House of Assembly: Vol3 - THURSDAY 11 APRIL 1985
Mr Speaker, shortly before the House adjourned yesterday evening, I said I should like to speak about subsidies in the field of agriculture which, in my opinion, were systematically being phased out owing to certain standpoints adopted by certain people. I can quite understand those views. We, are however, going through an era in South Africa in which—particularly after the recent drought—there is so much debt in some parts of the grain-producing areas that it would be impossible for us to rid ourselves of subsidies now. I think this is precisely the time to establish whether the methods of allocating subsidies are still the correct ones under the present circumstances. Perhaps it is necessary, after all, to investigate alternative possibilities; perhaps even a different method of subsidization which will help to make agriculture flexible again.
When I speak of production costs I do so bearing in mind the trend where certain commodities are concerned when production costs increased by even 200%, 300% and 400% during the past five years. Consequently, more than just a few rand is involved in this matter. The amounts involved in production are equal to between one third and a half of the agricultural value of the land in regard to which these production costs are incurred. I am not talking about spending in regard to marginal agricultural land now, but rather about highly productive agricultural land in South Africa. No provision has ever been made, particularly in any price-determination structure for controlled prices, for these risks the producer has to take. Also, it is almost impossible to make provision for risks in a price structure. The only alternative for these risks is perhaps a comprehensive system of insurance. We do not, however, have an effective system of insurance in South Africa at present. A person who does in fact make use of it merely adds to the risks, because if the crop were to fail the present systems would pay out only up to 60% of the potential calculated at the time of evaluation.
We are so quick to talk about abolishing subsidies altogether in agriculture. My contention today is that if we had to do away with them completely it would be catastrophic for agriculture at this stage. The question to ask, however, is whether subsidies are being employed in the right places. We in South Africa are inclined to adapt slowly when a system is no longer efficient or no longer has the desired effect.
At present we are providing subsidies in regard to certain products after they have been processed and made available to the consumer. Then we want to subsidize them. There is, for example, a subsidy on bread amounting to nearly R250 million per annum, and more than R100 million per annum goes to the maize industry. Who benefits from these subsidies? With maize products the price of the end product bought by the consumer is not controlled. It is only the producer price and the selling price to the wholesale trade and the miller which are controlled. I contend that whilst 80% of maize is consumed as a staple food, the consumers of the meal and processed products do not reap the benefit of the existing subsidy.
If we brought about a change by subsidizing the input costs of the producer I think we would achieve the required result, because in the price-determining structure one would get an immediate decrease in production costs. The risk of the producer would be smaller and that product could consequently be delivered to the consumer at a much lower price. The immediate response may be to ask me if such a system could work. There is no problem in this country preventing us from working out an effective system for the successful application of new ideas. We have very responsible co-operatives which can do the co-ordination. If they had the money to negotiate at the time of purchasing the means of production, they could, at that stage, negotiate a price that would be to the advantage of the whole economy of this country.
This vulnerability at the input stage has many disadvantageous consequences. I had maize producers in my constituency who had no debt in the 1979-80 season, who operated on a strictly cash basis using their own capital, but who subsequently had no crops. They did not subsequently buy land or expensive tractors or act irresponsibly. They only purchased the means of production, but since then there have been crop failures year after year, there are operators such as these who have debts of R500 000 and simply do not know how to get out of debt. These people again have to risk money to see if they cannot get themselves out of this dilemma.
If we want to start producing food more cheaply in this country, we must start at the input stage where these products are processed. I ask the hon the Minister to give consideration to what I have said. I gladly support the Budget he has introduced. I also think the hon the Minister will consider looking into this aspect with a view to creating a structure that will be of economic importance and eventually also cost the State less money than it is doing at present.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Parys will forgive me if I do not follow him in the remarks he has made because I want to return to the subject of the amendment moved from this side of the House.
The amendment moved by the hon member for Yeoville at the commencement of this debate identifies three prerequisites in our view as to peaceful change, to economic stability and to political security in South Africa, namely firstly, to abandon apartheid for once and for all; secondly, to move away from statutory discrimination; and thirdly, to try to identify leaders of Black communities in South Africa as a move towards a national convention at which the future of all the people in South Africa could be determined.
It is quite clear that notwithstanding the Government’s commitment to reform there is uncertainty, there is hesitancy, there is confusion throughout the country among all sections of the community as to where we are heading. So long as that situation continues there can be no economic stability and no political security in South Africa.
The confusion and uncertainty which exists was also clearly manifested yesterday during the debate in the speeches which came from Government members in support of the Budget of the hon the Minister. The contribution of the hon member for Innesdal was a strange, hesitant and confused one. He committed himself in a tentative manner to reform. From his contribution on the one hand the debate fluctuated to the almost robust defence of apartheid on the part of the recently or fairly recently converted trio of the hon members for De Kuilen and Turffontein and the hon member Mr Aronson. There was confusion throughout—confusion in approach, confusion in argument.
The hon member for Innesdal committed himself in nebulous terms to such things as defence of the Government in regard to the unrest and tension which exists around the country by saying that it was not the Government which was to blame; it was inevitable in any sort of climate of reform for there to be unrest and tension. He then went on to use expressions such as that there was acknowledgement of the respect of the right of all to live. That was a quaint statement. He then dealt with the matter of citizenship in response to the question of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and said that citizenship was certainly negotiable and that it was being negotiated. Here I refer to citizenship for the Blacks. He also said that we should respect the rights of individual people. These are very nice sentiments but they are very nebulous. He also said that he personally believed that we should move away from discrimination on the road ahead in South Africa. I want to say that all this is very vague and nebulous in the light of the situation in South Africa at present, and I believe it is very unrealistic.
In contrast to the hon member for Innesdal the trio of converts … [Interjections.] There is another convert. The hon the Minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism is another convert who finds himself on the extreme right of the NP at the present time. [Interjections.] These gentlemen who have in recent years joined the NP actually joined the NP of the Verwoerd era and they find it difficult to identify with the new model NP. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Turffontein proudly pointed out that the TBVC countries were the positive result of apartheid. In his defence of apartheid this was the example he advanced as one of the positive results of apartheid. He then went on to defend the orderly way of life in South Africa which he claimed had been brought about through such measures as the Group Areas Act, separate development, separate schools, separate areas etc. He said this orderly way of life was what apartheid had given to South Africa. I want to ask the hon member in which country is he living at the present time? Does he think there is an orderly way of life when one looks at what is presently happening in South Africa day after day? [Interjections.]
That is the product of apartheid. The unrest and tension which exist throughout the country are direct products of the apartheid policies of this Government. It does seem that the old “Sappe” who have joined the NP are defending apartheid whereas the new members of the NP are trying tentatively at any rate to move away from it. [Interjections.]
The economy of South Africa is in a worse state today than it has been in decades and there is more unrest and division in this country than ever before. This is after 37 years of NP rule. After those 37 years we have more unrest and a more unstable economy than we have had in decades.
If one accepts that the Government is serious and sincere in its attempts at reform then I believe we have to look hard and urgently at what type of reform is necessary to restore security and stability and to offer hope of prosperity for this country.
When one looks at the Government’s attempts at reform, the tragedy is that the Government so often finds itself a prisoner of its own past. At the present time the climate in which it operates is—because of its past—one where its credibility is totally at stake. One sees evidence of this time and time again. When one has propagated, advocated and practised discrimination and White domination for nearly four decades and one then starts trying to move away from it, one must inevitably start with a credibility gap. I think the Government is at the present time experiencing this from day to day in its attempts to move away from past attitudes. When one looks at the situation in townships and the tragic situation in regard to community councils and various other aspects, one finds that the Government is starting off from a very rickety base because of its past record.
That is why I say that talk of reform is encouraging at the present time, but talk is not enough. We want to see action, we want to see certainty of action as a matter of urgency in this country.
In the statement of the State President to Parliament just before the Easter recess—I am pleased to see he is in the House this afternoon—on the question of unrest in South Africa, he said that he found it ironic that after he and his party had committed themselves to reform and at a time when reform was taking place there should be such unrest and tension around the country. One had sympathy for the State President and the views he expressed because there have been attempts at reform and movement in that direction, but while one is sympathetic and one totally regrets what is taking place in the country, it is unfortunately wholly understandable. It is wholly understandable if one puts the whole situation into perspective.
The new Constitution, fashioned as it was without proper consultation, without full participation of all the people in the process of its making … [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning frowns but it was fashioned without consultation and it was the product of the NP. It was not the product of a constitution in which all the people of South Africa had taken part in the decision-making.
Read your leader’s speech. What did he say about it?
I will come to that. That Constitution ignored the major population group and was a ready-made recipe for discontent among the people deprived of rights in terms of it. That is what we are seeing at the present time.
If one takes the Government’s moves toward reform as a genuine and sincere attempt at reform, the fact is that having included members of the Coloured community and members of the Asian community in the function of Parliament, we have highlighted and emphasized the vacuum which exists as far as Black South Africans are concerned. It is that vacuum which has to be filled and filled urgently. In so doing, it is absolutely essential that we must create a climate which is conducive to real, open and meaningful negotiation with the object of achieving a constitution which will satisfy the aspirations of all and re-establish security and stability throughout the country. It is this aspect, the climate for reform, that our amendment seeks to highlight, this includes the abandonment of apartheid, doing away with statutory discrimination and moving towards identifying real leadership in a national convention.
When one looks at the climate and the experience the Government is having at present, I want to cite the example of Crossroads. I am pleased that the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education is in the House. Earlier this session when we debated the situation in Crossroads, while we were rightly critical of the Government’s handling of the situation through the years, we were able to identify certain changes in Government thinking which we found to be realistic, perhaps belatedly realistic, and we were able to constructively suggest certain aspects which needed urgent attention. At that stage we acknowledged that the Government had at last abandoned its notion that the Western Cape was a Coloured labour preference area. We also noted with approval that the Government had at last accepted the permanence of Blacks in the Western Cape and was taking steps to give leasehold rights to Blacks in some of the townships in this area. We also drew attention to various defects related to the handling of the situation in this part of the country, the history of broken promises, the lack of adequate communication with the people concerned and the failure of the Government to identify and to negotiate with the real leaders of the communities they were dealing with in the Crossroads situation.
Since then—and perhaps it is still early days—there have been encouraging signs that at least in some respects the Government has recognized the defects in regard to that situation. There has apparently been better communication, there have been direct discussions with the leaders recognized by the communities concerned and, from what one reads in the papers, the results so far seem very encouraging indeed. One gives credit for that. However, the point I want to make is that in a sense the Crossroads situation is the microcosm of what is happening around South Africa on a large scale. Our amendment draws attention to the steps which we believe, looking at the national situation, need to be taken in order to deal with it. As in Crossroads, there is a need to identify the real leadership of the Black communities around South Africa. As in Crossroads, there is need to involve ourselves in direct, ongoing negotiation with respected leaders in determining the futures of the communities they represent. If any of this is going to be meaningful and enduring, it is vital that the atmosphere and political environment in which real negotiation takes place, are dramatically and urgently changed. One cannot expect people to be enthusiastic about talking about real change if negotiations are perceived to be taking place between the oppressors and the oppressed. One cannot expect people who have doubts as to their very citizenship in South Africa to embark enthusiastically on negotiations on their future. One cannot expect people who are discriminated against daily in terms of the laws of the land to embark enthusiastically on negotiations for their future. What we emphasize in our amendment is that there has to be an open-minded approach. One must emphasize the need for real communication with real leaders. One must emphasize the need for the Government to show flexibility in regard to different situations around the country. No one will be prepared to accept that negotiation can be meaningful if preconditions centred rigidly around the worn-out political ideology of the Government are to be the basis of those negotiations.
If they are going to set those kinds of preconditions which are attached to an ideology which has already failed abjectly through the years, then there is no prospect of reasonable negotiation taking place. I must therefore say that what we seek to achieve in our amendment is to say to the Government: “In the attempt to find reform, in the attempt to find a real solution to the problems of South Africa, it is absolutely vital that we should change the whole climate in which we are operating, otherwise no attempts, no piecemeal attempts at reform can be successful in this country.”
Mr Speaker, it is really ironical to listen to the hon member for Berea making the statement that the Government is a prisoner of its own past because he is the spokesman for a party which politically has no past in South Africa and, in the realities of our situation, has no future either. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Berea has again used the phrase which some of his colleagues have repeated ad nauseam, namely that apartheid must be abandoned and that there should be a dismantling of apartheid structures, as another speaker said. While this Government accepts the fact that certain measures of separation and segregation have served their purpose and should be reviewed, or have proved to be impractical and should be reviewed, or have proved to be unjust and should therefore be reviewed; the point which we should like to stress again is that this side of the House also emphasizes clearly the need for recognizing the realities of the diversities in our population—the diversities in nations, in peoples and in population groups. This side believes that any constitutional reform will only have a chance of succeeding if, in its new reformed structures, it deals with the realities of population diversities and differentiates in such new structures on the basis of these realities. Only then is there an opportunity for success, not only in a political sense but in a constitutional sense and also in a social sense.
This side has made it quite clear that there are certain areas in which the population’s diversity should find expression, for instance, differentiation of residential areas forming the basis for different communal and community structures for the various population groups, and particularly also in regard to school education. These are areas in which differentiation based on the realities of South Africa is essential and will remain essential. When people use these easy umbrella expressions of “dismantling” or “abandoning” what is broadly called apartheid, this has the considerable danger of obscuring the fact that there are diversities which have to be accommodated in political reform and in the social structuring of this country. [Interjections.]
*Mr Speaker, South Africa is a country the calibre and greatness of which, as a country and also as a population, is especially apparent from the quality of its reaction to problems, to challenges and even to ordeals. It is the positive reaction, the spirit of enterprise, the perseverance and the determination which in the history of this country in political and other spheres have always led to successful progress being made, in spite of what were sometimes bewildering problems and difficulties. This has always been the case in the history of this country, and is so again now. We are in fact passing through a period now in which we are being confronted with vexatious and oppressive problems in many spheres, but we also accept that such circumstances are in many respects a time of trial, elimination and refinement. It is also a time of renewed earnestness and dedication. Because this side of the House, in its political approach, is fulfilling its constitutional function with faith and courage, it believes that the future also belongs to us.
In addition we must, in the midst of problems such as those we have today, ensure that we give the necessary credit for and recognition to the successes which are being achieved, for on that basis we can then ensure, even in the midst of tribulations, that we can go forward to meet the future with the necessary equilibrium, perspective and positive attitude, the future which holds such tremendous possibilities for all of us.
