House of Assembly: Vol3 - FRIDAY 12 APRIL 1985
Mr Chairman, just before I enter into discussion with the hon the Chief Whip of the Government, I want to refer to a remark made by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition the day before yesterday. In his speech he put the question: What hope is there for Black youths between the ages of 13 and 29 in South Africa? With that question he was actually implying that there is no hope for Black youths in a South Africa dominated by Whites. I want to add a question to his question—and this is not my reply to his question: What hope is there for White youths in that age group or in an unlimited age group in the South Africa he advocates and in the course set for us by the Government in South Africa at the moment? That is the question I want to ask.
I do not watch television often, but on television last night there was something about an opinion poll in which it was found that White youths between the ages of 16 and 24 are the most pessimistic about the future of South Africa, concerning the very Utopia to which the NP Government wants to lead them at the moment. I want to put a further question—it is also not in reply to the question of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition: What hope is there for Black youths in Mozambique, in Zimbabwe, in Zambia, in Ethiopia, in a Lesotho without South Africa or in a Botswana without South Africa? That is the question I want to put.
Then we must go and see what hope there was for all youths in South Africa during the past 30 years and we must see how they progressed. I want to say that for Black youths in South Africa the sky is the limit if they are motivated correctly, if their schools are not allowed to be political cesspools—this applies not only to Black youths, but to all youths in South Africa-—if they are motivated to work. They must be motivated to go out to their fatherlands, their Black states. There are endless opportunities for building up, developing and creating an infrastructure for the country, but then there must be motivation and we must not continuously sit and bicker about political rights in the same places and about equal opportunities—these exist; they must simply be utilized.
I want to turn to the Chief Whip of the Government. He actually dared yesterday to refer to the scandalous piece that was the subject of the greatest political falsification and fraud that this country has ever known. In doing so he wanted to get at my leader because my leader is said to have given a certain Black student permission to study at the University of Cape Town and to board at one of the hostels there.
Is that not so?
It is. I shall come to that now.
The ridiculousness of the hon member’s argument, for he cannot distinguish, points to one of two things: Either an intellectual inability to have insight or an absolute malice that borders on distortion and misrepresentation.
At that time my hon leader was Deputy Minister and amongst other things he had to give permission for residence. He had to deal with an application from L W Matanzima, the son of the Prime Minister of Transkei. My hon member, as a Deputy Minister at that time, allowed himself to be guided by standing Cabinet decisions. In the memorandum submitted to him, it was said inter alia:
On the basis of that provision, that Cabinet decision, and precedents, my hon leader gave his permission for the student to occupy the residence. Permission was confined to this one instance, but he did point out that problems would possibly be experienced with the children of other Black leaders in South Africa later. At that stage he estimated that there were approximately 70 of them.
Now the hon the Chief Whip of the governing party comes along and tries to steal a march on my hon leader. I say “foeitog” and “shame” to the NP if that is the way in which they debate. [Interjections.]
I want to return to that hon member and ask him something on the eve of the by-election in Harrismith. Does he give the voters of Harrismith the categorical assurance that the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act will not be abolished? [Interjections.] He is laughing; he is laughing in an anxious and frightened way. Does he give the voters of the Orange Free State the categorical assurance that Indians will not be allowed in the Orange Free State on a permanent basis? On behalf of any member of the CP I challenge him to conduct a public debate about this matter in any place in Harrismith at any time. [Interjections.] We shall not have that hon member joining us on a platform in Harrismith before 1 May. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, it does not afford one much pleasure to have a turn after the hon member for Soutpansberg, because in the past few years that he has been in the ranks of the CP, he has never yet succeeded in making a single meaningful speech in this House. Yesterday afternoon he launched an attack on the Government about the promises they are said to have made before the referendum. He also referred to the riots taking place at present. It was pointed out to him that riots also took place in the years when other Prime Ministers including Dr Verwoerd were in power in this country. The hon member for Soutpansberg has neglected to tell this House, however, of the promises they made specifically to his voters in Soutpansberg when we fought the election there. I was there on two occasions. He neglected to tell the House how they walked from one home for the aged to another, telling the people how they would be deprived of their pensions. I want to ask the hon member for Soutpansberg whether even one single person’s pension was taken away from him. [Interjections.] Hon members of the Conservative Party walked from house to house telling the people how their children would be sitting in the same schools as the Black children the very first week after the by-elections. [Interjections.] They also told the people of Soutpansberg that an individual community life for the respective population groups in South Africa would no longer be maintained. [Interjections.]
From which sources did you get that information?
My sources are the people of Soutpansberg. The hon member for Rissik can go and ask them about this himself. In any case he was one of the people hawking those stories around in that area.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I shall not answer any questions put by the hon member for Sunnyside. He cannot put an intelligent question even if he tries. [Interjections.]
Order! It seems to me that an effort is being made to make it impossible for the hon member for Kroonstad to proceed with his speech. This will not be tolerated. Whether hon members like it or not, they will listen to what the hon member says. After all, he is entitled to speak freely in this House. The hon member may proceed.
Thank you, Mr Chairman. The hon member for Soutpansberg tried here to get at the hon member for Virginia in connection with the questions put by the hon member for Virginia to the hon leader of the Conservative Party in his speech yesterday. It is indeed interesting that the hon member for Soutpansberg has to rise to defend his hon leader. These specific questions have been put to the hon leader of the CP a number of times during the past year or two. Until today, however, he has not answered them satisfactorily.
What has the hon member for Soutpansberg actually done? He has questioned the policy of the late Dr Verwoerd. That is definitely so! Now I want to know from the hon leader of the Conservative Party—in connection with the so-called Cabinet decision, or whatever it was that the hon member for Soutpansberg read here—whether he disagreed with Dr Verwoerd even then. Or did he still agree with Dr Verwoerd at that stage? No answer, Mr Chairman. [Interjections.] Yes, this is typical of this kind of “flash-dancing” and delicate footwork that we often see from the Conservative Party when dealing with those things upon which they can clearly provide no answers. [Interjections.]
We have, however, already approached the final day of this Budget debate. Many arguments have been advanced in condemnation of this Budget, as submitted by the hon the Minister of Finance. Good arguments in favour of the Budget have also been advanced, however. What was interesting, of course, was the way in which the hon members of the respective parties on the opposite side of the House judged the budget merely on the basis of their own political ideologies. They did not take the true situation in South Africa today, especially seen against the background of the worldwide economic recession, into account at all. They also showed very little understanding of the international economic set-up and the political set-up in South Africa. That is why hon members on the opposite side of the House were very one-track minded and extremely clumsy in their reaction to the Budget.
The fact that this Budget was drawn up in an atmosphere of a world-wide economic recession—as I have said—and that in addition a fierce drought was prevailing in South Africa, of which the extent—I can assure hon member of this—has not been determined even today—we have certainly not quite experienced the true impact of the drought in this country yet—is something of which those hon members do not even try to take into consideration. They do not acknowledge it at all. In this respect there are other factors which have also played a fundamental role, for example our weakened exports of various commodities, especially of metals and minerals, and, of course, the low gold price. These things pass by our hon members on the opposite side of the House unnoticed, however.
What has received quite a bit of attention—and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition also spoke about it in detail—is the question of disinvestment. It has received quite a bit of attention, and a number of divergent points of departure have been stated concerning it. Strangely enough, all the hon members who spoke about disinvestment agreed on one thing. They all say—and we agree with them—that a disinvestment action against South Africa is indeed in progrey. Everyone agrees that it will hold great danger and inconvenience for South Africa and for all its people. I should like to add, immediately, however, that this disinvestment action that is in progress is, of course, no novelty.
We have been living with disinvestment for a long time, after all. It is part of the total onslaught against South Africa. Possibly hon members still remember how the hon members of the PFP and of the CP laughed at us last year when we spoke of a total onslaught. It has now been proved, now that we have begun seriously to feel the effects of this onslaught in the economic field. I want to draw the hon members’ attention to the fact that it is indeed a total onslaught, and let me issue a warning to the effect that we should not lose sight of the other relevant facets. I am referring here to the onslaught which is also escalating in the military, social and spiritual fields. It is not happening only in the economic field. Seen in the light of the total onslaught, we must not see this disinvestment action in isolation. We must not be obsessed by the growing onslaught in the economic field. The onslaught in the other fields must also receive our increasing attention. That is why even greater pressure will be applied to the hon the Minister of Finance in future, also in respect of expenditure in the military and other fields.
We are and remain a threatened country; we cannot escape that. Overseas and locally there are people who seek our downfall, and want to break us economically and militarily. We see the signs of this everywhere in our country today and also in hon members on the opposite side of this House. There are people who will try anything to undermine the political order we want to create in this country, or to make it fail completely.
There are also powers, however, that become anxious and desperate about the progress we are making. In this I see the seeds of increasing violence in our country, as well as the escalation of the disinvestment campaign. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition spoke about this, and I want to tell him immediately that I am grateful for his appearance, and for the understanding he displays in respect of disinvestment. He made the point, however, that one should seek the cause of disinvestment only locally. I want to tell the hon Leader now that in part that is true; but it is not completely correct. We must see where the disinvestment campaign is being initiated. It is being initiated from outside the borders of the RSA.
I said we should begin to fight it here.
Very well, I accept what the hon Leader says.
There are many reasonable and well-meaning people who live in South Africa, and who love this country. I include people irrespective of colour, race or religion. People of colour, or people who have other religions, are in the majority in this country—let us make no mistake about that. Those people will not allow the powers of darkness to engulf this country. We have too much to lose; indeed, we have everything to lose. We shall fight to the end, however, not to lose it. We shall even defend the hon member for Sunnyside who is sitting here and cannot defend himself. We shall look after him too. Perhaps that is the tragedy of our time, namely that we are being engulfed by the greed and selfishness, the hatred and frustration of members like the hon member for Sunnyside and his colleagues in that party.
Order! The hon member cannot use those references in respect of the hon member for Sunnyside. The hon member must withdraw it.
I withdraw it, Mr Chairman. Never in the history of our country, however, has a greater appeal been made on the good breeding and the patriotism of our people than at this very moment.
I also wanted to refer to the national convention of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. He went and dragged this plan of theirs down from the attic, dusted it off and hung it up, but after seeing the expression on his face when the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning spoke to him about it, I gather that in any event the PFP will be returning to the drawing board soon.
The last matter I should like to deal with, is with reference to the hon the Minister of Home Affairs when he put a question to the leader of the CP in connection with certain speeches which were made here and especially, too, the speech made by the hon member for Jeppe. He must not forget to reply to that question in his speech. We know that the hon member for Waterberg has a short memory. I want to add another question and I hope that he will be polite enough to reply to it too. The hon the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs received acknowledgement from the hon the leader of the CP that he is in favour of the establishment of an own exclusive Super-Afrikaner state somewhere in the Transvaal. The question I want to ask the hon Leader, is whether he is happy and satisfied about the image of the Afrikaner which is being projected to the public at large. I am speaking of the image projected locally to other Afrikaners and also the supposed image of the Afrikaners in this country which is projected abroad. It is an incorrect image. Just as the CP represents the caricature of conservatism in the House, they are projecting the caricature of the Afrikaner to the outside world these days. This is why we as Afrikaners, who play a leading role in the country, must be subjected to so much criticism and external pressure.
I want to conclude. Very little has been said here about the great task performed by the SA Police in South Africa, especially because members of the Force are enjoying the limelight to a particular degree at the moment. With the riots and unrest which took place in my constituency recently, I experienced what these men do myself. I want to take off my hat to each member of the SA Police for the way in which, amid the greatest provocation, they perform their task as is expected of them. A psychosis has been in the process of creation for a long period in this country especially from the ranks of certain PFP members and their standard-bearer, the hon member for Houghfon, according to which the Police are held up as thugs to South Africa and the rest of the world. We object to the fact that the SA Police are held up as the thugs in the country. This happens all too often. We get questions about how many people have been injured and killed, but I have never heard the hon member for Houghton ask a question about how many policemen were injured or killed in the course of duty. The hon member does not even listen when one tells her this, but we hope the day will come when at least she will show to the guardians of law and order in our country the courtesy of standing up and putting in a good word for them.
There are certain members of the CP these days who very sanctimoniously praise the Police. They do so in the wrong sense of the word. If I am offending them, I apologize. If they really want to support the Police in this difficult task they wish to perform, I thank them, as I shall thank every hon member and every other person in this country if they support our Police. Then they must not come, however, and tell us in the NP that we have rejected the Police and that we do not stand by the members of the Force. That is untrue. President P W Botha in his capacity as Minister of Defence, later as Prime Minister of this country and now as State President, has always placed the highest premium on the defence of our country and on every person who has anything to do with the defence of our country. The NP will not allow anyone to discredit the South African Police Force or to abuse them, and will not sell them down the river to people who expect us to do this just that. The present hon Minister of Law and Order stands by his men. He has done more for the South African Police than a number of Ministers before him. Today I thank the hon the Minister, and I thank the members of the South African Police for the great task they perform in South Africa in very difficult conditions. We ask them to proceed with that great task.
I should like to support the budgetary proposals of the hon the Minister of Finance.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Kroonstad has touched on a wide range of issues in his speech. I think it is unfortunate that he should attack the PFP, and in particular the hon member for Houghton, with regard to the Police in South Africa. One of the major problems that face the Police in our country is that they have to implement the policies of that Government. That is extremely difficult to do and causes tremendous dissension in our land. I would say to that hon member that, if he is really concerned about the Police, he should also be concerned about bringing about far greater change in the policies of his own Government.
Do you not like peace?
Certainly, Sir. I also thought that it was unfortunate that he dealt once again with the old bogey of the total onslaught. Some of his own Ministers have moved away from that, they have turned away and have realized that a much more balanced judgment is necessary. South Africa has many friends abroad but every time we do something which contradicts basic justice, for example, we play into the hands of our enemies and encourage disinvestment. It is no good putting everybody into the same category and saying that everybody is against us and therefore developing an isolationist approach.
That is not what I said.
Well, the hon member said that there was a total onslaught. I am saying that that onslaught is not total. Ironically, when hon members in these benches warned against the perils of disinvestment, we were told that South Africa could cope because they need our minerals and our sealanes and because they cannot do without us. Now, suddenly, they are as serious towards disinvestment as we are. It has to be combated in every possible way, inside and outside.
The hon member for Soutpansberg, in an attempt at responding to the questions of the hon Leader of the Official Opposition, came back with counter-questions, which is his right. He asked what hope there was, not merely for Black youth but also for White youth in South Africa. The point I would like to try to stress, and what I think the hon Leader of the Official Opposition was making, is this: If there is no hope for young Blacks, there is no hope for young Whites, and vice versa. Our futures are inextricably bound together. If there is no hope for young Whites, there is no hope for young Blacks, and vice versa. That is the point we have to take into account. If that hon member and his party continue to adopt the attitude that they are adopting at the moment then I say that there is no hope for any of us. We have to move not towards more apartheid but towards less apartheid in order to give hope to Whites and Blacks, young and old, in this country.
I want to address myself very specifically to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I am very grateful for his presence here because I know he has other responsibilities to which he has to attend. I want to deal with only one specific issue.
Genuine political rights for Blacks is, I believe, the number one issue demanding attention from the Government. This has been a central problem not only in recent years but at least since 1910. Some tragic events in our country have, however, given greater urgency to this question against which all other problems pale into insignificance. In particular the mishandling of the Government’s approach to local authorities or community councils makes it imperative, in my judgment, that a new and a fresh start has to be made.
The Government, to its credit, has at long last acknowledged that Blacks have to be afforded genuine political rights which are not necessarily and inevitably linked with homelands and national states. Although it is still unclear as to what the content and extent of these political rights will be, the Government has conceded not only that genuine political rights must be on top of the agenda but that to realize this one also has to have genuine negotiation. The Government also realizes that that must take place between itself and the Black communities.
In this vein the State President announced the formation of a forum, not to solve all our problems but at least to help to bring this about. Despite the criticism which we have heard in this debate against the concept of a national convention, I want to submit to the hon the Minister that there can be no doubt that the announcement of such a forum is at least a concession in principle by the Government that some form of national convention is both desirable and inevitable.
In time, I believe the Government will make more concessions. The name is not important. Whether one calls it a forum or a national convention is not the vital issue. The issue is whether political rights are granted and whether genuine negotiation takes place. This leads me to the third leg, if one likes, of this argument.
The PFP and the NP—perhaps I am being too optimistic when I say this—are at one in their commitment to genuine political rights for Blacks on the one hand, and that genuine negotiation has to take place to bring this about on the other hand. The underlying question, however, with which the hon the Minister, ourselves and everybody in South Africa who is serious about this matter must wrestle, is with whom the Government must negotiate if these negotiations are to be on the one hand genuine and on the other hand successful in the long as well as the short term.
It is this question which we address in our amendment. We call on the Government again to create:
Those words are not just thrown together but each one is carefully selected.
Why is it necessary for us to make this call specifically to the Government yet again? Simply because there has never existed such machinery and thus the debate is so often retarded by the ever-recurring question: “Who are the genuine Black leaders?” With whom must we negotiate? Whom does one mean when one talks about leaders? I put it very strongly because I believe it is true that insofar as its neglect to create machinery is concerned the Government stands condemned of criminal neglect. For decades the aspirations and political demands of Blacks were not regarded as vital and important. Therefore machinery for the election of leaders was not thought to be necessary.
It is this dereliction of political duty that has brought us in part to this present confusion and disarray. That there is confusion and disarray I think all of us have to acknowledge.
Only on your side.
No, no. Unfortunately that hon member immediately assumes that the Government has all the answers and that we are the only ones who are confused and have questions. [Interjections.] It is not true and, fortunately, that hon Minister knows better. He knows that we have to struggle together to find some way forward, otherwise there is no hope and no future for any of us. We do not have all the answers on this side of the House and neither does that side have all the answers. We have to find them and that is one of the reasons for this debate.
Exactly! Thank you. That is the answer to the hon Minister’s own colleague. [Interjections.]
Alec, offer to join the coalition.
I do not want to give them more problems. [Interjections.]
I concede immediately that that would be a problem!
Yes, exactly. The hon Minister will be face to face with the facts for once! [Interjections.]
Because there exists a political vacuum, self-appointed leaders emerge almost every day. Because there has been no political opportunity, Black leaders are not to be found in the political arena but in the Church, the trade unions and community organizations. So long as there is a political vacuum they will continue to be there. [Interjections.] I am glad that the hon member is agreeing with me.
Because of the political vacuum created by Government neglect we have to rely on surveys, on claims by a variety of persons and groups, and on newspapers. This is totally unsatisfactory, and it is only the Government which can take the initiative and can create the machinery so that Blacks themselves can democratically elect their own leaders so that the long overdue negotiations can start in earnest. There has, however, to be a clearly spelt out plan. There has to be a statement in which intentions are very clearly laid out.
In one way the State President has already identified at least one significant Black leader. I refer of course to Mr Nelson Mandela. The State President, by singling out Mr Mandela, has acknowledged his leadership in this country. However, the manner in which he went about it has only brought about greater confusion. If the State President was serious in his offer—that is one of the reasons why my hon leader raised this very question earlier in the debate—then his approach, to put it kindly, was clumsy and hamhanded. To send a leader one has singled out oneself for such specific attention a copy of a Hansard …
Is it true?
I assume it is true. They claimed to have sent a Hansard. [Interjections.] I have no doubt that it is true.
This is hardly the way to encourage and engender genuine dialogue. Surely it is not too much to ask the State President to go beyond the realm of politics and assume the mantle of true statesmanship for the sake of peaceful co-existence in South Africa. I do not believe it is too late. Surely the State President could even now meet with Mr Mandela and with whomsoever else he wishes, and discuss personally, face to face with him, the dilemmas facing all leaders, Black and White alike, in South Africa today.
Why impose conditions? The Government did not do so for Toivo. Nelson Mandela or any other leader, Black or White, is subject to the laws of the land. His political activity would therefore have to be non-violent otherwise he would not be allowed to function in terms of our own laws to which we are all subject. However, I put it to the hon the Minister that both Government and Opposition must go beyond appointing, selecting and acknowledging Black leadership. Black leaders, for the sake of their own credibility, like any other political leader of any colour, must have their leadership tested at the ballot-box. Surely it is not beyond the wit of this Government to create the necessary machinery to give a clear indication of who the Black leaders are? Unless and until this happens, claims will be met with counter-claims and the dilemma will continue and will even grow.
This Government has for so long made decisions for so many that it will find it very difficult to break out of the mode of thinking that decides for others and commit itself to genuine political rights through genuine negotiation with elected leaders. There is, however, no other choice. The opportunity to follow this course which can still be concluded in a relatively peaceful way will not be there forever. It must be grasped now. Playing constitutional meccano while townships bum and polarization hardens, is something that South Africa simply cannot afford.
Mr Chairman, in opening I wish to refer the hon member for Pinelands to a letter which appeared in the Rand Daily Mail in 1970. There a reader wrote as follows:
The Rand Daily Mail has already been buried. If the PFP continues embroidering in its present manner as regards South African politics, the day is no longer distant when it will also follow the Rand Daily Mail.
I should also like to refer to two aspects mentioned by the hon member for Pinelands. He said the total onslaught was “an old bogey”. In one of the most recent issues of the Sowetan the ANC spells …
Do not dig it up again!
I must dig it up.
It is dead!
It is not dead!
*On the front cover of one of the most recent issues of the Sowetan the ANC spells out new objectives for South Africa from London. These objectives are separate White institutions because, the ANC says, the policy followed up to the present in South Africa actually makes such institutions possible.
Mr Chairman, does the hon member know who the person was who first conceived the idea of a total onslaught against South Africa?
I do not know who that person was, but the total onslaught against South Africa is a reality.
It was Eschel Rhoodie. [Interjections.]
Whether Eschel Rhoodie or whoever spoke of a total onslaught, facts indicate it is a reality we have to take into account in South Africa.
The hon member for Pinelands devoted the greater part of his speech to the void existing in South Africa in pushing true Black leaders to the fore. By that he is implying that up to the present there have never been Black leaders in South Africa. The Black people have their own institutions and their own methods, however, to push their leaders to the fore. It remains a fact that one of the fruits of the NP policy is precisely that it has brought Black leaders to the fore. Surely the leader of Bophuthatswana did not drop from the skies—neither did the leader of Transkei, nor the leader of Ciskei or Venda.
In White politics third-tier government was the instrument to bring leaders to the fore. We have numerous examples of it in the House. The machinery to bring Black leaders to the fore therefore also lies on the level of third-tier government. At this level people are enabled to choose their own leaders in a specific sphere. The hon member for Pinelands, however, goes out from the assumption that radical leaders are the true leaders and that moderate leaders are the so-called “puppets” of the Government. I think we should get away from that view in South Africa.
The right to differ from one another politically is a fundamental characteristic of democracy in South Africa. Nevertheless I sometimes wonder whether we are not carrying this right too far at the expense of South Africa. What is happening here? While powers beyond the borders of the RSA are working to bring this country down, internally we are taking one another by the throat and throttling one another politically. I think—and this applies to all in South Africa—that we are exhibiting a total inability to form a united front against those who are seeking our downfall. I believe the time has come for all who place South Africa first to extend hands to one another in an effort to thwart those who are seeking our destruction. A possible basis on which all in the RSA could extend hands to one another, regardless of political differences—and I wish to choose my words correctly—is that of separate representation.
