House of Assembly: Vol3 - MONDAY 15 APRIL 1985

MONDAY, 15 APRIL 1985 Prayers—14h15 (In Joint Sitting).

The House met at 14h56.


laid upon the Table:

Members of Parliament and Political Office-bearers Pension Scheme Amendment Bill [No 78—85 (GA)]—Standing Committee on Health and Welfare.

To be referred to the appropriate Standing Committee, unless the House decides otherwise within three sitting days.


as Chairman, presented the Report of the Select Committee on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and Section 16 of the Immorality Act.

Report and proceedings to be printed.


Mr Speaker, at the beginning of my reply I should very much like to convey my appreciation to all the hon members who thanked the Government for the aid given to farmers afflicted by the drought, and also for the other expressions of thanks to the Government in regard to various aid measures granted over a wide spectrum. I should also like to thank the hon members who addressed kind words to me during the second reading debate and who wished me well. I assure them that I appreciate it very much.

When we began to plan this Budget months ago, we established in the first place what our long-term objectives for South Africa in the economic sphere were. It was very clear to us that our ultimate objectives had remained unchanged, that is the perfectly simple, two-dimensional demand which is made on the economy of South Africa. There is the horizontal component of our tremendous population growth and the large number of new entrants to the work market every year, for whom employment opportunities have to be created. Then there is the vertical component, namely that there are still millions of people in South Africa who are maintaining an inadequate and in some cases even a highly defective standard of living. Our long-term objectives are therefore focused on resuming a stable growth period in the South African economy as quickly as possible so that employment and other opportunities for the self-realization of the people of South Africa may ensue from this.

In addition, however, there are the four spheres of life which we also identified and which make specific demands on the economy of South Africa. They form the framework within which these objectives are being pursued. These are the security, constitutional and social spheres, and then the sphere of economic activities as such. We tried to determine the interaction of all these spheres and we also tried to arrange the interdepartmental priority spheres in a proper manner. Our object is to be ultimately able to lay down guidelines by means of which we can decide whether a specific activity or programme in a specific sphere or department is more important than another activity in another department. Ultimately this is the choice that has to be made.

After we had established what we had said to the voters in the manifesto of the previous election and what had since emerged as priorities for State expenditure, we came to the next step. We asked ourselves what obstacles lay in the way of achieving these objectives or ideals. Just like the hon member for Amanzimtoti and the hon member for Edenvale, we identified inflation as the main obstacle. In the policy package which we would recommend to the Government we decided that we would in the first place have to address inflation as enemy number one as far as the economy of South Africa was concerned.

In the second place we realized that although we had taken drastic steps in August last year, our balance of payments was still exceedingly vulnerable. Our foreign reserve position in particular was in many respects very vulnerable. In addition we were also thoroughly aware that the private sector in South Africa in particular owed very large amounts of money to foreign financing institutions. As a result of this they will for the foreseeable future therefore be a heavy demand for the available foreign reserves in order to be able to service foreign debts in respect of both interest payments as well as the redemption of capital. Consequently there was a second priority for overcoming our obstacles—sustained steps to ensure that our balance of payments position was restored to health in the shortest possible time and in particular that we had to do something to protect our foreign reserves.

In this process we perceived that as far as inflation was concerned, demand was under control. During the previous financial year the public sector had spent considerably more than it had originally intended. This undoubtedly gave rise to high interest rates and to a high level of consumer spending and this, as far as the State was concerned, was a mistake in respect of its anti-inflation policy. In the second place, private consumer spending was reasonably under control and consequently there was not much more that we had to do about it.

We were, however, extremely worried by the fact that wages would be a major component of the cost pressure of inflation. Therefore, in spite of the hon member for Lichtenburg’s standpoint that that is the only way to curb current expenditure—which is nonsense—it was also necessary for a clear guideline to be laid down by the Government, and for a clear message to be conveyed, that we would have to peg wages in South Africa and that in the process we would have to restore the connection between the productivity of a worker and the wage which he pockets. No matter how modem the times in which we are living, it remains a fact that the wage cost component of an item or of a service still comprises more than half of the total cost of most items and services. Consequently it was necessary for us, on the part of the Government, to peg wages and even to curtail the total income of people to make a contribution on the one hand to balancing the Budget, but also in order to convey a clear message to South Africa that if we were in earnest about combating inflation, we would have to place a damper on the growth of wages in South Africa since our wages were increasing far more rapidly than our productivity.

Another aspect in regard to inflation which we noticed was that the money supply, as I said earlier this year, and the hon member for Edenvale also confirmed in his contribution, was at least under control in so far as the circulation velocity of the money supply was concerned. However, what the hon member said is true, namely that if there is so much money in the economy, it could be dangerous if the circulation velocity were to increase again. The velocity could increase if one began to stimulate the economy and therefore it was imperative for us to present what was in every possible respect a restrictive Budget so that demand, both on the part of the Government as well as the private sector, would not be able to take off again and force us into a further inflation spiral.

As far as monetary policy is concerned, we are nevertheless looking forward—and it is to appear shortly—to the further report of the De Kock Commission which will enable us to create specific instruments to control the money supply properly and in that way set ourselves proper targets. If there is one thing which we can really set ourselves as an attainable, quantitative target, it is the money supply and we can only do this if we have the control measures and tools in order to begin to control it. We are therefore ad idem with the hon members who made that point.

As far as the balance of payments is concerned we were satisfied that imports had dropped sharply and it was not necessary to adopt more stringent measures to cause a further drop in imports. We also looked at exports and saw that there could probably be no better incentive measures than the low exchange rate of the rand to help our exporters to compete on foreign markets.

Consequently we did not plan for any additional aid to exporters in the Budget. We also—this is very important and I should like to give hon members a little more detailed information about this—left the direct cash incentives as far as exports are concerned untouched. We also left the tax concessions which there are for exporters untouched. We must bear in mind that the cash amounts which we contribute to the export effort are far less than the invisible amounts which the taxpayer contributes in respect of exporters. They are not visible because they themselves give them the tax rebates. That amount is larger than that which is quantifiable. Therefore this Government did not in fact turn its back on the exporters in the Budget. In most cases exporters control the positive side of this bad economic period that we are going through at the moment. In these times things are going exceptionally well for most exporters.

We therefore retained what we previously had. There is an amount of R82,5 million in respect of rebates. There is interest-rate assistance for the financing of capital goods and services amounting to a total of R47,5 million. There is a subsidy of R5 million for the transportation of perishable produce, etc. The most important incentive for exporters, however, remains the fact that the rand at this moment is relatively low and that consequently, as far as the Budget was concerned, it was not necessary to give special attention to them.

Interest rates were our third enemy. This Government is extremely concerned about the effect interest rates are having on producers, whether they are farmers, manufacturers or merchants with stocks on their shelves. We are also concerned about the payers of mortgage bonds. We are concerned about all those who have to borrow money for their business. However, it is not going to help us to force an unnaturally low interest rate upon our economy which will then shortly result in a tremendous inflation rate or which will have to be drastically increased again. Therefore we are being extremely careful with our monetary policy as far as interest rates are concerned. We have therefore decided to assist as far as possible with interest subsidies rather than to take extraordinary steps now to force interest rates down. I shall have something further to say about this in a moment. We must therefore create a general economic climate in which interest rates can begin to decline owing to natural market forces, for that is the lasting solution to the interest rate problem. That is why the Government has stated that we should not participate in the capital market. The Government should limit its participation to the minimum. Interests rates had a major effect on our overall approach to the Budget.

The fourth enemy we identified was a number of external factors over which we had no control but which had to be borne in mind in our total package in order to make provision, where this was in any way possible, for means of coping with these factors. I am referring here to the dollar exchange rate, the gold price, drought conditions, etc.

We had to ask ourselves: How are we going to do that? We then decided that we would recommend to the government a budget which economically was basically sound, and that it would not be a popular budget. We knew that. We knew it was not going to be a politically popular budget. We felt, however, that it was our responsibility to submit to the Government an economically sound budget, and then we laid down specific guidelines for ourselves. These guidelines are well known and I shall merely mention them briefly. They were that we did not want a real increase in Government spending. The nominal growth in the Budget therefore had to be smaller than the expected inflation rate. In the second place we would not again use long-term loans to finance current expenditure; and in the third place we wanted to keep our deficit before loans below 3%. We heard a great deal of criticism in this House in connection with this 3%, and I shall have more to say about this later. These are however the main guidelines which we laid down for ourselves. These, then, are the guidelines according to which we prepared our Budget and which the Government ultimately accepted, namely the Appropriation Bill we are now discussing.

We knew, however, that if the Budget was economically sound but politically unpopular, there were inevitably going to be certain socio-economic consequences. The first people who were going to be affected would be the unemployed. The reason for that is that a restrictive budget is not the kind of budget which by its nature stimulates the creation of employment opportunities. For that reason we allocated far more money than had previously been the case for our decentralization effort, because it creates employment. The idea was that when decentralization occurred the accent should not be on mere removal, but on the creation of new employment opportunities.

In the second place we knew that if the Budget was going to meet these requirements, it was going to create a social problem for us, particularly in regard to the aged and to those people with fixed incomes. For that reasons we raised the tax threshold for the aged and increased social pensions, and subsequently increased them again by way of a supplementary proposal, by more than R40 million. We also made an additional R100 million available for the further creation of employment opportunities. We were therefore thoroughly aware of the detrimental socio-economic climate.

Finally, we had to make the Budget work. That is why we took certain steps. We discussed these steps at Cabinet level. At present a major effort is being made, in co-operation with various departments, to implement a monitoring action on the largest possible scale in order to keep an eye on Government spending, and to identify areas where Government spending is possibly exceeding the limit. The Treasury is rendering assistance wherever it can with this effort.

We gave a great deal of attention to the question of privatization. This word is termed a “buzz-word” by hon members in this House, but I think we must understand that as far as privatization is concerned, it is not going to happen all that easily. The government has declared itself to be positively disposed towards privatization, but it does not mean that it is going to hold a sale of its undertakings next week. That is not the way in which privatization occurs. Privatization occurs in a specific framework of a long-term economic strategy. One then establishes by means of thorough investigations what can properly be privatized. Consequently, the private sector and all the critics of the Government must not expect us to hold an enormous sale within a few weeks of a number of our undertakings.

I now want to refer to several aspects of criticism that was levelled by hon members. I want to do so with reference to the five points I have just mentioned. The hon member for Edenvale said a very striking thing, namely:

It seems to me that if we do not combat inflation, the possibilities of sustained long-term economic growth in South Africa are in fact slight.

I do not think it can be better put. The hon member for Amanzimtoti also elaborated mainly on inflation, but what the hon member for Edenvale said was absolutely true. I am very grateful for that positive reaction, of which this observation formed a part. I appreciate the support that was given. I only trust that if the consequences during the course of the year are perhaps more drastic that we predicted, we will receive the same tolerance and co-operation from hon members of the opposition parties next year as we have had now in the standpoints which they stated.

The hon member for Yeoville referred to what he described as a “stagnant position in regard to productivity on both capital and labour”. Unfortunately I am afraid that is true. South Africa’s productivity is at a level which really does not do this country credit because to a very large extent it has come to a standstill. Now, during this time of economic recession, during this difficult time is in fact the best time to offer training.

†I want to comment on what the hon member for Yeoville said when he spoke about the change in the composition of foreign capital investment in South Africa. He objected to our department classifying share capital as long-term capital. I objected when the hon member said that and I want to explain why I objected. I did so because of the following reason. In proportion to the more than R2 600 million net investment in South Africa last year, only R882 million was derived from share investment. I do not believe one can say that is too dramatic a portion. I also do not believe it is fair to refer share investment as speculative investment. I think we are all very grateful that we have that flow of capital into South Africa, which is of course very much a result of the rand-dollar exchange rate.


Is that amount of R2 600 million net investment all long-term or is it long and short-term investment capital?