I wish to furnish a few examples which I think deserve to be singled out and given special recognition in respect of the success achieved in this connection. Unfortunately we are living in a time in which a great measure of disorder, violence and confrontation is prevailing in many Black communities. It was therefore an impressive demonstration that an unforgettable and massive gathering of Black people could recently take place against this background, to listen to the Head of State of this country. What impressed one and gave one positive hope and optimism for the future—and this I want to emphasize—is that such a tremendous gathering of people could take place with such a measure of discipline and orderliness. Everyone in this country can be proud that a group of people were able to assemble in this way. One was also impressed by the restraint and the calm goodwill which emanated from that gathering. Although we in this country unfortunately have to cope with clergymen who apply themselves assiduously to confrontation, the fomenting of conflicts and even to the encouragement of violence, it gives one renewed hope and optimism when one, as a result of such an experience, realizes the positive binding and reconciliatory power of religion and in particular of the Christian religion, even across the dividing line of denominational differences.
I should like to point out a second aspect to which the hon member for Berea generously referred, namely the encouraging signs of positive fruits and concrete results emerging from the entire situation at Crossroads, results achieved from persistent and sensible negotiations with the community and its leaders but which were also based on the realization of the practical offer of an alternative solution to the unsatisfactory current squatter situation in the form of better and properly structured urbanization. Earlier this year in the debate on the Crossroads situation I held out the prospect of a number of matters which my department and I would like to deal with in order to alleviate and improve the position there.
The first was that we were prepared to negotiate in connection with the upgrading of the existing Crossroads site and the adjoining sites by means of proper urban planning and the settlement of as many people as could be accommodated in that area with proper urban planning. However, I also said that if there was to be negotiation on the matter, the community in question would, on its part, have to be prepared to co-operate to influence the surplus population which could not be established as part of an orderly urbanization scheme, to procede to move to the adjoining new facilities that had been created at Khayelitsha. My department and I are negotiating with the private sector in particular—here I should like to mention one organization which has already achieved great success, namely the Urban Foundation—to get that sector interested in playing a major role and taking the lead in connection with the upgrading of the Crossroads area. I believe that the private sector in South Africa, which to a large extent consists of the people who employ the inhabitants of that area, the employer community, has the collective responsibility of playing a role here and taking the initiative, and that everything should not simply be left to the State. I therefore want to inform the hon House that progress is being made in connection with the negotiations on an acceptable basis for the upgrading of an orderly Crossroads set-up.
I also held out the prospect that we would be prepared to negotiate on dealing with and finding a solution for the presence of unauthorized squatters in Crossroads. Today I want to refer here with great appreciation to the success that has already been achieved—and I hope that it will be maintained and that it will not again be undermined by hostile elements—with the acceptance of the offer of the Government that a residential permit for 18 months will be granted to those squatters who undertake, and in fact carry out their undertakings, to resettle in the area at Khayelitsha which is intended for orderly squatting. We also said that we would be prepared to review this matter after 18 months. There is no intention to carry out the repatriation of people who are now prepared to co-operate directly to find an orderly solution to the position there.
On this occasion I should like to convey our special appreciation to the officials of the department and of the development board for the work they have done in this connection. I should like to make specific mention of the Chief Commissioner here in the Western Cape, Mr Timo Bezuidenhout. He has played an outstanding negotiating role and I think everyone in South Africa is greatly indebted to him because so much success has been achieved. I sincerely hope that it will be a lasting success that will be achieved in the practical implementation of something which is not only of local importance but which I think also contributes to a positive atmosphere in the country as a whole.
I also said in the debate that we were prepared to negotiate to help find employment opportunities for the people living in Crossroads and particularly as they resettle in Khayelitsha. I also said that we were prepared to allow the people who resettle in Khayelitsha full scope to continue with the informal trade and the informal industries which are assuming such large proportions in the existing Crossroads set-up. It is an extremely important way, in addition to conventional employment opportunities, of offering a large segment of those inhabitants a basis of livelihood. It was noticeable and most gratifying when I was able to drive through the new settlement in Khayelitsha—just under 2 000 houses have already been occupied there—to see how green lawns were already growing around many of those houses, where a few months ago there had only been bare and empty white sand flats; how potato patches were flourishing there; how the children were playing games there; and particularly how these informal trading and hawking activities were in progress in the backyards and in the streets in front of the houses. This indeed a Third World form of urbanization, but an urbanization, I think, which demonstrates that in a very short time—in fact in a dramatically short time—the existence possibilities of people who were still squatters a short while ago, have been greatly improved.
I should also like to refer to the fact that the acceptance of orderly squatting is a basic aspect of housing, and, far more important, of renewal. It is also an addition to the overall housing strategy of the Government. In that way we are bringing housing in a Third World context within the financial means of the people living there, and we are reducing the financial burden on the State and the taxpayer to provide heavily subsidized housing because it is otherwise not within the financial means of the people. One is astonished at the ingenuity with which those people erect structures in the orderly squatting area.
This question was asked at the time: But what about amenities in that area? I should like to mention here that, besides the schools that have already been opened in Khayelitsha itself, the final steps are at present being taken to complete two schools in the informal settlement area adjoining Khayelitsha; that there are already two primary schools in operation in Khayelitsha itself, one with 942 pupils and the other with 680 pupils; that two further schools will be completed later this year; and that besides that there are still the two schools in the resettlement area which will probably be completed in a month’s time. Later this year tenders for a fifth school will also be called for.
I say again, in an area which only the other day consisted merely of barren sand flats, there is not only a lively and happily resettled human community, but an active, dynamic educational amenity has also evolved there within a very short time. I should like to convey my appreciation to everyone who contributed to this.
There is, however, a third important matter to which I wish to refer as a positive result that was recently achieved. This House is aware of the fact that one of the most serious situations of unrest in the Eastern Cape developed in Cradock. We also know that the schoolchildren of Cradock did not attend school for more than a year, because there was a total boycott. It is therefore gratifying that after more than a year of school boycotts and after patient and sensible negotiations with the hon the Deputy Minister of Co-operation and of Education, the community has been persuaded by their leaders to resume school tuition as from next week.
As a result of the negative attitude of the people who forced the school boycott upon that community, not only the children but the entire community suffered a tremendous loss as regards life opportunities and development possibilities. Since a positive result has apparently been achieved now by means of deliberation and negotiation, we trust that pupils and the community will, with the necessary dedication and effort, make use of the recovery period which they need to make up the ground they have lost. I also want to express hope that the teachers, the pupils and also their parents will be afforded an opportunity to utilize the restored educational opportunities properly. I trust that hostile elements will not again emerge to incite people to turn education into an instrument of unrest and disorder.
I should like to emphasize that the schools in Cradock were not closed. The Department of Education and Training does not close schools. However, we cannot continue with education if the pupils and the community do not wish to utilize it. A school can only function if the community utilizes the facilities which it offers. Those schools were in principle prepared to resume education every day, if the children would return. I want to make it clear, therefore, that the allegation which is frequently made that the department closes schools when there are boycotts is false. It is not the case. The schools were in fact available, but the community did not utilize them properly.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
The hon member may have an opportunity to do so later, after I have completed my speech.
Furthermore, I also want to make it very clear that the Department of Education and Training cannot continue indefinitely to pay teachers who are de facto unemployed and who, as a result of the actions of boycotters, are not being afforded an opportunity to do their work and to render a service to the community. To continue to employ and to pay teachers who are being prevented from doing their work and from rendering a service in those place where boycotts are taking place amounts to a squandering of funds. In the meantime, particularly in the Black communities, there is a tremendous need for further expansion of educational services. Additionally there are in many respects considerable backlogs in Black education for which these funds could rather been utilized.
As regards keeping teachers employed in the case of continuing school boycotts, there is only one course open to us. Either the teachers concerned must accept transfers elsewhere where their services will be properly utilized, or if they hesitate to accept transfers owing to intimidation and fear—in some cases it does in fact happen that they are threatened—it is inevitable that if they wish to remain where they are, they will then have to take unpaid leave. In the field of education we must utilize scarce manpower to the optimum—particularly as far as Black education is concerned—and we cannot deviate from this course.
I should also like to refer to a question which the hon member for Meyerton asked yesterday in connection with the non-payment of rates in Black residential areas. He referred in particular to the Lekoa town council in the Vaal Triangle. It is well known that a considerable boycott of the payment of municipal rates and levies has taken place in this area. It is also well known that at the end of last year the department asked Prof Tjaart van der Walt of Potchefstroom to institute an investigation into the factors which would influence the normalization of education in that area.
One of the factors he identified was the community’s dissatisfaction with the municipal rates. He then proposed that an expert investigation be instituted into the amounts and composition of the existing municipal rates and levies paid by those Black inhabitants to see whether they were fair. I accepted the recommendation and appointed a committee consisting of two leading specialists in this field, Mr Pieter Matthee, the Chief Director of Financial Services of the Johannesburg City Council, and Mr John Hitge, the Director of Local Government of the Department of Co-operation and Development. These persons made a thorough study by comparing the rates of other Black municipalities as well as of White municipalities in lower income residential areas and arrived at the conclusion that the rates and levies imposed by the Lekoa town council could not as a whole be considered to be excessive; in fact, that those rates compared very favourably with those of other local authorities. They therefore arrived at the conclusion that there was no valid reason why the inhabitants of Lekoa should withhold payment of their municipal rates to the town council.
It consequently appeared from this investigation that the rates which had applied there prior to 1 September 1984 could be regarded as fully justified. Therefore my colleague, Deputy Minister Sam de Beer recently, by way of a statement in that area, made an appeal to the inhabitants of Lekoa to settle their rentals and service fees. Those who are in arrears are being afforded an opportunity to pay their arrear instalments over a period of 12 months. I want to make it very clear, however, that if the payment of instalments is not resumed now, and proper arrangements are not made for the payment of arrears, the inhabitants will make themselves liable to legal proceedings, because the community must contribute to the cost of the service that is being rendered to it. Since a proper, justified and thorough investigation has now been instituted into the service being rendered by this town council to its Black inhabitants, and since it has been found to be fair, the inhabitants must now in turn meet their obligations, otherwise they cannot expect the specific services which a local authority renders to its inhabitants to continue to be rendered to them.
On this occasion I should again like to emphasize briefly that the Government is according a very high priority to the review of the existing legislation and arrangements in connection with influx control and the urbanization of Black people. It has become apparent from various surveys that one of the greatest causes of grievances among Black communities in South Africa is situated in this area. Aggravation and frustration are being caused by these things in various spheres and in various ways, and attention is being devoted to these matters. In numerous cases, too, these things give rise to what one could perhaps regard as mere technical offences with the consequential adjudication of such offences. Therefore, as the hon the State President also said in his opening speech, it is a very high priority of the Government that urgent attention be given to influx control. I want to re-emphasize that the Government accepts the fact that urbanization is taking place and must take place; that it is inevitable and not only that, but essential and even desirable, because urbanization is an essential element to help accommodate a growing population in proper residential and existential conditions. [Interjections.] We must admit that in the past certain aspects of influx control had the negative effect that they not only restricted unjustifiable influx but also restricted urbanization per se. [Interjections.] Therefore it is of the utmost importance that the Government, together with the review of legislation in connection with influx control—as it is at present in fact doing—should develop a strategy of orderly urbanization coupled with proper housing provision.
By the second half of this year we hope to be able to submit the necessary revised legislation to the standing committee concerned so that it may devote attention to this matter. In the meantime we shall devote attention, also as a matter of high priority and also in consultation with the leaders of Black communities, particularly the representatives of Black local authorities, to the urbanization strategy which, besides the review of influx control, is an essential part of this process.
It was also very clearly apparent that influx control indirectly had a detrimental effect on rural development, and that also as part of the urbanization strategy and influx control a high priority had to be accorded to rural development, which had in fact to be protected and in regard to which the opportunities had to be expanded by according the surplus population the necessary urbanization opportunities so as to reduce the pressure on the rural form of existence. For that reason we cannot simply, as the Official Opposition wants, proceed to expand further in the existing growth points, to urbanize further and to expand Black residential areas further. An urbanization strategy must be diversified. It must also make provision for urbanization possibilities and for the promotion of positive factors for urbanization within the national states. It must also make provision for urbanization at the new growth points in order to make a contribution in this respect as well to the development of the decentralization policy of the Government. However, we also admit that within acceptable limits within existing metropolitan areas, attention will also have to be given to making provision, by means of additional urbanization and township development, for the natural growth of Black communities there. But this must also be counterbalanced by planning at the decentralized points and in the national states.
I should also like to emphasize that urbanization and the structuring of urbanization, as well as the orderly control of influx, is a phenomenon which is not typical of South Africa only.
†Mr Speaker, population influx from rural or traditional areas to urban or industrial areas is a general feature of the Third World. I should like to quote in this regard from a publication entitled African Business which is published in London. I am quoting from the January 1984 issue where it is stated, inter alia, in respect of Africa:
Examples are given here, Sir, of special legislation such as, for example, a Vagrancy Act in Kenya, an Undesirable Persons Ordinance in Tanzania, and a Human Resources Development Act also in Tanzania, which authorize their governments to bring about forced removals of surplus population, unemployed people, vagrant people in the urban areas, and to relocate them in rural areas and there re-educate them, as it is termed there.
Therefore, Sir, when we in South Africa are charged with unjust and unfair action in respect of so-called forced removals—a matter which we have undertaken to reconsider—I should like the House to put this matter in its proper perspective and to realize that this is a problem which is part of the whole of the Third World, and that in the rest of Africa far more drastic measures have been implemented in legislation and in practice than we have implemented in this country.
Mr Speaker, I just want to respond briefly to the hon Minister’s speech. The hon Minister ranged very widely and unfortunately I shall not be able to respond fully to his speech in the time at my disposal.
I want to refer only briefly to the hon the Minister’s claims of success with regard to Crossroads. The hon Minister stated that the Blacks, the illegals who are at present living at Crossroads, have received residential permits for 18 months in an effort to persuade them to move to Khayelitsha.
Who is the hon the Minister trying to bluff? He is not bluffing us and I do not think he is bluffing the Blacks either. Is it reasonable to expect Blacks to be persuaded, under present conditions, to move a short distance from one place to another, to erect accommodation for themselves there, and then to inform them 18 months hence that they have to leave? It is surely absurd to try to bluff us with that. [Interjections.] This all amounts to the fact that the hon the Minister has now finally decided to grant de facto permanent residence to all those people in the Western Cape. It is nothing less than that.
In concluding his speech the hon the Minister referred to the urbanization problem and said it was not unique to South Africa. That is indeed true; it is a world-wide problem. The problem in our given circumstances has, however, been aggravated by those socio-political problems connected with the circumstances in which South Africa finds itself. That is why we have maintained over the years, that the urbanization of Blacks should be channelled to their own homelands which were either coming into being or were already in existence. However, we no longer hear anything about that from the NP. [Interjections.]
What has struck me since the beginning of this session is the inability—and I do not believe that is it—or an unwillingness on the part of the Governing party actually to enter into a debate with the Official Opposition. We have observed it in this debate again. Although sitting on the sidelines to a certain extent—I wish to emphasize “to a certain extent”—during the debate between the governing party and the Official Opposition, we nevertheless looked forward to seeing what the outcome of that debate would be. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition put certain pertinent questions to the Government and we were looking forward to receiving answers from the Government speakers. However, no answer has been forthcoming. One involuntarily asks oneself why there is so little debate. I do not think a lack of ability is the answer. There must be another reason for this, and I should like to indicate two possibilities.