The NP has been accused, especially by the CP, that in its initiatives for reform it has turned its back upon principles that are the foundation of separate development and has committed itself irrevocably to a policy of political integration. Examples of this are legion. I have in my hand a Skilkom publication in which one finds the following under the caption “Die Swart Plan”:
That is untrue. I also have with me another publication which is 16 years old. It is Veg. On the front cover there is a photo of the late Mr John Vorster and on the back cover a photo of Dr Connie Mulder. It consists of 32 pages and on all of them Mr Vorster and Dr Mulder are accused of all the things of which the State President and his Cabinet are being accused today. Not one of those accusations, however, has proved true over the 16 years. Neither do I believe that any of these accusations in the Skilkom publication will be proved true within 16 years or whenever. A person can denigrate this type of accusation as a form of political disinformation but I do not wish to do so. For the sake of the debate I think this accusation should be examined properly for once.
If we view this accusation objectively one aspect is very clear. That is that the NP is not accused of political integration if it creates separate political structures for population groups or peoples. Nevertheless as soon as the NP attempts constitutional accommodation of inevitable communality which exists between separate political structures, it is accused of political integration. I wish to explain this very quickly. The NP is not accused of political integration in creating third-tier own local authorities for the various population groups. As soon as it attempts to accommodate that communality constitutionally, in a regional services council, then the argument is raised that it is political integration.
What do you call it?
I shall tell the hon member in a moment what I call it. When the NP institutes a separate House of Assembly for the Whites, a House of Delegates for the Indians and a House of Representatives for the Coloureds …
What about the Cabinet?
I am getting to the Cabinet. When the NP therefore institutes these separate Houses, it is not accused of integration, but as soon as it creates a Cabinet to initiate this inevitable legislation on common interests or appoints standing committees to reach consensus on this communality, then it is integration.
But it is integration!
No, if that is integration, then any physical presence of people is integration—which it is not. [Interjections.] I do not wish to be offensive but then the households of all gathered in this House—including the CP—must be integrationist. [Interjections.]
Order! Hon members may not speak at the same time.
I should like to complete my argument, however. The NP is not accused of integration when it leads peoples in South Africa to independence.
The Vendas, the Xhosas, the Zulus and the Tswanas. As soon as it wishes to accommodate the necessary communality among these peoples constitutionally, however, it is integration. In this respect I wish to point out something interesting, namely that the CP also initially acknowledged this communality between peoples in South Africa. The CP not only acknowledged it but also attempted to give it constitutional substance. That is why its programme of principles provided for deliberation among states. Last year during the national congress of the CP this idea of deliberation among states was scrapped on the recommendation of the constitutional committee of the CP.
It was on the recommendation of old Jaap! [Interjections.]
I do not know why it was scrapped because that communality still exists. If there are hon members of the CP participating in the discussion in the course of the day, I should like them possibly to say why they saw fit to scrap the idea of deliberation among states.
The fact is—and this is the point I wish to make—we cannot adopt the standpoint that as soon as one attempts to accommodate inevitable communality constitutionally one is necessarily involved in political integration. I think the basis on which this communality is to be dealt with determines whether one is involved in political integration or not. I believe there is only one significant basis on which one can accommodate this communality. Twenty years ago in Stellenbosch we talked politics till dawn—often instead of studying theology—and we arrived at two conclusions at the time. Each time we came to the conclusion that when one carried out apartheid consistently in the Verwoerd sense, it ultimately meant the removal of apartheid.
Did you reject it as early as that?
I say it was the conclusion we reached. I do not wish to embroider upon that but I may perhaps mention one reason. We said that if it were to happen that all Black people were to move out of the RSA to their various national states and those people were then to visit the RSA, there would be no grounds for discrimination against those people—which is why we reached this conclusion.
Then Daan would have been a streetsweeper!
Time and again we also reached another conclusion, namely that the Shibboleth or the basic characteristic of separate development was separate representation. When we now for the sake of argument apply this criterion in testing this parliamentary institution as well then surely it is so that this Parliament rests on a basis of separate representation.
An important factor is added, however—that of having a system of decision-making not based on one man, one vote in addition to this basis of separate representation. If one therefore builds in these two factors in future constitutional development in South Africa one is creating a future of peace, prosperity and self-determination for all in this country.
Mr Chairman, I shall not react to the hon member who has just sat down. His speech, like many speeches these days, took me back to the good old days of the “basterplakkate” and the dagger in the heart of the White people, days we lived through in our time. I find it somewhat strange that the same people who accused us of stabbing White South Africa in the back with a dagger, and who used “basterplakkate” and other dirty politics against us, now stand accused of the same things of which they accused us. I prefer to conduct a different kind of politics. I should like to begin by addressing the hon the Minister of Finance very briefly.
†I want to deal specifically with the unanimous recommendation of the Standing Committee on Finance to the House in regard to military pensions. I should first draw the hon the Minister’s attention to wrong terminology that was used in the resolution. It spoke of “military veterans’ pensions”. There is no such thing. There are two sorts of pensions in this connection. There are military pensions and there are war veterans’ pensions. War veterans’ pensions are social pensions and increases in those pensions have always come into effect in October together with the increases in social pensions. Military pensions, however, are civil pensions which have always been increased in April at the time when any increases are announced.
A military pension is a pension which is given to the widow of a person killed in military service for South Africa or it is given for a disability caused by being wounded in action or as a result of other injuries sustained on and in military service. Both are directly linked to giving one’s life or being permanently disabled in the service of and while protecting South Africa and they have always been classed as civil pensions and any increases have been paid out in April.
This year for the first time the widows of those who died for South Africa and the people who have given their health in the service of and in protecting South Africa have been transferred to the social category and thus receive their minimal, their very small, increments only in October. I want to say that those people deserve better of this Parliament because this concerns people who died or sacrificed their health for this country on military service. I would ask the hon the Minister urgently to accede to that request and not have those people believe that this is what Parliament and the Government of South Africa think of them and the sacrifices they have made for the country.
I know it will achieve nothing, but I would have liked to have been able to plead for all pensioners not to have to endure this wait until October. Social pensioners are getting an increase of about 8%, about half of what the inflation rate is. A recent survey showed that on 27 basic items of food—I do not have the time to list them—the prices have gone up by 21% between February last year and February this year. By the time the 8% gets to these pensioners, it will not only have been doubly gobbled up but gobbled up two and a half times over. It will then be of no real value to them other than in retrospect. They will not even derive one week’s or even one day’s enjoyment of extra income from it because they will have spent it all already.
My third plea—and I hope this new hon Minister will ensure that this is the last time I have to make this plea—is in regard to another group of pensioners. The youngest member of this group is now 83 years old. This group comprises the veterans of World War I. The youngest person to have fought m 1918, even if he cheated on his age by two years, would then have been 16, since the legal age for admission was 18, and this means that he is about 83 now. We have pleaded, and I plead again, that that small group of people be exempted from the means test, just as the Anglo-Boer War veterans have been exempted. This group too is made up of only a handful of pensioners, maybe a dozen or so; I do not know how many are still alive. Nevertheless, I believe this is a gesture Parliament should make to those men who have served South Africa. Many of them are just excluded from exemption from the means test by only a few rand, and, as I say, they can be but few in number, the youngest of them being about 83 years old.
Last year the State President went to France to lay the foundation stone at the Delville Wood memorial. He spoke with pride then of those South Africans who wrote our history in their blood in that battle which has never been forgotten. There are some of those Delville Wood men whom I see on 11 November when the memorial service is held. There are fewer and fewer of them each year, and they walk with sticks. We can now say to them: We have forgotten the Anglo-Boer War, we are all South Africans. Our State President can praise your sacrifice in France. Parliament now exempts you from the means test in regard to your pensions. [Interjections.]
I want to turn now to what I believe to be the most urgent issue before this House and which has been debated here. I am not referring to this dogfight between the Government and the CP but to the unrest throughout South Africa in recent months. I want to say at once that I exclude the Langa/Uitenhage event. That is under investigation by a commission and I shall not comment upon it until the facts have been established by the commission. I am talking of urban unrest generally, and I want to focus on certain aspects of it, particularly as regards the immediate future and in the short term.
One thing about which everyone feels very strongly is unnecessary loss of life. There may be hon members in this House who have had to write that hardest of all letters, namely a message of condolence to a widow or to a mother on the death of someone who served under them in a war. The next most tragic thing that can happen is the unnecessary loss of life of a woman or child. There will be others who, like me, saw the tragic victims of the violence of war, women and children killed as a result of bombing, killed, that is, by the violence of war. We will remember what it did to us and what it did to the feelings of the survivors. We will remember how the tragic death of 40 schoolchildren in a bus accident tore at the heartstrings of South Africans. Just so, one child killed by a bullet in a riot is cause for every South African to mourn. These are the emotional things that stir people. This places a tremendous responsibility on South Africans to exercise the greatest possible control over their emotions, to display the utmost responsibility and reason in respect of this matter. We must certainly seek the root-causes. We must certainly criticize what is wrong. We must certainly condemn what is avoidable and try to find and eradicate the causes.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition made an excellent politico-socio-economic academic speech on the causes, effects and consequences of unrest and instability. He also gave his own solution to the problem—a well-motivated solution but one in which he unfortunately avoided the immediate issue. I believe the immediate issue to discuss is how every South African can use every bit of influence he can muster to put an end to this mindless violence immediately. Above all we must be careful not to imply or even create the impression that we are condoning the violence and the unrest, not even by way of justifying the underlying causes or by expressing our sympathies. Everyone knows how easy it is—particularly in the case of young people—to exploit frustrations and resentments and even the search for adventure by turning them into active deeds. This is not, however, a game for youngsters, a game in which they can score points for hitting a policeman with a stone, for hitting a Casspir or for throwing petrol bombs in an effort to become heroes. It is not that sort of game. It is not an easy way of escaping the drudgery of schoolwork. By doing this they merely make of themselves the tools of a faceless organization which is seeking to challenge and to destroy the authority, not of the National Party but of the State, the authority of the law itself, the authority of this Parliament, in order to create anarchy and revolution.
I believe we must all therefore accept that the first task of the Government is to restore law and order, to re-establish normal life—the normal life of people going to their work, of children going to school and, above all, to give protection to law-abiding citizens and to those leaders who are prepared to face the danger and come forward to give leadership to their own people. This must also obviously be done with a minimum of counter-violence. This places a tremendous responsibility on the forces of law and order. It demands the greatest self-discipline.
I should also like to add—and I do so with a sense of responsibility—that while I hope it will not be necessary, if South Africa has no other way of protecting the law-abiding and responsible leaders in the Black townships from assault and arson and brutality and murder, then, in the last resort, those innocent lives should be regarded to be of greater importance than the lives of those who are being used by revolutionary inciters to do their ugly work. The message will have to be conveyed, particularly to those young people, that, if we are faced with that choice in South Africa, they must know, before they learn it in the hard and tragic way, that their lives are of less importance—not of greater importance—than the lives of the leaders who are trying to create stable and decent and better lives for their people in those townships. They will also have to learn that this will indeed be the case irrespective of their age.
It is obviously correct that only 20% of the task is that of the Police. Eighty percent of the responsibility to bring stability and peace back to the townships rests with that Government sitting in those benches. I believe that the Government has failed the Police in this responsibility. It has failed in providing them with the numbers which they need and which should be there to carry out the sort of work they have to carry out. It has failed in ensuring the level of training which every one of them should have before he faces a mad, crazy mob, seeking violence.
That is not true.
It is either true or there is something wrong with the training of some members of the Police Force—it may be only a small minority. However, it is the responsibility of the Government to see that the training is effective and, furthermore, to ensure that they have every resource that they need to carry out the task of preventing riots and of suppressing unrest. [Interjections.]
There is another field to be looked at. The Government should ensure, and so should the Police, that there is senior supervision on every occasion where confrontation and conflict is liable to take place. There should not simply be a junior officer in charge. When one knows that there are 3 000 people approaching one does not send out a constable or a sergeant to deal with them. One makes sure that there is senior supervision able to take decisions. I believe that as soon as we have stabilized the situation, we will have to look very seriously at providing some permanent form of protection in the townships, for example, a city or urban police force or a guard force, whatever one may call it, but some body of law enforcement officers to be permanently on the spot. Back-up should also be available should the position get out of control.
I had hoped also to deal with the solution proposed by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition but my time is limited. I will therefore have to confine myself to saying that it is all very well to talk about a national convention, but—the hon member for Pinelands put his finger on the spot—who is going to attend it? These leaders are not identified. He identified only one leader—Mandela.
Have you read the amendment?
Yes, I have read the amendment. However, my point is that we are dealing with a crisis situation and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition of South Africa talks about a national convention to be held some time in the future. His party says before one can hold that national convention, one has to concede certain things. One has to concede, for instance, that there will be universal adult suffrage, no group basis for political rights, a totally free and open society, and no right of community option in this. [Interjections.] What does that party intend to take to the negotiating table when they have already acceded to all the demands? [Interjections.] What will they take to the negotiating table when they have already accepted universal adult suffrage, an open society and no political group base or power base for self-administration or self-government, and when they have not been able to identify the true leaders?
I want to conclude by saying that that is no answer. However, the Government is also failing and the State President has a tremendous responsibility. The Government has lost its way and the State President must use the power given to him by the electorate at the referendum to take his party by the neck and stop this stupid debate that is going on about what Dr Verwoerd said in nine-teen-“voertsek”, apartheid and non-apartheid etc. We have heard some wonderful 1948 speeches in this debate. The State President should take his party by the neck and fill the vacuum in direction and guidance that South Africa is waiting for before it is too late.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Durban Point was concerned especially with two cases. The beginning of his speech was on the subject of military pensions—on which I cannot differ with him—and later he spoke on the condition of unrest and dealt with the situation reasonably comprehensively.
The member for Durban Point appealed to all South Africans to refrain from creating an emotionally laden atmosphere. In saying that he voiced what is probably one of the most important matters on which we can ever express ourselves in South Africa, namely that peace is impossible in this country in an emotionally laden atmosphere. He also said the search for peace was not the task of one man, nor of individuals, but that everyone seeking peace would have to contribute his share to make it possible. We in this House, of all parties, should convey this message very clearly here and to our supporters outside. The responsibility to search for peace and the ultimate success which will fall to us rest on the shoulders of each of us.
I take pleasure in supporting the hon the Minister’s budgetary proposals contained in his first budget. I wish to express the hope, and I think it should be the hope of all, that he will have attained the goals he has set at the end of the fiscal year. The point at issue is not the NP or the Government of the day, because the endeavour to achieve what the hon Minister has set himself as a goal is in the interests of the entire country and Southern Africa.
It is very clear from the hon the Minister’s Budget speech and his proposals that he has assessed the reality of the situation in the country well. It is also very clear that the set of circumstances he has had to deal with and for which he has had to budget has not changed. There are signs of the old in the present Budget but there are also signs of the new—something at which I shall pause later. The set of circumstances the hon the Minister has had to work with remains the same. We still have to build roads; there are still people entitled to pensions; there are still many people for whom provision for housing has to be made; we still have the need to flick a switch and expect a light to go on; consolidation has not yet been concluded; we still have to stop at a filling station to take on petrol. In other words, these needs remain and we have to take them into account. These needs will increase for obvious reasons on which I shall not enlarge now.
There is also something new built into this Budget; or rather, it differs from previous budgets in that the own and the general in respect of expenditure of disposable funds are clearly manifested in this year’s Budget. Next year the picture will probably differ. Further decisions will be taken as regards second-tier government and the handling of funds traditionally applied at the second tier. In other words, decisions in this respect can change the picture entirely from what it is this year.
I wish to say something about responsibility. Responsibility tugs a person back to reality. The Government of the day in particular is exposed to that truth—that responsibility returns one forcibly to reality. When one does not have to accept the responsibility for one’s actions, it is easy to make statements of the wildest nature. In such circumstances it is easy to come forward with irresponsible promises; it is easy then to say things for which one does not have to answer. It is quite a different case, however, when that responsibility rests on one’s shoulders. Under this new dispensation we have bound ourselves irrevocably to the broadening of democracy and we have demonstrated this in practice—we are doing this daily. Much has already been debated on this and there is much still to come.
If we examine this Budget as well as those for own affairs, it is very clear that we also wish to extend the basis of responsibility. Those who up to now have had to be satisfied with the fruit picked on their behalf from the budgetary tree now stand before a great test, namely to assume co-responsibility in respect of establishing the priority for services to be rendered. In addition they also have to accept responsibility for the expenditure of those funds voted by this Parliament. That is something the White voter should welcome because we cannot shoulder that responsibility for ever and a day.
In writings and speeches, especially of rightist alliances, there is often reference to bygone days when a sovereign White Parliament would have been able to make independent decisions inter alia in respect of the expenditure of funds from the Exchequer. We need only turn back to budgets of the recent and not so recent past, however, to see that we are toying here with half-truths. Surely it was never possible in the past for a Cabinet to sit down and work from the assumption that it could allocate all State funds to those people who had elected the government in power and which it represented in Parliament. It was impossible for Gen Smuts or for any of the governments after his. It was impossible for any of the Ministers of Finance to sever themselves in this way from reality.
The reality was and remains—I shall put it like this—that there is a faceless entity which from earliest times has determined that a part of disposable funds should be applied in the interests of those of colour. It is therefore fact that since earliest times those of colour have had direct participation in the determination of budgetary priorities and the ultimate voting of funds by Parliaments of the past. At present we are providing those faceless entities with features but we do not wish to make them into the spectre the rightist groups of the Opposition in particular are doing!
I wish to refer briefly to a statement by Mr Shultz of America who seldom has anything complimentary to say about South Africa. I wish to read from a document with the title “United States foreign policy as dictated to democracy in human rights”. Here inter alia our learned friend said:
I wish to contend that it cuts deeper than only “human rights” as such:
I want to aver that Mr Shultz is actually saying to us that even the mighty America of necessity has to see the world as it is and not as it would wish it to be. Accordingly he has to present and execute his policy pragmatically.
For purposes of this debate we can say with apologies to Mr Shultz, “Our budget policy is a pragmatic policy”. Since it is true of our Budget as it is, it is a budget of the conditions of the moment, a unique budget, a unique RSA model for a unique set of circumstances.
Much is said on yielding to pressure. Whether we are budgeting or making decisions as regards facets of national government or national economy, we can and may not close our eyes to the realities of the day which include world opinion. It is impossible for this Government—in fact it would be irresponsible—it is impossible for any government, even for a government to come afterwards and it is also impossible for the mighty America to say it detaches itself from outside opinion.
Rightist alliances say this is yielding to outside pressure but we say it is the responsible assessment of circumstances of the day and action in accordance with the interests of this country and all its people.
Let us test the pronouncements of the Opposition parties, especially those of the CP. If we were to ask the PFP whether the dispensation the Official Opposition advocates has a totally integrated community on political, economic and social levels, we should like to know hon members’ reply to that. If they want to be honest, their answer has to be “no”. On the other hand if we were to ask the CP if the dispensation it wishes to see implemented is a plan based on total partition, we find hon members saying in Harrismith it is their plan, but if one looks at their programme of principles one notices it is untrue that the plan they advocate is one based on total partition because they know it is impossible. They also know they cannot tell this to the voters as the bottom will then fall out of their entire argument.
It appears to me, if it is true they are following the policy I have sketched, that they have surrendered and are doing precisely what they accuse the NP of, namely of taking into account the circumstances to which the RSA is exposed in making their decisions relating to policy. The realities and the datum of history have forced them to pursue those directions in policy.
All we ask of them is: Be a political sport and not a political coward. Go and tell the people out there, inform those in Newton Park and in Harrismith that they should, in fact, take present circumstances into account no matter what act of policy is involved.
The PFP dare not talk of “own” and the CP dare not mention “general” because then one could quote the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare who always says, “Then the bottom drops out of their policy.”
The time has come to ask the opposition parties whether they want anything to remain of our beautiful country, the country they would like to govern if it should happen that they made government benches. If the answer is “no”, they may as well proceed in their irresponsible way. If it is “yes”, however, we ask them to look at the positives in the Budget. They should look at what we want to do in decentralization. They should come with proposals on job creation and suggestions on how we should deal with this spectre of disinvestment which wants to get us down. They should examine the Budget and the results of our socio-economic elevation of people. The opposition parties can play a significant role in pointing out the positives without damaging themselves in the process. The opposition parties cannot do it to the country, however, to attempt creating a situation which will make it ungovernable. If they were to assume power in future, they would inherit a mass of ungovernable people. In this debate the Opposition has failed to play any positive role whatever as responsible Opposition parties.
Mr Chairman, I wish to say it was pleasant to be able to listen to the very well-balanced speech of the hon member for Rustenburg.
I should like to associate myself with a point he made on the hon member for Durban Point’s speech in which he appealed for the abolition of the means test for the few veterans of the First World War. To me this is closely connected with our great sympathy for pensioners who are still living under the pressure of inflation and struggling to make ends meet. We also wish to express our sympathy in general with social pensioners who are still having a reasonably hard time.
The hon member mentioned that peace was not possible in South Africa in an emotionally laden atmosphere. If one reviews the debate up to this point, the impression is created—and in so doing emotions highly excited—that the NP is destroying South Africa.
Over the past few years I have refrained from involving myself in discussion with the CP. We have now reached the point, however, of having to put matters straight. CP members always attempt to profess that they are the champions of the Whites. In this way they try to denigrate the NP and imply that we are selling out the Whites. [Interjections.] I wish to say immediately, however, that the CP is involved in deception and misrepresentation. We shall test this statement against what the hon leader of the CP himself said.
I have notes with me of a speech made by the hon member for Waterberg when he was still the leader of the NP in the Transvaal. He made this speech on 6 August 1980 during a meeting of the general management. I am making use of fresh notes which cannot lie. On that occasion the hon member made statements to which he shall have to answer and then we shall be able to establish which party has changed its policy. I have the habit of making notes of such speeches.
Have you become a Prog after three years?
The hon member for Rissik is so frustrated it is actually like a circus to sit and listen to him throughout the parliamentary session. He should forget about his UP days and his chopping and changing in the NP. He would do well to sit and listen quietly now. [Interjections.]
What a person has said remains said. In that speech the hon member for Waterberg pointed out that we in South Africa had reached a crossroads and had to bring about certain changes. He said external pressure and threatening strikes were being used as a lever to force the NP Government off course and that we should take that into consideration.
When he was speaking about the HNP and Dr Mulder’s former NCP which has now been absorbed by the CP and the policy and methods of which it has adopted, he said that party was arousing unrest among our people. According to him there were certain weaknesses in its approach, namely misrepresentations and distortions and lies about the truth.
I should like to discuss this as the CP is now guilty of misrepresentation, misleading stories and direct lies to sow uncertainty among our people. [Interjections.] Its members are attempting inter alia to broadcast misleading stories in my own electoral division of my being in the process of joining the CP. [Interjections.] After listening the day before yesterday to the revolting and most upsetting speech of the hon member for Jeppe in which he denigrated the State President—one does not always have to agree with the Head of State—I would never be able to feel at home in that party. [Interjections.]
In his statement regarding misrepresentation, distortion and lies the hon member for Waterberg said the HNP and the NCP distorted statements on, for example, the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and the Immorality Act.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
I knew there would be a question but I am not prepared to reply to it.
The hon member also said the Government was doing everything for the Black people; it was feeding communists; it was exporting fuel; it was giving away White land. He said the Government’s weakness was no alternative and it was a personal attack on Mr Vorster and Mr P W Botha. He also said the Government was guilty of the most extreme racism. It had no answer to the question of how co-operation could take place.
When are you resigning?