It is all long-term investment capital. I have the particulars here with me. I will give it to the hon member if he wishes to have a look at it.

I really believe it is unfair to cast a shadow of doubt on South Africa as a potential investment country and, in the composition of capital, to identify the sudden development of some grave risk factor. I believe it is in our interests that many more foreign shareholders should invest in South Africa. Every shareholder who has a stake in South Africa is an ambassador for South Africa abroad and is also an anti-disinvestment lobbyist which is, of course, to our advantage.

The hon member for Yeoville ascribed this change in composition to a significant degree to our abolition of the repatriation of foreign funds. As far as the Government is concerned I want to make the position very clear by using the phrase that is commonly used these days. South Africa can never afford to become a mousetrap for foreign investors. To entice people to invest in South Africa and to shut the trap once they are in, trying to keep them here is, I believe, certainly proof of a completely counter-productive attitude towards foreign investment. I do not believe we should at all advocate—be it inside this House or elsewhere—a return to the situation that existed previously in which people were forced to keep their money inside South Africa or else to perform all sorts of ingenious stunts with the aid of financial rand and commercial rand as was the case in the past.

In spite of the fact that we are a very open country in that respect and also despite certain political risks which do exist in this country, I am delighted to point out that we had a net inflow of long-term capital last year which is, I believe, a most encouraging sign.

*Mr Speaker, I should now like to deal with the hon member for Lichtenburg. When we were speaking here about external factors, which included the drought, and so on, that hon member—not during this debate but during a previous appropriation debate here in this House—said that this Government had withdrawn its hand from the farmers of South Africa. He added that the assistance which this Government was providing the farmers of this country was meaningless.

In this connection I should just like to provide the hon members with the following snippet of information. During the past financial year the taxpayers of South Africa have in various ways donated R447 million to the farmers of South Africa. Donated, not lent. There are tens of thousands of businessmen who have gone bankrupt, also because of circumstances beyond their control. What have we done for them? The other day we gave them R30 million. To the farmers of South Africa we have given taxpayers’ money to an amount of R447 million. Nevertheless the hon member for Lichtenburg alleges that this is meaningless.


But he does not know what is going on in any case!


Let us consider for a moment what is required in South Africa in order to accumulate R447 million. In the process we must also take cognizance of the average annual taxes a White family in South Africa pays. The average White family pays R3 204 in taxes every year. What is interesting is that the arithmetical average and the median are close together. This is therefore a very reliable figure, regardless of how one approaches it. Consequently, to be able to provide the farmers of South Africa with assistance to the value of R447 million during the past year, 140 000 average White families were in effect in the service of the farmers as far as their taxes were concerned. The taxes of 140 000 White families in aggregate were donated to the farmers of South Africa. Why? This money was donated because we knew in what difficult circumstances they found themselves, because we appreciated the contribution they made to the economy, and because we knew what strategic products they were producing. We did so out of a feeling of responsibility, and not with a grievance in our hearts. However I want to say to those 140 000 families, with an average income, and to all the other taxpayers of South Africa that the hon member for Lichtenburg thinks nothing of them. He simply wrote off their taxes averaging R3 200 per family per annum as meaningless. He said this Government had committed a meaningless deed. He said we had withdrawn our hand from the farmers by only giving the farmers the total taxes of 140 000 families in South Africa. That is the point which the hon member made about the drought.

We feel sorry for the farmers in this regard. But before I come to the other remark which the hon member made, I want to point out that in 1982 agriculture, by way of individual income tax and the tax on farming companies, only contributed 3,5% of the total taxation. I am not referring now to the GST which we collect from them temporarily and which they then write off. In 1983 they contributed only 2,3% of the total taxation. Relatively speaking, therefore, the farmers themselves contributed very little in taxes. However, this Government has held its hand over the farmers up to the level at which it really cannot do so any further. The hon member for Lichtenburg, however, said it was meaningless. The taxpayers of South Africa must know that this is the quality of CP evaluation of financial circumstances. [Interjections.]




One can only shake one’s head ruefully when one listens to the interjections of the hon member for Rissik. [Interjections.]

I want to come to another matter which the hon member for Lichtenburg touched upon. He said this Government had not really succeeded in curbing Government spending. We ostensibly allowed the Government to comply with the principles to which he referred by simply increasing taxation. What he and the CP would have done was to take R500 million from Customs, an amount which was to have gone to Black people—please not the golden thread which runs through all his arguments and through those of the hon member for Sunnyside—and all the money they would have saved, they would have taken away from Black development. But they are the hon members who talk about partition and about grandiose schemes in regard to homelands. They even talk about moving millions of Whites as well, because there is not a single district in South Africa in which the Whites are in the majority. They therefore want to create partitions to cause Morgenzons to spring up throughout the entire country. To be able to do that, millions of Whites will have to be bought out, as well as moved, unless they simply resort to making classifications.

However, the hon member said to me across the floor of this House—and it is on record in Hansard—that the subsidies of R1 billion on transportation and housing should have been abolished. I could then ostensibly have levied R1 billion less in taxes. I then asked him across the floor of this House whether they should be abolished overnight. His reply was yes. I want us to consider for a while what that would mean. The hon member for Lichtenburg forgets that there are Whites, including poor whites, who are just as dependent on transport and house subsidies as the non-Whites from whom he, thematically speaking, wishes to take the money. I want to tell him this, and place it on record, because this is the information I received: If he were to abolish those subsidies, White first class commuters would have to pay 4,64 times more for their tickets than they are paying today. Black commuters, travelling third class, would have to pay three times more.

The hon member for Lichtenburg was therefore saying that if we simply took away R1 billion in subsidies overnight, we would be stimulating decentralization and placing the economy on a sound basis. He forgets that as far as the Whites are concerned there are tens of thousands of commuters who are having just as hard a time as the Blacks.

When one reads this one arrives at one basic conclusion: Just as they are financially reckless with the policies they advocate for South Africa, so they display the same recklessness with their politics. I want to let a single observation suffice. I want to put it this way: if those hon members try to apply their financial and political policy in South Africa there is only one way in which they will be able to do so and that will be by force. The truth is that they, as far as their political policy is concerned, are saddled with the unworkable remnants of NP policy, and they will either have to enforce them, which the predecessors of the State President did not see their way clear to doing when they were at their strongest because it was impracticable, or they will have to make the same adjustments to suit the realities of today, economically, financially and politically as this Government is already doing with the greatest degree of responsibility.

The truth of the matter is that history will one day pose this question: When South Africa needed their contribution and the contribution of their supporters the most, when we were at our most vulnerable, when we were at the crossroads and our ultimate following had to give a concerted shove to get certain things done, why were they conspicuous by their absence? They then came along and alleged that one could balance one’s budget financially by taking money away from the Black people.

One would not, so they say, have needed to reduce the officials’ bonuses if one had taken that R500 million away from the development funds of the Black people. This is the language of an extremely irresponsible standpoint on the part of one of the opposition parties in this House. I think the House should reject it with the contempt which it deserves.

†I want to thank the hon member for Mooi River for the expressions of thanks that he conveyed. I think the hon member did his constituency proud. I acknowledge him as such. He also referred to the advantages accruing from the change in the Defence Bonds scheme.

*As regards our revenue and expenditure, the hon member for Sunnyside—this is the only reaction I want to make to him—said that Government spending was the greatest single problem of the Budget. He then insinuated in his speech that there were secret funds for the NP. I shall simply leave it at that. Honestly, if the principal spokesman of an opposition party that regards itself as an alternative government, makes such a disgraceful remark, one really does not know what the world is coming to. It has never happened, nor will it ever happen, that secret funds are used for the NP.


It has happened.


There the hon member is saying it again, but I shall leave it at that. [Interjections.]




Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?


No, I am not replying to any questions from that hon member.

†I want to refer to something else the hon member for Yeoville said. He said something of importance in the sense that it was a topical point of criticism of the Budget. I refer to the question of the so-called pent-up demand for expenditure. He referred specifically to the fact that I had said we had started off with a target of R34 billion and that we continued to cut it. He therefore had grave doubts as to whether we would be able to reach our target in respect of the printed expenditure figures.

Let me say—I think after a year or two of standing committee operations this kind of situation will be better understood—that, whether one is referring to a state department or a company, if one is given a brief and told to carry out a certain programme and to come up with a budget, one will obviously put everything into that budget. This is exactly what happened. The departments put everything into their requests and they concertinaed them into the shortest possible period of time. Take a building project for example. It is possible to erect a certain building complex for the State within two years but it is also possible to spread it over four years.

There are other programmes, eg pensions, where everybody would like equity from day one, and they may submit such a request. When, however, one talks, bargains and analyses one ultimately arrives at a figure which is a compromise between what one rightfully envisages as the fulfilment of the brief one received and what the Government can finance in a healthy way.

The hon member for Yeoville also intimated in his speech that the pruning process we went through was not done on a scientific basis but that it was ad hoc and arbitrary. I would like to record that everything that was earmarked for the extension of a certain programme was cut out in the first round, except, for example, in Black education and other education departments where the increase in the request was occasioned by an increase in numbers. All additional expenditure on existing services, except where growth in numbers was involved, was cut in the first round. That is the first criterion.

The second criterion is to cut all additional services. If one then still has to prune the budget, one prunes it to the absolute bare minimum just to be able to continue the service. One not only freezes further expenditure on programmes as far as physical matters are concerned but one also freezes certain staff expenditures.

That is exactly what happened in the final round. It was not just an arbitrary decision to say we needed a further 3% reduction in staff expenditure. It was not that arbitrary. Any managing director of a company can say to his staff that he wants a 5% cut in their salaries. He can then leave it to them; either they cut all the salaries by 5% or they fire some of the staff and reduce their overall expenditure by a total figure of 5%.

I would therefore like to record that the pruning of the figure of R34 billion to what we ended up with was a scientific process that was done in a very orderly fashion. It was definitely not unscientific as the hon member for Yeoville said. [Interjections.] We believe that through the combined best efforts of officials and the Cabinet we shall reach those targets we have set ourselves.

This whole question of a pent-up demand as commented on by the hon member for Yeoville and other people from outside is therefore grossly exaggerated. We will have to wait a year to see, but I do not think it is necessary to get excited about it now.

The hon member for Yeoville also complained that we did not have an equitable spread of the load. I daresay that is the one aspect of this whole budget that went down very well with all commentators. We plucked individual taxpayers—that we certainly did—but we also did an extraordinary thing and we did it consciously in the knowledge that we were running the risk of being accused of deviating from basic and sound tax procedures: We took some money from the banks and the insurance companies and also from Sasol.

*In this morning’s edition of Die Burger it was said that Sasol was no longer going to pay the levy. We are still receiving the same amount from the local fuel manufacturing industry, even if it is not Sasol per se that is paying it. There is a way in which it is paid, and therefore they did not get away with it as was insinuated in this morning’s newspaper.

We have honestly distributed the burden as widely as possible, and where we felt that a problem really existed, we came to the assistance of the aged, in particular, in a dramatic way. To raise the tax threshold of an elderly person by 70% to R9 000 is an extraordinary step in the history of our country. The potential benefits which we derived with this difficult Budget are something which we on this side of the House, with the help of our officials, are going to preserve like a treasure. We are not going to give in to pressure to deviate from this course, because this is the price we are paying to place our economy on a sound foundation again.

