House of Assembly: Vol3 - WEDNESDAY 10 APRIL 1985
Mr Chairman, a few days ago I went to the building society which financed the purchase of my residence to pay the instalment on my bond. While standing there I saw an advertisement proclaiming that that building society was paying an interest rate of 20% on investments. I put it to the lady behind the counter that at that interest rate money must have been pouring in at the door. Her reply to this was: “No, Sir, even at this interest rate hardly any new investments are being made at the building society.”
Arising from that I reviewed the pattern of personal saving over the past few years. In 1979 personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was as much as 13%. In 1980 it decreased to 11% and subsequently continued a sharp decline until it stood at only 3% in 1983. In 1984 it was 3,5% at least. What was interesting, however, was that in the second quarter of 1984 personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income amounted to a negative rate.
Meanwhile, however, tax-free investments with insurance companies increased dramatically over the same period. Year after year record amounts are invested with insurance companies. I could make a speech on the importance of personal saving which would far exceed the time at my disposal this afternoon. Personal savings with financial institutions are naturally the most important source from which old and new suppliers of goods and services draw their loan capital.
Loan capital acquired from this source stimulates the economy of the country after all so that new job opportunities are created and the entire economic growth of the country is stimulated. This in turn contributes to lower prices, increased exports, a lower inflation rate and so forth.
The question now arises why saving at an interest rate of 20% cannot be stimulated. If an interest rate is 20% and the inflation rate 15%, it is not worthwhile if tax has yet to be paid on that 5% which represents net earnings. It is then not worth a person’s trouble to save with financial institutions accepting deposits. In order to stimulate personal saving, my plea this afternoon is therefore that tax on interest should be abolished. The hon the Minister of Finance has already announced certain steps in the Budget to stimulate this. If I recall the figure correctly, the first R250 in interest is tax-free but that is only a small drop in a very big bucket of personal saving which one would like to see. Nevertheless my thanks for that concession which, to my mind, is the start of an entirely new departure in this respect. One has to thank the hon the Minister for that but I think we shall go very far by the total abolition of tax on earnings from interest. As there is no tax on capital gains—and interest is nothing but capital gains—that interest may very well be tax-free. That is why I am arguing it should be abolished soon.
I assume the Margo Commission is investigating this matter amongst others. That must be so but in these times one ought to wish the Margo Commission the greatest wisdom and express the greatest sympathy with them because if there is one factor we really require in this country and which we would all welcome it is a much simpler tax system than we have at present. Consequently if we wish them wisdom, it is in the utmost confidence that we shall be given a simpler tax system which will include the abolition of tax on earnings from interest. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, if hon members of this House listened carefully to the hon member for Hercules they would have noted that he made a number of important points. He touched upon a theme which I myself should like to come back to in the course of my own contribution this afternoon. I listened to what the hon member said about tax and payment of tax. It made me think of the American economist who said: “It is the patriotic duty of every citizen to avoid tax but never to evade it.” What he meant by that, of course, was that there should be an incentive for the individual to avoid the payment of more tax than is necessary but never to evade his responsibility when he has to contribute to the common pool. That is the way I understood the hon member’s plea to the hon the Minister.
However, I want to come back to the PFP’s amendment to the Appropriation Bill and I want to illustrate this by means of three questions. The first question is: What is the essence of the threat of disinvestment? The second question is: What realistic vision of or hope for the future can a young Black person of between 13 and 29 years of age have? The third question is: What is the role of the Government in respect of both the abovementioned problem areas?
I want to illustrate our amendment by way of these three questions and I should like to add that these questions have not simply been dreamt up; in fact, anyone who reads the newspapers would have seen some reference to these three problem areas every day over the past four or five months. For example, last week under the heading “South Africa: US sanctions threat” I read the following in the London Sunday Times of 24 March:
The article went on to say:
I need not tell hon members who are familiar with the American situation that in some cases, compared to right-wing Republican Congressmen any hon members of the CP seem to resemble enlightened fairies as far as their views are concerned. [Interjections.] What interests me is that the disinvestment campaign in America has gone so far that even these right-wing Republican Congressmen have declared themselves in favour of it.
The second article I want to refer to appeared in this morning’s Cape Times. It reads as follows:
They go on to refer to the Economic Development Plan of the Government and say:
They go on to say:
Who are these jobless people? The article goes on to say:
They are Black teenagers:
This means that 60% of the jobless are between 13 and 29 years of age.
My second question was what hope was there for these people in South Africa’s future. The third article appeared in this morning’s Die Burger under the heading “Inkort-belofte net ‘lippetaal’”. I am sure all hon members and especially the hon the Minister have read this article. I shall read only two extracts since this point has already been belaboured.
How old is he?
He is old enough to be far cleverer than the hon the Minister. [Interjections.] I quote:
The next quotation reads:
Now the last quotation:
Then they seek new sources.
I refer to these three quotations merely in order to illustrate the questions I asked at the outset. This kind of article appears in our newspapers virtually every day. These are questions which have to be taken into consideration if we want to find a solution to the problems pointed out in our amendment to the Appropriation Bill.
Our amendment is based on two very important assumptions. The first assumption is that political and economic factors and policies are inextricably interwoven. Bad politics creates a bad economy and vice versa. That is one important premise of our amendment.
The second is that the Government’s short-term action should not contradict or undermine the long-term objectives. This applies at all levels—at the political, economic, social and security levels.
Against the background of these two assumptions I want to begin by making a few observations about the disinvestment campaign. My first point is: I believe that there is a threat and I believe that this threat must be faced. I made this point in Oxford and I shall make it again on other occasions inside and outside the country. The threat does exist.
In respect of disinvestment?
Yes, it does. At the same time there is much confusion and many misconceptions about the possibility and impact of disinvestment. In fact, when one listens to the debate being conducted at the moment, it sounds more like a competition between two disinformation campaigns than a disinvestment campaign. One side says nothing is wrong, while the other says everything is wrong.
However, foreign pressure alone cannot cause any disinvestment campaign to succeed. It is a fundamental error on the part of any group supporting disinvestment or trying to combat it to believe that a disinvestment campaign will succeed purely on the strength of pressure from other countries. The three factors that are supposed to make a disinvestment campaign successful are the following: Foreign governments, foreign interest groups or “special interest lobbies” and multinational or individual companies. Let us look briefly at each of the three factors.
I need not tell this House that a government’s foreign policy is determined by its own perception of its international and domestic strategic interests. Throughout history governments have had differences with one another in respect of their views on other governments’ internal policies. I do not therefore foresee a situation in which all the governments in the world will have exactly the same foreign policy in respect of South Africa. I can see that pressure could be brought to bear on them to dissociate themselves from South Africa to a greater or lesser extent, but I cannot see them all following the same foreign policy at the same time.
Coming to the so-called special interest lobbies, here we are speaking of the Antiapartheid movement, the Apartheid Committee of the UN, churches, sports bodies, cultural organizations and so forth. These special interest groups are in a position to threaten us with disinvestment, but they are unable to carry out their threats. They say they are going to create an atmosphere favourable to disinvestment, but they are unable to actually bring about disinvestment themselves. Likewise they are unable to cause investment to take place. They remain a factor in the internal politics of the countries in which they operate.
The third factor is the businesses themselves. I need not tell businessmen inside as well as outside this House that there is no such a thing as a collective ethic among businesses in respect of the internal policy of any society. Likewise there is no collective ethic or morality among multinational companies in respect of South Africa’s internal policy. We know from experience that businesses will invest in countries where there are dictatorships, one-party states, juntas, monarchies or democracies. We also know from experience that apartheid has made many people millionaires, and we know now that apartheid has become an economic embarrassment. For this reason it is important that we look at the impact of the disinvestment campaign on the businesses themselves. Businesses seek profit and not political and social solutions. I am too cynical to believe that. The hon the Minister knows this and he himself has also said so.
For a business, profit depends on two things: Favourable economic conditions in the countries where they want to invest, and political stability.
†Both those issues, ie favourable economic conditions and political stability, are not external factors but domestic factors. They are essentially domestic factors in South Africa. The fight against disinvestment starts and ends at home, not abroad. That is what we have to realize. It is part and parcel of the same fight to persuade our businessmen and our workers that South Africa is a country worth working for and investing in. The strategy to entice foreign investors to invest is no different from the strategy to entice our domestic investors to invest. There is no different strategy to persuade foreign investors that our workers are happy if we cannot persuade our own workers that they are happy. It is part and parcel of the same campaign. Therefore I say that if we cannot persuade a young Black man between the ages of 13 and 29 that he has both an economic and a political future worth working for in South Africa, we can never hope to persuade a businessman, be he one of our own or a foreign one, that it is worth his while to invest his wealth, his energy and his time in our future either. That is what I want to make quite clear as far as the disinvestment campaign is concerned. It is essentially a domestic problem and it is a problem that will be solved domestically. External pressure can, of course, coincide with a domestic situation, which will lead to actual disinvestment. That is why, if we talk about the threat of disinvestment, we are actually talking about the confidence a businessman has in South Africa’s economic future and its political future.
Let us then look at those two aspects of Government policy, ie the Government’s economic policy and whether that can restore confidence, and the Government’s political policy and whether that holds any stability for the future. Talking about the Government’s economic policy first, I want to make it quite clear to the hon the Minister of Finance that I realize that, as Minister of Finance, he has to work with two competing economic forces, namely on the one hand the forces demanding social security and on the other hand the forces demanding economic growth. They are not always compatible. The forces wanting social security in the fields of, for instance, education, welfare, health, etc are very seldom satisfied in an industrial society. The more the Government has to cope with them, the greater the threat it very often poses to the conditions for economic growth. So I accept that dilemma, but that is a dilemma that exists for any country and any government in a modern industrial society.
My accusation against this Government is that both the problems of social security and growth have been mismanaged politically with an almost dedicated ineptitude. That is what I hope to demonstrate. For example, the Government claims that it is committed to the philosophy of free enterprise as the economic policy of the future. We have heard the former Prime Minister, now the State President, saying this on a number of occasions. We have heard this confession and dedication time and again from Cabinet Ministers.
The philosophy of free enterprise is a very simple one in terms of economic policy. Its fundamental assumption is to allow the maximum amount of freedom for the individual to use his talents to pursue wealth and increase his own material wellbeing. That is the cornerstone of free enterprise. It is the maximum freedom for the individual to pursue wealth and to improve his conditions of material wellbeing.
If this is the Government’s policy, two questions become of paramount importance. Firstly, is there any aspect of Government policy that inhibits the desire to create wealth and that, in other words, discourages entrepreneurial activity? The hon member for Hercules spoke about that at length. Is there any aspect of the Government’s economic policy that inhibits the desire to create wealth? The second question is the following: Is there any aspect of Government policy that prevents a person from being more economically productive than he already is? Is there any part of Government philosophy or policy that prevents the individual from using his or her talents in order to become more productive than he or she is under the circumstances? The answer in regard to both those aspects of free enterprise is an overwhelming and depressing “yes”. It does not matter what I say about it and it does not matter what the hon the Minister or any politician or political party says about it: The real answer to those two questions comes from an infallible source, namely the market-place. The market-place will tell us whether there is a real, genuine desire to invest, in other words to improve entrepreneurial activity, or whether there is a real, genuine desire on the part of the individual to improve himself by making himself more productive.
I have here a confidential report—I shall be quite happy to give it to the hon the Minister—which was sent to one of our major banking houses in South Africa. It was in fact requested by this bank as a kind of investment analysis. The bank asked the compilers of the report for their views on the future. I am sure that the hon the Minister has read many such reports. Nevertheless, I must say that this one makes depressing reading. Pertaining to the two questions I have just asked, the report reads as follows:
The report then goes on to look at the markets for goods and services. It lists a whole range of political measures that distort. Concerning agricultural products, it lists a whole range of political decisions, regulations and laws that distort. Concerning property too, it lists a whole range of political measures that distort. Money and capital, labour and transport—in fact all the factors of production necessary for a free enterprise economy—are interfered with by this Government. I say again it is not a politician who says this. These words come from the market-place. They are the words of an adviser to one of the major banking houses in South Africa. Those are the people who have to say: “Yes, I have confidence in investment; yes, here is a loan, go ahead, I shall charge you so much interest etc”. This is the kind of mood and attitude that prevails in that community.
The manner in which the Government intervenes in the market-place is not simply an arbitrary thing. It is not something that just happens because the Minister of Finance has an itch to create a budget. The manner in which the Government intervenes is a direct reflection of the Government’s political priorities. That is the point. That is why we say bad politics make bad economics.
It is our Government’s way—as a matter of fact, it is any government’s way—of saying: This political programme we have formulated is a political programme for which the economic resources and potential of South Africa will have to pay. That is what a budget really means. The hon the Minister said himself when he delivered his Budget Speech: This is our programme and that is how we hope to finance it. That programme spells out the political priorities of the Government. The Government is asking a price for it. It is asking a price for that programme from each one of us in this country.
But political programmes always have a price.
That is what I started off by saying. All I am asking now is: What are the people of South Africa saying to this Government? When one looks at the growth rate, when one looks at the rate of inflation, when one looks at the level of unemployment and when one looks at the real threat of disinvestment, one can see that the people of this country are saying to this Government: “We refuse to pay the price.” They are not saying it in terms of political demonstrations or political policies but in terms of those economic indicators. Why?
Let us look at that political programme. When that investor assesses political stability, he does it in very brutal terms. He says that political stability in any society depends on two factors—coercion or consensus. One either forces political stability on that society through coercive measures or one will achieve stability through some form of consensus.
Coercive stability in a society is a logistical problem. It depends on guns and manpower. In other words, if one wants to put it more sophisticatedly, it depends on military technology and enough committed people to use military technology to force compliance from the majority. That is coercive stability. Consensus stability on the other hand is a political problem. It stems from the fact that one has a constitution which enjoys the co-operation and the support of the majority of the people so that they themselves, voluntarily, produce the stability on which that society depends. The dilemma of South Africa is a simple one, namely how we should move from coercive stability to consensus stability without disintegrating into chaos and anarchy. The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning has spelt out this problem many times. How do we move from where we are, which to a very large extent depends predominantly on coercive stability, and move to a situation of consensus stability without upsetting the apple-cart or without disintegrating into anarchy and chaos? This is the real question.
However, there is a more fundamental question. Does the Government want to move from the one to the other? I must quite honestly say I do not know. If I do not know, I am sure a young Black between the ages of 13 and 29 knows even less what the Government’s plans are. Let me ask two simple questions. Can any member of the Government unequivocally say yes to one of the following two questions? Will a Black be a citizen of South Africa on the same basis as Whites, Coloureds and Indians? They cannot answer that question with a yes or a no. The CP says no and we say yes, but the Government cannot even say yes or no. They must not mutter now. Just tell me across the floor. Do they say a Black man must have the same citizenship rights … That hon Minister is now pretending to read something. Can a Black have the same citizenship rights as a White, Coloured or Asian?
You are in favour of one man, one vote, are you not?
Answer the question. The rights of citizenship do not depend on one man, one vote. Government members cannot answer that simple question, but they do expect a young Black between the ages or 13 and 29 to negotiate with them about the future. What future, if he cannot be a citizen of his own country? They have to answer that question, not for me but for him.
The second question is as simple: Will a person who is not White be free to move around in search of employment and housing on the same basis as a White in South Africa, without obstacles from the economy and the Government? Just say yes. It is a commitment in principle. How we change all the obstacles is another matter. Just say yes. They cannot. We say yes and the CP says no, but what does the Government say? Not a word!
Maybe, we are thinking about it. That is why I say that the more the Government talks about reform the more it creates confusion.
A simple solution.
It is not a simple solution but a commitment in principle. The Government has been talking about principles for the last thirty-seven years. Why not say yes to this one? The more the Government talks reform the more it creates confusion.
Let me give two further examples. One is the offer to Mandela. Did the Government want Mandela to accept that offer? [Interjections.] Can I get the same reply from the hon the Minister of Law and Order?
Why do you think we made the offer?
They could have made it because they did not want him to accept it. [Interjections.] It is not just a simple throwaway question because on the reply to it depends whether the Government really wants to enter into negotiation politics with this gentleman or not. It is entirely free to say yes or no and can even spell out the conditions. It is a very important question because on the reply to it depends the Government’s whole approach to the question of negotiation and consensus politics. It has to spell out the package. Let me make it quite clear: Mandela can be released unconditionally tomorrow. The Government did it with Ja Toivo, why cannot it do so in this case? As far I am concerned, that was a “politieke foefie”.
The question is what are the Government going to do when that happens? Are they going to promote negotiation politics or not? Are they going to say: “This is the package on which we hope to negotiate”? I must be quite honest; I do not know what that package is. I know that there were certain guidelines given us the beginning of the year, but I do not know what the package is.
The second question is about this open-ended forum which the Government created. I welcomed it; I still welcome it and I think it is a good thing. Was this forum debated and negotiated behind the scenes with any significant Black leaders? If it was, why have we not had a response from them after the offer was made? In negotiation politics one does not throw out something like that and hope that blessings will descend upon one. One has to work. I know that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning worked very hard to sell the new constitution. Long before the Government committed themselves to implementing the new constitution he talked and negotiated behind the scenes. Then, afterwards, he said: “There it is!” Was the same done with this new forum? We are creating conditions of short-term instability because of long-term ambiguity in the Government’s policy. The most fertile ground for agitators is uncertainty, uncertainty about the future. What is worse, whatever good one’s long-term vision for South Africa may hold—and I am not saying that it is not possible—is destroyed by this Government’s short-term actions. I shall give a simple illustration: One cannot arbitrarily ban individuals, meetings and movements, and then say: “Come out and talk about peace in the future.” It does not work that way, especially if that future is conditioned on a loss of South African citizenship and influx control. That is why I say, the more this Government talks of reform, the more it commissions for crises. This is true. The very issues which should be the object of reform become the terms of reference of another commission of inquiry. We must be one of the most overcommissioned countries in the world! However, the Government never asked for a commission of inquiry to formulate the Group Areas Act or section 16 of the Immorality Act. They said: “This is our policy. Here we go!” Why do we now have to go through the laborious process of appointing a commission? Why does the Government not come forward with a commitment, a declaration of intent in principle, and say: “Those are the goals we work towards”? The reason is—and I say this honestly with no joy—the Government does not know. That is the impression I gain after four months of this session. The Government does not know what the plan is that it has for this country.
What is your plan?
I am coming to it. I knew the hon member would wait for it because he does not have one of his own! I am coming to it right now.
What I am saying is that bad politics make bad economics make worse politics. That is the spiral in which we are caught up now and that is the spiral which we shall have to break out of. How do we do it? We are politicians; we must start with politics. That is why I say, if we do it as politicians, the economics will follow.
Now I come back to the section in our amendment which states that we must create conditions under which eventually a national convention will work. Why? The logic of a convention is very simple: One has to pursue all the conditions favourable for negotiation and consensus politics. One has on the one hand, to give a declaration of intent in which other people can believe. We say: The same South African citizenship for all; participation in the politics of South Africa without one group dominating the other. This is the same thing that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is saying right now, but we spell it out. We say that there can be no statutory discrimination on the Statute Book; there can be no influx control—we say it clearly! We say that is our declaration of intent. We do not say we have magic formulas to do it overnight. That is our commitment in principle. Then we say: “You can determine who your leaders are”—I want to emphasize the plural—under conditions of voluntary association. We shall not impose on you who you have to accept as leaders.” Then we also say that we shall demonstrate our bona fides by removing those obstacles, not by appointing commissions. Then we say: “Now come and talk.” It will be clear to the whole world that we were prepared to negotiate but we were not prepared to capitulate. We were not prepared to hand over; we were negotiating for the future of this country. [Interjections.] That is exactly what that Government are doing. They are using that rhetoric and they are not spelling out how they are going to do it. The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning said this year that we must find a solution for all the people in South Africa where there will be no domination but where they will all participate at the highest level.
What is he talking about, Mr Chairman? Why does he not spell it out? Is it based on the same citizenship conditions? Is it based on the same freedom of movement for all people? Those are the principles the other people are interested in. However, this is what we wish to negotiate. The Government then comes back and says: How can you expect someone like Mandela to talk to a person like the State President at a convention? However, it has gone even further. Without consultation and negotiation, the Government expected the hon member for Water-berg to sit in the same Cabinet with the Rev Allan Hendrickse. It did not negotiate that. It said: Here is our constitution, take it or leave it; and the hon member for Waterberg said: No, I am leaving it. Then he left the Cabinet. We are going further than that. We are saying that we will negotiate the new constitution under those conditions. The point is that this is a logic which is clear to all the other movements, and every research report shows it. When one goes through these research reports one finds that they support the idea of a convention. They accept that there are vast differences among us but they say: We want to negotiate those differences.
I want to tell this Government that we have reached a stage in South Africa’s history when I still believe that there are sufficient of these young people between the ages of 13 and 29 who can be persuaded to negotiate. I believe we can do this. However, I also want to say that time is running out very fast. I am not trying to be a scaremonger. I do not see any bloodbath or major convulsion or revolution. However, what I do see is a South Africa conditioned by siege. What I do see is a country in which we will all live warped lives. We will have a warped economy, warped politics and a warped social life. If that is the sort of future that we here in Parliament are voluntarily going to create for ourselves, then all I can say is: Heaven help our children and theirs!
Mr Chairman, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition did not surprise any of us in this House today, for the simple reason that he began his speech with an academic dissertation. It was an excellent lecture and it was wonderful to listen to. In the second half of his speech he discussed practical politics, and right here and now I wish to deal with the latter part of the hon the Leader’s speech.
The hon the Leader once again advocated the convening of a national convention in South Africa. What the hon gentleman say? He said: We on this side are not prepared to offer equal citizenship to every group in this country. I wonder where the hon the Leader gets that from?
†The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition should know that it is the objective of this side of the House to have an equitable form of citizenship in South Africa for everyone regardless of race or colour. [Interjections.]
*That has been spelt out to that hon Leader and his party time and again. We shall put it to them repeatedly that we are prepared to negotiate.
I do not know why the hon the Leader wants a national convention called. In the first instance, structures have been established over the years. In case there have not been enough of them, it was envisaged by the State President in his opening address earlier this year that another informal forum would be created. There are national states in South Africa with their own leaders. There are independent states with their own leaders. The Coloureds and Asians have their representation in this Parliament in their own Houses. Every day there is an opportunity to negotiate and to speak. Therefore I want to know from the hon Leader of the Official Opposition why he now wants this national convention, when those structures exist. However, he tells us in advance what the matters are about which he will not negotiate. These, are, in the first instance, that citizenship must be absolutely equal and that there must be no form of discrimination; in other words, no form of differentiation either. One may not recognize peoples in South Africa. One may not recognize groups; there must be absolute freedom of association. Now I want to know from that hon gentleman: What on earth does he want with a national convention in those circumstances? Long before that hon gentleman was in favour of a national convention, I had already abandoned the idea. [Interjections.] In 1953 the old United Party fought an election on that. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is still fighting elections on that. As result of that idea the old United Party lost, and it disappeared from the scene. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition now wants to forge the new ideas which in these circumstances would be in the best interests of South Africa.
The steps taken by this Government are specifically aimed primarily at affording every group an opportunity to exercise self determination and, in addition, at affording people an opportunity to speak to one another so that they may negotiate on the common problems of South Africa and Southern Africa. [Interjections.] This Government has created constitutional structures that make it unnecessary to hold a national convention in this country. The Government can go ahead and take the lead in negotiations to create a better future for every group in South Africa. [Interjections.] I say that we have heard this story since 1953, and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is the man who says that we must come up with new things. His “new things” are so old, one can hear the bones rattling in that kind of politics. [Interjections.] Yes, it is not something one likes to say, but it does not even smell good anymore. [Interjections.] However, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition thinks that that is the answer.