I am not resigning. Does that not sound familiar to hon members and should the CP not acknowledge now that it is doing precisely the same—only to a far worse degree? The hon member for Waterberg said:
What else is the CP doing now? The hon member said:
Sir, who is doing this now?
What is your source?
My source is from notes I took of a speech the hon leader of the CP made on 6 August 1980. I have them here. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Waterberg said the success of the NP was:
We are still doing this. [Interjections.] Who has changed now?
No. The hon member said further what we could not afford in South Africa—and this is important—was:
Who is creating misunderstanding?
Now comes the important part of what the hon member for Waterberg said:
Those hon members are creating that image and it is far from the truth. He said:
He also said:
He also said:
Then he said something very important:
[Interjections.] He said:
Sir, that is what the hon member for Waterberg said of the NP and it is precisely what the NP is doing. [Interjections.] What is the CP doing? Exactly that—and more—of which the hon member accused the HNP and the NCP. We expect a reply from that hon member. I wish to say to those hon members that it has become time for them to change their attitude towards the Whites in the interests of the Whites.
I should like to deal with a further aspect. I wish to refer to certain decisions taken by the Synod of the Gereformeerde Kerk in February this year. I should like to mention a few of the decisions of the Synod briefly:
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I am not answering any questions. As a believing Afrikaner I can associate myself utterly with these decisions and I think every right-minded person can identify himself with them.
Let us examine who the CP identifies itself with. Arising from those decisions of the Synod, the “Kappiekommando” wrote a letter to ministers of that church. The Volksblad of 14 March 1985 reported on this as follows:
The letter also accuses the Church of being a “hoereerder”, “die groot hoer”. The Church is accused of having totally deviated from the spirit and the attitude of the Bible. [Interjections.]
In consequence of that letter two theologians of the Gereformeerde Kerk met the “Kappiekommando”. One of those theologians, Prof M A Kruger, said:
At the meeting with those women, who were all in Voortrekker garb, they were not introduced to them by name, but by number. The three Afrikaans sister churches were accused of liberalism and that they were “die groot hoer”. This was said to Rev Vermeulen. According to Prof Kruger, who was one of the theologians, the most frightening aspect of the movement was that they totally distanced themselves from the Heidelberg catechism of the three Afrikaans churches and rejected it.
Who is it who is now associating with those people? I have a credo of the “Kappiekommando” with me, which is obviously its members’ Christian creed, at the end of which they say:
And then they say:
As a postscript they say:
Those are the people with whom the CP shares a camp. [Interjections.]
The CP must tell us now where it stands. Woe betide our nation if we find ourselves in the company of those people! If we range ourselves alongside such fanatics, the Whites and all in South Africa are doomed to destruction. We should say now whether we still have the will to survive.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Middelburg did me a favour. I want to say to him here and now that I as little associate myself with the opinions he quoted, emanating from the Kappiekommando, as he does. I think it will suffice to say that to him. I also wish to say to him that as regards my speech that he quoted here, it seems to me that I made a good speech. I am not ashamed of that speech because I think that the speech attests to the balance we have always maintained as good Christians, Nationalists and Afrikaners who have an understanding of the interests of other people but who are not ashamed, or have not in the meantime become ashamed, of the fact that they are Whites, that they are Afrikaners and that they are fighting for the survival and liberty of their own people.
If I spoke then about threats, I want to say, to the credit of the hon member for Middelburg, that in the past he has never acted in a sharp, acrimonious and unpleasant way towards us. I give him credit for that. As far as his speech this morning is concerned, he is fully entitled to adopt standpoints and to quote what he likes. However, as far as the extracts he quoted are concerned I just want to say to him that the attempt to attach that label to me or to us will not succeed.
He also spoke about misrepresentations that I warned against. If at that stage there were misrepresentations in respect of the standpoint of the NP as it was at that stage, when we all served it and understood its standpoint, and if the HNP and the NKP at that stage unjustly accused us of intending to repeal the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, I want to ask: How do matters stand today? That hon member cannot give me his assurance that the committee dealing with this matter is going to recommend to this House that those two Acts remain. He cannot give me that assurance.
The hon member also discussed stories being spread in Middelburg to the effect that he wants to come over to the CP. I can set his mind at rest in this regard. We have no such expectations. If, after these three years, in which he has supported motion after motion of the NP, attended caucus after caucus and supported congress resolution after congress resolution, he were to come and sit here, then surely those people would slaughter him. They would destroy him politically if he were still to do so after adopting all these standpoints.
The hon member also referred to personal attacks. I wholeheartedly share his feelings in this regard. I have never approved of personal attacks on people. Moreover, I have said in this House that if personal attacks on people are made from this side, I do not approve of that. However, I shall deal in a moment with the question put to me yesterday by the hon the Minister of the Interior.
I said at the time that the NP had proved that it was in earnest in carrying out the policy of separate development. What are the newspapers saying now? Die Vaderland says that separate development is now the policy of the CP—it is no longer the policy of the NP. The NP may still have it in mind, because it is wavering between two ideas, but in the meantime it has become part of a coalition government and in that coalition government there are people—according to convention there must be joint responsibility—who want nothing to do with separate development.
People have been hung about our necks, but who are the partners of the Government? Their partners are the people who stand for a non-racial federation. They are people who stand for socialization in this country. The hon members opposite now form part of a party sitting in a Government which supports a Marxist state against an internal opposition which they had previously supported against the Government. That is the company they keep. Let us not seek company for one another. Their company does not look all that good. I do not believe I need dwell on this further.
The hon member for Rustenburg had something to say and I just wish to remark to him that if he refers here to the say that Blacks had on the basis of which a budget was drawn up and was accepted by the Government, and if the hon member now wishes to argue that that is evidence of the say that Black governments had in the government of the country, then that is really an outrageous instance of re-writing the facts.
Therefore, if Mr Pik Botha conducted discussions with Dr Crocker and Mr Bush et all, and if a foreign policy for South Africa resulted from that, then according to that hon member’s standpoint Dr Crocker and Mr Bush became joint decision-makers with the Cabinet of South Africa with regard to foreign policy. [Interjections.]
He says that we should go and discuss our policy in Harrismith. We shall do so with the greatest pleasure. I am on my way there. It is in Harrismith that those farmers are going to ask that same hon member why approximately 80 000 ha of land in that part of the world are being considered for excision and inclusion in Qwa Qwa. Why? There is a simple and basic reason for it, viz that that is an ethnic group and a people to whom the NP has said over the years: “You are an ethnic group; you have acquired a claim to separate political expression and self-government. To have self-government over your own people you must get more land.” That, after all, is partition. Now, all of a sudden, it has become an alien concept.
I cannot react to all questions and allegations, but I do want to say the following to the hon member for Kroonstad, who asked me to react: He asked whether I was happy with the image of the Afrikaner as projected, with reference to certain events. Surely there is no one who approves of crime, immorality and disorder—things which occur within any national community—as an approved policy to be projected.
No, you do not understand my question.
I understood the hon member’s question very clearly, but I have not yet replied to him in full.
I want to add that I also do not approve of an image of my people if there are people who think that they have become too big for the Afrikaner people and that they must become world citizens. Nor do I approve of an image of Afrikaners who think they have to anglicize in order to gain English support and who, in the meantime, lose the support of their own people. As regards relations between the Afrikaners and the English-speaking people I want to say the time has passed that the English-speaking people think that the Afrikaner has to apologize for being Afrikaans. They say to us: Be yourself; and we say to them: Be yourself.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, wait, that hon member must give me a chance; I am still replying to him.
If there are still unbelievers—and after all there are many such in these times—I do not commend that as an image of my people. However, I ask: Is that the total and overall image of a people? If there are people within a nation who are racialists, I want to say that if that hon member wishes to intimate that the CP are racialists, the racial hatred emanating from the Nationalists at this stage is such that he should rather remain silent as far as that is concerned. That is a fact. That is the truth. That hon member does not approve of it, nor do I approve of it. However, when we speak about race hatred we must not condemn a healthy awareness of race and a healthy nationalism, as racism. Then we must not speak the language of the World Council of Churches and the British Council of Churches and all those kinds of church councils that have all, all of sudden gone, on the rampage against racism. We really must not imitate them like parrots.
There is another matter I should like to deal with. I want to refer to the hon member for Innesdal. Unfortunately he is not present, but I do not think he will take it amiss of me if in his absence—and I hope that he will not interpret this as being behind his back—I make a few remarks with reference to a certain statement that he made.
The hon member for Innesdal referred to a prominent Black leader in Pretoria who said to him:
I should have liked to ask the hon member, and I now ask it in this House: What sense of responsibility does that Black leader have if he hides behind the threats of radicals? I want to go on to ask: What sense of responsibility has the hon member for Innesdal to come here and present the threats of confrontation by Black radicals as a deterrent, or to seek to want to link this to the CP?
Surely we know what the demands of these radicals are. Those demands are as little acceptable to the CP as they are to the NP or any other party in this House. Why, however, did that hon member come and present them in this House as if there are people here who advocate a policy that would justify those radicals in their actions? Those people advocate terror. They are the people who throw petrol bombs, the people who plan rebellion. However, those people are now being presented here … Yes, I do not know as whom or as what!
Even so-called moderates among the Black people have been dragged in here by hon members on the Government side. In this regard I want to refer to the hon Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs who referred to Bishop Desmond Tutu as a moderate Black leader. I shall, however, deal with that in due course. In the meantime there is another moderate Black leader who says: “Chaka’s country is the whole of Natal.” Now, I wonder how happy hon members of the NRP will feel about that. That is a moderate Black leader who says that! He says: “Chaka’s country is the whole of Natal.”
We say to him that we do not agree with this. However, when one tells him that one does not agree with him then I believe that ultimately one reaches the point at which one has to tell him: “Here I draw the line; we go no further.” However, when one does this, when one does not wish to go further, those people tell one that one is seeking confrontation. Then young Black radicals are presented to us as those who are going to threaten us or whatever. They are the people who threaten us with violence.
The same Black leader says: “A one man, one vote situation is an ultimate inevitability.” Are we now to bow before these so-called moderates; or sit around a table with them? Are they the people with whom we must now reach consensus? Reach consensus? On the basis of “one man, one vote as an ultimate in inevitability?”
The same Black leader also says: “The moment of truth has arrived for the White man. Apartheid or majority rule—the choice is as simple as that.” This is supposedly a moderate leader! It is with people such as he that consensus must be achieved. The statement I want to make is that when one seeks to achieve consensus, when one wishes to conduct a discussion, even with moderate leaders, one will have to say to moderate leaders: “This is the limit; Further than that I am not prepared to go.”
The other evening the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to Bishop Tutu in a television interview. He described Bishop Tutu as a moderate. Am I quoting him correctly?
Yes, I said that he was a moderate Black leader with radical friends.
Very well, then I am quoting the hon the Deputy Minister more or less correctly. Good! Bishop Tutu does have friends who are somewhat more radical. Only a few years ago this same bishop, who has now received the Nobel Peace Prize, made the following statement, and I quote from The Citizen of 6 June 1980. He said:
Well, perhaps the noble Bishop has in the interim become more moderate. However, he is also the man who said: “Mandela will rule in five years.” According to the statement by Bishop Tutu at the time, Mandela should therefore have been in power already. However these are the so-called moderate leaders referred to by the hon the Deputy Minister and other hon members of the National Party.
Reference is being made to blackmail. Certain radicals are being presented to us in this regard. Another kind of blackmail that we have had to deal with in the Northern Transvaal was that of the Chief Minister of Lebowa, Dr Phathudi. I quote:
In spite of blackmail of this nature having been resorted to—I do not believe it was as a result of it—7 515 people voted for the Conservative Party in Potgietersrus. Moreover, Dr Phathudi intimidated no one with his threats. I wish to point out however that the people of Potgietersrus (and I do not wish to steal the turn of the hon member for Potgietersrus now; he himself can speak on behalf of his people) did not close their hearts to Black people and their aspirations; not even after this threat of a boycott. However those voters conveyed a very clear message—to the Black leaders too—viz that they firmly believed in separate political structures but that they did not believe in the kind of separate representation which the hon member for Randfontein tried to explain to us here. After all, he contended that separate representation within the same body was still separate development. [Interjections.] I believe that the voters of Potgietersrus stated clearly that they could not be blackmailed into accepting multiracial power-sharing.
I am pleased to note that the hon member for Innesdal has resumed his seat in this House. I take it that he had a good reason for his earlier absence.
I heard everything you said.
Good! Nevertheless I want to put it to the hon member for Innesdal that he should not try to intimidate us with the threats of radical Black leaders concerning confrontation and revolution.
We are not afraid of them.
Moreover I want to put it to the hon member for Innesdal that he must please not join the chorus of people like Dr Beyers Naudé who is already speaking about civil war and saying that he expects violence if Black demands are not complied with.
Do you mean what you say?
I mean what I say. I mean it when I say that the hon member must not sing in the same chorus as those radicals. He has just quoted the words of a Black leader here. However, why did he do so? To frighten us? [Interjections.] That Black leader whom the hon member for Innesdal regards as a prominent man states that if Dr Treurnicht were to take over South Africa, certain things would happen. However, we have no such flamboyant ideals. We are fighting to gain the support of the majority of White voters in South Africa. [Interjections.] The CP is out to win the support of the majority of Whites. The Black radicals intimate that they would reject majority support of Whites for separate freedoms, if such support were to materialize, and that the confrontation would then take place. Therefore there are Black people, Black radicals—and that hon member is an adherent of theirs—who will confront any majority in White ranks that champions any idea of separate development whatsoever.
It was a moderate Black leader who was concerned about what would happen in South Africa if that confrontation took place.
Very well, then the hon leader had better tell us next time what his reply was to the Black leader. He must just not come and introduce the opinions of the radical Black leader into the discussions of this House.
I do not wish to elaborate on what the hon Chief Whip of the NP, the hon member for Virginia, had to say. I think that the hon member for Soutpansberg dealt with his allegations to some extent. I do want to say that instead of the hon member rather remaining silent about the flagrant falsification of a document taken from a department’s files, instead of quoting the essential decision, he merely said that I had agreed that a Black person could reside in a University hostel.
Is that true?
But surely I am saying that it is not the whole truth. The whole truth did not suit that hon member. I am not talking to the hon member personally now; I am talking about the information service and about Dr Koornhoof who was then Minister of that department. Because the whole truth did not suit the hon member, that document was disgracefully falsified.
The document is not the issue. Did you give him permission?
Oh, the document certainly is the issue. [Interjections.] Does the hon member now want to know what appeared in the document? Has he taken another look at it? Has he seen how disgraceful it is? Here is a copy of the essential decision: “Recommendation agreed to, but”—and if a statement is qualified, then the qualification is part of the truth—it is a part of the truth that he wishes to suppress. Sir, if one suppresses a part of the truth then one is more dangerous to the truth than a total lie. [Interjections.]
Just give us the whole truth!
Surely the whole truth is that there was a Cabinet decision. [Interjections.]
The whole truth is surely what the hon Chief Whip suppressed. [Interjections.]
Order! I call the hon Chief Whip to order. The hon member may proceed.
I know the hon Chief Whip very well, Sir. There were days when he fed his voters in Virginia my starvation diet. Those were good days. [Interjections.] Apart from the Cabinet decision, however, my decision as to the admission of Blacks was: Obtain accommodation for those Black students in the Black residential area and if it is decent there is no reason why a Minister’s son cannot reside there. The student in question only obtained admission for that year and any further applications were to be considered on merit. All that is part of the truth which the hon member suppressed.
The hon the Minister of Internal Affairs and of National Education requested my comments on the speech of the hon member for Jeppe.
May I just interrupt you? He apologized for not being able to be here.
That is in order.
To begin with I want to say that the hon member for Jeppe, this party and I abide by the rulings of the Speaker from the Chair. What that ruling amounted to was that the Speaker requested the hon member to withdraw words on a number of occasions. He did withdraw them. I want to know whether the hon the Minister now wants me to comment on words that were withdrawn on the instructions of Mr Speaker. [Interjections.] Oh, I had not expected hon members to fall into the trap so easily. I had not expected them to give me another opportunity. I want to ask hon members who have now answered in such a chorus, what their opinion is of this statement: A certain member has “a pathological inability to deal with the facts and the truth.” This appears in Hansard and they are the words of the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, addressed to me. I supposedly have a pathological inability to the deal with the facts and the truth. I think that that is a disgraceful statement; it was passed. What do hon members who want me to comment on words that have been withdrawn, think about the following: In Hansard, 1982, col 4538: “after all, the hon member was a minister of religion; he should not lie.” I am, as it were, told to my face that I am lying. This is not something one passes off lightly. It is disgraceful.
Did the hon member for Jeppe clear his speech with you in advance?
Did the State President clear his speech with the hon member or with the caucus? The hon member was in no way consulted about that.
In column 4633 one finds the words, “And then a little pipsqueak like this …” a reference from the bench of the hon the Prime Minister to an hon member on this side. The following was said of me: “It was a contemptible performance for a man who says that he professes the Christian faith.” In column 167 of 1983 there is the reference by Dr Koornhof to the hon member for Rissik which I do not even wish to repeat. In col 199 one encounters the following: “That hon member reminds me of cholera”, and “The hon member is always like an ox resting its hindquarters against the yoke”. Do hon members want us to discuss the matter further? All I can say is: First remove the beam from your own eye and: Physician, heal thyself.
The hon the Minister complained about wilful distortions. He must not without further ado attribute loose talk to a party. There is a great deal of loose talk. There are many Nationalists who are guilty of that. Let us say frankly to one another that one gets it in any party. However hon members must not think that sharp criticism and distortions of NP policy emanate only from the CP. There are members of the NP who have a share in the indecent jokes made about prominent politicians. [Interjections.] Do not, then, accuse me if your own people are guilty of it. This comes from people who voted “yes” but wish they had not done so, and from Nats who say, “This we did not vote for”!
The hon member speaks about distortions. He must now listen to a distortion that I am accused of. I quote from a document of March 1982:
That was a distortion. He told me later, from the bench in front of me: The CP is lying when it says that it is going to be a mixed government. I then asked what else it was going to be. Later we heard that it was not a mixed government but a joint government. Shall we now, instead of referring to mixed marriages, have to refer to joint marriages? When we speak about mixed schools, will they merely be joint schools?
According to the Whip my time has expired. Did we interpret the State President wrongly when we said that he said that a large number of Black people outside the national states were in South Africa permanently? Secondly, we say: The NP says that those people cannot enjoy political expression above the local level of government in their own national states. Thirdly, the NP states that they can now participate in decision-making at a higher level than the local level and can have a say in that regard. [Interjections.] I am now using my own words; they are words to that effect; I can give the hon member the references. I have done so on several occasions across the floor of this House.
In the fourth place he comes along and states that they will be able to participate up to the highest level in decision-making concerning their own affairs. Our standpoint is that if one speaks of joint decision-making up to the highest level, the highest level in the political structure of this country is the Cabinet and Parliament. If the Black people outside the national states must be able to participate up to that level, then one must choose between two possibilities: One can give them a Black Parliament with a Black Cabinet within the Republic of South Africa, but then the National Party says—and we agree with them—that there cannot be two governments in the same country. The only remaining alternative is that one must accommodate them in the same Parliament and the same Cabinet, or else one cannot tell them that they are going to participate up to the highest level in decision-making on matters affecting them. They are also being told, as appears on page 5 of this booklet, that:
They cannot be inferior as a parliament and a cabinet. However, if one does it in one parliament then immediately one has a Black majority government in South Africa. Then one must be consistent as regards the numerical ratio that is now incorporated in the White: Coloured: Indian ratio of 4:2:1. Then one has a ratio of more or less 8:4:2:1. If, then, there are three Indians, six Coloureds and 12 Whites in the Cabinet, there will have to be 24 Blacks in the Cabinet. That is the practical logic. This has nothing to do with ideology, or else it has everything to do with ideology, in the sense that it is fatal to the self-determination of the Whites. We say that structures must be created such that in the midst of all the discussions and negotiations, the final decision-making in respect of one’s own people must be in the hands of those people who demand self-determination for themselves. It is our standpoint that people cannot bring about a satisfactory system in this country unless partition is implemented, and various peoples are given the highest political authority within their own territories so that they can make their own decisions there without domination and interference from elsewhere. This applies to the Whites, Coloureds and Indians and to every Black people as well. The Black nations whose people live within the borders of the Republic of South Africa must either be brought into the political body of the Republic of South Africa—and if that is done, nothing will remain of the final decision-making of Whites in respect of Whites—or else a political structure must be found for those people whereby they can realise themselves, linked to their own people and their own political structures.
Mr Chairman, I listened attentively to the hon member for Waterberg and I shall react in a moment to a few aspects which the hon member mentioned.
On this occasion, however, I should first like to refer to the present political debate which we are conducting, on the level on which that debate is been conducted. I want to refer for a while to decency and honesty. That is why I want to ask this question: How do we want people outside to see us, and what should we look like to people outside Parliament if we wish to preserve confidence and order in this country and if we wish to govern this country? We have now entered a period in which the vilification of leaders is rampant. That vilification of leaders comes from the Opposition coalition, the coalition between the AWB, the CP and the HNP. This is the latest coalition we have to deal with. It is a close-knit and intimate coalition.
I shall tell you why I say this. I am not saying this without reason. I read in Northern Review that Mr Terre’Blanche held a meeting at Pietersburg. I read that on that occasion a certain Mr Butler, the vice-chairman of the regional executive committee of the hon member for Pietersburg, acted as chairman of the AWB-meeting. [Interjections.] I now want to know from the hon member for Pietersburg whether the chairman who officiated at the AWB-meeting, did so with his permission. There is no reply from the hon member, but I should like to know whether he agrees with that.
I am asking these questions because I want to produce proof of the coalition which exists … [Interjections.] … that intimate, close-knit coalition. The vice-chairman of Pietersburg’s CPs officiated as chairman at the AWB-meeting. There one now has physical proof of the close operation and of the opposition coalition in the ranks of the wrong-headed right wing.
At that meeting, at which the CP vice chairman acted as Chairman …
Is this power-sharing?
Yes, I should also like to know whether this is power-sharing. Was that a mixed gathering? Perhaps it was a joint meeting. [Interjections.] Whatever it was, it was a manifestation of the coalition which exists in Pietersburg between the AWB and the CP. [Interjections.]
In years gone by the hon member for Pietersburg did after all display a tendency to support the HNP. In fact, the hon member for Pietersburg has shares in Die Afrikaner, has he not? [Interjections.] To my mind the close-knit coalition between the AWB, the CP and the HNP is like a long thread.
Is it mixed or joint?
I think it is a mixed, joint multiparty-coalition and possibly obscene as well, who knows?
At that meeting that was held under the chairmanship of the CP, the national flag was not displayed on the platform, only the Vierkleur.
Yes, the hon member should listen to this. Someone who attended the meeting, wrote—I want to know from the hon member for Pietersburg what his standpoint is in this regard:
I want to know from the hon member for Pietersburg whether he agrees that political meetings are being held under the chairmanship of his party in the absence of the national flag.
No, he is ashamed now.
The hon member for Pietersburg can reply to that question later, but I want to say that a political meeting was held under the chairmanship of his party at which the national flag was held in contempt. [Interjections.] I am proud of my flag and I shall not tolerate my flag being reviled as a “strikers-dominium” flag. This flag came into existence in the midst of great strife. This flag was not merely acquired. Under this flag our young men lay down their lives, but in Pietersburg this flag was held in contempt at a meeting under CP chairmanship. I want to say something further about this unholy coalition among the wrong-headed right-wing parties in South Africa. I read in Die Afrikaner of 23 January:
I am coming to the level of our political debate. Mr Jaap Marais wrote this article, and said:
Today I should like, in all fairness, to ask the hon member for Waterberg, does he agree with this allegation made by Mr Jaap Marais in Die Afrikaner of 23 January, or does he also repudiate it with the contempt which it deserves?