I should like to say something about interest rates because this is a matter which is of concern to all of us. As far as interest rates are concerned, it is true that they could already have been lower than they are at present. However, I want to explain to hon members why the present monetary policy is what it is and why interest rates will remain as they are for a while. The fact of the matter is that during the first three months of the financial year the State is going to spend an enormous amount of money. In my Budget speech I warned that commentators should not multiply the spending during this period by six or twelve and then think that that is going to be the ultimate expenditure. We are going to achieve our ultimate objective, but we are going to have an exceptional bulge during the first few months of the financial year. This means that we are pumping an enormous amount of money into the economy, primarily as a result of the fact that two months of the salary increases for teachers last year are only being paid this year. Furthermore there are other cyclical problems which we have at this time of the year. Because the authorities are pumping a large amount of money into the market it could cause an instant drop in interest rates, but this would of course be an unnatural decline for soon, in August, there are a considerable number of taxpayers, particularly companies and provisional taxpayers, who have to make their payments and will then cause a tremendous demand for money to arise, which will then cause interest rates to go up. Then we will again have what happened last year, namely a premature drop in interest rates which destroys confidence when they go up again. Consequently we are availing ourselves of this opportunity, while we ourselves, as the authorities, are pumping a lot of money into the economy, to absorb it again in another place by selling a lot of State paper on the market. At this stage almost one billion rands’ worth of paper has been sold on the market, precisely in order to stabilize interest rates. There is no doubt that by the end of the year, just after August in fact, unless other factors have in the meantime had an effect on this situation, interest rates must begin to fall by the third quarter of this year. If interest rates begin to fall significantly, there is no reason why the inflation rate cannot at that stage begin to show a downward tendency. At that stage the unfavourable exchange rate of the rand, which was worse than it is at present, will have produced its full effect in terms of the cost increasing effect it has on imports. By the end of the year, therefore, we shall be over that bulge as far as inflation is concerned and should then enter a period of lower interest rates.

At present the balance of payments is not too unsatisfactory, but the moment we have a lot of dollars, every week, people take up the dollars and pay their foreign debts. Our reserves are still in a vulnerable position. The reason for this is, as I have said, that people are borrowing money internally and using it to buy dollars in order to pay off their foreign loans. This has an unnatural effect on money supply calculations, because those foreign debt payments are then in effect being transferred to the money supply within South Africa. The hon member for Edenvale pointed out that the money supply is still increasing, but this is the main reason why this is happening. It is a healthy thing, however, and we are very grateful for it.

As far as interest rates are concerned, an interesting structural improvement is taking place in this case as well. A gradual change is taking place as regards the fact that short-term rates are higher than long-term rates. After all, one should not have a higher interest on one’s short-term money then on one’s long-term money. That structural change, the so-called “interest yield” is also gradually being rectified.

Really, Mr Speaker, if interest rates begin to drop this year as we believe they will, it is to be hoped that the expertise that already exists in the private sector and in the public sector is satisfactorily developed in respect of business asset administration so that the expertise and cautiousness will subsequently, when times are easier again, become a permanent part of our management culture in South Africa and we will not again go overboard with management. We must please request our own departments as well as businessmen and consumers, if it again happens in the economy that interest rates begin to rise, to realize that this is a message which the economy wishes to convey to them. This message is as follows: Get out if you can get out! Invest cash money if you have it, but do not initiate any grandiose schemes now! Get the message, and do not think that an increase in interest rates is simply a cost increasing triviality. It is a message from the economy that bad times are coming and money is going to become scarce. One must then use one’s common sense to adapt one’s planning to the economy. So many people have burnt their fingers by trying to adapt the economy to their plans. Unfortunately it does not work that way.

One final point in this regard. It is really a pity that in a country in which we bring up and educate our children to occupy a position one day, we do not also, on a compulsory basis, teach them how to spend the money they earn. I think we should ask our educational colleagues to look into this matter.

†Mr Speaker, I want to say a few words about the Standing Committee on Finance. On behalf of the officials of my department, I want to say that I do not think—and I will take this up with the chairman and with the members—that it is in the interests of the functioning of this Parliament if a repetition occurs of what happened the other day when the hon member for Yeoville got up and started quoting officials against their Minister and against the Government. It is absolutely essential that deliberations on a standing committee, any standing committee, be as open and frank as possible. However, an official cannot answer for the policy considerations of his Minister. I was sitting in my office. I was available for seven days, but I was not called once. The hon member for Yeoville and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition apologized that they could not be here today. I have already discussed this matter with the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition privately, but I want to urge him to instruct the hon member for Yeoville—I am afraid that I will have to put it in rather harsh terms—not to subject members of the department to what is virtually an interrogation or a cross-examination when they appear before the committee. They are not politicians …


On policy matters.


Sure, on policy matters. I am in absolute agreement. They are answerable as far as all the facts are concerned. In the case of finance, I know it is extremely difficult to distinguish between fact and opinion, but I think there should be a concerted effort among ourselves as politicians to nurture this delicate plant of the standing committee system. I do believe it is a dramatic extension of the democratic processes, and I do not believe that ever in the history of this Parliament has a budget been discussed so thoroughly in its finest detail as it was during the deliberations of that standing committee. Therefore we must avoid what happened in New Zealand where the same system was used and where officials refused to appear before a standing committee unless they were accompanied by senior legal counsel.

I do not think that it is in our interest to do that. I have a great admiration for the intelligence and hard work of the hon member for Yeoville and I respect him for that. I sat on the same committee with him for a long time. I would, however, like to say to him in his absence that we should be very careful not to go about it the way he did. If occasionally a policy opinion does come to the fore, I do think it is extremely unfair to officials to use such quotations—they were very much out of context, I might add—against the Minister concerned. I was available to answer questions, but I think I have said enough about that.

I am sure that, if in future we take each other’s hands and co-operate, the Standing Committee on Finance in particular, also during Parliamentary recesses, can play a very significant role in the monitoring and formulation of financial policies. You see, Sir, I suffer from the same problem my predecessor had in these difficult times. We have only one budget a year. We come here and deliver it and then it is over, it is fixed for the year. Then we are virtually crucified as Ministers if we do not have the foresight to know exactly what conditions will prevail in a year’s time. In order really to rectify that kind of discrepancy in our system, I believe that the standing committee, through an evolutionary process of investigating a role for itself, can indeed play a very significant part in compensating for that.

*I wish to refer briefly to the amendments and I want to say quite frankly that it is impossible to find anything in these amendments which one can support.

†I want to refer to the hon member for Umbilo’s suggestion in his amendment that we could have stuck to a GST of 10% and compensated for the 2% increase by increases in the excise duty on liquor and tobacco. The fact is that a one cent increase per 10 cigarettes would yield R34 million, on condition—this is the important point—that that market remains elastic. The fact is, however, that that is not an elastic market. Two or three years ago brandy was very heavily taxed. It was virtually taxed out of existence. The fact is that that particular part of the liquor industry has not recovered yet, and it is suffering badly in its efforts to compete against imported liquor.

We were busy with a revenue exercise and we wanted to be sure that we got the revenue we budgeted for. We contemplated increasing the excise duty on tobacco, but we abandoned the idea, because a massive increase would have been needed in order really to get something substantial. Liquor and tobacco products would in any event be hit hard by the 2% increase in GST and we considered that as being adequate. I must add that we must not lose sight of the fact that last year, when we increased GST from 7% to 10%, we exempted basic foodstuffs and in the process lost more than R600 million, if I remember correctly.


Only a few basic foodstuffs are exempted.


Yes, it only applies to a few basic foodstuffs, but the whole thing is being reviewed. The whole differentiation problem is something we have to look at.

I want to be brief. I want to say to the hon member for Umbilo that it was very unfair of him to paint the Escom picture the way he did. I did not expect that from him. I am sure he will agree that that is not cricket. He said R25 million had been spent on gardens. What are the facts, however? Firstly, this expenditure was over a period of four to five years. What was involved? Firstly, 27 villages were involved. Escom goes about erecting entire villages. Sidewalks, parks, sports facilities and everything as far as that is concerned came out of that R25 million. For instance, the money for 250 offices came out of there. If hon members were to include the cost of a few plants for each office, they would soon find out what the allocation of those 250 offices cost us.

We also built 26 power stations. At best, a power station is a very dreary place to work at and so I do not think anyone can blame those employers for motivating their staff by expending a few rand on a little greenery.


You are making it sound very sweet.


I am not approving it. I am simply saying that that is the perspective.

I think it was also very unfair of the hon member to suggest that Ministers had lavish standards of living. [Interjections.] I think it is about time that an opposition party member had the privilege of being a Minister so that he could find out what it was all about. [Interjections.] I think that—if I may put it this way—to begrudge a Minister the relatively high income he enjoys in terms of that which other Parliamentarians enjoy, is to lose sight of the fact that every second senior executive in the private sector today earns an annual salary of more than R100 000 and also has a number of fringe benefits. So not only do Ministers not have lavish lifestyles but they also definitely do not have twelve bodyguards each.


I never said that. I said they had twelve guards on their houses and that they had bodyguards as well. [Interjections.]


I want to refer very briefly and say thank you very much to the hon member for Smithfield. He gave a very sound elucidation of the basis of Government spending.

The hon member for Gezina made a fine speech on financial patriotism. It is a very useful contribution.

The hon member for Paarl apologized for not being able to be here. I shall forward the proposals he made in regard to taxation to the Margo Commission to have a look at.

†I want to congratulate the hon member for Amanzimtoti on his debut speech as a senior spokesman on finance on this side of the House. I think he discharged his duties very efficiently and I believe he dealt very adequately with the arguments of the hon member for Yeoville. I wish to thank him for that.

*The hon member for Hercules made a few very important points about loaves of bread. This—smaller loaves—is something we shall look into. I also want to assure him that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is recruiting chargered accountants. There is no way in which one can collect taxes thoroughly today with improperly qualified people. The hon member is right. I wish I could give him the assurance that we can have a simple tax system in South Africa. However, it is not going to be all that simple to work out such a system. Nevertheless, it is one of the definite terms of reference of the Margo Commission, and it is one to which they will give top priority.

The hon member said—and quite correctly too—that an amount of R250 is not high enough as far as tax-free interest income is concerned. The hon member is right, but I want to tell him: The provisional figure I have—and I shall have it verified—is an amount of more than R500 million which the State is losing in taxation as a result of concealed subsidies in the form of tax concessions on savings with building societies. Consequently we must not only look at the R250. We must also look at the whole spectrum of saving facilities.

†The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition quoted from a publication which also, through various channels, came into my hands. I must say this document—if it is the same—which is called The Road Ahead and is issued by a large banking group in South Africa, made very disappointing reading. It is an internal publication. It was written by someone who was not born in this country and who had the knack of drawing parallels between this country and countries such as Nigeria and others. It reflected pessimism from the first page to the last. I think we must guard against talking ourselves into a mood of pessimism. It is not a worthwile thing to do; and it is often factually incorrect since we are not always in a position where we have continually to look on the dark side.

I wish to thank other hon members, particularly on this side, for the contributions they made.

*I want to thank the hon member for Witbank in particular. I shall forward the document which he submitted to me because he was unable to present it, to the right people.

The hon member for Primrose made an exceptionally good analytical contribution and mentioned inter alia the equilibrium between fiscal and monetary policy. This was of course our objective and I think we have succeeded.

I shall also refer the matters raised by the hon member for Schweizer-Reneke to the Margo Commission.

†Before I sit down I should also like to refer to the hon member for Bezuidenhout. The hon member must bear in mind that White communities are also subsidized. That is something that I could not gather from his speech. Furthermore, the income of the regional services councils will not only be applied to the subsidization of transport. It will also be used for the very purpose that the hon member suggested.

*We are issuing a statement this afternoon which indicates that as far as the banks are concerned—I think this is important and hon members also referred to it—the money which we take from them will be deductible as expenditure for income tax purposes next year. We are doing this to help the banks, in accordance with the instructions from the monetary authorities, to improve their capital structure. In that way we will perhaps be able to make a contribution to improve the banks’ position.

There are a few other matters which we can discuss under my Vote.

*Mr W V RAW:

What about pensions?


We changed the date in regard to pensions. Up to 1978 it was October. Then it was changed to April in order to assist the pensioners. However, for purely fiscal reasons we changed it back to October. I promise the hon member for Durban Point that I will go into this matter, particularly in regard to World War I veterans. I have not had an opportunity to speak to my hon colleague about this. Probably the appropriate time to raise this will be when we discuss his Vote.

