. the Minister already occupies with distinction his rightful place alongside those men in South Africa who looked after the finances of our father-land for many years. I also think it might not have been difficult for the hon. the Minister of Finance to present a Budget like this. In the first place that might have been the case because we have a stable Government in South Africa. We have a stable Government in South Africa which is kept in power and supported by the vast majority of the inhabitants of South Africa. The hon. the Deputy Minister referred to Pretoria (West). This Government knows that it has the support of the vast majority of the population and the by-election in Pretoria (West) yesterday proved that once again. There has been a great deal of gossip in the English Press in this connection. The English Press has written a great deal about the National Party. At the beginning of this Session those newspapers suggested in banner headlines that the present National Party was experiencing friction and dissension within its ranks. I now want to state very clearly that the members on this side of the House are more united than ever before. I also want to state very clearly that the United Party Press has also been trying to disparage the leaders of the National Party. But as, inter alia, yesterday’s by-election proved, the National Party remains squarely behind the hon. the Prime Minister. I think he deserves that. I think the Prime Minister is performing a tremendous task for South Africa under difficult circumstances. It has been proved unambiguously that the National Party in South Africa is as strong as before. I am convinced that the National Party under our able leaders will be led to even greater heights in years to come.
I now want to come back to economic affairs. As a result of this stable Government South Africa is bursting from its seams in numerous economic spheres, in spite of the prophecies of doom. Mr. Speaker, you will recall the advent of our Republic and the occurrences at Sharpeville in 1960-’61 when that side of this House was hoping to the detriment of South Africa that the economy of South Africa would collapse so that they might take over the reins. But in spite of all those things South Africa experienced an economic development as never before. Our economic development is boosted by the fact that we have enormous resources of wealth beneath our South African soil. A few weeks ago I read an interesting article in Volkshandel by a well-known geologist in South Africa. He has made a study of these matters. The gold reserves in South Africa are estimated to amount to R14,000,000. His estimate of our coal reserves is between 80,000 and 100,000 million tons, sufficient to provide for South Africa’s requirements for the next 2,000 years. Reserves of copper ore are estimated at 13 million tons. The figures in respect of iron ore are approximately 122 million tons of higher grade ore and 6,000 tons of medium grade ore. Except for Russia which has approximately two thirds of the world’s known reserves of manganese, South Africa’s reserves are the most important in the world and are estimated at 50 million tons. I am making these few extracts, Sir, to give you an impression of the wealth with which South Africa is endowed. When one therefore thinks of the future of South Africa, one can come to no other conclusion but that we have here the basis and prerequisites essential to a sound state. I want to go as far as saying that we have the assets and reserves here in our father-land not only for becoming a powerful state but the assets and reserves which can make South Africa the biggest giant on earth in decades to come.
It is very clear, therefore, that the mining industry and the working of our mineral resources form one of the foundation stones on which the economy of South Africa rests. It may be interesting to mention a few figures in this connection. Mineral production in South Africa amounts to the enormous figure of R1,200 million per annum. It is also interesting to reflect on how resources of mineral wealth have been developed since 1946. Gold production in South Africa has increased by 89.2 per cent since 1946, copper by 93.5 per cent, coal by 63.5 per cent and diamonds by 112.5 per cent. I am mentioning these facts in order to illustrate that South Africa has been making tremendous progress in recent years in respect of the mining of its resources of mineral wealth. In order to give some picture of South Africa’s share relating to mining operations in the world, it may be interesting to mention a few figures here. When we bear in mind that South Africa represents .8 per cent of the world’s surface and .5 per cent of the world’s population, it is illuminating to think that we in South Africa produce 55 per cent of the world’s gold. I now mention South Africa’s share in the world production of the following minerals: platinum 48 per cent, uranium 19 per cent, diamonds 18 per cent, chromium 7 per cent, and manganese 7 per cent.
Now I should like to deal with that section of the population of South Africa who have made a tremendous contribution to the economic prosperity of South Africa. They have made a tremendous contribution by mining those minerals in South Africa. I should like to deal with the economic soldiers in South Africa, namely the mine-workers. If we argue that mining is very important, my method of approach is right when I say that the contribution made by the mine-workers in South Africa in respect of this important industry in South Africa has been phenomenal. I do not want to suggest here that the mine-workers are super-human beings. When I was elected to the Provincial Council in 1954 I made it my task on various occasions to go down various mines with these people. I submit that those people are not working under the most pleasant of circumstances. When we speak of the mine-workers, and here I have in mind the gold miners in particular, and consider that they have to work at an underground depth of between 6,000 and 10,000 feet every day, and if we consider that a mine-worker cannot be sure, as a result of the dangerous circumstances under which he works, when he goes down into the mine in the morning that he will be able to go home in the evening, then it is high time we in this House also speak of the contribution being made by the mine-workers in South Africa. When I think of my own area, it is obvious that a city like Welkom could not have come into existence and the Free State gold-fields could not have been developed but for the contribution of the mine-workers. I wonder how many hon. members are aware of the following interesting point. We note with great appreciation that our official ambassadors as well as our ambassadors in the field of sport mean a great deal to South Africa, but I want to say that our mine-workers too are ambassadors, because South Africa leads the world in the development of mining techniques. At present our mine-workers are teaching people in the U.S.A. the techniques of sinking shafts. At present we find our mine-workers in Australia teaching those people these mining techniques, and we also find them on the oil-fields of South America and in the East. We observe with appreciation what those people are quietly doing for South Africa in respect of the development of the mining industry.
Now, I know it is not the task of this Government to pay the salaries of the mine-workers, but I want to express my thanks and appreciation to the hon. the Minister of Labour for having established a good offices committee last year for negotiating a proper wage for the mine-worker. I am also grateful to the Chamber of Mines for having deemed it fit last year, after repeated representations, to pay the mine-workers a reasonable wage. But while everything is pointing to an increase in the gold price, I am pleased that the Minister of Finance made it very clear that if there were to be increased financial benefits to the various mining companies, the Government would see to it that those companies would make their contribution to the Treasury. I am not reflecting on the Chamber of Mines, because they are, after all, the employers of the mine-workers, but I regard it as being no more than fair that the people who have been making a major contribution to the development of the various mining groups should share in the profits and financial benefits which might accrue to those mining groups.
The hon. member for Stilfontein mentioned the pensions of mine-workers and I know that this too is a matter for the Chamber of Mines and the mine-workers, but I want to tell the Chamber of Mines that a mine-worker naturally differs from a public servant who can retire on pension at the age of 60 or 65 and live well on his pension. When the poor mine-worker attains the age of 60, his health has received a severe set-back, and I regard it as being no more than fair and just that the mining companies should find a basis for providing a decent pension to the mine-worker or his dependents when he has sacrificed his health or his life for that company. It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that the mine-worker will be cared for after he has contracted pneumoconiosis; and now I want to put it very clearly that I as well as the mine-workers of South Africa know that the Government has their interests at heart. But I nevertheless want to say in connection with these industrial diseases and the benefits to be paid, that I hope and trust that the hon. the Minister of Mines will see his way clear, after consultations and after views have been exchanged in respect of this matter which is causing great dissatisfaction amongst the mine-workers, to rectify this matter as well.
I want to conclude. I have expressed a few ideas for the consideration of the Minister of Mines, but I want to conclude by saying that the mine-workers of South Africa—and I have grown up with them and still live amongst them every day even though I have not worked in the mines—have the fullest confidence in the National Government because they know that their interests and those of their children and their working conditions are safe in the hands of this Government.
In conclusion, I want to give the assurance that if these few aspects mentioned by me could possibly be rectified, the mine-workers would be grateful to the Government as well as the Chamber of Mines.
The hon. member for Welkom who has just sat down started off by saying that there was no such thing as division in the ranks of the Nationalist Party. I wonder whether that statement can stand the test of closer examination. I wonder, too, whether it is in fact a very wise statement, for surely it is the difference of opinion amongst political parties that makes for democracy and not this rigid toeing of the line that has been evidenced for so long among the ranks of the party opposite. In addition to hearing that there is no division in their ranks, every member who got up this afternoon also mentioned Pretoria (West) but not one of them has said that 14 per cent of their own voters voted against them there.
And 66 per cent of your voters voted against you.
Not one of them has said that Pretoria (West) was chosen for the by-election because it was a safe seat anyway, and not one of them has said that delimination has altered Pretoria (West) considerably during the last few years, but I think we have heard enough of Pretoria (West) from members on that side. However, any time they wish to debate this Pretoria (West) election with me, if I have the time I will do so, and I do not think the 14 per cent of their own voters there were wrong.