Must we help you to make your speech again?
No, I am not asking for that. The last member I need to help me make my speech is the hon member for Waterberg. I am asking the hon member for Waterberg, in his position of responsible leader, whether he agrees with the allegation made by Mr Jaap Marais that Mr Vorster and the present State President quickly became Christians when they became Prime Minister?
Poor sick Piet!
Poor UP Daan! After all the hon member for Rissik is an old UP man and now he is making personal remarks about me. He is functioning on a level to which he is of course accustomed, for we have known him to be a political prostitute all his life. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon Minister must withdraw that.
I withdraw it. I want to say, however, that the hon member for Rissik is a man who has had many love affairs in politics. [Interjections.] He was a UP man and then he was a dissatisfied Nationalist under Mr Vorster’s regime. On the day the HNP rift occurred in Pretoria, he was very conveniently in bed with a cold. He had a political cold. [Interjections.] I want to warn the hon member for Rissik that if he does not stop making those personal remarks of his, I shall also begin to make personal remarks, and then that hon member is going to get hurt. I want to ask him in all kindness to stay away from the personal level. Let us tackle one another with arguments.
I want to say that politics is descending to a level at which one must hang one’s head in shame when the leader of a political party writes that Mr Botha and Mr Vorster, while members of Dr Verwoerd’s Cabinet, were not known to be practitioners of their religion but that as Prime Ministers, after they began to lose Afrikaner support, they unexpectedly emerged as ardent practitioners of their religion. On that point the hon member for Waterberg does not want to reply to me. He says I must make my own speech. If he were to put that question to me, I would say that I rejected the contemptible statement of Mr Jaap Marais. Does the hon member say the same? Does he also reject it? [Interjections.] Does he also reject Mr Jaap Marais’ statement? [Interjections.]
The hon member for Waterberg does not have the political courage to repudiate his coalition partner. [Interjections.] After all, one cannot repudiate one’s coalition partner. I want to say that this absolutely disgraceful, reprehensible and base insinuation made against the late Mr Vorster and the present State President ought to be rejected by any decent politician in this country with the contempt which such statement deserves. [Interjections.] However, the hon member for Waterberg does not have the political courage to do so in this House because he is not renowned for excessive and prodigious political courage.
I want to go further. The hon member reacted here to the hon member for Jeppe’s absolutely disgraceful and objectionable speech which he made in this House. The hon member tried to wriggle out of it and performed a political egg-dance by saying that the hon member for Jeppe had had to withdraw the words, and he no longer had to accept responsibility for them. Because the words had been withdrawn there was no need for him to express an opinion on them. The hon member for Jeppe made certain allegations which, having been instructed to do so by the Chair, he withdrew under protest. So he meant what he said. He is the chief information officer of that party. Let us consider for a moment what he said. He said inter alia the following (Unrevised Hansard, 10 April, 1985):
Order! I am not certain whether that statement by the hon member for Jeppe was withdrawn, but when something has been withdrawn, it may not be referred to again during the debate. The hon the Minister may proceed.
Teach him something!
Mr Chairman, the section I have just quoted was not withdrawn by the hon member. It is perfectly in order to quote it.
There is no need at all for the hon member for Brakpan to say “teach him something”. That hon member has a little man complex, but I do not blame him for it. I understand his problem. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Jeppe went on to say:
That is what he said about our State President. That was not withdrawn either. He went on to say:
A decent person does not say this kind of thing about another hon member of this House. I refuse to refer to the hon member for Waterberg or the hon member for Sea Point or any other hon member of this House in those terms. In my opinion it is a disgrace! It is a public disgrace.
The hon member also said:
Mr Chairman, can you imagine that we are creating an image of the Head of State of this country …
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
I only have three minutes left, so the hon member must put his question quickly.
A moment ago the hon the Minister used the word prostitute. Does it not fall into the same category as the words he has just quoted?
No. If a man hits out at me, as the hon member for Rissik did, he gets a bloody nose. He was asking for trouble. If a person taunts me, he is going to get hurt. Consequently I replied to him on the level on which he sought a reply. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Jeppe went on to say:
This was a quite abominable, despicable, disgraceful allegation to make against the person of the State President of this country. It is a subversion of authority in this country. It is a subversion of the constitutional authority in this country. It is conducive to revolution in South Africa when the Head of State is subverted in this way.
But I want to go a little further. I want the hon member for Waterberg to tell us whether he agrees with the following statement of the hon member for Jeppe.
But you know I do not make your speeches for you.
The hon member must not try to run away now. He must not try to evade his responsibilities.
The hon member for Jeppe said:
The hon member was therefore saying that the Nkomati Accord gave us the image of a traitor. Therefore he rejects the Nkomati Accord. When he said that we had left Renamo in the lurch in favour of communism and that that had given us the image of a traitor internationally, he was rejecting the Nkomati Accord.
Mr Chairman, on appoint of order: The question of the image of a traitor was one of the points which the hon member for Jeppe had to withdraw after a ruling by Mr Speaker, and he did in fact withdraw it. [Interjections.]
The reference to Renamo was not ruled out of order.
Mr Chairman, on a further point of order: The Chairman of the House ruled that when a person had withdrawn a statement, that point could not be debated further. The hon member for Jeppe withdrew the words in question and according to the ruling of the Chairman the hon the Minister may not say anything further about this matter.
The hon the Minister may proceed with his speech, but he must please take cognizance of the previous ruling.
The hon member for Jeppe has rejected the Nkomati Accord, because he says the Nkomati Accord is an act of treason and therefore he cannot support an act of treason. I now want to know whether the hon the leader of the CP agrees with this statement of the hon member for Jeppe. I want to know whether the hon the leader of the CP still stands by the Nkomati Accord or whether he stands by the hon member for Jeppe.
Make your own speech.
But I am asking the hon member a very fair question. Does he still stand by the Nkomati Accord or is he running away from it now? [Interjections.] The fact of the matter is that the hon member for Jeppe rejected the Nkomati Accord, and did so in public.
You are a meat inspector.
Who is the meat inspector now? I want to know from the hon member for Waterberg whether he still stands by the Nkomati Accord or whether he differs with the hon member for Jeppe in regard to it. That is the heart of the matter. Does the hon member not want to reply to me?
Go and read the speech I made last year.
So the hon member stands by the Nkomati Accord?
I stand by my speech. [Interjections.]
It seems to me the hon member no longer adheres to the Nkomati Accord and is now following the lead of the hon member for Jeppe.
The hon member asked questions about the pooling of resources, but said he stood by the Nkomati Accord. Then the hon member for Jeppe came along, however, and repudiated the Nkomati Accord, and now the hon member for Waterberg does not want to tell us whether he agrees with that. It is typical of the CP. The hon member for Jeppe rejects the Nkomati Accord, but the hon Leader of that party does not want to tell us today whether he stands by the accord or the hon member for Jeppe. The hon member for Waterberg is standing to one side. He is standing in a neutral position. [Interjections.]
I want to go further and say that we did in fact get an important admission from the hon member for Waterberg today. The hon Chief Whip of the Government asked him whether he had admitted a Black person to a White university while the course in question was being taught at Black universities. The hon member then said that the hon Chief Whip was distorting the facts. The hon Chief Whip simply wanted to know from him whether he had admitted a Black person to a White university while that subject or field of study was being taught at two Black universities. To that the hon member did not want to reply. Today he subsequently admitted that he, the hon member for Waterberg, did in fact admit a Black person to a White university.
Not only half a student.
Yes, the whole student; not only half a student, as my hon colleague over there has just said. Today I want to tell the CP that they should also tell this to their people in Harrismith and elsewhere so that their people can also hear that this hon leader of the CP, the hon member for Waterberg, admitted a Black person to a White university. [Interjections.] The hon member for Lichtenburg, in his time, was an even better man in that respect, because he admitted even more. [Interjections.] The hon the leader of the CP implied here today that they did not recognize the permanence of the Blacks in the White area. This is also stated in their constitution. In it they say:
In other words they will repeal section 10. They therefore want to repeal the section which Dr Verwoerd would not allow to be repealed. I now want to ask the hon member for Waterberg again whether he therefore repudiates one of his deputy leaders, Dr Mulder, who said that he was going to make Soweto the most beautiful city in Africa. Why is he going to make it the most beautiful city in Africa if he does not recognize the permanence of Blacks in White areas? Consequently the hon member for Waterberg has changed his policy again. He ran away from Dr Verwoerd’s policy and has now gone back even further into the past. I do not know in whose time the section was written, but it was a long way back.
In 1945. That is why I want to contend today that the CP are at present enjoying a reasonable amount of attention from the electorate, because they are nothing new. However, they are going to become completely irrelevant to the political dialogue in South Africa because they are trying to negotiate a better past for us instead of a better future, as the NP is doing. We must just give them a chance, Mr Jaap Marais is going to chase them back to before 1900, because he is with Paul Kruger. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Waterberg has consistently followed the lead of the HNP. If something happens in the HNP today, it is CP policy before the week is out. If he had not had a cold that day, the hon member for Rissik would have been in the HNP. [Interjections.] All that kept him out was a cold! We realize, of course, that it was a political cold. The CP is going to become entirely irrelevant, because the general public have an instinctive feeling for that which affects their survival and their continued existence in this country.
The hon member for Waterberg asked how we were going to achieve consensus. But how is he going to implement his policy, if he does not achieve consensus with Buthelezi on independence? How can his policy work? We made the Transkei, Bophuthatswana and the Ciskei independent, because the greatest consensus was achieved there that has ever been achieved between Whites and Blacks in this country. They trusted us, and that is why they entered into agreements with us. However, I cannot believe, or I find it difficult to foresee, that a responsible Black government will ever conclude a contract with the hon member for Jeppe. I find it very difficult to foresee that that party, with the attitude which radiates from it, with the noises which it is making and the coalition in which it finds itself, will ever succeed in concluding an agreement on independence with a responsible Black government. Their image and their policy cannot succeed. It is an illusion. In my opinion neither Buthelezi or any other Black leader will achieve consensus with that coalition of the AWB, the HNP and the CP. The future of that coalition in South Africa is stillborn and they are becoming increasingly irrelevant in respect of the problems of the day.
The hon member for Waterberg tried to suggest here that we are moving towards a fourth chamber for Blacks. I tell him candidly here today that this party’s policy does not make provision for a fourth chamber for Blacks in this Parliament. That is the policy of the NP and we stand by it. The more that hon member tries to proclaim this outside, the less people will believe him because they are still trying to batten on untruths, on uncertainties and on spectres which they conjure up in order to frighten the voters.
My hon leader spoke nothing but the absolute truth.
The hon member for Sunnyside should rather not talk about truths.
Business suspended at 12h45 and resumed at 14h15.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister of Manpower, speaking just before lunch, said:
I really thought that from a man with Cabinet status we would hear something that would contribute towards solving the problems facing South Africa today. What did we hear, however? We heard a diatribe from the hon the Minister of Manpower against the CP. He attacked the CP or one of its members for lowering the level of debate, but he managed to achieve that same low standard. It was a bitter debate … [Interjections.] … and a debate which, quite frankly, should not have taken up the time of this House but should have been confined to some little hall in Harrismith.
As regards the hon member for Water-berg, I give him full credit as a good debater in this House and one worth listening to. I cannot, however, give him credit for the policies he expounds, because if the problems facing South Africa today are occasioned by the policies of the NP, I would hate to think what the problems confronting South Africa would be if the policies of the CP were to be put into operation.
Let me turn to the matter confronting us in this debate. It was the hon member for Johannesburg West who said that the Whites were emotional and nervous. Why are they emotional and nervous? It is because they are frightened of the unrest in South Africa. Everyone speaks to wants to know what is going to happen to this country; where we are heading for; whether we are heading for confrontation; whether there will be some solution to the confrontation; and what the Government is doing about the problems we are facing in South Africa today. At the showgrounds the other day the State President criticized the prophets of despair, but can we hide the facts facing South Africa? Must we hide our heads in the sand like ostriches, or must we confront the problems facing us and deal with them?
The people are worried and concerned. This is a budget debate concerned with economics. The hon the Minister of Finance is here and he must tell the country why we are in such economic straits in South Africa today. We are probably facing the worst position since 1933. The inflation rate is standing at 16% and money is insufficient to buy the things we could a little while ago. The cost of living is going up all the time. The number of unemployed is reaching something like one million people. There are 14 insolvencies and liquidations taking place in South Africa every day. Hundreds of people are being put out of work practically every day by organizations. Losses to business organizations have reached something like R1 000 million in foreign exchange. Then, hitting everyone below the belt, the hon the Minister comes and raises GST to 12%, causing the whole country to suffer even further. Sir, can one blame the Whites, the Blacks and even the Coloureds and the Indians if they are at the moment emotional and nervous?
What is the Government doing about this state of affairs? What is the situation we are facing? Only a week ago in the Cape Times a summary was given of events that have taken place recently. The report talks of over 100 people having been killed in uprisings since January this year. Then there is the following chilling paragraph:
Is it any wonder that the people are nervous? Why are they nervous and why is this happening? It is because there is Black unrest.
Perhaps we should take a look at the reasons for Black unrest. We must look unfortunately at our present Constitution and the situation in which we in South Africa find ourselves today with the country’s present Constitution. Before the Constitution was implemented, two warnings were addressed to the Government: The first was the exclusion of Blacks and the second was polarization. Are we not in that position right now? After all, we are in a situation where the Blacks have been excluded and where there is polarization between them on the one hand and the Coloureds, Whites and Indians on the other having to decide the fate of the Black people who have no representation in this Parliament whatsoever. We are now in a hiatus situation, although it was said previously that this constitution would be a step in the right direction. So we are caught in the middle of a situation where there should have been a step in the right direction but where nothing has been done. In other words, we are in a hiatus situation at the moment where there is no Black representation and where confrontation, polarization and resentment are building up. If the Government wants to arrest this build-up, they must close the gap immediately and remove the causes I have mentioned which are the root causes of the unrest that is taking place at the moment and of the present situation.
For how long, then, can the Blacks be expected to suffer the indignity of having no representation? The lack of political say at Government level, the denial of citizenship, the threat of forced removals, the inability to sell one’s labour on the open market and the lack of a meaningful vote—all these factors beg the question: How long can this position be tolerated?
Questions that have been accusingly asked are: Why do the Blacks burn down the schools? Why do they burn down institutions? To find some sort of answer to this, one must listen to Prof Nkabinde, Rector of the University of Zululand who was interviewed on television by Dr Willem de Klerk. He was asked this very question: Why do the Blacks bum down the schools and institutions? In reply he said that the Blacks feel they are the conquered people of South Africa, that they are the oppressed people of South Africa and that they are under police threat. If the Army steps in, it is final proof to them that they have been conquered. They are forced to go to certain institutions, they are forced into a way of living which is against their own wishes and so they feel oppressed and conquered. So when they burn down the schools and the institutions, they are not burning the schools as such that are educating them to give them opportunities in life but rather the very symbol of authority of the people who are oppressing them. That is why they are burning down the schools. [Interjections.]
If hon members want to know more about Black feelings, I can quote no better example than Percy Qoboza, Editor of The World, a man who has lived all his life in the Soweto township and who is close to the feelings of the Black people. What does Percy Qoboza say? Incidentally, this is an article written subsequent to his Nightline discussion with Mr Otto Krause. I want the hon members to listen to his chilling words. Firstly, he says the following:
He then goes on to say:
Finally, he says:
Is that not what we are facing at the moment?
Nevertheless, there are rays of light, signs of hope as far as the Government is concerned. What are they doing about the situation or what are they not doing about it? A Cabinet Committee was appointed over a year ago but very little has happened since. We have heard nothing from the Cabinet and nothing from the State President as to what their recommendations are. When are we going to hear something from this Cabinet Committee?
We had very encouraging words from the State President in September 1984, when he said (Hansard: Assembly, 18 September 1984, col 20):
That was said in September 1984 and we are now in April 1985. What steps have been taken by the Government to meet the State President’s demands in that respect?
The State President went even further. As recently as 7 April 1985, he said the following at Moria City:
I am obviously surprised that the State President does not know what the problems are. Nevertheless, he is prepared to talk with the people. This may perhaps even turn out to be a diplomatic achievement on the part of the State President. I do therefore congratulate him on his address to 2 million Black people. Then, however, it is necessary that we turn our words into actions in order to accomplish some meaningful result in this respect.
Other rays of hope that I can see are, inter alia, the following. If what the Cape Times reports this morning is correct, draft legislation is to be tabled on Monday aimed at abolishing section 16 of the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. The hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education made a speech here yesterday which was encouraging insofar as it related to urbanization and influx control. Why do we have to wait, however, until the second half of the year? We also have the Group Areas Board that will be investigating affairs relating to central business districts in 44 areas. That is, however, only going to be completed in September this year. Why all these delays? Why do we not get action, Mr Chairman?
It is clear that apartheid has failed. It is clear that we must negotiate with the Black people. We must do so in order to clear the air, but we must first abolish apartheid altogether. If apartheid had succeeded we would not have been in the difficult situation in which we in South Africa are finding ourselves today. We must all acknowledge—and the National Party must acknowledge—that apartheid has failed in this country. The time to fulfil all our promises has come. We can no longer make promises without carrying them out as well. That gap has to be closed with the minimum of delay.
We can perhaps understand the problems of the National Party in connection with getting rid of apartheid and of discriminatory legislation because I believe they do not know exactly what they want. If they do indeed know exactly what they want, then they cannot achieve what they want to achieve. Allow me to give an example in order to illustrate my point, Mr Chairman. During the earlier stages of this debate we listened to two speeches by hon members on the Government side. One of those speeches was delivered by the hon member for Innesdal, a very verligte gentleman, who said the following, and I quote (Hansard, 10 April 1985):
Almost immediately afterwards the hon member for Turffontein said the following, however, and I quote (Hansard, 10 April 1985):
Every one of these things is based on a discriminatory law on the Statute Book of South Africa. [Interjections.] I should like the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to tell us what the attitude of the Cabinet is. Let him tell us which of these two versions is the correct one. [Interjections.] Are they going to get rid of apartheid or not? [Interjections.] Is it not perhaps true that the Cabinet has the same interpretation of apartheid as enunciated here by the hon member for Turffontein? [Interjections.]
Acts that are to be investigated without any further delay include the Prohibition of Political Interference Act, the Separate Amenities Act, the Group Areas Act and also the pass laws and influx control legislation. As the hon member for Pinelands said earlier today, there must be a meaningful debate with the Black people. It is of course no good talking with Black people unless they have credibility. In order for them to have credibility they must be properly designated by their own people or by their own particular authority. The sooner that is done, the better. The time has now come, firstly—as far as the PFP is concerned—to stop the farce of joint sittings for the delivery by hon Ministers of their Second Reading speeches without any debate taking place at all. We believe that to be a sterile exercise. [Interjections.] We must talk together with the Coloured and the Indian people.
Furthermore, some way must be found in which the Black people can be enabled to obtain a meaningful share in the political decision-making process. They should be given direct representation in this Parliament. If the Government does not believe there are sufficient numbers of Black leaders with whom they can talk—although the hon member for Turffontein seems to believe quite the opposite—then a judicial commission can be appointed to establish what other groups of Black leaders in South Africa should be given representation in the process of consultation between the Government and the Black leaders of the country.
In order to allow people to be represented at the convention, or even at the so-called forum—we can call it what we like as long as we talk with the people—by those people who are genuinely regarded as the leaders of the Black people, I believe it is essential that restrictions on freedom of movement and association should be lifted.
I want to conclude by making an appeal for a truce. I should like to appeal to the Black people of South Africa to cool their tempers and to ease their frustrations, to lay down the stones, to stop burning vehicles and, in particular, to stop burning bodies. I should like them to think about designating their leaders. However, how can we make this appeal to the Black people unless the Government of South Africa is prepared—as a matter of priority and urgency—to offer some meaningful proposition to the Blacks? Is the Government prepared to come forward with a scheme whereby they can invite the Blacks to sit around a table and then tell them what they have discussed and what their party has agreed to offer them? If that can be done, this appeal will have meaningful effect on the people. Perhaps then we will have some sort of peace in this country. If we can achieve that situation—and I hope we can—when these steps have been taken and when representation has been given to all persons of all race groups, I believe we in South Africa and in this Parliament will be able to say with confidence that the tensions will be released and that peace, tranquillity and prosperity will return to all the people of this country.
Mr Chairman, I should like to make a few observations in all earnest. The first statement I want to make is that I have great appreciation for the fact that there is indeed a greater measure of reasonableness discernible in this debate. The second observation I should like to make is that it is encouraging that all of us in this House perceive the seriousness of the conditions in the country.
The 1983 Constitution was never intended to comprise the total and final constitutional arrangements for South Africa. Perhaps our overhastiness to oppose one another, to condemn one another’s political standpoints and to propagate our own, is the reason for the conviction arising that the Constitution of 1983 represents a rejection of Black communities. I am not saying this with a reproach. The fact of the matter is, however, that parallel to the introduction of this Constitution, and parallel to the testing of this Constitution by way of a referendum, another process also took place. That process was the appointment of a Cabinet Committee which had to institute an investigation into, and had to negotiate on, the future political position of the Black communities of South Africa. A great deal of criticism has been expressed concerning the effectiveness or otherwise of this mechanism or process. The fact of the matter is, however, that at the beginning of this year, as a result of the work of that committee, it was possible for the State President to make important announcements at the opening of Parliament. Those announcements were interpreted and regarded in all quarters as progress, inter alia along the road of constitutional development of Black communities.
In essence it addresses certain basic facts of South Africa. It addresses the fact of the permanence of Black South African citizens. It addresses their political and social rights. It addresses their economic position. It addresses the question of property rights. It addresses the question of citizenship. It recognizes the right of Black communities outside the national states and outside the independent states to participate in the political decision-making that affects their lives. It addresses us in respect of every department which renders a service to Black communities, in that they should do this with the sensitivity required by such a society as ours. It addresses the co-operation structures of the independent states. It addresses the co-operation structures of self-governing states. It creates hope and expectations in respect of Black political participation, not only on local government level or on regional level, but also recognizes the Black communities as political entities which can obtain the maximum autonomy for their bodies. It holds out the prospect of overarching co-operation structures for all the various political communities and their overall executive structures. I maintain that this view should be an indication of the basis on which the future statecraft of this country, with Black participation, can develop.
†The hon member for Pinelands, and I think he would want me to react to what he had said, has identified the problem of who the real leaders are. He came to the conclusion that the real leaders must be determined through the process of the ballot box. However, he will also concede that before that can be done, provision will have to be made for the institutions …
Just a moment, please. But at the same time the hon member refers to Mr Mandela.
The State President did.
I am not arguing with the hon member. Please, just let me complete the argument. Mr Mandela has not been elected through the process of the ballot box. However, the people involved in local government have, with the co-operation of hon members on the other side, been so elected. There are, therefore, elected leaders of the association of local governments for Black people. Whether those institutions are adequate or not is not at issue for the purposes of the point I am trying to make. The leaders of the independent states have been elected. The people in the national states and their governments have been elected as the leaders of those states. There is a range of elected leaders. I do not suggest for one moment that all the leaders have been identified. Therefore, in extending the activities of the process of consultation, an invitation has been extended to all leaders who renounce violence to come and discuss the future in a forum. We would have to understand that people who are prepared to discuss and who are prepared to participate in the process, are often in danger of their lives.