I believe the first possible reason to be the fact that in the past, when the National Party inflexibly held the view that its ultimate ideal was one of separate freedom for the various peoples of South Africa as the final and only solution, it could feel itself free to enter into a discussion with the Official Opposition without looking over its shoulder. Today that ideal of separate freedom for the various peoples of South Africa has, however, been thrown to the winds, having for some time now been replaced by the nebulous new policy of so-called self-determination in regard to own affairs and so-called co-responsibility for general affairs. By accepting that new policy of the NP, it has finally turned its back on the old ideal of separate freedoms for all peoples in South Africa. It does not matter what they tell people in the rural areas. It is nothing short of that. [Interjections.] In the process the National Party has tried—and succeeded to a large extent—to prepare the White voters of South Africa for the acceptance of a mixed government consisting of Whites, Coloureds and Indians. That, however, was only the first instalment. At that stage we warned that if we were to accept a mixed government in South Africa comprised of Whites, Coloureds and Indians, the inevitable step would be also having to accept that change with regard to Blacks. The hon member for Innesdal, in fact, conceded this point at the beginning of this year’s session.
It was our point of view—one which was also maintained by the National Party—that with independence the respective Black homelands, all the Blacks belonging to each particular group, would forfeit their citizenship of the Republic of South Africa, once that particular group became independent, for a newly acquired citizenship of their own particular fatherland.
That was Connie Mulder’s plan.
It was not only Connie Mulder’s plan.
It was the National Party’s plan.
Yes, it was also the National Party’s plan. The hon the Minister of Home Affairs enthusiastically defended that point of view both at the time of the Transkei’s independence and in the preceding debate. That was the official point of view of the National Party, and it was also our point of view, that in so doing the ties between those Blacks who had obtained citizenship of their own fatherland and the Republic of South Africa would finally be severed.
However, what is happening now with the new National Party? Yesterday we listened to the hon Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He specifically referred to the case of Transkei and Bophuthatswana. What did the hon the Deputy Minister say? I quote from his speech here in the House yesterday as follows: (Hansard, 10 April):
Unfortunately that is the truth.
That may well be the case. Yesterday the hon the Deputy Minister questioned us at length while we had to sit here without an opportunity to answer him. In the course of his speech he said that consensus had to be reached on these matters and that if it was not reached, the CP did not have a viable standpoint or policy. “Viable” is the favourite word of the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning.
No Black man will reach consensus with you because the Blacks are not prepared to discuss your policy with you. [Interjections.]
Is the hon the Deputy Minister thereby implying that if both Bophuthatswana and the Transkei were in future to claim that their citizens who had so-called permanent residence in South Africa, had the right to become South African citizens again, the National Party would be prepared to accede to such a claim?
Come on, Louis, answer that!
It is a simple question, after all. At present all those people, no matter where they live, are citizens of Bophuthatswana or Transkei. The hon the Deputy Minister says the indications from those two countries are that it is no longer acceptable to them. He also says we must reach consensus. Is he prepared to meet their demands and now grant those people who are already citizens of those two countries, South African citizenship? [Interjections.]
The hon the Deputy Minister went on to refer to the position of Black citizens of Black states which had already become independent. Then he also referred to the national states which had not yet become independent. I quote once again from his speech yesterday:
So what is the hon the Deputy Minister therefore implying? He is saying that in his opinion there is a possibility that the Blacks of kwaZulu or Qwaqwa or Gazankulu or KaNgwane would not be prepared to sacrifice their South African citizenship. The hon the Deputy Minister is therefore saying that the possibility of creating independent states for those national states no longer exists. [Interjections.] That is exactly what he is implying. [Interjections.] That would surely be an absolute caricature of independence if it were to come about in that way. If KaNgawne is therefore to become independent and the citizens of that state remain citizens of South Africa, it is indeed nothing more than a caricature of independence. [Interjections.] I have never heard of such a constitutional concept in my life. Or is the hon the Deputy Minister saying that we are entering a new Southern Africa in which the Blacks will be citizens of their own father-land, but will, also retain at the same time, their citizenship in South Africa. Does the hon the Deputy Minister mean they will enjoy full political rights in their own father-land as well as in the Republic of South Africa, here, with us? [Interjections.] We should like the NP to spell it out to us and correct us if we are wrong …
You are wrong.
What is then the standpoint of the NP? Please help us out! I paid a quick visit to Harrismith recently, and the question of citizenship—especially with regard to Qwaqwa—is rather important. I wonder if it is known what the supporters of the NP believe, those who are going to vote for the party on 1 May? They are saying: No, there will be no change with regard to Black citizenship. All the State President meant in his speech at the beginning of this session was that we would have to make provision for Blacks wanting to travel abroad to enable them to travel on South African passports. That is what the NP is trying to make the voters of Harrismith believe. The hon the Deputy Minister can shake his head now, but that is what they are trying to do. They are saying there will be no change; the old policy is still being maintained. They will therefore remain citizens of their states, and we shall only be granting them the right to travel on South African passports.
Unfortunately my time has nearly expired. [Interjections.] I found it almost laughable when I drove into Harrismith and saw a pale blue NP poster put up for that by-election which read: “Die NP regeer met ’n sterk hand.” [Interjections.] The hon member for Randburg is not here at the moment, but he is the one who said it was no longer the NP that was governing. It was a multiracial coalition government which was in power now. Mr Allan Hendrickse and Mr Rajbansi are not members of the NP after all; and yet they are part of the Government. How can the NP still tell the good voters of Harrismith that the NP is governing with a firm hand? [Interjections.] It is, in fact, a coalition government which is governing now!
Let us take a further look at this “firm hand” of this Government. I then ask: Who’s hand is it? Is it the hand of the hon the Minister of Law and Order, or is it the hand of the hon Rev Allan Hendrickse? [Interjections.] Is it the firm hand of the hon the Minister of Justice or is it the firm hand of Mr Rajbansi, who has demanded that his people be allowed into the Free State? Sir, does that firm hand perhaps belong to Mr Chester Crocker of the USA? [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, during the course of my speech I shall return to the fundamental issues raised by the hon member for Barberton. Before I do so, however, I want to say a few words to the hon Leader of the CP concerning the behaviour of the hon member of Jeppe in this House yesterday evening. Incidentally, Sir, often after having witnessed the conduct of the hon member for Jeppe, one feels strongly inclined to ask that we change the rules of this House so that it would be possible for you to give a ruling that not all hon members need to be referred to as “honourable” members because “honourable” has a specific meaning. I want to ask the hon member for Waterberg whether he associates himself with what the hon member for Jeppe had to say about the State President last night. [Interjections.] He says he will reply tomorrow. We hope he will do so clearly and unequivocally because his party regards him—as does the hon member himself—as an alternative State President of the Republic of South Africa. We should like this possible alternative State President, who is being presented to the voters as the man of the future, to exhibit this quality of leadership tomorrow by saying whether this is the level at which he is willing to allow the Chief Information Officer of his party to behave towards the State President of the Republic of South Africa.
You were not even here.
I read that speech word for word. I had to put it down occasionally just to allow myself to calm down first before I could continue reading it.
So far there have been two basic themes in this debate. On the one hand the PFP, represented by the hon member for Sea Point, in particular, and this afternoon by the hon member for Berea as well, said that the NP clung to apartheid and that that was why we were heading towards the abyss. On the other hand there was the second basic theme, that of the CP, which was that the NP had thrown apartheid overboard.
Now which of the two is correct?
The CP said the NP had completely accepted multiracialism. We have become integrationists, says the CP, and consequently we are heading for an abyss.
So who is correct?
The hon member for Rissik caused me to think yesterday that if his politics are as “verkramp” as his hairstyle is liberal, he is more “verkramp” than I thought. [Interjections.] Owing to my physical make-up I am forced to adopt a simplistic hairstyle.
You comb your hair with a face-cloth. [Interjections.]
This ambiguous and utterly divergent interpretation of what the Government says and does, forces one to conclude that this House and its debates have fallen prey to a virtual confusion of tongues. Why is this the case?
Why is it that the PFP accuses us of clinging narrow-mindedly to apartheid, with the CP on the other hand accusing us of being in the process of moving away altogether from apartheid, of having thrown it overboard and become integrationists? There are two reasons for this. The main reason is that absolute stubbornness and petty politics are involved here. Neither of the two parties, guilty of these divergent viewpoints, was honestly trying to evaluate what the Government and the NP have really been saying and doing. Each of them has twisted what was said and done to fit in with his own arguments.
This bedevils constructive discussion. It bedevils constructive dialogue and it is of no help to South Africa if we wilfully and knowingly, for the sake of petty politics, allow ourselves to lapse into a confusion of tongues in this House.
There is also a more deep-seated reason, besides petty politics, and that is that both the PFP and the CP cling absolutely rigidly to theories and clichés which are impracticable. In the case of the PFP they cling to the theory—if I must try to reduce it to its basic elements—that all the inhabitants of South Africa can be lumped together in a harmonious group without fundamental differentiating measures. They also say a national convention is the key to this harmony.
It was almost ludicrous the way the hon Leader of the Official Opposition denounced us with his usual eloquence and asked us what plan we envisaged. When asked what their plan was, after he had accused us of not spelling ours out, he said: “Our plan is a national convention.” [Interjections.] He said it yesterday. It was recorded in Hansard, and I went and read it up, regardless of the fact that I had also listened to it. I shall refer to the national convention again, but the basic theory to which they rigidly adhere is that it is possible to lump together the diversity of peoples and population groups in South Africa into a harmonious entity without fundamental differentiating measures.
The CP clings to another theory, and that is that separation can be taken so far that every people and population group can on its own, and in isolation, safely and prosperously seek its salvation.
That is the positive side of the NP.
They acknowledge this formulation by way of interjections. [Interjections.]
Let us put these theories, which this party so rigidly clings to, to the test. I want to put them to the test by asking a few simple questions. My question to the PFP is: Why is the PFP such a failure in White politics, except for a limited number of high-income constituencies? Why does the PFP fail, time after time in elections, to gain adequate support for its standpoint? [Interjections.] Surely the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition knows it is true? He knows, does he not, that support for his party is limited to a few metropolitan areas, and then only the high-income sections of those areas? He knows he failed miserably in the by-elections in George and Stellenbosch. Let us take George as an example. Why did they fail in George? The answer is quite simple. The overwhelming majority of Whites rejects the PFP’s point of departure which I mentioned, that of its being possible to bring everyone together into one harmonious group without any fundamental differentiation. The majority of White voters are unwavering in their demands for the effective protection of their own community life and their own power-base which would adequately provide them with the capacity to keep their values, standards and identity intact. The PFP does not offer this to the majority of White voters.
A second question I want to ask the PFP is: Why are all Black people in South Africa not grouped together in a single organization with one philosophy? Why, on the contrary, is there a violent struggle and are there deep-seated differences amongst Blacks? The PFP cannot argue that this is not the case. [Interjections.]
The answer is again obvious. An acknowledgement of multinationality is a prerequisite for orderly reform, peace and tranquillity and for prosperity and security. Without significantly acknowledging these facts, one cannot solve the problems of South Africa. The only way of acknowledging this fact is by maintaining and retaining specific differentiating measures in regard to particular fundamental aspects.
The PFP is, in fact, not protesting or arguing against apartheid. Their argument is against the meaningful protection and recognition of the diversity of South African society. [Interjections.] The PFP not only wants matters abolished which it in any case knows are being considered. It also wants to have own residential areas abolished. It wants to have own schools abolished. It wants this House in its present form to be abolished. It wants every last thing abolished. It wants every fundamental and significant measure contributing to the effective protection of group rights abolished. It wants the House of Representatives abolished, it wants the House of Delegates abolished, it wants every Black national state, regardless of whether it is self-governing or independent, abolished. Those members cannot argue that they do not want everyone lumped together in one group.
Now if one wants to put the CP’s impracticable theory, to which it is so attached, to the test, one can also do so by asking CP members one simple question. If Dr Malan, Mr Strijdom, Dr Verwoerd and Mr Vorster did not succeed, under more favourable conditions than those prevailing today, in achieving the objectives of separation, which the CP is striving to achieve why should the CP succeed? Is the hon member for Water-berg a greater man than Dr Malan, Mr Strijdom, Dr Verwoerd and Mr Vorster? Does the CP, as it is constituted at the moment, have access to more prodigious talent than the NP has been able to harness since 1948 with a view to achieving these objectives? Since its very inception the NP has time and again had the courage, when it saw that a particular strategy, plan or policy could not achieve the objective …
You are a joiner.
… to say that it was prepared to accept the challenge and plot a new course without sacrificing its basic principles.
Order! The hon member for Kuruman must withdraw the word “joiner”.
I withdraw it, Mr Speaker.
Thank you for the protection, Sir, but there are a few members in that party who can no longer insult those of us on this side, because someone for whom one lacks respect does not have the power to insult one.
What about the lies you told in the Northern Transvaal?
Order! The hon member for Jeppe must immediately withdraw that remark.
I withdraw it, Mr Speaker.
The greatest contribution of this hon member to Hansard is: “I withdraw it”.
The best efforts of the best people the NP has yet produced could not succeed in achieving the objectives of separation which they say can be achieved. That is why I say the CP will not succeed either. They are selling a dream. They are peddling opium to the voters if they tell them it is a viable proposition. They grumble about permanence. For whom did that prominent member of their party, Dr Connie Mulder, say he wanted to make Soweto the most beautiful city in Africa for them? For Whites? [Interjections.] Oh yes, it has everything to do with the price of eggs. He wanted to do it for the Blacks. One does not build the most beautiful city in Africa only to pull it down within ten years, if I am now to reverse the hon member for Barberton’s argument. One builds the most beautiful city in Africa to last for one, two or three lifetimes, for Blacks who have to reside permanently in Johannesburg. In casting suspicion on the State President’s statement that there is permanence and that we acknowledge this, do hon members of the CP think that the Black people of Soweto, Sebokeng and Sharpeville, to mention but three examples, will ever disappear from those areas? By their silence we know that the intelligent ones amongst them dare not answer in the affirmative because they know they would then be making fools of themselves. They know they cannot reply by saying “no”, because if they were to do so they would then be admitting that all their propaganda concerning this matter was untrue and had no foundation in fact or any persuasive power. They obviously do not think that the Blacks can be resettled. I now want to ask them if they think the Whites of Johannesburg, Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging can be resettled?