The hon. member for Welkom also cited the mineral wealth of South Africa, that we get so much gold and so much coal, etc., from the ground, and he coupled that with the population strength of the country. I should like to know what the two have in common. Is the population or the Nationalist Government now to be thanked for the amount of gold we have underground? Because this would be a new development even for them. He also spoke of the loyal and wonderful service rendered by the mineworkers to the industry, and I agree with him entirely, but what I disagree with is that the hon. member mentioned the mineworkers but had nothing to say about the 300,000 or 400,000 non-White mine-workers. He talked about the mineworkers being wonderful ambassadors overseas, and I agree with that, too. But from what I have seen of mine compounds, and the foreign Bantu employed in the mines, I think that those foreign Bantu, when they return to their own country, are wonderful ambassadors as well. In fact we owe a deep debt of gratitude to them and to the mining industry, and nothing at all to this Government, because the mining industry established these compounds long before the Nationalist Government was ever thought of. They are the ones to be congratulated, because the way they treat their Bantu workers is a credit to the whole of South Africa and it can only do us good in the countries where these workers come from.
Dave, you must kick him out of your party.
The hon. member for Langlaagte said that the workers of this country had a great deal to thank this Government for. I found that very interesting, because if you look at the Budget you can see very little that they have to thank this Government for.
I should now like to say a word or two to the hon. the Deputy Minister, who spoke earlier. One of the most interesting things he said was that he paid his Bantu employee the same salary over the last 20 years. I think that is fantastic. He paid the same Bantu the same salary for 20 years, but the cost of living has gone up 75 per cent!
Do not talk such stupid nonsense. What do you pay your own servant?
I will try to keep to Parliamentary language and say that I pay my servant a damn sight more than you pay yours.
Order! How much more?
A lot more, Mr. Speaker. The Deputy Minister tells us what they are doing for the Bantu, but what I always find strange is that you have so many thousands of Bantu located on the borders of a city and then the Deputy Minister comes along and draws a new line and says they are now in the homelands. But in the meantime they have not moved from those houses they have occupied for 20 years. But suddenly they are now in the homelands and they have reduced the Bantu population of that city! That was done in Durban and in Pretoria. Why does the Deputy Minister not do it at Soweto and make Soweto a Bantu homeland? But he does it for Umlazi and then says he has reduced the number of Bantu in Durban. [Interjection.] It is about time we had some realism in this regard. I should also like to tell the Deputy Minister who criticized the Johannesburg Municipality that just last week that City Council voted R½ million for increasing Bantu wages.
How much is that per hour?
I suppose you arranged that, too. I should now like to deal with some other hon. members who spoke in this debate. I found the speech of the hon. member for Sunnyside, who is not here now, most illuminating. He said that we wanted immigrants for voting purposes. That is nothing but a travesty of the truth. This Government stopped immigration because it said the immigrants would swamp them. Furthermore, when it came into power, it changed the naturalization rules so that it would take longer for a person to become naturalized here. Now of course they cry out for immigrants, but in the meantime we have missed the boat and have lost one million Whites. What could we not do with those one million Whites to-day? These are the guilty people, Sir. But the hon. member for Sunnyside should not be taken too seriously, because he is against mini-skirts. I would love him to come to my constituency and fight me on that level. The hon. member for Sunnyside objected to photographs of mini-skirts, but I wonder whether he objects to photographs of Ministers on that side, because in certain offices of the Government photographs of Ministers are portrayed, two feet by three feet in size. I would like to know whether we, the public, pay for the photographs of Ministers hanging in the regional offices of their Departments. I think perhaps, if one analyses it a bit closer, this is a carry-over from Germany and Russia and countries like that, but we did not expect to see it in South Africa. If one saw the State President’s photograph one would say that is correct, but to see the photograph of that Deputy Minister would be enough to frighten one. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why recruiting in the Public Service is so poor!
Do you know what a windbag is?
Yes, there is one sitting over there.
Sir, I would like to turn to something else. When one sits in this House one comes to the conclusion that in the last couple of years the smugness has been knocked off the faces of Nationalist members. They sit there constantly contradicting each other. Speaker after speaker contradicts the previous speaker. I do not find this strange, because some years ago it was those same hon. members who were told that they should not shake hands with Bantu. Now they sit down and have dinner with them! No wonder they are in a dilemma.
We are also prepared to sit down and have dinner with you.
But the tragedy is that their behaviour has put this country in a dilemma as well. They have sat on that side of the House for 20 solid years, elected on the platform of separating the races, and there is not a single avenue in which they can claim to have achieved success during those 20 years. They have a blotting paper philosophy that moves races hither and yonder. It does not work and, what is more, they know that it does not work. I would like to give the hon. members on that side a few of the facts.
Get off your soap box.
Listen who is talking.
The Indians are increasing at the rate of 2.35 per cent, the Coloureds at the rate of 2.16 per cent, the Bantu at the rate of 2.07 per cent and the Whites at 1.81 per cent. This is the rate at which the non-Whites are increasing but the only solution hon. members opposite can find is to declare more group areas. Yet the Whites are being out-numbered at the rate of four to one. This pace is going on and in fact it is increasing each year, and all they can think of is to declare more and more group areas. The fact of the matter is that nobody will solve South Africa’s race problems if he ignores our population figures. You ignore the population figures of South Africa at your peril. No policy will be of any value if you continue to do this. Sir, this Government was elected on this platform of separation, and one might well ask in all honesty: “Where is the separation?” The bubble of apartheid has burst; the big bluff has been called, particularly of that hon. Deputy Minister, who continually bluffs this House with figures which bear no relation to the facts. Sir, apartheid does not work and, as somebody said, the juggernaut just does not jug. There has been no separation whatsoever, and where there has been any development, it is because there has been no separation. But what I want to know, Sir, is what the public has been paying for over the last 20 years. This Government is staying in office through various devices such as the halting of immigration, favourable delimitation, a controlled radio …
Order! Is the hon. member reflecting on the judges who carry out the delimitation?
The hon. member must withdraw that.
I withdraw it, Sir. They do it by means of a controlled radio and a controlled Press, by indoctrination in schools, 18-year-old-votes and a judicious use of civil servants’ salaries. But let us hear some of the truth.
What does the man in the street pay for all this? His cost of living today is 75 per cent higher than it was before those hon. members came into office.
And his income?
Ask the house-wife what her cost of living is, and if any hon. member on that side disputes this, let him get up here and say that his wife has not complained about the cost of living in the last six weeks. Sir, I think it is about time that we in this House called the bluff of hon. members opposite. I would like to quote a few figures which I do not believe have been quoted here before. I would like to say to hon. members opposite that in 20 years they have passed nearly 200 laws or amendments to laws dealing with race entirely.
To save your future.
Heaven forbid that you carry on doing it in this way. Hon. members on that side have passed 200 race laws and brought hurt and heartache to thousands of people by shifting them all over the place and what have they achieved? They have achieved precisely nothing. [Interjections.] Let me say this to the hon. member over there who is so noisy. Not only have they passed 200 race laws but they have spent R3,000 million in 20 years on apartheid. We on this side of the House are entitled to know where is this apartheid on which you are spending public money? Sir, an expenditure of R3,000 million in an attempt to separate the races, and we have no separation whatsoever! Let hon. members who talk about the working man, go to the working man and tell him that 11 cents out of R1 that he pays in tax is spent on apartheid. Where is this apartheid? What has the working man got to thank this Government for? They have poured this money down the drain and they have not achieved success in one single avenue.
How many points have you got?
Let the hon. member for Umhlatuzana laugh; I challenge him to get up in his constituency and recite these figures. Now he will not laugh.
There would be nobody to listen to him.
Sir, hon. members opposite blithely talk about the Bantustan solution. A few weeks ago we heard about a new railway line from Richard’s Bay into the interior, a line which this country so badly needs, but what hon. members opposite did not tell us was that that new railway line will go slap through a Bantustan.
Are you against it?
What happens if it goes through a Bantustan? No, I am not against the railway line; I am against your independent Bantustans.
Are you in favour of integration?
I would like to ask that hon. member, who is noisier here than he is in Durban, whether he will get up here and honestly admit that if they found oil in a Bantustan to-morrow, that would be the end of that Bantustan!
Sir, even the Government is beginning to realize how silly the whole thing is. We are told that the Bantu are going back to their homelands. The hon. the Deputy Minister told us this.
I did not say that; you are talking nonsense again.
Sir, the Bantu are going back to this dream-land of theirs. I find this very interesting, but my problem, since the start of this Session, has been just how much one can accept when hon. Ministers make statements because they may mean something else which they are not telling us about at all. Sir, R3,000 million! I want to bring it home to hon. members. Two hundred race laws! In spite of all this, there are now more than 120,000 more non-Whites in Durban alone than there were 15 years ago. That is the position after an expenditure of R3,000 million, and the hon. the Minister comes along and draws a new line for Umlazi and then says that Durban now has fewer Bantu. But they are still there. In the last three years alone this Government has employed an additional 53,000 Bantu. But this is the Government that was going to separate the races. The Government does not even practise what it preaches.
Why don’t they say truthfully that they cannot do it and finish with it?
Do you want our economy to be stagnant?