The next point I wish to make is that, if others who had chosen other methods were to be given preference in terms of discussions and negotiations it would in my opinion be dangerous and, in fact, reduce the credibility of the leaders in those institutions. That we have to understand. I would like to suggest to the hon member for Pinelands that he would be faced with exactly the same problem when he wanted to constitute or convene his convention. He would be faced with exactly the same problem. What I am trying to get across is that the problems of South Africa will not change with a change of Government in this Parliament.
Nobody has said that.
I am not suggesting that anybody said anything different.
From there I would like to take it further. There are two distinct processes for reform, parallel to each other, and often in conflict with each other, going on in South Africa. Hon members will concede the validity of this argument.
*We have come a long way in this country. In this Parliament there is a profound awareness, not only of the fact of reform, but also of the process of reform. In this House, in our debates, we are no longer arguing about the necessity for reform. There was a time when we did. There was a long period when we did—all of us. [Interjections.] Yes, all of us were involved in that argument—let us not reproach one another now; I am not reproaching anyone. The fact of the matter is that the dominant factor in the political thinking of all parties in South Africa—and it is still the dominant factor today—is our view, our perception of our population structure in this country. This applies to all the parties, and we have not always been in power since 1910. Hon members know that this is true. The process of reform, to evolve peacefully, is the parliamentary process. It places a responsibility on every hon member of this Parliament.
One has to be in Parliament to be able to take part.
That is right.
*The fact of the matter is, however, that this Parliament has the only constitutional right to change the Constitution of the country. This means that every hon member of Parliament, regardless of his philosophy, shares that responsibility with every other member. This means that every House of this Parliament must do this.
I think the objectives of the process are clear, for what are the objectives of the process which has commenced? It is the amplification, not so, the broadening of the democratic basis of our state administration. It is a declaration of intent. It is the enhancement of the quality of life of all South Africa’s people, Blacks included. It is the creating of a stable and peacefull society.
I maintain that it is my personal conviction that we should erect this socio-political structure in this way for if we were to do it in some other way, it would be destroyed. It must be based on the way we see things—on Christian values and democratic principles. It can only be erected by those who participate in this Parliament.
Let me formulate it another way today. We must get away from the concept, from the politics of the ultimate winner in the sense that we think only one group can win. If it is not possible for everyone to win, South Africa cannot succeed.
I stand for White rights in so far as there are also Black, Coloured and Asian rights. The fact that we differ on how and by means of what institutions such rights should be exercised, and also differ on the processes and how these things may be attained, does not detract from this fundamental truth.
If Parliament wishes to succeed then it is not only necessary for the people in Parliament to succeed, but the people who brought the members of Parliament to this place must also succeed. This will require from us a far more rational, a far more reasonable practising of our own politics. It will also require from us the greatest powers of persuasion, for we must make no mistake: The resistance to change and reform that was traditionally encountered and is being encountered now, is as old as mankind itself.
The greatest restrictive factor is the selfishness of people who are possessors, and the fear which grips all of us. Among some of us it is a physical fear, among others it is a fear for the destruction of values, among others it is a fear for the destruction of identity, but whatever it is, we shall not succeed in changing the system if we do not undergo a change of heart.
I say this candidly here today: A leader in this country does not follow a beaten track. A negotiator for South Africa does not follow a beaten track either. He must systematically clear the way for others to follow.
There is another alleged road to reform, and it is being followed by people in our country. Other people are also advocating that this is the road that should be followed. These are the people who have chosen revolution as a process of change. The battle-cry is: We shall break down the building, we shall dig up its foundations and then we shall build a new palace of the earthly kingdom.
This sounds so attractive to people who have a naïve view of what is attainable in South Africa. It is so attractive to people who think they have legitimate, or not all that legitimate, grievances. It leads to boycotts. It leads to the rejection syndrome of totally irrational thinking. It leads, and I want to warn against this, to resistance and civil disobedience. It leads to protest marches in masses that cannot but explode, destroy and murder. In its extreme form it leads—and I want to warn against this—to the same kind of nihilism which was rampant in Western Europe in the late ’sixties. Hon member will know what I am talking about.
The real intentions are hidden behind the slogans. These are to destroy democracy by using the democratic process and democratic institutions, not to achieve what all of us want, but to establish a new order and a new dispensation in South Africa.
We have a relatively open society in South Africa. In our country an increasingly vehement debate is in progress—and I think a more reasonable one is in progress here among us—over the future of South Africa. I think we must take cognisance of this fact, but this excoriation of our society, as is being done in the media, in speeches and debates, the criticism we are levelling at one another, and the restrictions we are imposing on security forces, can be misused by the anti-democrats in our country who wish, through the creation of chaos, to pave the way for an autocracy.
Let me indicate where I stand in this regard: It is our responsibility to demonstrate the success of negotiation. That success should be demonstrated in such a way that in itself it will destroy violence as a means.
What more can we do than to re-emphasize the common objective of all of us sitting here, namely the maintenance of the values to which we are accustomed. All of us have these things. I do not want to refer to this, but all of us sitting here and those outside have certain historical heritages which are of value to us. We in Parliament frequently use different kinds of retoric—this is the crux of political debate—but in essence all of us are committed to the same object. Not only does every party here want to reform; every party here is committed to the participation of all the communities. I want to say this, and I think this should be our collective answer to all the revolutionary aspirant candidates for an autocracy: A vision of a peaceful and prosperous South Africa in which all South African communities are able to realize themselves to the full without encroaching on one another; in which every young person, within the limitations of his own society, can utilize his potential to the maximum extent; and in which every old person can be assured of a future for the generations to come.
Then there are three realities to which I wish to refer, realities in regard to which none of the hon members in this House will differ with me. The first is that the country is passing through a period of fundamental reform and adjustment. Secondly, the Government and Parliament are the vehicle of that process. I am asking for a commitment from our colleagues in Parliament, a commitment not only in terms of avowal but also in terms of application. I am asking them to commit themselves to the Parliamentary process of reform, and to express their antipathy to the other forms, regardless of whoever may be utilizing them. In the third place the Government’s reform policy is based on the specific objectives and premises to which I have referred. In addition it is related to specific procedures and methods.
Reform does not occur by itself. It does not merely happen. It must be guided with great circumspection, with great responsibility and purposefulness—I repeat, it must be guided. I know of few countries in which the transformation from one form of state administration to another could be experienced in a peaceful way. It is usually accompanied by revolution, by remorse and resistance. It is therefore our responsibility in this House to reduce the tensions as much as possible and not to intensify them as much as we can. In this reform situation stability is an important prerequisite, not in order to retain the status quo, but so that we may always in a position to continue with the process of reform. In this process it is essential that we realize that owing to the population structure, owing to the possibilities for conflict in our society and the fact that in many respects we are a developing society, there are ingredients present which can lead to disruption, destabilization and violence.
What is important is the motivation for reform. What is also important is why we wish to reform. Do we wish to reform out of fear? Do we wish to reform because we are afraid of the alternative? Or do we wish to reform because we wish to expand the boundaries of fairness? The only successful motivation is the one which takes all the values into consideration.
In the second place I want to warn against our overlooking the long-term objectives as a result of our short-term considerations. We shall have to keep our eyes trained on those long-term objectives to enhance the quality of life of all people in South Africa in every sphere of life. We shall also have to be prepared to satisfy ourselves that selfishness is not a basis on which a society can be structured. We shall have to satisfy ourselves that prejudices are not the basis on which a society can survive in an orderly manner.
This Parliament is an instrument of reform. The fact of the matter is that we have made a great deal of progress, because what is happening in South Africa today was not possible five years ago.
We are nearly back to 1948 now.
It was not possible two years ago. I do not want to quarrel with the hon member, but I want to tell him that painful processes have been endured to arrive at where South Africa stands today. Whether there are differences or not, the fact of the matter is that all of us recognize the permanence of Black communities outside Black states. All of us, whether we like it or not, recognize their right to participation. All of us here believe that differentiation is an element of the solution. We can differ as to whether it should be a statutory differentiation or whether it should be voluntary. The fact is that we recognize it as an element of the solution.
Mr Chairman, it gives me great pleasure to speak after the hon the Minister has spoken. We listened very attentively to what he said because each and every one of us in this House today knows what it is all about. What it is all about is the future of all the people of South Africa, and this is a delicate matter which must be handled with great circumspection. It is therefore very important for us to act responsibly in whatever we say in the House of Assembly or in public.
Therefore pronouncements about our future, such as those made by Bishop Tutu who says that South Africa belongs to the Blacks, and those of Prof Boshoff who says that South Africa belongs to the Afrikaners, are bound to goad our people into seeking confrontation with one another. It is a declaration of war. One must also look at other declarations of war that are evident in the actions of certain parties and in our own actions. We must act in such a way that our actions do not impair the relationships between peoples in South Africa, because that would make it impossible for us to negotiate and to undertake the necessary evolutionary reform which, as everyone in South Africa knows, is vitally necessary. All of us sitting here today know that there is nothing in South Africa that cannot be achieved through negotiation.
It is therefore very irresponsible of certain parties to further their own interests during elections by harming the reform process in this country. I am specifically referring, for example, to what is happening in Harrismith at the moment, because I have just spent three days there. I went to look and listen to what was happening there, to what it was really all about and how people were trying to win an election. I therefore call upon hon members to act with greater circumspection during elections. The alliance which the hon the Minister mentioned this morning is in fact at work there, because on the 10th of this month Eugène Terre’Blanche addressed a meeting in the Harrismith townhall and on the 11th he addressed one in Bethlehem where a by-election is pending. This fact in itself is not important, but one must listen to people’s reports of what was said at those meetings. It is simply a blatant incitement to confrontation between Black and White. People are saying that their alliance lies in this very fact and not in the existence of different parties or groups. A meeting to be addressed from the same platform in Harrismith by Mr Jaap Marais, along with the local CP candidate, has been planned for the 16th of this month.
Your allies are now Rajbansi and Rev Hendrickse.
Leave the allies out of this. Just give me an opportunity to say who the CP allies are! While visiting an English-speaking farmer in Harrismith he said to me: “Sir, you have come to see me, but I am a member of the PFP; this time, however, I am going to vote for the CP.” When I asked him why he was going to vote for the CP, he said that they had gone to the trouble of travelling from Cape Town to come and visit him. I asked him who it was, and he said that it had been an English-speaking member of the CP. I then said to him that although I could not speak English, they could not speak English either and that there was no English-speaking CP member in the House of Assembly. Eventually he told me that it was a man with a double-barrelled surname. Then I discovered it was this fellow, Derby-Lewis, or whatever his surname is. He had convinced that English-speaking individual that it would be in his own interests and in the interests of the party to vote for the CP this time.
One also finds people there telling one that there is some talk of the repeal of the Immorality Act which is now under consideration—and I am not going to name the MPs concerned who are sitting here today. Someone asked an MP why the Immorality Act had been implemented and why the present State President, who had been involved in its implementation at the time, was now involved in its repeal. The member of this House who was involved was reported to have said: “No, but at that stage he needed it, but now he is old and no longer needs it. Now it can be repealed.” That is not top-level responsible conduct.
The politics being practised in Harrismith is of an alarmingly low standard. At present confrontation and hatred between Black and White is building up in Harrismith. The flames are being fanned to such an extent that it scares one when one is there. A farmer came to me and said he never wanted to see a Black again. I then said to him: “But, Sir, you are busy harvesting your potatoes and there are a few hundred Blacks standing around.” He then replied that he was not referring to them, he was referring to those on television. He never wanted to see a coloured face on television again. I then told him that the Blacks would not disappear. They were here permanently. I then commented that he appeared to be an “Oranje man”. When he asked me what I meant, I said to him that it seemed to me he was also going to Morgenzon. He replied that he was not going anywhere. I told him he could employ an “Oranjeman” on his farm, he only needed to get rid of the Blacks that he did not need or did not want to see again.
I want to state frankly that the actions of the CP in the Harrismith election are promoting a revolution. It is absolute incitement! The Blacks and Whites there are starting to hate one another as a result of the actions of the CP.
That is a scared member talking.
Do not talk about people running scared! At the beginning of the century we had a confrontation with the English, and who were the people who were scared then? They were the people who said we should take a shot at Great Britain right from the start. These people eventually became the “hensoppers”! Those who start shooting first, are also the first to run and hide under a bed. I shall tell hon members who the people are who are shooting: They are sitting over there! One must go and listen to what is being said in Harrismith. Every other person tells one that the solution to South Africa’s problems lies in “shooting them!” Here are the people who are goading them to start shooting. [Interjections.] A man told me that when people asked how the hon member for Lichtenburg could now criticize all these aspects after he and Dr Treurnicht had both sat in the same Cabinet, he answered that that did not count since their pronouncements in the Cabinet had amounted to nothing because they had been two back-bench Ministers and had not had a say.
Oh, you are lying, man! You are lying! [Interjections.] You are lying!
But that is the truth! It is not a lie. The hon member said that. [Interjections.]
Order! I honestly want to say that it ill behoves senior members of this House to use that kind of language.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I should like your ruling on a permissible reaction when a member of this House who has the floor tells a blatant untruth.
Order! It has always been the custom that a subsequent speaker could clearly point that out, but I also want to point out that the hon member for Vryheid said that someone else had told him that. That does not mean that what the other person told him was the truth. All he said was that someone else had told him that. The hon member may proceed.
Mr Chairman, I just respectfully want to point out that the hon member repeated it and said that it was the truth. After it had been pointed out to him that it was not necessarily the truth, he said that it was indeed the truth. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: The hon member for Lichtenburg said “You are lying, man!” to the hon member for Vryheid three times: Sir, he must withdraw that.
Order! The hon member Mr Van Staden is correct. The hon member for Lichtenburg must withdraw that.
I withdraw, Sir.
Three times! [Interjections.]
The hon member for Vryheid may proceed.
Sir, I was referring to allegations I had heard while canvassing people in their homes. Another allegation I heard being made there was that a large number of the present NP representatives in the House of Assembly were on the point of joining the CP because of their uncertainty about unity in the NP. I want to say that I am so sure of unity in the NP that I would resign from my seat if any present NP member of the House of Assembly were to join the CP, because that is just not true. [Interjections.]
It has also been alleged—I shall not mention the man’s name unless the hon members want me—that one of the CP members of Parliament was asked: “If the NP were to allow Indians into the Free State and they were there when the CP came into power, what would you do?” The member replied: “We could give them six weeks. If they had not left by then, we would shoot them.” He then said with regard to Blacks: “No, there are many of them; we would give them three months and if they had not moved out of the Free State within three months, we would shoot them.” Then the man said to him: “Sir, old Petrus and his people have been living on my farm for five generations. Would you also chase Petrus out?” His reply was: “Yes, I would chase him out as well. I would shoot him too.” That is what I am talking about.
I want to say that the normalization of relationships amongst the population groups of South Africa is vitally necessary.
You have already lost in Harrismith.
We have not. We are going to take the seat. We can place a small bet on that. Sir, I want to say in all seriousness, with regard to the normalization of relationships, that English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking individuals have had 70 years since the beginning of the century to normalize relationships amongst themselves. With regard to relationships with the Blacks we do not even have seven years in which to do so. We can therefore not afford this type of thing.
I want to conclude—unfortunately my time has expired—by saying that in this Republic we have only one party that can prevent a Black majority government from taking over and that is the NP. Every White CP supporter whom one comes across alleges that the NP is working towards Black majority government, but I want to say that the NP is working towards preventing a Black majority government. No other party represented in the House of Assembly at present can do that. The credibility crisis which has developed between the Blacks on the one hand and the CP, and the HNP and their other allies on the other, is creating a very dangerous situation for the Whites in South Africa.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Vryheid will forgive me if I do not react to his speech. He and the CP members obviously have a difference which they must somehow resolve and I am not quite sure whether it will be possible for that to be done in Parliament.
I would, however, like to refer to some of the comments made by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I understand that he cannot be here. I nevertheless feel that some of the points he made were sufficiently important for me to respond to them.
He referred to the Cabinet Committee and made it clear to the House that that particular committee was in the process of addressing all the problems concerning a permanent Black community in South Africa. We are obviously pleased to hear that that is being done. The only point I would make in that regard is that the urgency does not seem to be appreciated by the members of that particular committee.
In 1985 we have seen a series of incidents which stem directly from the fact that the permanent, urbanized Black South Africans have problems which they cannot deal with because the political structures through which these have to be dealt with have not yet been created.
The hon the Minister went further and indicated—if I understood him correctly—that the leaders with whom the Government would negotiate had to be elected democratically. I accept that. However, he went further and said that before those leaders could be elected, the political structures within which they would operate had first to be established. I have a problem with that because the very essence of one of the major problems in this country is that Black people have been excluded from participating in the creation of the political structures within which they have to operate to find a new dispensation for this community.
If the hon the Minister had been here, I would have told him that he had to appreciate that the days when the Whites could make the decisions with regard to political structures and could then co-opt the Blacks to participate, had gone forever. [Interjections.] The democratically elected leaders of the Black community have to participate now in the creation of those political structures.
He also made the point that it was no longer an argument whether or not reform should take place. The question now is: How should it take place? In other words, he now actually accepts that the process of reform is what the debate should really be about. While listening to the hon the Minister, I actually came to the understanding that what he was saying was that the PFP’s approach to the process today was more important than ever before. The governing party is at a loss as to what the process should be. It is floundering—hence the uncertainty in this community. This party has—whether its plan is perfect or imperfect—at least applied its mind to the type of process which should take place in this country in order to bring about reform. For that acknowledgement by the hon the Minister, albeit indirect, I express my appreciation.
There is one final point I should like to deal with. He implied that the South African Parliament was the only structure through which democratic reform could take place. This begs the question: What about those who have no parliamentary representation? Does it mean that those people are going to be excluded until such time as the governing body decides the time is ripe to bring them into some kind of system? If that is true, it simply means that those Black leaders—democratically elected or otherwise—have to wait until such time as we decide that they can be included. However, that is not going to help us solve our problems. In the Eastern Cape we have numerous examples of how, because of a lack of leadership and because of a lack of a structure through which parliamentary or political expression can take place, South Africa today is burning.
With those few comments, I would like to say that, while there was much in what the hon the Minister said with which we could agree, there were a number of points where I think he fell short and which should perhaps be debated at a later stage.
Where we have now come close to the end of this debate, I am sad to say that the Government has come up with very few solutions with which to solve our major economic problems.
*Mr Chairman, what is even worse is the fact that the Government’s actions often are a contributing factor and lend impetus to those who are trying to harm South Africa. The way in which influx control is being implemented as well as the way in which the problem of accommodation for Blacks is being handled, are only two examples of this.
At present South Africa is being threatened by a systematic effort to bring about disinvestment. I believe that all of us in this House agree that if it were to succeed, the consequences for South Africa would be catastrophic. We all agree that the groups which seemingly stand to gain by such a campaign, are going to be the ones most prejudiced thereby. We are aware of this, and I believe we all agree with one another that the front-line states could be prejudiced even more than South Africa if the disinvestment campaign were to succeed.
Moreover, we on this side of the House believe that disinvestment would cause the West to be dependent on Russia to an excessive degree for obtaining strategic minerals and other production materials. It is clear to us that an enslavement campaign will undermine the Black man’s power base in South Africa itself, viz his membership of his particular trade union and even his buying power. Furthermore, I believe that disinvestment is simply the precursor of cutting off and eventually terminating our export trade, without which South Africa would hardly be able to survive in the long term.
During the past weekend the State President himself referred to the necessity of additional exports. Despite the fact that there is unanimity with regard to the danger at hand, one nevertheless gains the impression that the Government either cannot or is not prepared to take the correct steps. We in the PFP have time and again—and yet again in this debate—made certain suggestions as to how the disinvestment effort is to be arrested or neutralized. We have made several suggestions in this regard. For example, we have suggested that the Government give an undertaking that all forced removals of people be terminated as such a step would be instrumental in strengthening the hand of those who were trying to counter the campaign.
Moreover, we said that an undertaking to remove discriminatory legislation within a certain time would also constitute a major contribution in this regard. We said that a solution of the citizenship issue was vital. We believe that for as long as Blacks are denied South African citizenship, South Africa will be bullied and humiliated by the West. Perhaps the most important issue is that of Black political rights. There is no way in which South Africa will be able to contain the disinvestment campaign while Blacks are excluded from the political decision-making process.
The interesting fact about all the suggestions we have put to the Government is that if they were to heed them, it would immediately help and also contribute to bringing about peace within South Africa again.
†When the leader of my party and others dealt with some of these matters earlier in this debate we found that there was either a deathly silence or a refusal to deal with these problems.
The Government does not seem to realize that it has the power to influence the West if it should embark on a plan of systematic reform in South Africa. Therefore, either the Government does not appreciate the seriousness of the problem or it is unwilling to bring about the necessary changes or is incapable of doing so.
Let us have a quick look at how the Government has dealt with the most recent and very serious unrest in South Africa. How did the Government respond? It immediately committed itself to the maintenance of law and order. I admit that that is important, but it is not acceptable for a government to undertake to do that “at all costs”. I believe that that is the important part of the sentence, and I am referring to an interview with the State President himself when he appeared on television. Not only does the phrase “at all costs” tell the world that we are prepared to revert to a most brutal form of repression similar to that for which the Shah of Iran became notorious in his last days but when one compares the two situations I am afraid to say that it also appears to me as if South Africa may well be moving into a similar era of repression. When one looks at the history, one will see that in Iran, days, weeks and months before the fall of that regime, that particular head of State stood probably very much more strongly than the establishment in South Africa does today. Nevertheless he lost what he was trying to maintain. Therefore, to say that one will maintain law and order “at all costs” is simply not acceptable.
It also underlines the fact that South Africa has spent, and remains prepared to spend, an inordinate amount on security services. One should remember that the more one spends on socially non-productive services, the less one has to spend on those areas which help to overcome basic problems in regard to job creation, education and other services in South Africa. I shall outline very briefly what kind of money I am talking about. It is interesting to note that in the period since the State President was appointed as head of State, our expenditure on security services has risen from R1 857 million to a staggering amount of R5 228 million—an increase on security services of something like 184%. Having spent all that money, I ask the House: Is South Africa today more secure than it was several years ago when the present State President took over the number one position? I should say that we are today more vulnerable than we have ever been, certainly since I have been involved in politics.
If we continue operating in the same way as we have in the past and as we are operating now by ignoring the political realities of a South African society, I believe that no matter how much we spend in future it will be money down the drain. Therefore, Sir, I say that in terms of what has been said by hon members on that side of the House, very little has been done to overcome our economic problems and very little, or not enough, is being done to overcome our political problems. I thus associate myself wholeheartedly with the amendment moved by this side of the House.
Mr Chairman, I take off my hat to hon members who are still, after four days, listening to intensive debating at this time on a Friday afternoon. As the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is still here, I should like to address some words to him in a moment.
I should like to react to what the hon member for Wynberg has just said. The hon member began as if he were a “stoere boer”. He began as if he actually belonged to the NP side, or was even further right. He can be complimented upon the way in which he began. He said the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning had said reform had to take place. He then asserted that the Government does not have a process at its disposal to bring this about. Did he then not listen when the State President declared emphatically that an open forum was being created without an agenda and that any interest group or even political group could come and give evidence, could come and listen in or could appear there? That is where the negotiation process actually begins.