I do welcome one part of the hon gentleman’s speech today, viz, his remarks on the issue of disinvestment. [Interjections.] He made a praiseworthy attack on that. He told us what could happen and that the Conservatives and the Leftists in America were joining forces against South Africa. [Interjections.] That is an interesting remark that the hon gentleman made. I suspect that the fact that he made it, indicates that he himself does not like disinvestment and that he does not agree with it. What we expect of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, however, is that he should adopt the same attitude as that taken by many Black leaders in Southern Africa with regard to disinvestment. The Minister of Finance in Swaziland and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Lesotho—every last one of them—says that if there is disinvestment it will not only be South Africa, but them, too, that will suffer tremendously. Why is the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition not joining forces with us and saying that disinvestment will do the Black people of South Africa harm if that campaign is continued with.
Did the hon member not read what I said at Oxford and what was published in the newspaper? [Interjections.]
Yes, I have before me the speech made there by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, but what I expect of the hon gentleman is not merely to say what he said there, viz that revolution will not pay. That is what he said. I have his speech before me. We expect more of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and all the members of his party, because they are also involved in this matter and they are surely just as greatly affected. After all, they ought to say to the rest of the world: You must not disinvest in South Africa; indeed you must invest and in that way help the Black people. A while ago a prominent member of the House of Representatives quite rightly asked a very important overseas political leader in my presence: “Why don’t you people put your money where your mouths are?” If they are so concerned about us in South Africa, then they ought to come and invest here because there are wonderful opportunities here. There is nothing stopping them from doing so.
However, we must not only warn South Africa against disinvestment. After all, we are all aware of the problem. We realize that the people in the outside world are against us. We know, too, that they are opposed to our domestic policies. For that very reason we must adopt a strong, loyal and patriotic attitude and by doing so, we shall influence the people in the rest of the world against disinvestment. That, then, is my appeal to the hon Leader of the Official Opposition—not merely to solve the problem but also to co-operate actively, together with his party, to counter disinvestment.
The hon the Leader goes on to say: “We must choose between coercion and consensus. Does the Government want to move from the one to the other?” Just imagine, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is now asking whether we want to coerce people or whether we want consensus in South Africa! Has the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition not been living in South Africa for the past number of years? The aim of the Government is specifically to achieve consensus and to not to compel people to move in a specific direction. Is the informal forum that is to be created, in which the Black people will collaborate with us, an effort to coerce people, or is it specifically an effort to achieve consensus?
There is one major difference between the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and this side of the House. To him, the fact that there are various people and groups in this country makes no difference. Nor does it make any difference to him whether or not there is any such thing as ethnicity. However, to us on this side of the House it is important that a highly developed group of people, viz the Whites, are prepared to share the fruit of civilization with the other population groups in this country. However, they are not prepared to suspend or abandon civilized standards in South Africa.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and his friends can therefore do what they like, but as long as the NP rules South Africa decent and civilized standard will be maintained and every group in South Africa will be accorded its rightful place.
Mr Chairman, the effort made by the hon member for De Kuilen was very interesting. Apparently it was to serve as a lightning-conductor. On the one hand he tries to have an altercation with the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, whilst on the other hand telling him: Our methods of integration are new, are modem; yours are antiquated; our methods are therefore better than yours.
The hon member did not succeed in answering one single question the hon Leader of the Official Opposition put to them. He does not expressly want to say where the Government is heading. When the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition quoted Dr Wassenaar, interestingly enough there was a question about Dr Wassenaar’s age. It is quite interesting that Dr Wassenaar’s successor in the same organization did not speak in flattering terms about the Government’s financial management. He said, amongst other things, that if a private undertaking were to manage its affairs in the same way as the Government managed South Africa’s financial affairs, there would be only one way out, and that would be to go bankrupt.
Since they are now wondering so much about what old people say, let me indicate that this morning I just happened to come across a statement made by the Minister of Finance on 9 April of last year. He said the following:
Sir, that is exactly where State expenditure eventually ended up. He said:
He said he could have put the figure at R27 billion, but that is where he ended up anyway. He said that in order to do that he would have had to increase taxation, which he did drastically increase in the course of the year. In other words, exactly what the Minister said did happen under that Government in the course of the year.
If we now look at this Budget, we see that this Minister’s only achievement is that he has not had another current expenditure deficit financed from loans. He does not have that in this Budget, but how did he manage that? He did not do so by curtailing expenditure, but by increasing the revenue of the State by way of a R1 700 million increase in tax revenue. He also cut the bonuses of Public Servants by one third, which reduced his expenditure by R500 million. That is expenditure which he curtailed by R500 million. As a result he succeeded in not having another current expenditure deficit. This does not in any way mean that this is good budgeting or a reflection of the precarious state in which the country’s economy finds itself.
This Budget has done nothing to correct the basic errors. They remain unchanged. This Budget does not address itself to the basic errors in the economy. The hon the Leader of the Opposition pointed out, as the hon State President has said previously, that political stability and economic growth are interlinked. One cannot have one without the other. Let me tell the hon the Minister that the political instability the Government is causing by its increasing integration in South Africa, remains unchanged. The political instability is not being tackled, and in future its effect is going to be increasingly felt.
The re-distribution of income in this Budget is also continuing. Nothing is being done about that. We on this side of the House are also in favour of people of colour and other groups in South Africa getting ahead and prospering. Even if they were wealthier than the Whites, we would have no objection whatsoever to that; we would not begrudge them that. [Interjections.] When one is dealing with the re-distribution of income, however, there are a few important principles that apply. I once heard a wise man say that one must first earn what one inherits before one can meaningfully possess it. Just taking money from one man’s pocket and putting it into another man’s pocket, without his having truly earned it, and without his being able to employ that money to create new prosperity for himself, is totally meaningless. I am afraid that is what is happening on a large scale in South Africa today. If we look at this Budget and listen to the hon the Minister asking where he could have cut down on expenditure and what he could have done to put the country’s finances back on a sound footing, we see that this year’s customs and excise revenue amounts to R3 430 million. In 1981-82 it was R2 736 million.
Then, however, R475 million had been transferred to the BLS and TBVC countries. This year an amount of R1 300 million has been transferred to those countries. I put it to the hon the Minister that those volume of imports of those countries has not increased to that extent. The ratio is still more or less the same as in 1981-82. Last year the hon the Minister’s predecessor said that the formula no longer met the demands of the eighties; that negotiations into its reformulation were being held. A year has passed, however, without anything at all having happened. I therefore want to state that if the correct formula were actually applied, it could save the State at least R500 million. And that is the exact amount the hon the Minister thought fit to obtain from the Public Servants. If he had re-negotiated the formula and implemented it correctly, it would not have been necessary to cut back on the bonuses of Public Servants by one third. [Interjections.]
I want to point out to the hon the Minister that the subsidy on housing and on transport in the metropolitan areas of South Africa should be stopped. Experts have already pointed out that the PWV area no longer has an adequate water supply to carry further extensions and a greater number of people. Those subsidies—those on transport go as high as 75% and those on housing to as much as 90%—should no longer be granted in the metropolitan areas of South Africa. A Conservative Party government would immediately put a stop to the payment of those subsidies. [Interjections.]
Let me put it to the hon the Minister that he would thereby be saving an amount of R1 billion and …
Simply stop them overnight?
Overnight, yes. [Interjections.] Let me tell the hon the Minister that he would thereby—without spending one extra cent, and whilst saving R1 billion on top of it—be stimulating the Government’s decentralisation policy to an extent unequalled by any previous attempts that have been made. [Interjections.]
I also contend that if the Government were to take productivity into consideration in the narrowing of the wage gap, it would be possible to save a further R500 million. [Interjections.] Merely these few steps I have indicated would already have resulted in a saving of R2 billion. [Interjections.] If the hon the Minister had taken these steps it would not have been necessary for us to increase taxes or to curtail the bonuses of Public Servants. Besides, it would have placed the South African economy on a sound footing. [Interjections.]
I can understand, however, why this Government cannot do such things; why it is not able to do so. The first—actually the basic—reason is, of course, that this coalition Government has lost contact with the White electorate, with their needs and aspirations. [Interjections.] The Government no longer knows what the needs and aspirations of the White electorate are. [Interjections.] In one of the morning papers Dr Wassenaar tells us that the increase in company bankruptcies is simply frightening. The State’s own statistics indicate that unemployment is still increasing amongst all the population groups in the country. Whilst individuals and companies in this country are bowed down and collapse under the burden imposed on them by this Government, State President Botha simply goes ahead and spends R3,3 million on his palatial office. What I am asking is whether this is any indication of contact with the needs of the electorate; whether it is any indication of an understanding of the economic situation in which the country finds itself. [Interjections.] That is what we are forced to witness, whilst there are people—even children—who do not have any food to eat.
What you are saying is scandalous! [Interjections.]
It is not scandalous! It is scandalous to waste so much money! [Interjections.]
Your allegations are scandalous!
The hon member says it is scandalous for me to be telling the State President that he must not waste so much money when there are children who do not have any food to eat. [Interjections.]
That is not what I said! [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Lichtenburg may proceed.
I am very grateful to that hon member for the remark he has just made. [Interjections.]
That is not what I said!
You did say it! [Interjections.]
I contend that this Government no longer has any respect for the White electorate of South Africa! [Interjections.] No respect whatsoever! [Interjections.] We now read the following in the newspapers about what the South African Ambassador said in Washington:
He announced that in America, but the Government does not tell the electorate of South Africa what it is going to do with these Acts and when it is going to be done. The electorate must merely see to it that this Government is again returned to power in the next election. That is the only function the electorate has to fulfil.
They do, however tell their bosses in America when they are going to abolish these Acts, because they know their bosses are not going to take any of their nonsense! That is why they tell them. The South African voters, however, remain in the dark. Not this hon Minister sitting here, who is the Transvaal leader, or any of his colleagues, has informed the people of South Africa. It has never been said: Look, we are going to abolish these Acts within two months, because pressure is being brought to bear by the Americans and by other circumstances. Those are the reasons why we are doing this. No, they treat the White voters of South with contempt.
I do, however, want to mention another little example to indicate that these people have not the faintest idea of what is going on as far as the South African electorate is concerned.
Yes, and what happened to “Tant Koek se hoenderhaan”? [Interjections.] There was a motion of no confidence in him! Let me tell hon members that that hon member will be squawking when he comes to Prieska again. He will be squawking, because in a previous debate in this House I said that the new maize crop that is to be planted is going to cost R2 100 million. [Interjections.] That is more than the present crop is worth, ie if our price is R270 per ton. What did the hon member then say? He then said:
Cash input costs?
Not production costs?
Of course. What is the difference, after all? [Interjections.]
Let me now tell the hon member that I have the department’s official figures here. Whilst the hon member says it costs R100 per hectare, the department says it costs R473,99 in the Western Transvaal. That includes everything. [Interjections.] Of course. Does that hon member want to produce without any inputs? [Interjections.] Let me now tell the hon the Minister … [Interjections.]
What is also important is that I gained the impression that the hon the Minister of Agriculture and Water Supply believes what that hon member says. [Interjections.] I said the hon member spoke about R60 for fertilizer and so much for this and so much for that. Let me now furnish hon members with these figures.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, Sir, my time is too limited. [Interjections.] I have only two minutes left, and I want to finish making my point. I am not going to allow the hon the Minister to waste my time.
These figures of the department, which the hon member did not even mention, also include R76 for tractors, R39 for implements and R133 for fertilizer, whilst that hon member says only R60 is necessary for fertilizer. The total costs amount to R473. That relates to this present crop. I have already made a statement in regard to the next crop. Now the department says that in the course of the next year the costs are going to increase by between 15% and 22%. [Interjections.]
Order! I call the hon member for Heilbron to order. The hon member for Lichtenburg may proceed.
Sir, if that hon member had chirped a little louder, I would perhaps have heard him.
The Department of Agriculture says that in the coming year the costs are going to increase by between 15% and 22%. If it is only 15%, the figure I have mentioned is, in fact, too low. That hon member is the secretary of the agriculture study group. He has a doctorate in agriculture. Any consumer or uninformed individual would accept that he knows what he is talking about. What I am now saying is that he does not have the foggiest idea. He and his hon colleagues then come to this House and say I am telling an untruth. If there has ever been an untruth, it was when that member said the production costs in the Western Transvaal were R100 per hectare, and then the hon member for Schweizer-Reneke sits there all tongue-tied! The hon the Deputy Minister of Development and of Land Affairs is even more tongue-tied and does not say a word whilst his farmers are being insulted like that! [Interjections.]
In my opinion this Government has completely lost touch with the electorate. And that is why they postpone elections. Next year’s election has now been postponed to 1989. Municipal elections are also postponed, because the electorate has simply become a herd of voters. If there is the slightest possibility that they might perhaps vote against the Government, elections are simply postponed. I should like to tell those hon members, however, that the days when voters voted only for the Governing party are past. They now have a choice and are going to vote for the CP. [Interjections.] We are going to force the Government to hold an election before 1989! [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, in his speech the hon member for Lichtenburg referred to certain aspects to which I wish to return. In particular he spoke about redistribution of income and referred to Black people. It is interesting to me what he understands by redistribution. This, and his objections to the so-called redistribution, mean that one must take more money that is used for the benefit of the Black man. He speaks about the customs formula. He says that R500 million can be saved; in other words, R500 million less can be spent on Black people—because this is also used, among other things, for their development. He speaks about subsidies that mainly affect Black people. All the economy measures he proposes mean that one will be taking the money from the Black man and giving it to the White man.
He thinks that he can bring about peace in South Africa in this way. If he were to make a suggestion and if what he suggested were to be put into effect, viz that all subsidies on transport in South African urban areas were to be withdrawn, then I give him the assurance that he would be gambling with South Africa’s security as never before. [Interjections.]
Today I should like to discuss three aspects and in doing so also refer to the policy of the CP. I want to refer to three aspects of the State President’s opening address on 25 January this year. The State President referred inter alia to the permanence of Black people in White areas. In the second place he referred to the fact that it can be accepted that Black people permanently resident in South Africa cannot all satisfy their political aspirations above the local level through the medium of the national states. In the third place, the State President referred to the finality that must be reached on the issue of citizenship, as regards both terminology and content.
We have listened to the policy of the CP on previous occasions and I have taken the trouble to read it, too. Sometimes it looks logical when one considers it. The only problem one has when one seeks to assess it is not only to look at the logic of the policy but also to ask oneself what the points of departure of the CP are. If the points of departure are correct then the implementation of the policy is possible, but if the points of departure applied by the CP are impossible then the policy of the CP is a house of cards which must collapse.
We must come back to three questions which in my opinion are points of departure of the CP. The first is that of citizenship. We know that Dr Connie Mulder, when he was the relevant Minister, said that if the policy of the NP were to be implemented to its fullest extent there would be no Black people who were South African citizens. I should like to ask the hon member for Lichtenburg whether that is still the policy of the CP.
I shall reply. Yes.
I thank the hon member for his answer in the affirmative. [Interjections.]
In the second place, Dr Connie Mulder also said at one stage that the permanence of Black people in South Africa was accepted. I should like to know from the CP whether that, too, is still their policy, viz that they accept the permanence of Black people.
Produce your source.
I do not have the source available, but Dr Connie Mulder did say that. Let me, then put the question to the hon member as follows: Is he prepared to accept that today the Black people are permanently present in the cities and are here in large numbers?
The hon member’s reply is “no”. Therefore the CP states that it does not accept that the Black people are permanently resident in the urban areas here. This inevitably means that they must be moved, but let us leave it at that for the moment.
There is a third important question that we must settle by way of debate. Is it the policy of the CP that the urban Black people of South Africa should at all times exercise their political aspirations at a level higher than that of local government solely by way of the self-governing, national states? [Interjections.] The answer to this is: Yes.
You see, we reply to your questions.
There is an important aspect that we must debate with one another here. May I request the CP to consider the argument for a moment? We can take the argument further later on. We must ask ourselves how Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei became independent. The reply is: They became independent after the leaders of those states had achieved consensus with the Government of South Africa.
Yesterday the hon member for Sunnyside made all manner of derogatory references to consensus. I want to tell him that the implementation of the Government’s policy with regard to the independence of the TBVC countries entailed consensus between White and Black. [Interjections.] What is more, that consensus was embodied in agreements between those Governments and our Government. What this amounted to was the following: The Black people were prepared to sign a contract in which they stated that they would sign away their South African citizenship for the sake of the citizenship of an independent Transkei, Venda, Ciskei and Bophuthatswana. That is what happened at the time.
At the moment the fact is that we have already heard from Bophuthatswana—and we know that this is also the standpoint of Transkei, as confirmed in public—that they are not entirely willing to accept—that is to put it mildly—that their citizens living in South Africa cannot have a choice with regard to citizenship. According to public statements the issue of the citizenship of those two states has not yet been fully resolved.
Since the CP is in a mood to answer questions, they might as well answer the following question as well: Does the CP accept that if one wishes to make the other national states independent, one must achieve consensus with those leaders with regard to independence?
Do you not know how we deal with these matters? [Interjections.]
I want to put a very simple question to the hon member for Waterberg: Does the hon member recognize that if we want to achieve the independence of kwaZulu, Qwaqwa or Lebowa, this must be done on the basis of consensus? Those leaders must then sit around a table with the Government and sign a contract relating to their independence. Does the hon member accept that as the process to be followed?
What do you do if there is no consensus?
I am going to discuss that now. [Interjections.] At this point I again wish to ask the question: Does the hon member accept that this policy, as he puts it, can only be carried out with the consensus of the Black leaders of South Africa?
You have known what our reply is for a long time; we have said that they will have to decide for themselves.
I am going to ask the hon member for Waterberg the question for the third time. Only a moment ago we had no difficulty getting replies to our questions. Why is there doubt, now? [Interjections.] Is the hon member for Waterberg prepared to accept that if he wants to lead these countries to independence he must achieve consensus with those Black people? We all know that the hon members would prefer not to answer that question. [Interjections.]
Order! I just wish to point out to the hon the Deputy Minister that if he asks questions it is a little difficult for other hon members to remain silent. Perhaps he could address his questions to one hon member only and then the other hon members could remain silent.
If the hon member for Waterberg wishes to be honest with himself, with us and with South Africa he must tell us that he accepts that he must achieve consensus with Black leaders on independence, or else his house of cards collapses in ruins. [Interjections.]
The following is undoubtedly the situation: There is no way to … [Interjections.] Mr Chairman, could the hon member for Jeppe make a little less noise? He is unpleasant enough when he is holding his tongue, but he is intolerable when he opens his mouth. [Interjections.] He must please be silent.
Order! I call upon hon members to maintain the dignity of this House and not to shout comments at the tops of their voices across the floor of this House. The hon the Minister may proceed.
Once again I wish to make the important point in this regard, one that applies to all of us, viz that we must achieve consensus with Black people with regard to a constitutional dispensation for the future. Now the important question which the hon member for Waterberg put to me and which I, too, wish to put to him, is the following: What happens if one is unable to achieve consensus on the issue of citizenship? I want to say that everything we have heard from the national states indicates that their is no possibility of consensus as regards the signing away of South African citizenship, as we had in the case of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. If the hon member is unable to reach consensus on that point then he has no policy for South Africa.
What is the situation now? The Government, under the leadership of the State President, is indeed prepared to address this problem. That is why the State President made his announcement on 25 January. We are considering the realities of South Africa. We are attempting to seek a solution for the problems of South Africa on the basis of negotiation. However the members of the CP are not prepared to address those problems.
There is another important question. If we consider the political aspirations, above the local level, of the Black people resident in South Africa on a permanent basis we ask ourselves how they can be satisfied. The policy of the leader of the CP and that party is the linkage policy. In accordance with that policy, these people are linked to their independent homelands—it is to be hoped that they will be independent—after which the problem is solved for all eternity. The problem facing us—and I believe that this was also a factor in the State President’s address—is that it is not right to assume that the linkage policy followed by the NP for many years and which the hon members of the CP say is their policy, will solve all the problems of South Africa.
In this regard we need only consider numbers. I have before me the census statistics for 1980. Unfortunately the census was carried out before Ciskei became independent. However, today’s figures are not very different, due to the growth in population. In 1980 there were 10,1 million Black people resident in so-called White South Africa. There were 6,8 million Black people living in the national states. Therefore there are more Black people living within the traditional South Africa that we refer to as White South Africa—but which is not White South Africa—than are resident in the national states. Now we must be fair and honest with one another and ask whether we can say today that the linkage policy will resolve all problems in South Africa. One cannot take an artificial leg and attach a body to the artificial leg. One can take a body which lacks a leg and attach a leg to the body. One can attach a minority to a majority, but one cannot attach a majority to a minority. That is the problem facing us.
I now specifically wish to come back to the points raised by the hon member for Lichtenburg. Let us consider what the position is today within the national states. The national states can barely provide employment for 50% of the new jobseekers entering the market in the national states—that is a fact—despite the Government’s major success with its decentralization policy and despite the creation of a large number of employment opportunities due to the decentralization policy. Now, this being the problem, the hon member for Lichtenburg comes and tells this House that we should in fact take steps to reduce further the financial resources of the independent states—that is what it will mean if we are to change the customs formula. In that way the resources with which to create employment there will be reduced by the R500 million to which the hon member referred. [Interjections.]
We are in an important phase of development in South Africa. As the State President stated very clearly during the weekend, there are various groups in South Africa, and all are linked to a considerable extent as far as their security is concerned. However it is essential that we talk and negotiate with one another to bring about a constitutional dispensation which will ensure security for everyone in South Africa.
The point I want to make today is that if we examine the matter closely, the points of departure of the CP, when viewed as a totality, are simply no longer tenable, and that the CP’s policy is for that reason neither realistic nor capable of implementation in South Africa. [Interjections.] Because this is so the CP has made itself irrelevant even as regards the future of the White man in South Africa. [Interjections.]
I shall with pleasure reply to that hon member with regard to Morgenzon if he so wishes.
As I was saying, if we consider the realities in South Africa we say that the foundations required to implement that policy are simply no longer feasible today. Therefore it is essential—as the State President also said—that a process of negotiation between the Whites and the various groups of colour in South Africa be initiated in order to achieve a constitutional dispensation with which everyone will be satisfied.
However, let us consider the position of the White man in particular. Due to his wishing to carry out a policy in South Africa which is simply no longer practicable, the CP cannot assure the security of the Whites in future. The CP has become merely a resistance movement. It has become merely a protest movement. It has not become a movement capable of resolving the problems in South Africa. [Interjections.] Because this is so, the CP is incapable of guiding the Whites to a solution of their problems and security for all, but can only lead them to confrontation and conflict which will mean misery for the White man in this country. Therefore, if we are in earnest about the interests of the White man in South Africa and the interests of all other groups in South Africa it is necessary to take sides with a party which has the leadership and the courage to follow a path that will lead to a safe future for all of us in South Africa. [Interjections.]
The hon members spoke about Morgenzon, and I wish to refer briefly to that.
You endured a sound beating, did you not?
Yes, I did. There were more CP, HNP and AWB supporters than NP supporters. The CP, HNP and AWB supporters arrived there from all over the Transvaal, and there were so many of them that it felt to me as if I was addressing a provincial congress. Nevertheless it was enjoyable politics. I enjoyed it and I am not complaining about it.
You did not enjoy it; you ran away from it.