I do not think Morgenzon is large enough! [Interjections.] The interests of the diversity of population groups and peoples in South Africa and Southern Africa go back too far and are too deeply intertwined to be severed completely. That is my immediate reply to the hon member for Barberton’s sanctimonious statement: “Separate freedoms!” There cannot be totally separate freedoms, as advocated by them, when there are millions of people living in the same district. This means there would be points of contact, and despite the built-in protective measures, structures would have to be introduced to regulate common interests and the interaction between the relevant groups and to make a co-operative co-existence amongst them possible. No solution can succeed unless it makes provision for co-operation in regard to the interests common peoples and groups.
The second fact, which the CP calls “multiracialism and integration for the sake of short-term political gain” in order to confuse voters, is nothing more or less than inevitable, significant structures within which cooperation can and will be possible with the assistance of everything that is important to the White group and to other groups.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon Minister? Does he support the policy of the so-called urban Blacks, like the Coloureds and the Indians, also being given self-determination in regard to so-called own affairs and healthy power-sharing in regard to the interests they have in common with the Whites?
There we have a typical example of an unbalanced and warped presentation of what the NP advocates. In a moment I shall quote from the State President’s speech to prove conclusively how the hon member twists things.
Just reply to the question!
I cannot answer “yes” or “no” to a question which is based on a distorted interpretation. It is a question the very nature of which contains a supposition conflicting with the truth and with reality. [Interjections.] One can therefore only reply to such a question by smiling sadly and saying contemptuously: How is it possible for a debate of ours to sink to such a level? [Interjections.] I shall get round to the fundamental aspect the hon member is trying to focus on.
The welfare of South Africa and all its people depends on their collective ability not to become one community or to turn their backs on one another, but on their collective ability to find ways and means of ensuring a co-operative co-existence. Co-operative coexistence means satisfactory and effective guarantees for every group and community, and also adequate and effective co-operation between everyone on matters of common interest. We are accused of being too vague. The hon leader of the Official Opposition tells us: “Give us your plan! Spell it out and then negotiate.” When we asked him what his plan was, he said it was a structure for negotiation. I do not want to go into this too deeply, however, because it would embarrass him. [Interjections.]
This method he requires us to adopt is surely not the way sensitive issues are negotiated. A detailed blueprint makes nonsense of negotiations. Clear guidelines are of course necessary. Negotiations cannot take place in a vacuum. A structured agenda is a prerequisite for negotiation. This, of course, is one of the specific defects in the national convention of the PFP because they have not given us any structured agenda or any clear guidelines. On the contrary, they maintain that in their structure for negotiation they see their way clear to reaching consensus with the Kappiekommando, the Afrikaner-volkswag and the ANC.
You people do it here in this Parliament.
No, Sir, first of all we do not negotiate with people who advocate violence. Secondly, we are not prepared to negotiate with people whose prerequisite for negotiation is that we immediately have to concede to “one man, one vote” in a unitary state at the very outset, even before we begin to negotiate.
Neither are we.
Oh, no, Sir. I am afraid that is the policy of the PFP. They surely will not negotiate without their policy serving as a basis. [Interjections.]
Surely the NP guidelines for these negotiations are clear? In his opening address the State President made it even clearer. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition asked certain questions. Let us take a look at them. He asked a question about citizenship. The hon member for Barberton also referred to the issue of citizenship. What did the State President say about citizenship? He said:
But the hon Leader of the Official Opposition asks us what we propose to do about citizenship.
What is the principle?
Do you have a principle?
Oh, yes! The hon member need have no doubt about that. What would be the position, however, if we were to do what the hon Leader of the Official Opposition asked us to do? We are in the process of properly arranging the alternatives for the process of negotiation. I, as I stand here—and the State President and my colleagues sitting here—know what the alternatives are, and the hon Leader of the Official Opposition also knows what possibilities alternatives there are. Anyone who thinks about it, will know. The moment I say which one I prefer, however, I no longer have to negotiate, do I? Then they just have to say “yes” or “no”. If they say “yes”, we have consensus without having had any negotiation. If they say “no”, we have confrontation. No, Sir, by negotiation one means the process of exchanging viewpoints with one another, weighing up one argument against another in the right atmosphere. In the process mutually acceptable viewpoints are formulated. It is irresponsible to disparage what was said by the State President by saying it is semantic game.
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
No, Sir, I am now running very short of time. On the one hand, what the State President and the Government have said about Black development has resulted from negotiation. This is my reply to a question put here. On the other hand, it lays down important guidelines and gives substance to fundamental indications of the framework regarding future negotiations.
I want to refer to a few of these. This is also a reply to the hon member for Barberton. I firstly want to quote a passage. The State President said:
It is a clear framework. It embodies clearly defined statements that should engender confidence and encourage the Leader of the Official Opposition to co-operate in the negotiations. He went on to say:
Does the hon leader want him to grant these rights? Then he does not need to negotiate. I continue to quote:
And it has never been the policy of the NP to force this on anyone:
This is a clear guideline. I can similarly refer to numerous guidelines from the speech of the State President. I maintain it is irresponsible to run it down.
Let us now get down to the hon member for Barberton and the citizenship issue. The unconditional standpoint which he advocates and which was probably expressed in those terms by the NP in the past, depended on the successful forging of ties between all the citizens of an independent state who live outside that state in the RSA and the Government of that independent state. If one did not succeed in forging those ties it would surely not work. One surely cannot make it work by putting it in writing, by stating it in pamphlets or by announcing it from platforms in Harrismith. I want to ask the hon member for Barberton—one of the few reasonable members in that party who want to maintain a high level of debate—whether there is more than a very meagre percentage of these citizens of independent states settled permanently in South Africa who, in regard to political rights, feel these ties to be significant. These are the facts; and in spite of our staunchest efforts we could not give adequate substance to those ties and must face the facts in regard to those for whom the system does not work, whether it is we or the CP or the PFP who are in power. [Interjections.] It will continue to get worse. Those ties, in so far as they exist, will weaken from generation to generation. [Interjections.] They will not grow stronger. Because those people, millions of them, will always be here—and those hon members have conceded as much by their silence—one will have to start making plans concerning the political rights of those people.
He mentioned the example of KaNgwane … [Time expired.]
Mr Speaker, in his opening words, the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education took other parties to task for indulging in petty politics at a time when important matters were under discussion. Then, later on in his own speech, he indicated very clearly why there was this element of doubt. He showed that it was impossible to discuss these matters in any way other than around the negotiating table. I would like to tell the hon the Minister that what the NP in fact does, is use the words “reform” and “the reform process” to hide behind when the country wants a clearer lead and clearer undertakings than the NP has given so far. Those clearer indications would go a very long way towards settling some of the unrest and some of the doubts. However, for political reasons, the NP is unable to give those undertakings.
That hon Minister is a very good case in point. As Minister of Home Affairs he is involved in the inquiry regarding the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, and he has played a major role in delaying and in playing politics with it to the detriment of the country. He could in fact have had that Act taken off the Statute Book a long time ago. He has delayed doing so for political reasons only and for no other reason.
Come on, Pat, rise to the occasion.
The occasion has to be created. We do not have it here as yet.
The hon the Minister made a point about people playing petty politics in regard to matters of great importance. However, how are other political parties expected to debate matters on which a year ago the NP held a totally opposite point of view? A case in point is the speech made by the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education in the House today. The points he raised today were diametrically opposed to those raised by the former Minister of Co-operation and Development in respect of Crossroads, the permanency of Blacks in their areas, and in respect of the 99-year lease.
If a government says one thing one day and within the next six or nine months goes in a completely opposite direction, it is almost impossible to have the sort of debate that leads in a certain direction. The Government keeps everything to itself and says: Well, I cannot say anything about it, otherwise I will have nothing with which to negotiate. That might be the point of view of the Government, but for the people outside who are looking for direction and for some form of security and stability, there is a great void because of that strategy as admitted to by the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education here today.
I should like now to come to the speech made by the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education. At the outset I must say that we in this party have a very different approach in regard to citizenship. The NP condescendingly and magnanimously appears to be prepared to grant citizenship to people who, in fact, have an inherent right to it. It is not the Government’s right to grant citizenship to people who by virtue of their birth in this country have as much right to it as we have. However, the Government’s attitude is that they will decide after negotiation whether it is possible to give the Black people something that is theirs by right already.
A moment ago the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education said that independence would remain their goal. That is a strange thing to say. It might be the NP’s goal but, surely, independence should be something that is decided upon by the people in a given area. Independence should be their goal, not that of an outside agency whose aim it is to grant them independence and hive them off into another sphere.
That is a very important difference in attitude. This idea of wanting to get rid of a large number of citizens by settling them in independent states remains fixed in the Government’s mind. This party holds the view that that reaching out for independence can only be successful when it comes from the people involved. Our attitude in regard to citizenship and independence is therefore certainly very different from that of the Government.
I should like to refer to two points in respect of urbanization. Looking back over the past few years, one must admit that the debate in this regard has certainly advanced. Previously, the mere mention of amending influx control brought about loud roars of disapproval from the NP benches. It was almost sacrilege to even mention the words. Today it would appear that the concept of an urbanization strategy is accepted as absolutely essential and inevitable.
We on these benches have in the past indicated that the twin pillars of an urbanization strategy should, in fact, be the availability of housing and employment. However, perhaps one should review this point of view and update oneself. Interestingly enough, the hon member Dr Odendaal said yesterday that it was necessary to provide as much employment as possible. We on these benches believe that it is highly improbable that we will in fact be able to provide employment for all school-leaving youth. It is even less likely that we will be able to provide sufficient accommodation.
When one looks at the figures involved in the construction of Khayelitsha and one bears in mind that those single core units, amortized, in fact involve a rental figure of R176 of which the tenants are only going to pay R20, and if one takes one single core unit at R5 000, then the chances of our providing housing on a large scale in a very intense urbanization programme are extremely slim indeed. I would say that we are going to have to look again at very low cost housing which will have to include traditional methods such as wattle and daub, rammed-earth type housing, pied-à-terre, with more expertise put into it to make them more permanent. I think there are members in this House who in their younger days on farms probably lived in such dwellings very comfortably and some of those dwellings are still standing today. Certainly, we believe that a reviewal of the standard of housing and of the input costs of housing is going to be absolutely critical. We have set our standards far too high and I think the hon the Minister of Finance will be only too pleased to hear that one can build thousands more houses if one can reduce the standard and cost per unit.
Most important, we do not believe that we are going to be able to use employment or the availability of employment, as one of the deciding factors in respect of urbanization. Many people will have to be absorbed by the informal sector on the perimeters of the urban areas; in fact, it is their only chance of getting employment at all. It is to be encouraged that within those areas they should in fact be able to settle in very low cost housing with an opportunity to participate in the informal sector …
Without red tape.
Yes, without all the red tape and over-regulation.
The last point in the same vein is that one will have to look at the question of citizenship rights in respect of those who opt to come into the free enterprise system in the Republic and opt for ownership within our value system. Having opted for that and having achieved that within our system, they should not expect to retain their traditional tribal rights in the areas from which they came because that would only compound the problem. One would, naturally, in supporting an urbanization strategy, look for an appropriate decrease in the population in rural areas in such a way that land reform can take place there. Sir, I regret that my time has run out.
The hon member for King William’s Town touched on a matter which, as we have been pointing out to them for years now, is their great dilemma in politics. Towards the end of his speech he outlined it very clearly when he said that when the Black people enter our value system they must accept that value system without recalcitrance and must abide by it. It is the dilemma of this country that there are different cultures in the population and that those of all the groups must be considered. That is why this party has been saying all these years that we must consider the interests of the groups and that each group should maintain itself and find self-expression in its area. That is why we believe that the policy of this party is right and that we must continue with it.
However, I wish to turn at once to other matters which in my opinion must receive the attention of the hon the Minister of Finance. To begin with I want to extend to the hon the Minister, from the town where he grew up, my congratulations on this first Budget that he is submitting to this House. We are pleased to see that he has taken the public service with him in the fine Budget he submitted and that in addition, the private sector is talking about co-operating. In my opinion, as members of the House of Assembly we have an ideal opportunity, in participating in this budget debate, to make contributions and to help promote the prosperity of our country and its people. That is why I agree with the hon the Leader of the NP in the Transvaal that one cannot conduct a proper debate with the Opposition. We have found this since yesterday and accordingly I am not going to devote much of my time to debating with them. Because their policies are clearly not very concrete they apparently find it difficult to enter into a debate with us. I sincerely hope that the parties in the other Chambers, when they participate in the Budget debate, will not follow the example of this Opposition.
I wish to focus on certain members of the private sector who are always criticizing what the Government does but who themselves do little to promote the welfare of Black and Brown people in this country. Until recently these critics in the private sector were still able to hide behind certain legislation, but I believe that since the recommendations of the Wiehahn Commission were accepted and other changes occurred here, they are now no longer able to do so. They must now begin telling us where they stand. We as politicians must now begin to put the spotlight on these people a little and tell them to sweep before their own doors.
During the visit of Senator Kennedy to South Africa there were several industrial and commercial organizations in this country who joined him in criticizing certain things that the Government was supposedly doing. However, it has been encouraging that since the hon the Minister of Finance introduced this Budget, the noises one has heard from those organizations indicate that they want to adapt and participate in the reform efforts proposed by the Government. If one takes into account that these organizations to which I refer represent 80% of the country’s labour force it is still more gratifying to hear that they want to play a positive part in this change. Certain social changes can be set in operation more effectively by the private sector than by the Government.
I see this gesture on the part of the private sector in the same light as the occasion several years ago when the then Prime Minister announced that we had to save energy by economics on fuel. We welcome the loyalty that these people are displaying towards the country, because many of these organizations have foreign investors as members. It was heartwarming at the time of the fuel economy campaign to travel on the freeways and to see how loyally patriotic motorists reacted to that appeal. However, one was also upset on occasion when one saw a fuel waster rushing past one. Accordingly we welcome the present constructive involvement of the private sector. We as politicians on this side of the House are gratified to see that they wish to take part in the processes of reform in South Africa. Moreover we are very pleased about the new declaration of intent they published recently. We should like to see and experience their active participation in the reform effort.
I now turn to one of those organizations, viz the Chamber of Mines, which is a signatory to that declaration to which I have referred. I believe that its members can play a far greater role than they have done up to the present. Together with many others among us I believe that not all those members of the Chamber of Mines appreciate what a major role they can play and what services they can render in improving the living conditions of the urban Black man in South Africa. The same applies to the Coloureds as well, particularly on the Witwatersrand.
Now that the 99-year leasehold system and the acceptance of the permanence of the urban Black man and Coloured people have been announced, the employers of South Africa must taken an urgent look at the implementation of migrant labour in order to ascertain to what extent they can contribute towards combating the phenomenon of hostel life in South Africa. We agree that what we have seen in regard to hostel life is simply not acceptable. We must try to get rid of it.