Is it a national convention?
We can come to that question later. First of all I want to reply to the hon member for Wynberg’s question. He then began speaking about a Black majority that would exert pressure and said that if we did not mould them into a different form of Government, we would not be able to stop disinvestment. His positive attitude towards disinvestment is therefore qualified immediately. He asserts that we must do something else first, namely yield to pressure. Who actually started the pressure group, especially in the USA? Is it not the Black component, the Black element? Who are the leaders of the strongest pressure group against South Africa? Basically it is they. We all know that.
The hon member then dragged the Defence Force in too. The hon member was his party’s main speaker on defence and I did not think he would drag the Defence Force into a debate such as this one. He did so because the State President said we would maintain law and order at all cost. The State President has always said he stands for the preservation of civilized norms and morals which should be acceptable to everyone. This means the maintenance of those morals and norms in a civilized way. When it comes to law and order, it is something else. I have nothing else to say to the hon member and now come to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition.
I liked the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition’s delivery. I always like it. He left certain impressions, however, that I should like to dwell on briefly. I want to talk about something very sensitive in present day politics, namely unemployment in South Africa. Other hon members, amongst others the hon member who has just resumed his seat, spoke about it too. The hon the Leader of the Opposition said that poor politics create poor economy. That was one of the major statements in his speech. Suppose, on the other hand, the economy recovers to such an extent that we say things are going well again, will he then admit it is the result of good politics and a good government? Basically that is what he is implying, after all.
The hon the Leader says short-term planning and short-term solutions are not the solution to unemployment. He also spoke about other problems, but linked unemployment to these as well.
Not to long-term problems.
Yes, very well. If what the hon member for Hillbrow said is true, that one million people in South Africa are unemployed, will the hon the Leader agree that at present even finding only short-term solutions will be the correct thing to do?
One cannot, therefore, simply make a statement which sounds very acceptable and looks good in the Press tomorrow, when we know it is actually contradicted by the facts. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition said: “We must make South Africa a country worth working for.” That implies that these people who are striking or who have been retrenched no longer find South Africa a country worth working for. I ascertained afterwards that at the mines alone there are 223 candidates for every position which may become vacant; the positions are not vacant yet. What I want to bring to the attention of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, is that most people, even those who are unemployed, want to work in South Africa; and not only they, but also those from across the border. Therefore his eloquent statement that we must make South Africa a country worth working for, once again is not an exact statement. [Interjections.]
No, someone who is hungry or cold or does not have a house, wants to work. [Interjections.] That is the point. We do everything in our power to make working worthwhile for him. I shall speak about unemployment again later. I am pleased the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition stayed to listen to my reply.
I should like to make only one statement in respect of the speech of the hon leader of the CP and I shall be pleased if his Chief Whip can give me his attention for a moment. I did not request his leader to stay, therefore it does not matter that he is not here. I do not wish to fight with the hon the leader of the CP, but I felt that something was lacking from his speech in this House. The hon the leader of the CP spoke for 25 minutes, of which he used 20 minutes to react to approximately five speakers of the NP, amongst others the hon member for Kroonstad and the hon member for Innesdal. [Interjections.] No, I am coming to that. I understand that in the spirit of debating one must reply to questions that have been put. The hon leader of the CP then spent five minutes replying to the question put to him by the hon the Minister of Home Affairs. During the first 20 minutes the hon the leader of the CP did not once refer constructively to his own policy.
I missed two things. In the last five minutes the hon leader of the CP elaborated on what he stands for, in other words, partition, the development of various groups, etc. I expected two other things as well, however, namely that he would explain how this partition was going to be implemented. I wanted to hear something about how it was to be done, and what plan the hon the leader of the CP had for this. [Interjections.] The second thing on which I should like to comment, is the fact that he digressed very widely from the debate on the Budget, even in the last five minutes. I do not mean this as criticism, but this is something one misses in a debate such as this one. After all, this debate is about the Budget, and the hon the leader of the CP did not even refer to disinvestment. I simply felt that perhaps this is something which should be considered if we want to take part in this debate.
I indicated that I wanted to say something about unemployment, as unemployment is one of the most acute problems in South Africa. I want to do this on the basis of some questions. Firstly, who is unemployed in South Africa? There are three categories of unemployed persons. The first one consists those who are work-shy, whom one can never really pin down in a job. The second group is the migrating group, those who do not stay in a job for long. The third group consists of those with whom we have most sympathy, namely those who have lost their jobs as a result of economic or similar circumstances. This is the largest group. How does one determine the number of unemployed persons in a country? One cannot apply a single criterion. Perhaps one can do so in certain of the homogeneous countries, such as those in Europe, but in a heterogeneous country such as South Africa, it is difficult. That is why we apply three criteria.
The first criterion is the population census which is taken from time to time. The recent census may result in our having a very good idea in about 18 months of what unemployment means in South Africa. The second method is the CPS or the Current Population Survey. I shall explain in a moment how it works, for it is very important in South Africa to determine Black unemployment. The third method is the registration of unemployed persons which actually has more bearing on the White, the Asian and the Coloured workers.
The interesting criterion is the so-called CPS in which a random test is done monthly in 18 000 Black families, 4 500 Coloured families and 4 500 Asian families. The CPS has also created a definition of an unemployed person. This definition is very important because it is similar to the definition of the Internation Labour Organization in Geneva.
The CPS says that before one can say someone is unemployed person, he must prove that he is eager to work. He must therefore have the will to work. In addition, he must have worked less than five hours during the preceding seven days and during the previous month he must at least have made an effort to find a job. A very important condition is that he must be prepared, after one has found him a job in accordance with his qualifications and so forth, to accept such a job within a week. Why? It often happens that we find a job for someone who is registered as an unemployed person, but that he then says: Well, I shall accept it, thank you very much, but first I want to go on holiday for a month. That is why this is one of the conditions. Naturally the person, if male, must be above 16 and below 64 years of age, and above 16 and below 59 in the case of a woman. As I said, these criteria have been accepted by the International Labour Organization.
The hon member for Hillbrow said there were plus-minus a million unemployed Blacks. According to the figure of the CPS there were 584 000 in September 1984. It is possible—I do not want to cast doubt upon the million—that since September the figure has probably become much higher. As far as Whites, Coloureds, and Asians are concerned, there were only 33 500 unemployed persons, and this figure is as on 1 January 1985. Because the Whites register most conscientiously, it is very important to note that of the million plus Whites, there were only 17 577 registered unemployed persons.
The question arises as to where in South Africa we have the most unemployed persons. It has been determined by the department that at the moment most of them, probably Blacks as well as Whites are in the Eastern Cape after the shutting down of the Ford and other factories. The Western Cape, Natal, kwaZulu and Northern Transvaal follow.
It has also been determined that the greatest degree of unemployment exists among women. It was found among Blacks that in September 13,5% women were unemployed—that is those that were registered—as against 5,7% of the men, ie those who were registered.
Education and age make a great difference. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is not here now, but he laid great stress on the fact that 61% of the Blacks we know to be unemployed, are under 30 years of age. What is also important, is to note that of the 61%, the academic training of 67% is lower than Standard five. These are people who have had a school education; some have probably had a college education. These are the people who complain most and sometimes their complaints are about schools. I do not want to talk about the burning down of schools.
Another important factor that was determined, was the fact, that if we maintain the present growth rate until 1987, we shall have an unemployment figure—this was seen as a projection of the CPS—of 21,9% in 1987. If we have a growth rate of 4,5%, the unemployment figure will probably be approximately 15%. If we can push the growth rate up to 5%, the unemployment figure will probably drop to approximately 11%. These are alarming figures which indicate that unemployment and employment, the creation of work, go hand in hand with the growth of the economy.
The question arises: What is the Government doing? I want to dwell on this briefly. There is discussion—the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition also spoke about it—of long-term and short-term planning. What has the Government done?
In 1979 the Government appointed a National Manpower Commission. This commission determined its priorities immediately and the first priority was unemployment. The Commission compiled a report for the Cabinet which was published in 1983. Last year the Cabinet tabled a White Paper of which each hon member, as well as other interested parties such as employer organizations and trade unions with interests in the creation of job opportunities, took cognizance. Of course, this is not an instant solution to the creation of job opportunities or the employment of unemployed persons. We do not have an instant formula, nor does an instant formula exist anywhere in the world.
I want to refer briefly to the smaller things we do which sometimes take place unseen. We try to stimulate and encourage the free market system as far as possible. We have just made R30 million available to small business undertakings once again. We provide incentives for regional development. We are involved in the training and re-training of the work force, as well as the training of those seeking employment. In 1984 we trained 9 250 people as against only 3 000 in 1983. The cost involved in this rose from R1 million to R4 million. We are also involved in the planning and improvement of physical infrastructures such as railways and harbours. There is the promotion of healthy labour relations. Which Government has passed better labour legislation in its country than this very Government in South Africa? In addition there is the promotion of productivity, and so forth.
I want to conclude with the idea that when it comes to the discussion of unemployment, we must remember one point: Being without the security of an own position, is something of deep concern to the unemployed. To them it is a trauma and their families and houses also suffer. As far as possible, therefore, we must try to deal with the discussion of labour and market matters as well as unemployment as sensitively as possible. I think too that we should make an appeal to all employers to think ten times before dismissing an employee.
Mr Speaker, I listened with very great interest to the hon member for Roodeplaat who included very interesting information in his speech. It so happens that I also have something to say on the same subject today but not so expansively. In a little while I shall link up with certain of the thoughts and statements of the hon member for Roodeplaat.
One feels a little embarrassed at this time of a Friday afternoon to have to participate in the Budget debate among all the big guns. As I was watching these big guns firing today, it was very clear to me that on the opposition side there were a few of our good friends who had forgotten that the small arms they were using dated from Jan van Riebeeck’s time. The things had rusted up already so they backfired and now there are one or two hon members on that side with red faces. [Interjections.]
If there is one person whom we should really pity this afternoon it is the hon Minister of Finance.
The hon the Minister is in too much of a hurry as I want to add that he does not pity himself.
He introduced one of the most important budgets for many years in the history of our country. One would therefore have expected most of the speeches of the past few days to have had direct bearing on that Budget and our economic and financial situation. In the post he now holds, the hon the Minister has already shown over the past year or so that he has the ability to keep a cool head amidst criticism and destructive comment. He does not pity himself and is prepared to act in the interests of South Africa. I am satisfied with the hon the Minister’s Budget although it is in no way an easy one but we realize there are bottlenecks.
There are many factors influencing the economy and over which the Government has a greater or lesser degree of control but there are also those over which the Government has no control whatsoever and which have a very real influence on the economy and the prosperity of all. I wish to say a few words on one of those factors today.
I want to refer to the oversupply of unskilled labour on the South African labour market. If there is one factor which is going to force economic progress in Southern Africa to a standstill, it is this very one. Relatively speaking, the economy of no country in the world can carry the load of unskilled labour the South African economy is expected to bear. Our economy does not have the scope to provide work to all who wish to share in the South African economic prosperity. I am referring here also to all the people who are coming over our borders to work in South Africa.
Over the past few years we have experienced considerable economic prosperity. Until recently the growth rate was still as high as 8%. One could ask if that was a sound condition to which one would reply with a qualified “yes”. In the process, however, a few matters went awry. I wish to refer to a few of them specifically as regards the labour market.
The upper half of our labour pyramid consisted largely of people who did not always have the required academic qualifications and practical experience for the post they held. There was an undersupply of skilled and professional workers which resulted in an artificially high price being paid for that labour. It included inter alia excessive fringe benefits. Job security was disproportionally good and real incentives to encourage productivity were non-existent in the past decade or so, the bargaining position of the employee far exceeded the ability of the economy to counter it.
There was another consequence, namely that extremely unhealthy competition for labour arose between the public and private sectors. To my mind that is really something we cannot afford in this country. There was yet another result, that of the supernormal prosperity of people in the upper half of the pyramid. It often occurred much too early in their productive lives as well. In turn the result of this was the jettisoning of the responsible handling of prosperity. Money would never again go out of fashion. Consequently if we begin with an oversupply of unskilled labour, we end with an inflationary process which is very difficult to reverse.
The other day somebody said very rightly that we were going bankrupt on prosperity. There was yet another phenomenon—a totally ungrounded division of the prosperity in South Africa and I think its political implications are utterly undesirable for us.
Each budget has a real influence on employment and from the nature of the case also on general prosperity. No budget can really be regarded as isolated from the preceding and succeeding ones. As regards the matter to which I referred, I wish to appeal for a very much more pragmatic approach to the entire question—perhaps we may call it an approach for Africa. We have a choice—the hon member for Roodeplaat referred to economic growth which relates to job creation—between sustained and often artificial growth in the economy, with inflation, and sound growth of a much more natural kind. I therefore wish to state today that while many economists say we should maintain a growth rate of at least 5% in the following decade, in my opinion it is actually too high ever really to curb inflation. If we were to follow this direction, we would in any case precisely thwart our long-term objective of maximum employment.
We in South Africa cannot continue attempting to solve a Third World problem with a First World approach so we shall have to accept a few factors, one of which is a very much more natural, although lower, growth rate than many people consider necessary. A second is that we should all scale down our expectations of the acquisition and retention of prosperity. Prosperity is something to be earned and not grabbed at. A third is that in conjunction with that, we should bring our demands for participation in the prosperity into line with our ability to create it. There is still another, namely that we in this country should deal very prudently with concepts such as minimum wages and unnecessary protective measures as regards the worker. In our given circumstances I think it only fair that the rules of the free market should apply in the labour field as well. If there is one thing which will bedevil employment it is a minimum wage. People will simply have to accept that while their increase is at a Third World level, their standard of living will also be of that world.
We shall have to reconsider our standards drastically as regards the manufacture and processing of our products.
When we remove regulations, it does not necessarily have to result in products of lower quality. I wish to cite one example to the House. Until recently the standards set for our abattoir industry were of such a nature that each animal slaughtered seemed destined for export. The standards were therefore far too high. In consequence greater mechanization took place in that industry and the price of the finished product also went beyond the reach of the greater part of our population. In fact only one basic rule or requirement ought to apply here—that of hygiene.
I also wish to refer to unemployment. We shall have to learn to regard unemployment in Africa in its true perspective. Please understand that what I am about to say is being uttered in the right spirit. Never in our history has it been unusual for a Black man to have work for only one out of every two or three years. Why should we suddenly regard them all as unemployed? The hon member for Hillbrow referred to the million unemployed. The hon member for Roodeplaat explained very succinctly who could be regarded as the unemployed. In the context of Africa I think someone who wishes to work but cannot obtain employment may be unemployed. If he remains at home voluntarily and does not work, as we know it in Africa, we really cannot number such a person among the unemployed.
To deal with the whole problem of the oversupply of unskilled labour and unemployment in Southern Africa, real action will have to be taken here in launching a programme to exploit what I wish to call Southern Africa’s immeasurable agricultural potential both for the purpose of creating work and feeding the people of that region. It has already been calculated that the agricultural resources of Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and all points south can produce food for more than 400 million people; that means for the greatest part of the total population of Africa.
The world, and in particular the former colonial powers, have a debt of honour to pay Africa, not in cash, but in the form of active, physical assistance in making technological skills, knowledge and experience available. That is why we in South Africa, who are a regional power at the foot of the subcontinent, actually require a directorate or a ministry for the economic development and upgrading of Southern Africa, especially in the field of agriculture. If we could secure the co-operation of the West in this and succeed in such an action, South Africa’s own economic and political problems would take a second place to the huge successes we could achieve with this.
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Roodeplaat said he was very disappointed in the speech of my leader as he supposedly had not stated what the CP stood for and what it would do if it came to power. The hon member also said my leader had replied to six or seven members in the 25 minutes at his disposal. I wish to say the CP and other opposition parties have asked many questions over the past four days to which we have had no replies. Nevertheless in this debate my leader has replied to the questions put to him and in replying has stated the standpoint of the CP clearly and unequivocally each time.
When my leader spoke of partition, the hon member asked how we would carry it out. I want to say the very first thing for which we are working to make it possible is to gain control in this House of Assembly. We are striving for a general election in South Africa as soon as possible so that the CP can take over power in the White Chamber and then be able to implement our policy.
If the hon member asks me how we are going to accomplish this, I wish to say further I want him to read up the history of how in the good old days of the NP we granted freedom to the Xhosa in Transkei and Ciskei and to the Tswana in Bophuthatswana. That is how we will accomplish it.
The hon member said we had replied to few questions but we have been listening to this debate for four days and no one has given the CP an answer to the questions we have put on the citizenship of Black people outside the national states.
You are in too much of a hurry.
The Minister is not in a hurry.
No, he is in no hurry. The hon the Minister says they are applying integration step by step, slowly but surely. They were not explicit in what they intend regarding citizenship of Black people in the White part of South Africa. No one has made it clear in this debate how the Black people will obtain co-responsibility to the highest level, therefore control, in the Government of the country.
The hon member for Jeppe said yesterday rumours were doing the rounds that Black people outside the homelands were to get representation in Parliament and Cabinet seats in 1988 and he asked if it were true. He said: Repudiate this statement which is doing the rounds. In four days not a single member on the other side has replied to that. Now I wish to ask the hon the Minister of Communications who is the senior Minister present—the Cabinet members’ benches have been empty over the past few days: Are the Black people going to receive representation in Parliament and in the Cabinet in 1988 or even earlier?
You heard clearly from the State President there was no fourth Chamber. [Interjections.]
The CP accepts that. One of the other hon members said there would not be a fourth Chamber, which we accept. I now wish to ask the hon the Minister: Are the Black people possibly going to get representation in another way in Parliament and in the Cabinet?
No. [Interjections.] I say no.
The hon member for Kimberley South says “no”. I ask the hon the Minister of Communications: Are they going to receive representation in some way or other in Parliament or in the Cabinet? [Interjections.]
Sir, the hon member for Kimberley South has far more courage than the hon the Minister of Communications because in the referendum that hon member told people they should accept he could say behind closed doors the NP still stood for apartheid but he could not say it outside because Rev Hendrickse would hold it against him. This hon Minister who knows what is going on in the Cabinet is not prepared, however, to reply to us on this today.
No one has spelt out to us what would happen at the third tier of government. Over the past four days the hon members for Turffontein, Randfontein and Middelburg have attempted to prove that a multiracial Parliament with its 25 multiracial standing committees, a multiracial President’s Council and multiracial regional services councils represent separate development. [Interjections.] We can do no other but laugh at them!
I want to say a person can disagree with the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning entirely yet I want to admit today he conducted a debate on a very high level this afternoon in distinct contrast to the very low level at which the hon the Minister of Manpower and the hon member for Vryheid did. He did it on a very high level.
The hon the Minister of Manpower tried to make out a case here today that Conservatives despised the flag of the country. I now want to quote what Mr Abe Williams, a member of the Labour Party—the party whose leader sits in the Cabinet with that hon Minister—said in the House of Representatives (Hansard, 28 January 1985, col 71):
The fellow coalition Cabinet member of that hon Minister’s party said they did not accept the flag, that they had never said so, and neither had they said they would accept the National Anthem.
Then that hon member comes and belittles Conservatives by saying they dishonour the country’s flag. The CP honours the flag of the RSA. [Interjections.] We shall fight to reinstate the freedom of the White man under that flag, the flag of the RSA. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister of Manpower, who in his day was a great supporter of the idea of a Coloured homeland, said today the CP and Mr Jaap Marais were on the road back to 1901. I want to tell him our people today stand where the Afrikaners of 1901 were: A people whose freedom had been taken away from them at the time by Great Britain. The freedom of the Afrikaner people of today has been taken away by the political party to which that hon Minister belongs. Just as the Afrikaners of 1901 joined battle, the CP will fight from now on until we can restore the freedom of the White man here.
The hon Leader of the Official Opposition could unfortunately not be present but he asked during this debate what hope there could be for youthful Blacks in South Africa. In the fifteen years I have been privileged to serve in this House I have not once heard any member of the PFP ask what hope there is for the youthful Whites of South Africa. [Interjections.] The PFP and its fellow-traveller the Black Sash have notably revealed themselves as the mouthpiece of radical Black youth who want to bring about political change in South Africa through tumult and violence.
On 17 March 1985 a young Black man was apprehended because he was recognized as one of the possible attackers of Detective Constable Setoqcuo in Langa, Uitenhage. He was questioned by two Black detective constables. This young Black man was recognized as a member of a group of Black youths responsible for the extremely brutal and barbaric attack on Detective Constable Setoqcuo. While the two Black policemen were questioning the suspected attacker—and this was on a Sunday—Mrs Molly Blackburn, PFP, MPC, appeared on the scene. She created a huge fuss and insulted the South African Police. Mrs Blackburn was accompanied by a number of members of the Black Sash, amongst others …
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I do not have the time to reply to the hon member.
As I was saying, Mrs Blackburn was accompanied by, amongst others, Mrs Di Bishop, the MPC for Cape Town Gardens. [Interjections.] Two PFP MPC’s were on the scene immediately on a Sunday when this suspected attacker was being questioned. [Interjections.]
When Dr Allan Boesak, patron of the UDF, arrived in Port Elizabeth where he described the unfortunate happenings at Uitenhage as summary executions and cold-blooded murder, what did Mrs Molly Blackburn, MPC of the PFP do? Die Burger writes as follows about it:
That is Mrs Blackburn.
It simply proves that she is pretty feminine.
Now I wish to quote from the Eastern Province Herald of 21 March 1985. This is naturally a newspaper which supports the PFP in the election campaign in Newton Park. That newspaper reports as follows:
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The implication of the hon member’s allegation is very clear. He had just finished talking about Mrs Molly Blackburn when, in his very next sentence, he began to make insinuations about a White woman paying people to stone houses and to set them on fire. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Kuruman may proceed.
Possibly the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South can now provide answers to questions I am putting them. I wish to know from them whether the PFP inquiry team also investigated the case to which is referred in this article. Did they investigate this as well? [Interjections.] No, they did not inquire into that. Is the White woman whose name was mentioned by the unruly Black youths not perhaps Mrs Molly Blackburn herself, the MPC of the PFP?
That is utter nonsense. [Interjections.]
I am merely putting the question. Could it not have been Mrs Molly Blackburn herself? [Interjections.]
Will you repeat that allegation outside this House? [Interjections.]
Now I wish to know from those hon PFP backbenchers—they can go to their leader with the question—whether, in the event the PFP should establish that this report is in fact true …
Say that outside this House! [Interjections.]
I am putting a question to those hon members. If it should be proved that this report is true and the White woman who paid those people to throw stones and commit arson was, in fact, Mrs Molly Blackburn, will they expel her from their party?
But who is she?
I am asking, if she is a member of the PFP, whether they will expel her from the party.
You are talking nonsense, Jan!
If it was actually Mrs Molly Blackburn who paid those people and it can be proved, will they expel her as a member of the PFP?
Thank you very much. That is all I wanted to know. [Interjections.]
PFP Parliamentarians have openly taken the side of the unruly Blacks against the SA Police.
That is nonsense!
Mr Speaker, the hon member for Pinetown is acting as an advocate at the inquiry of the Kannemeyer Commission at Uitenhage instead of doing his work here in Parliament. He is looking for rods with which he can beat the SA Police. The PFP pronouncements and findings—of which some have already echoed in this House—will be seized upon abroad to be used in besmirching and harming South Africa still further. The hon Leader of the Official Opposition can protest until he is blue in the face against disinvestment in South Africa but while members of his party range themselves alongside those who want to bring about change in South Africa through violence, so long he and his party will be co-responsible for the fierce onslaughts on South Africa from outside. The PFP’s policy of powersharing in one country, of one government consisting of Black, White, Brown and Asian will lead to a bloody power struggle here at the southern tip of Africa. [Interjections.]