I enjoyed every minute of it and I did not run away; the hon member need not concern himself on that score. I did indeed enjoy every moment and I shall go there again and enjoy it again. I enjoyed appearing before the supporters of the CP, HNP and AWB and I had no problem with their presence.
However, let us get back to the crux of the argument. In a circular issued by the Oranjewerkersvereniging—I have the letter here—they speak of a White Afrikanerland in which Afrikaners and other Whites who associate themselves with that, occupy, cultivate and control the land. [Interjections.] If one reads the whole document it is quite clear that what these people have in mind is in fact to make a start with the creation of an Afrikaner state, an independent Afrikaner state. [Interjections.] I now wish to ask the hon Leader of the CP whether he is in favour of the establishment of an independent Afrikaner state in South Africa. [Interjections.] I cannot hear what the hon member is saying, because he is whispering rather softly. Does he say no or yes?
Carry on with your speech.
I want to put a simple question to the hon member: Does he support the Oranjewerkers who wish to establish a separate Afrikaner state in South Africa, yes or no? Is he for or against it?
May I ask the hon the Deputy Minister a question?
No. We must be clear about important political issues that are in dispute. I challenge him to tell us what his standpoint is in this regard. There were members of the Vereniging van Oranjewerkers, the CP, the HNP and the AWB. I now ask him the simple question: Does he agree with the Oranjewerkers?
Do you agree with Mandela?
No, I do not agree with Mandela. Does the hon member agree with the Oranjewerkers?
I am a member of the CP and not of the Oranjewerkers.
I am pleased he has told us that. May I assume, then, that the hon member for Waterberg is also telling us that he does not support the ideals of the Oranjewerkers?
Mr Chairman, whereas the hon the Deputy Minister is putting questions to us and we are finding it difficult to put questions to him …
Order! The hon the Deputy Minister has already said that he does not wish to answer questions.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Twice yesterday the hon Chairman of Committees interrupted members of the CP and said that they should not make their speeches by asking questions.
Are you getting hurt?
Does this condition still apply?
Order! The hon the Deputy Minister may proceed.
For the sake of debate it is important that we be open-hearted with one another. That is why I ask the hon member for Waterberg to state the matter to us clearly. He is not a member of the Oranjewerkers. Their idea is totally impractical and impossible. Does the hon member agree with me that that is so? [Interjections.] The Oranjewerkers must understand one thing …
Order! I appeal to the hon member for Kuruman not to converse with the hon the Deputy Minister across the floor of this House to the extent that he is doing, and I wish to point out to the hon the Deputy Minister that the Chair should not like to encourage a dialogue across the floor of the House. The hon the Deputy Minister may proceed.
To show the hon member for Kuruman that I am indeed prepared to answer his questions, whereas they are not prepared to answer my questions, he is welcome to put the question to me that he wanted to put to me earlier.
As part of the new dispensation there are rural Coloured areas that belong only to them. They have representation in Parliament. Would the hon the Deputy Minister object if a group of Afrikaners were to establish themselves apart in a certain region and develop there?
That is a very reasonable question and one that I replied to in Morgenzon as well. I have no objection to that, but unfortunately that is not the issue. The issue is one of the establishment of a state. Since the hon member wants to use the rural areas of the Coloureds to create a state I want to ask him an easy question: Does he want to use the rural areas controlled by the Afrikaner to create a state? If that is so, he must tell us, so that we know how to debate the matter. We can then tell people what ridiculous ideas the CP is entertaining.
There is no doubt that under the leadership of the NP there can be peace, prosperity and happiness for all population groups, including the Whites, in South Africa.
Mr Chairman, we have had two very different and very fascinating responses from the Government side to the devastating analysis which the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition made of the confusion which exists on the Government side in respect of their policy for the future of South Africa. We first of all had the hon member for De Kuilen who in his own homespun “oud-Sap-manier” came to light with a set of tortured logic that must have been an embarrassment to all his colleagues in the NP. I only want to deal with one issue, and that is his totally unwarranted and uncalled-for attack on the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition on the disinvestment issue.
I must say to the hon member and the Government that not all the opposition in the world, not all the businessmen, not all the Black people going overseas and talking against disinvestment will be able to pull the chestnuts out of the fire while this Government fans the flames of that fire by shootings and bannings and detention without trial and without dismantling the structure of apartheid. We shall continue to do our bit, but we call on this Government to douse the flames and not to fan them and fuel the fires in the disinvestment lobby overseas.
The hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs was in his element today. However, what he did—as a way out of answering the specific questions put to him by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition—was to put a number of counter-questions to the hon members of the CP. That is not very clever. They have such a stupid policy that it is easy to throw a hundred questions at them which they cannot answer. However, what is more important is for the Government of the day to be able to answer the questions put to it by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition.
What was the first question? The hon the Deputy Minister said—it is a pity he was not here in May 1956 because he could then have taken part in that great debate on the report of the Tomlinson Commission and, had he displayed the wisdom then which he displayed today, South Africa might have been spared the agony of 30 years of Verwoerdian apartheid—“burgerskap” had to be resolved. There has to be “burgerskap” for the people of South Africa. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition asked: “Will a Black man be a citizen of South Africa on the same basis as Whites, Coloureds and Indians?” He asked the members of the NP that question. What was their answer, or do they have no answer?
The hon Deputy Minister told the members of the CP that we have to recognize “die permanensie van die Swartes in Suid-Afrika”. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition asked: “Will such a person who is not White be free to move around in search of employment and housing on the same basis as Whites in South Africa?” What is the hon Deputy Minister’s answer? One asks him a question but he will not answer a question related to the very point he has made. [Interjections.]
He says that one cannot satisfy the political aspirations of these people at the level of local Government. We want to know if they are going to have the same political rights as Coloureds, Indians and Whites in a central constitution in which there will not be domination of one group over another.
That is just what you want.
I am asking the hon the Deputy Minister. He says there has to be a common citizenship. He says their permanence has to be recognized. He says that local Government cannot satisfy their political aspirations. We are asking them …
You will not get any blueprint … [Interjections.]
One will not get any answers from the NP, let alone blue-prints! I had hoped that some Minister would enter this debate to give us some answers. I believe it is the duty of the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to answer these specific questions put to the Government by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition.
I want to return, if the mood allows me to, to the Budget and certain features of the Budget which I think are important as far as the future of South Africa is concerned. The answer to the question as to whether there has been more financial discipline is yes. To the question as to whether it represents a holding action in the face of earlier runaway Government expenditure, the answer is yes. We want to see whether this is just a kneejerk reaction to the extravagance of previous years or whether this is a new willingness on the part of the Government to curb its financial extravagance. However, viewed against the broader ominous political situation in which we find ourselves after 38 years of NP rule, there are certain aspects of the Budget per se that we find worrying. If this Budget represents the economic and financial framework within which the Government is going to rule South Africa for the next 12 months, then we in these benches say that the prospects of the Government resolving our multiple crises—social, economic and political—are very bleak indeed.
The hon the Minister of Finance will be the first to admit that the success or failure of the Budget cannot be divorced from the success or failure of the Government’s policies in the socio-political field. These two are totally interrelated. In recent years, South Africa’s financial position has been affected in a dramatic way by factors over which the Government has had no direct control. I refer to the oil price, the gold price, the drought and the rise in the value of the dollar. However, South Africa’s situation in this coming year is going to be affected, for better or for worse, primarily by factors over which the Government does have control, namely its policies and actions. Its policies and its actions right here and now in the next 12 months will determine whether this Budget succeeds or not.
The hon the Minister of Finance can take all the fiscal measures he can think of but the simple fact remains that unless this Government takes political action that will bring stability at home and goodwill abroad, there is no way in which we are going to extricate ourselves from the economic crisis in which we find ourselves. Stability at home and goodwill abroad are the interrelated keys to economic recovery for South Africa and economic progress for its people.
Against this background—one of establishing an economic framework within which the Government is trying to achieve this objective of stability and goodwill—there are two features that are disturbing. The first is that far from creating new jobs, this Budget must inevitably result in increasing unemployment in the urban areas of South Africa. The second is that this Budget does nothing to dismantle—and I use the words advisedly—the structure of apartheid, for, if anything, it extends the structure of apartheid in South Africa.
Joblessness in our cities and apartheid across the length and breadth of this land will combine to fuel the flames of instability and destroy the last vestiges of international goodwill that South Africa still enjoys. It is crazy to spend millions of rand of taxpayers’ money to subsidize non-viable industrial ventures in far-flung rural areas when in our cities unemployment is running at an all-time high. It does not make sense for the Government to subsidize new industrial plant and machinery to the tune of 125% when existing industrial plant and machinery is either standing idle or is underutilized.
It is the height of irresponsibility actually to encourage industrialists to close or dismantle their factories in the existing industrial areas at a time when, because of the economic recession, people are being sacked and retrenched and the townships around our cities are becoming tinder-box areas.
At a time like this it would have made more sense for the Government to encourage or assist entrepreneurs to keep jobs open for the people in the urban areas rather than to close them down. I would at least have expected the hon the Minister of Finance to indicate that the Government was going to pursue a vigorous job creation policy. There is a whole range of things which can be suggested. However, one cannot maintain stability in a jobless society, and if joblessness is one part of the problem, then the maintenance of the structures of apartheid is the other.
We have heard many fine words from Ministers and Deputy Ministers over recent years about apartheid dying or even being dead. We have heard of the Government’s lofty intentions from the mouth of the State President and from that of the Government’s chief constitutional guru, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. However, when we look at the Budget we find that all the apartheid structures that were there before, all the apartheid priorities, all the apartheid programmes that were there before, are still in this Budget. Indeed, in the field of health and of housing and local government and education and even agriculture more apartheid structures are provided for in this Budget than in any previous budget in the history of South Africa.
I put it to the hon the Minister of Finance: When is this Government going to start dismantling the structures of apartheid which it has built up over the years? I say this advisedly, and I use the words “the structures of apartheid” deliberately. Does the Government think it can get rid of the image or the policy of apartheid if it is going to maintain the structures of apartheid as the basis of government in South Africa?
I put it to the hon the Minister: When is the Government going to turn its back on the philosophy of apartheid? When is it going to do this in concrete terms reflected in the Budget? When is the Government going to realize that it is apartheid that lies at the root of discrimination in South Africa? We cannot get rid of discrimination and apply apartheid. The two are synonymous. When is the Government going to realize that there will be no real stability inside South Africa or any real prospect of gaining international goodwill as long as apartheid is the basis of government in South Africa?
That is why I ask the hon the Minister—I hope he will deal with it in his reply—what steps he is taking in this Budget—not in next year’s Budget but it in this Budget because there is a crisis situation—to dismantle the structure of apartheid in South Africa. What concrete steps have been taken to reach out to, to talk to and to negotiate with the real leaders of the Black communities? What practical steps are being taken to reach out to them and to negotiate a future for all South Africans?
What a dismal failure the Government’s so-called process of consultation and negotiation has been thus far. Recently the State President said:
He set great store by Black local authorities as a means of solving the problems of the Blacks in the urban areas. However, it has been the Government’s policy and actions that have prevented the functioning of Black local authorities and destroyed the credibility of those Blacks who have participated in them.
Against all the advice that the Government received, it created Black local authorities before it established a financial base on which they could in any way be effective. They were mere puppets. They had no financial base from which they could operate effectively. Against all the advice the Government received, it launched Black local authorities whilst still linking Black political rights and citizenship to the concept of independent Black states. Now that concept is indelibly fixed in the minds of Blacks and Black local authorities have been discredited.
Against all advice the Government introduced Black local authorities before it had stated its willingness to negotiate with Black leaders on the future of Black participation in a single South Africa. For three years we have had Black local authorities but for three years Blacks have been told that they can only exercise their political rights outside of South Africa in independent homelands. It was the linking of those two concepts which was a disaster. Adding to the disaster was the pamphlet issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Information during the referendum campaign in which it used Black local authorities as a justification for not giving Blacks political rights in the central Government of South Africa.
The tragedy is that while local government is important—it should be the base on which future structures are built and the vehicle through which identifiable leaders emerge—the Government’s handling of the Black local authorities situation, its unwillingness to take note of the real leadership—it did not want to hear what the real leadership had to say—its unwillingness to talk to some of the real leaders and its choosing generally to talk with those it wished to talk to, has destroyed the concept of Black local authorities. Instead of realizing that the Black local authorities are a starting point for negotiation and development, the Government has undermined that starting point.
Whether the hon the Minister with the frown on his face likes it or not, the tragedy is that he will have to start all over again.
Just tell me which leaders you are talking about.
Let us just take a simple illustration. Over the past four weeks the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education has found out who the real leaders of Crossroads are. It was only when he decided that there was going to be fundamental, real, meaningful reform that those leaders were available to negotiate. Therefore, it is quite easy. If one does not try to force one’s will on communities, the real leaders will come to the fore. However, this only happens when there is the prospect of real negotiation.
I want to say to the hon the Minister of Finance—I am glad the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is here as well—that we are dealing with a problem in regard to which the time-scale is as important as the solution itself. South Africa is in a time-squeeze but all we have had from the Government are words, words and more words. We have had intentions, intentions and more intentions. What we want from this Government now is action. We want to see real negotiation. We want to see not the getting rid of the image of apartheid but, through the Budget of South Africa, a real intention on the part of the Government to dismantle the very structures of apartheid in this country.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Sea Point spoke about apartheid structures and I want to ask him this question: Will his party take away sovereign independence from Transkei, Ciskei, Venda and Bophuthatswana if they come to power? The hon member must not look down. He must answer the question. He must not pretend to be making notes because he does not have another opportunity to speak in this debate. He must answer across the floor of this House. [Interjections.] The hon member is silent. [Interjections.]
Then the hon member went on to say that this Government was undermining local authorities. That is a disgraceful statement. He referred in disparaging terms to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I want to tell the hon member—and he knows it full well—that if he were to apply the yardstick fairly he would know that there were very few people in South Africa who had done more for constitutional development than that hon Minister.
The hon member asked whether the Budget satisfied the requirements of South Africa. Firstly, I want to congratulate the hon the Minister of Finance on grasping the nettle in these difficult times by presenting to South Africa a realistic Budget which faces up to the problems of our time. Also in answer to the question by the hon member for Sea Point of whether the Budget faces up to the situation, I should like to refer him to Business Times dated 24 March 1985. Let us have a look at what the business community says to the hon member for Sea Point. The headline is: Business ‘Yes’ to Barend’s Budget, and the report reads:
Here we have the employers of the largest labour forces in South Africa giving the Budget their stamp of approval.
And they are supporters of the Progs.
One of my hon colleagues says that there are many supporters of the Progs among them. I have no doubt that they were former supporters of the Progs.
The hon member for Sea Point also said that the Government was fanning the flames of the fires of disinvestment. It is a disgraceful and scandalous statement without any vestige of truth whatsoever. It is totally untrue.
Thereafter the hon member for Sea Point referred to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition—I am sorry that he is not here at the moment—who said in his speech that economic and political stability were interdependent. That is correct. The question then arises as to why the Opposition does not make a contribution to political stability in South Africa. In fact, the PFP have gone out of their way to create a climate that is not conducive to political stability, and one need only look at their record. The PFP have introduced a spirit of boycott and confrontation politics in South Africa. They boycotted the original President’s Council and they were not prepared to consult and negotiate for a new constitution.
You made that speech last year.
I did not make the speech last year. This spirit of negativity they carried through to the referendum.
The PFP said that they were going to participate in the new constitution but their real intentions are to wreck the new constitution. They have no interest in making the new constitution work. Let us look at some examples. Let us look at the Cape Times of 29 March 1985, and I want the hon member for Sea Point to listen because I am going to quote him.
In the Cape Times of 29 March 1985 the hon member for Sea Point is quoted as saying, and I quote:
Mr Chairman, terrorists and revolutionaries use the muzzle of a gun as their means of communication. This is the most disgraceful allegation any member of Parliament anywhere in the world can make about this Government and his country. The hon member for Sea Point should be ashamed of himself for making this unsubstantiated allegation to the detriment of all South Africans. It is statements such as this that encourage a spirit of boycott and of confrontation in South Africa.
In the same article in the Cape Times the hon member went on to say:
In that statement the hon member for Sea Point, attacks the White ministries in a scandalous manner. By implication, however, he also attacks the Coloured and Indian Ministries which are performing exactly the same tasks and which have exactly the same portfolios. He does his utmost to ridicule the new constitution, to bring it into contempt, and his message of contempt has filtered throughout the country.
In the very same article in the Cape Times the hon member for Sea Point goes even further, however, and I quote again what he says here:
This indicates clearly that the hon member is not prepared to give the new constitution a chance. He is in fact doing his best to wreck the new constitution. The hon member calls the new constitution a farce. That is the example which he, a leading hon member of the PFP, sets for the rest of South Africa. That is the language of the ANC, of the UDF and of their subservient organizations. The PFP youth wing, according to the Sunday Tribune dated 3 March 1985, expressed the wish to liaise with the United Democratic Front. In the same article the national vice-president of the Young Progs said, and I quote:
According to the Cape Times dated 9 November 1984, the PFP threw down the gauntlet to the Government and made a final decision to open its doors to people of all races. This was done in defianee of the Prohibition of Political Interference Act. According to the Financial Mail dated 15 February 1985, the first branch office of the PFP was officially opened in an Indian township. The PFP representative who opened the office said, and I quote:
He also said:
The PFP, by all their actions, leave one to come to the conclusion that they want confrontation, that they favour boycotts and that they are geared towards damaging the new constitution.
The Government is doing its utmost to provide stability and economic growth but the PFP, aided and abetted by the Conservative Party are, by their actions, making the task of governing South Africa more difficult. The moderate leaders of South Africa, who are in the majority, will reject the extremists of both the left wing and the right wing. The Conservative Party was founded on hatred, petty jealousies and disloyalty. Like the PFP they will do their utmost to divide the people of South Africa. Their plans for Coloured and Indian homelands are figments of their imagination and have nothing to do with the realities of the South African situation. The CP, the HNP, the Afrikanerweerstandsbeweging, the Kappiekommando and their fellow-travellers have no realistic alternative to offer. Their hatred of the National Party is greater than their love for South Africa. They would like nothing better than to damage the new constitution irrespective of the consequences.
The opposition parties generally are very pessimistic and act as prophets of gloom and doom. They see no ray of light. Nobody can gainsay the fact that we are going through very tough times and that many people are making extreme sacrifices. There is a duty on the Government, the private sector and everyone else to do their best under extremely difficult circumstances.
The Government has adopted a positive attitude and has implemented measures of a short-term and long-term nature to ensure the future stability of South Africa both politically and economically. The opposition is spreading a negative attitude and is taking advantage of the situation to encourage people to despair in South Africa. The opposition parties know that politically their policies have failed to make an impact, and that they have no acceptable alternative to place before the electorate. That is why—as a smoke-screen for their lack of political policies—they have concentrated on economic issues. There are deep-seated differences in the PFP on the question of security and the upholding of law and order. The only thing actually holding the PFP together is the fact that they are avoiding political issues and are concentrating on economic issues. [Interjections.] The hon member for Pinelands is laughing, but he is chairman of the federal executive. He knows that they held a meeting in the last quarter of 1984 and that things got so heated during that meeting that the hon member for Green Point told the hon member for Yeoville to go and join the NP. [Interjections.] The hon member for Pine-lands says I am talking rubbish, so I will quote to him from the Sunday Times of 25 November 1984:
Either the hon member for Pinelands or the Sunday Times is telling an untruth. One cannot have it both ways. I am inclined to believe the Sunday Times.
Of course you will! [Interjections.]
South Africa has gone through cycles where we have had good periods and where we have had difficult times. [Interjections.] On each occasion we have survived the difficulties, surmounted the problems and have grown stronger economically. There are business people who are going through a very tough time, and one obviously has to understand their anxiety. We sympathize with them. We do not live on an island where one just waves a magic wand and everything is in shipshape condition again. The people of South Africa understand the fact that there is a drop in the gold price. They are aware of the drought, of the drop in the value of the rand and of other factors operating simultaneously and which are beyond the Government’s control. The Government has taken measures—and will take further measures—to ensure that the economy is handled in the best possible manner.
The hon member for Sea Point spoke about unemployment but he did not suggest—neither did the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition—any possible solutions to this problem. When one looks at the situation in other Western countries where they have real growth—and the growth potential for 1985 is very great—one will find the unemployment rates in those countries also exceptionally high. Let us look at some examples: West Germany, 9%; France, 11%; Britain, 12,9%; Italy, 10,5%; Western Europe, 10%; the USA, 7%. When one looks at the disastrous situation in the rest of Africa where millions of people are dying of starvation and disease, one realizes that the position in South Africa is not as unsatisfactory as it is made out to be by hon members of the Official Opposition.
Let us look at the gold factor. On 15 February 1983 the gold price stood at 511 dollars per ounce. During the fourth quarter of 1983 it averaged 424 dollars per ounce and, in February 1984, it was 373 dollars per ounce. In February 1985 the gold price was 300 dollars per ounce. There is nothing that this Government could have done to prevent the drop in the gold price. However, maybe the hon member for Pinelands has some suggestions. [Interjections.]
Let us look at the drought situation. Since 1982 the Government has spent R491 million on drought relief and R1 060 million on maize imports in the past two seasons. Production loans to the farming community amounted to R998 million. As a result of the drought, Land Bank assistance since March 1983 amounted to R559 million; in other words, over R3 000 million has had to be expended because of the drought. Is there a single hon member in this House who has any objection to that expenditure? This was obviously very necessary expenditure which had to be incurred in the interests of the country.
There has been a worldwide recession experienced for a good few years by our main trading partners which meant that our non-gold exports did not rise to the extent that they should have risen. South Africa has to import certain strategic goods and other imports and, with the rand at its present price, these are probably costing us double. The fall of the rand, as I explained previously, cannot be laid at the door of the Government. A moment ago I mentioned factors which showed that these factors were beyond the control of the Government.
Let us have a look at how the sterling featured over the past years. In 1949 a pound was worth four dollars and three cents. In 1980 it was worth two dollars and 41 cents. In 1985 the pound dropped to one dollar and 11 cents. So one can see that the strength of the dollar is not something that one can wish away.
The Government is doing its utmost to cut expenditure, and yet the same people who want the Government to cut expenditure want the Government to spend more money on improving the quality of life of all the peoples of South Africa.
Let us look at the phenomenal increase in Black, Coloured and Indian education at colleges and schools. The numbers increased during the past five years from 41 700 to 92 200 without taking into account the national states. This is an average increase of 24% per year over a five-year period. Is there any hon member who has any objection to this expenditure?
We have spent thousands of millions of rands on strategic industries like Sasol, Armscor and Escom/Koeberg, and I am sure that there is no hon member who has any objection to that expenditure.
We live in difficult times, and it behoves the Press and everyone in South Africa to ask not what they can get from South Africa but what they can give to South Africa.
Mr Chairman, I do not want to reply to any of the comments which the hon member Mr Aronson made in regard to the PFP. He obviously has more knowledge of them than I have, and I shall leave it at that.
The matter that I would like to raise is that there were certain points to which the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition referred in relation to disinvestment. There are aspects about this which I would like to put to the House. We accept the fact that disinvestment is gaining momentum. Basically this is so because of two reasons. One of the reasons is political, but I do not think it is necessary at this stage to go into the why’s and wherefores as far as the attitude of people outside this country is concerned.
The second aspect—and of course this is really what this debate is all about—is that South Africa is becoming a less attractive country for overseas investors. We must face this because it is a reality and something which obviously is of great concern to us all.