There are now over 400,000 non-Whites in Government service. There are 57,500 more non-Whites in private industry to-day than there were three years ago. Over the same period the number of Whites has increased by 21,000. The Whites now represent an average of less than 15 per cent in industry in South Africa. But this is what we are paying for. This is what this Government paid R3,000 million for. Sir, I was very interested the other day to read a statement made by the hon. the Deputy Minister in which he said: “The time will come when no black man will be available to anyone in the Republic”. I found that most interesting because at the present moment there are only 5,387,000 black men working in the Republic of South Africa. But the Deputy Minister tells us that the time will come when there will be none. I want to know where he is going to get something like 4,000,000 white immigrants to fill the jobs done by these people. This is the sort of statement, however, that the public is fed with year after year, and this has been going on for 20 solid years. At the moment we are lucky if we get 30,000 white immigrants a year but the Deputy Minister says that we have to fill the places of four million blacks. Sir, to support my contention that apartheid has failed I would like to quote one of the leading members of the Nationalist Party, who had this to say on the 24th March this year—
He went on to say this—
Despite the hon. the Deputy Minister’s attempts—
Sir, this was said by Mr. Gerdener, the Administrator of Natal, a prominent Nationalist who himself admits that apartheid has failed.
He did not admit that.
He said it himself. He said that if by the turn of the century the ratio was one to seven apartheid would have failed. The Bureau of Statistics says that by the turn of the century the ratio of Whites to non-Whites will be one to seven. Sir, I would also like to draw the attention of the House to the statement made by the hon. the Deputy Minister that we must never make the urban Bantu too comfortable because he may be tempted to stay.
That was a mistake. You did not mean that, did you?
Where did I say that?
This was reported in every newspaper in South Africa. Does the hon. the Deputy Minister deny that he said it?
Of course, I did not say it.
What did you say then?
If the hon. the Deputy Minister said that then I believe that he should not only be ashamed of himself, but that he should get up and admit that he should not have said it.
He did not use the word “comfort”. He talked about luxury, and there is a big difference between luxury and comfort.
I have shown that even the Administrator of Natal no longer believes in apartheid. But the Government will go on believing it. I have said before that we are not short of labour in South Africa. What we are short of is a good Government. We are one of the richest countries in the world but we have one of the poorest governments. We have a Government which is rich in politics only but very poor as far as facts are concerned. Already there are two million Bantu children under the age of 14 at school. I would like to ask the hon. the Deputy Minister what he intends to do with the two million Bantu school children. Where are they going to find jobs? Are they going to sit in the sun in some little dream homeland and starve, because the hon. the Deputy Minister will not be able to find jobs for them. He is going to keep them in this Bantustan of his.
Sir, the situation is fraught with danger and I could not care less about this danger if it applied to the Nationalist Party, but what I do care about is that they are doing this to South Africa and it is my family and my children whose lives will be at stake, I could not care less about theirs. If this Government does not do something about the labour position as a matter of extreme urgency, it will soon be too late for anybody to do anything about it. Already we have talk of a shortage of white labour, but while we talk about the shortage of white labour the number of unemployed among the non-Whites is going to grow, and as the number grows, the discontent will grow because hunger will come to the non-Whites. The strange thing is that we talk about a shortage of white labour but the Government employs one-third of the Whites of South Africa in the service of the State. One-third of the available white population is working for the State. Sir, they create boards willy-nilly, and some of these boards do not even save enough money to pay their own salaries. The Group Areas Board draws lines and moves people all over the place but the Group Areas Board has had 30 houses standing vacant in Durban for the last two years, from which it kicked out Indians but it still has not given those houses to the Whites. I have the cutting here—30, and that is only a small number. That is only a small number. The Group Areas Board at the present time controls something like 11,000 houses. Where in the world does one find such an estate agency, such a monster, which these people opposite have created? The people suffer hardships. The hon. member opposite can laugh, but let him go and laugh when he sees these people being moved out of their homes by the same Group Areas Board, a creation of the Government which I believe will still bring about its downfall.
Before I close I want to bring up another subject. It is something apart from this. One might say that the only connection it has with what I have just been discussing is the fact that it is very strange that of the 120 odd Government members, not one has raised a voice in protest. What I am talking about is the increase in third-party insurance rates for the farming community. That side has 126 members, but not one of them got up and said to the Government, “We should not do this”. The Government three years ago created a third-party insurance consortium and it has now put up the rates. The day it put up the rates the justice of the creation of this consortium was doomed. It had no right to put up the rates until it had obtained the figures. Now it comes forward with a set of figures, and the answer given to me was, “You know, we cannot really judge how much profit we have made—or how much loss we suffered—because these figures are for only three years”. That is fair. But then how can they put up the rates? They put up the rates because, so they say, they are showing a loss, yet in the next breath they say they cannot really judge these figures because they are only for three years.
You have got it all wrong now, I will deal with that under the Vote.
Oh, no. The hon. the Deputy Minister must forgive me, but this is a subject about which I know as much as most people. No business in South Africa is given a licence by the Government to start operating and is guaranteed a 25 per cent gross profit. But that is what is happening in the case of the consortium.
They took 30 per cent before that time.
Was that the reason for the establishment of the consortium?
No. They demanded another 20 per cent increase.
All I need say is that the income from the third-party insurance was R45 million for three years. It paid out claims totalling R7 million and had a reserve for claims of R31 million. These are the hon. the Minister’s own figures. Everyone knows that insurance companies keep reserves for claims and they tend to inflate that amount for obvious reasons. There is no justification for the increase in premium. What intrigues me is the fact that not a single hon. member opposite got up and questioned this increase. They let it ride. That is why I say when the hon. member for Welkom claims, “We speak with one voice”, I believe they speak with one voice because they have but one mind.
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member who has just sat down, will not take it amiss of me if I do not elaborate much on what he said here. He said, inter alia, that the birth-rate of the Indians, the Coloureds and the Bantu was so high, while that of the Whites was so low, and all the Government did about it, was to proclaim new group areas. He wanted to know what they were doing about it. Now I want to ask the hon. member whether he wants the Government to apply birth control to those races. What does he mean by his question? Considering the hon. member’s provocative attitude towards the hon. the Minister, I want to content myself by quoting a certain sentence in this regard. There is a certain English expression that is used with regard to such a provocative person, namely, “He is just a bundle of conceit, and nothing else”. I leave it at that as far as the hon. member is concerned.
I want to return to what the hon. member for Kensington said the other day when he referred to the hon. member for Paarl, who had spoken in praise of the achievements of the National Party Government. He told the hon. member for Paarl that the things he had said in this House, he should rather say outside the House, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the National Party Government. He and the other members of this party therefore want to suggest that we do not have the right to pay the National Party Government the tribute due to them, in this House. In other words, the hon. the Opposition think that they have the sole right to criticize and to say here what they like, while the National Party may not emphasize the achievements of its Government here. That is the hon. the Opposition’s mentality, and that is how we know them. We realize that they are very allergic to hearing of all the good deeds performed by the Government, but we on this side have just as much right to say here what we think is right, and we will not have ourselves silenced by the kind of remark made by the hon. member for Kensington to the hon. member for Paarl.
I am very glad that the hon. member for Witbank also referred to our provincial system in his speech. I do not want to say much about this, but I feel that as an ex-M.P.C. it is my duty to say something about our provincial system. I find it rather a pity that some hon. members are concerned about this system. In my opinion it is a good system. It is a well-tried system. If we look at the Estimates and the Revenue Account and see how much money has already been voted in subsidies for the provinces to enable them to provide their services, then we can only feel grateful because the provinces are once again receiving a little more money from the Central Government this year. Since Union in 1910 the system of government has functioned on a federal basis to a certain extent, although not completely. All ordinances passed by the provincial councils, must be submitted to the Central Government for approval. I am a very strong supporter of our provincial system, and not without reason. I am referring specifically to the Transvaal now, because I have a great deal of experience of that province. I want to say that the Transvaal Provincial Council has achieved great heights in its administration. This is known all over the world, and here we think of education in particular. The Transvaal has developed its education to such an extent that it is a credit to the whole of the Republic to-day. They had to take over education from the old Milner regime in very difficult circumstances, and it has been developed to such an extent that it may serve today as a model for the entire country, so much so that we could take it as a norm for our national education policy. We are very proud of this. We also think of the vigorous nature conservation schemes, of the holiday resorts that are being established in the Transvaal by the provincial authorities, and we cannot but speak very highly of them. Those assets are not limited to the Transvaal, but are known all over the world. They attract tourists from all over the world, as well as from all over our country. If we look at the roads of the Transvaal, we also cannot but speak highly of the provincial administration of the Transvaal.
We as Transvalers are very proud of our provincial administration, from the hon. the Administrator, the Executive Committee and the Provincial Council down to their able officials. I want to say that we have every sympathy with our brethren in the other provinces if they are having a hard time. We find it a pity and we hope that matters will improve soon. I want to give them this consolation: They must remember that they always have a rich old uncle across the Vaal River.