The agricultural sector in South Africa, which for the most part consists of South Africans, has for many decades played a respectable role as regards the improvement and upliftment of workers, particularly in the field of family accommodation. This has been so to the extent that at present, workers in the agricultural sector are able to enjoy a far better family life. We therefore believe that the private sector, too, should now make its contribution in this sphere. If it is true that owing to the water shortage on the Witwatersrand we can no longer permit the population of the PWV region to grow and expand on an uncontrolled basis, then employers on the Witwatersrand and particularly those on the East Rand, where valuable agricultural land is having to be relinquished for the sake or urban development, should give serious consideration to employing the local Coloured and Black people, rather than people brought in from outside.
In particular I wish to ask that locality-bound industries, for example mines, consider having better accommodation for their urban Black and Brown workers before once again resorting to the construction of more hostels. I appeal to them rather to employ the local people than to persist in their policy of attracting people from rural areas and then establishing them in hostels. The hon the Minister and I both grew up in those parts in the East Rand. He knows what I am referring to when I say that there are mining companies in the East Rand which, over a period of 80 years, have never employed more than 5% of the available local Black workmen. Where the hon the Minister and I grew up, several Coloureds and Black people worked at the Modder Bee mine from the very early days of that mine until it was eventually closed. Today all kinds of excuses are still being offered as to why local Coloured and Black people are supposedly unable to work in other mines on the Witwatersrand.
If the Chamber of Mines does not like what the Labour Party have been saying recently with regard to the mining industry, then I believe that the time has come for the Chamber of Mines to ascertain why its members discriminate against local Coloured and Black workmen. During 1980 Anglo American published a report in its quarterly Optima, relating to an investigation into migrant labour on the mines. It is interesting to note what Mr Harry Oppenheimer had to say in the foreword to that report. I quote what he wrote there:
According to this report Anglo-American got rid of all its migrant labourers in Kimberley and succeeded in employing the local Coloureds, Indians and Black people in that region to a greater extent. This resulted in greater productivity and a far more stable work force. What is of far greater value, however, is that it stabilized and improved the family life of the local Coloured and Black labourers. It also led to the upliftment of Black and Brown people in that region. Hon members of this House who come from that part of the world will indeed be able to confirm this.
I want to congratulate Mr Oppenheimer and his group on this step they have taken. I want to tell them that it is just a pity so few members of the Chamber of Mines have followed their example. While Anglo-American has reduced its complement of workers from beyond the borders of the country by 50% within five years, there are still goldmines on the East Rand that bring 66% of their workers from beyond the borders of the Republic of South Africa to the urban areas of the Witwatersrand to live in hostels there. The astonishing aspect of this matter is that two new hostels are being planned on the East Rand where approximately 9 000 job opportunities are to be created at two mines. I fear that in spite of the natural increase in population that is taking place in that urban complex, fewer than 10% of these new job opportunities will be available to the local Black people of that region.
Moreover the private sector often criticizes this hon Minister and the Government about too many things being done too late. I want to say to the hon the Minister that he must ask the private sector when they are going to do these things that they should have done long ago, such as looking after the welfare of their workers’ families. Within the next few decades many of the Rand’s mine dumps are going to disappear; they are going to be made level with the ground. Nevertheless we find that hostel labour is still being attracted to the Witwatersrand to do that work. Several new shafts are to be sunk to exploit the mines further.
Having stated these standpoints I want to put a question to the hon member for Berea, because after I had put forward these standpoints towards the end of last year he issued a press statement in which he said that those standpoints once again represented those ideologies that the NP was obsessed with. I now wish to ask the hon member for Berea whether he agrees with me that serious attention must be given to hostel occupancy on the Witwatersrand and that the mines must play their part in furthering the family life of the workers. I am pleased to see that the hon member intimates that he agrees. However, I now wish to ask him why it is, then, that he made the following statements to the Sunday Express, and I quote from the Sunday Express of 18 November 1984:
How is one to understand the fact that even in these times, when 66% of the labourers employed at that mine come from beyond the borders of the RSA, that party is still in doubt, while unemployment on the Witwatersrand has to continue.
Are you opposed to the Nkomati Accord?
No, we shall deal with the Nkomati Accord as well. However, it is these things that cause one concern. One can accommodate the people from Mozambique at other mines and at other places; it is a big country. However, must we create unemployment on the Witwatersrand in order to comply with that Accord? Apparently that is what this hon member—and clearly his hon leader as well—do not understand. What we advocate is that the mines ensure that consideration be given to South Africa’s workers—particularly in an urban area where fewer than 5% of the urban dwellers are employed—when new hostels are built.
I should like to say to the hon the Minister that I support this Budget.
Mr Chairman, I should like to congratulate the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education on his recent discovery that urbanization is inevitable, that it cannot be stopped and that it must therefore be accommodated. We have been pleading this case for years, as many in this House have witnessed. Of course we are happy; we are happy that urgent attention is being given to urbanization and to eliminating the frustrations of influx control and the pass laws. However, the hon the Minister is still vague and reform is still only a prospect. Every day hundreds of South Africans are arrested and imprisoned for technical offences under the pass laws and only because they are Black. Pass laws, unlike influx control as it is exercised in other countries mentioned by the hon the Minister, are based purely on race in South Africa. What is needed is not promises but some action.
I listened carefully to the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education. He appeared to me to be rather like a man riding two horses at once, both horses galloping in different directions. When will the Government ever learn that they cannot create a climate for reform, that they cannot even bring about reform and new hope to this country while they are still pleading the retention of the basics of their policies?
The hon the Minister asked this party why we accused the NP of clinging to apartheid. Let me answer that question with another question. Will any hon member of the NP tell me whether the Government is prepared to get rid of forced separate schooling? I ask the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education whether the Government is prepared to get rid of forced separate schooling.
In State schools, no.
Will the Government get rid of forced separate residential areas?
The concept of residential areas is a basic principle of our policy.
The answer therefore is “no”. Will the Government abolish the Group Areas Act? The answer is surely “no”. Will the Government abolish the population registration legislation? This time they will not answer. I assume the answer is “no”. That is why the PFP says that the NP continues to cling to apartheid because those pieces of legislation are the very pillars of apartheid upon which the structure of our forced ethnic society is built.
Typical of the NP’s dilemma was the pit-fall into which the hon the Minister fell when he spoke about citizenship. The hon the Minister is unable or does not wish to define even the principle upon which he bases his policy on citizenship. That hon Minister and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning do not have to negotiate the citizenship question with the PFP. They do not have to negotiate with the White opposition or with White people in this country. The citizenship issue is related to the state, the welfare and the living of Blacks in this country.
If the hon the Minister and the NP for fear of perhaps offending the Black people of South Africa are not prepared to spell out their policy, and we cannot understand their policy as to citizenship, how can they even begin to believe that Blacks understand their policy relating to citizenship? If Blacks do not understand their policy relating to citizenship, how can they expect them to negotiate over something which is hidden away in the cupboard in the dark? That is the dilemma of the NP, and that is why we say that the NP clings to apartheid.
I want to turn to another issue. Some weeks ago I was approached by a large company in regard to a major telephone problem which they had. I use this to illustrate a point. This company had expanded rapidly. It had 60 outside lines but they were insufficient as were the 180 odd internal extensions within that company. Expansion was essential, it was needed quickly.
Private contractors had been engaged and were both ready and able to install the equipment needed to solve the company’s problem, but permits and authorities were being delayed. I approached the Postmaster-General and also the Regional Director of Posts and Telecommunications and explained the problem. The response was magnificent. Processes were expedited, red tape was circumvented. I was delighted and wrote letters to thank them.
But nothing happened. Ten days went by. The private contractor had done his work, but the Post Office did not come. Every day that passed without the department commissioning the installation involved non-utilization of office space, underemployment of staff and the loss of perhaps R1 500 to the company. Some R15 000 later the Post Office arrived and did what it had to do. The telephones worked.
The message, however, was spelt out to the company by the middle management who arrived there to do the work and it was: Right, so you went above our heads, you pulled rank on us, you changed our priority list, you think Parliament is the boss; well, it is not and so we have made you wait. This is what the Post Office said. They continued: Go above our heads again and we will make you wait again.
One may say that this was a misdemeanour, but I call it a gentle form of economic sabotage. However, one thing is sure and that is that it illustrates the contempt in which the hon the Minister, the Postmaster-General, the Regional Director and even Parliament are held by at least some sections of that department.
I want to move to a more sensitive scenario. Just before the recess the hon the Minister of Law and Order issued a statement relating to the events in Uitenhage. He spoke of the police being surrounded. He dramatized the throwing of petrol bombs and he highlighted several other frightening aspects. He was wrong though. The police were not surrounded. No petrol bombs were thrown. His own police witnesses have contradicted his statement. He has been made to look a fool. Some argue that he is a fool. I prefer to believe that he was misinformed.
Yesterday a high-ranking officer in the Police admitted that he stood aghast that standing orders on crowd control appeared to have been ignored and that standard procedures were not followed. Look at the result for that community, for Uitenhage, and for South Africa as a whole!
On 25 January the State President pledged that all Government departments would give, and I quote: “…searching attention to attitudes and relations in their daily human contacts”. His intention and his meaning were clear. He also said: “Steps to promote orderly urbanization and to eliminate negative and discriminatory aspects of influx control are receiving urgent consideration.”
I would like to read a letter written just a few days ago by one of South Africa’s most respected and leading journalists to Mr John Knoetze, chairman of the West Rand Administration Board. He wrote this letter in anger and frustration. It reads:
It is good to be a Nationalist.
Yes, it is good to be a Nationalist.
†And he signed his name to the letter.
I wish to ask a few questions which must be answered. For instance: Who runs the Department of Communications? Is it the Minister, the Postmaster-General, or the Regional Director, or are they just nominal heads? Is the hon the Minister a nominal head spouting forth policy decisions which are deliberately frustrated at lower levels causing frustration and anger to the public at large? Does the hon the Minister and the departmental leadership even really know what is going on in that department?
In a more sensitive area: Who runs the Police? Is the hon the Minister whose statements are contradicted by his own men really in control? Are the senior officers whose directives are ignored in command? Why is this state of affairs, time after time, tolerated by an apparently impotent executive? Why does the leadership of the Police not lead?
Finally, I ask who controls the Department of Co-operation and Development? I wish I knew. Certainly the policy statements of the State President are ignored more often than they are heeded. At the very moment that Government departments are giving “searching” attention to improving race relations, petty tyrants, the Messrs Spies of this world, are continuing to bedevil the future of this country with impunity. The same old discriminatory, prejudiced, arrogant, mean, obstructive, racialistic and nasty attitudes continue to hold sway in many official circles today. It is therefore no wonder that people are restive, that they display potent discontent.
There is one last question I would like to ask which arises as a consequence of this. Is the Government really governing and, if it is, why are these petty bureaucrats, these junior officers, whether they be from the Department of Communications, the Police or from the Department of Co-operation and Development, allowed to continue to frustrate and sabotage executive decisions? Why are they allowed to hold back on attempts to reform? Why are such people even still in the employ of the State? They should be sacked. They should be walking the streets looking for jobs. They should be unemployed like the masses they attempt to suppress.
The message is that the Government must take a grip. It must rid itself of those prejudiced drones who seek to torpedo efforts at building a better country in all departments because, if the State President and his Ministers, each in their own field, refuse to act and continue to turn a blind eye to those retarding elements, all the good intentions in the world will come to nought. If the leadership fears the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy will rule. God help us then!
Mr Chairman, it was not quite clear to me what the hon member for Sandton meant by his speech, but in the end I came to the conclusion that he was probably trying to give notice of the speeches which he was going to make under the various Votes.
At the beginning he referred to the dilemma in which we supposedly found ourselves, namely the two horses we were ostensibly trying to ride now. There are two horses. We have always said that there is the horse of the recognition of the diversity which exists in this country, and that of the recognition of the existence of common interests. What this amounts to is that we are inevitably dealing with elements of own affairs and of general affairs, that we are dealing with self-determination over own affairs and joint responsibility for general affairs. The only difference is that it is not two horses that are being ridden, but two pillars upon which we are building. The country’s problems can only be solved if one takes these two pillars into consideration, approaches them in a responsible way and builds one’s future on them. These are the two pillars which must inevitably form part of the structure on which this country’s house is built. If one emphasizes only the one, one will have half a house, and therefore it is of material importance that both pillars should continuously be taken into consideration in the formulation of policy.
There was another interesting thing which emerged from the remarks the hon member for Sandton made at the beginning of his speech. It was the inevitable alternative of what he himself was saying. He and apparently his party as well do indeed have a conglomerate, a melting pot, in mind. It can lead to nothing else. What is that melting pot but a total conglomerate of a broad undefined South African group of people? If he sees matters in that light, the question is whether he thinks the leaders of the various population groups in this country are going to accept that idea of his? The answer is very clearly “no”, according to the answers from various Black leaders whom we have come to know over the years. I shall leave it at that, because I do not want to argue about the matter any further.
I should like to associate myself with previous speakers who commented on the futility, in certain respects, of the debate we have been conducting over the past few days. I do not want to condemn everything, because there were most certainly very good contributions, from the Opposition side as well.
If one tries to sit down and take an objective look at the debate and the discussion we are engaged in in general, one arrives at the inevitable conclusion that we are unfortunately dealing with a situation in which we are not getting down to dealing with those matters which ought in fact to be dealt with. We are not making it our task at least to find the greatest common factor among ourselves here as White political parties and trying to build on that to see whether we can find solutions to this country’s problems. We are not examining in the first place the important question of what the common problems are which we are dealing with in this country. If one listens to the various parties, it sounds as if each one of us is talking about a completely different reality.
They do not even want to consider the facts.
They do not even want to consider the facts. If only we can at least find that. If we can find a common endeavour to share the same facts with one another, we must inevitably arrive at the point where we are at least able to analyse a problem together. I am not talking about similarity of solutions now, for we must certainly grant one another the right to differ in our opinions as to the method of solution. However, we are—and to a certain extent I include myself in this indictment—wasting good time and we are being unproductive here instead of searching productively and as quickly as possible for real solutions.
Be productive and sit down!
That hon member should be the last person to make that kind of remark. [Interjections.] One longs to find, at the very least, a willingness to discuss problems and find solutions together.
I want to dwell for a few moments on the two primary Opposition parties, the Progs and the CP. The Progs are to an increasing extent going to find themselves in a situation where they will not be able to implement what they themselves advocate by way of their policy, and for one reason only, namely that more and more of their supporters are going to leave them, are in fact leaving them now. The CP members on the other hand find themselves in a situation where, if they should still be dreaming that they will ever have to carry out the promises they are now making, they will not be able to carry out these idle promises which they are making so lavishly and with which they are misleading people because they are not going to have any clients with which they can make it work.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: May the hon member say that we are misleading people?
The hon member may proceed.
They are not going to find any people among the other population groups in this country who will be prepared to accept those promises which they are selling so cheaply to the White sector of the population. In other words, they will not be able to keep one of their promises in South Africa. But they do not say this to the electorate.
Are you coming to Harrismith?
That is why I say they are creating a completely false image. [Interjections.]
Order! Hon members must not shout across the floor of the House. The hon member may proceed.