Question put: That all the words after “That” stand part of the Question,

Upon which the House divided:

Ayes—98: Alant, T G; Aronson, T; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Bartlett, G S; Botha, C J v R; Botha, J C G; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Coetsee. H J; Coetzer, H S; Conradie, F D; Cronjé, P; Cunningham, J H; De Beer, S J; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Du Plessis, PTC; Durr, K D S; Du Toit, J P; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Geldenhuys, B L; Golden, S G A; Hayward, SAS; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heunis, J C; Heyns, J H; Kleynhans, J W; Kriel, H J; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, M H; Malan, M A de M; Malan, W C; Malherbe, G J; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Mentz, J H W; Meyer, W D; Miller, R B; Morrison, G de V; Nothnagel, A E; Odendaal, W A; Olivier, P J S; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Rencken, C R E; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Schutte, DPA; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Smit, H A; Steyn, D W; Streicher, D M; Swanepoel, K D; Terblance, G P D; Ungerer, J H B; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, C V; Van der Merwe, G J; Van Eeden, D S; Van Rensburg, H M J (Mossel Bay); Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Staden, J W; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Vlok, A J; Volker, V A; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Wessels, L; Wiley, J W E; Wilkens, BH; Wright, A P.

Tellers: J P I Blanché, W J Cuyler, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, J J Niemann and N J Pretorius.

Noes—31: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Boraine, A L; Burrows, R; Cronjé, P C; Eglin, C W; Goodall, B B; Hardingham, R W; Hulley, R R; Malcomess, D J N; Moorcroft, E K; Myburgh, P A; Olivier, N J J; Page, B W B; Raw, W V; Rogers, PRC; Sive, R; Soal, P G; Suzman, H; Tarr, M A; Theunissen, L M; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, S S; Van Heerden, R F; Van Rensburg, H E J; Van Staden, F A H; Van Zyl, J J B; Watterson, DW.

Tellers: G B D McIntosh and A B Widman.

Question affirmed and amendments dropped.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage

Schedule: Votes No 6—“Home Affairs”, Vote No 7—“Commission for Administration” and Vote No 8—“Improvement of Conditions of Service”


Mr Chairman, it is not my intention to elaborate upon all kinds of matters at the beginning of the discussion of this vote. A copy of the report of the joint committee that investigated the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act was, however, placed on every hon member’s table this afternoon, and I want to communicate the Government’s reaction to the House immediately.

Before I do this, however, on behalf of the Government I want to convey my sincere thanks to the chairman of the committee for the work he has done in this committee. He was not only the chairman of this committee, but also of previous committees which sat before the new constitutional dispensation came into effect. We want to thank him for the competent manner in which he dealt with this sensitive matter. At the same time we also want to thank all the hon members who served on the joint committee for their hard work, as well as the officials of the Department of Home Affairs, other Government departments such as the Department of Justice and as of Parliament.

On behalf of the Government I want to announce that we accept the Report of the Joint Committee on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and that we support the Bill as submitted.

It is clear from the report that the continued ordering of own communities in the social, educational and constitutional spheres will not be affected by the repeal of the legislation concerned. The built-in condition, laid down by the Government in this connection from the very beginning, has therefore been complied with.

Consequently there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this report and the Government’s acceptance thereof will be regarded as having great significance. For many years this legislation was of the most controversial legislation in the Statute Book of South Africa. Overseas, without comprehension of the reasons for this legislation, it was used in a negative way against the Republic of South Africa. For understandable reasons many people within the boundaries of our country were bitterly opposed to the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act.

On the other hand the existence of these measures were regarded by many people as essential for the protection of group security and identity. Consequently strong opposition to the repeal of these measures is experienced in some ranks even now.

Against this background the Government would like to emphasize the following. In the first place the Government has been committed to the objective of removing discrimination for a considerable time. This is the concern of the Government. In this respect we distinguish between measures that are essential for the continued protection of group rights and group identity, as well as for maintaining order on the one hand, and measures that, in the light of the present and changing circumstances, do not make a significant contribution in this connection. Within this framework, which remains the Government’s policy, and taking paragraph 4(ii) of the committee’s report into account, the Government is convinced that the measures concerned can and should be repealed.

As the hon members have probably not all had the opportunity of studying the report thoroughly, I should like to quote paragraph 4 to the House, as follows:

After due cognisance was taken of the evidence which served before the Select Committee, the Committee’s findings with regard to the terms of reference as a whole are that—

Paragraph (i), which I shall omit, comes next, followed by:

  1. (ii) since the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, and section 16 of the Immorality Act, of 1957, were placed on the Statute Book, provision has been made for group ordering by way of the classification of the population into groups, the determination of own residential areas, the attendance of own educational institutions and the right to vote on a group basis, and these measures sufficiently ensured the continued social, educational and constitutional ordering of own communities.

Never say never again!


In the second place the Government remains convinced that marriages between members of separate population groups can often result in social problems, problems in respect of accommodation and educational problems in particular. As far as these problems could have a detrimental effect on the own community life of groups, efficient measures exist to protect communities against these consequences. It is preferable, however, with regard to the individuals involved in such a marriage, for the government not to interfere by prescribing people’s intimate emotions. The responsibility for this rests upon the parents, relatives, clergymen and others, who by virtue of their relationship with the parties concerned, are in a position to give sound advice. For this reason the recommendation of the committee that couples be counselled by marriage officers receives strong support. Guidance about this will be given to marriage officers by the Department of Home Affairs, but a formal system of guidance is not envisaged.

In the third place, the repeal of section 16 of the Immorality Act bears no relation to the combating and prevention of immorality. The Government is strongly opposed to all forms of immorality. That is why the Immorality Act was referred to the President’s Council. The terms of reference are already known. For this reason the Government fully supports the committee’s recommendations which are aimed at intensified action against immorality.

Fourthly, in the light of the extensive and thorough investigation undertaken by consecutive parliamentary committees, it is the government’s intention to finalize the legislation as introduced by the select committee during the present session of Parliament. Parties wishing for further consultation are therefore advised to do so without delay. As far as the National Party is concerned, consultation will take place within the party on a basis of urgency.

Marriage and the relationship between members of the two sexes is primarily a private matter which is closely related to religious and ethical views. The Government is convinced that the time has come to remove this matter from the political arena. It is therefore hoped that this spirit and approach will characterize the forthcoming debate both inside and outside Parliament.


Mr Chairman, I should like to associate myself with the hon the Minister in thanking the hon the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning for his excellent services as chairman of this committee on which I have had the privilege to serve. I refer here to both the joint committee which has sat, during the course of this year and to the committee which sat during the previous two years under the old constitutional system. I believe that as chairman he allowed quite an extensive degree of latitude in discussion which was very necessary. We thank him for that and also for his handling of matters on that committee which, I felt, contributed to the good and constructive spirit that existed in the course of those discussions.

Having said that, I must say I am somewhat disappointed with the way in which the hon the Minister himself saw fit to react to and announce the recommendations of this committee. I am convinced that what has been produced by this committee could have been of great value. This could have been a momentous occasion which could have served this country greatly in terms of our image and in terms of better race relations. However, I think the way in which the hon the Minister has gone about making his announcements has created the impression that the Government is doing this with the utmost difficulty and with a degree of dragging of feet which has made it almost impossible for them to come to this conclusion. [Interjections.] I regret that this has been the case and I also believe that if any of a number of other hon Ministers had made this announcement he would possibly have done greater justice to this event we are faced with today. [Interjections.]

The recommendation of the committee is to remove from our Statue Book two of the most demeaning laws that have ever appeared in legislation in this country. These laws have had a demeaning effect on the law enforcement functions of the South African Police and on our South African society as a whole. Many a life has been ruined or severely harmed because of an involvement in relationships in conflict with these laws. We all know of such cases in our own experience. Some of them have enjoyed a great degree of very unfavourable publicity over the years, people having been apprehended for contravening these laws. These were laws which sought to prohibit relations between individual human beings that would have been perfectly normal had it not been for the racial pre-occupation of the Government ruling this country.

These laws are to a very substantial degree part of the legal armoury of apartheid. At least in theory, they serve to prevent the blurring of racial divisions. The removal of these laws from the Statute Book may indeed complicate the application of other measures aimed at segregating our people in this country. I have therefore no doubt that in time the abolition of these two laws will bring tensions to the application of separate development in other fields. I say this in spite of the finding of this committee—I think they refer to this in paragraph 7 of their report—that for the moment at least existing legal and administrative structures are certainly adequate to deal with the consequences of the repeal of these laws. In spite of that I have no doubt that in time tensions will develop not only in theory but also in practice as far as the application of other separatist laws on our Statute Book is concerned. I hope that that will take place sooner rather than later and that, subsequent to that, the reform process which has so far progressed so grudgingly will acquire a new momentum as a result of this report and the removal of these laws from our Statute Book.

These laws have created great tension between State and Church over the years. They also created tension between one church and another. They created tension between individuals and the State, between individuals and the Church and even among individuals per se. These laws therefore inevitably generated severe moral difficulties for people of different races who fell in love with one another. They further generated difficulties for clergymen who were asked to solemnize marriages across the colour line. They eventually created severe moral doubts even in the minds of some of our more conservative politicians in this committee.

Having said all this and having expressed my gratitude that we have reached this stage, this culmination of a process of investigation into these two laws where we have come to the point of recommending the abolition of these laws. I believe that we must retain the perspective that the recommendation to repeal these two laws may appear to some of us to be a very drastic development. I am convinced that there are hon members in the committee, particularly in the CP and even quite a number in the NP, who may feel that this development is almost too drastic for them to cope with politically. Let us make no mistake: In the total perspective of the racial problems facing our country this is a very small step on a long and difficult road we have yet to travel to achieve racial and political harmony in South Africa.


Mr Chairman, to begin with I want to express my sincere thanks for being afforded the opportunity of speaking during the Vote of the Department of Home Affairs. Until the end of September last year I was the Deputy Minister of that department and I want to express my sincere thanks to the hon the Minister as well as the Director-General and the other officials of that department for a very pleasant period of co-operation.

Since the Report was tabled today and forms part of the duties of the Department of Home Affairs, it is therefore correct that it be discussed under this Vote. I want to thank the hon the Minister most sincerely for the words he addressed to me personally as well as to the hon members of the committee concerned.

I also want to thank the hon member for Green Point although I think that his attack on the hon the Minister was unfair. I want to assure him that we co-operated closely and that the hon the Minister never doubted nor opposed the repeal of the two pieces of legislation, but—and there we support him 100%—the present fabric of our community life in South Africa could not be destroyed in the process. I think we all want to see it being preserved. The Minister is attuned to this, as was also clearly indicated by the statement.

I also want to thank most sincerely the hon members of the previous select committee as well as the present standing committee for the responsible manner in which they approached this sensitive and emotional matter. It entailed many hours of work and I especially want to thank the hon members on the Government side because the fact is that we often met alone; we made an extremely thorough study of the related legislation; we did not arrive at this decision lightly, and I could always depend on the hon members on my side for their full co-operation. I want to thank all of them for this great and difficult task.

I also want to express my thanks for the written submissions we received from all over the country, written submissions requesting that these measures be retained, as well as written submissions requesting their repeal. I also received numerous letters addressed to me personally. I also want to express my thanks for evidence led before this committee. It was good and thorough evidence, of high quality. I want to address a special word of heartfelt thanks to the technical committee which assisted the standing committee. I would like to mention here the Director-General for Home Affairs, Mr Gerrie van Zyl, Mr Attie Tredoux from the Department of Home Affairs, Mr Rudman from the Department of Justice and Mr Dekker of the Department of Constitutional Change and Planning. [Interjections.] I mean the Department for Constitutional Development and Planning. I am so involved with the other departments that I forgot my own department’s name. [Interjections.]