In order to adopt a more positive approach in the times in which we are living, I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to permit me to say a few words about the relationship between man and the soil. South Africa is celebrating its Festival of the Soil at the moment, and this coincides with the introduction of a sound Budget, a favourable Budget. I wonder how many hon. members on the other side realize how large a contribution the hon. the Minister of Finance has made towards establishing confidence in the economy of South Africa, not only in our country, but also throughout the world. I do not want to indulge in eulogising the Minister. I can only say that I wish to associate myself with hon. members who spoke here in praise of him. All this puts us in a very optimistic frame of mind as far as the future is concerned, and I think that at this stage in particular it will be fitting to say more about the relationship between man and the soil on which he lives.
We have been given the soil for a particular purpose, and this purpose is to provide for the needs of the living creatures and the plant life of our country. Accordingly it is the duty and the responsibility of man, who has been appointed to rule over all these things, to see to it that the balance between man and nature is not disturbed. If we, who have been created to cultivate and preserve the soil, see to it that the balance is not disturbed, then the future of man will be assured. Therefore we, as rational beings, must see to it that everything that we do to the soil of our country is done according to a planned, scientific, programme. I want to refer to what Dr. S. J. du Plessis, the Chief Director of Agriculture, said just recently. He said the following (translation)—
We must therefore take nature into account. The hon. member for Christiana has on two occasions made well-considered speeches here in which he warned against the dangers threatening agriculture and the population if we do not plan in good time. I want to quote one phrase from the Hansard report of what the hon. member said here. He said—
This is the other factor that comes into the matter. We are living in serious times and we cannot adopt a light-hearted attitude to these matters. These are serious words that were uttered here by the hon. member and I want to associate myself with what he said here. He is not the only one to have said these things. I also have an article here which appeared in Die Transvaler and in which Dr. Van der Merwe said the following when he expressed his concern about the small soil reserves for the increasing population of the Republic (translation)—
We see, therefore, that the future will not be very bright for us if we do not plan well in advance and act accordingly. But we believe that the hon. the Minister and his officials are formulating the right policy for the agricultural industry. This Budget makes a large contribution towards carrying out that programme. However well-formulated a policy may be, unforeseen problems which will necessitate further planning will inevitably crop up. We have had two difficult years, during which the vicissitudes of South African climatic conditions played a large part in agriculture. Thanks to a good Government and a sympathetic Minister, the farmers received assistance when they were hit by natural disasters. First of all there was the oppressive drought, and then suddenly the Orange River floods. Now we are once again experiencing droughts in certain parts of the country. The hon. the Minister has always turned a sympathetic ear to the representations made to him, and he also gave generously, where necessary, to the stricken farmers. We are very grateful that, as we have also seen in the Press, the Minister has made a statement to the effect that he intends granting further assistance to stricken farmers. We welcome this. We want to express our deep gratitude for it. It is very gratifying for us who represent rural constituencies and have to deal with the problems of the farmers every day to hear from the hon, the Minister that provision has again been made for further assistance. I say thank you for that, but it will not be taken amiss of me if I plead here that the hon. the Minister should be lenient and also help those farmers who have not actually been hit by natural disasters, but by other disasters for which they cannot be held responsible. I have in mind particularly those farmers who have suffered tremendous losses as a result of fluctuating marketing conditions and other problems which it was not possible for them to take into account.
This is the position at present, but what about the future? If the population of South Africa is going to be approximately 41 million in the year 2,000 and we are only going to have 21 million morgen of agricultural land, 2½ million morgen of which will be under irrigation by that time, then we have to do something to increase the productivity of the land as well as our production to enable us to feed that growing population. In order to place agriculture on a sound basis in accordance with the policy of the Government and to stabilize it, we must, in my humble opinion, give serious consideration to the following ideas. In the first instance I mention proper agricultural research, secondly, regional planning and then, what I believe will be necessary in future, a permanent co-ordinating planning council for agriculture. Then there are agricultural guidance and priority provision of water for agriculture, as has already been mentioned by the hon. member for Christiana. Although I differ with many hon. members, the time will come, in my humble opinion, when we will have to introduce a quota system. We need better and more economic and stable prices for all agricultural commodities. Taking research first, I am glad to be able to say that the hon. the Minister and his Department are already engaged on it and that considerable progress has been made. I have a booklet here that was published by the Department, namely Technical Bulletin No. 55. Here we read of the tremendous progress that has already been made in the field of research. We cannot place our farming on a sound basis unless proper research is carried out, this is the first principle. Apart from research, it is obvious that we must have regional planning, as the whole country does not have the same geography and topography. Therefore we must have regional planning. When this research and regional planning have been completed, I feel that we must have a permanent co-ordinating planning board to assemble those particulars and to plan accordingly. But then we must also have better extension services in order that these particulars which have been assembled, may be put across to agriculture. For that we need more extension officers. Here we want to plead that the hon. the Minister should do everything in his power to see to it that we shall have more agricultural extension services. But is is no use having more extension services and doing more research if we do not have the necessary water for irrigation to increase the production per morgen. I shall say more about this presently.
When we have done with this, the next item is a better and more economic and stable price for all agricultural commodities. But as thinking people we cannot expect to have this when there is always the danger of surpluses which the Government is saddled with and of other marketing problems. All we shall be able to do in that case is to introduce a quota system. Then we shall be able to exercise proper control over the marketing of our agricultural products. What do we mean by a more economic and stable price? This is a subject on its own, a very extensive subject. But let me just mention in passing that if one cultivates a given piece of land, say one morgen, and applies the best scientific methods there, and one increases the production of that particular morgen of land till it reaches its maximum, and the production cost is then higher than the yield of that morgen, the farmer is buying his crop off his own land. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is unrealistic. The idea that has been taken up so readily throughout the country, i.e. that the function of the farmer is to supply the people with food cheaply, is unrealistic. The farmer is entitled to an economic existence.
In this respect we must do everything in our power to afford the farmer the opportunity of also making an economic and decent living. Once we have reached that stage, I feel that the Government as such can exercise better control. Then there will be no need for us, or so we hope at any rate, to have the tremendous waste caused by over-production We do not realize to-day how many millions and millions of rands are lost as a result of agricultural commodities that cannot be marketed properly going waste or being sold below their market value. It is a waste of the soil and of effort; it is a waste of the initiative of the farmer; it is also a waste of food and of other commodities. I want to say no more, except once again to express my appreciation to the hon. the Minister of Agriculture, and also the hon. the Minister of Finance, for having made it possible for further assistance to be granted to some of our stricken farmers.
Mr. Speaker, after the four days for which this debate has been in progress, I am not surprised that the hon. the Opposition are very disappointed with the arguments which they have put forward against this Budget. I think that this Budget, submitted in the times and in the conditions in which we are living to-day, is an exceptional one. I think that it is as acceptable as any of the budgets of the past, and it was again proved in Pretoria (West) yesterday that his Budget is an assurance in the present international circumstances that South Africa is economically sound.
Why did your majority decrease by almost 3,000?
Why is the United Party’s minority still decreasing? I think that it really would have meant something to the United Party if they could have had one budget equal to this Budget, even in the good years in its time. The United Party cannot point to an equally good Budget during its time of office. This Budget has been drawn up under the difficult conditions of the times in which we are living. As hon. members opposite also indicated in their arguments, we have to spend a great deal at this juncture to keep matters right and to carry out our national policy. We have a policy which we have to carry out under difficult circumstances. Through the years we have had resistance from the Opposition. As far as possible the Opposition have placed obstacles in our way. As far as they have been able to do so, they have tried to place obstacles in our way in order to prevent the successful implementation of our policy. They have opposed everything which they could. The United Party, of course, cannot but be deeply disappointed at the fact that we have already implemented this policy of separate development with so much success. Since we also had the argument yesterday from the hon. member for Orange Grove, and again to-day from the hon. member for Port Natal, that we were spending so much in South Africa that it was adversely affecting South Africa’s economic position, and that we could not afford it, I want to tell the Opposition that the money which we are spending is not being spent for the benefit of other countries, as the Opposition did when they were in power. We are spending this money for the benefit of South Africa and South Africa alone.
We are spending it in the interests of the security, protection and future of the people of South Africa. Therefore any sum which the Government needs, no matter how large, will not discourage us, because we are prepared to make those sacrifices, no matter how much it may cost. The election in Pretoria (West) yesterday proved once again that this policy is endorsed by the people of South Africa, and that they are giving their support to the Government to continue in this way. Let it cost what it may. We are spending this money for South Africa, because this country is all that we have and because we love South Africa and its people above all else. When sacrifices are called for, calculations are superfluous in the case of a cause such as the one on which we are to-day spending our money. I want to draw a comparison. When we as a Government spend this money, we spend it like someone who spends money for someone in his home, someone who is nearest to him and whom he loves. When such a choice comes before us, where we can save someone we love, we do not consider what it will cost. Then we spend, and it makes no difference what it costs. We do not consider what the doctor will charge, or how far away the doctor is. We are prepared to pay whatever it may cost because we want to save what belongs to us and what we love. We know why the Opposition are opposing our policy to-day. Its only hope now is to cause friction between the various population groups. As long as there is friction, the policy of separate development can be undermined.