It is pleasing to note that a sense of calm has at last descended upon this House. I think the vitriolic tirade that we experienced a little earlier on this afternoon does nobody any good, apart from the fact that it does not do the credibility of this House any good either.
In the main portion of my speech I wish to deal with certain matters affecting the agricultural sector and the rural community as a whole. There are certain aspects which I should like to bring to the attention of the hon the Minister. The first point is that one is appreciative—I speak as an opposition member—of the financial assistance that the Government has rendered in the form of drought relief over the past few years, but we must also trust that the Government will see its way clear to implement the recommendations of the Jacobs Committee which are about to be or have recently been presented to the Government.
I must emphasize that the Cabinet’s decision in this regard is going to be very significant because it is going to mean the making or breaking of many farmers.
The hon the Minister referred in his Budget Speech to the agricultural debt, and he made it quite clear that it would not be written off. One accepts this and one accepts the fact that the agricultural sector has an obligation to pay back the loans it has received from the State. Farmers should not be lulled into a sense of false optimism through erroneous statements, and it is only right and proper that the hon the Minister should have cleared the air once and for all. One cannot escape the fact that the debt which has been incurred and which has to be paid back is of enormous proportion. The fact that it verges on R10 billion is frightening in itself.
The Government should also look at ways and means to best deal with the present crisis in agriculture. I must warn that ad hoc measures will not provide long-term solutions. The present interest rates are having a crippling effect on the viability of agriculture. It is logical that this is the priority area to which the hon the Minister must turn his attention.
I must also point out that the morale of the farming community is extremely low. During my recent visit to the Natal Midlands this was confirmed at every turn. Farmers were openly discouraging their sons from taking up farming. They were talking of leaving agriculture and even of leaving the country. I need not remind the House that this would be highly undesirable in that farmers are the custodians of the countryside. Farmers are eternal optimists, and that spark of optimism must never be allowed to die. They in turn must learn to stand on their feet once again.
I wish to refer briefly to the farmers’ rally that took place in Pietermaritzburg. When it was first mooted it was subjected to considerable scorn and certain people in fact openly scoffed at it. I was annoyed to hear this rally referred to in this House as “a circus”.
It is well known that Government supporters were told to distance themselves from this rally. However, I want to repeat that the significance of that rally must not be underrated. It carried a very real and strong message in that it revealed the intolerable situation that was being experienced by the agricultural sector in regard to increased input costs.
The result of the rally was that a meeting with the hon Minister of Agriculture was subsequently held which helped to clear the air. Furthermore the rally injected a new awareness into organized agriculture. Thirdly, it galvanized certain co-operatives into action, resulting in co-ordinated moves to acquire input purchases for members on a more competitive basis. It brought them to the realization that it was time that they used the bargaining power they possess to the benefit of their members.
The undertones that emanate from these moves have already indicated that certain goods that were earmarked for a price increase have subsequently been reduced below their original price. It is consequential that, when the agricultural sector is having a hard time of it, the rural community as a whole is under severe economic strain. I want to direct the hon the Minister’s attention to the fact that the improvement of living standards in the rural areas will have to receive far greater attention in future than hitherto. I want to refer particularly to Black rural areas, many of which have come into existence as a result of Government policy. Consequently, the responsibility of upgrading living conditions cannot merely be brushed aside as the ultimate responsibility of the National State concerned. Complete lack of planning in areas where settlement has been encouraged and has taken place over recent years has more often than not resulted in haphazard development. The result of this has been that it is now impossible—and I want to make this point very clear to this House—for infrastructural development to take place; that is to say, the provision of water, electricity and roads. In other words, those living in these areas can be regarded as belonging to a somewhat paralysed community. The vexed and much publicized question of influx control to the urban areas will not be solved by regulation or any other means until the standard of living in the rural areas is improved.
I wish to turn very briefly to a matter of considerable interest to the people of all races in Natal and kwaZulu and that is the awaited report of the Commission for Cooperation and Development regarding the final consolidation proposals for Natal/kwa-Zulu. One notes in the Budget that the amount set aside in the Estimates for land acquisition by the SA Development Trust this year is R137 million as opposed to R102 million last year. I hope that this is an indication that, once the final decision has been made, immediate payment will be made to the owners of the farms that are to be taken over. The Government must ensure that there is no delay in payment as has been experienced in the past with the attendant misery. Similarly, I trust that the hon the Minister will give the assurance that Government stock will not again be used as part payment in purchasing these farms. While I am about it, I want to express my thanks and appreciation on behalf of those of us in these benches for the fact that it has now been decided by his department to redeem original Government stock used as part-payment for farms acquired by the SA Development Trust in 1978/79.
Finally, I would like to make an earnest appeal that when the consolidation proposals come before the House in the next few months in respect of Natal/kwaZulu every effort be made to ensure that good agricultural land be retained solely for purposes of agriculture.
Mr Chairman, let me tell the hon member for Mooi River that like him I have a great deal of sympathy for the farmers of South Africa. The Government stuck its hand deep into its own pocket to help the farmers of our country, and will not allow them to go under, because they are in many respects still the backbone of our country.
I now want to turn to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. He pretends that the disinvestment campaign is not serious.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition spoke here about disinvestment in very vague and convoluted terms. He did not tell us clearly how he felt about it. He sounds fairly lukewarm about disinvestment and a strategy to counter it. That is, however, what we have come to expect of the Official Opposition: They are equally lukewarm about the total onslaught against South Africa. [Interjections.] Let me tell the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition that he should not take the disinvestment campaign against South Africa lightly.
This campaign is not a passing fad in America, like juke-box music, which will blow over. It is a campaign that is gaining increasing momentum because it is nothing if not a new manifestation of the total onslaught against South Africa. I want to emphasize that. We must regard this campaign in a very serious light. The attempts at forcing American companies out of South Africa is not the main object of this campaign. The campaign is quite openly aimed at destroying trade links between South Africa and America. Over and above that, the actual object of this campaign is to bring South Africa to its knees economically so that we will eventually have to bow to our enemies’ demands for one man, one vote and complete capitulation.
Disinvestment is only one facet, but a very important one, of the multi-dimensional onslaught against South Africa. We are making a big mistake if we think this campaign is restricted to the USA. Already it goes far wider than that. The chief source of this onslaught against South Africa we find in the UN itself and in its approximately 20 subsidiary organizations which are continually concocting plans against South Africa. The UN Department of Public Information has 66 offices operating against South Africa in 147 states. This UN department alone spends about R14 million per year on its campaign against South Africa. Added to that there is the R40 million to R50 million that other UN institutions spend annually on their campaigns against South Africa. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is surely aware of these onslaughts. [Interjections.]
It gives one cause for concern if one compares it with South Africa’s overall Information Budget of only about R16 million. The extended campaign against South Africa is carried out with great enthusiasm by a large number of anti-South African organizations, the best-known of which is the Anti-Apart heid Movement. The terrorist organizations, the ANC, the PAC and Swapo, are playing an increasing role in the onslaught against South Africa. The ANC is one of those who lead the field. It already has offices or representation in 29 countries, as against South Africa’s official representation in 37 foreign countries.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
Order! Is the hon member prepared to answer a question?
Mr Chairman, I am sorry, but I cannot answer unintelligent questions. [Interjections.]
From the UN’s main budget for 1980-81 the ANC and the PAC received R14 million. In addition the ANC receives millions of rand from UN agencies. As the so-called only representative of Namibia, Swapo receives an annual amount of more than R50 million for food, medical supplies, training facilities, etc. From the figures I have quoted … [Interjections.] Mr Chairman, I appeal to you please to silence this running commentary.
From the figures I have quoted, one can see that it is no exaggeration to say that we are dealing with an international, highly coordinated and comprehensive propaganda campaign against South Africa involving literally hundreds of millions of rand, keeping thousands of people employed on a daily basis and making use of every conceivable means or technique.
The joint overall object of all these activities is to isolate South Africa in all spheres from the rest of the international community. This is taking place in the political, cultural, sports, ecclesiastical, scientific and economic spheres, so that South Africa can be forced to deviate radically from its present course. In the economic sphere action is at present being focussed on the disinvestment campaign, in the full knowledge that South Africa and its people would be physically affected by such a step and that this would give rise to a climate of revolution which, in turn, would bring the country to its knees. In the USA, in particular, this campaign is being given a high priority, at the propaganda level too, and it is calculated that at least 55 organizations are now exerting pressure on companies, city councils and government bodies in the USA to withdraw investments from South Africa.
From what I have presented to hon members, it ought to be clear that there is a vaster scheme behind the disinvestment campaign, a diabolical overall plan to make both South Africa and Southern Africa prey to the forces of revolution and anarchy.
May I put a question to the hon member?
I am not prepared to answer questions from those hon members. They will get their chance to speak. Let the hon member for Jeppe go to Harrismith. We shall deal with him there. [Interjections.]
In all these cases the domino principle applies. A victory in one sphere encourages them to tackle us in the next. First disinvestment, then boycotts and then sanctions, until our economy has been weakened, something that must inevitably lead to military debilitation. Today I want to appeal to all reasonable individuals in the USA and elsewhere not to allow themselves to be taken in tow by individuals who have aims other than those of reform and the elimination of apartheid and discrimination in South Africa. Let me tell reasonable Americans that if they continue with the disinvestment campaign—and there are signs that this campaign is gaining increasing momentum—the result will be an act of violence perpetrated against the Black people of South Africa and the Black people of our neighbouring states. Surely there can be no doubt about the fact that Black people would suffer most if such a campaign were to succeed. If there is large-scale unemployment in South Africa, the Government’s only course would be to repatriate the many people from our neighbouring states working here legally and illegally. That is surely the logical step we shall have to take. There are 150 000 people working here from Lesotho. Flow hard hit will Lesotho not be if these 150 000 people are sent back?
Those of us living here can see how the standard of living of our Blacks has increased in recent years. During the past week I again stood in a large supermarket in Bloemfontein watching the Blacks make their purchases. They buy baskets full of the best foodstuffs. Just look at how well-dressed our urban Blacks are. One does not need scientific surveys to see how the standard of living of Black people in this country has increased. Take away their job opportunities, however, as the disinvestors want to do, and the Black people and their families will soon be without any food to eat.
These people who are so eager to criticize South Africa and impose punitive measures against us would do well to search their own consciences. Countries such as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom have relatively small non-White populations in comparison with South Africa. Only 1,5% of Canada’s population is non-White, only 1% of Australia’s population is non-White and only 3% to 4% of the population of the United Kingdom is non-White, as against South Africa’s Blacks who make up 72% of its population. One would have expected these countries to have been able to make rapid strides in increasing the standard of living of their small groups of Blacks to the level of that of the Whites, but that is not the case at all. In Birmingham in England the incidence of tuberculosis is 38 times greater amongst Asians than amongst Whites. In Australia the life expectancy of the Whites exceeds that of the Aborigines by 20 years. Infant mortality amongst the Aborigines in Australia is 52 per thousand of the population in comparison with a mere 12,2 per thousand amongst Whites. In Canada the infant mortality rate amongst the Red Indians is six times greater than the national average. Turning to the USA, however, one is presented with a shocking picture. At a recent conference someone who is an authority said the following:
In other words, in 85 years the Americans have made no progress in reducing the infant mortality rate amongst Black people. Then they want to come and prescribe to us in South Africa what we should do. Why do these people not remove the beam from their own eye before attacking us?
We had the will to overcome the arms boycott against South Africa, and we shall again have to mobilize our forces to demolish the fierce onslaught against our economy. That is why one is extremely grateful for the burst of patriotism brought about amongst Whites, Coloureds and Blacks in South Africa, by this disinvestment campaign. The patriotism that radiated from the disinvestment debates in the other Houses is proof of the fact that we are on the way towards a common front in South Africa. For the first time in our country’s history an overall majority of our population groups are standing together to protect the country’s economy. That is the best possible strategy we can adopt to counter disinvestment.
80% of the Coloureds and Indians did not vote!
Order! I want to ask the hon member for Jeppe to stop making interjections now. The hon member for Bloemfontein North may proceed.
Mr Chairman, what is going on back there sounds like a lot of animal sounds from the jungle.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: If you have given a ruling about my not making interjections, is it permissible for hon members to prod me into making interjections?
Order! The hon member for Bloemfontein North may proceed.
Mr Chairman, let me tell the hon member back there that this is too elevated a forum to brook any discussion with him. For his kind of debate he must go to the Bushveld and …
Order! There was no need for the hon member to have made that remark. I have tried to deal with the situation, and there is no necessity for the hon member for Bloemfontein North to react in that fashion. He may proceed.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I want to know whether the remark of the hon member for Bloemfontein North does not impugn the dignity of a member of the House? [Interjections.] He was not speaking to them!
Order! What did the hon member for Bloemfontein North mean by that remark?
Mr Chairman, I am prepared to withdraw it.
I do not want to encroach upon other people’s time and I therefore wish to conclude. The very best strategy we can adopt to counter disinvestment is to extend and strengthen our united front even more and fight back with everything we have, here and abroad. Let me tell the hon members of the CP: Their policy will be responsible for the fact, and already is, that people abroad are already thinking of withdrawing their investments from South Africa. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, allow me to return for a moment to some of the remarks made by the hon member Mr Aronson in his very negative attack on the hon member for Sea Point. I was astonished that the hon member used the language he did in his attack on the hon member for Sea Point. In addition, he was totally illogical, because he accused the hon member for Sea Point and the PFP of attempting to evade the political issues and of concentrating, in consequence, on the economic aspects. However the whole debate this afternoon was specifically concerned with political aspects. Mr Aronson’s attack on the hon member for Sea Point concerned the political statements of the hon member for Sea Point. I therefore fail to understand the logic in his argument in this regard.
If one listens to the hon member Mr Aronson and the hon member for Bloemfontein North, one gains the impression that it is the PFP rather than the policy of the Government, that is responsible for the disinvestment campaign and for the unrest in South Africa. The hon member for Bloemfontein North is a man I respect, because he is a thinking person. I fail to understand how he can honestly believe that the causes of the disinvestment campaign are not for the most part to be found here in South Africa. To say that the campaign against South Africa is centrally planned and co-ordinated as part of the total onslaught on South Africa is a denial of the true reasons as to why that resistance to South Africa does exist abroad.
The hon member for Bloemfontein North—and beyond this I do not wish to spend any further time on him—did say one important thing towards the end of his speech, viz that our most effective answer to disinvestment is to show a united front in South Africa. If by the term “united front” he means merely a united front among the Whites, he can forget about even that. The only way we can oppose disinvestment is by being able to show a united front of all the people in South Africa.
That is not what I said.
Then I did not understand the hon member clearly. However, as long as we have the policy in South Africa that we are following at present I want to say in all honesty at this stage that there is not the slightest chance of establishing a united front.
The fundamental message of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and the hon member for Sea Point was that it was pointless making vague promises and not carrying out those promises. That is the crux of the charge made here this afternoon by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and the hon member for Sea Point. Not a single hon member on the Government side replied to that charge. Not a single member attempted even to say that nothing had come of those pious promises they made—and here I come back to the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; I am sorry that he is not present now. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is correct when he says that when promises of that nature are made and not kept, those promises in themselves stimulate resistance and growing frustration in South Africa. It is as simple as that. That is the message conveyed by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition in his speech. I call upon the hon members on the Government side please to reply to that point.
Let me come back to some of the points touched on by the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He mentioned the question of citizenship. [Interjections.]
The State President spoke about citizenship. He said that citizenship was being investigated. He also spoke about citizenship and nationality. Once again this immediately caused total confusion among people who had thought that they should take the State President seriously. If the Government thinks that it is going to resolve the problem of citizenship by linking citizenship and nationality then I can tell them here and now that they are wasting their time. I want to tell them that unconditionally.
Citizenship is a very simple matter concerning which no negotiations are necessary. There need be no doubt on the matter, nor need we wait for such negotiations. All that the Government has to say with regard to those four countries is that they will give Black people the choice of remaining South African citizens, or else becoming citizens of any of those four countries. Therefore it is very simple. One need not negotiate or request their opinions. Just do that. Just say: We are prepared to give those people the choice. The Government can do that today. They can do it tomorrow. They need not wait any longer.
I want to go further. Neither the hon the Deputy Minister nor the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning are present at the moment. However, other members of the Cabinet are present. I understand that there was a written agreement between President Mangope and the former Prime Minister, Mr B J Vorster. This agreement provided that people would be given the choice as to whether or not they wished to accept their citizenship of Bophuthatswana. I should now like to hear from the hon the Minister whether that is true. Is it also true that President Mangope has asked time and again why that written agreement is not being complied with? What reply has the Government given to President Mangope? There is no point in merely talking about one’s word of honour and good faith. If such an agreement exists, why has it thus far not been implemented? The Government must please answer those questions. Can the hon the Minister of Finance provide the answers?
I do not know about that.
I should appreciate it if the hon the Minister could find out whether such an agreement does exist and then tell us so in his reply to the debate.
However it is not only a question of citizenship. The provision in the Urban Areas Act to the effect that children born after the date of independence to South African Blacks who have lost their citizenship are not protected by section 6 of the various Status Acts with regard to their rights, privileges and immunities as South African citizens, ought to be abolished immediately. Reference has been made to the causes of frustration and violence. Can hon members understand what the situation is when a parent realizes that his child who was born after independence does not even enjoy the same protection which he, as a former South African citizen, enjoys?
I say once again that it is not necessary for the Government to negotiate on this. It is not necessary for the Government to wait. It is not necessary for the Government to confine itself to pious talk. Do these things. It is real action that will convince the Black people of the bona fides of the Government. I could carry on in this vein. Reference has been made to the question of the policy of linkage. I listened with great interest to the hon the Deputy Minister. He says that the policy of linkage does not work. What now? We have been waiting a very long time. The special Cabinet Committee of which some hon members sitting here are members, has been engaged in negotiations for some time now. Recently I asked the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning how the business of that committee was progressing. His reply was that he was unable to tell me anything since it was too confidential. I do not wish to be guilty of an injustice, but I think that is what he said.
We can persist in limiting ourselves to pious talk, but when pertinent questions are asked, the answer is that no replies can be furnished because the matter is too delicate. Too delicate for whom or for what? Is it too delicate for Langa and Uitenhage, too delicate for all these problems with disinvestment overseas?
Sir, I wish to state this very clearly. The essential problem in South Africa today is that pious promises are being made. I have considerable respect for what the hon the State President has here undertaken to consider. However, I wish to say in all honesty and seriousness that the time has now come for us to give practical and concrete effect to some of those promises. We do not have another day or two or three, a week or two or three nor a month or two or three in which to postpone this. If we are in earnest then I say to the hon member for Bloemfontein North that to strike a blow against the disinvestment campaign, the first requirement is not fine-sounding and pious talk, but concrete evidence that we intend creating another kind of society in which, as the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has asked, the Black man will also be able to say that he is a citizen of the country like all other people in South Africa, and that he enjoys equal citizenship and will be able to say, like every White man, that he is free to move wherever he likes in South Africa, because it is his country as well. He, too, must be able to say, as you and I can, that he is free to accept a job and wherever he can find a job and decent housing.
Only do these things, and we need not concern ourselves about the disinvestment campaign in the USA or anywhere else.
Mr Chairman, it is a pleasure for me to follow Prof Olivier. I do not want to react to his speech, because like the hon the Minister of Finance I do not have the information he is asking for here either, but I think the hon the Minister of Finance will find it. But I wish to suggest to Prof Olivier that he ask these questions in about ten days’ time when the State President’s Vote comes up for discussion. Then he can hear the replies from the President himself. I do not think that he expects me to react further to him, but I feel the way he does about the matter of citizenship which he touched on. I think that citizenship is an important matter and that we have to find a solution to it. This is my personal standpoint and the hon member will pardon me if I do not pursue this matter further.
I want to get back to the economic part of the debate and again discuss a few aspects of disinvestment. What the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition—unfortunately he is not here—said about disinvestment was very interesting. I want to say the same about the hon member for Bloemfontein North who also spoke about this. Both of them are just as concerned as I am about the disinvestment problem. I should also like to say something about this, but I want to approach it from a completely different angle.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition had a lot to say about Dr Wassenaar and tried to drive us into a corner here with his article. But I see that according to Die Burger Dr Wassenaar is going to write four articles. I hope that in one of his forthcoming articles Dr Wassenaar is also going to write about concentration of power and the problems we are having with this in South Africa. While we are in the process of unravelling everything, let us also unravel the concept of “concentration of power”, of which Sanlam is an example. We must concede that if the free market in South Africa is heading for the concentration of power in the hands of a few insurance companies, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and I should be concerned about this. Let us therefore ask Dr Wassenaar, who is now in the process of unravelling all the problems on the Government side, to give us a solution to that problem. I hope Die Burger will ask him to give us a solution. Excessive concentration of power is causing me concern. Japan is a very good example of this. There the business houses virtually took over control and smaller businesses could only develop again later.
Here in South Africa insurance companies play the same role as the large business houses. Indeed nowadays insurance companies control the largest percentage of the mining houses. In the past the mining houses prevented this from happening. But nowadays most mining houses are controlled by the insurance groups. Eventually this control will probably only be exercised by the insurance companies. I have no fault to find with that in terms of the free market concept. But they must tell us what allowance they are making for the dilemma in which the Government finds itself in this regard. I think it was the hon member for Langlaagte—I hope I am remembering correctly—who made mention here of the problems surrounding concentration of power. The hon member has indicated that I was correct. I thank him very much for that.
I hope that we will get replies to these questions. We should like to have replies to all these questions.
Why are you only referring to Sanlam, and not saying a word about Anglo American?
Very well! Anglo American, Old Mutual, Liberty Life. Shall I continue?
Why did you not refer to Anglo American in the first place?
I shall go ahead and mention them all if that would please the hon member for Rissik. [Interjections.] But the head of Anglo American or other insurance groups did not write articles in Die Burger.
You are handling Anglo American with kidgloves, are you not? [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Rissik has such an unstable political background it is not even funny. First he was a UP member, then a NP member, then he was an HNP supporter in the National Party, and now he has gone so far as to join the CP. If I had as unstable a political background as he does, I would rather keep quiet. [Interjections.]
But I should now like to associate myself with …
And you gave Harry Oppenheimer a DMS.
Are you opposed to that? Did your leader not also receive a DMS?
When is Dr Wassenaar going to get his DMS?
Did the hon the Leader of the CP not also receive a DMS? [Interjections.]
We have studied everything which has been written about the Budget by experts. We have also read everything which has been written by so-called experts, as well as by people who wrote on behalf of certain interested groups. We also read what people had written in criticism of the Budget. We studied all those things thoroughly. After all, we had enough time to do that. I am grateful for the new system, which gave us enough time to afford everyone the opportunity to participate in the discussion of the Budget, whether in the relevant standing committee or by means of the press. Irrespective of all the criticism, praise and expressions of own interests, in my opinion this Budget has at least two particular advantages. These two advantages lie in the fact that this Budget can be accounted for politically and economically. I consider this an important aspect, irrespective of the criticism levelled at the Budget. It is impossible for us to satisfy everyone.
A Budget is just like religion. That we shall simply have to accept. We cannot always satisfy everyone simultaneously. That is why there are also so many churches today. Every person, when he is dissatisfied with the interpretation of theology, gives his own interpretation to it. The same applies to a budget. But in the case of a budget there is also the matter of own interest. Every person takes note of how the Budget affects his pocket.
