House of Assembly: Vol3 - WEDNESDAY 17 APRIL 1985
as Chairman, presented the Fourth Report of the Standing Select Committee on Home Affairs and National Education, relative to the National Libraries Bill [No 65—85 (GA)], as follows: The Standing Committee on Home Affairs and National Education having considered the subject of the National Libraries Bill [No 65—85 (GA)], referred to it, your Committee begs to report the Bill with amendments [No 65A—85 (GA)].
A E NOTHNAGEL,
15 April 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
Vote No 9—“National Education”
Mr Chairman, I ask for the privilege of the half-hour.
First of all I want to take the opportunity of congratulating the hon member for Johannesburg West on his appointment. I hope and trust that he will make a significant contribution to the job in hand.
I also want to take the opportunity of congratulating the hon the Minister on his appointment to his present position. I hope and trust that he too will make a significant contribution. The hon the Minister of National Education does indeed have an opportunity of mobilizing the quite significant powers at his disposal to make a major contribution to reform, not only in the educational field but also in the broader South African society in general. It remains to be seen though whether he will have the insight and the courage to grasp and exercise this rare opportunity.
In many ways education lies at the root of all reform. Education wipes out illiteracy, brings about understanding among peoples and equips a nation to contribute productively to its society and to reap material rewards in return for its labour.
Recently Professor A J Vos, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Zululand, wrote that the present system was turning out groups of young people who knew and understood little or nothing at all of one another’s lifestyle, ideals, sensitivities, religion, culture and traditions. Professor Vos promoted the idea of the evolutionary use of education as an element in a broad national programme of reform.
I believe, Mr Chairman, that a very valuable contribution can be made towards reform by bringing about in South Africa a system of education which will allow children from the various racial and ethnic communities to attend the same schools in order to develop an understanding of one another’s cultures by means of educative interpersonal communication in their formative years. This will enable these young people to co-operate with one another in the achievement of common goals when they reach maturity. I believe that steps taken in this direction would give effect to the principles set out in the Government White Paper on the Provision of Education in the Republic of South Africa, Principle 2 of which reads as follows:
I should like to emphasize that it should afford positive recognition of what is common; and what is common in South Africa among all our peoples is their common humanity and their common South Africanism. Principle 3 reads as follows:
I want to emphasize that positive recognition should be given to the “freedom of choice” of individuals. The freedom to choose whom they shall go to school with is included in that principle.
What is required to achieve such a desirable state of affairs is simply a change in attitude on the part of the Government which will allow it to perceive that the future prosperity and security of our society depends fundamentally on the creation of sound race relations among its various peoples. This depends on interracial understanding and co-operation which, in turn, depends on effective interracial communication at all levels in our society, but particularly in the field for which the hon the Minister is responsible, namely education in the formative years at school, at college and at university. Such a change in attitude can lead to the practical implementation of common educational facilities at all levels of our society.
The first step that will have to be taken is clearly the creation of a single Ministry of Education for South Africa, as was recommended in the original De Lange Report. On 2 January this year the Deputy Minister of Education and of Co-operation said the following in a statement he issued dealing with the Van der Walt investigation of the events which had taken place in the Vaal Triangle:
This statement encouraged me and gave me some hope that the Government was moving in the right direction. I was further encouraged when I read in Rapport of 17 February 1985 that Professor De Lange himself shared the view that such a central department of education was in the process of being formed. I quote:
However, when one listens to speakers on the Government side—as happened here yesterday—as well as to the statements of the hon the Minister of National Education, one is struck by the cautiousness and the vagueness of their reference to the functions and structure of the Department of National Education. If the Government can be persuaded to move resolutely in the direction of a single central department of education, it will be possible to persuade the other race groups that progress is being made towards fulfilling Principle 1 of the Government’s White Paper which reads as follows:
One must remember that at the present time the other groups tend to judge the sincerity of the Government on the basis of the facts which are available to them. One such set of facts shows that the per capita expenditure on White education increased from R1 385 to R1 654 from 1982-83 to 1983-84. In the same period the per capita expenditure on Black education increased from only R192 to R284. Such figures will not succeed in persuading the Blacks, in particular, that any meaningful progress is being made in bringing about equal educational opportunities.