I now want to say a few words about the following matter. I have lately come to the realization that there is a great deal to be done in Cape Town. The policy of separate development has progressed a very long way in South Africa. It has done so very successfully. But there is still a very great shortcoming here in Cape Town. By experience I have also discovered how the public of Cape Town feel about this. I have lately received hundreds of telegrams in connection with my standpoint. I have also received hundreds of telephone calls and scores of letters in this connection from the voters in Cape Town. If it has been possible to implement apartheid on the trains, which the Opposition said at the time was impossible, then it is also possible to implement apartheid on the buses in Cape Town. This is not only the desire of the Whites, but also that of the non-Whites in Cape Town. It is true that in this connection there are problems for the Coloured community as well. These are problems which exist in their community, but the Government is probably prepared to assist in solving them as well.
But it is not the rich man who is suffering under these problems to-day. It is our working people who are suffering under these problems and difficulties. It is the wish of the people here in Cape Town that action be taken as far as possible in connection with this matter. As a result of the discussions which I have had with certain of the directors of the bus companies, I know that great changes are in fact going to be introduced. Great changes have already been introduced and we are grateful that they have realized at this late stage that large improvements can also be brought about in Cape Town, as has been done in other cities in South Africa. We hope that as a result of these changes which have been introduced the friction which the United Party tried to create in Cape Town will also disappear in the course of time. But we are not yet satisfied with what has been done. We trust that the bus companies will not only be bent on drawing financial gain from the public, but will also endeavour to ensure that provision is made for their convenience and that they are satisfied. We know that lately, whenever United Party speakers come to the country districts and are asked questions about apartheid, they say: “Look what is happening in Cape Town.” But when they come here they say just the opposite. Then they co-operate to the full with the Cape Town City Council.
I think these points of friction must now be eliminated. It was no surprise to me that the United Party recently made every effort to maintain District Six as it was for as long as possible. And yet there are thousands of their supporters here in Cape Town who want the policy of the Government to be implemented in this connection and who accordingly want pressure to be exerted not only on the United Party members opposite, but also on the City Council in order to achieve this end. As a matter of fact, hon. members opposite know, as they sit there, what pressure is today being exerted on them to ensure that apartheid succeeds in Cape Town. I know that it is not the Coloureds who opposed apartheid on buses. We regard the Coloureds of Cape Town as generally well educated and if there is a percentage of them who do not accept apartheid, then it is only a small one.
It was Whites who were against apartheid and who boycotted separate buses. And I want to express my dissatisfaction with these people who are still trying to have this point of friction continue, in conflict with the policy of the Government and against the will of the electorate. The Government has given the Cape Town City Council a very great deal of time—in fact, too much time. The City Council has had all the time required to put this matter right. The problem with which I am dealing we find not only on our buses, but also on our beaches and in our parks. I want to predict that unless the United Party assists in eradicating this problem, it will vanish from the scene in Cape Town, including the City Council, at the next election. It is time that the City Council falls in with the policy of the Government of the country, a policy which the Government will implement regardless of the cost. It is not necessary that people should remain in power in certain bodies and go against the policy of the country. As I have said, I foresee the day when the United Party will be swept out of Cape Town if it does not help to eradicate this problem. I have dozens of witnesses for this—English speaking, Afrikaans speaking and Coloureds. I hope that after the experience which I had and after the awakening which is discernible among the public of Cape Town in connection with this matter, action will be taken to put this matter right.
I want to say to the Coloured population, to the Coloureds who come to see me so often, here in the Parliamentary buildings, as well that we know that they are faced with a hooligan element in their ranks. But I can assure them that the Government is responsible for their welfare too and that when the Coloured Affairs Vote is discussed here, more attention will probably be given to this. We will not leave them in the circumstances under which they are suffering. We want to thank them for the conviction which has developed amongst them and for the proof they are providing that they are prepared to accept apartheid in Cape Town, as it is accepted in the whole of the Republic of South Africa.
If there are those among the Coloured population who would not like to have some of the others of their group with them on their buses, I want to say that among us Whites there are also some of our people whom we do not want to have with us on our buses. But we cannot simply throw these people to the dogs—they are our people and they will remain our people. It is therefore our duty to take them with us, and we do so. The Coloureds must do the same, and must not reject those individuals in their community which they do not want to accept. It is also the duty of the Coloureds to take those individuals along with them, to educate and train them to become decent and civilized. In that way we can make one another happy.
I hope that after my experience and after the reaction that was forthcoming the voters of Cape Town will soon see a change and that the United Party will realize that this will be the last opportunity for them in the City Council to do something in this connection if they want it to be recorded in history that they also had a share in the successful implementation of the apartheid policy of this country.
Mr. Speaker. I listened with interest to the hon. member for Prieska’s discourse on the application of the apartheid policy in Cape Town. I fear that I am just as unqualified to speak about it as he is. The hon. member comes from Prieska and I come from Johannesburg, and it is difficult for us to speak authoritatively on the position in a place which is so far away from us. I noticed immediately that the hon. member does not know Cape Town and, indeed, that he does not know the laws of our country. He blamed the Cape Town City Council for the position existing in Cape Town. He stated that the Cape Town Council was controlled by the United Party, and this is untrue. The hon. member blamed the Cape Town City Council for the lack of full separation on the buses. The hon. member ought to know that the bus companies in Cape Town are private undertakings. These companies are licensed by the Road Transportation Board, a body controlled by the hon. the Minister of Transport, and not by the Cape Town City Council. The National Road Transportation Board has the power to lay down conditions to be complied with by the bus companies in transporting their passengers in the Cape Peninsula. There are numerous examples of cases where the Road Transportation Board stipulated that there had to be separation. They have done so in the case of taxis, and they can just as well do so in the case of buses. However, if the Road Transportation Board has not done so in the case of the buses, the hon. member for Prieska must accept that a board which acts under the supervision of the hon. the Minister of Transport has sound reasons for not doing so. We already have separate buses on the services to Bellville, while on other buses we only have separation between Whites and non-Whites as far as certain seats are concerned. This matter is therefore not the responsibility of the City Council, but of the Department of Transport. Every word of criticism which the hon. member for Prieska directed at the Cape Town City Council, was therefore addressed to the wrong party, and should have been directed at the hon. the Minister of Transport.
However, I want to say a few words in connection with the Budget and other matters related to it. I have noticed that everybody has described this Budget as a “neutral” one. I think this is a very good description of it, because it is definitely a very non-committal budget. It is a budget in which no definite decisions have been taken and no definite direction has been indicated. It seems to me for all the world as though the hon. the Minister of Finance is asking the people for time while the Government is thinking what policy it should follow in the future. One point which is not clear is whether the fight against inflation has been won or not. This year we have had the most striking contradictions between the two hon. Ministers who introduce budgets in this Parliament. The hon. the Minister of Transport assured us that the fight against inflation had been won. He felt himself free to grant R43 million in direct salary and wage increases to the railwaymen in South Africa. His words in his Budget speech were that “the present indications are that the fight against inflation is being won”. Therefore the hon. the Minister could justify the fact that R43 million was being paid out in direct wage increases. I take it that the hon. the Minister of Transport is not acting in a superficial way and that he also had his advisers informing him in all seriousness that the fight against inflation had been won to such an extent that the R43 million could be granted in direct increases. No one can deny that R43 million which is suddenly injected into the economy by way of wage increases for a considerable section of the population, must have an inflationary effect on the economy. One cannot risk doing something like this unless one is fairly certain that the fight against inflation has in fact been won. The Budget speech of the hon. the Minister of Finance a fortnight later, on the other hand, is full of warnings that the fight against inflation has not been won. I remember, for example, that the hon. the Minister said that the main object of the Budget was to continue the fight against inflation until the final victory had been won. He also said that for that reason there could be no dramatic changes in fiscal strategy or tactics, as the fight against inflation had not yet been won. The hon. the Minister made a very modest announcement in the interests of the employees for whom he is responsible, namely those public servants employed by the Central Government and the provincial councils. Public servants received only R25 million. This was not in the form of direct wage increases, but in the form of fringe benefits, such as increased vacation allowances, a new dispensation in respect of pension deductions, etc. The hon. the Minister said that in view of the small concessions he was making the private sector could not adopt the attitude that their workers should put forward demands for higher salaries and wages. The hon. the Minister intimated that he was not creating a precedent. What must we think of this? I think that the hon. the Minister was very optimistic if he thought that the private sector would look at the R68 million which public servants and railway officials were receiving by way of remuneration and would not think that they too were entitled to their share. Why do two hon. Ministers talk at odds with one another? Why do they differ in their actions? Which one must the people believe? It is a very strange phenomenon that the one hon. Minister can say that inflation has been overcome and that the other hon. Minister can say that the fight against inflation is continuing. The one hon. Minister presumes to say that the people must believe him, and not his colleague, and that the people must act according to his judgment, and not according to the judgment of his colleague. To me this is a very strange state of affairs, because I have always believed that there is such a thing as Cabinet responsibility, and that what one Minister says becomes the responsibility of the entire Cabinet. However, if two hon. Ministers contradict each other, what is then the Cabinet’s responsibility in South Africa? Where are we going to find a Solomon to give us a decision and to tell us who is wrong and who is right?