There was quite a lot of criticism of the Budget, for which we are grateful. But there was also a great deal of praise. The praise was mentioned by the hon member Mr Aronson, who referred to what the Sunday Times had written. Of course the Sunday Times cannot be labelled—as has so frequently been said—a puppet of the Government. I think that the Sunday Times is fairly critical of the Government. But the Sunday Times’s assessment of the Budget of the hon the Minister was favourable. The hon member Mr Aronson has referred to this, however, and consequently I shall not repeat what he has already said. In defence of the situation I just want to point out that the hon member for Yeoville also levelled quite a lot of criticism at the Budget. He also criticized the hon the Minister. The hon the Minister—if I am correct—has only occupied his present position for about 200 working days now. I do not think one can rectify everything that is wrong within the space of 200 working days. I do not think that is possible. But I think that what has been done clearly indicates that the hon the Minister of Finance is heading in the right direction. When I make this observation I do so on the strength of the analysis that economists of Nedbank made of the hon the Minister’s Budget.
According to those economists there are three reasons why this Appropriation can be considered to be the possible turning point in the economy of South Africa. I am quoting those three reasons here for the record. The first reason is that this Budget was presented as a component of a long-term appropriation. We must not forget this. This confirms why I said earlier that this Budget can be accounted for politically and economically.
The second reason is that the cash flow planning technique has been introduced. Because this has been done I am convinced that we are going to stay fairly close to these figures during the present financial year. I am confident that this is indeed going to be the case.
The third reason is that there is a move away from a monetary policy to a fiscal policy in order to bring about a more proportional distribution of the economic burden, and consequently a more stable economy. I consider this an important aspect. I believe that this change is not only essential, but that it should have been introduced earlier. I feel that the fact that the change was introduced, particularly considering the circumstances, deserves everyone’s praise. We give the hon the Minister full credit for this.
It is also interesting to note that even an organization such as Assocom, which has been very critical in the past, did not omit to praise the hon the Minister on this Budget either. In its praise Assocom did not lose sight of the present economic situation in South Africa and the three reasons I have just referred to either. As an example, I am quoting what Assocom’s chief executive, Mr Raymond Parsons, wrote:
I think that a very important point is embodied in this, in the sense that the Government really tried to solve this problem. But I want to repeat—and I agree with the hon the Minister—that inflation is the number one enemy. We will have a problem as long as inflation remains the number one enemy, and we must try to break down inflation. For the record I want to react to the criticism that the Government only wants to waste money. An absurd example is then used. Yesterday the hon member for Umbilo said that the Ministers had any number of bodyguards, and goodness knows what else.
I want to read out to hon members what Prof Brian Kantor wrote in the Sunday Times, in order to ensure that those people who do not support the Government, accept the credibility of this beyond all doubt. He said:
I am mentioning these figures as a reference so that we can draw comparisons:
We must at least have comparative figures for the sake of those people who are so fond of criticizing.
While we are now discussing disinvestment, inter alia, I should like to appeal to the hon the Minister—in particular because he is working on a long-term strategy at the moment, and in the second place because he has appointed the Margo Commission, and because of disinvestment, which is a big enemy of this country, and which can affect the most important aspect of capitalformation—to ascertain with the Margo Commission whether he cannot do more than he has already done to encourage people to save more. He has already done a lot for us by making a small concession which has already cost him a lot of money. In the light of this I admit that we have a problem, because every cent that is taken away, has to be recovered elsewhere. In the same way that money is the oil which keeps the wheels of the national economy rolling, investment capital is the nails, the nuts and the bolts which create employment opportunities.
I should like to ask the hon the Minister—and I am mentioning this by name—whether what is allowed on pensions, gratuities, etc., which now totals approximately R3 500 or R3 600 per year, does not possibly justify a concession. By making a concession here, the hon the Minister can create further capital. I am concerned that it is the mediumsized undertakings in particular that are having difficulties in this connection. The largest undertakings are controlled by a few large bodies, while the smallest undertakings get capital from the Small Business Development Corporation in particular. But the people who are having a great deal of difficulty at this stage are the medium-sized and smaller undertakings. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether we cannot contribute in this way as a counter-balance, and can encourage people to save. I know that at the end of the day it is going to cost money, but when the economy is in a better state, we will be able to reap the benefits of this. The economy is in the process of improving. This is what another newspaper which is not well-disposed towards this Government, namely the Business Day of the Rand Daily Mail, says. This morning Prof Geert de Wet also said that the economy was not faring that badly, and I want to say that we are now planning in the first place to obtain the necessary capital, and in the second place that we must go further with that capital, and also utilize it. For the sake of the hon member Prof Olivier I want to point out that this includes all population groups, irrespective of race, colour or creed. We want to encourage everyone to save more, because we all pay the same tax. We want to encourage everyone to save on a greater scale than we have done during the past five years.
Mr Chairman, I am asking the hon member for Primrose to pardon me for not reacting to his speech because I should very much like to get back to the hon member for Bloemfontein-north. I should like to point out to that hon friend of mine that he did himself as well as all his colleagues in the NP a very big disservice when he made the accusation that if the disinvestment campaign overseas were to be successful, the CP policy would be responsible, because our policy of separate development is the policy which up to a few years ago the hon member and all his colleagues supported, proclaimed, professed and believed. It is interesting that the Republic of South Africa fared extremely well then.
Separateness, but not bigotry.
I expected more. I expected the hon member—he is very senior member in the Free State—to react to one part of the amendment moved by my party through the hon member for Sunnyside, which reads as follows:
During the referendum campaign in 1983 Government speakers went from platform to platform telling the voters of South Africa how well-off they would be if the “yes” vote won. They gave the voters various undertakings and made various promises. When one has given undertakings there comes a time when one is called to account.
When the hon the Minister replies to this debate later I should like him to tell us whether he is going to tell the voters of South Africa what has become of only three of the undertakings given then by the Government, when they asked the voters to vote “yes”, and this, that and the other would happen in South Africa.
Because this is chiefly a financial and economic debate, I want to start with the one little point that was mentioned, the one little piece of propaganda which was made: Vote “yes” and the economy in South Africa will flourish and grow. I need not even ask what happened. The second one is: Vote “yes” to ensure peace and order in South Africa. I want to ask how many flames, how many columns of smoke, how many riots have broken out throughout the Republic of South Africa after the “yes” vote won. Today they are breaking out like measles on a dog. The third point I want to touch on is: Vote “yes” and overseas pressure will vanish like must before the morning sun in the summer.
I am now going to deal with the first point, the one affecting the economy. Let us take a look at it. On 7 September 1984, a year after the campaign was conducted, as I have already said, the economy of South Africa was going to be flourishing. Our coffers were going to be too small to store the money in. South Africa was going to develop rapidly. The Banks were going to be falling over each other to ask their clients for the lowest possible interest on loans. The public’s pockets were going to be too small to hold their wallets because those wallets were going to be bulging with one rand and five rand notes. What is more the value of that money would compare favourably with the American dollar. Nothing came of this. [Interjections.] The Treasury was going to become fuller and fuller so that the farmers who were in difficulties could be assisted.
They would have got rain too.
The young married couples who could not afford houses, were going, to get loans at low interest rates so that they could buy houses for themselves.
Who said that? [Interjections.] You are talking nonsense!
On 6 September, the day before 7 September 1984, the workers of South Africa, the people who had voted “yes”, went home. The farmers returned home from the fields. The industrialists returned home from their factories. The teachers, yes, everyone returned home, everyone who had voted “yes”, expecting the utopia which had been promised, to arrive the next day possibly. And what happened on 7 September? Then the bowl burst. Technically the State is bankrupt, and the big propaganda was that the economy of South Africa would grow and would flourish. [Interjections.]
Dr Joop de Loor said that. [Interjections.]
For the information of that hon member I just want to say that one of the most respected men in his field, a well-informed man, a capable man and a man who had the integrity and the honesty to warn the people of South Africa in these times, said that the State was bankrupt. That was Dr De Loor.
Will you also believe all the other things that he says? [Interjections.]
But do you believe it?
That was not all. Let us go further. Then the people who had voted “yes” also got the next shock … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Meyerton is speaking. I must say it is not easy to give the hon member who is speaking every opportunity to make his speech if some of his own hon party members are speaking very loudly. This makes things difficult. But there are also other hon members who must not allow themselves to be led astray. The hon member for Meyerton may proceed.
Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. [Interjections.]
Order! I am asking the hon member for Innesdal, when the Chair has given a ruling or make a request, to respect it. The hon member for Meyerton may proceed.
The shocks have not yet come to an end for the people who voted “yes”. I am quoting from the mouthpieces of the Government. Die Vaderland said:
I am going further. It was still the friends and still the mouthpieces of the Government which said the following:
It goes on to say: “Haglike ekonomie Regering se skuld, sê die sakelui”. We must remember that these are the people who attended the Carlton and the Good Hope Conferences with the State President, the then Prime Minister. It is these people who are now considering leaving South Africa because of the poor economic situation. [Interjections.]
I now also come to what Dr Wassenaar said inter alia in this morning’s Burger. He was a big “yes” man and a person who until recently—so I hear—made big donations to the NP. He said the following:
This is what Dr Wassenaar said.
I am extremely glad that the hon the Minister of Co-Operation, Development and Education is here. I think he and I share a mutual concern regarding the Vaal Triangle area. I should like to ask him to give his attention to this and I trust that he will constantly give his attention to this. I hope that the hon the Minister will give us a reply to this in due course. The next report reads:
This report was written in January. I think one can say with reasonable certainty that if the arrears totalled R13 million at that stage, by this time they could easily total R20 million and more.
What worries me is what the Government is doing about discipline as far as these people are concerned. This report goes on to say:
If a White couple do not pay their water and electricity accounts, the service is summarily cut off. Then they neglect to pay it not because they are refusing to do so for reasons of agitation but possibly because they cannot afford to do so. But these people are refusing to pay as agitators …
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?
I do not have the time. These people are maliciously refusing to meet that obligation and I want to issue a warning today: The bigger those debts become, the more difficult it will eventually be for the Black people to pay them. I also want to ask that this must please not again come from the pockets of the White taxpayers.
We warned the Government then that if the Coloureds and the Indians were brought to the White Parliament the agitators were going to take the opportunity to pump the peaceful and satisfied Black giant in the Republic of South Africa full of poison. They will tell the Black people: The Coloureds and the Indians are going to the White Parliament, why can you not also go there? Today I want to say that this is fertile ground for agitators to tell the peaceful and peaceable Blacks people: You have your own parliaments in your national states, but the Coloureds and the Indians are going to the White Parliament; why can the same not apply to you? This is sufficient reason to make those people unhappy. We warned the Government against this during the referendum campaign.
I want to make another point with regard to “the calm, the order and the peace which would prevail in South Africa if the “yes” vote won”. I want to say that we support the hon the Minister of Law and Order when it comes to the interests of the policemen who must try to maintain law and order in South Africa. We want to tell him that responsible South Africans are getting tired of hearing that when policemen have to fight for their lives, they should go like lambs to the slaughter. They are getting tired of hearing people inside and outside South Africa speaking as if those young policemen—White, Coloured and Black—are not entitled to defend their own lives. They must do so, not only for their own sake, but also for the sake of law and order in South Africa.
I want to conclude. South Africa was told then: If you vote “yes”, pressure from abroad will decrease. But yesterday evening a foreign television reporter said that overseas pressure on South Africa was now greater than ever before. Yesterday the hon member for Umbilo described general Smuts as the greatest Prime Minister South Africa has had. I am not going to argue with him. From his point of view I suppose this is true. But from my point of view Verwoerd was the giant among giants. I want to associate myself with the hon member for Umbilo and I think he will agree with me when I say to him that the late general Smuts and the late Dr Verwoerd would have known how to deal with these riots and these agitators. They would have known how to withstand pressure from abroad. Every time a leader yields to pressure from abroad, he becomes weaker; and every time he yields, South Africa’s position weakens. We want to tell this Government that they must stand firm against pressure from outside. This is in the interests of the Republic of South Africa.
Business suspended at 18h45 and resumed at 20h00.
Mr Speaker, if you will permit me, I should briefly like to respond to the speech of the hon member for Meyerton. I should like to react to a speech that hon member made on 19 August 1981. The hon member’s speech made a strong impression on me as a newcomer to this House. This evening I should like to quote to him from his speech. I should like to weigh up his conduct, and that of his party, against what he said in 1981. The hon member said (Hansard, House of Assembly, Vol 94, col 1316):
You are collecting the liberal.
The hon member for Kuruman would do well to contain himself for a moment. [Interjections.]
The hon member went on to say (Hansard, House of Assembly, Vol 94, col 1320):
This evening he is one of them:
Now, after almost five years, the State President comes along and at the very beginning of his opening address says the following:
Let me ask the hon member for Meyerton this evening where he stands now. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Meyerton is fond of quoting the late Dr Verwoerd. Let me tell the hon member that the late Dr Verwoerd, like all his predecessors, was a leader and Prime Minister of this country who was honoured, respected and appreciated. I have quoted him on several occasions.
The hon member also referred to the late Gen Smuts. I do not want to say much about him, except that the electorate passed judgment on him.
The hon member went on to refer to the Police, and this evening I want to tell him…
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?
Will the hon member answer a question?
Mr Speaker, the hon member did not extend to me the friendly courtesy of answering my question, and I hall therefore not answer his. [Interjections.]
As I was saying, the hon member referred to the Police. The State President made an appeal for us to avoid any discussion about the South African Police and events in the Eastern Cape until the relevant report had been tabled. On that occasion—when the occasion presents itself—we shall again enter into a discussion about the SA Police.
The hon member referred to the rent paid by Black people in the Vaal Triangle. I should like to ask the hon member this evening whether he, as a representative of that area, made any effort to contact any one of the Black leaders in that area.
I can say yes, I did; not in the Vaal Triangle, but in my own area; I can say that much this evening. Has the hon member ever thought carefully about the action taken against the leaders in Black communities? Is he aware of the fact that between September 1984 and March 1985 there were 243 cases of assault, intimidation, arson and looting aimed at Black councillors, their families and possessions? Did he take note of that? In the incidents four city councillors died and 27 councillors were injured. All I am asking the hon member for Meyerton and his party is to evidence some understanding for those people. I shall be coming back to this again at a later stage, because I want to devote my speech to the position of local government in the country.
In his opening address the State President said, amongst other things:
Hence my request for a little more understanding to be displayed when we encounter or refer to other groups in the country. I want to ask the hon member for Meyerton this evening whether he can mention to me one instance of water being cut off by a local authority as a result of any single member of any group in South Africa having failed to pay an account. [Interjections.] The hon member may give me the examples. My invitation stands.
The necessity for financial management and discipline must be instilled in every section of our community at every opportunity, but in particular in our local authorities too. The role of local government in the process of constitutional development in South Africa relates to the fact that over the years communities have established themselves alongside one another. Initially there was only one local authority, ie that of the Whites. We are now offering every group an opportunity to govern its own people. In the process of constitutional development according to which every group will be governed by its own local authority within its own area of jurisdiction, peace and quiet and order can only be ensured if local authorities can coexist in peace and harmony with their neighbours. We must not, even as far as local government is concerned, begrudge our neighbours the things we demand for ourselves. A shortage of bread, of essential services or of housing, would result in one community losing sleep because things are not going well for its neighbours. If the process of urbanization continues at the present rate, indications are that by the end of the century, 15 years from now, 88% of the total population of the Republic of South Africa will be living in the towns and cities.
This evening I should like to express my particular appreciation for the close liaison that exists between the Department of Finance and local authorities. I am grateful for the appointment of the Browne Committee and Croeser workgroup and for what they have done in that connection to ensure a two-way linkup between the Department of Finance and local government. Acceptance by the central, provincial and municipal tiers of government of shared tax liability, the establishment of overall control, by the Department of Finance, over the financial patterns of expenditure of local authorities and the establishment of a permanent liaison committee between the various levels of government are the three important conditions in the agreement between the three tiers of government. We must see it as a package agreement. The Government’s share of the agreement is meticulously being complied with, ie the phasing-in of the subsidy being paid to local authorities in place of property rates. When a start was made on the phasing-in process in 1981-82, the State’s contribution was R29 million. In 1984-85 that amount had grown to R110 million. On the strength of that I can say that the Central Government is the largest single ratepayer in the RSA. The Government can therefore rightfully claim to have some measure of say in and control over local government spending. The system of control aims at the better co-ordination of public sector expenditure. The rate of increase and other provisions are also determined on the basis of the Government’s fiscal guidelines. Hon members will realize that economic policy measures are doomed unless all authorities participate.
I should like to appeal to the hon the Minister of Finance to investigate a few aspects. Firstly I should like to refer to the salary structure at local government level. Having as we do a three-tier system of government in this country at present, ie a central, provincial and local system of government with public servants, provincial officials and municipal officials, the question that has come to mind is whether we should not consider treating them all equally. There is, for example, a health inspector working for the State, a health inspector working for provincial authorities and one working for local authorities, but their salaries differ, in spite of the fact that they have the same qualifications. Should we not simply consider the possibility of investigating this? I should like to refer to a statement made by the President of the South African Association of Municipal Employees. I quote from a newspaper cutting:
We must look at these statements.
There is another aspect I want to refer to. In looking at the expenditure of local authorities in which the central Government also has a say, it has been bothering me for many years now that there are such a large number of congresses taking place. There are 68 local government institutes. I realize that local authorities do not send delegates to all the congresses and annual general meetings. We must, however, consider the costs to local government and the manhours which are thereby lost. I think it is a matter deserving very serious investigation.
There is a final point I want to refer to and the hon the Minister of Agricultural Economics and of Water Affairs must not blame me for using this as an example. Consideration is now being given to other sources of revenue for local government, and two specific sources have been identified. At this stage it appears that the major portion of the yield from that source of revenue will be employed for the establishment of regional services councils, and so there will not, as yet, be any relief for our people in the towns and cities. Section 21(1)(a) of the Water Act, Act No 45 of 1956, was amended in the late seventies so that no purified sewerage water returned to a public stream could, from 1 August 1980, contain more than one milligram of phosphate per litre. The commencement of that provision was deferred to 1 August 1985, in other words for five years. We are now approaching that date and should bear in mind that certain dams, certain regions and certain rivers will be affected.
If we bear in mind that we have 520 local authorities, and if we contemplate the costs involved in limiting or completely eliminating the phosphate concentrations in water, it is going to cost the two local authorities I have singled out a great deal of money. In one case this is going to involve capital expenditure of R1 million. It is going to cost the other local authority R500 000. What is important is that in the one case the annual running costs will be R320 000 and in the other case R175 000. The reason why I am touching upon this aspect this evening is that I held discussions and read an article about the phosphate concentrations in water. Professor Pretorius of the University of Pretoria says that 50% to 70% of the phosphate in our water is caused by washing powders and not by human waste. If we were to prohibit the use of phosphates in washing powders, as has been done in New York, we would be able to rid our water of phosphates in the existing sewerage purification works and at no extra cost. That is why I just want to ask whether we should not look at this expenditure which is making things so difficult for local authorities.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Witbank was fighting the CP at the start of his speech. Where Conservatives fight each other, however, it is advisable for the enlightened not to co-operate. [Interjections.] He devoted the rest of his speech to other aspects and I hope he will forgive me for not replying to them directly.
The hon the Minister of Finance is sitting all on his own and nobody is actually talking to him. Nevertheless I should be very grateful if he could answer a few questions in his reply. In the first place I want to tell the hon the Minister that I have not played golf yet this week. In the medical profession—although he apologized with justification—his handicap is very poor at the moment. I believe, however, that he can rectify the position if he reconsiders the removal of tax allowances for overseas travel and study tours to scientific congresses by medical practitioners. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister will know that isolation is one of South Africa’s greatest problems. He also knows the medical profession is one of the few of which the South African practitioners are welcome throughout the world. If the hon the Minister severs that contact, South Africa will be the poorer in consequence.
We are looking into it.
In the last instance I wish to ask the hon the Minister why he was so lenient in his Budget as regards tax on liquor and tobacco. [Interjections.] Tobacco and liquor were not touched in the hon the Minister’s Budget and this makes it very obvious to us that there is another strong factor warding off such a tax. The hon the Minister will agree with me that is one field where he could have obtained more money. I also support the hon member for Umbilo in this case. [Interjections.]
†I listened with great interest today to the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
I found his speech most interesting, because on 27 February 1980 the MP for Pretoria Central, now the Minister of Foreign Affairs…
The Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister …
May he long remain that!
He is trying his best. The hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs made a speech that was known as the “Dit is lekker om ’n Nasionalis te wees” speech.
*Today he made a speech which, I believe, will be remembered as the “Dit is nie lekker om ’n Nasionalis te wees nie” speech. [Interjections.] The speech he made in 1980 was made after rejoining the National caucus and after having a little brandy trouble.
†It became known as his “Dit is lekker om ’n Nasionalis te wees” speech. Last night the hon Deputy Minister, substituting on the PikShow on television, gave the impression that it was somewhat less “lekker om ’n Nasionalis te wees”. He struggled to answer quite a number of questions. However, in 1980 he was still enthusiastic and gave reasons why in his view it was “lekker om ’n Nasionalis te wees”.
It might be that hon members on the opposite benches have forgotten, but in 1980 the hon Deputy Minister said the NP was a party with resilience and vitality, with a burning enthusiasm, with patriotism and vision—and he added any number of meaningless adjectives. Having rid himself of this verbosity, he directed his speech to the ideals of the NP and the purpose of the Government. Firstly, he said, the purpose of the Government was to maintain peace and security. This he repeated last night. Indeed, even today all the hon Ministers are apt to repeat this phrase, “to maintain peace and security”. Secondly, according to the hon the Deputy Minister, it was the purpose of the Government to promote social progress and, thirdly, to improve the quality of life of all the country’s peoples. Fourthly, the Government aimed to establish fundamental human rights firmly.
You are losing your spectacles!
You are losing your head!
A further purpose was to establish political rights for all men and women, irrespective of race, colour or creed. [Interjections.]
With this we can find no fault. Even today those statements are true and we believe in them. However, before the hon the Deputy Minister explained how the NP would achieve these praiseworthy ideals, he asked the House to accept what he considered to be a fact, namely, that the more heterogeneous a society is, the greater the potential for conflict, and the more homogeneous, the smaller the potential for conflict. This is what the hon the Deputy Minister said, and I am sure hon members on that side of the House agree with him. This, he said, was the key to the NP policy and plan for South Africa. On 27 February 1980 (Hansard, vol 85, col 1533) he said:
These are fantastic words! He goes further:
Whom are you quoting?
I am not quoting that hon Minister because this is making quite a bit of sense.
The hon the Deputy Minister said further:
This is what the member for Pretoria Central said at that time. However, today he said exactly the opposite. He agreed that the policy set out above is no longer a policy that can work and bring peace and security to South Africa.
*Clearly it is no longer so nice to be a Nationalist. The hon the Minister admitted it today. The NP thought they could divide a fruit cake into raisin, currant and other fruit sections. [Interjections.] The policy and plan the hon Deputy Minister was talking about is a miserable failure. The hon the Minister himself in fact admitted today that it could not work in South Africa. We on this side of the House have always known that it could never bring peace and prosperity to South Africa as the hon the Deputy Minister had predicted.
The only ray of light in this National gloom is that the Government, in the words of the hon Deputy Minister and also the State President, has now admitted the NP plan is and was a failure and will never work. If we examine the present situation after 37 years of NP rule, we have honestly to admit that the potential for conflict in South Africa still exists. Maintenance of law and order is still necessary. The majority of our people are dissatisfied with their political rights. The quality of life of many in our country is still precarious—which the NP acknowledges today. Where is the peace and the security the hon the Deputy Minister promised us 5 years ago? Why has the NP failed?