As history has already shown in Africa, the White man will be the loser. If the White man disappears here, chaos and hunger will reign as in the rest of Africa. I put it to the PFP that they offer no hope to the Black youth of South Africa. [Interjections.]
The National Party has chosen the same direction as the PFP—although at a slower tempo. Against the policy of integration of the National Party and the PFP stands that of partition, of separate development for the various peoples of South Africa—the policy of the Conservative Party. It is a policy offering hope for the future to the youth of every nation at the southern tip of Africa. [Interjections.] Surely it is fair and just when each South African ethnic group is placed in a position in which it can rule itself in its own fatherland.
You are an absolute racist! [Interjections.]
Surely that enables each people to work creatively at its own future in its own fatherland. [Interjections.] Surely that results in each people’s escaping the possibility of being dominated by another. Surely that provides an opportunity to the youth of each people to qualify themselves and to work for a better future in an own fatherland. It is a policy offering hope to the youth of the various Black peoples.
Do you believe that? [Interjections.]
It is a policy offering hope to the Brown people and to Indians as well as the youth of White South Africa. Sir, together with his future coalition partners sitting to my right, the hon member for Randburg has lost faith in the future of his own people; the CP has not. [Interjections.] We say to the youth of the Tswanas, to the young Tswana who wishes to farm, that he can become a farmer in his own right in his own fatherland. He can follow the doctrines of advocates to the highest level; he can become the Chief Justice of his country. As a public servant he can become the Director-General without White competition. The businessmen can reach his fullest potential in his own country. This also applies to the sportsman and the policeman. As regards the politician, there are no heights he cannot attain; he can become the president of his country. Neither are there any heights the academician cannot attain.
The CP does not begrudge it to the Tswana people and other Black peoples as well as the Coloured and Indian peoples but we also want young South Africa, young White South Africa, to have an untrammelled future within an own fatherland. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, I am not going to comment directly on what that hon member said. He did touch on certain matters relating to the Police that I agree with, but I have requested a turn to speak in the debate on the Police, so I shall elaborate on that later. At this stage I just wish to say that we must realize that there are more Black policemen in this country than White policemen. One of the problems we are faced with is how to accommodate those Black policemen—who are prepared to sacrifice their lives for us and for our country—in the political sphere as well. That is one of the problems.
As the final speaker on this side of the House I wish to devote some attention to what I want to call the radical right-wing alliances. By this concept I mean the CP, the “AVB” (GST) … [Interjections.] I apologize immediately to the hon the Minister of Finance; I am so sorry I used that expression! I meant the AWB. Those hon members, including the hon the leader of the CP, take the easy way out by saying: I am not a member of the Oranjewerkers; I am not a member of the Kappiekommando. May I ask whether any of those hon gentlemen are not a member of the Volkswag? Are they all members of the Volkswag?
I am not a member.
You are a member of the Kappiekommando! [Interjections.]
I take it, then, that the hon the leader of the CP, Dr Treurnicht, is a member of the Afrikanervolkswag. [Interjections.]
Those hon members are extremely fond of going back into the past a little. I, too, want to go back into the past a little, and I want to depict to hon members the scene …
Do you still remember the Vilonel of the Free State?
That hon member will run away from me as he ran away in Rissik when I am finished with him! He had better listen now. I wish to depict a scene, and then I shall quote how that radical right-wing alliance misuses religion and politics. A short time ago the hon the leader of the CP spoke about “the whole truth”. However, I want to indicate how they tell half-truths, and try to get away with it. This runs—I cannot say like a golden thread—like a strand of barbed wire through the history of those hon members and I shall prove my point. Then, by way of conclusion, I want to take a look at the future, which is something they do not wish to look at.
I want hon members to cast their minds back to the by-election in Waterberg.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?
No, let me just state my point; I have not yet stated any points concerning which the hon member could ask questions! [Interjections.]
The scene I want to depict is that of the by-election in Waterberg. Because it is a very important by-election, the Prime Minister decides to go and speak there. The scene is 17 June 1971 at Naboomspruit. The meeting is held. We have a young, dynamic candidate. We all know him. He is neatly attired in a black suit with a flower in his buttonhole. His name is Dr Treurnicht. The speaker is the Prime Minister; Mr John Vorster. The Prime Minister said that he was there inter alia because people were slandering and besmirching the NP. I quote from Advokaat B J Vorster: geredigeerde toe sprake van die sewende Eerste Minister van Suid-Afrika by Dr Geyser, as follows:
They are absolutely consistent. As a politician, medical practitioner and clinician I want to ask members of the CP today—and I exclude the hon member for Jeppe—how they feel while I mention these things that indicate that Adv Vorster was a step ahead of them?
I have before me a Volkswag pamphlet.
May I ask the hon member a question?
No. If I have time towards the end, I shall answer questions, but not before then. They get hurt too much. This pamphlet was issued this year. I do not wish to dwell in detail on the contents of this pamphlet, but rather on another pamphlet of this movement. In this pamphlet they ask what is being done. They say that in these times South West Africa is being thrown to the wolves, something that a great national leader like J G Strijdom said we would not do. Whites have been sold down the river not only as far as integration is concerned but also as far as the Ovambo’s are concerned, etc. It was John Vorster who accepted Resolution 435. They refer inter alia to the granting of local government to Blacks. It is John Vorster who did that. Hon members of the CP who are members of the Volkswag, including the hon leader of the party, are still guilty of slandering Mr Vorster although he is already dead.
I do not doubt the Christian faith of the hon the leader of the CP. I want to quote from what he himself said in 1975 in his book Credo van ’n Afrikaner. He said:
The hon member will agree with me if I include “political parties” under the “ens”:
I do not doubt that the hon member still thinks that, but because he believes and thinks that I should like to refer him to a certain matter. The hon member for Middelburg, who is sitting in front of me, referred to the Kappiekommando and the document by Prof Kruger of the Theological School and the Rev Vermeulen who said that they felt they were obliged to make known the information about this movement so that it could serve as a warning. [Interjections.] The hon member replied to that. They said that the movement rejected the Afrikaans churches and accused the churches of liberalism and of being the Great Whore. According to Prof Kruger they even reject the Heidelberg Catechism. The Kappiekommando is based on racism, and I shall come back to this in a moment. The Kappiekommando quotes Deuteronomy 23:2 as follows:
What do we have now? It is necessary for the NP to tackle that hon leader here and ask him, face to face, what he says, and he then said that he rejected it. That hon member is a theologian, the hon member for Rissik is half a theologian and that hon member in the back bench is a former theologian. [Interjections.] Is it not imperative that they should have said in advance, when they saw these things, that they rejected the Kappiekommando out and out, those people who say that they reject my Church, and who say that they are going to found another Church? A woman of Hartebeespoort writes in Beeld:
They go on:
With reference to the possible repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act—I say that this is not a “possible” repeal; it is definitely a repeal, and I think that section 16 of the Immorality Act will also be repealed—mention is made in another letter of the “verpligte Swarte ommegang”. They say that the Kappiekommando and the CP will help them. Here is another letter written with reference to a report, “Kappievrou kap SR oor die Bruines”, and they say that they agree wholeheartedly.
The point I am trying to make is that it is necessary for that party to be honest so that we do not have to choke the truth out of them. That hon leader is a Christian and a member of the church to which I belong. It was his duty to say from the outset that they totally reject this Kappiekommando, without apology.
I also have before me the disgraceful Scheuer pamphlet. When the then Prime Minister tackled that hon member about the matter he said that if there was anything in it that was untrue, he would repudiate it. I have the pamphlet before me.
These rightwing radicals must not misuse our religion and our Church. Here is another report in Die Vaderland about a congregation of a church in Pretoria. When the then Prime Minister requested a day of prayer, they refused. It is reported that their argument was as follows:
Therefore they will pray separately. I shall provide you with further quotations as well, so that I do not sound like a sect which harps on one brief extract. The Supplement to Waterberg-Nuus contains “the full text of the ‘evidence’ of ‘193’ clergymen”. In it they say the following:
They say that by what we do we forfeit all claim to Christian and Scriptural motives. I could carry on in this vein. I have here a Volkswag pamphlet which was published recently. They seriously question whether the then Prime Minister was justified in saying that he would invite the Pope here. They say that the Roman Church in South America took the side of the marxists and the neomarxists. They went on to point out further that the Roman churches had more Black members. They also said:
They went on to say:
I am not aware of Martin Luther having said that all Popes before and after that Pope were Antichrists. But I do want to quote to you what Langenhoven said, viz:
He also said:
What one finds happening now is that both sides—whether radical right-wing or radical left-wing—are misusing religion. Just close to Parliament, in the Methodist Church, they sing “the Boers are dogs”. That is another group.
What does Dr Allan Boesak say? I shall quote him—I have all my sources with me—as he was reported:
With this terribly unique relationship he had, he also fought a terribly unique struggle—or so it seems to me. He says:
He says that he knows what Gethsemane means, because it means to descend to hell.
I say that the radical left-wing also quotes the Bible. In the South Africa International of January this year I read on page 144:
This is the church’s involvement with Swapo. We must bear in mind that the Volkswag states that the Roman Church has sided with the communists, but here are the Namibia Council of Churches, that are protestant churches, and what does their pastor say?
Here, then, we have the radical left wing, which, just like that party, misuses the Bible. I ask that party: Please leave our Bible out of it; do not try to use our Bible as a political pamphlet for your political ends. I request that they speak to their kindred spirits in that radical right-wing alliance.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Do the rules of this House permit the hon member to say that the CP misuses the Bible?
No, I do not think the hon member said that.
Sir, I must make haste because my time is running out and there are still a few things I want to tell those hon members. I have before me a pamphlet entitled Padlangs. This pamphlet is the mouthpiece of the Bond van Konserwatiewe Afrikaners. The edition I have here is that of November 1975. They wrote an open letter to the then MP’s, the MPC’s and Senators and, except for a few backbenchers, those hon members are still sitting there. The letter reads:
It was seven years before those hon members deserted. It was members of that same radical right-wing alliance who were then accused of the same thing, word for word, as we are being accused of now. The open letter went on:
Later in the letter the accusation is levelled that mixed marriages are being propagated. The letter goes on in this vein and hurls accusations at people who were sitting on our side at the time; people who said that once Adv Vorster was dead, they would stand by us. Just as accusations were hurled at him at the time, these accusations are now being hurled at the present State President and his Government.
There is much of interest that I could quote in this edition of Padlangs, one of which is that a certain person did not wish to toast the State President because the State President and his wife had been with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. They said that that was evil and that their Bible did not permit it.
Another interesting thing in the same edition of Padlangs relates to Dr Handrick Edelman, Chief Analyst of the Common Market Confederation, who said that by way of computers, numbers could be imprinted on people’s foreheads or hands throughout the world. Bear in mind that this was in 1975, seven years before the desertion. They said that if people went to buy things, they could be identified. This Bond van Konserwatiewe Afrikaners then quoted from Revelations 13, verses 11 to 18, in which reference is made to the “beast”:
Then he says that the number of the beast is 666. Now, eight years later, the hon member comes along and says: “The majority of two thirds is approximately 66%. Some people speak about the three sixes, whereas we had about one third.” Now that hon member himself comes along and uses exactly the same example that these other slanderers used against us and against him. I want to ask him how it feels to sit there. [Interjections.]
I could carry on in this vein. I could quote in this House what Prof At Viljoen … [Interjections.] That hon member states that we must tell the whole truth. I quote from a Skilkom publication: “Die Ontugwet en die Gemengde Huwelikewet gaan waai. Dit is nou ’n uitgemaakte saak dat hierdie twee wette herroep gaan word.” I say that that is a lie, because surely we know that the Immorality Act as such is not going to disappear.
What did Langenhoven say? He said that if one wanted to lie effectively, one should not twist the truth completely but merely distort it. Langenhoven said that if a dairy farmer wanted to cheat people he did not do so with bottles of clear water but with mixed water. Now the hon member comes along and says that the Immorality Act is going to disappear. Surely we know that the Immorality Act is not going to disappear. Indeed, we say that the Immorality Act has not been sufficiently widely framed. What is at issue here is one section.
Many people overseas have the idea that we are Nazis. Bishop Tutu also said that the other day. I want to say to those hon members that they are making it very difficult for us to prove that we are not. One sometimes thinks that the Jews exaggerate their propaganda. The other day I again read in Mein Kampf what Hitler wrote about his opinion of the Jews. Unfortunately I do not have the time to quote everything, but he said inter alia “The Jews have always been a people with no religion.” He went on to say very ugly things and then quoted Christ to support the things that he believed in and that he wanted to do. He said that it was the Jews who had brought the Blacks to the Rhineland. He said that there was reason to get rid of these people.
I have no time for the perspective of the future that I wanted to present but I now turn to a grave disgrace, viz the pamphlet distributed by the Afrikanervolkswag.
I have before me an edition of Huisgenoot containing photographs of heaps of emaciated bodies. This was Germany’s policy; this is what it did.
This is a disgraceful matter. I reject the Afrikanervolkswag and the hon member for Waterberg and all the other hon members included. I reject the whole bunch. I now think more of the hon member for Kuruman because he said that he was not a member.
Does this House know what the Afrikanervolkswag has to say about the issue of mixed marriages and so on? In the pamphlet the following appears: “ ’n Verbod op bloedvermenging is nie tot die Suid-Afrikaanse Blankes of tot Afrikaners beperk nie.” [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The hon member for Kuruman used the word “voertsek”. Is that permissible in this House?
Order! Did the hon member for Kuruman address it to any specific person?
He said it about the speaker, Dr Vilonel.
Mr Speaker, the hon member Dr Vilonel was saying very flattering things to me that I did not like. Accordingly I said “voertsek”.
Order! The hon member must withdraw that word.
I withdraw it.
I shall take the matter further on a different occasion. Let me just quote from this pamphlet what these people said. They say that the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act is justified because this is done in other places, like the USA. The pamphlet goes on:
I grew up in a farm in South West Africa and I say that it is an absolute disgrace that the Afrikanervolkswag uses the fact that the Jews have been slaughtered to such an extent, as justification for saying that we should follow the same policy. I dissociate myself from that totally.
Mr Speaker, it was undoubtedly an interesting experience to be able to listen to this debate from the first word to the last. It is a debate which will be remembered for a number of very good speeches. On the other hand it is also a debate which, because of quite a number of other speeches, should rather be forgotten. The tragedy, however, is that they appear in Hansard. They will therefore be regarded all over the world as a mirror image of what is happening in our country.
While I sat here, having perforce to listen to the debate, I came to desire one thing above all and that was that the people of South Africa should see the CP. [Interjections.] If there is one thing which could contribute to the rejection of that party with the contempt which it deserves it …
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No. I am not replying to the hon member’s questions now. That is typical of the CP. Every time, like a third-rate computer that has been programmed by a third-rate programmer, they adopt this tactic. Every time someone says something about the CP, one of those hon members rises to his feet to put a question. Every time someone refers with valid arguments to the policy of their hon leader or to his statements, one of them jumps up to ask a silly question. To experience this day after day really makes one sick and tired. [Interjections.] It is an infantile technique, [interjections.] Just listen to that! Those are the people who profess to be the saviours of the Whites. They cannot even maintain themselves in a debate such as this, to say nothing of the people outside.
I wish South Africa could see you as you stand there now.
South Africa can see me exactly as I am standing here now. I am not ashamed, nor am I bitter. [Interjections.] I do feel profoundly disappointed. The hon members of the CP are taking credulous people in tow. They are presenting themselves as a possible alternative government in South Africa. When I sit here and observe all these things, it makes me feel despondent and then I doubt whether democracy, as the CP is abusing it, is in all respects really the answer for South Africa.
That is interesting! [Interjections.]
I cannot but be disappointed. To think that there are people who can take the hon members of the CP seriously; to think that they regard those hon members as possible leaders—it is something to cry about.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: When I entered the Chamber the hon member for Hercules said it was the murderer who was entering. Is he entitled to say that? [Interjections.]
Order! Did the hon member for Hercules say that?
Mr Speaker, I did use the word murderer, but I did not refer to the hon member at all. I was talking to the hon member in front of me. If the hon member for Jeppe is offended by it, I shall withdraw it.
It is interesting to take cognisance of the events in various spheres since the Budget speech on 18 March, and before I move the adjournment of the debate, I should like to refer briefly to a few interesting facts.
Since 18 March until today the gold price has varied in an interval with a span of 13,5%; that is an interval 13,5% in 25 days. At present the gold price is 11,6% higher than it was on the day on which the Budget speech was delivered. Another interesting fact is that the rand/dollar exchange rate has in these 25 days varied in an interval of 10,7%. Today the rand is worth 7,9% more against the dollar than it was on 18 March. [Interjections.]
In the third place the Deutschmark varied against the dollar with an interval of 10%. As far as the Deutschmark is concerned it so happens that the minimum in this interval period occurred on 18 March and the maximum today. Consequently the Deutschmark is worth 10% more than it was then. With the drop in the gold price there was in the meantime a marginal downward adjustment in the value of the rand against the dollar.
What is important in this respect is that these variables which we had to cope with when we began to prepare this budget months ago, place a far greater responsibility on the Government and on the various Government departments that have to function within such a financial and economic climate than would otherwise have been the case. This Budget is a responsible effort on the part of a responsible Government to give attention to the difficult circumstances of the day.
Since 18 March dramatic and also tragic things have happened in the other spheres which we addressed in the Budget, namely the social, defence and constitutional spheres. This changeable world in which we are living, which drastically influenced all four of the spheres of life which I mentioned in the introduction to the Budget, is once again an indication of how difficult it is today to govern a complex country such as South Africa. I maintain that it places a far greater responsibility on the Government than in those days when a devaluation, a revaluation or an important event in any of the four general spheres of life which I mentioned, was an exception. It is far more difficult to govern today, because there are far greater responsibilities resting on a Government.
For that reason one may also expect far greater responsibility in the reaction of opposition parties to the Budget, which after all is the main instrument of policy. That greater responsibility resting on opposition parties ought also to have been more perceptible throughout in the debate conducted in this House on the financing of all the activities in the four spheres of life to which I referred. We shall come back to that in my reply on Monday.
In the second place this Budget was also intended as an instrument to effect basic adjustments to the economy of South Africa because we were going through a difficult time and because it was desirable for structural changes be effected in the short term. Even though we did do a number of special things in the short term in this Budget to cope with special circumstances, there are nevertheless expert commentators outside this House, internally as well as abroad, who perceived that this Budget occupied a very special position in the long-term objectives we have set for this country in the economic sphere. It is true after all that if, humanly speaking, one does not have the material means with which to implement one’s policies, nothing can come of them. A budget is the instrument which starts up the vehicle which conveys a country to its destination insofar as one is able to determine that destination.
Naturally the economy is extremely important for the generation of those material goods necessary in all four of the spheres to which I referred. The mere fact that more than R5 000 million has been allocated in this Budget to the training and education of people is the sign of a responsible Government’s confidence in the future of this country. It is a long-term investment in the human infrastructure of South Africa. It is important that we have exceeded that mark of R5 000 million in our spending on this matter.
I am very grateful for those expert commentators in and outside this House who helped us to evaluate this Budget from their point of view as well. It seems to me as though the fact that the Standing Committee on Finance spent so much time on the intensive discussion of the Budget contributed to the fact that in this debate which is now being concluded a completely disproportionately small percentage of time was devoted to the Budget as such. The meaning of this is important, namely the better the Opposition understands the Budget the less criticism they have to level at it. This Budget was not sucked out of our thumbs overnight.
This Budget is a long, intensive exercise in which the best expertise was united. It is a fact—and we can say this with confidence—that this Budget is probably better understood than any previous Budget, because it was so intensively discussed and because officials were called in as witnesses. For that reason it was understood very thoroughly, and one can say that there was no material criticism on the part of the opposition parties. [Interjections.]
You must have been sleeping.
We shall deal with a few points that were made. [Interjections.] The hon Chief Whip is very excited. He will hear on Monday.
†If I can just have his attention for a moment, I did not say that there were not any points of valid criticism; I said that it was a relatively smaller percentage of time and effort that was devoted to the discussion of the Budget per se, than was the case in any previous budget. I ascribe it directly to the fact that the Opposition parties are now in a position to understand better the intricacies of a budget. [Interjections.]
*The tragedy is …
May I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, no questions.
*There were a few useful contributions from that side. I am thinking in particular of the hon member for Eden vale, who made very useful contributions to this Budget debate. The tragedy is, however, that because he is a Prog, the valid points which he made will not be believed outside. There is a tendency among people, however, to believe for a while the rubbish the CP spoke here. [Interjections.] I am not being bitter. This is a statement of fact. I can say this with great satisfaction, because I am telling the absolute truth. [Interjections.] On this note I move:
Mr Speaker, when the debate adjourned on 25 March I was speaking, and I hope the hon the Minister, in his reply, will not be imbued with so much spite, hatred and envy as was the case when he referred to us a moment ago. [Interjections.] It seems to me this hon Minister is feeling it. I want to refer to the Bill for a moment and return to that aspect at a later stage. So he must not let fly at me here like a third-rate computer.
When we adjourned, I was referring to an important matter, and I am very glad that the hon the Minister of Communications and of Public Works is present. In that debate it was said that the officials had not worked for their thirteenth cheque; it was a cheque to say thank you. We now have a contradiction. This Cabinet Minister says it was not earned, whilst our …
You know I never said that.
Yes, that hon member for Hercules said it was a cheque to say thank you, and the hon the Minister said that was very well put.
You said a Cabinet Minister had said it. You cannot even tell the truth.
Oh, is the hon the Minister no longer a Cabinet Minister? My apologies, I did not know he had been dismissed. [Interjections.]
Let me now ask the hon the Minister to spell it out very clearly for the people today whether the thirteenth cheque is a gift or not. If I tell people they have to pay tax on it…
I shall be getting round to the hon member for Smithfield. [Interjections.] If I were to tell the staff, for example, that they had to pay tax on that thirteenth cheque, could I be charged with negligence, or am I covered by the insurance policy?
I shall reply to that.
I want to broach a further matter involving the accountants’ clerks who are called up for national service.
I shall also reply to that.
But I specifically want to take the matter further. It is gradually coming to light that a much greater number of the accountants’ clerks are being called up to do military service. We have nothing against those people being trained for military service, but they are then seconded to the hon the Minister’s department to send out assessments.
Have you any objection to that?
I object to people being called up for military service, not being trained and then being used as cheap labour by the department. Those clerks are not being trained while they are on military service and working for the department. I am asking the hon the Minister please to tell us how many of the clerks from the various auditing firms there are who were called up by the Defence Force and then seconded to the department. We would very much like to know. [Interjections.]
In one and the same breath I then also want to know from the hon the Minister what training is given to those clerks who are called up, or are they given no training, or do they merely do their basic military service and then go to the department? Do they get a chance to write their exams? Are they given lectures, or are they given an opportunity of attending lectures and so on? [Interjections.]
Why did you not ask those questions in the standing committee?