The interesting fact about these increases to both railwaymen and public servants is that so few are satisfied with them. During the Railway debate I asked the Minister what the cause was of the “seething discontent” which had arisen among many of the recipients of this largesse from the Railway Administration. The hon. the Minister, however, knew nothing of it. As usual the Opposition was in closer contact with the worker of South Africa than the Government was. The following day the hon. the Minister admitted that there was in fact discontent. Now there are staff associations, such as the Salaried Staff Association, that want to meet the hon. the Minister in regard to this matter. We have not yet had such a direct reaction from the public servants. We may be sure, however, that when they analyze what is happening to them, they will not be very pleased with the hon. the Minister of Finance and with the Cabinet. It is clear that the public servants are suffering in comparison with the railwaymen. The hon. the Minister of Transport could grant R43 million to a staff establishment of 221,000 persons, 116,000 of whom are non-Whites. This means an increase of approximately R190 per year per member of staff, Whites and non-Whites. According to the latest figure which I could obtain in a Press release of the Department of Census and Statistics on 6th December, 1967, there were about 480,000 Government and provincial officials in South Africa, 271,000 of whom were non-Whites. If they had to rely on the R25 million, it would mean R53 per official per year. However, I take it that the provincial councils and other bodies will make their own financial provision. I therefore think that we must limit this calculation to Government officials only. One then obtains a figure which boils down to this, that the Government official in South Africa will only get approximately half of what the railwayman is getting from the Government. Why this discrimination? I have the greatest respect for our railwaymen. We as the Opposition have, on our part, expressed our appreciation for the concessions granted to railway-men. Why must the Government officials only receive half this amount? Why do railwaymen receive their increases directly, while Government officials have to be satisfied with fringe benefits? However, these fringe benefits have certain virtues, and I do not think that they are unwelcome. But it is a very dangerous precedent which is being created, and one who has the interests of these people at heart, becomes concerned at the fact that there is such a strong tendency on the part of the State and certain private undertakings to pacify their employees by means of fringe benefits instead of direct salary increases. In each salary or wage earner’s life a crisis occurs at some time or another. This is when that person has to retire on pension. It usually means a sudden drop in his standard of living and actual income, because no pension is comparable to the salary received by a person just before he retires. When such a person receives a considerable portion of his income by way of fringe benefits, which are not pensionable and do not contribute towards earning him a pension, this drop in standard of living and income becomes disastrous in some cases. I hope that the hon. the Minister concerned in this matter will give proper attention to this and will tell us what his answer is and what steps the Government is going to take to prevent such a tremendous change from occurring in the standard of living of our officials on retirement, so that we shall not perpetrate an injustice towards these people, to whom we wish to express our thanks for their loyal service to the State. We see serious discrimination in this regard.
However, there is another matter which I want to discuss, and I am glad that the hon. the Minister of Community Development is present here. This is the question of certain ministerial journeys over the past few years. The hon. member for Berea has since 1965 put a number of questions to various Ministers about their travels abroad. He obtained a great deal of very interesting information in the process, which he has made available to me for this purpose. I want to refer to the years 1965, 1966 and 1967. I want to say right away that we as an Opposition have no objection to our Ministers going abroad. On the contrary, we want to encourage it within reasonable limits. We are of the opinion that any leader of the Nationalist Party, and leaders of other parties as well, can only benefit by going abroad. We can all benefit from making the widest possible contact with the world outside, not only to learn and acquire knowledge for ourselves, but also to try to create a better impression of South Africa, considering that South Africa is so often wrongly represented and unjustly slandered to-day. In 1965, perhaps in pursuit of the ideals which I have just mentioned, six of our Cabinet Ministers travelled abroad, and the total cost of their travels was reasonable, namely R50,800. In 1966 five of our Ministers travelled beyond the borders of the Republic and the total cost was R34,000, still more reasonable. In 1967 eight Ministers travelled abroad and the total cost was a little higher, almost strangely higher, namely R86,470. Most of these Ministers acted in a modest way, and I think that we, as the Opposition, want to congratulate them on that. They kept themselves in check rather well, and obviously did not waste the taxpayers’ money. I want to go back a few years further to mention a striking example of modesty. In 1963 Minister Serfontein, the then Minister of Social Welfare, went abroad. He visited five countries and it cost the taxpayer R8,000. No one can possibly object to that. In 1967 the Minister of National Education undertook an extensive tour. He visited 12 countries, including the U.S.A. and Canada. He took five persons with him; he travelled from May to July, and the total cost to the State was R19,073. No one can object to that. The hon. the Minister of Immigration, a very modest man—he was brought up in this Party—visited 11 countries in 1966. He was accompanied by four persons. He was away from this country for one month and ten days and I must really congratulate him, because the cost to the taxpayer was a mere R7,100. Even if he had done nothing, it would still have been worthwhile for South Africa, because he saved money. The Minister of Economic Affairs visited nine countries in 1967, accompanied by four persons, and he was away for one month and five days and it only cost R10,000, a little less modest, but still reasonable.
But then we come to the Minister of Community Development, and let me say at once that I have no animus against him. I am mentioning this because it is our duty as members of this House and particularly as members of the Opposition to look after the interests of the taxpayer of South Africa and to prevent the taxpayers’ money from being spent lavishly. In the year in question the Minister concerned made three visits abroad. Two of these were actually one. During one part of the visit, according to the reply to the questions, he acted as Minister in one capacity and during the other as Minister in another capacity. These three trips cost the taxpayer R54,000. In 1967 he visited seven countries, including the U.S.A. and Canada, as Minister of Social Welfare and Pensions, and according to his reply he was accompanied by Dr. A. T. Winkler. He was away for two months and three days, and solely in the interests of the Department of Social Welfare and Pensions the cost of the trip was R3,914. But on the same trip he visited eight countries, many of which overlapped, including the U.S.A. and Canada. He was accompanied by five persons. He was away for two months and three days and the cost to the taxpayer was R28,435. In 1965 as Minister of Forestry he visited ten countries, including Finland, accompanied by five persons. He did not disclose the duration of the visit in his reply to the question, but the cost to the taxpayer was R22,000. Just to bring home the size of these figures, I want to recall the figures which I mentioned at the beginning of my speech when I referred to the total cost of Ministerial journeys during these years. In 1965, I repeat, six Ministers travelled abroad. The total cost was R50,800. The Minister of Forestry undertook one of the six journeys at the time and his share of the cost of R50,800 was R22,140. In 1966 this hon. Minister did not travel abroad. However, five Ministers did travel and the total cost decreased to R34,000. In 1967 eight Ministers travelled. The total cost was R86,470, but the total cost incurred by the Minister concerned was R32,349, in the one year. In one year he did not travel at all. Now I want to mention that in giving these figures, we do not know the cost of a journey which the hon. the Minister of Finance undertook last year when he attended the meeting of the International Monetary Fund. I just want to make it clear that this is not included in the calculation which I am making. In the three years the total expenditure on Ministerial journeys was R50,800, R34,000 and, excluding the journey of the Minister of Finance, R86,470, a total of R171,270. The hon. the Minister of Community Development cost the taxpayer R54,500 of this sum in the space of two years—he did not travel every year; that is to say, the one Minister must account for 32 per cent, almost one-third of the total cost of Ministerial travel in the three years, during which 19 Ministers travelled abroad. I have already said, and I want to repeat, that I hope that the hon. the Minister and his colleagues will accept that I am doing this without any personal animus. But this is a shocking figure, and I think that, since it is our duty to see to it that the taxpayers’ money is put to proper use, this House and the public are entitled to an explanation of why the journeys of this particular hon. Minister should have cost so much more than those of other Ministers, and should amount to so large a proportion of the cost of 19 Ministerial journeys. Is it possible for the House to be furnished with an analysis of the heads under which the expenses were incurred, so that we may judge why the cost incurred by this Minister—we do not want to censure him undeservedly—seem proportionally so excessive on the face of it? The Minister is an energetic man, a man of great enthusiasm, and we are sure that where he does work for South Africa abroad he will do it well, but why must it cost the taxpayer so much more than in the case of other Ministers? Is money not being wasted? We are entitled to know. We are asking urgently but politely and emphatically for a full analysis of the expenses incurred in this way.