Your spectacles are falling.
Let my spectacles fall, but I can promise you, sir, that the NP will also fall—before my spectacles. [Interjections.] They would do well to concern themselves less over my spectacles.
It has failed because the heterogeneous population of South Africa cannot be cut into small homogeneous pieces. We can attempt it but a large and important heterogeneous part will always remain. The NP acknowledges this fact—unlike the CP which wants to do the impossible, namely to wish to rule and inhabit only a White or rather an Afrikaner part. [Interjections.] Does the Government acknowledge, as do we, that this dream of a heterogeneous White Afrikaner heaven in South Africa is impossible? Then the NP admits that the potential for conflict could not be remedied by the NP plan. The NP and the hon Deputy Minister admitted it today. He used wonderful words here but admitted that this wonderful NP plan which in 1980 brought us all that peace and security was no longer advocated by the NP today in 1985 and that they had totally failed in their efforts to counter the conflict situation in South African politics.
What should we do instead? If the various groups in South Africa could get together, talk together, decide together and plan together to agree on a peaceful solution to our constitutional problems, surely we stand a chance of getting rid of the conflict situation. Where to begin? By creating a climate in which the majority may seek a peaceful solution. To allow this process to start in South Africa it is essential for the foundations of NP policy to be destroyed. Apartheid and racial discrimination must and shall be abolished. All discriminating laws must be abolished. That is the recipe for success and peace. The Government knows that is what must happen; why, then, words of acknowledgement but deeds of denial?
I wish to state clearly tonight that as a White South African I am proud to be able to say that it is nice not to be a Nationalist. [Interjections.] It is nice never to have believed that I required racial discrimination and had to rely on laws which placed racial discrimination in the Statute Book for my protection. I have to repeat tonight and I hope those hon members will also be able to say one day: It is nice not to be a Nationalist. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, right at the outset we on this side of the House would like to say to the hon member for Parktown that as far as we are concerned it is very nice to be nationalist. [Interjections.] It is very nice to serve in this Government and it is a great challenge to serve South Africa in these days of trauma, tension and drama. Of course, the accusation is hurled at us—the hon member did so this evening—that we are responsible for the situation of unrest. Of course the hon member for Parktown levels at us the accusation that every riot and every act of aggression is the result of our policy. The Conservative Party did the same thing this evening. Quite honestly I must say to my very good old neighbour, the hon member for Meyerton, that I am bitterly disappointed this evening. The impression I gained was that he made the allegation in clear, simple Afrikaans, that the Government was incapable of dealing with the riots.
That is quite correct!
I gained the impression that he contended that the Government was the cause of the riots.
Mr Chairman, we as members of this House, must each be aware of his own responsibility in these tension-filled times that our country is going through. It does not take a scientist of name or fame to be able to say that whoever was governing South Africa, we should not have been able to escape these tension-filled times. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I should like to ask the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition whether he thinks that there was a single party in this House whose policy would make it possible for South Africa to develop in the constitutional sphere without tension and without riots.
Mr Chairman, the Leader of the Official Opposition answers in the affirmative. I take it that he is thereby referring to his own party’s policy. [Interjections.]
To everyone in this House who has tried to travel the world and discover how matters stand in the rest of the world, it ought to be clear that tension and riots form part and parcel of the entire world we are living in. After all, that is evident from newspaper headlines everywhere. Only listen to the following small sample. “More violence as mine strike crumbles in the United States,” “Fascism is on the march again in Europe”, “World inflamed with rash of racism”—and in the USA, with reference to the Mexican problem—“Pushing foreigners out”, “Guest workers outstay their welcome in Germany”, “Trouble over North Africans in France”, “United States anger over Qadaffi’s call for Black soldiers to revolt”, “United States Blacks in disastrous state”, “Losing control of the border”. It simply goes on and on. Here is another one: “Belfast agony”. What I mean to say by this is that it is simply untrue, it is totally false, to blame the NP Government for the tensionfilled times we are battling with at present. [Interjections.]
The hon Leader of the Official Opposition himself said … [Interjections.] Very well, allow me to test him on the basis of what he himself has repeatedly said, viz the more one is engaged in reform, and the more people receive, the greater will be their insistence that they be given even more. Is that correct? Therefore it does not take a wonderful scientist to say that in a period of reform one must accept that people’s aspirations will steadily increase; one must accept that people’s grievances may be exploited; one must accept that reform cannot take place without a certain degree of tension.
I should also like to point out that we are living in what is called by the so-called futurologists “a world that is becoming a village”. That is indeed true. I wish to address this argument to hon members of the Conservative Party. After all, it is the Conservative Party that is constantly trying to advance the argument that this Government receives its instructions and directives from elsewhere in the world. [Interjections.] There is not a single country in today’s world of dramatic and rapid communication that is not bombarded daily with everything that is taking place every day, everywhere and in every remote comer of the globe. The problems of a few hours ago in Belfast are displayed on the television set in my living room this evening. The Ayatolla’s revolution is displayed on the television set in my living room. There is not a single country in the world—be it Russia, the USA, South Africa or any other country—that can act totally autonomously and independently in the political or military sphere or in the spheres of health or the economy, and can contend that it ignores all outside factors affecting its actions and decisions.
One outstanding example of this is to be seen in the incident that occurred in Beirut recently. There Israel had the PLO totally cornered. It would literally have taken only a few days to eliminate Israel’s arch enemies. However, what happened then? The Israel’s allies said that it was necessary to wait for a time because this was a political matter in which the standpoint of the PLO, too, should be heard. Ultimately, with the great powers in control, the safe escape of Yasser Arafat and his people was assured.
What has all this do to with the budget?
I wish to put it to the hon member for Kuruman that the people in my constituency, Innesdal, like the hon member for Kuruman, take note of what is happening in Poland, for example. All of us in this House might as well be honest and concede that we are all on the side of Lech Walesa when we look at the rebellion in Poland and see how peoples’ rights are discriminated against.
What makes us in South Africa think that the whole world is not watching what is happening in our country? What makes us think that we can extricate ourselves from our problems by main force and by resorting to violence—and, if I am drawing the correct inference, even via the barrel of a gun? [Interjections.] Let us tell one another bluntly this evening that the greatest and the most fundamental human right in the world is the right to live. We on this side of the House respect the right of every person in South Africa—White, Black and Brown—to live. The hon the Deputy Minister of Law and Order said that we would not tolerate disorder. I am not referring now to the Langa riots; I am speaking about the whole climate of unrest. The statement by the hon the Deputy Minister is true, because we shall under no circumstances tolerate disorder. We want a calm situation in our country and we shall see to it that that calm situation is established. Our primary objective as regards the achievement of stability is, however, that we do not wish to take human lifes. We wish to state this point clearly. We stand on platforms in our constituencies and we tell our voters: If you ask of us that we resort to lethal violence, we refuse, because it is damning; it is destructive; it is shattering for the White man in this country.
No-one is more eager for the police to take violent action than organizations like the ANC, the UDF, Azapo, Azano or Azaso and all other radical organizations. That is the very provocation, the incitement to what they want to be the revolution in South Africa. I say in this House this evening that a prominent Black leader in Pretoria tells me: Mr Nothnagel, you would be amazed how many young, radical Black people say that they cannot wait for the day Dr A P Treurnicht takes over South Africa, because they will see that—rightly or wrongly—as the day of confrontation. [Interjections.] That is the observation he made.
Mr Speaker, may I just ask the hon member for Innesdal whether he still believes that the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs is a security risk for South Africa. [Interjections.]
Listening to the hon member for Brakpan, not a single hon member in this House would say that he is already 32 years old. In fact, it is astonishing to think that he is older than 32 years when one considers the political techniques he adopts. [Interjections.] I want to say to the hon member for Brakpan that my minor argument with the hon the Deputy Minister was settled many years ago. He and I shook hands long ago. I should like to say to the hon member of the CP that I think that every politician should become involved in a private quarrel or skirmish at least once in his life so that he may just experience the smearing effect of that kind of politics. [Interjections.] I am so grateful for all the things that have happened in the course of my political life. I just wish to say that the hon members of the CP demonstrate only thing by way of what the hon member for Brakpan has just said and by way of their personal aggression towards everyone on this side of the House, and that is that they do not have a standpoint. I have no doubt on that score. Just look at what is said in the newspapers of the day. Look at the meetings they hold, and listen to what they say from house to house. They do not say tell the voters of South Africa anything at all that is positive. They flourish on people’s anxieties and fears. They practise a parasitic conservatism that prays upon negativeness and on the anxieties of the people.
I want to say to the hon member for Langlaagte that his constituency speaks volumes about him. There has been a long “laagte” since he came to this House. I wish he could have a short high now and again because that would really help him. [Interjections.]
This evening the hon member for Langlaagte asked whether we did not take the side of the Police. We on this side of the House will neither now nor tomorrow nor in all eternity try to behave like parasites for the sake of policemen’s votes by speaking the same kind of language in this dangerous situation in which our country finds itself. We take the side of the SA Police. Hon members can speak if they like; I have more policemen in my constituency than any of those hon members. One can go and speak to them and ask them how grateful they are to the Government for what they have received from the Government, in recognition for what they have done—not as a “pasella”. We say to the policemen of South Africa, both White and Black, that we honour them, we respect them. We say to them that we know how tense and dramatic are the circumstances in which they work. All of us, including those of us in this House, have a task and a duty to perform in this country of ours to ensure that we shall come through.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member whether he is in favour of the abolition of all discriminatory legislation.
I should like to point out that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition wanted to know how we regarded citizenship. As he put it, we are blind to the problem of citizenship, but I wish to tell him bluntly that it is the subject of negotiation. He is quite correct to say that we can never resolve the constitutional problems of South Africa if we have not solved those problems. We know that. When we as Nationalists speak about a pure South African citizenship, then in putting that concept forward we take cognizance of the fact that there are masses of Black people in South Africa who cannot and do not wish to be accommodated in the existing political concept of homelands. We say that on the road ahead we must allow those people to feel that in the political sense—and therefore, as far as their citizenship, too, is concerned—they are partners of South Africa, because otherwise our plans will not work and our future will be marked by riots and violence.
The hon member for Parktown wants to know where we stand with regard to discriminatory legislation. Let me put it in plain and simple language: While we have to maintain order in South Africa using specific measures—they will all concede this—as far as doing away with discriminatory legislation is concerned, legislation which causes people hurt, we on this side of the House are in favour of the abolition of that legislation on the road ahead. [Interjections.]
I want to say to the hon member for Park-town—I do not say this on behalf of my party—that we are in a democratic country and I have said in the past in public, in my constituency, that I think that one thing we can at once in our bigger cities—in fact, I shall advocate our doing so—is to open all restaurants and all shops in our urban areas …
… to all people so that natural economic development can take its course and so that our community in South Africa can regulate matters for itself.
I should like to say to the hon member for Rissik that we in South Africa have separate co-existence—peoples, communities, groups—but, and this is the important point that we must put to one another—we have in South Africa, alongside this separate existence of peoples and groups, an element of integration as well that we shall have to live with for all time.
That is why I think that the hon member for Hillbrow is right when he says that it is a public scandal that CP members are trying to go from door to door in his constituency to create havoc and arouse people’s emotions. I say that the hon member for Hillbrow and his people can handle that.
I wish to conclude this point by saying that alongside separate co-existence we have always had elements of integration in South Africa. We on this side of the House also respect the individual rights of people who do not, perhaps, feel as we do about everything. We accept them as people. On the road ahead we shall come forward with legislation relating to other matters in which this element will come up for discussion again.
We must spell this out to one another: We on this side of the House do not scorn the rights of individual people. We respect the rights of individual people too. Whereas we speak in general about community life, about the co-existence of peoples, we also respect that other truth and that is that on a different basis, the basis of integration, people …
You are now totally confused.
The hon member for Rissik takes such pleasure in making a noise in this House and he does it so often, but when we and all the newspapers look for him in Pretoria to come and hold a meeting together with me at the University of Pretoria we do not find him, or if we do eventually find him, he does not want to come. However, when he gets up in this House he challenges everyone, right, left and centre, to share a platform with CP members. Why does he not tell the voters of South Africa how the students of the University of Stellenbosch laughed him to scorn when he appeared together with myself and Mr Percy Qoboza. Why does he not tell the people of South Africa how the ASB students laughed him to scorn when he appeared with me, the Rev Alan Hendrickse and the hon member Prof Olivier? Why does he not tell the voters how the people laugh? [Interjections.]
We as Whites in this country have a tremendous task to perform in these difficult times. The most important task is that we should keep our heads and not arouse emotions. [Interjections.] The most important thing is that we bring home to our own White voters, that we make it known to them, that everyone in this country, every employer, every educator, every professional man and every businessman has a duty to create the climate in which we are able to do what has to be done in the interests of our country. [Interjections.]
With these few words it is an honour to support the Budget of the hon the Minister. I should like to say to him that we on this side of the House honour and respect him. We are proud of him and we have contempt for the scornful remarks addressed to him, such as those of the hon member for Parktown.
Mr Speaker, as usual the hon member for Innesdal made an interesting and thought-provoking speech. Unfortunately he jumped from point to point without actually touching on any subject for long. He started by saying: “Dit is lekker om Nasionaal te wees.” Then he went on to say that the NP respects everybody’s right to life. [Interjections.]
I want to say to him that, when one considers the record of the last 37 years, the record of apartheid, the record of influx control and pass offences, the record of detentions, the record of bannings, the population registration, the forced removals and these things which have led to riots and to violence, then, if I were a member of the NP, I would be heartily ashamed of it. [Interjections.]
I do not think they will ever accept you.
They would not have the chance because I would never come anywhere near them.
Today that party is running away from its past. They are running away from their past as hard as they can go. They are saying: “Well, we did not do so well here and we did not do so well there.” They did not do so well anywhere. I want to tell them that in the years to come they will be running away from precisely that which they are doing now, just as they are now running away from what their predecessors did. Their policies will not work; ours at least have a chance of working. [Interjections.]
It is no good the hon member excusing the violence in this country today by talking about violence elsewhere. That does not wash. I believe we have to say to this Government that we are tired of their talking about getting rid of the protection of the White people in the CBD’s. We are tired of their talk: Let us have some action; let us see a single bit of legislation concerning discrimination being done away with during this Parliamentary session, because since January we have not seen anything go as yet. We are tired of the talk; we need some action.
I have been disturbed by the fact that the US Senate has recently called for an US investigation into the shootings at Uitenhage. I believe this to be unnecessary and, in fact, uncalled for. The State President has appointed a judge to do precisely what the US Senators want, which is to investigate the shootings. I should like to take this opportunity to thank the State President for appointing the commission. This was done after repeated calls from the hon members for Walmer and Albany and myself. It was necessary that we should have this commission and when the report of the commission is released—I am sure the State President will have to release it—South Africa and the world will, I believe, get a fair and balanced view of what happened on that dreadful day. I attended the commission’s meetings for most of last week and I have no fault to find with the proceedings or with the opportunities given to all parties to present their case. I personally will abide by the findings of that commission, whatever they may be.
To turn to the economy, I want to quote the following words of the State President on 18 September last year:
I have a different message to the Ministers of this Government: They must stop living beyond our means; we cannot afford them any longer. The secret of the Budget we are discussing tonight is that, if it is to be successful, it must be adhered to. We cannot afford overruns. We are already being taxed beyond our collective means. Year after year the budget has been distinguished only by its inaccuracy. Year after year we have an enormous additional appropriation. I am not satisfied that the lesson has been learnt and I want to warn the Government that a crucial situation has now been reached in South Africa. Industry and commerce will tell the Government that if they continue to overspend in this financial year and do not adhere to the Budget we are now debating, this economy will take years to recover. Sales tax stands at 12%. What is worse is that it has to be paid on many foodstuffs, on the majority of foodstuffs. It also has to be paid on all medicines. This Government is taxing our very livelihood and our health. Taxes on individuals and on companies have now reached the point where they have become counter-productive. We do not need a status quo situation, but we need a physical reduction in the rates of company tax, individual tax and sales tax. I see no sign from this Government’s actions that we are trying to lessen the tax load on the public. We have had enough. We say to this Government: Control yourselves or the repercussions in the years to come will make the unrest endemic in the Eastern Cape look like a Sunday-school picnic; and do not for a moment believe that unrest is the work solely of inciters and agitators, communists and Marxists. Sure, they exist and are there, but this Government is also there as a contributory factor.
The neglect by this Government of Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape has cost thousands of people their jobs. Thousands more are on short time and unemployment in the Eastern Cape is up to between 25% and 30%. Children—Black children and White children—go to bed at night without enough food in their bellies. At the same time this Government’s belly is stuffed to bursting and Government members congratulate themselves on a Budget only 11,4% up on last year. How many people in the Eastern Cape would not be totally delighted to have an income 11,4% up on their income last year? Anyway, the 11,4% increase is not true. I am happy to compare this Budget, after the Additional Appropriation, to the Budget for 1984-85 at the same stage. The Budget now in front of us is 24% higher than the Budget debated last year. Is that not so? I ask the hon the Minister of Finance: Is it not so that the Budget we are now debating is 24% higher than the Budget we debated at this stage last year?
I will reply to you.
I will get a reply. I do not think he can deny it. This Government keeps spending. In 1984 the Government consumed almost 30% of everything produced by the economy; in 1970 that figure was only 17%. We have to return to the figure of 17% of the GDP. While this Government spends and spends, we in the Eastern Cape suffer. The National Transport Commission is given new boardrooms; Tuynhuys is given new curtains and carpets; enormous sums are spent at the Union Buildings. Cannot the hon the Minister do something for the Eastern Cape? He takes away 30% of South Africa’s GDP and spends it in his favoured areas while people in the Eastern Cape go jobless and hungry.
Let us look again at some of the things that can be done. First of all, let us look at decentralized government. Government spends billions of rand on salaries. Personnel expenditure in this Budget is R3 770 million. Governments in other countries—the UK and France to name but two—have moved government departments to provincial areas. Why cannot that be done here? Secondly, a Medical Faculty could be established at UPE. For some time now, organized medicine in the Eastern Cape has been calling for a medical school, but nothing has been done to bring this about. Thirdly, we could look at the establishment of a small-boat harbour. I tabled a question on 12 March 1985 to the hon the Minister of National Education as to whether he had received a report from Port Elizabeth about establishing a small-boat harbour. The answer was no. Let me quote one paragraph from a letter to the hon the Minister of National Education from the Town Clerk of Port Elizabeth:
Yet the hon the Minister denies having received them. Where are those copies then? Are they under some buff cover somewhere at the bottom of some pile? This is a further classic indication of how little this Government cares for the people of the Eastern Cape.
If this Government is serious about stopping the unrest in the Eastern Cape then one of the most important steps it can take is to create employment opportunities there. [Interjections.] It is no accident that the worst unrest we have ever experienced is happening at the time of the worst economic situation in the area.
In closing, I have a message for the people of Port Elizabeth. We have to help ourselves. This does seem to be happening to an extent. I congratulate the Eastern Province Herald, for example, on calling a symposium to help boost Port Elizabeth. I understand that this symposium is to be held in June. What can we who live in Port Elizabeth do as individuals? [Interjections.] I believe that we can buy goods made in our area, that is, goods made in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage. Every time we buy a car, a tyre, chocolates, clothing or shoes made in Port Elizabeth or Uitenhage, we keep somebody in a job and we all in Port Elizabeth benefit. Let us have pride in our local products. They are good. I know, because I sell them. So let us make our motto for the future: “Let us support our own area and buy in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage.”
I support in closing the amendment of the hon member for Yeoville.
Mr Speaker, I should like to say to the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central that a judicial inquiry into the Uitenhage situation was definitely not appointed at the request of the PFP members, but because the Government wanted to see justice done in a very unfortunate situation.
*The hon member for Yeoville, as the chief spokesman on that side of the House, proposed an amendment which was much embroidered upon by, amongst others, the hon Leader of the Official Opposition, the hon member for Sea Point and a few other hon members. I wish to refer to only a few aspects of that amendment.
The amendment provides inter alia that this Government should renounce apartheid “as a political philosophy or policy to be applied in the governing of South Africa”. In the second place they plead for “the removal of all provisions which discriminate on the grounds of race or colour”. Thirdly they say that machinery should be created “to enable members of the Black community by democratic means to determine their leadership, and with such leadership to evolve structures … culminating in a national convention to determine the future constitution of South Africa”. To which the hon member for Yeoville added:
I want to say just this to those hon members: It will not help “Magic Harry” or “Super Van” to wave magic wands like two fairy queens and to think South Africa’s problems will be solved.
†I should like to tell those hon members that they are living in a fool’s paradise if they think that the radical elements and those who want to destroy South Africa would not do exactly what they are doing today if the PFP were governing the country.
*I wish to deal with some of these aspects. One is that “apartheid” should be renounced and that South Africa would then be without problems overnight. I wish to say a few words about this tonight. I am using the word “apartheid” in inverted commas because if that is the word by which the Government’s entire philosophy and point of departure is defined, let us accept it for purposes of my argument. What about the positive aspect of “apartheid”? The TBVC countries, namely Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei, are in truth results of “apartheid”. The self-governing national states which are all ready for independence are the result of “apartheid”. The orderly community in South Africa to which we are accustomed and for which PFP members can fall to their knees and thank God is a result of “apartheid” and includes, among other aspects, own community life, separate residential areas, own schools and an own cultural life for each population group. That all forms part of a well-ordered and peaceful community at the southern tip of Africa.
If “apartheid” means the recognition of South Africa’s ethnic variety, if “apartheid” means the creation of political structures to accommodate our complex composition in this country, if “apartheid” means the protection of the rights of minorities, if “apartheid” means the assurance of participation in all decision-making processes in South Africa, if “apartheid” means the creation of opportunity for discussion in South Africa, if “apartheid” means the assurance of the retention of Christian values and civilized norms to which we are accustomed, I say tonight there is no alternative to “apartheid” in this country.
It is a great pity that only the negative connotations of “apartheid” are always given priority in discussions we conduct in Parliament with hon members of the PFP. If one may criticize the Government in retrospect I would say it should long since have given concrete substance to a new entity in South Africa, whether it was the commonwealth Dr Verwoerd had in mind or the constellation of which Mr Vorster spoke or the confederation idea of the present State President. We can create it and in conjunction with it a common nationality which can solve problems of citizenship.
Let us examine the second argument of hon members on that side of the House—the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central also had a few words to say on this—namely the removal of discrimination. I think we in Parliament can say to each other that day after day, in a responsible and evolutionary manner, discriminatory measures which are hurtful to the race and colour of individuals are being removed. If the removal of discrimination in terms of the PFP’s point of departure means the granting of political rights on a colour-blind basis, if the removal of discrimination means the scrapping of own residential areas and own schools and an own community life, if the removal of discrimination means the creation of an “open society” in South Africa, I wish to say to the hon member for Yeoville in particular he should first find consensus with his own youthful element which jeers him year after year at the federal congress of the PFP.
All measures of a discriminatory or hurtful nature are being reviewed in this country in a responsible and evolutionary way. There are many examples. In the labour field in South Africa one can examine the training and educational facilities, the narrowing of the wage gap, the creation of job opportunities, the throwing open of central business districts, the international hotels and restaurants, the 99-year leasehold system or a Parliamentary committee appointed to investigate the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act. Nevertheless the existing orderly system may not be converted into chaos and disorder overnight.