All of us know—and even if they do not admit it, those hon members in the CP also know this at least today—that the days are gone when we in South Africa can prescribe something and say: There it is, take it! Swallow it whole! We cannot but realize that we can only solve this country’s problems through negotiation and in that way find an acceptable joint solution among all the population groups.
You have capitulated!
I infer that the hon member for Jeppe agrees with me. [Interjections.] In the meantime that party is exploiting emotions which exist among our people for the sake of short-lived political advantage. I think all of us perceive that here and there feelings are at present running high among the Whites, particularly because of the prolonged duration of the present unrest situation and disturbances in this country. The result is that people desperately want to arrive at a point where they are able to say: So far and no further. Unfortunately, neither the problem nor the solution is all that simple. Now the hon members of that party come along and exploit these emotional feelings for the sake of short-lived political advantage. They are pretending that the problem can simply be solved at one stroke, without that having any serious repercussions.
In the situation in which we find ourselves in South Africa it is, as we know, far more difficult to persuade people that the answer lies in negotiation. It is far more difficult to adopt that course. It is more difficult to persuade people that the answer lies in that direction because people have a natural tendency to forcefulness and in some cases even to violence. It is also more difficult to persuade people that tension can be defused through dialogue and communication and that one can return to a normal situation and that the foundation can be laid for negotiations so that, in the end, common ground can be found between the various population minorities in this country and so that mutually acceptable steps in the sphere of constitutional development, in the words of the State President in his opening speech, can be found.
At the same time, we must also persuade our people—this is what we can present as being the advantage of this difficult process of negotiation—that is wiser to negotiate and that is better for one to use one’s head because the end result will not only be far more meaningful but will also last longer and be more persistent. In the end one then derives better benefits. We must be able to persuade our people that is more detrimental to counteract violence with violence and that it is wise to negotiate.
One must also take into consideration that the exploitation of this emotion can lead to disregard for the fact that vast majority of Blacks are in fact peace-loving people. Unfortunately it is true that as a result of the disturbances and the riots the concept which many people have formed is that all Black people are suddenly in this camp. I think it is our duty to point out that the vast majority of Blacks are in fact peace-loving people.
Moreover it is necessary for us to point out that the exploitation of emotions results in our being unable to distinguish between the legitimate aspirations of Black people on the one hand and of violence, acts of terror and everyday crime on the other. Once again the idea can easily arise that everyone is committing acts of terror, violence and crimes. We must get the message across clearly that a large percentage of Blacks are peace-loving people but still have legitimate aspirations to which they are simply not prepared to give expression by means of violence. It is important that we point out that the disturbances and the riots are only representative of a limited number of Blacks, and that the majority is not prepared to participate in them. Moreover we should point out that it does not mean that the majority of the Black people are satisfied with the situation. We should also point out that we should take into consideration that by renouncing the option of violence, they are not necessarily conceding that they are satisfied with everything.
We must simply distinguished between the choice of violence and the choice of seeking a solution in peaceful ways. In general, therefore, the choice for Blacks is between exercising the option of violence and the search for change in peaceful ways. The latter group, the group which is prepared to renounce the option of violence, is the group with which we should in fact be prepared to communicate, hold discussions and eventually negotiate in order to arrive at our solutions in that way.
I want to make one final point: In this way we can also get across the idea of what we mean when we talk about the preservation of law and order and stability. It is important that we get across the misconception of the maintenance of law and order correctly, or, where necessary, rectify it in the sense that what the preservation of law and order amounts to in the mind of many people is that we are trying to extend a domineering, repressive hand over everyone.
What is the preservation of law and order actually aimed at? It is aimed at those who want to commit acts of violence and terror and who want to commit crimes. However, the person who wishes to negotiate with us—even though he differs with us—must know that he is able to do so peacefully and that we even have a duty to protect him, that is, if he wishes to negotiate with us and if he is prepared to renounce the option of violence. The preservation of law and order is therefore not aimed at people who are opposed to us. It is not aimed at people who differ with us, but at people who wish to practice violence and in that way attain their own ideals.
In conclusion, the important point involved here is that we must differentiate for ourselves—in fact I think that it is a foundation on which we can to a certain extent find one another—we must be able to differentiate and convey the message that the solution for South Africa lies in finding common ground in some way or another among the majority of all the people in South Africa. This does not mean doing away with population differences, but that we must find common ground with most of the people in South Africa, that is to say, 50% plus, for only in that way can we achieve the solution to our mutual benefit and advantage.
The hon member for Johannesburg West said that this entire debate seems to be a pointless exercise. I just want to say to him that I agree with him as regards the debating of that coalition party, or the NP’s statement of policy that we have yet to hear. We are still awaiting a reply to two simple questions which the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition asked that side of the House. The hon member for Rissik, too, put a very pertinent and direct question to the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education without getting a reply. Therefore I want to say today that the present coalition Government will one day stand in the dock before the Afrikaner people and before those Whites who associate themselves with the endeavour and the struggle for freedom of the Afrikaner. We must make no mistake; there are such people. I well recall that the former Minister of Finance stood up in this House and said that he regarded himself as an English-speaking Afrikaner. I say that if there is one accusation which can be levelled at this Government, it is its inability and its lack of will to give effect to a principle that is still formulated in its own programme of principles, viz the basic principle of own freedom and sovereignty.
I took a look at the latest programme of principles I was able to find of the present NP. The programme I have before me is the 1982 programme of principles as amended by instruction of the 1982 congress. In article 7 the following words still appear:
[Interjections.] In my view this does refer to this people to which we belong; that is to say, its inalienable right to sovereign and political self-determination. May I ask those hon members what they mean when they speak of “free and sovereign independent people”? Clearly it is no longer the same as what still appears in its programme of principles.
If we further examine this programme of principles we see, for example, that these words still appear in article 3:
Later in the same paragraph we read:
If we examine that programme further—as far as I know it is the latest programme of principles—we see that even these words still appear in article 13: “… strongly opposed to miscegenation”. This still appears there. Next week we are to hear a report of a commission. I hope that hon members on that side will take this principle into account when they have to take decisions in that regard.
Let me come back to the concept “people” (volk). The Press refers to “relatively one people”. In 1982 Die Vaderland announced this in bold capitals and attributed to the then Prime Minister the statement that we were relatively one people. Hon members may say that this was merely what the newspaper had written, but what we certainly did hear was that the Minister of Co-operation and Development and of Education spoke about one nation at the time. In 1983 he said (Hansard, Volume 106, col 4177):
That hon Minister who is not present at the moment did, in a previous statement, say that the Coloureds were regarded as a separate nation-in-the-making, and had for a long time been distinguishable and were separate from the Whites. Those were the precise words he used. I wonder whether the hon members opposite can still remember that. Now I see that that same hon Minister speaks in the House of Representatives about the hon members there as “my fellow-Afrikaners”. However, my question to the hon members opposite is now: “What about the urban Black people who, owing to the stated policy of the Government, are now also forming part of the same collection of people who are to have a say and a right to self-determination up to the highest level in the same constitutional structure? After all, that is the present policy of the NP. Are the Black people now also becoming part of the same nation or perhaps relatively one people or one nation?
One has to be very careful in the Afrikaans language as regards the concepts “volk” (people) and “nasie” (nation). In popular usage there is no clear distinction between “people” and “nation”. The term Afrikaner nation and Zulu nation often incorporate the concept of Afrikaner people and Zulu people. One would do well to consider the works of our authors and poets.
What happens nowadays—we have encountered this several times in this House this year—is that when one speaks about the White people, hon members opposite begin to laugh. They say that no such thing exists. When one speaks about White South Africa they ask one: Where is it? I am astonished that they are not asking me now where White South Africa is because according to them no such thing exists any more. [Interjections.] They say that all that is left are White group areas governed by a mixed or coalition government.
In a certain sense, however, those hon members are quite right. Since 3 September 1984 there is no longer a separate, exclusive White area of jurisdiction. They would do well to go and look at the heading above the beautiful colour photo we were given. The title is: “The last House of Assembly of the Republic of South Africa”. However, that is not correct. We are still sitting here. This is still the House of Assembly of the Republic of South Africa. The important difference, however, is that the following words appear in small print below the above-mentioned title: “In terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1961”. That republic has come to an end. The title ought therefore to read: “The second Republic of South Africa” or “The new Republic of South Africa”. It is a totally different republic. It is completely different. Since 3 September, then, we have been living in the era of the second Republic of South Africa.
Now, it is very interesting to take a look at how the then NP announced the coming of that free, independent, White republic. In a pamphlet entitled Die Republiek Kom, issued in August 1960 and drawn up by Senator Malan, they tried to illustrate it. The first question they asked was:
One of the reasons was:
On page 4 reference is made to the assurance there will be that the Republic will be a White man’s country. A further question was:
One of the foundations was to be:
On page 7 the following is asked:
In the final paragraph the following is said:
Finally, questions are asked relating to the problem of the then protectorates, and in the final paragraph on page 11 the following words appear:
Therefore it is very clear that the dominant objective of the Constitution of 1961 was the constitutional establishment of a White State and a free and sovereign nationhood. This represented the achievement of an ideal of freedom as it found expression in that Republic of South Africa. It is an ideal which goes a long way back in the history of the Afrikaner. From the time that he became aware of a unique cultural history and identity, in other words a people with unique genetic characteristics—entailing far more than mere colour of his skin—he had this ideal. It is an ideal which entails, inter alia, the awareness of being a separate people that led to this people from the earliest times seeking its freedom by way of separate development alongside the other peoples of Southern Africa. This was the basis for the areas of jurisdiction of self-governing national states and independent states.
Before 1982 we made such good progress with the policy of the old NP that in the Development Board area, Region G—more or less the Pietersburg region, in which we rejected the new dispensation and the new Constitution in the referendum—an exceptional situation was achieved. In towns like Messina, Louis Trichardt, Naboomspruit and Nylstroom, a mere 1 900 Black families are living today, plus 2 000-odd people without families; whereas in towns such as Pietersburg, Tzaneen, Phalaborwa, Potgietersrust, Ellisras and Hoedspruit there are no longer any Black people. For example, 28 000 Whites live in Pietersburg alone and in the whole region there are many more than 100 000.
Surely this is a brilliant success story which that coalition government has now abandoned. Now that government is no longer moving poorly situated Black areas. Now it is no longer freezing existing Black towns. It is now granting property ownership rights to Black people in White areas and is creating open trading areas as well as central and local government institutions in which everyone can participate—White, Black and Brown. It now also intends repealing the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act. The day before yesterday the new member of the NP, the hon member for Amanzimtoti, stated this frankly. In other words, the NP, the coalition party, has accepted a 180° change of course. It is now travelling the very road it has been warning the people against all these years, that opposition party’s road of integration. No wonder a columnist in the Weekend Argus wrote on 9 March, for example, and I quote:
Another columnist wrote in The Star of 2 March:
It is these hundreds of thousands of Whites who are streaming to the CP to help in the reattainment of our own liberty in an own White state, as was spelt out at the time the coming of the first Republic of South Africa. Indeed, we seek the coming of the third Republic of South Africa. We seek a new Republic of South Africa. [Interjections.] This is the driving force and the motivation for the growth of the CP. In those circumstances expression will again be given to the true right of self-determination, which means to govern oneself and determine one’s own future in accordance with one’s own character, traditions, culture and view of life and the world. [Interjections.] Those are the ideals of this party, and these ideals will be put into effect in the not-too-distant future. Those things we strive to attain can no longer be achieved by way of the policy of that coalition party.
Mr Chairman, it is often difficult to react to the speeches of the hon members of the CP. [Interjections.] Right at the outset I want to ask you to protect me because I am accustomed to those hon members doing everything possible to make it difficult for one to put one’s case.
I want to address those hon members. The hon members of the CP are inclined to accuse us of using certain terms which are supposedly vague and not spelt out. In the process, those hon members use the same kind of vague terms time and again. For example, the hon member for Barberton spoke of the “so-called self-determination over own affairs”. We on this side of the House have repeatedly been asked to explain what we mean by “own affairs” and “self-determination”. On this side of the House some of my hon colleagues and I have already tried to answer that question.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I do not feel so inclined. [Interjections.]
Our dilemma is that on no occasion thus far have these hon members tried to define the word “self-determination” themselves. What is more, the hon member for Pietersburg spoke about the “so-called coalition party”. That is meaningless, but it is nevertheless that kind of argument they are trying to peddle in the by-election in Harrismith, about which I shall say more later. Of course, we first have to agree with one another on whether we attach the same meaning to a word we use. The problem with those hon members when they speak about a coalition party, however, is that they are still living in the era of the Westminster system. They have not yet accepted that we now have a new dispensation in which we form a Parliament together with the other two Houses. If those hon members want to talk of coalition in the light of that, of course they are correct. However, they then forget that each of these separate Houses has the total, exclusive right of self-determination over its own affairs. We in fact only reason with one another on matters of common interest. However, I want to leave this argument at that, since it is not the theme of my speech.
The hon member for Pietersburg also used the word “sovereignty”. We have already heard umpteen times from that side of the House that we have lost our sovereignty. I myself am in the process of reading up on this selfsame concept of sovereignty, and perhaps we shall discuss it again on another occasion. [Interjections.] For the sake of the hon member for Pietersburg, I just want to read what Verloren van Themaat and Wiechers have to say about this concept in their book—and I think the hon member should reflect on this for a moment. It states:
This is what these two writers say:
They go on to write:
Now I want to state that it is extremely dangerous for hon members of the CP to use the word …
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I do not want to answer questions now. … it is extremely dangerous to use the word “sovereignty”, since hon members of that party confuse the meaning of that word. In his speech the hon member for Barberton said that he had been in Harrismith. He then accused hon members on this side of the House of making certain misrepresentations there. I am surprised that that hon member, who has been in the Harrismith constituency, dares to accuse this side of the House of vagueness and distortion.
What are the facts? The hon member for Sunnyside moved an amendment on behalf of the Conservative Party, in which, amongst other things, he requests that the Government give the assurance that it will maintain Section 16 of the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. In the fifth point of his amendment the hon member for Sunnyside requests the Government to see to it that the status quo is maintained as far as Indian occupation in the OFS and Northern Natal is concerned. Let us react to this now, Mr Chairman. I now wish to inform this House that the CP is at present telling only one story to anyone who wants to listen in Harrismith. That is that the Indians are coming to the Free State, and that not only are they going to enter the Free State, but they are also going to be allowed to live amongst the Whites, to send their children to the same schools as those of the Whites and to swamp the Whites completely. [Interjections.]
Whom and what is your source?
From which source do you derive your information? [Interjections.]
What I am saying here now, Mr Chairman, I heard a week ago in Harrismith. [Interjections.]
Reveal your source to us!
What is your reply? [Interjections.]
Your source is a lot of scandal-mongers! [Interjections.]
Order! Did the hon member Mr Theunissen say that the hon member for Virginia is a scandal-monger?