Now, in the few minutes remaining to me, I should like to raise another matter, and that is that we were disappointed to see that in the Budget speech and in the discussions which followed from the Government side, so little attention was paid to and so little was disclosed to us about something which I and people who know more about the matter consider to be one of the greatest, most urgent and most difficult problems facing South Africa, namely the question of the labour shortage which our country is experiencing. This shortage is one of the main reasons why we have inflation in South Africa. I think the Minister will agree with me here. This labour shortage makes it very difficult for us to spend the money which is available, the capital which is formed in South Africa or which we are able to import, expeditiously to increase productivity in South Africa. This is a bottleneck in our economy. It was put very well recently by Dr. F. J. Jacobs, the General Manager of the Union Steel Corporation, a large company in which the Government holds 51 per cent of the shares. He quoted figures which my hon. Leader already quoted a year or so ago when he said that 90 per cent of all the scientists in the history of mankind are living to-day. This is a very striking figure. Ninety per cent of all the scientists in the history of mankind are living to-day. Therefore one can rightly speak of a technical explosion, an explosion of knowledge in the world to-day, and it is the duty of a progressive country such as South Africa to ensure that it does not fall behind in this tremendous progress made by man in the field of knowledge. Then Dr. Jacobs pointed out that we in South Africa could expect to have a shortage of about 27,000 white workers by 1971, which is just around the corner, three years hence, people whom we need in fields where expertise and knowledge are absolutely imperative if we want to maintain our progress. My difficulty is that one gets the impression that the Government is not sufficiently aware of this increasing problem in South Africa; that the Government and the Cabinet are too busy with and are paying too much attention to restricting and shifting round Bantu labour and that they are forgetting that one of the bottlenecks which should receive urgent attention in our national life is the shortage of white workers to do the better paid, the more skilled, more difficult and more complicated work in South Africa, work which must be done by the leading community in South Africa. I hope that the hon. the Minister of Finance, because it is to a large extent his responsibility too, will tell us in his reply what his attitude in this connection is and what he, as the man in charge of the Finance Department, can do to help to eliminate this bottleneck as soon as possible.
The non-Whites can assist us in this problem. They can assist us in this respect, that they can free Whites to do more skilled and more expert work which the white manpower concerned is qualified to do. This is something which worries and perturbs one a great deal in South Africa, i.e. that it is apparently part of the Government’s policy to apply measures to prevent Whites from being upgraded from the lower spheres of employment in South Africa to the higher spheres of employment in cases where they are qualified for this; because job reservation and similar measures have a two-fold effect. If one prohibits non-Whites from doing certain work, one also prohibits Whites from not doing that work; then one also prohibits Whites from moving out of that sphere of employment into a higher sphere of employment; this is inevitably the case, and it is a pity, because we are forfeiting an opportunity which exists for the promotion of our Whites, just as great and even greater than the opportunity which we have for the promotion of our non-Whites. I hope that I am right in saying that the Government is working on a plan to circumvent their ideological problems in this connection. The Government is faced with an ideological problem which makes it difficult for them to allow Whites to move up because non-Whites will have to come in to fill the posts which they vacate. I trust that I am reading the position correctly when I say that one of the objects of the border industry policy is that on the borders of our reserves non-Whites will be allowed to do work which they are not allowed to do in the white areas; i.e. that the colour bar will be broken down and will gradually be destroyed, not in Johannesburg—and this is perhaps really what the hon. the Deputy Minister of Bantu Administration is aiming at—but in the border industries. There are strong arguments in favour of this and I do not want to criticize him, but I want to express the hope that this will not happen at the cost of the standard of living which has been achieved for the white workers in the white areas. In replies which we have received from the Minister of Labour, there are already signs that one of the incentives being used to encourage industrialists to go to Rosslyn and Pinetown and such places, is the concession that they can have people working there at lower wages than are laid down in terms of wage determinations and industrial council agreements. [Time expired.]
I appreciate the way the hon. member for Yeoville put his case here in connection with the cost of the trips I had made. But the fact that a Budget debate had to be used for that purpose is an indication of how bankrupt the Opposition is. They use a front bencher to obtain that type of information, information which could as easily have been obtained under my Vote by way of asking questions, but now the Budget debate, one of the most important debates of the Session, has to be used for that purpose. That merely goes to show how bankrupt the Opposition is as to real arguments with which they can attack the Government.
As regards my trips abroad, the hon. member and other hon. members must bear in mind that when Ministers of this Government go abroad, they do not do so in order to spend a holiday there or to do something of that nature. They go abroad in order to do work and to make the necessary contacts with the various bodies. That is why if is from the nature of the case quite easy to understand, if the hon. member would only think about it for himself, why the costs incurred by various Ministers who go abroad for various reasons will differ tremendously. Let me just mention an example. Take my colleague, the hon. the Minister of National Education, who went abroad in his capacity as Minister of Information. He went over in order to visit the various information offices of the Republic in countries abroad. He visited quite a number of countries, but in the main his expenses were confined to air fares, hotel expenses while he visited our information offices, and then travel expenses to the next information office.
Did he sleep in the information offices?
No, of course he did not. While he was there he had talks with the officials concerned and with the other bodies there, but he confined himself to the immediate vicinity of the information office. But he went abroad for quite different purposes. Take, for instance, the 1965 trip in connection with forestry. I made that trip, accompanied by senior officials, in order to study forestry practices, saw-mill practices and research practices abroad, and it was the first time in the history of South Africa that a trip of this nature had been undertaken on that level. For that reason the Government decided, with the approval of the then Prime Minister, that an extended tour would be undertaken, and the report we subsequently published, is contained in a very thick volume. But, Mr. Speaker, the forests are not situated in the cities of Europe, near the airports.
But, surely, you did not drive around every tree in a Cadillac.
These forests are scattered all over Europe. They are situated in the mountains in the various areas. One has to travel there, the result being that in those cases one’s motoring expenses are very much higher than they would be in the case of another Minister. In the same way saw-mills are scattered all over the country. They are not situated in the cities, but in the smaller places in the various forests. Take research projects as an example. When other Ministers go to France, their work is in Paris, in the capital of France …
Where hotels are much more expensive.
… where the hotels are very expensive. When I went there, I had to make contact with the Government authority in Paris, but from there I had to undertake a journey to Nancy, where the research institute is situated.
How far is that?
Well I never, hon. members do not even know how far it is. I cannot remember the exact distances, but Nancy is the capital of Alsace-Lorraine, which is situated near the West German border, near the Rhine. That was how it was in every country. My tour was not only confined to the capitals and the talks conducted in those capitals. They were essential, but in addition there were tours of inspection which took me all over the country and to various other places. One of the expensive items in undertaking such a journey is the hire of a car with a chauffeur, since one cannot do one’s own driving there. What would it look like if one of my officials or I were to drive on the wrong side of the road over there? We would not arrive at our destination. One must have a car with a chauffeur. [Interjections.] It is an expensive item. It is an item which immediately pushes up the daily expenses. That was how it went in every country, because in not one single country did I stay in the large and expensive hotels of the capitals for any length of time; I conducted my talks there and immediately after that I accompanied officials of those departments to the various projects themselves in order to investigate them personally, to see for myself what was happening there and eventually to bring out the report on the basis of the talks I had had there. In that connection you must bear in mind, Mr. Speaker, that when one goes to the capitals of the various countries where the South African missions are situated, one is dealing with people who do at any rate enjoy the hospitality of the representatives of the Government from time to time. But in cases where I had to visit those places which are off the beaten track and where those people extended their hospitality to me, I had to reciprocate their hospitality on a modest scale. I do not think hon. members will take that amiss of me. I think that is the least one can do for the sake of South Africa’s prestige abroad. Take the tour I undertook in the course of last year. I went abroad in order to inquire into the way in which flats, premises and single-family dwellings for the lower and middle income groups were being made available and the problems attendant upon doing so, such as transport problems and the cost of providing services. I had to investigate the role played by the authorities and private entrepreneurs in respect of the above matter and the measures taken by the authorities to prevent urban areas from falling into decay. I inquired into urban renewal, particularly in respect of the methods applied in order to convert urban complexes that have lagged behind into viable areas once again, methods according to which slum clearance and urban renewal are being financed, and so forth. I investigated modern trends and methods in regard to preconstruction, the metropolitan development of urban areas and the extent to which the central government is involved—to refer to community development only. But here again these are matters which, in the first place, one discusses with government bodies and persons. But after such discussions, one inquires into these matters. One is accompanied by the officials of those governments when one visits various projects.
May I put a question? Is it not possible for the officials of the other governments to provide the Minister with transport, as we do here?
No, that does not happen. South Africa is one of the few countries which extends that measure of hospitality to persons from other countries. In most of those countries that was the case. In the United States I had to give the officials of the American Government a lift in the car I had to hire to take us to the various places.
But that was exceptional, not so?
No, that is not exceptional. It happened in various places. But in this respect I have to make an exception, namely the Netherlands. In one particular area in the Netherlands the local authority provided me with transport in the form of one of their buses. But for that exception, we had to make use of our own transport everywhere—transport we had to hire locally—in order to inspect the various places. Problems of this nature differ completely from place to place. The problems in New York are totally different from the problems in Boston, for instance. These various places have to be visited and investigations have to be made there. It is of no use to incur the tremendous costs of those air trips and then not to go around and inspect the various projects there. The air trips alone amounted to approximately R2,000 per person. It is of no use to buy such expensive aeroplane tickets and then to return later after only a few things, which shed light on certain aspects only, have been inspected. All the various problems that are being discovered, must be investigated further there. From place to place it happened that we had to alter the programme that had been planned in advance so as to enable us to investigate further certain problems we had discovered and interesting matters we had encountered, and in such cases we visited other places in order to investigate that specific problem and to discuss it with the local people who were specifically dealing with it.