There was much criticism of these two measures during the years they were on the Statute Book. This led not only to discussion in the ranks of the opposition parties, but it also, eventually, to criticism being expressed in Afrikaner circles. The discussion in Afrikaner circles also started taking place in the religious field, in the cultural organizations of the Afrikaner, in the academic field, in our newspapers, and even the ordinary man in the street started participating. Such serious disagreement arose as a result of these two measures that during a congress of the Cape NP the then Prime Minister, our present State President issued an invitation to people wishing to make suggestions for improving these two measures to come forward.

During a motion of no-confidence by the hon Leader of the Official Opposition in which he expressed criticism once again, the then Prime Minister said that he was willing to appoint a select committee to go into the whole matter on condition that all political parties were prepared to undertake that they would deal with the matter responsibly and that they would keep party politics out of it. Our terms of reference were to see if we could amend these laws; in other words, to see if they could be improved.

All the persons appearing before that select committee said that it was impossible to improve the two measures. It was therefore not possible to amend them. That is why we came back to Parliament and asked that the terms of reference be amended to give us an opportunity to investigate the desirability of repealing these two measures. That obviously also meant that the related legislation would be considered and that the regulation of society would not be disturbed.

I want to say here this afternoon that I accept that marriage is a divine institution. Many denominations testified before us to this effect. Not a single denomination came forward and said that these two measures, especially the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, were founded on the Scriptures. We received no clear pronouncement on this matter. I received letters in which people quoted sections from the Old Testament in which a particular tribe or nation was ordered not to mix with another tribe or nation. Surely that cannot be carried over, through all the centuries, to where we stand today, because that took place at at particular moment in history.

What all the denominations, including the DR Church and the Hervormde Church in South Africa, asked was that order be maintained in society. The Government took note of this and that is why the terms of reference of the select committee were extended, while it was said that the committee should establish that there would be no upsetting of the regulation of the society in the social, educational and constitutional spheres.

This afternoon we can ask the question why such a discussion of these two measures took place and why they were criticized so often. I should like to mention a few reasons. The first is that it causes enormous practical problems for South Africa, also with regard to the internal situation. We had visiting couples, people who would have liked to settle in South Africa, skilled people who could have been of use to South Africa, but as a result of these measures they could not be allowed to enter. There is another reason which is connected with section 16 in particular. Court cases under section 16 often caused pain and heartbreak to innocent people who were not involved, but were made to suffer in society as a result of court cases and the publication of names.

Pressure was also exerted to make all immorality punishable, but we know, after all, that it is impossible to do that. There is also another reason why there was such intense discussion of these two measures, namely that it was impossible to explain them, or—I may add unequivocally—to defend them as well. Another reason is that love cannot be restricted, whereas these measures imposed a restriction on love between two people. These two measures are unique in the world except in cases where marriage is prohibited in terms of religious precepts. That is why we had this criticism, why the discussions took place and why we had people who could not understand why South Africa had such legislation.


Order! I regret to say that the hon the Deputy Minister’s time has expired.


Mr Chairman, I rise merely to give the Deputy Minister the opportunity to complete his speech.


Mr Chairman, I wish to thank the Whip of the Official Opposition most sincerely for the opportunity. I shall make haste to complete my speech.

I want to state this afternoon that the repeal of the prohibition of mixed marriages does not introduce a new principle into South Africa, because mixed marriages take place in South Africa every day. We find Coloureds marrying Indians. There is no bar on such a marriage. We find Coloureds marrying Blacks, and there is no bar whatsoever. All we did by placing such a law on the Statute Book was to exclude Whites and to decree that that section of the population could not undertake such a marriage. Now Whites are being included again. There are other related Acts and the hon the Minister has already referred to paragraph 4(2) which clearly gives us the ordering of the community and society. When one reads the related Acts it becomes clear that the community will not be disturbed in any way. There should be no disturbance whatsoever in any of the communities in South Africa.

Now, it is probably very easy to derive cheap political advantage from this and it will most probably happen. I also accept that there are many people who will be disappointed by the repeal of these two measures. However, I want to put the following questions this afternoon: Did these two measures promote the interests of Whites in South Africa? Did Whites become stronger because of these two measures on the Statute Book? Did Whites maintain their identity by means of these two measures on the Statute Book? Did we do well economically as a result of these measures on the Statute Book? I contend that we would not have been worse off without these two measures because Whites had it in them to maintain their position and to do well, regardless of whether these measures are on the Statute Book or not. With regard to the road ahead prophets of doom may appear, and there will be many of them, to predict the ruin of the White man in this country and more specifically also the ruin of the Afrikaner in this country. I wish to say this afternoon, however, that we can only become stronger in future, but we shall only become stronger if we utilize what we have at our disposal, namely our talents, our skills and our abilities, because then the White man in South Africa will be what he has been over the years, he will maintain his entrepreneurial spirit, and continue to achieve those things for which he has been known over the years.

It is therefore my particular pleasure to lay this report by the standing committee upon the Table this afternoon. I stand by every word in that report, I believe in it and I am convinced that it is absolutely correct.


Mr Cl airman, it was pathetic to listen to the NP today. It was pathetic to listen today to the son of Jan de Klerk, also related to advocate J G Strijdom by marriage, who has once again come to the House to introduce the discussion of these proposals and have them approved. It was pathetic to listen to the once powerful NP rejecting one of the cornerstones, laid by that party itself as one of the cornerstones on which the policy of separate development was to be built. [Interjections.] It was pathetic to watch the spectacle and listen to the feeble arguments of the hon the Deputy Minister who came here today in an attempt to justify the repeal of this legislation. It was pathetic to listen to the voices raised in favour of this on the NP side. To tell the truth, it is quiet here to my right and in the ranks of the NRP, although it has been these two parties, from the beginning, who have consistently taken a stand on principle against this legislation—while the NP gave us a miserable presentation of the standpoints and policy of the PFP and the old UP.

Let me tell the hon the Minister that he once again allowed himself to be used by the liberal Cape clique who never wanted to accept these laws throughout the NP’s history. [Interjections.] He has allowed himself to be used to destroy this legislation. [Interjections.]


You simply cannot discuss the merits of the case!


The hon the Minister is the last man to discuss with me today the merits of this legislation. I want to tell the hon the Minister that his credibility is diminishing by the day. [Interjections.] His credibility as Transvaal leader is growing more and more tenuous, as is also the case with the credibility of his party throughout the country. The hon the Minister and the NP as a whole scored a line today—the decisive black line—through the principles of the party, scoring out the viewpoints of Dr D F Malan, Adv Strijdom, Dr Verwoerd and Mr Vorster.

I want to say that the game the hon the Minister and his party started is one that will not only lead to his own political destruction, but also to that of his party. The NP still has the effrontery to go to the people and tell the White electorate that there are certain non-negotiables. I remember very well that when we had problems in 1982, the NP told the electorate that it was the CP who abandoned the principles of the old NP, but today it has again been proved that in 1982 the NP did not have the courage to tell the electorate that it was abandoning the principles of the NP. Instead those hon members accused us of doing so. I want to say that in respect of the White man there are no more non-negotiables as far as the NP is concerned—not separate residential areas, not separate primary and secondary schools…


That is not true.


The hon the Minister should not let his nervousness get the better of him, because this clash, this battle, this struggle in the ranks of the Whites is only now hotting up. I want to tell the hon the Minister that the space he has left is getting smaller and smaller as he paints himself into a corner of abdication and integration. The non-negotiables of the NP mean nothing. To still say at present that the NP stands for separate residential areas, separate primary and secondary schools, separate voters’ rolls and separate chambers is enough to make one sick when one considers the manner in which they have capitulated. In the battle that lies ahead, the NP will be rejected by the majority of Whites in this country, as the majority of Whites rejected Jan Hofmeyr in the 1940s. With that I want to close this part of my speech. Let me tell the hon the Minister that we shall discuss this legislation. We shall put forward our standpoints opposing it.

There is a final question I should like to ask the hon the Minister. Has he ever read the debates that took place when this legislation was placed on the Statute Book? I want to suggest that he and everyone in his caucus should see whether they can find an argument in those debates, when this legislation was passed, which they can refute. Let them go back and see whether in regard to this matter, as in the case of power-sharing, they do not adhere to the present principles of the PFP, and to the same principles in respect of which the NP opposed the United Party at the time. I respect the hon members of the NRP, which is a continuation of the old United Party, for the fact that they have stuck to their principles over the years and have not been ashamed, because of that, to diminish as a party. The NP obtained its great number of supporters because it told the public that it upheld the policy of separate development. The death-knell has rung for this NP, because one either upholds the policy of the PFP and consistently follows that course or one upholds our policy and principles and consistently follows that course.


Mr Chairman, today we on this side of the House wish to support the Government’s decision on these Acts with conviction and enthusiasm. As far as we are concerned it goes without saying that a person who constantly has to say what he is, is not what he says he is. It is in that spirit that we looked at these Acts. We are speaking here as Whites who represent the Whites and we wish to conduct the debate in that spirit. Let the Coloured people say how they want to conduct this debate, let the Indians say how they want to conduct it and let the Black people in South Africa say how they feel about these Acts, but we on this side of the House, the majority party of the White voters in South Africa, are speaking on behalf of the Whites. That is why we are saying, on behalf of the Whites, that we are abolishing these Acts in the interests of the White man.

We are not abolishing these Acts because we are rejecting our past, but because we are looking towards a new future. Why do we say that the abolition of these Acts is in the interests of the White man? We must look at all the circumstances surrounding us. We believe that through the abolition of these Acts we are making a symbolic gesture which is laying the foundation for good race relations in South Africa in future. The Government believes that the various communities in South Africa should in essence live side by side in separate residential areas. Consequently the question no longer is to what extent we live separately, but how united the people of South Africa are against the enemy outside. Because a sensible Government takes cognizance of everyone who speaks to it, we had to look at these measures. For many years now church leaders, officials, academics, journalists, individuals and many other people have held discussions with us and have said that we must repeal these Acts.

We are also repealing these measures because the South African Government cares what the world thinks of us. We do not allow ourselves to be dictated to by anyone or anything, but we should very much like to get rid of the racist caricature the rest of the world has created of the Whites in South Africa, specifically as a result of these two Acts.

We are also repealing these measures because we have to win the moral debate; ie the moral debate on race relations in South Africa. What is morally justifiable? We are not just speaking about how one allows one’s emotions to guide one, but about what is just to all people.

We accept that the repeal of these measures will have an impact on the debate in South Africa in every sphere of life. It will infuse a new dynamism into the political, ecclesiastical and sociological debate. In general it will have a dramatic impact on the debate on discrimination in South Africa. The new constitutional dispensation for Coloureds and Indians gave rise to tremendous progress as regards race relations and by means of the abolition of these measures we can build on this further. That is why we should like to move this motion in the interests of our country.

It is not clear to me how people who refer to themselves as conservatives, can be concerned about the repeal of these measures. These measures do not state that one must not preserve what is one’s own. These measures do not provide that the NP Government says that the people in South Africa must now integrate. These measures do other things which are in the interests of all of us. We believe that the Whites and the Afrikaners in South Africa reached a dramatic phase of maturity in 1985. We believe that the planned repeal of these measures has great significance for the Whites who are in control in South Africa and also for the many people who unfortunately still suffer from a false racial superiority complex. It is also important for some Afrikaners. I understand this and I feel that is why we must lead our people.

We are repealing these measures because the State must take cognizance of the viewpoint of the churches: Who may and who may not marry according to Christian practice? Prof Bart Oberholzer of the Reformed Church said during a sitting of our previous select committee, for example, that if there had not been such Acts on the Statute Book, his church would not have been able to say on biblical grounds that we should promulgate such laws.

We are repealing these measures because we feel that the Whites in South Africa have suddenly become very much greater than the racial pettiness in themselves. I am telling the hon member for Rissik this. We are repealing these measures because we believe that the Whites are very much greater than the racial pettiness in themselves. [Interjections.] On the other hand the Whites in South Africa are dramatically smaller than the creative force in themselves. I should like to repeat this point: We are of the opinion that the Whites are suddenly very much greater than the racial pettiness in themselves and on the other hand we say that the Whites are dramatically smaller than the creative force in themselves.