Mr Chairman, I would never say such a nice thing about that hon friend of mine! [Interjections.] Mr Chairman, I did not say that the hon member for Virginia is a scandal-monger. I said that his source is the stories of scandalmongers.
Order! The hon member for Virginia may proceed.
Mr Chairman, what are the facts with regard to Indians in the Free State? Let us take a brief look. Those hon members pretend that something new has happened here all of a sudden and that Indians are on the verge of flocking to the Free State. During the Free State congress of the National Party on 16 and 17 September 1975, the then Prime Minister, Mr B J Vorster, gave the assurance that the people of the Free State would first be consulted before any change was effected in this regard. That is what Prime Minister B J Vorster said.
Let us compare that with what happened later. The State President—then still Prime Minister—said here in this House on 20 April 1983, and I quote (Hansard, Vol 106, col 5158):
Mr Chairman, surely that is absolutely in accordance with the pronouncement of Prime Minister Vorster in 1975. [Interjections.] Let us go further, however. The hon Free State leader of the National Party then said that Indians would only be admitted to the Free State if the Free State itself decided to do so when the time comes. That, too, is absolutely in accordance with the pronouncements of Mr Vorster and the present State President.
I am still coming to that. Please just give me a chance. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister of Justice …
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon member for Rissik entitled to say to the hon member for Virginia: “You are telling an untruth and you know it”?
Order! The hon member for Rissik must withdraw those words.
Mr Chairman, I withdraw them. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister of Justice said precisely the same thing as I have read out here now, except that he added—when he spoke about that aspect here in this House on 31 January this year—that a committee had been appointed in the Free State as far back as in 1983 to investigate this matter.
However, let us now study the question of the Indians in the Free State. We are not running away from the facts. However, I do expect hon members of the CP to tell the whole truth and convey its full meaning from tomorrow already, and to refrain from distorting the truth, as they are doing at present. [Interjections.] Chapter XXXIII of the Law Book of the Orange Free State provides that no Indian may remain in the Free State for longer than two months without permission from the State President. That is the factual situation as it is at present. [Interjections.] That hon member should listen again, since he will still hear this ten times.
Furthermore, it has never been said that the Indians are not permitted to pass through the Free State. After all, Indians have always been permitted to pass through the Free State, and that is still the case. However, in terms of Chapter XXXIII of the Law Book of the Orange Free State, no Indian could obtain freehold in the Free State, nor the right to carry on a business or farming activities directly or indirectly. Therefore, what do we say by way of summary? That is what those hon members are accusing me of, and apparently what they want to hear. I shall repeat what I said.
Firstly, Indians will only be allowed to go to the Free State if the Free State itself makes that decision. [Interjections.] Secondly, I want to make it clear—and I am speaking theoretically now—that if Indians were to be admitted to the Free State, precisely the same legislation that applies in the Transvaal, Natal and the Cape Province will apply in respect of where the Indians are going to live, where their children will go to school, etc. The presence of Indians in the Free State and their settlement there—in respect of their children as well—will be determined by the Group Areas Act. Now those hon members are saying for the sake of propaganda …
What is your standpoint?
My standpoint is precisely the same! If they were to be admitted, their settlement would be determined in terms of the Group Areas Act. [Interjections.] It is no use those hon members making such a fuss. We have appointed a committee that will look at this, and when the time is ripe, we will be prepared to reveal our standpoint. [Interjections.]
Furthermore, I want to say that of course it is true that one would discuss this with other leaders in the Free State as well. If hon members want to ask me who the other leaders in the Free State are, surely it is clear that firstly we have various parties that represent the Whites. However, it is also true that there are Coloureds in the Free State, and that those Coloureds also have a House of Representatives here. Of course the admission of Indians to the Free State would necessarily affect everyone in the Free State. I find nothing odd about speaking to those people as well. [Interjections.]
I want to leave the matter at that now. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: When the hon member for Pietersburg was speaking, not a single interjection was made. Could we not afford the hon the Chief Whip the opportunity of making his speech without interjections?
The hon the Chief Whip may proceed.
I want to mention a second matter in this regard. The CP has issued a pamphlet which they are peddling there, and which deals with the admission of people of colour to the Free State University at the undergraduate level. What does it say? It says: “Ja vir Integrasie: Gooi oop ons universiteit!” What is the factual situation, however? [Interjections.] What is happening here, is that those hon members want to make everyone believe that the majority of students at the Free State University have decided that people of colour should not be admitted. [Interjections.] What are the facts, however? The fact is that 53% of the students voted that way, but that only 31% of the students at the university voted—only about 2 000. [Interjections.]
Order! Interjections are being made that have no connection with what the hon member is trying to say, and I would not like to feel compelled to prohibit interjections. The hon member may proceed.
Thank you. Those hon members are neglecting to mention the fact that only 31% of the total number of students—approximately 2 000—voted. The argument is being taken further, however. In the pamphlet the question appears, accusingly:
Is that not odd? [Interjections.] I hear the hon member for Lichtenburg also saying “Of course”. I cannot understand it, since at the time of the referendum 66% of the population voted yes for the new dispensation. Now those hon members—as far as that is concerned, they have nothing to do with the majority—want us to give the minority a hearing because they want to undo this. What folly is this?
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I first want to finish dealing with this point.
What else? They quote it in this document. It states that the University of the Orange Free State (Private) Act, Act 108 of 1978, entails the following, inter alia:
Let me state this categorically here now. It does not matter what those hon member say about this university being inundated by people of colour at the undergraduate level; the fact of the matter is the following: On its campus and in its policy on admission, this university still wishes to maintain its Afrikaans and its Christian character. That is why it is primarily aimed at the White Afrikaans-speaking student.
The fact that they want to do this, does not mean that there have only been Afrikaans-speaking people there from the university’s inception. Right from the outset, since the university opened, there have also been English-speaking people, and this has not meant that the Afrikaans character of the university has been harmed, just as it does not have to mean that if people of colour are admitted on a limited scale now, it will disrupt the nature and character of that university.
Let me react to that immediately. It seems to me that the hon member for Rissik feels hurt—if he is not a great Afrikaner. I am proud to be an Afrikaner.
If he repeatedly wants to accuse me of being a great Afrikaner, it is not my fault if that hon member does not feel that he is a great Afrikaner. In fact, if he collaborates with the Volkswag, the AWB, the Kappiekommando and all kinds of other groups, I do not find it odd that he does not regard himself as being a so-called great Afrikaner. I shall leave the matter at that.
The policy of the University of the Orange Free State is aimed at …
Alex, even you would have done better.
Order! The hon member for Jeppe must control himself. This is a debating chamber and not an interjection chamber. I request hon members to co-operate; if not, I shall have to take more stringent action, and I would not like to do so. The hon member for Virginia may proceed.
Thank you, Sir.
The second point regarding the policy of the university is that no matter who attends the university and who is admitted, the academic selection that applies to all students still has to be complied with, regardless of whether they are Whites or people of colour. Furthermore, the people of colour who are admitted are only allowed to pursue courses that are not offered at their own ethnic universities.
Such as physical training?
Wait a minute. I shall come back to that.
Moreover, these people of colour are not permitted to reside on campus.
Those hon members are loudly proclaiming that the university is supposedly simply becoming integrated, but what did the leader of the CP, the hon member for Waterberg, do? [Interjections.] No, hon members must now afford me the opportunity to continue. They have big mouths about the admission of people of colour at the undergraduate level. In any case, two years ago we piloted legislation through Parliament concerning the quota that can be applied.
We are all aware that when the hon member for Waterberg was the Deputy Minister of Education and Training, he admitted a Black student to the University of Cape Town on 20 April 1979. [Interjections.] It is true, and hon members cannot deny it. I ask the hon the leader of the CP whether it is true that he admitted a Black student to the University of Cape Town on 20 April 1979. [Interjections.] No, I am asking him whether it is true.
Read the document—the entire document, and not just half of it.
I state categorically that the hon the leader of the CP admitted a Black student to the University of Cape Town on 20 April 1979.
That was in accordance with the policy of that time.
Order! The hon member for Soutpansberg is also included in my request for order. The hon member for Virginia may proceed.
Thank you, Sir.
What is more, I say that the hon the leader of the CP admitted that Black student knowing that the same courses as those he would take at the University of Cape Town are offered at least two Black universities, viz Zululand and Fort Hare. I ask the hon member: Is that true, or is it incorrect? [Interjections.]
Read the document.
No, I am not speaking about the rest of the document. I am asking a reasonable question: Would the hon member deny that he admitted that Black student to a course which was offered by the University of Umtata and the University of Fort Hare? I state categorically that that was the case.
The hon the leader of the CP also granted permission for this Black student to reside in a single room in a White men’s hostel, where he would share all facilities with his fellow students. [Interjections.] It is true; it is no use arguing against it.
Are you reading the document?
I ask the hon the leader of the CP again: Is what I am saying here now true—yes or no?
It is not the whole truth. [Interjections.]
Is what I am saying now the truth or not? Is it correct? [Interjections.]
These hon members are loudly proclaiming that the University of the Orange Free State is supposedly going to become completely integrated and Black. I say that this is not the case, and I have indicated why. Furthermore, I want to say that the hon members of the CP should first remove the beam from their own eye, and in this case, they must remove the beam from the eye of their hon leader in particular.
Mr Chairman, by-elections seem to have a peculiar effect on this House. I am sure the hon member for Virginia will forgive me if I do not participate in the Harrismith by-election as I would actually like to go back to debating the question of economics and the Budget of the hon the Minister of Finance.
My hon colleague here asks why it is a strange abuse of the rules of this House to discuss economics in the Budget debate.
I particularly want to have a look at the long-term economic implications of this Budget. I believe if we start from this viewpoint—I am sure the hon the Minister has much the same viewpoint—the key question to be answered with this Budget is whether it will in fact help to set South Africa on the road of long-term economic growth. If we wish to do this, we should learn from those countries that seem to have got their economies right and see what they have done. We can argue whether it is relevant to South Africa or not, but I would suggest that they have done seven things: They have controlled inflation; they have introduced tax reforms so as to restore private initiative; they have moved resources from institutions in the public sector to those in the private sector; they have ensured that competitive conditions prevail in the economy; they have ensured that the economic rules are consistent and well-known—I would like to come back to that; they have adjusted to the new economic and technological developments that are taking place in the world economy; and they have promoted the small business sector. Obviously I cannot cover all seven of those but we can perhaps take the debate a little further later on.
The one question I want to return to is the combating of inflation. It seems to me that if we do not combat inflation the possibilities of sustained long-term economic growth in South Africa are in fact slight. I believe that is the point that the hon member for Amanzimtoti made.
When I look at the Government’s methods for combating inflation it seems to me as if a lot of emphasis has been put on interest rate policy. It was to a large extent anticipated that high interest rates would curb demand. However, we have a high interest rate system which has actually become a penal rate for many businesses and a death rate for many small businesses, but inflation has continued.
That is a real rate.
I will accept that it is a real rate. However, to combat inflation one cannot rely solely on interest rate policy. One has to have a look at the question of controlling the money supply. We can argue about how important the money supply is, but it seems to me as if those countries that have successfully combated inflation have tried to control the money supply. One knows that over the past five years in South Africa the supply of money and near money has increased by in excess of 20% in four of those five years.
The only surprising aspect is that our inflation rate has not gone higher. It has not gone higher because the velocity of circulation has not stayed at the old rate. The hon the Minister will, however, accept that if one has that stock of money and the velocity of circulation returns to the old rate, then one could actually have hyper-inflation in South Africa.
The one thing that worries me is the reluctance to set targets on the money supply. The hon the Minister said in his Budget Speech that in a free market economy it is too complicated, but they do it in other countries where the economies are as complex as ours and in many cases much bigger. What we want are targets rather than lectures on monetary and fiscal restraint which under this Minister’s predecessor became the Government’s annual fairy story to the nation.
When I look at the fiscal aspects of the hon the Minister’s Budget I find that it is the one promising thing. However, because of the history of the Government with regard to its inability to meet its targets, there is a lack of credibility about whether he is in fact going to achieve his aims or not. One only has to look at last year’s Budget. The budgeted increase in expenditure was 11,4% while the total increase was actually in excess of 20%. Expenditure went mad.
Inflation is one of the key points. One has to control the money supply. There has to be monetary discipline. I am happy that one can have high interest rates but I think that if one does not have these other things the interest rate policy is not going to work. We also accept that one needs to control the expenditure of the Government sector. However, the point we sometimes forget is the important role the Government and semi-Government sector play in establishing prices by means of administered prices. When one looks at the consumer price index one sees that roughly 30% of it consists of tariffs and prices which are laid down by Government or semi-Government institutions.
When I look at what other countries have done, one of the things that strikes me is the question of tax reform. They have actually restored private initiative. I know Mr Reagan was criticized for this in the United States because it was said that his tax reforms were penalizing the poor and helping the rich. However, one has to look at the effect they have had, namely the creation of unparalleled economic growth and millions of new jobs in the United States. I would argue that both rich and poor benefited as a result of this. The hon the Minister knows what has happened in South Africa. In 1980-81 we collected R2 090 million in tax from individuals. In 1984-85 we collected R7 840 million. He has spoken about the need to change this trend, but when one looks at the Budget, what has he done? He has actually increased the amount of money he is going to be taking from individuals …
Percentagewise it came down.
The percentage increase came down but the actual increase that the hon the Minister is expecting from individuals seems to me still to be about 15% more than he got last year. It looks to me as if the hon the Minister is looking for about R9 075 million, which is 15% up on the R7 840 million of last year. As regards the taxation of individuals, it is no good saying that it is a long-term policy to reduce the burden on individuals because, as Lord Keynes said, in the long term we are all dead. Taxpayers actually want to see the benefit appearing now. At the moment one can pay up to 53,5% of what one earns. When it comes to spending one’s money, one has to pay a further 12%. One cannot even escape it by dying because then one could possibly end up by paying 35% in estate duty.
We now have this massive increase in GST. Recently we listened to a person from the Heritage Foundation in the United States who said that one of the things that had helped the American economy was that economic policy had been applied with consistency. Businessmen know where they are going. I want to point out to the hon the Minister that businessmen will survive good times and will survive bad times as long as they know what the rules of the game are.
This is one of the major criticisms I have against the Government: One does not know what the rules of the game are. Last year we invited the public to go on a spending spree by telling them that GST was going to be raised in six weeks’ time. In August this particular Minister took measures which, I think, can be described as fairly strict and, in fact, many people said they were Draconian. I am not saying that they were not needed, but the impact on the economy was a particularly harsh one. When one looks at fringe benefits tax, one realizes that we have deliberated on this question for years—I was involved in that particular committee—but when it actually came to implementation, right until the last stage, we were not sure whether motorcars were going to be phased in over two years or four years or five years.