Having said that, it is only fair to indicate that the overall expenditure on education shows a greater percentage increase for Blacks than for Whites over the period 1982-83 to 1985-86. Expenditure on education for Whites increased by 62% over this period while the expenditure on education for Blacks in the RSA increased by 83% and for Blacks in the national states by 98%.
It is important to indicate that multiracial schooling has already come about, quietly and without incident, on a fairly substantial scale in large numbers of private schools in South Africa. I believe that the Government should encourage and support the establishment of as many private schools as possible throughout South Africa in order to facilitate the process whereby larger numbers of children from the different race groups can attend the same schools.
When it becomes clear that multiracial schooling can take place without incident and without lowering standards in education or impairing the identities of the various groups, I believe it will be possible for the Government to start opening public schools to children of all races, and then real progress will be made towards bringing about unity of purpose in South Africa.
By proposing the scrapping of section 16 of the Immorality Act and the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, the Government has displayed both the insight and courage to accept that the State should not intervene in the right of people to choose their own partners. In exactly the same way I believe the Government should also accept that it does not have the right to prevent people of different race groups from attending the same schools. I believe that that intervention is unacceptable in the same way as intervention in the intimate private affairs of people has been accepted to be unacceptable by the Government.
I am very pleased to see that the hon the Minister of Education and Culture is present at the moment because I should like to make an urgent appeal to the Government to bring about finality with regard to the transfer of education from the provinces to the Department of Education and Culture. We are currently faced with the intolerable situation—I have spoken about it in this House before—that while the House of Delegates and the House of Representatives are already in full control of the education of their respective communities, the House of Assembly is not yet in a position to function in this regard.
It is nothing short of ridiculous that the four provinces should at this late stage all be proceeding with separate and different legislation regarding education, and different and separate systems regarding the fees that parents should pay towards the education of their children when a decision has already been made to phase out the provinces and to transfer education to the central Government. It is most unimpressive to observe the Government lacking in the decisiveness and the ability to carry out this decision speedily and effectively in practice.
Principle 9 of the White Paper reads:
I should like to remind the hon the Minister that that White Paper made its appearance as far back as 1983. We are now approaching the middle of 1985 and as far as the public are concerned it appears that no progress has as yet been made. I believe that it is high time that the Government took a decision and implemented that decision as regards the transfer of educational responsibilities from the provinces to the department of the hon the Minister of Education and Culture, and that it told South Africa what its intentions were.
In conclusion I want to refer to the very fine report brought out by the HSRC dealing with the use of television in education in South Africa. The findings of that committee are very simply that there is in South Africa a very definite opportunity to use television very effectively to support and enhance the education of all population groups in our country. They found that there was a widespread lack of literacy and a need for better teacher training in our country. I quote:
Initial investigative work has been done by the HSRC. They have produced a very fine report. There are a large number of competent people who have already acquired the necessary experience in order to put this into effect. My appeal to the Government is not to respond in the way they have responded to so many challenges in the past by dragging their feet for years and years before putting into effect a program that can be of tremendous value and assistance to our nation.
There is no doubt that the most powerful medium the Government can use to enhance the education of all our population groups is television and radio. This is particularly true where educational facilities are non-existent or of a low standard or where teachers are not available or are underqualified. I would like to make a very urgent appeal to the hon the Minister to treat this matter as one of the highest priority and to turn to private enterprise and involve them with all the facilities at their disposal in a very effective programme to make this educational aid available to all the children of our country.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Bryanston will probably excuse my not replying to his argument.
I should like to say something on one of the attractive functions of this department and I am directing it especially at the hon the Deputy Minister. It is namely the duty of guarding our cultural-historical heritage. The main instrument through which this function is fulfilled is the National Monuments Council—the NMC.
Under the Vote “National Education” provision is made for a grant-in-aid to the council in order, as it is put, to enable it to exercise its powers in terms of Act 28 of 1969, as amended. This year an amount of R1,871 million has been appropriated, of which R1,015 million is current and R856 000 is for capital. I am pleased to see that according to the explanatory memorandum this represents an increase of R234 000. We are grateful that the additional appropriation was possible.