We believe that we have a Christian duty. We are not saying that God supports these measures. Who are we to say such things? But we believe that we in this House certainly cannot be punished for repealing these measures. We are repealing these measures because young White people can now identify themselves more readily with the future than with the past. It is an insult to say that young people in South Africa do not care about identity. We are repealing these measures because we really care about our young people. There is hope for a country that has so much confidence in its young people.

I have two daughters and a son. I want to tell the Government of Mr P W Botha: This measure gives my son and my daughters the hope of continuing to hold their own in this country. [Interjections.] We are repealing the legislation now because this will help the Whites in South Africa to get over another hurdle of discrimination. We are not prepared to insult ourselves, our education and our Church by saying that the repeal of this legislation will lead to immorality. If morality is not inherent in our people, there will be no morality in South Africa. We set greater value on our own good judgment and dignity than on prejudice.

We are repealing this legislation now in the interests of the White man in South Africa. What is the White man winning or losing, what are our voters winning as a result of the repeal of this legislation? I advise the hon members of the CP to conduct a debate on this openly at high level and to reply to the question what the White man in South Africa is losing as a result of the repeal of this legislation. The White man is losing nothing, but this is assuring our children and us of a wonderful future in the world in which we live. There is no doubt about that.

The debate on discrimination is raging, everywhere in the world, among all nations and governments. Whether we want it or not, the eyes of the world are remaining fixed on South Africa as the arch discriminator. Whether or not this was our intention, these Acts have unfortunately often been in the limelight as the measures in South Africa which demonstrated our feeling of racial superiority to the world. If we therefore want to get rid of discrimination in South Africa in the interests of a future for and the survival of our people, we have to support the repeal of these measures.

In my opinion it is an insult to the other population groups in South Africa to say that the repeal of this legislation will mean that we will have integration throughout South Africa, from north to south. This implies that people of colour are simply sitting and waiting for these Acts to be repealed so that they can integrate with us, the superior people. I want to state this point very pertinently. Let us as Whites conduct this debate in such a way that we do not insult other people. Let us put the interests of everyone in South Africa first.

We on this side of the House support the repeal of these measures because we should also like to place a very high premium on the human dignity of peoples. By means at these steps the Whites and the NP are proving that we do not consider ourselves to be superior. Because the human dignity of the individual is important to us, through the repeal of these measures we are also going to try to restore human dignity for the individual in South Africa. Consequently we are asking for understanding for this and we want this to be debated at a high level. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, I want to disagree with the hon member for Innesdal on one point. He says we are repealing these laws in the interests of the White man. I do not think that that is really the case; we are repealing these laws in the interests of South Africa. That is what history will prove one day.

In the few minutes at my disposal I want to react to the announcement made by the hon the Minister this afternoon. I think he is going to find that the normal debate that should take place under his Vote is going to be overshadowed by the events of today. It has been a privilege for me to have served on the joint committee and to have been a signatory to the recommendations before us. I want to express my thanks to the hon the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning for his able chairmanship and leadership in that committee. I also want to place on record my thanks to the hon member for King William’s Town who served on the previous committee and was therefore able to advise and assist me.

Having said that, how do we feel? I think I can say that we feel a little humbled by the fact that we are now entering a completely new political era in South Africa. We believe that these laws, if one can tell them that, have long since ceased to be laws—they have been symbols; they have been the very symbols of discrimination in our land. I hope sincerely that the repeal of these laws will be seen as another symbol, as a symbol of enlightment and reform, and that the repeal of these two laws will be seen as the first real steps towards the dismantling of hurtful, discriminatory laws and practices in this plural society of ours.

There are many other recommendations contained in this report, but this recommendation—as well as the others—we think should be implemented without any further delay, because our image as law-makers, as a Parliament, and the Government’s image both at home and abroad, can only be improved now by positive action.

We in this party do not think that this is a time to say “I told you so”. That is wasteful and negative. However, we would like to say this to the hon member opposite us: “Gentlemen, the sky will not fall in. We promise you that.” We believe that these steps augur well for our future and augur well for the welding together of the South African society. [Interjections.]

It would be remiss of me if I were not able to make a political point here and if I did not confess to a measure of fascination at a remark made by the hon the Minister. [Interjections.] Sir, I wish the hon member for Bryanston, who is all excited and has just come back from his trip overseas, would just contain himself. I would also appreciate it if the hon the Minister would give me his attention since I do not have much time in this debate. A little courtesy would be appreciated. I am fascinated by the remark by the hon the Minister when he says:

As far as the NP is concerned, urgent consultation will take place within the party’s structures.

He said that in his speech. This I find quite amazing. [Interjections.]


Order! There is too much talking in between. The hon member may proceed.


What does this remark mean? Does it mean that what I heard when the hon the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning made his speech was the sound of an advance guard in a campaign of talking to the NP, a campaign of consultation within the party’s structures in order to get it to come along with these recommendations? This causes a measure of concern.

I want to assure the Government that we do not have any problem in our somewhat depleted ranks. We are completely unanimous and we do not have a problem. I do not think the PFP has any such problem either and I know that the CP has no such problem. It must cause alarm, however, if the NP is still faced with differences within its own ranks over this issue. My call to them today is: Please resolve this issue and have it out amongst ourselves, but, please, do not do anything that will impede or in any way delay the repeal of these laws. I compliment the group that is seeking this repeal on the fact that we have before us not only the report, but also a draft Bill which should go to the standing select committee without any further delay whatsoever.

I do not think that we can say any more than that we welcome and applaud the fact that, as we see it, we are now indeed entering a new era in our history.

Dr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Mossel Bay):

Mr Chairman, the hon member for Umhlanga will excuse me if I do not react to his arguments because I have my own arguments to put forward.

*The terms of reference of the select committee of this House that was instructed last year to inquire into the possible amendment or repeal of the measures under discussion, referred to the desirability of the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act of 1949 and section 16 of the Immorality Act of 1957, and of the adaptation of related legislation consequent upon such repeal, with a view to the continued social, educational and constitutional ordering of communities. These were also the terms of reference of the joint committee of Parliament that has been deliberating on and considering these measures over the past few months.

From the evidence before the select committee, and from the written representations submitted to it, certain facts have emerged very clearly. The first is that these measures had no scriptural justification. The select committee had the benefit of the evidence and submissions of almost all churches and denominations of importance in this country. None of the witnesses or submissions indicated that there were scriptural precepts which could serve as a basis for the retention of these measures.

Another fact that emerged was that population groups of colour in this country experienced these measures as being discriminatory. One can argue as much as one likes, but there is no getting away from the fact that elements of discrimination were indeed built into these measures. Therefore, when one considers the origin of these two measures, it turns out that they date from a period when it was necessary to disentangle what was becoming entangled. [Interjections.] These measures date from a period when it was necessary to counteract a process of integration that was the order of the day in this country. [Interjections.]

When the situation today is compared with the period from which these measures date, it is evident that communities have in the mean time become organized and structured with regard to political expression, social intercourse and educational structures, as well as in innumerable other spheres. Seen in this light these measures present a completely different picture now to when they were originally placed on the Statute Book.

The approach of hon members on this side of the House has always been that should these measures be repealed, we should have to account for the possible implications of this repeal, especially with regard to the ordering of the various communities in this country. We considered this for hours, we held in-depth discussions on it, and we came to the conclusion that the repeal of these measures, in the light of the ordering and structuring of communities—as I have just indicated—certainly would not, at this stage, have the effect of unsettling community life, whether with regard to constitutional and political self-realization, patterns of society or educational or other spheres.

Hon members on this side of the House thereupon had to answer to their own satisfaction—since there are no scriptural precepts which can serve as a basis for these measures; since other population groups experience these measures as discriminatory, and in view of their resultant negative effect on population relations in South-Africa; in view of the negative effect which these measures have on South Africa’s image in the outside world; in view of the undoubtedly negative effect of these measures while they remain on the Statute Book—the question whether it is justifiable nevertheless to continue with these measures on the Statute Book, especially since the repeal of these measures would not be to the detriment of the population structures in this country.

Now, one could of course speculate as to the extent of the intermixing that will ostensibly take place. In all the evidence heard, however, the select committee found no evidence—in fact no indication—that the repeal of these measures should necessarily or will at all give rise to extensive intermixing. On the contrary I believe that the will of especially the Afrikaans-speaking part of the population to maintain their identity as well as that of many Whites speaking other languages in this country, will ensure that the repeal of these measures at this stage—and I emphasize this, because we cannot take this step independently of prevailing circumstances—will by no means have the effect of large-scale intermixing in this country.

When there is speculation about this matter, the situation that prevailed while these measures were on the Statute Book must also be borne in mind. After all, these measures have never succeeded in preventing immorality taking place across the colour line. They have not even prevented marriages being solemnized across the colour line. In spite of the legislation concerned, many marriages took place, and there is no reason to believe that the repeal of these measures will bring about a significant change in the situation in this respect. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, any one of us who has had anything to do with the committee which has been looking at these two Acts will be very grateful that this hour has dawned. At this time I think we ought to spare a thought for those brave souls in the NP who, five or six years ago, went on record as to their attitude that these Acts should be repealed.

However, in looking back I think we should also spare a thought today for those whose lives have been shattered by these Acts, for people who committed suicide as a direct result of prosecution. [Interjections.] No, it is a fact. There are times when one has to stand back and take a look and, as hard and uncomfortable as it is, it has to be done. [Interjections.] We cannot simply move away without accepting the awful responsibility of the shameful Acts which are still on the Statute Book. I believe, therefore, that it enhances our rejoicing today that this step has finally been taken.

When these laws were first introduced there were those who asked why it was necessary when for 250 years South Africa had been able to survive without them. I believe the time will come when—despite the comments of the CP—we will all recognize, hopefully even the CP, that it is for the good of all the people of South Africa that these Acts should no longer exist.

As far back as 1962 the hon member for Houghton introduced a private member’s Bill asking that these laws be scrapped. That is a long time ago, Sir, and I think that when one looks back one should congratulate that hon member for anticipating what this Government has only now decided to do. [Interjections.] I want to quote just one sentence from that speech she made in 1962. She has probably forgotten these words, but they were important then and they are significant now. I quote:

I do say that if this Bill …

That is the Bill she introduced—

… is passed, one thing is certain: South Africa will have rid itself of a cruel law that has brought untold misery to thousands of people and that has cast a slur on the country as a whole.

The hon member for Houghton said that in 1962. Can you imagine, Sir, what has taken place since then? In 1971 she moved a private member’s motion asking for these Acts to be repealed and, in 1978, the present hon Leader of the Official Opposition, the hon member for Houghton and I spoke in a debate asking and pleading for these laws to be repealed. [Interjections.] The NP, however, said: They will stay for ever. It is amazing to note the number of people, including a number of hon Ministers present here, who made that statement. Unfortunately I do not have the time to quote them.

However, I want to say to the hon the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning that I listened to him very carefully today and I noticed his utter relief that we had reached the point we have reached. I know that the hon the Deputy Minister and I know that for a long time he has been impatient with these laws because he has recognized that they should have no part to play in South Africa. I congratulate him on a job very well done, despite probably a great deal of tension and opposition within his own ranks. [Interjections.]

In conclusion I want to say two things. Firstly, we must not overestimate what we have done and are doing here today. We must not overestimate that because the awful truth is that the repeal of even these two important pieces of legislation is going to affect neither the attitudes nor the anger of those unemployed Blacks in South Africa who know nothing at all about these Acts. Therefore, let us not imagine for a moment that the millennium has been reached. This is only the very small step on a very, very long journey. So let us not overestimate what we are doing here.

Let us not underestimate it either because I believe that we are witnessing a massive assault on apartheid. The battle lines have now been drawn and further changes are inevitable despite the hon member for Mossel Bay and the hon the Minister. I know that they are too intelligent not to understand the logic of what we have commenced today because immediately when one takes one or two bricks from the building, the other bricks are going to fall. When that happens South Africa will be a better, a more compassionate, a safer and a more secure place for all of us. [Interjections.]