In this particular Budget there is one thing that concerns me. Normally one taxes income, and I find it strange that we are now taxing a bank’s deposits. That seems to me to be moving away from the normal system of taxation. I think it creates an element of uncertainty. What are we going to tax next—square footage or something like that?
This Budget I think, is very much a yesterday’s budget introduced by yesterday’s men. The world economic order is changing. The basic industries that we relied on to fuel our economic growth are not growing as rapidly as they were before. When one looks at the steel industry, for example, both in Europe and the Western World, which is important to us, one realizes that there is not much growth taking place in that industry. The growth is actually taking place in the new area of technology, robotics and highly sophisticated financial services. If we are going to survive in the international economy—and international trade is important to us—we shall have to be competitive in that field.
However, nothing highlights more clearly the inability of this Budget to come to terms with the long-term needs of the South African economy than the increased customs and excise duty on office machines and certain electronic devices. The very trend we should be encouraging we are in fact discouraging by that additional costing. We are, in fact, making ourselves less competitive. We are making it more difficult for a lot of our companies to compete internationally with countries with high technology based economies.
In recent months it has become clear to me that the Government is actually having difficulty in managing the politics of South Africa. It seems to me that they cannot manage the economics of South Africa either.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Edenvale has taken a look at other countries. He has also examined their economy and the attempts they have made to restore their economy. He mentioned seven reasons to us. Unfortunately he did not have time to deal with all seven, but I think the hon the Minister of Finance will deal with them when he replies to the debate.
I want to tell the hon member for Edendale that I think an eighth reason ought to be added when we look at other countries and the attempts they have made to restore their economy. The eighth reason I want to add is the positive action of the opposition parties of those countries. Those opposition parties showed understanding of the problems and questions of their countries. They rendered assistance and made contributions to restore the economy of their countries. [Interjections.] During this debate I tried to ascertain what the problem was with the opposition politics in South Africa and, in particular, that of the Official Opposition. The opposition does have a role to play and, in our parliamentary system, an opposition party has a very important role to play. While I listened to speeches made by the hon members of the Official Opposition, I came to only one conclusion, namely that the Official Opposition and all the other opposition parties in this House are guilty of oversimplification; oversimplification of politics in South Africa, oversimplification of the South African political situation and, consequently, an oversimplification of the solutions and the answers to our political problems that must be found in this country. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition asked, inter alia, in his speech: “What is the plan of the Government for the country?” He actually accused us …
What is your plan?
There we have it again: “What is your plan?” The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition actually accused us, as a Government, of not having a plan for South Africa. Now, it is amazing that this Government, which has been in power for more than three decades—not this particular Government, but this party—governs this country and continues to lead it on a path of stability, which we still enjoy today.
I should like to know from the Official Opposition whether they expect a blueprint from us. Does this Government have to produce a blueprint? Must it also have a blueprint—I think this is what the hon member for Yeoville wants—for the economy of South Africa? This would then mean greater central control and more Government intervention because, once one has announced one’s blueprint, once one has announced one’s plan in respect of, inter alia, the economy, one would have to keep to it strictly and carry out that plan and that blueprint.
I want to tell the Official Opposition that we have a political plan for South Africa, but they do not like it and, over the years, they have offered no co-operation to make a success of that political plan. They say that they themselves do have a political plan, but the White voters in South Africa do not support their plan. We have had our general elections and they have had opportunities to go to the electorate of South Africa with that plan of theirs, and the electorate has repeatedly rejected them. They sit there as the Official Opposition, but there is no prospect at all of their taking over the Government of South Africa.
This Government’s political plan for South Africa is, first of all, a plan that keeps pace with the running of the country. As soon as we mention it, they give the impression that they do not like the idea that there should be a structure and an orderly existence in South Africa, with its complex population structure.
That is not rubbish. That hon member himself gave that impression in his speech. This Government’s political plan for South Africa is one of stability. If we were to implement the policy of the Official Opposition, or if their policy were applied in South Africa tomorrow, there would be no stability in this country, and the electorate in South Africa knows this. That is why it rejects them. The electorate rejects them because they cannot assure and guarantee that stability. This Government’s political plan for South Africa is one of the protection of freedom, the freedom of the people in South Africa and the freedom of the minority groups existing in South Africa. The Official Opposition, on the other hand, wants a policy—the majority of the PFP will support it—of “one man, one vote” in a unitary state. They know that that will mean the end of the freedom of South Africa and its people.
The political plan of this Government entails that the country be governed on the basis of the existence of separate groups. The Official Opposition does not want to recognize or accept this, either. While we have this plan on which we have worked for decades and which we have carried out in the interest of all the groups in South Africa, they and their leader come along and ask what the Government’s plan for South Africa is. [Interjections.] They must remember that political stability cannot be divorced from economic stability. This, however, is what they want to do. On the one hand he wants us to announce a political plan, and on the other, he and the hon member for Yeoville come along and criticize this Government’s economic plan. He cannot see the various aspects of the economy in isolation. If he wants to combat inflation he must take unemployment into account. What he is not taking into account at all, but what the electorate does take into account, is that any political system has its price; and I am not talking only of the financial aspect, that is, a price in rands and cents. A political system, a political policy, has a price, and the Government must ascertain whether the system will have a stabilizing or a destabilizing influence. The Government will have to be able to ascertain whether the system will be capable of attracting investments to the country or of generating them in other countries, and whether it will inspire other countries to take an interest in this country. The Government’s system or policy must engender trust in the public and afford them security.
Now the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition comes along and says in his speech that this Government does not have a plan and that it is doing nothing for South Africa. He says, however, that his party will remove the obstacles and adds to this “not appointing commissions”. He accuses us of not removing the obstacles and of merely appointing commissions to carry out investigations, but immediately thereafter he says that, should his party come into power, they would convene a national convention. In other words, he is in fact maintaining that they would appoint a larger and more comprehensive commission. What is a national convention if not a commission comprising representatives of all the various population groups which will come together and carry out investigations into all the questions and all the constitutional problems of South Africa? In other words, he is merely asking for a larger commission—that is what he is requesting!
That is nonsense.
That is not nonsense; it is the truth.
*That is what he wants.
I now want to tell the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition that this plan of a national convention in South Africa is not going to work. He has had the opportunity of going to the electorate and selling it to them or arousing their interest in it, but he has not succeeded. As soon as the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is cornered, he uses a national convention as his escape route. He hides behind it. This afternoon I want to tell those hon members that the NP rejects the concept of a national convention because we regard it as extremely dangerous for South Africa. What is more, we do not need a national convention; we are, as you know, a republic. [Interjections.] We are a republic with our own Constitution. Why should we introduce a national convention? We prefer to deal with the elected leaders of the various population groups. When the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition spoke of a national convention, he said, inter alia: “The logic of a national convention is a simple logic.” I want to tell him that his whole idea is stupid. [Interjections.] I want the Official Opposition to grasp this! I am trying to show them that they are oversimplifying South Africa’s politics and South Africa’s problems.
Now the hon member Prof Olivier comes along and talks about citizenship, and he declares—I was very surprised to hear this—that there is a very simple solution to this problem, namely: Give the people a free choice; let them decide for themselves. On the one hand we are in the process of creating independent countries, countries that are asking for independence and which are being put in a position to be independent, and on the other hand the hon member says that the citizens of those countries must be allowed to choose where they want to be citizens. As you know, we came to an agreement with those countries. In his Opening Address, the State President announced that further negotiations on the issue of citizenship would take place. The hon members, however, are simplifying things. They say: Let them simply have a free choice.
The hon member Prof Olivier goes even further.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Deputy Minister?
I regret that I do not have the time to answer questions now. Perhaps the hon member can react to this later, in another speech. The hon member Prof Olivier refers to the State President’s proposals and says they must be implemented now, to strike a blow against disinvestment. Therefore, Parliament must decide now, without negotiations, without recognition of other leaders of other peoples, that we are prepared to negotiate on the strength of the guidelines that have been announced. This decision must be put through immediately. There must be no negotiation at all.
I maintain that in this debate we have had a demonstration of extreme oversimplification of the political situation in South Africa. The Official Opposition were guilty of this, and they are the people who were supposed to make a contribution now. We are, however, practically at the end of the debate, and there has been no contribution at all from their side. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Meyerton was also guilty of this. He maintained yesterday that the NP, at the time of the referendum, promised the electorate of South Africa a paradise, a Utopia. He goes on to maintain that we were supposed to have said, among other things, that there would be an economic revival. Well I, too, held many meetings during the referendum campaign. I cannot, however, remember ever having made such a promise. [Interjections.] The hon member, however, is oversimplifying this again. He is not taking into account the drought that ravaged the land and with which the NP had nothing at all to do. As soon as one speaks of this, a smile appears on the faces of CP members. They reject what we say in connection with the drought conditions.
The hon member for Meyerton, too, says that we said there would be peace in South Africa. He then waxes lyrical about the late Dr Verwoerd. Of course, we all esteemed and respected Dr Verwoerd, but I have never in my life become lyrical about a person. When the hon member refers to the late Dr Verwoerd I want to take him back to 1960, to when we had a Sharpeville in this country, to when we had a state of emergency.
Therefore, what I want to tell the hon member is that we cannot oversimplify the situation in South Africa. It is, as you know, not the first time we have had unrest in the Black areas. We have unrest of this nature periodically. In fact, we had unrest as long ago as 1960. [Interjections.] After all, hon members know what the situation was in South Africa at that time.
Furthermore, the hon member for Meyerton says we said that if the electorate voted “yes”, foreign pressure on South Africa would diminish. [Interjections.] There has, however, been foreign pressure on South Africa for years. I should now like to ask this question: If the no vote in the referendum had been in the majority, would foreign pressure have diminished? [Interjections.] Would the internal unrest and discord prevailing at present have disappeared completely had the no votes been in the majority? Would conditions not have been much worse? Would we not have found ourselves in a state of emergency again?
In South Africa it is very easy to oversimplify these things, as hon members on the opposition side are indeed doing. In contrast, the Government is saddled with the responsibility for this country. There are four things to which the Government must give attention, to which it ought to give attention all the time.
In the first place the constitutional requirements of all the people in South Africa must be fulfilled. The NP will do this so that all the minority groups in this country can be protected and assured of survival. The constitutional principle the NP has always maintained is that of self-determination, of group determination. Hon members may discredit this and hold it in contempt, but I want to say this afternoon that it is of the utmost importance.
In the second place, the social, educational and economic needs of all the people in South Africa must be fulfilled. The successful and peaceful wide-ranging development of South Africa will be determined by the extent to which we are prepared to fulfil one another’s needs. In contrast to political selfishness, we must establish political willingness, and in contrast to economic domination, a spirit of co-operation—of being prepared to help others. We must create communities where people can live happily and can live their own lives in their own community life. This side of the House is committed to that and it will carry it out. Good relationships and greater understanding, greater goodwill …
What is a community life?
If the hon member for Rissik does not know what a community life is, I want to tell him that we know what it is and we shall develop it for the people of South Africa.
The last and most important aspect is that certain basic democratic ingredients must be preserved: A strong and healthy economy, a stable agricultural industry, Christian values and civilized norms, the inviolability of the freedom of our country, law and order, private initiative, and I could continue in this vein. I want to conclude by saying that on the one side we have parties who oversimplify the situation in South Africa, but on this side we have a party and a Government that take the reality of South Africa into account.
Mr Chairman, I want to tell the hon the Deputy Minister that during the referendum his party told the electorate of South Africa, through the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that if they voted “yes” the external pressure on South Africa, would diminish, the UN would be better disposed towards South Africa, financial conditions in South Africa would improve, and Africa would be better disposed towards South Africa. That was the means his party used to entice South Africa. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon the Minister that he must not turn around now and ask what would have happened had they voted “no”. We did not try to hawk that cheap propaganda around during the referendum.
What has become of the promised Utopia? Of all those things they promised, not one has materialized. When we told this to the electorate of South Africa during the referendum—and our message was not broadcast by television and radio—it was said that we were slandering and distorting and that we were frightening people. [Interjections.]
I now want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister what the difference is between his party’s forum and the PFP’s national convention. Let him tell us whom they are going to invite to the forum. Who is going to participate in that forum? Will the Blacks themselves be able to appoint delegates to that forum? The Progs say that the Blacks will be able to appoint their own delegates to the national convention. Will it be in any way different from the NP’s forum? I shall leave the hon the Deputy Minister at that, however, because in any case he is no position to answer this question.
I want to return to the speech made by the hon the Minister of Home Affairs today. I think one can sum it up as follows: On behalf of the Transvaal he has run away from the measures introduced by Malan, Strijdom, Verwoerd and Vorster to ensure White survival in South Africa and to protect White self-determination. This is what he did.
Another aspect of his speech is that he accused my party—he does this a great deal, he is an exponent of this—of misrepresentations and—what is the other word of which he is so fond?—of suspicion-mongering. That is his favourite theme. He has to do this, however, because he is obliged to find excuses for the disintegration of the National Party. His party has carte blanche at the SABC with television and radio, with all the Afrikaans newspapers and with the Sunday Times. In spite of this he is losing support and votes every day as a result of my party’s “suspicion-mongering” and “misrepresentations”. This is a feather in our cap because there are 18 of us and we have 8 MPCs in the Transvaal. We have one little newspaper that appears only once a month. [Interjections.] That hon member says it is not even a newspaper, and I must admit he is right.
His party, however, is losing support daily and he knows it. In Durban Point the CP won two municipal wards, in Brandvlei they won one municipal ward in Calvinia, in Port Elizabeth they won Algoa, and in Kuruman they won wards in spite of our being what he says we are. [Interjections.]
Why does this happen? It is as a result of the inability of the people of the NP to convince the electorate of South Africa that we “sow suspicion” and “misrepresent”. [Interjections.]
In the Soutpansberg there is a very prominent Nationalist at a small hamlet called Mopane. At an auction the other day he said he did not know what to do any more: Nothing had come of the promises made by the National Party during the referendum, but everything the CP said was going to happen has come true.
What I am now going to tell the hon the Minister is symbolic of his party at present. At the moment they are advertising that the hon member for Turffontein is going to address a mini-rally at Levubu. For me this is symbolic of what messrs P W Botha and F W de Klerk have done with the NP—a party of mini-rallies. I simply want to ask the hon the Minister, who was brought up on National Party politics, and his leader, his leader-in-chief, the Cape Leader of the National Party, the provincial leader: Why are almost 100% of his party’s meetings nowadays held behind closed doors? Why are they running away from public meetings?
That is not true. [Interjections.]
Of course it is true. They hold these little meetings—“shhh” meetings—and only later one hears that such a meeting did in fact take place. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister referred to Dr Connie Mulder today. Does he remember that on 17 February 1978 a second reading debate took place in this House of Assembly on the citizenship of Bantu homelands? Does he remember it? One of his colleagues in the Cabinet said the following at the time (Hansard, 7 February 1978, col 579):
And who, among others, voted for that amending Bill? F W de Klerk, P W Botha and J C Heunis.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at