Let us examine the third aspect of the hon member for Yeoville’s amendment. He says machinery should be created to give Black communities the opportunity of choosing their leaders. This already exists in South Africa whether hon members of the PFP agree with it or not. Transkei has Matanzima, Bophuthatswana has Mangope, Venda has Mphephu, Ciskei has Sebe. Elections were held and those people appointed their own leaders in a democratic manner. There is Gatsha Buthelezi in the self-governing states. The PFP should go to America and tell the American people that Buthelezi is not the leader of the Zulu people in South Africa. Buthelezi is definitely the acknowledged leader of the Zulus. There is Ntsanwisi for the Shangaans, Phatudi for Lebowa and Mabuza for KaNgwane. Because these people are the moderate leaders of South Africa, however, the PFP is not prepared to recognize them.
In terms of legislation approved by Parliament various local authorities have been created in South Africa for these people. Councils have been chosen with their own mayors but I repeat, because they are the moderate leaders of South Africa, the PFP is not prepared to recognize them. None the less the PFP has a very poor record when it comes to the recognition of Black leaders or opportunities for discussion with Black leaders. The hon Leader of the Official Opposition will remember very well that on occasion the Government proposed the appointment of a Black council in conjunction with the old President’s Council to act as a discussion medium with the Black people of South Africa. I repeat it tonight, although I have said it before, the PFP was one of the elements responsible for the fact that Black people refused to participate in that council. Interjections.]
Why was the PFP so lukewarm about the State President’s announcement of a discussion forum for South Africa? They were entirely lukewarm. I now ask the hon Leader of the Official Opposition what he has already done to convince moderate Black leaders or some of his soul mates in the Black community to participate in this discussion forum in South Africa. Has he spoken to any Black leader …
Why does he not tell that to South Africa? He does not need to tell it to me. That party has the image that it does not wish to see this Government achieve success with moderate Black leaders of South Africa. [Interjections.] Daily discussions take place in the multilateral and bilateral Ministers’ Councils. Recently we passed an act in this Parliament under which two Black people were appointed as members of the Council for the Co-ordination of Local Government Affairs. Is that not a discussion forum? [Interjections.] The hon Leader of the Official Opposition says that does not mean a thing.
No, I merely feel sorry for you.
The hon Leader of the Official Opposition feels sorry for me. He does not need to feel sorry for me. I am quite capable of looking after myself. If the hon Leader of the Official Opposition so wishes, he can again set someone up in opposition to me in my electoral division at the next general election and they will again almost lose their deposit there. [Interjections.]
There are also ad hoc discussion situations in South Africa but what did the hon member for Houghton do? According to The Cape Times, what did the hon member for Houghton say about the discussion which took place between the State President and 2,5 million Black people during the weekend at Moria City? [Interjections.] The hon Leader of the Official Opposition is laughing about this but that discussion created a furore in America. There were banner headlines about it in every American newspaper but the hon Leader of the Official Opposition laughs about it! He sits here like a cynical hyena laughing about discussions with moderate Black leaders in South Africa. [Interjections.]
There is an open invitation from the State President of South Africa to all in this country but there is a condition attached: “Renounce violence and then you can come and participate in the dialogue in South Africa.” The existing order in the political, economic and social fields remains the highest priority and cannot be thrown overboard to convene a national convention which may possibly erupt in chaos. The hon Leader of the Official Opposition is sacrosanct in South African politics, however. He is a man who requests a national convention but himself sets stem conditions according to the booklet which was written a couple of years ago when the hon member for Sea Point was the leader of the Party and the present leader was still the chairman of that commission. I wish to quote from this booklet to illustrate what they say:
That is what the hon Leader of the Official Opposition said.
Wait a bit. He said further:
But that is true at present.
That is precisely the point I wish to make to the hon Leader of the Official Opposition. That is precisely the case at present. The State President has said it a hundred times. He is prepared to negotiate with people who renounce violence and the ultimate situation, if we fail, is unfortunately that it will result in violence in South Africa.
The hon Leader of the Official Opposition also said:
That is precisely what this Government says. We are prepared to negotiate and, if negotiations fail, chaos is the ultimate consequence for South Africa.
I wish to close by saying to the PFP that it will be of no avail for them to adopt a holier than-thou attitude. It will not help them to tell the world that if they were in power the situation in South Africa would change. I now ask the hon Leader of the Official Opposition: Does he have a guarantee tonight from the ANC that, if his party comes to power and he convenes a national convention, they will reject violence and participate in it?
Not while you are a member of this Parliament. [Interjections.]
That is the type of answer one receives—“not while I am a member of this Parliament”. If the hon Leader of the Official Opposition were to convene a national convention and the ANC were to indicate they were not prepared to attend it as they were not prepared to reject violence, what success would he have attained?
The answer is in my book you have just quoted.
Once again it is the answer one could expect. They have nothing to suggest as an alternative which the Government may actually attempt to apply in South Africa.
In consequence I say to those hon members today they can stand on their heads, they can shout as much as they like, but the aggression against the country will not stop until such time as the communist world obtains the upper hand in Southern Africa.
Mr Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly with what the hon member for Turffontein had to say. I do not wish to react to what he said, but I do want to react to certain words addressed to me earlier this afternoon. If one comes from the so-called North-West, and one speaks about maize, I suppose it is difficult to reconcile the two.
You are not talking about corn-balls, are you?
No, perhaps I sometimes speak to corn-balls.
I am familiar with maize because I am at the receiving end. I have to purchase maize, and that is why I am interested in its price. Because I am interested in the price of maize, and because the industry in which I am involved is a very important consumer of maize, I have made a few calculations. If one discusses figures and uses certain words to illustrate those figures, surely those words have certain meanings. If one gives a word a meaning, surely it can only indicate one real situation. It cannot explain two circumstances.
The reaction of the hon member for Lichtenburg to the figures I mentioned to this House earlier, surprises me. After the hon member had given certain figures here, I in turn quoted some figures. I was struck by his figures, since I was unable to reconcile them. I was then systematically drawn into a discussion about the production costs of maize. However, that was not the original theme of that discussion. That specific conversation concerned the input costs to plant a new crop. Is that not true?
No, you are wrong.
Very well, we can determine who is in fact right by consulting Hansard.
In due course, attention was diverted from the words I used, and I therefore want to retrace my steps to determine what really happened.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I regret that my time is limited. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Lichtenburg was speaking about agriculture and the financing and problems of agriculture, and then he said (Hansard, 26 March 1985, col 2769):
My interest was roused by the hon member’s next statement, viz:
After a dispute between two other hon members, the hon member for Lichtenburg went on to say, and I quote this in Afrikaans:
To plant that new maize crop would cost R300 million less. The hon member’s Hansard was corrected in that the words “dit sal kos om in te sit” were substituted for the words “die huidige mielie-oes kan inbring”. Let us take a brief look at those costs. The hon member for Lichtenburg spoke about a cost of R2 120 million. If we use the Nampo figures—and I assume hon members accept Nampo figures—…
Simply take the department’s figures.
No, I shall take Nampo figures and check them against the department’s figures later. If we were to take Nampo figures in this regard, we arrive at an interesting point. A survey was conducted on 1 329 million hectares, and that represents 35% of the total surface. This gives us 3 797 million hectares under maize. If we divide the R2 120 million by the number of hectares, we arrive at the amount needed to plant the crop. This amounts to R558.34 per hectare. I worked in round figures the previous time and I arrived at R500 per hectare. If I go and check this carefully, I arrive at R558,34 per hectare.
Let us look at my Hansard now. I said let us take this amount of R2 100 million and assume—and I am reading this verbatim—that we have four million hectares under maize—that is the accepted figure—our input costs would be approximately R500 per hectare. If we go and make calculations regarding the input costs, ie the cash input costs …
Is debt not input costs?
No, it is not input costs to plant a new crop. [Interjections.] The discussion was about the cash input costs of planting the new crop. We then arrive at amounts—and I mentioned the amounts—viz R60 for fertilizer …
Is your figure correct?
Yes, there are reasons for this, and I have said that here. If the hon member had taken note of my Hansard, he would have seen that I said that it is low, but that there are reasons for that. The reason for the low R60 per hectare is because the fertility of the soil has been built up over the years. [Interjections.] Hon members must go and read what Prof Fölscher says. If one has put fertilizer in the soil for a crop that has failed, and the maize has not grown, that fertilizer is still in the soil. [Interjections.] If we go and look at experiments that are being conducted in the Transvaal and by certain co-operatives in the North-Western Transvaal at present, we see that as regards the fertilization of certain rows, they have found … [Interjections.]
Order! There is only one speaker whom I have authorized to speak, and that is the hon member for Prieska. I cannot permit this conversation across the floor. If hon members want to argue with him, they must do so later, but only he is going to speak now. The hon member may proceed.
If we look at the experiments that are being conducted, we see that no distinction can be made between maize that has been fertilized and maize that has not been fertilized and which has been planted in fields that have not previously yielded a crop due to drought. In other words, one does not need full fertilization as though one is going to plant a brand new crop. Surely this is an important point. That is why I am speaking about cash input costs. The fanner need not go and purchase a tractor in order to plough, since he already has a tractor. The implements are already there.
Do they not become worn out?
They do perhaps become worn out, but those are emergencies. I myself experienced a drought lasting nine years, and I know what adjustments have to be made in order to survive drought conditions. We have survived. I also know that a farmer can always devise a plan. Furthermore, I know that in difficult circumstances farmers really lay it on thick, as the hon member for Lichtenburg tried to do here. With my calculations, I arrive at an amount of R124 per hectare. I now want to know how much cash the farmer still has to add. Is it R10, R20, R30, R75? How much is it? Even if we should add R75, the cash amount in input costs is still R200 per hectare.
Then you are saying that it is twice as much as it really is!
The cash input costs to get the crop going—according to my calculations—amounts to R200. That is after I have added an additional amount of R75. However, the calculations of the hon member for Lichtenburg add up to an amount of R558. There is therefore a difference between our two calculations.
Nampo’s production figures—this includes capital, interest, amortization costs, the whole lot—come to an amount of R473 per hectare.
According to the department’s figures?
I shall come to the department’s figures in a moment. When the department pays the production costs…
Now which crop is that?
It is this crop; this year’s crop.
I was speaking about next year’s crop. [Interjections.]
My, my! Ferdi the prophet! [Interjections.]
I am speaking about the maize crop that has to be planted now. I am referring to the production costs calculated according to the existing method of trend line return, which is calculated on the basis of the change in production costs. That is therefore the first method of calculation. That brings us to an amount of R291 per hectare. The other method is that of calculating the production costs according to the trend line return, whilst provision is made for the remuneration of management, interest on land—which is not a production factor—…
Is it not?
No, it is not … and prevailing interest rates, which brings us to an amount of R351 per hectare. These are production costs; not cash input costs. On the strength of this, I want to emphasize what I said earlier, viz that in this regard the hon member for Lichtenburg used figures which he is unable to verify. In fact, I appealed to him, when working with figures that have a bearing on agriculture, not to try to sully the affairs of agriculture. When we do this, we are bringing politics into agriculture. We must work with the correct figures so that …
But you are bringing politics into agriculture now.
No! [Interjections.] How we use the correct figures in the best interests of agriculture, has got nothing to do with politics. In this way, we are not bringing politics into agriculture either. One brings politics into agriculture when one person accuses another of using incorrect figures. [Interjections.] Be that as it may, I am able to substantiate my figures on the strength of those of the Department of Agricultural Economics itself, as well as on the strength of those of the specialist organization of the maize industry. These figures are all lower than those the hon member for Lichtenburg gave.
In view of the assertions made here by the hon member for Lichtenburg, I now want to point to a few important things. The hon member claimed that the role of the State in this regard is completely meaningless.
He says that we can make only one inference. That is that the State has withdrawn its support for the farmers of South Africa,
That is true.
He says that we need not even argue about that any further.
I just want to put one question to the hon member. If the State had really withdrawn its support for the farmers of South Africa over the past nine years, how many farmers would still have been on their farms today? What is the reply of the hon member for Lichtenburg to that?
Just Hendrik Schoeman! [Interjections.]
Oh, go to blazes, man! [Interjections.]
I do not think there would have been a single farmer remaining on his farm in the North-West, except those along the river who had water. Probably even fewer farmers would have remained in the northern areas of the North-West. However, when we look at the figures of the Land Bank—and of course this brings me to the hon the Minister’s story—it appears that the total amount of R2 billion was spent by the hon the Minister of Finance as aid to the farming industry in that area. However, the hon member for Lichtenburg persists that the Government has withdrawn its support for the farming industry. [Interjections.]
The normal financing provided to the agricultural industry by the State—this includes financial aid to individual farmers—amounts to R628 million. The amount with regard to agricultural co-operatives amounts to R6 000 million, and the amount with regard to agricultural control boards amounts to R695 million. The normal financing amounts to a total of R7 000 million. The loans granted to farmers in the form of relief, amounted to R494 million altogether during the period April 1983 to March 1984. The number of loans of this nature that were approved was 5 931. In terms of the 22-year emergency aid scheme, a total of 805 loans were granted in 1984. Those loans amounted to R75 million in total. In terms of the two-year emergency aid scheme, loans amounting to R569 million were approved during the same period.
This is not meant for the North-West; these loans and funds are available mainly for the cropping areas. Then he says that the Government has taken away its support. I say that that statement is devoid of all truth; in fact, we owe that hon Minister our gratitude for enabling us to survive. As far as the North-West is concerned, I want to tell the hon the Minister that our country and our North-Western region does not always only experience difficult times. The hard times have taught us that we always emerge better people that when we went in, for not only does it temper nature, but also the human spirit. Just as the good times will come, the buttercup will grow and the sheep will become fat, and we will pay our interest and repay our debt, the hon the Minister will also get his biltong.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Prieska struggled and floundered about to such an extent with figures that he made me think of a fly in syrup, and the more he floundered about with his figures the deeper into trouble he got.
This evening the hon member for Turffontein’s presentation made one think of a waiter at a political smorgasbord, because in effect he was saying: “You want it, we have it.”
The hon member for Witbank referred my friend the hon member for Meyerton to previous statements of the NP, and asked him where he stood. I shall reply to that: From that time up to the present day the hon member for Meyerton has supported the policy of separate development. The hon member for Witbank also asked him why he had not waited—as the State President had asked—until the Kannemeyer Commission had completed its report before he said anything about the Police. The reply to that is that the hon member and the CP do not need to wait for the Kannemeyer Commission or anything else to protect the SA Police. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Innesdal—he is not in the House at the moment—said that the CP never offered this country anything positive. But there is one thing we have offered the country from platform to platform, and that is the infallible policy of separate development, [Interjections.] But he said something else too. He referred to a suit brought against the CP in Hillbrow by the hon member for Hillbrow. He took the hon member for Hillbrow’s side but he did not know what he was talking about. The hon member for Hillbrow has instituted criminal proceedings against the CP. The hon the Leader of the CP, Mr Clive Derby-Lewis and I are involved in this. What happened in Hillbrow was that we advocated the maintenance of the Group Areas Act. If it is an offence for one to advocate the maintenance of the laws of this country, then they are welcome to indict me.
Next, I come to the hon member for Bloemfontein North. After all, he told me that we would meet each other in Harrismith. Here in Parliament I want to challenge him to a public debate next week in Harrismith. Is he prepared to take up that challenge? [Interjections.] I challenge him to appear with me on a platform in Harrismith.
Koos, do you not want to be in court on that day?
I challenge any hon member of the NP from the Free State to appear with me on a platform in Harrismith. [Interjections.] If no one takes up the challenge, I shall say in Harrismith that the NP members of Parliament from the Free State are a lot of political weaklings! [Interjections.]
It has become necessary for South Africa again to dwell on on the theme “White South Africa, quo vadis?—Where are you going? At this stage great uncertainty, doubt, confusion and division is prevailing among the Whites of South Africa. In my opinion the Whites find themselves in a period of crisis. Consequently it has become essential for us again to ask ourselves the soul-searching question: Where are we going? Is there still a meaningful future for the White man in his fatherland or is he doomed to destruction in a bottomless pit of multiracialism? As far as I am concerned, under the present Government there is only one possible future for South Africa, and that is a Black government in a country in which there are no longer any separating measures.
The signs are already there. Evidence is already beginning to emerge. At political level power-sharing with Blacks is now also official NP policy. We hear that in 1988 the urban Blacks will also be coming to this Parliament and to this Cabinet. We also hear—I should like the hon the Minister to reply to this—that when the Blacks come to Parliament in 1988, the White election which is scheduled for 1989 will be postponed to 1993. Consequently the next White election will take place in 1993.
There is a further point, namely that the system of by-elections is going to be abolished by the NP. I am asking the hon the Minister to reply to this, because owing to the problems the NP is having with by-elections, we hear that they are going to introduce the following system, namely that when a seat becomes vacant the incumbent party will simply nominate a member to the House of Assembly.
Where did you hear that?
Political power-sharing which is now the official policy of the NP has only one inevitable consequence: Proportionality. Because there are millions more people of colour in South Africa than Whites, the inevitable result of the NP’s new dispensation will be a Black Government.
In the social sphere there are signs that South Africa is rapidly on its way to total integration, because with the planned abolition of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act we will have total biological integration. Today I am asking, if there is total biological integration what separation can remain?
Central business districts are going to be converted into grey areas in which separate residential areas will no longer be maintained. Influx control is being relaxed. The Group Areas Act is no longer being enforced by the Government, and the hon member for Johannesburg West has admitted that the reason for this is that the NP is afraid of the reaction of the outside world. That is why the Group Areas Act is no longer being enforced, and one can read this in the newspapers.
That is not true.
Now the hon member says that is not true.
The pressure on White schools to reform and change is going to be too heavy, and they will have to integrate as well. I am saying so this evening, and if there are hon members who do not agree, they need only go and look at Mayfair and other places where children of colour are already attending White schools. Consequently under the Government White South Africa is heading for eventual destruction.
The time has come to rip the masks off the State President of South Africa and his Government so that the people of South Africa can see who and what these people are who are leading South Africa to multiracialism and destruction. The people must be shown how unreliable and unacceptable the State President and his Government have become.
In this time of crisis for the people the State President has admitted pathetically that he does not know where he is going. He says that he is groping about in the dark. He does not know where he is going. Consequently he does not deserve to be followed by any right-minded person, because a leader who does not know where is going in a time of crisis, will not be followed by me or any right-minded person. Therefore, I say that the State President of South Africa is not a true leader.
The State President is unreliable. He told untruths in this Parliament, and he did not have the courage to do to himself what he did to Dr Connie Mulder and Mr Vorster by removing himself from public life. What is more, this State President told the Tukkies in Pretoria that the same people who are governing them now would continue to govern them in the new dispensation. He said that before the referendum, knowing full well that today Indian and Coloureds would be joint governors of those self-same Tukkies who were taken in.
The State President is an expert in cover ups. There are many scandals he has covered up. One need only think of the Fanie Botha scandal, the Seychelles scandal and the Gerhardt scandal.
What about your scandal?
I am not the State President. I am not a stock inspector like the hon member either.
The State President is trampling upon the principles of the political party he has devoted his life to. He is trampling upon the principles of the party he helped to give birth to and of which he was one of the midwives. The new political direction the State President has chosen in the evening of his life is in direct conflict with the principles of separate development. This evening I am saying that the State President has become the murderer of his own creation. The State President has murdered separate development, which he helped to create. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: May an hon member of this House refer to the State President as a murderer of various things and then also refer to “cover-ups” and so on? Is that in order?
There is no reason for me to rule that out of order. I have been watching the hon member very closely and listening very carefully to what he was saying. His language is always just on the right side of the line. The hon member for Jeppe may proceed. [Interjections.]
I want to go on by saying that the State President’s mask is being further ripped off. He has proved himself to be a political weakling, as has the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The struggle our fathers began to wage has become too fierce for the NP, the State President and his hon Ministers. They have surrendered.
The State President is pursuing chimeras in a panic-stricken manner, the chimeras of consensus, power-sharing and liberalism. He has lost perception of what South Africa’s true realities are. He is allowing Blacks, Coloureds, Indians and the outside world to blackmail him. He is seizing upon the little superficial praise with which the former …
Order! Did the hon member say that he is allowing himself to be blackmailed?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
The hon member must withdraw that.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw it. [Interjections.]
One day Mr P W Botha will realize that he sold the principles of the old NP for a mess of political potage. In the history books of White South Africa the State President’s mask will be ripped off and it will be written that he destroyed his own political party to which he had devoted his life. It will be written that he allowed a murderer to sit in the South African Parliament. It will be written that he did not have the courage to take action when some of his …
Order! I am not going to allow the hon member to say that unless he is prepared to say who the murderer is.
There is an Indian member of Parliament who is a murderer. [Interjections.]
Does the hon member think that the State President allowed that to happen, that he is the cause of the hon Indian member being here? Or was the hon member elected?
Mr Speaker, my words were that the State President allowed him to be here. My objection is that a law was not passed …
Order! I am not going into the facts regarding the hon member that the hon member for Jeppe mentioned at all, but was that hon member not elected?
Yes, Mr Speaker.
Then the hon member must withdraw the words that the State President allowed it.
I withdraw them. [Interjections.] I say that the State President did not have the courage to take action when some of his information officers forged information documents and that he did not have the courage to reprimand them for that in public. [Interjections.] I say that he left Renamo in the lurch in favour of communism and that in this way he gave South Africa the image of a traitor internationally. I say that he recklessly uses the State machinery such as the TV, radio …
Order! I am not going to allow the hon member to say that the State President allowed an image of South Africa as a traitor to be created internationally. The hon member must withdraw that.
Mr Speaker, I withdraw it. [Interjections.]
The State President will also be remembered as someone who allowed helicopters of the Defence Force to be used at great expense to take hon Ministers on hunting trips as well as to NP functions. What is more, he allowed Dr Willem de Klerk to train NP organizers to make the Whites despondent. The worst thing he did was to allow himself to be stealthily hijacked by his Heunis wing. [Interjections.]
Order! I want to make it very clear to the hon member that for the past four or five minutes he has been delivering a tirade at the person of the State President. If the hon member wishes to make these statements, with all due respect to the argument the hon member is using, I expect him at least to use quotes to substantiate what he is saying. But the hon member completes one sentence and goes straight on to the next, without any motivation for what he is saying. He said that the State President had allowed helicopters etc to be used by the Defence Force to do various things. What proof does he have that the State President did this?
Are you asking me to reply to this?
Sir, he is the Head of State and he is in command inter alia of the Minister of Defence who allowed that. It is his responsibility.
But the hon member said that the State President had allowed it. If a person allows a thing to happen, then it is a direct action, a positive act on his part. Then he says: “Do that”. As far as the principle of responsibility is concerned, it may happen that a person is completely unaware of a thing. But the hon member is ascribing this to the State President personally. I do not want to interfere in the argument, but I have now allowed the hon member to go on and on with the tirade he was delivering. However, I am simply not going to allow the hon member to do so any longer unless he is prepared to substantiate what he is saying with quotes.
Sir, I conclude this part of my speech by saying that the time has come …
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member whether his leader allowed him to make this disgraceful speech? [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member may proceed.
Sir, owing to a lack of time, I conclude with the following: Under the Government of the present State President South Africa is being led in the direction of multiracialism and the time has come for his mask of credibility to be ripped off and for South Africa to know who and what the State President is. That is why I mentioned his lack of credibility here, his breach of faith and the like here.
I say that there is one factor which the NP did not take into account, and that is the White man’s desire for a meaningful existence in the country in which he lives. My party and I will fight untiringly, day and night in support of that desire of the White man and of separate development to assure the White man of a meaningful place in his own country.
Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure not to reply at all to the vulgar verbal diarrhoea of the hon member who has just resumed his seat.
I address myself to the hon member for Lichtenburg and the hon member for Prieska who had a dispute on production costs. I wonder whether these two gentlemen would not see eye to eye or the communication gap existing between them would not disappear if, in the sphere of production costs, they were to take into account the “fixed costs” and the “variable costs” which in total comprise production costs. I think the two gentlemen would then reach agreement.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member whether he can furnish me with a single authoritative source, like the Department of Agriculture, which in terms of the hon member for Prieska’s argument has determined the input costs for maize per hectare contrasted with the production costs?
Sir, you see the problem to which I referred concerning the hon member for Lichtenburg. I think they can very easily misunderstand each other if they use the terms “production costs” and “cash input costs”. That is why I call upon the hon member for Lichtenburg to use the words “fixed costs” and “variable costs” instead. The fixed costs and the variable costs in total constitute the production costs. If I understood the hon member for Prieska correctly, he was referring specifically to the variable costs. Fixed costs such as interest on capital and depreciation on machinery were not involved in his argument as I understood him. I think the hon gentlemen may ultimately understand each other concerning this in the interests of agriculture. In the debate on agriculture we can talk agricultural politics again.
In the time left to me, I wish to talk a bit of party politics to the hon member for Lichtenburg. No one will ever tell me again that the rightist radical party is a fossilized party because it can in truth change its standpoint and policy. On a previous occasion when I pointed out to the hon member for Lichtenburg that his party’s policy was to move people and especially Black people and those of colour on a massive scale in South Africa, he told me to produce my sources. I replied that this had appeared in a pamphlet distributed during a previous by-election in Parys. I gave the hon member an undertaking to furnish my source and I have a pamphlet here tonight which was distributed during that by-election. The pamphlet was compiled and issued by Mr A C van Wyk who at the time was the Chief Secretary of the CP. I do not think that gentleman had the wrong end of the stick. Permit me to refer to the third paragraph on page 2 in which specific objectives, specific policy goals of the rightist radical party are explained:
Now I ask: If that does not mean massive moving of people, what else can it mean? It also appears in the programme of principles of the rightist radical party which I also have here. [Interjections.] I shall read from paragraph 1.4 as follows:
[Interjections.] These two matters correspond exactly. The deduction made in the pamphlet comes from the rightist radical party’s programme of principles. This means it stood for the large-scale movement of people. [Interjections.] In the meantime it has changed, however, as the hon Leader of the rightist radical party nowadays talks of the freezing of people.
It therefore no longer stands for making South Africa White—maximally and purposefully. No, it involves the freezing of Black people in White South Africa—that is South Africa outside the self-governing and independent national states. That means a total policy change. It means a change of policy to one by which the permanence of Blacks in South Africa is recognized. In that respect I have no fault to find with the rightist radical party; no fault whatsoever. All I wish to bring home is that it represents an enormous change in respect of its policy. [Interjections.]
I should appreciate it, however, if this party would explain its policy to us in respect of the urban Black man. After all it has a secret agenda concerning its policy on urban Blacks. To tell the truth, those hon members know a political bomb would explode over their heads if they were to publicize that policy. That is why their hon Leader is instructed to be as vague as possible on that party’s standpoint on Black people in South Africa. [Interjections.]
That is not the only matter, however, on which the rightist radical party has done a backward somersault. As regards own affairs—and a great deal has been said on own affairs in this House recently—that party has changed its policy to one of sole affairs. The only matters of interest to those hon members are the sole affairs of the White. As regards concepts of self-determination used by them in the past, sole determination is the only matter of importance to them at present—the sole determination of the White, by the White over all people in South Africa. [Interjections.] That is the only matter of importance to them. [Interjections.] The concept of self-determination means nothing to them. [Interjections.]
A further point on which they—especially the hon leader—have done a backward somersault is the matter of separate development. This party no longer stands for separate development but for separation—partition. That is its policy! Did the hon leader of the CP not recently attack the NP Government in Newton Park on development aid of R1,5 billion extended to the Black national states?
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon member?
Will the hon member reply to a question?
Certainly not. [Interjections.]
What that hon leader actually said to the people there was that so much was being done for the Blacks—and they do not use the word “Blacks”—and nothing for the Whites. The development part of separate development has totally disappeared for that party; it no longer exists. Therefore I say to the CP that in respect of separate development as well it has undergone a total policy change. It should just be courageous enough to admit it to us.
The NP is moving along the way on which there will be political rights for all in Southern Africa in such a manner that no group will dominate another group in this southern land of ours. White domination is just as deadly a danger as oppression by Blacks. That is why the NP has now taken the initiative regarding Blacks outside the national states to say they should be given political rights at a higher level than that of local government. That is naturally also why the right to ownership of property should not be a problem. In the past it was argued that the right to property went hand in hand with political rights. Now that we say maximal political rights will be given to all in South Africa without one group dominating another, Blacks’ right to property in their areas presents no problem; on the contrary, the right to property is the key to the system of private enterprise. I believe the system of private enterprise, or the free-market system as we call it in everyday parlance, is the only system by which we can succeed in narrowing the prosperity gap between people who are also linked ethnically by chance.
The NP government is also pursuing a policy of decentralization by which we ensure that prosperity can be distributed on a better basis, geographically as well as ethnically. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the hon the Minister of Finance who has made R500 million available in this Budget, almost double compared with last year’s amount, to stimulate the decentralization effort with economic activity.
The NP has a vocation. This comprises not only a constitutional vocation to see that political rights are granted to all people in South Africa but also an economic vocation, namely to see that the prosperity gap which does exist is narrowed as far and as rapidly as possible and that job opportunities are created for as many people as possible. The NP government has a responsibility toward the Whites in South Africa and we shall answer to those constituents as we are doing at the moment in the by-election in Harrismith. We also bear responsibility toward all groups in South Africa and toward South Africa itself. I say with the necessary reverence I believe the NP also has to answer to God. The NP is a party with a calling and has leaders with vision and daring and faith to fulfil its calling with grace from Above. It is a wonderful privilege to be a member of a dynamic party which still cherishes many ideals for South Africa and continues, after more than 70 years, to place South Africa first.
Mr Speaker, it is a great pleasure to speak after the hon member Dr Odendaal. However, I should like to refer to the speech made earlier this afternoon by the hon member for Lichtenburg. He spoke to the hon member for Prieska and dragged in several of us Western Transvaal colleagues by saying that we were sitting here not saying a word while the hon member for Prieska furnished incorrect figures relating to the input costs of maize. He reacted to a speech of the hon member for Prieska by saying that the hon member for Prieska should produce an independent source from a body which carried out a price determination relating to the input cost of maize production. I have before me, and I can give it to him later, a document made available to me by the biggest co-operative in the southern hemisphere in which they estimate their direct input costs in the Western maize producing areas on 18 June 1985. In the area where we live—the hon member is my neighbour—they allow, per hectare, R122 for fertilizer, R39 for fuel, R18 for seed, R18 for weedkiller, R13 for pesticide, R11 for aircraft costs and R26 for repair work. This gives us an amount of R248 per hectare for direct input costs. Figures I have quoted as evidence were ascertained by the biggest co-operative in the southern hemisphere, and they prove that the figures of the hon member for Lichtenburg are incorrect.
I had a great deal of respect for the hon member for Lichtenburg when he was still a member of the NP, but over the past few years I have lost respect for him because he has not only changed his political standpoints, he has also changed as a person. He must again become the old person that he always was, even though he has different political views. [Interjections.]
You are a “hensopper.” [Interjections.]
We as agricultural representatives must stand together and elevate agriculture above party politics—the hon member for Lichtenburg should rather discuss matters with our co-operatives and ask them, within the free market, to …
Mr Speaker, on a point of order, is the hon member for Kuruman entitled to say that this hon member is a “hensopper” (quitter)?
The hon member for Kuruman must please withdraw that.
I withdraw it.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Kuruman is a “wurgpatat”. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon member for Lichtenburg that we as agricultural representatives should rather ask co-operatives to negotiate the best deal with regard to input costs for our farmers within the free market system. By doing so we should be making a positive contribution. I also think that the hon member for Lichtenburg made an irresponsible statement when he said that the Government had withdrawn its hand totally from agriculture.
Look how he sits there.
I think he is ashamed. That is why he has turned his back on me. Had it not been for the Land Bank and Agricultural Credit, half of Lichtenburg’s farmers would be there no longer. Many of these farmers were saved by the State aid provided this year. I want to let that suffice and proceed with my speech.
Mr Speaker, there are people and bodies who have said this but I, too, want to repeat it today, viz that the hon the Minister of Finance handled his first budget with great dignity and skill. Everyone was in agreement before the budget that the budget speech of 1985 would be the most important in years. Positive reaction across virtually the entire economic and political spectrum after the budget speech indicated that the hon Minister has at least succeeded in satisfying the demands and expectations. Positive reaction was received from various organizations in the private sector. All these organizations agreed that the budget would succeed in its long term goal, viz to curb expenditure, counter inflation and reduce interest rates.
Thus what I want to say is that it is not only the NP that says that this is a good budget; many other people and bodies, too, have independently made positive comments. Virtually all the parties in Parliament have made positive comments except the PFP and the CP. As in the past the Official Opposition does not regard this as a good budget because the budget is based on the NP ideology of separate development. The CP, on the other hand, does not support the budget either because as always they are opposed to everything the Government does. No one is so blind as he who does not want to see.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank the hon the Minister of Finance for the assistance that the Treasury has given agriculture in recent years. I do not wish to mention precise figures because I am afraid I shall get confused, but I want to convey my sincere thanks for the amounts made available. Without the assistance given, agriculture would have suffered incalculable harm. To a large extent the aid provided stability in the agricultural sector. The State provided all the assistance it could with the resources at its disposal. I always tell my people that the State gave a good half step, and the private sector accommodated it by taking the other half step. This evening I also wish to convey a word of thanks to our private financial institutions because they, too, have been prepared to take half a step to assist our farmers in difficult times. I ask that they do not water down that attitude in the year that lies ahead because it is in these very times that the private sector will have to provide further assistance to our farmers. The State will undoubtedly contribute its share again this year. Although we have had good rains in large parts of the country there are areas which for the fourth successive year have been drought-stricken. A certain part of my constituency has been drought-stricken for the fourth year now. According to a recent report released by the SAAU concerning the financial position of farmers it is mentioned that 22,4% or approximately 15 200 farmers in the RSA had serious financial problems towards the end of 1983. If one bears in mind that the 1984 harvest also failed, then the number of farmers with serious financial problems could be estimated at 22 000.
Recently the SAAU submitted proposals to the Government with regard to further aid for agriculture. As I understand it the proposals are at present being studied by the Jacobs Committee, after which the Government will take a decision. I wish to ask the hon the Minister to help us provide our farmers with assistance again this year, in order to keep many of the group I have mentioned in business. I know that apples are going to fall off the tree—that is the law of nature—but I do want to ask that we refrain from shaking the tree. Therefore I should greatly appreciate it if the hon the Minister would seriously consider the proposals of the SAAU so that we can once again furnish aid to agriculture in the short term and in this way cushion the effect of the drought to some extent.
Our farmers are weary of adopting a mendicant attitude. We too have our pride and honour. Agriculture must be helped to help itself in order to cope with future crises.
In his budget speech the hon the Minister referred to the need for the revision of the system of agricultural financing and the possible introduction of a Reserve Bank fund that will enable farmers to invest money on a tax-free basis in good years which, in poor years, could be withdrawn to finance means of production. This idea has been advocated for many years by organized agriculture and by some of our colleagues in this House. I am pleased that the matter has been referred to the Margo Commission by the hon the Minister. My plea today is that the matter be given priority by the Margo Commission, and if it is positively recommended, set in operation before 1 March 1986.
If the system is accepted then agriculture will be able to help itself to a large extent and in the long term it will also be cheaper and to the benefit of the Treasury.
In his budget the hon the Minister also mentioned that the Government had informed the Margo Commission that estate duty, at least in its present format, could no longer be regarded as appropriate for the demands of our time. I can assure hon members that this statement by the hon the Minister has been favourably received. [Interjections.] I hear the hon member for Wellington, who is a rich man, saying “Hear, hear!”. Therefore this is favourably received from that quarter as well. [Interjections.] Estate duty as applied at present, is to the detriment of many medium-scale businessmen and farmers. As I understand it, when estate duty was originally introduced, it was aimed at the so-called rich people. However, as it is applied today an ordinary man with an estate bigger than R100 000 has to pay estate duty, and that is normal for an average farmer or business man. I honestly feel that the limit is out of date and must be shifted upwards.
A great deal of manpower is being wasted at present to collect this form of tax, which comprises approximately 0,37% of the budget. I should like to ask the following with regard to estate duty, viz that the rebate be increased so that the tax-free marginal value rises to R450 000 which, in real terms, will be equal to R100 000 tax-free limit proposed in 1970 by the Franszen Commission for a married couple with 2 children. [Interjections.] By that I mean a man with a wife and two children. [Interjections.] Surely I said: With a wife and 2 children. [Interjections.]
Married or unmarried?
Married. [Interjections.] I should like to refer briefly to the system of personal taxation. At present the tax scale is so designed that as from R60 000 a person pays the maximum rate of 50%. Mention is also made in the budget of a surcharge of 7%. I should like to ask whether the hon the Minister of Finance will not consider increasing the amount on which that maximum rate is paid. This is perhaps a revolutionary proposal but I do want to ask. By doing this a large group of people are going to be motivated to work harder and more productively. One constantly has to listen to criticism, particularly from the medium business man, that we are putting the damper on initiative. Such a concession will further stimulate our private initiative.
I just wish to say to the hon the Minister that a group of doctors and pharmacists were very angry with him after the speech he made at the Transvaal Congress. However, when I came back to my constituency my doctors and pharmacists said to me: What Barend said was right; he is quite right. We only work until we have R60 000, and then we go and play golf. He must help us by shifting that amount upwards. I also want to say to the hon the Minister that there are members of the profession who do concede this.
I want to touch on one final matter relating to the tax-free amount allowed for interest earnings. At present it is R250. Any amount greater than R250 that is earned in interest, is taxed. Is it not possible for this amount, too, to be increased? If this happens more people will be encouraged to save. Here I want to refer specifically to our senior citizens. Many of our senior citizens have worked their whole lives and have set aside an amount of say, R20 000 or R30 000 for their old age. In their old age they still have to pay income tax on that amount. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether it is not possible that one day, when things are going better with us in the economic sphere, we may give our elderly people above the age of 70 years a concession. After all, they worked hard for many years for that money. I must now complete my speech. I have made a few proposals to the hon Minister of Finance in a very good spirit. I realize that many of them cannot be implemented now but we should appreciate it if he would consider them when things are going better again. I take pleasure in supporting the second reading of the Appropriation Bill.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Schweizer-Reneke criticized this particular party and I should like to ask him what the difference actually is between separate development and apartheid. As far as I am concerned, they both still mean exactly the same thing and using semantics to try to show that there is a difference is merely a waste of time.
I agree with him when he says that he praises the private banks for helping the farmers during these hard times and I hope that when the report of the South African Agricultural Union comes before the Minister the Minister will consider it and we on this side of the House will have the opportunity of seeing the report and discussing it with the. Minister.
However, the hon member for Schweizer Reneke seems to have forgotten his Bible, and it seems as if the Minister did the same, because what Joseph said was that one should save during the seven good years for the seven bad years that are going to follow. That has not happened as far as the hon the Minister and his predecessor are concerned in regard to the funds of this country.
The hon member for Schweizer-Reneke also once again raised the question of estate duty. When a man does not pay tax for the whole of his lifetime, what does it matter when, once he is dead, the Receiver of Revenue comes along and takes a portion of his estate away which he should have paid during his lifetime?
I am not going to discuss this any further because I want to deal with another very important matter, viz the speech by the hon the Minister of Finance when he was addressing the Junior Afrikaans Businessmen of the Year Award function in Johannesburg. On that occasion he made a statement that was reported as follows:
No one knows better than the hon the Minister of Finance that there are no economic reasons why Widow Pienaar should pay because there were no economic reasons or forecasts whatsoever justifying the past policy of apartheid as propagated by this Nationalist Party since coming into power in 1948. As a result of the various Acts of apartheid, purely political Acts of racial discrimination, the least affluent sections of our population have been forced to live furthest away from their work-places and they are now compelled to use commuter transport which they cannot afford.
Many remember Widow Pienaar when she was a young girl and a prominent member of the Jeugbond of the NP in Pofadder. She was privileged to vote; she enjoyed that privilege because she was White. With full knowledge she supported the NP because she wanted the policy of apartheid. Living in Namaqualand, she wanted the Coloureds removed from the common roll because that would ensure an NP election victory there for all time. However, she was never told of the economic costs of the consequences of apartheid which she would be called upon to bear in her old age. Living in Pofadder, almost on the border of the Kalahari, how could she be expected to know and understand what the destruction of Sophiatown, District Six, Lady Selborne and Cato Manor would mean to their inhabitants. Nobody had told her beforehand that these inhabitants—Coloured, Indian and Black—would be moved to new places that would require them to commute daily by train and bus for one hour or more to their work-places, where previously they had been but a tram ride or walking distance away from their work-places.
Who in Pofadder ever read the works of Paul Valery, the French poet, who once said:
By this he meant that we have come a long way since the days when it was possible to construct a reasonably accurate and optimistic scenario of the future from an analysis of the present. This is a major problem with which the hon the Minister of Finance is now faced. He and his advisers must take note that the future is not what it used to be.
When Dr Verwoerd told his gullible supporters of his simplistic dreams of grand apartheid, which he related with such conviction and which would be the final solution to the political problems of South Africa, he did not tell Widow Pienaar or anyone else that even his most carefully constructed plans would be shattered by unforeseen political and economic discontinuities. He truthfully believed that his solution would be eternal. Based on past experience and the present, as Dr Verwoerd conceived it, the future appeared to be ever so bright. Unfortunately for the NP of today, the future is not what it used to be.
Widow Pienaar is now called upon to pay, not for economic reasons but purely for political and emotional reasons, for having supported a policy which caused Coloured and Black commuters—to quote the hon the Minister, “Coloured and Black John Citizens”—to be placed far away from their work-places. They are thus compelled to use transport to cover the distance they have not determined and to pay a price which they cannot afford because the wages are often below the household subsistence levels and over which they have no control.
The question put by the hon the Minister is extremely naïve. In the first instance, the hon the Minister knows that it was not the SATS that created apartheid. The SATS is a State-controlled business organization which carries these commuters as a consequence of the policy of apartheid of his party.
White commuters are also subsidized.
Why should there be higher tariffs on goods and commodities carried by the SATS in order to cross-subsidize the losses due to the apartheid measures of this House? Even if Widow Pienaar does not pay direct taxes she pays in respect of the higher tariffs that the SATS charge to convey the food and merchandise that is sold in Pofadder.
The dream of apartheid has turned into an economic nightmare for which the taxpayer must bear the burden. The hon the Minister knows there is no economic reason why Widow Pienaar should pay, yet he is going to give her a pension of R180 per month and then he is going to take away 12% in GST which equals R21,60 and leaves her with only R158,40. Widow Pienaar is therefore giving 12% of her pension back to the Minister. The question is: Will the hon the Minister use part of this R21,60 to subsidize the losses sustained by the SATS on bus services and commuter transport?
The question that is really at stake is whether these losses should be paid out of General Revenue or whether special taxes should be levied in order to pay for the losses on commuter transport. [Interjections.] In the financial year 1983-84 the SATS received R350 million from General Revenue under the Finance Vote. In the financial year 1983-84 it also received an extra R100 million as a contribution towards operating losses, also under the Finance Vote. In March 1985 the Additional Estimates provided R90 million for subsidizing losses on the Railways.
In this particular Budget, in the Estimates of Expenditure, there is a contribution of R149 million to operating losses of the SATS under the Transport Vote, Program 3. This is coming out of General Revenue. The Transport Vote has been allocated R503 million of which overland transport receives R383 million.
In addition to this, as far as the buses are concerned, one has the Transport Services for Coloured Persons and Indians Act and the Black Transport Services Act which provide R9 million and R50 million per annum to subsidize the services. Over and above that, however, the hon the Minister is providing an additional R210 million as compared to R130 million last year.
Up to now Widow Pienaar was paying through General Revenue her share towards the compensation for losses on commuting. Is the hon the Minister making a threat when he says this free lunch also has to come to an end? I believe he is. I believe it is not the intention of the hon the Minister to pay this compensation out of General Revenue but that he will seek to establish new sources of income.
The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning released a press statement in which he said there were going to be new sources for improving the infrastructure of Black townships, particularly in Soweto and the Eastern Cape; for providing contributions towards the SATS bus and commuter services; for easing the financial burden of the Black local authorities; and for the training of personnel. It is amazing that The Natal Mercury, when it heard this, said that this is the way Widow Pienaar is going to get out of her obligation. Is it not a strange coincidence that The Natal Mercury of 25 June said, “There could be a vast difference between what the resident of Durban and the citizen of Pofadder have to pay.”
I would like to make an appeal to the hon the Minister not to pay for these losses out of this particular fund but to allow these funds to be used for the development of the Black townships. One of the major problems we have at this particular moment and the reason for the failure of the Bill concerning Black community councils and local authorities is the fact that there have been no funds available. Do not use the funds to subsidize losses because a cancer will develop in that particular fund. Moreover, he should see that it is provided only for this particular purpose.
I say that by utilizing these new funds for the upliftment of the Black townships in South Africa, the Government will show us that there is perhaps a ray of hope that will filter through the dark clouds which hang over South Africa at present.
Mr Speaker, as we have come to know him in this House, the hon member for Bezuidenhout once again took an isolated case and tried to make a story of it. He dragged in a number of aspects. Inter alia, he tried to say that nothing is being done about housing for Blacks. Even though these circumstances also prevail in other countries where there is no apartheid, he nevertheless tried to argue that these circumstances arose as a result of apartheid. I shall nevertheless leave the matter at that. I do not think that the policy of the PFP will ever be a real element in this country; it is merely bothersome to sit here with them at present.
I should like to discuss subsidies in agriculture. [Interjections.] In my opinion, there is a movement away from the idea of subsidies in agriculture. However, before coming to that, I first want to associate myself with previous speakers who expressed gratitude to the Government, and to the hon the Minister of Finance in particular, for the way in which farmers were assisted in overcoming drought conditions and the financial recession which accompanied these conditions. I maintain that if these steps had not been taken, we would have had many farmers today who would no longer have been capable of producing. There is a great deal of appreciation—although there was also criticism in this regard—for the method being used to assist these people. However, there is a great deal more gratitude and appreciation amongst the farmers than criticism. [Interjections.] We must realize that when the opposition parties try to claim here that nothing is really being done for the farmers, it is easy for them to want to be popular. However, they do not want to be responsible as well.
The present Government has to be responsible in its actions. The present Government not only has a responsibility towards the farmer, but towards the entire economy. The opposition parties, however, single out certain elements and try to gain popularity and a few votes. This has to be counter-productive. These things will backfire on them if perhaps they one day have the privilege of accounting for these popular statements they have made. After all, they wanted the Government to make more millions of rands available, at the expense of other sectors.
In my opinion, subsidies in agriculture are an element with which we will not be able to do away. Our climatic conditions are just of such a nature that crops fail sporadically in certain places, even in a normal year. It is simply a fact that if there are no subsidies, there will still be an element that will bring about a fluctuation in the price structures for the consumer. One year prices will soar, and the following year the consumer might find the prices of the goods concerned bearable.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at