When it comes to residential rights, the whole debate of where people are going to live is going to be renewed with greater urgency and so, too, the whole question of education.


You should listen to what the hon members of the CP have to say about our comments. They are paying you compliments.


Yes, because they know as well as the hon the Minister does that these changes are going to take place; there is nothing they can do about it, and the hon the Minister cannot stop it either.


That is your opinion.


The journey has begun. All that is required is good, clear, honest, compassionate thinking to continue the job. The whole debate on education will heighten. The uprooting of communities, the population registration legislation and the question of separate political institutions—each one is an issue which is touched by these two laws, and therefore I say that while we must never overestimate what we are doing now, we must not underestimate it either. We have started on a journey the end of which is inevitable, and that is a country which will be rid of race discrimination on its Statute Book.

The only plea I make—I make it in all seriousness—is that the Government should not take too long. We should now not wait for a period which equals that between 1962 and today or between 1971 and today or even between 1978 and today, but we should take our courage in both hands and move together to rid our Statute Book of every Act which is shameful to our people and to ourselves.


Mr Chairman, I should like to join the hon members who thanked the chairman of the standing committee and the two select committees that proceeded it, as well as the officials who perform a tremendous task and also the hon members of the parties who agreed to serve on the committee on a non-political basis, a practice which the hon member for Pinelands did not adhere to today. He tried to turn the report into a political issue and to exploit the report.

The House gave the committee its terms of reference, and we worked within those terms of reference to ascertain how the statutory provisions could be repealed within the second leg of those terms of reference, namely “with a view to the continued social, educational and constitutional ordering of own communities”.

I note that the hon member for Pinelands is just about to leave the Chamber, but I just want to tell him that he need not be concerned; this side of the Committee will continue to uphold those principles in the interests of the Republic of South Africa, thereby ensuring peace for everyone. It is not necessary for him to exploit a difficult economic time and to refer to “the unemployed Blacks” who will not see any advantage in or experience any benefit from this recommendation.

In the past various arguments were put forward against the statutory provisions under discussions and I expected to hear more substantial arguments from the hon member for Rissik today, but he saw fit merely to launch personal attacks on the hon the Minister.

If I understood him correctly, what his entire argument amounted to was that the abolition of these statutory provisions would destroy the identity of the Afrikaner. This argument actually suggests that the Afrikaner does not set such great store by his own national identity that he has other ways of preserving it, and that it can only be preserved by means of the reciprocal support of legislation. Such an argument ignores the fact that the Afrikaner has held his own against other ethnic groups up to the present day.

The other argument is that the legislation is not discriminatory. I do not think that argument is still being used. Other groups, particularly the Coloureds, experience it as very discriminatory and an affront to their human dignity. In this regard the measures did not play a stabilizing role, but they actually played a more destabilizing role among the Coloureds. I am certain that the abolition of the measures will put an end to this destabilizing effect. Irrespective of what the hon member for Pinelands says, it will also have a very positive effect on other groups in future.

With these words I should very much like to support the report and its acceptance.


Mr Chairman, subsequent debates on this will most probably be conducted later when we discuss the relevant legislation. Our fundamental standpoints on these matters will then be restated.

As far as this discussion is concerned, I just want to say that the hon NP members who had so much to say today about exhaustive discussions and the exchange of ideas, had decided long ago already to abolish these Acts. The hon members are merely seeking a way of getting away from the old principles and accepting the new principles of the PFP. Mr Brand Fourie said so on 18 February 1985 already. I am quoting from the relevant report:

South Africa’s USA ambassasdor, Mr Brand Fourie, at the National Press Club yesterday insisted that apartheid is not acceptable to the average South African and promised that the Government would take steps to repeal the Mixed Marriages and Immorality Acts within two months.

The absurdity of resorting to this kind of play-acting does not impress those of us on this side of the committee. In the debate on the legislation we are conducting here, as well as in the debate being conducted outside with a view to the by-elections, we will be informing the voting public what the NP really is. [Interjections.]

I just want to tell the hon the Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare that he must go to Elandsdrif. After all, he knows Elandsdrif.


We will.


Does he know such a place?




Just go there. Let the hon the Deputy Minister and me go there and debate this matter there. [Interjections.]

Last week in the debate we were conducting the hon the Minister got in my hair. Looking at the hon the Minister and his head of hair now reminds me of Samson, who spent a little too long lying in Delilah’s lap. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon the Minister that in the same way that Delilah cut off Samson’s hair, after which he lost his strength, this hon Minister has also lain in the lap of Delilah, the liberal. He has not only lost his hair physically, but also politically. [Interjections.] I trust that a time will come in the life of the hon the Minister when his hair will grow again, politically speaking, and he will regain his strength. Perhaps on that day he will do what the former Samson did, namely to pull down the pillars on the people who sought his downfall. [Interjections.]

I want to get back to the Vote of the hon the Minister and bring a few matters to his attention. I should very much like to know from the hon Minister how it is possible, with regard to the identification of population groups that in 1982-83 there were 462 Cape Coloureds who were reclassified White and that this figure was 325 in 1983-84. What is the background to this large-scale reclassification? Has there been a change in the standpoint of the hon the Minister or the Government? What is the policy going to be in future?

The other matter I should like to discuss with the hon the Minister, is the matter of immigration. The report does not set out where immigrants come from. One does not know from which countries they came. I obtained certain information from the Department of Statistics, but I think that for the sake of completeness it would be a good thing if this information was supplied in the annual report.

What is the present policy of the hon the Minister on immigration? How does he see immigration? I do not think he can still adhere to the old principles of the NP but can he give us an indication of what his immigration policy is? The State President has said that relatively speaking we are one nation—I do not know whether he attaches the same meaning to the terms “people” and “nation”—which consists of Coloureds, Indians and Whites. An Indian can now become the Minister of Home Affairs, which will consequently also make him the political head as regards matters pertaining to immigration. Can the hon the Minister give us an indication as to whether the 4:2:1 ratio will also apply to Indians.

The other matter I want to deal with concerns the matter of Indians in the Free State. Recently we have had various statements on this. At the beginning of the year the hon the Minister of Justice, who is neither fish nor flesh nor good red herring, because he can never give one a straight answer, said in his inimitable way—this is the inference I drew from his speech—that the Free State must also be brought into line with the rest of the country. He also referred to Indians in Rissik and Arcadia and I asked him whether Indians lived in these towns to which he replied no. I should now like to know from the hon the Minister what his standpoint on this particular matter is. The Chairman of the White Ministers’ Council has made a statement on Indians in the Free State. The NP of the Free State has appointed a committee consisting of 4 persons, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Justice, that will consult the elected leaders, ie the MPCs and the MPs. The head committee of the Free State Municipal Association will also be consulted. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether he has been consulted on this and whether he agrees with this. Will he tell us today whom the committee will consist of and whether this is a purely party-political matter which need not be discussed in the House. Hon members of the NP, and particularly the hon member for Vryheid, who is conducting an election campaign with us in the Free State, will know that it is being said that the CP is spreading all kinds of rumours about this. As far as I am concerned, I am trying to state the policy of my opponents to the best of my ability as correctly and as well as I can. The Chairman of the White Ministers’ Council has said that they are all emphasizing that the principle of own schools, residential areas and community life may not be harmed in the process.

It is very clear to me that, as is the case with all the other Acts, the NP has decided long ago to open the Free State to Indians, subject to the conditions they have laid down namely separate residential areas, separate schools, etc. But I should like the Minister to explain to us now in this debate, what the NP’s policy on this matter is or to tell me honestly that they do not have a policy now but are first waiting for the committee under the chairmanship of the hon the Minister of Justice to investigate this matter. Will the hon the Minister also tell us what he means by the concept “community life”. This is a word he is very fond of touting around. He is telling the poor old people and the ignorant people and the faithful NP people: You need not be concerned, the group areas and separate residential areas are going to remain. I want the hon the Minister to give us a clear analysis. In his opinion, can Indians acquire municipal areas or residential areas or group areas in the Free State? May they purchase farms there and everything that goes with it? Will he please tell us precisely what community life means? [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, as usual the hon member for Rissik asked many questions about Government policy. Perhaps he should take the opportunity during his next turn to speak to tell us how the CP intends implementing its immigration policy with regard to the Indian homeland it wants to create in South Africa.

Since our discussions on the previous Vote a few changes have taken place in this department.


Order! I appeal to hon members to put a stop to this mixed talking.


On behalf of the NP study group on home affairs we should like to welcome the new Deputy Ministers of this department, namely Deputy Minister Pierre Cronjé, who is in charge of publications, and Deputy Minister Ron Miller who deals with all matters, from the cradle to the grave. We want to say to the hon the Deputy Ministers that we as a study group appreciate their cooperation. We wish them everything of the best. A new Director-General, Mr G B S van Zyl, has also been appointed in the meantime and we want to extend a cordial welcome to him, too, in this department. We shall surely have the same co-operation from him in his new capacity as we have had in the past. We also want to thank the hon the Minister and the department for the annual report which they put at our disposal. It always makes matters easier for a study group if such an annual report is made available.

I should like to mention a matter in connection with the publications control to the hon the Minister. The task and functions performed by the Publications Committee, the Directorate of Publications and the Publications Appeal Board should be mentioned with great appreciation. These three autonomous statutory bodies are definitely not responsible for the morals of the people, but they do keep a watchful eye on things that could tend to corrupt and on matters which could harm religion, relationships, peace, good order and the security of the State. We on this side of the House want to say to these people: Thank you very much for your balanced judgment; it deserves the gratitude of this House.

The point of departure for publications control is control rather than censorship, of which they are accused from time to time. As far as publications control is concerned I want to confine myself to a deliberate and provocative effort by certain publishers of so-called men’s magazines who try to defy the functions and norms of publications control in South Africa. The video industry, for example, also requires a measure of control, but time does not allow me to speak about it. I have here a copy of the November 1984 edition of a men’s magazine—I am not even going to mention these people’s names because they seek publicity so that people will buy their magazines—containing an editorial by the publisher. I should like to quote from it:

There are without doubt too many men’s magazines and no doubt one or two will eventually close. It does show, however, that there is an amazing demand for the kind of material provided by such magazines. This is a sad reflection on the repressive upbringing that many South Africans have experienced, particularly in matters of a sexual nature, and it is doubly sad when you consider that the girls in these magazines have breasts with stars … (We have) fought against this decision of the censors for over a year now and, while we have lost a few battles, we are slowly winning the war. As you will see from this month’s centre spread, we have decided that the time has come for South African girls to discard their stars and for South African men to join their more fortunate brothers in other Western countries where a woman’s body is considered a thing of beauty rather than something which must be kept forever hidden from view.

This particular magazine was, of course, banned in terms of section 47(2)(a). Some of the sister publications of that magazine, as well as that magazine itself, have been banned on previous occasions.

What also happened was that this magazine was released for distribution in South Africa shortly before a weekend with the sole purpose of circumventing publications control in South Africa. Before publications control has had the opportunity to go into the situation, people are busily selling their copies and making a lot of money. That statement was made to me and I took it with a pinch of salt. I thought that it was rather presumptuous to accuse anyone of that. However, the same publishers then distributed a periodical ostensibly on the subject of so-called photography, Basic Nude Photography. It should be noted that the first edition of its predecessor, Guide to Glamour Photography, was banned in terms of section 47(2)(a) as well as a second edition which was banned in terms of section 9(1). We find that only the name was changed and we encounter this subtly defiant attitude.

All of us probably read of this man’s defiant attitude in the Sunday Times of 7 April 1985. I quote from the report:

The magazine with explicit photographs of nude women in provocative poses was released over the Easter weekend in a deliberate move to beat South Africa’s censors. The magazine was specifically published on Thursday night just before the long weekend to avoid an immediate ban.