The hon member for Smithfield asks me why I did not ask those questions in the standing committee. The hon the Minister was not there, and besides, in the standing committee they like covering things up. [Interjections.] There is a cover-up in regard to the activities in that standing committee. One is not allowed to talk about that, but now the hon member does not want me to speak about it here either. Let me ask the hon member for Smithfield and the Minister …
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: If I understand things correctly, the standing committees are extensions of Parliament. The hon member for Sunnyside alleges that there is a cover-up in regard to all the activities there.
That it was the intention to cover up.
Yes, that it was the intention to cover up. I do not think it is parliamentary.
Mr Speaker, I can explain what I meant by that: The standing committees work behind closed doors. The Press and the public are excluded, whilst I can speak here in public. The Press is here, members of the public are here and the whole world can know what I am saying. What I say there, I want to say here, and what I say here, I want to say there. [Interjections.]
Another aspect I want to speak about, a matter very intimately affecting accountants, is the discretion the Receiver has in regard to assessments. The truth of the matter is that the Receiver of Revenue has a discretion which he can apply and which differs from place to place. [Interjections.] It is true that the Receiver of Revenue in Pretoria and the Receiver of Revenue in Cape Town can exercise a discretion of a completely contradictory nature. That is a problem that exists as far as the accountancy profession is concerned. Recently the hon the Minister sharply attacked accountants.
That is not true.
The hon the Minister said that accountants help companies by devising schemes for avoiding tax. [Interjections.]
He also attacked the doctors.
Yes, he also launched an attack on doctors. [Interjections.] They demanded an apology from him and he did, in fact, apologize. We are grateful for that. We appreciate it.
He still has to apologize to the accountants.
Yes, he still has to apologize to the accountants as well.
There is a further point I want to put to the hon the Minister: Supposing there is an accountant—he is a trained, professional man—working for a certain client. The client pays him and tells him: “Sir, here are my affairs. How can I regulate them, within the context of the laws laid down by Parliament, so that I do not evade tax, but so that I do not have to pay unnecessary tax?
That is absolutely correct.
There are many methods. The accountant can tell his client: “Well, establish a company or a close corporation. As an individual you can also …”
Yes, or a corporation or a trust …
So why did the hon the Minister attack them for helping their clients?
It is a question of evasion.
What I am saying is that if a person is guilty of tax evasion, lock him up. That is not, however, what the hon the Minister said. If a person is guilty of tax evasion—and it is on record in this House that I have said that I would have my father locked up if he were guilty of theft—I have no mercy for him. If, however, he can use his knowledge fairly, reasonably and lawfully, and in accordance with the provisions of the Act, to avoid having to pay tax, he should be entitled to do so. If a fanner, for example, is entitled to write off his capital losses, but does not do so, and an accountant makes him aware of this possibility, the accountant has merely put him on the right track. That is within the law, it is permitted and I have done nothing wrong. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Finance, however, attacks accountants in general. I do not think that is fair.
I now want to refer to the hon member for Smithfield. The Standing Orders provided—the hon member for Smithfield in consultation with the Speaker, and I think it is actually in consultation with the Minister—whether, during a period when Parliament is not in session, certain Bills to the standing committee … [Interjections.]
The Minister has nothing to do with that.
Is that the arrangement? Does the Minister have a say, or is it merely the chairman of that standing committee?
Go and have a look at the rules.
According to the rules it is the chairman of the standing committee who, in consultation with the Speaker, obtains an extra remuneration. The Speaker will not tell him there is a Bill. The Minister submits the Bill to the Speaker. The Speaker will refer it and then, in consultation with the chairman, it will be dealt with.
I want to know from the chairman of this standing committee why this Bill was referred to a standing committee that was convened a few days before Parliament commenced. The non member wasted the country’s money, because he was the chairman of the committee. He was then in a special position to have advised the Speaker, saying he thought … [Interjections.] No, the hon member was in a special position and could have informed the Speaker. [Interjections.]
A small amendment was brought about in the standing committee. We agree with the Bill as it stands, but I think it was a good thing, and also necessary and timely, to point out the wastage brought about by this new dispensation, with the diabolic policy of the NP in regard to this matter. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, the modifications made in the standing committee to the original Bill were accepted by my colleague, the hon member for Umbilo, who was representing the NRP on that committee. It is therefore with pleasure that we support the Bill.
Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon member for Mooi River and also in his absence the hon member for Yeoville for supporting this Bill.
*The hon member for Sunnyside speaks of wasting money, but let us look at the truth concerning that hon member’s participation in the proceedings of the Standing Committee on Finance when it comes to this specific Bill. All the other hon members were notified sufficiently long in advance of the first meeting and were present. The chairman of the standing committee, the hon member for Smithfield, tells me—without having the register in front of him, but as far as he can remember—that all the other members were present, because there were enough members.
Where was the hon member for Sunny-side? He was not present, and that was after the Chief Whip of Parliament had, a long time previously, given notice that hon members who were members of standing committees should make themselves available. Then came the second of the three meetings dealing with this Bill. Who was conspicuous by his absence? The hon member for Sunny-side. [Interjections.]
Please tell the truth.
Were you there?
Tell the truth.
Were you there? [Interjections.] I shall apologize to you if my information is incorrect. Tell me, were you there?
I was not present at the first one.
No, the second one. Were you there?
I was informed on Saturday that I had to be here on Tuesday. [Interjections.]
You were not present. [Interjections.] The hon member was not present. As far as I know, an hon member of this House of Assembly must be available 24 hours a day. He must be able to attend any activity involving the House of Assembly even after telephonic notification, unless of course there is something else he is busy doing. The truth is simply that that hon member … [Interjections.] Wait, just give me a chance. Interjections.] The simple, inescapable truth of the matter is that that hon member was absent from two meetings. Now I just want to contend …
Just stick to the truth, that is all.
I am dealing with the truth. I want to allege that one does not have the moral right to speak about wasting money if facilities are arranged for one to attend a meeting here and one is absent without having tendered one’s apologies. The hon member did not tender his apologies for his absence from the second meeting.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I did tender my apologies. The hon the Minister must accept my word for it.
Order! That is not a point of order.
The hon member may submit the written proof to me, and I promise I will, in a debate, apologize to him. As the situation now stands, the information I have at my disposal indicates that the hon member was not present, but let us leave it at that.
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: If an hon member of this House confirms verbally that he apologized for not being present, is the hon the Minister not expected to accept the hon member’s word?
It was not put by way of a question, and as far as I am concerned, that verbal remark has no bearing.
Mr Speaker, on a further point of order: The hon member for Sunnyside says that he tendered his apologies. The hon the Minister does not accept his word that he did so. I respectfully want to submit here that the hon the Minister is compelled to accept the hon member for Sunnyside’s word that he did tender his apologies.
It was said merely by way of an interjection. No question was put, and the answer the hon the Minister therefore received was merely an interjection.
Mr Speaker, perhaps we can clear the matter up a little further. The chairman of this standing committee, the hon member for Smithfield, tells me that in no instance whatsoever did the hon member for Sunnyside tender his apologies, as the hon member for Sunnyside alleges. I am prepared to accept the hon member for Smithfield’s word as far as that is concerned. I therefore suggest that we leave that aspect of the matter at that. Let us ask the hon member for Sunnyside to furnish proof, in due course, that he did in fact do so. That is not, however, the point at issue. The fact that I do want to broach, however, is that the hon member for Sunnyside was absent from two meetings and yet arrogates to himself the moral right to speak about other people who have supposedly wasted money on that meeting, whilst he is conspicuous by his absence and wasted just as much money as anyone who does not attend something arranged for him.
How does that work?
If facilities are arranged for one and one does not make us of them, the arrangements have been made for nothing. [Interjections.] Ah, that hon member’s idiotic techniques are not going to work with me. He might just as well keep quiet.
There were untruths that you …
Ah, that hon member should rather go and work in a barbershop—it would suit him better.
Order! I want to suggest that if the hon member for Sunnyside feels aggrieved, he should make use of another debate to give full particulars of his case.
Mr Speaker, if the hon member can prove that ne did tender his apologies, and we can settle the matter between him and the chairman, I am quite prepared to say that I accept that the hon member did, in fact, tender his apologies.
Then you must apologize!
Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I think it is very unfair to the hon member for Sunnyside that he will only be getting an apology at a later stage. That is why, Mr speaker, I want you to take note of a letter to the Secretary of Parliament, signed by the hon member for Sunnyside and dated 2 January, in which he says that he could not be present.
Order! No, that is not a point of order. Unfortunately I cannot make use of that. That is why I said that if the hon member for Sunnyside feels himself aggrieved, he can make use of a debate in this House to put matters right.
Mr Speaker, that was your ruling, but may I request, at a later stage, that a select committee be appointed to investigate the conduct of the chairman? [Interjections.]
Order! If the hon member has the right to do so, he shall certainly be able to do so. The hon the Minister may proceed.
The hon member for Sunnyside makes certain allegations … [Interjections.]
Come on, Barend, behave yourself!
Calm down. [Interjections.]
*The hon member for Sunnyside made certain allegations in regard to national servicemen. Let me tell him that I have it here in writing, from the Commissioner for Inland Revenue, that no accountants’ clerk is recruited or called up whilst he is undergoing his training and then taken out of the Defence Force to work in the offices of the Receiver of Revenue. [Interjections.]
What does happen—the hon member must now understand this once and for all, because it is the second time today that he has made this incorrect statement, and I want to ask him to put the matter right wherever he has happened to furnish this incorrect information—is that when an articled clerk who has completed his articles of clerkship, therefore having no further obligation towards his employer, is subsequently called up for his two years of national service and has completed his basic training, he can sign an agreement in terms of which he remains in the service of the State for four years. He then goes to work in an office of the Receiver of Revenue.
Care is taken that they are only used for work on assessments in the most exceptional of circumstances. They are never, in any event, used for assessment work involving the clients of the principal in whose employ they were previously.
I specifically asked the Commissioner if there was anyone at the moment who was a national serviceman and who did not enter the service of the State in this way. The answer was no. The people who conclude a four-year contract in this way are then subject to the same conditions of service as an ordinary official in the employ of the State. That is the first point I want to make.
Secondly the hon member wants to know from me today whether the bonuses are a gift so that the gift-tax procedure can come into operation. Sir, the hon member is an accountant! I should like hon members of the House to consider the following: Section 1 of the Income Tax Act, the Act with which accountants should probably be best acquainted, provides that an amount, including any voluntary award, received or accrued in respect of services rendered, is regarded as income. I have the Hansard speeches of the hon the Minister and of the hon member for Hercules here, and the word “donation” does not appear in Hansard. What the hon member did say is that it is paid in recognition of service rendered. The hon member can surely not deny that in terms of section 1 of the Income Tax Act that is a form of income, even if it is paid in recognition of service rendered. [Interjections.]
The hon member says that now, but he stands here arguing on the strength of the ridiculous argument that it is supposedly a gift and that the relative staff member or public servant is not, in such a case, liable to pay tax on it. He argues that the Public Service itself should pay the tax on that “gift”. With all due respect to hon members of this House, I have never in my life heard such an absurd argument, least of all from an accountant.
Then you agree with me and reject what he said.
No, I did not reject what the hon member said; I merely did not distort it—I understood it! [Interjections.]
With a great fanfare the hon member now proclaims to the world his distorted version of this. I want him to ascertain today what the correct facts are, and I want to appeal to his integrity, as a professional man, to set the matters straight with those to whom he gave his incorrect interpretation.
Thank you very much, the hon member says he will do so.
Secondly the hon member wants to know if he would be accountable if someone were to consult him in order to ascertain whether this income were taxable or not and he, as an accountant, contrary to what the Receiver decided, regarded it as not being income. That is how he explained it in Hansard. Do I understand him correctly?
If I regard it as income, does that official have a case against me? I regard it as income.
Very well. The argument cuts both ways. If he were to take a decision, the Receiver of Revenue would hold it against him for not regarding it as taxable whilst the person concerned would hold it against him for having, in fact, regarded it as taxable. Is that correct?
I say it is taxable.
No, but is that correct? Am I understanding the hon member correctly when I say that both parties could have a case against him, although he says that the officer could have a case against him? I do not want to waste any more time on that.
What is the truth? In his professional capacity the hon member does not have the right to decide whether something is taxable or not. In terms of the Act, with which the hon member is surely familiar, the Receiver of Revenue will decide about that. He must specify what the income is and the Receiver of Revenue will decide about that. That is why I just want to say that it was really unnecessary to drag so many unpleasant aspects into a discussion of an inoffensive Bill such as this, but I think it important for us to put the matter straight in Hansard by saying that I have had the officials do an in-depth analysis of the situation in an effort to get this information straight so that there can be no misunderstanding on the part of anyone who reads that hon member’s allegations in Hansard or elsewhere or hears them from the hon member himself and so that there can be something to refer back to for the actual facts involved.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Certified fair copy of Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days after the disposal thereof in all three Houses to refer the Bill to a committee.
Introductory Speech delivered at Joint Sitting on 11 March
Mr Speaker, I move:
This Bill amends the Black Communities Development Act, 1984 (Act 4 of 1984). For the sake of convenience I shall subsequently refer to the principal Act.
The principal Act came into operation on 1 April, 1984, and hon members may justifiably ask: How is it possible for such a comprehensive amending Bill to be submitted for consideration within a year of the commencement of the principal Act. The reason is briefly as follows: After the original Bill had been published by the then select committee, the Department of Co-operation and Development received representations from interested parties for certain amendments to be effected to the Bill. Although these amendments were of exceptional merit, the House of Assembly passed the Bill before Cabinet approval could be obtained for the proposed amendments.
The memorandum on the objectives of the Bill is comprehensive, and as a result it is possible that repetitions of certain information may occur in this speech. This is not being done to take up the time of this House unnecessarily, but merely for the sake of completeness. The proposed amendments deal mainly with the practical implementation of the principal Act, and arise from representations received from bodies such as the Urban Foundation, the Association of Building Societies and other interested parties. I should like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the bodies concerned for their interest, enthusiasm and for the constructive comments which they submitted.
Hon members will observe that several definitions are being adjusted or inserted in the principal Act. These definitions are primarily consequential amendments. The adjustment of the definition of “Black” or “Black person” is necessary, since the principal Act substitutes part of the Blacks (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act, 1945. The said Urban Areas Act was amended during the 1983 session of Parliament to provide that the Small Business Development Corporation shall be regarded as a Black person for certain purposes. The corresponding adjustment of the definition of “Black” or “Black person” in the principal Act is therefore necessary to ensure continuity.
The principal Act does not apply in the national states or development trust areas, and the development boards are therefore precluded from undertaking important development projects such as housing schemes in such states or areas. It is obvious that the legislature wished to guard against development boards functioning of their own accord and autonomously within the national states or within development trust areas, but it was never the intention to prevent such boards from acting as agents for the authorities concerned in those states or areas. It is being foreseen that development boards and their employees may even perform agency functions in independent states as well. Clauses 2 and 7(e) of the Bill therefore seek to empower development boards and their employees to perform agency functions in national and independent states and development trust areas in terms of agreements.
Section 8 of the principal Act provides that a development board shall appoint at least three committees. A development board consists of seven members only, who in effect replace the executive committee of the old administration board which existed prior to the development board. The compulsory appointment of the aforesaid committees may result in ineffective and cumbersome administration, and the purpose of clause 3 of the Bill is to contribute towards more effective administration by making the appointment of committees discretionary and not compulsory.
The concept of “employee” is defined in section 1 of the principal Act as “a Black person who has to render services to an employer under a contract of service, whether in writing or otherwise”, and includes a domestic servant. It is clear that the said definition is problematical when applied in respect of sections 10, 12, 13, 42 and 67 of the principal Act, since non-Black employees of a board are being excluded. Consequently it is necessary to substitute the words “person in the service of for the word “employee” in the relevant sections of the principal Act, and clauses 4, 5, 6, 13 and 23 give effect to this.
The amendment in clause 7(a) of the Bill affords protection to employees of a board who have been seconded to a local authority. Section 35(1) of the Black Local Authorities Act, 1982, provides that an officer or employee of the State or of such other body established by any law, for example a development board, may perform work for or on behalf of a local authority, while section 35(2) of the said Act provides that a development board may, at the request of a local authority, second any person in the board’s service to a local authority for full-time service. Section 15(13) of the principal Act, however, affords protection only to employees who are placed at the disposal of local authorities in terms of section 35(1) of the Black Local Authorities Act, 1982, should their posts be declared to be redundant. No protection is at present being afforded to any employees who have been seconded in terms of section 35(2) of the said Act, and this deficiency is now being rectified in clause 7.
As far as the remuneration of the administrative chief officer of a local government body is concerned, provision is made in section 9 of the Remuneration of Town Clerks Act, 1984, for the determination of his remuneration by the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning after consultation with an advisory committee. The chief director of a development board is excluded from the aforesaid Act, which therefore leaves him in a vacuum as far as his remuneration is concerned, and for that reason the amendment in clause 7(c) is being proposed.
A development board, in terms of section 15(15) of the principal Act, is deemed to be a local authority in the application of the Labour Relations Act, 1956. In order to take the analogy between the staff of local authorities and the staff of development boards further, which are in essence similar institutions, similar provisions to those which apply in respect of the employees of local authorities are being inserted by clause 7(d) of the Bill in respect of the staff of development boards.
†The amendment in clause 8 removes an arbitration obligation which was inappropriately assigned to the Auditor-General and empowers the Minister to designate a person to decide on questions relating to the acquisition by a board of assets and rights and the incurring of liabilities or obligations.
The amendment in clause 9 of the Bill eliminates the duplication of powers of development boards vis-à-vis Black local authorities. The management functions of a development board are now defined on the basis of the Black Local Authorities Act, 1982.
When a development board places its staff at the disposal of a local authority, the local authority shall, in terms of the principal Act, pay the total costs pertaining to the secondment of such staff. The amendment in clause 10 of the Bill enables the two parties to reach agreement on the costs involved, subject to the approval of the Minister. The object of the amendment in clause 11 is to promote the progress of Black communities to local authority status, whilst the amendments in clauses 12, 14, 15 and 20 correct oversights and omissions.
Section 52 of the principal Act is amended in clause 16 in order, firstly, to enable a local authority also to make land of which it is the owner available for leasehold; secondly, also to enable a husband to inherit his deceased wife’s leasehold rights; and thirdly, to eliminate restrictions on the purchase price in regard to the purchase of a leasehold by a mortgagee at a sale in execution or at a sale in consequence of the insolvency or liquidation of the holder of the leasehold.
Provision is furthermore made for the following in the remaining clauses: Firstly, the exemption of the registration of a leasehold right from payment of transfer duty; secondly, the declaration of a township developer as a developer in respect of sectional leasehold units; thirdly, rendering the cancellation of a leasehold subject also to the approval of a mortgage; fourthly, extending the provisions of the principal Act to accommodation on mines and works; and finally, the delegation by a development board of its powers to persons in its service.
I trust that the proposed amendments will be acceptable to hon members.
Second Reading resumed
Mr Speaker, I hope that, after the somewhat fiery earlier debates, we can now return the House to some sort of Friday afternoon normality and end on a reasonable note.
The Bill before us was considered by the standing committee and I think that in general consensus was found in regard to most of the provisions of the Bill and, therefore, we shall be supporting the Bill at this stage.
When the matter was discussed by the standing committee, we in these benches expressed concern about clause 3 of the Bill which relates to the ability of the board to appoint committees. In the original Act it was mandatory for the board to appoint certain specific committees, viz a committee dealing with local affairs, a local government committee, a housing and administration committee, and a planning and development committee. This was mandatory in the original Act. This Bill amends that provision to make it permissive for the board to appoint such committees. We expressed the view, which we express again, that at the time when the original Bill was discussed in a select committee, it was felt very strongly by members of that select committee at the time that those committees were absolutely essential in regard to the work of a board in these instances. We hold the view that the appointment of special committees would lead to a board looking for expert advice in matters of specific concern relating to the administration of the affairs of the board.
We are very concerned about this amendment contained in clause 3. We believe that it may result in boards not looking for the sort of expertise they should be looking for. Having said that, I want to add that that certainly is not sufficient reason to oppose the Bill. I hope the Minister, when he replies, will give some indication as to the sort of instructions which his department will give to the boards, and one hopes that surveillance will be kept over the boards to ensure that they do look for expertise in regard to specific matters.
As far as the rest of the Bill is concerned, it is of a somewhat technical nature. It defines the functions of the boards in a broader sense, it enables the boards to operate on an agency basis in the homeland areas and it regulates service conditions. We find these provisions satisfactory.
I just want to say that clause 16 of the Bill is a very distinct improvement because it provides that a husband can take over the leasehold rights enjoyed by his deceased wife where leasehold rights exist. It also improves the situation in regard to sales in execution of leasehold rights and gives greater protection to the mortgagee in these circumstances.
So, in general terms we find the Bill an improvement and we in these benches will be supporting it.
Mr Speaker, we wish to thank the hon member for Berea for supporting the amending Bill on behalf of the PFP. With regard to their objection concerning the reduction in membership and the possible reduction of the number of committees, I want to say that it is an accepted fact that the membership of the board has been reduced to seven. The question which has to be answered, therefore, is whether seven persons can function effectively on three committees. I think it is only reasonable to accept that it would be very difficult for seven persons to function properly on three committees, as is required by the principal Act. The proposed amendment provides for the possibility that there may be a smaller number of committees or even no committees at all. This is a logical and almost inevitable consequence, since the membership has been reduced to seven. The possibility already exists of co-opting persons in order to bring in expertise from outside. In the light of this, I think that the Official Opposition is raising this objection merely because they were originally opposed to this in principle. We on this side of the House would like to support the amending Bill.
Mr Speaker, the CP also supports this Bill. I suppose we hardly have time left for another scrap at this late hour of the day.
We welcome the fact that development boards may now act as agents in national states and other development areas. We think this is a positive step which holds advantages. Furthermore, the Small Business Development Corporation is defined here as a Black or a Black person. We have no objection to that. However, I should like to bring it to the hon the Minister’s attention—we have done so before—that we are concerned about the fact that the Small Business Development Corporation, which was established as part of the decentralization effort, is operating mainly in the metropolitan areas and is doing virtually nothing in the Black areas, in the Black states, in the decentralized areas and in the rural areas. The bulk of its work is being done in the very areas where it should not be operating. I hope that there will be an improvement in this connection.
Mr Speaker, we, too, will be supporting this amending Bill but, like the hon member for Berea, we are not at all happy about clause 3 which removes the mandatory requirement for the board to appoint committees. I do not accept at all the argument of the hon member for Gezina. I think that his speech was a real “ja baas” sort of speech. Virtually all he was doing was quoting the memorandum verbatim. Quite honestly, if one looks at the memorandum and the reasons advanced in it, there is no logic in them at all because all that is required on those committees is one member of the board. Only one member of the board has to sit on each of those committees. Therefore, seven of them are plenty to go around.
The administration boards, which have changed to development boards, have had an unfortunate past, but their image is changing. One would like to see the attitude towards the development in the relevant areas being a very open one and one would like to see maximum participation in that, with the input of expertise from all over the place being welcomed. Whereas the legislation required that a board should, or rather must, appoint these committees to make that expertise available and to ensure that it got it, now, depending on the board, it may or may not make use of that expertise. That brings it back to the situation where the board can quietly within its own confines control its affairs and in fact keep outside people away from its activities. That is what we in these benches feel very unhappy about. For no really good reason, the hon members on that side of the House have seen fit to accede to this request while, in fact, they should have resisted and said “no”.
I should like the hon the Minister, in the very short time available to him, to give us a more detailed explanation as to why he has seen fit to accede to that.
Order! I regret that there is no short time available.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at