Don’t the other Ministers do the same when they are over there?
The hon. member did not follow me. I said that it was possible that some of them also conducted similar inquiries, but most of them go abroad and negotiate with a few people only. For instance, when my colleague the hon. the Minister of Finance goes abroad, he negotiates with the heads of governments, a few heads of banks, etc., and that is the end of it. Those people are not scattered over a wide area. But the things I inspected were not situated close to one another. They are scattered all over those countries.
A former Minister of Forestry and a former Minister of Social Welfare also went abroad; their visits did not cost so much. Did they not do their work?
No other Minister of Forestry went abroad, not in his capacity as Minister of Forestry.
Another Minister of Social Welfare then.
Yes, but he went as Minister of Social Welfare. As hon. members will see, I did not refer to welfare matters here. I referred to matters that were investigated in respect of community development.
Minister Botha went abroad as Minister of Housing.
As Minister of Housing he went to a few countries in Europe. The U.S.A. and Canada, the expensive countries, were not included in his itinerary. What he investigated was more specifically housing problems and preconstruction. The problems I investigated, are the new developments which are entering the scene, matters such as urban renewal, slum clearance and the modern methods connected with such matters. It covered a very wide field.
I am quite prepared to allow anybody to have access to the accounts. I want to make it clear that, since we were going abroad, it was our aim to investigate the matter thoroughly, to get to the bottom of the problem. That is why I am engaged in examining systematically and piece by piece the voluminous report with which we came back and also in tackling the various problems. My officials are processing the data we collected. Acting on my instructions they are also following up contacts we have built up abroad in this way, and trying to obtain further information from them, as we require it in the processing of our programmes. I believe that we shall in future derive great benefit from this information, not because I went over, but because these particular tours were undertaken, and because this study was done.
I want to tell hon. members that I have come to realize that we in South Africa should take care lest we follow a course along which we permit our cities and towns simply to develop in a way which will in future cost South Africa tremendous amounts of money to overcome the problems caused in this way. At the moment we are trying to take measures—difficult, complicated measures—to prevent that. To mention one example: In the past financial year my Department of Community Development had to spend an amount of more than R600,000 on consultants alone—consultants in respect of commercial areas that had to be developed, new renewal areas, new development, and so forth. The work done by those consultants has to be evaluated by me and the senior officials in my Department. We must know whether the work is being done in the right direction. Whereas in one year we are spending the amount of R600,000 on consultants in my Department alone, spending the amount of R28,000 to keep us posted on modern methods that are being applied all over the world, is money well spent, is cheap at the price. We have an enormous task in this regard and we are determined to tackle it in a way which will give South Africa the benefit of it.
I want to conclude. At this stage I do not want to say much about other matters. The hon. member for Umbilo spoke about welfare matters. The impression he created, was that this Budget was merely giving crumbs to the underprivileged, whilst much more should have been done. I am sorry that my time does not permit me to reply to all his arguments, but I think they are for the most part arguments which can be discussed under my Vote during the committee stage. I just want to call attention to what I consider to be of the greatest importance, and that is the fact that in his speech he completely forgot to mention the specific benefits this Budget is bringing to the most indigent of our country. For instance, he forgot to mention the fact that in future a widows’ income will be halved when it comes to the calculation of parents’ and children’s allowances. This is a new breakthrough which we have made and which will bring tremendous benefits to these people, who have to receive maintenance for their children. In addition, as regards income in respect of Government and private pensions in the future, the maintenance paid by the father in respect of the children will no longer be taken into account in that income. He also forgets that we are going to pay a new bonus of R1 per month per child, which is a particular asset to the large family. He also forgot to mention the additional allowance to widows with dependent children which has been increased from R5.50 to R10 per month.
I only had half an hour in which to make my speech, and I could not refer to everything.
In other words, the hon. member kept silent about all the major things that were done. He did not express one single word of thanks in respect of them. He did not express one single word of appreciation. On the contrary, he referred to the crumbs.
No, he said thank you very much for the things that had been granted.
Yes, but he immediately went on to say that these benefits were “minute”. That is what he said, in spite of the fact that they are major and important breakthroughs.
In that connection the hon. member also referred to the per capita allowances paid to children’s homes. He mentioned figures in respect of certain institutions, and using that as a basis he claimed that the State’s contribution in respect of the care of those poor children in the children’s homes amounted to approximately 44 per cent of the per capita expenditure in respect of those children. I want to state emphatically that that cannot be true at all, except if it is in respect of one or two specific institutions which provide extraordinary facilities. Because, what the hon. member apparently forgot, is firstly that over and above the per capita allowance a subsidy is also being paid on the salaries of the staff of those institutions. My Department made a calculation which included a large number of institutions controlled by a variety of welfare organizations. A fully audited statement of their expenditure was obtained. On the basis of this survey it was found that with those concessions the State was paying 60 per cent of the per capita cost of the maintenance of those children. That is the goal we have always set for ourselves, namely that as far as welfare matters are concerned, the necessary co-operation and collaboration between the State and society should exist. The State should not bear the responsibility of providing the whole amount. The community must be partly responsible. In the past that has always been the aim we had in view. It is not always possible to determine these things very precisely, but in the past our aim has always been a ratio of more or less 60 per cent on the shoulders of the State and 40 per cent on the shoulders of society. In other words, the hon. member’s approach in that regard was not entirely correct.
I quoted the figures from the final accounts.
That may be true in respect of a few institutions which give special benefits, but then I am not sure, either, whether the hon. member has taken into account all the subsidies and the aid they receive. I am giving him the assurance that my Department has made a survey of a large number of institutions belonging to various welfare bodies, and according to that survey, with this per capita allowance, the contribution made by the State represents 60 per cent of the total cost of those institutions.
He also suggested that the aged and the social pensioners were being robbed by us of at least R6 per month, in view of the fact that we are only putting these benefits into effect as from 1st October of this year and not as from 1st April. But, surely, the hon. member knows why, and on several occasions my predecessors and I have already said why it is necessary for the payments to be done in this way. Ever since we automatized in the Department, it has been necessary to have approximately five to six months’ notice of any changes or any increases, since all the cards with which the computers are to be fed, have to be prepared and altered to contain the new information, even if it is only an increase of R1. Each of those information cards or rolls must be altered. There are thousands upon thousands of those cards. It takes time, unless overtime is worked on a tremendously large scale and additional workers are employed, and that will cost more than the benefits will eventually amount to. That is why we need approximately five to six months for carrying out preparatory work. The hon. member referred to what had happened in 1966. At one stage the increase did become effective as from 1st April. But what he forgot to add, was that the Government had already announced in November, 1965, that those improvements would be effected.
The result was that the increase could be paid out in April of the next year already. It should be borne in mind that the increases could only be paid out after the Appropriation Act had been passed in June. In other words, the Departments had from November to June, more than five months, to prepare for the necessary payments. That is why it was possible in that case. In this case the decision was taken when all the decisions in respect of the Budget were taken, and it was not, as was the case then, announced beforehand. It is only when it is announced beforehand, as it was in that year, that it can be done in that way, i.e. without a tremendous amount of expenditure being incurred. That is why the hon. member must accept that, unless we want to spend almost just as much on extra employees as the amount involved in the extra benefits, we must accept this principle, namely that every time this kind of improvement is effected, it can only be put into practice as from a date more or less six months after the announcement in the Budget, in view of the fact that this period of preparation is necessary for the computers and the gathering of data.
The hon. member also referred to the increase of R1 per month granted to the social pensioners. He said that it was minute. But it has to be regarded as being bound up with what has been done over a period of years. Over the past three years and in the past three budgets pensioners have received increases totalling R4 per month in all. Over the past three years it has been increased from R28 to R32. In other words, over the past three years an improvement of 14 per cent has been effected in social pensions. I do not want to suggest that this is sufficient to enable those people to lead a decent existence. That has never been the purpose of social pensions. Social pensions are a supplement. With such pensions one cannot set a standard which will be a viable, high standard for that person, because then one would be depriving him of the initiative of providing for his own old age. That is one of the principles of which we have always been proud in South Africa. The hon. member said that apparently we would still have to retain the means test until such time as we had a compulsory contributory scheme one day. It seems to me as though the hon. member does not know what it is. In the U.S.A., where such a scheme was introduced in 1935, they still have social pensions and they still have a means test. It is because no compulsory contributory scheme can ever cover all the people in a country. Every country has a certain percentage of people who are not productive.
It covers 90 per cent of the people in the U.S.A. at the moment.
No, it has not reached 90 per cent yet. It is close to 90 per cent, but not quite 90 per cent. Amongst them, too, there are still people who are not getting enough under the contributory scheme to enable them to subsist on that alone. It is only after a contributory scheme has been in existence for a number of years that a level is reached where the contributions and the benefits are such that one may exclude those who contributed towards it. It is for that very reason a means test for social pensions has to be retained in respect of that 10 per cent plus of the people in the U.S.A. who could not be employed productively during their productive lives. A social benefit scheme and a means test still apply in the case of these people.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No. 23 and debate adjourned.
The House adjourned at