The publisher was quoted as follows:

“We decided to publish the magazine on Thursday, knowing that the Special Edition of the Government Gazette, in which a ban has to be published for it to be effective, could not be brought out before Tuesday …”

That was the following week:

“By then we hoped to have sold 40 000 of these copies.” In an interview soon after the publication of this week, he said his latest publication had taken into account rulings by the Directorate of Publications regarding the banning of earlier manuals, but since he was not certain the magazine would be passed, he decided to publish it on the eve of the long weekend so that the ban could not come into effect until the next Tuesday.

I do not want to adopt a narrow-minded attitude here, but I want to say immediately that if one compares the publication of magazines in this country with what one see overseas one will find that the Publications Control Board in South Africa does exceptionally good work and that people in South Africa are not as narrow-minded as many would believe. If, however, such a defiant attitude is adopted by publishers of certain magazines, I want to make the appeal that very urgent consideration be given to ways of blocking the loopholes which these people use so blatantly and defiantly. Perhaps it has become necessary for the Publications Control Boards itself to set out new guidelines with regard to this particular problem with which we have to cope.

I want to conclude by saying that we on this side of the House regret that the debate on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act took up so much of the time of our normal discussion of this Vote. Unfortunately it was necessary. We should have liked to have raised other aspects of the department with the hon the Minister.


Mr Chairman, it is a pleasure to speak after the hon member for Turffontein, who always makes a very strong and substantial contribution in this House.

I just want to refer to a question by the hon member for Rissik. Perhaps he did not receive a full text, but page 140-41 of my copy of the Annual Report for 1983-84 of the Department of Home Affairs contains a complete record as well as comparative figures relating to sources of immigrants and destinations of emigrants. He merely has to go and read it.

I should like to thank the departmental officials in the office of the hon the Minister. They made many sources available to us. I want to thank them especially for the contribution the department makes in connection with immigrants; that is, new citizens of our country. They are dealing with alarming figures in the sense that in 1978 the situation was—and this was pointed out—that the ratio of executive management posts in South Africa to the manpower under their control was a poor 1:52. The comparative study, on the other hand, shows that if we do not do something about this matter, we shall be saddled with a ratio of 1:71 in the year 2000, while at present the ratio in developing countries is 1:15. In the USA it has even reached 1:10. This situation is very much contrary to what the economy and the world in which we are living are going to demand from us in future.

When one looks at the second part of the statistics, one finds that in 1981 immigration cost South Africa R12 million. In real terms we made a profit of R480 million from these immigrants in terms of skilled manpower and skills which led to an increase in productivity, created job opportunities for the unskilled, and brought about higher standards of living. Immediately after their arrival these people became taxpayers and as such made substantial contributions to the Treasury. They were potential citizens.

However, one comes across a third set of statistics in this report. Between 1965 and 1971 we lost a total of 66 883 emigrants. The medium period of residence in the country of these 66 000 people was 3,37 years. I am disturbed at the fact that people remain here for three to four years and then leave the country. In 1983 we gained 30 385 additional immigrants, while 7 628 people left the country. In the past year—and these figures were published last week—28 793 immigrants were allowed into the country, but 8 550 people left the country again.

Another alarming fact about this matter is that the department itself made contact with a mere 23,1% of these immigrants upon arrival. This was done in the form of a reception or through one or other office where the department actually dealt with them. The regional offices throughout the country contacted only 6 727 people out of a total of approximately 30 000 during the past year. One should take into consideration the fact that the department is already involved in the selection of immigrants in order to introduce them into our country. In other words, the socializing programme starts when the departments selects the immigrant to come to our country.

The emphasis here is not only on the person’s working ability, but also on the extent to which he will integrate with the world for which he has been recruited. In its report the department points out that one dreadful mistake is made when recruiting our immigrants, namely that we pay very little attention to the wife and child of the male immigrant entering this country. I think that we make the greatest mistake here, because these are the people who suffer most in a strange country. The wife is the person who leaves her familiar world behind, the world where her sentiments lay and to which she and her family had become attached. They come to a strange country where the husband of the family is integrated economically in his new world, his new environment. His interests and future happiness are attended to in more than one way. I believe that too little attention is paid to his wife and children.

A further aspect is clearly evident from this report. It is that employers in the private sector, who play the largest part in this recruitment, grossly neglect the process of social adjustment of these people. I believe that we should pay urgent attention to this matter. It is a fact that we have more or less left this task to bodies such as the Maatskappy vir Europese Immigrasie and the 1820 Settlers Organization. However, these two organizations cannot fulfil the needs of these particular people. They can only make a worthwhile contribution if the community in which these new immigrants are taken up becomes involved in the process of adjustment and naturalization whereby these people become part of the community of this country. The community itself also does too little in this regard.

This report shows very clearly—and here one does not want to point a finger at anyone in particular—that the private sector itself is too intent on trying to gain economically from the new immigrants, on exploiting their value in terms of rands and cents, while far too little attention is paid to their human needs and their useful and proper naturalization.

A very interesting aspect is pointed out in one of these reports, viz that Afrikaans-speaking South Africans will have to realize at some time or another that South Africa has a plural population structure and that the constituent parts of the various groups will have to develop a new identity in future. The reports also show clearly that Afrikaans-speaking South Africans—and I speak here of my own people—are very bad at making new friends and attracting strangers. These are not random statements being made here. In-depth studies have been undertaken in this connection.

In the last few minutes at my disposal I should like to put it to the hon the Minister that I believe that we shall once more have to pay serious attention to our immigration strategy and the integration of new people who enter our country. I believe that the entire South African community will have to search its conscience in this regard. The State can at most play a co-ordinating role. I was not able to obtain a final figure, but I have calculated roughly that approximately 300 officials are engaged in this task. If that is not correct, I believe that it is as close as I can possibly get to the correct figure. I do not believe that there is any reason for us to increase the number of officials in order that they alone may undertake this task of integration, socially and otherwise, and adjustment of new immigrants. The community should also become involved in the process and help the department which in fact should only play a co-ordinating role in the whole process.

Moreover the private sector itself can no longer confine its attention to employees who are physically present. Serious attention will also have to be given to the families of new immigrants. The private sector, too, will have to make a contribution in one way or another to the process of social and other integration of the wives and children of new immigrants. The schools and churches in the country have a difficult part to play in this process.

With regard to education itself, there is a matter which does not seem to be too positive according to these reports. It concerns the endless stream of immigrants who enter the country throughout the year, immigrants whose children naturally have to be accommodated, in one way or another, in the schools and the whole educational system of the country. When a school provides for a class for immigrants, it is naturally the case that not all immigrant children stay in a particular class for the full school year. Some spend six months of the year in such a class, while there may be others who spend longer or shorter periods in the same class. This creates certain real problems which I believe should really be investigated once more. It creates a situation of helplessness for people who are already face with the almost traumatic problems of adjustment to and inclusion in a new and alien world. I do not want to say much more about this.

There is yet another matter to which we should pay attention. It concerns the occupational fields in which most of the new immigrants are qualified. It now appears that the greatest shortage is with regard to people who offer professional services. During the period covered by the reports under discussion, only 3 970 professional people were gained through new immigrants, while we lost 1 093 during the same period. On the other hand, we gained 3 565 new factory and construction workers during the period of the report, while we lost only 656. The greatest shortage therefore appears to be in the field of high quality manpower. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, I have very little time at my disposal, since I am speaking in reserve time now, and I therefore want to use these few minutes to react to a few standpoints adopted in this House this afternoon regarding the abolition of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act.

It has been claimed that the abolition of that Act is not going to cause an upset in the order of society. However, I want to ask the hon the Minister who becomes what if such a marriage takes place. This question of who becomes what places the whole relationship of the family with society in jeopardy, since it has to do with the relationship by marriage of the entire family. I should like to know how those matters are going to be arranged without disturbing the order of society.

I want to raise a second point. It is repeatedly being stated that there are no scriptural grounds for the continued existence of this law. I want to say without a shadow of a doubt this afternoon that that is a slogan introduced by the liberals, since when this Act was placed on the Statute Book in 1949, that debate—hon members can go and read what Dr Dönges and every other member said in that debate—was not concerned with scriptural grounds. It concerned the evil of that time and practical considerations. I now want to quote to hon members what Adv Strydrom had to say in this regard, and I think the hon the Minister would be very interested to hear this. He said.

Eerstens die kwessie van bloedvermenging wat …

I shall use the word “vermenging” rather than the word he used—

… vermenging tot gevolg sou hé wat vir die voortbestaan van die Blanke ras noodlottig sou wees.

He went on to say:

Daar waar hulle in die alledaagse lewe die gruwel van die gemengde huwelike aanskou, word vergeet.

At that stage, Adv Strydom was not concerned with scriptural grounds. It concerned practical measures to eliminate an abomination. However, people are now saying that because it has no scriptural basis—and I do just want to say that as a theologist, I, too, have a standpoint in that regard which I shall state later, since I do not have the time now—the Act should be abolished. I just want to ask whether this is now going to apply to any other law on the Statute Book. If it can be proved that a law has no scriptural basis, is it going to be done away with? What about the Group Areas Act? Does that have a scriptural basis?


Do not be absurd, man.


Do not say that is absurd. Does the Group Areas Act have a scriptural basis?

It has also been said that the population groups of colour experience this law as discrimination. It is said that they experience it as discrimination and that this law must therefore be abolished. However, hon members must go and read the Hansards of the debates they have conducted over the past few weeks in regard to this matter. Hon members will see that they demand the abolition of the Group Areas Act, and I shall furnish proof. They demand one education system and the abolition of separate schools, and once again I shall furnish proof for hon members. In other words, they say that they also experience group areas and separate schools as discrimination. I ask the hon the Minister whether he is also going to abolish those laws on that basis.


Mr Chairman, you will understand that I do not wish to react to the previous speaker, but that I wish to turn to the discussion of this Vote with which we are dealing at present. I want to deal with a subject that is not as emotionally laden as the CP made the subject that has just been discussed.

I want to speak to the hon the Minister about a matter that has often been discussed on previous occasions, but which, in my opinion, should be brought to our attention once again because it is very important. That is the question of voters’ rolls. When it comes to elections, there are often people whose names do not appear on the voter’s roll. Hon members who have been involved in elections will know how frustrating this is. Everywhere there are voters’ rolls that are incomplete or that are not up to standard. They form the basis of the democratic right of every voter to vote.

There is really an easy way of rectifying this matter, of getting the voters’ rolls up to date and ready in time for elections. The department would very much like to draw up the voters’ rolls as completely as possible and to keep them up to date as well as possible. They are busy with this task. To do this, however, it is necessary that every person sees to it that the department is notified of his most recent change of address. That is very important. It is difficult to understand why this matter causes so many problems when the solution is really so simple. Hon members who have recently had to deal with elections are aware that often 5 000 to 6 000 people have left a constituency and have to be traced elsewhere. If one thinks of the time, the trouble and the money involved in trying to trace these voters, one realizes how easy it is to solve this problem.

On 28 March 1985 the hon the Minister of Home Affairs issued a Press statement in which people were requested to obtain access to the voters’ rolls which are available at all the regional offices of the Department of Home Affairs so that an attempt can be made to get all the voters’ rolls with all the relevant information up to date by 3 June this year.

I want to ask the hon the Minister whether consideration should not be given to a way of making the notification of changes of address compulsory. There have been appeals to people on so many occasions to report their change of address when they move, since it is so easy to do this. Could we not perhaps make this compulsory in some way? I do not think the problem is that people do not want to do so: I think it is merely that people often forget that reporting their change of address is important. Could we not introduce a registration month each year, with the aid of the Press, television and radio, in which people could be reminded that they must pay attention to this and make sure that their address is still the same as the one that appears at the back of their identity document? In the same month we could ask people whether they already have identity documents, so that this relatively simple matter which eventually has major repercussions can be rectified.

Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 19.

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.

The House adjourned at 18h00.