The NMC has already developed into a very effective instrument in fulfilling that function. There are in truth still voids, or perhaps one should term them needs, but the position is already much better than it was a number of years ago when on occasion I appealed for a better financial dispensation for the NMC and referred to it as the Cinderella of our national economy.
The most important problem is naturally inadequate finance and consequently inadequate staffing. Since my previous appeal there has been an appreciable improvement regarding both funds and the resultant ability of the NMC to acquire better qualified personnel, technical as well as administrative. At the moment a personnel complement of 50 plus is envisaged. There is even conjecture that a possible budget of up to R3 million per annum may eventuate, which will be very welcome.
The voids or needs which still exist are related especially to the third of three main objects of the NMC as formulated in section 2A of Act 28 of 1969. These objects are formulated as follows: Firstly, to preserve and protect the historical and cultural heritage; secondly, to encourage and promote the preservation and protection of that heritage; thirdly, to co-ordinate all activities in connection with monuments.
In the formal sense the NMC fulfils its main function by the proclamation of national monuments either temporarily or permanently. The NMC also has the statutorily imposed function, however, of taking note of preservation efforts by other bodies which work for the same ideal and of co-ordinating such activities. That is why the NMC is recognized as the only body subsidized by the State to fulfil this function.
From the side of the State there is also recognition and appreciation of the good work being done by other bodies which is why there is provision for grants-in-aid to such other bodies in legislation and also in the NMC budget. There is also continuous co-operation between the NMC and other bodies to further the cause of preservation. Arising from representations to and negotiations with the Minister and his department, certain measures have already been envisaged to supplement voids as far as they still exist. The intention is that it will be accomplished on the one hand by statutory amendments and on the other by administrative measures with a view to effecting improvement in the functioning of the system.
I wish to refer very briefly to a few of the proposed measures in hopes that they will be carried out in the near future. The first to which I wish to refer is related to section 5A of the Act as inserted in 1979. This grants the NMC the power to vote grants-in-aid to other bodies at its discretion. The point I should like to make to the hon the Deputy Minister is that the discretion of the NMC and room for movement regarding these powers are hampered to a degree by the strict prescriptive provisions in that section. It has been judged that the cause of preservation would be better served if the section were to be amended, firstly to make it less prescriptive and restrictive and secondly to make specific provision for grants-in-aid as regards a body’s administrative needs. We are thinking, for example, of a rand-for-rand contribution from the side of the State based on the funds generated internally by the body concerned and through its own efforts. I can tell the hon the Minister that until a few years ago that in fact was the case.
The second matter to which I wish to refer is the idea of a national register. The need has already been established and legislation envisaged to provide for a national register of buildings worthy of preservation. It is regarded on all sides as having to be the first step and that it is the sine qua non if we are truly serious about the preservation of the built-up environment. Much has already been done in this respect, not only by the NMC itself but also by various preservation bodies such as individual local authorities whose work in this sphere we appreciate greatly; the Institute of Architects which has already made an important contribution and the Simon van der Stel Foundation. To have real meaning and serve its purpose such a national register will have to fulfil two requirements in particular. Firstly it will be necessary for uniform criteria to be applied nationwide. Secondly it should receive recognition and the protection of legislation at Central Government level. It therefore has to be enforceable. There must be effective means to prevent the demolition of listed buildings. Legislation of this nature has already been envisaged and I should like to appeal to the hon the Minister to proceed with it urgently.
The third matter is the idea of a national heritage fund. In preservation circles there is also a strong school of thought that preservation of the built-up environment will not really come into its own while it depends financially on ad hoc grants from the State. The appeal is for the creation—also by statute—of a national heritage fund from which finance can be made available on a revolving basis in the form of loans at low interest for the restoration of buildings. As the hon the Minister will know, in our countries of origin there are quite a number of examples of such revolving trust funds. One way of generating income for such funds is by permitting donations to such a cause to qualify totally or partially as deductions for income tax purposes. I realize this is also a case to be addressed to the hon the Minister of Finance.
The last matter to which we feel attention should be given is the consolidation of the legislation on national monuments. In preservation circles there are those who think quite radically about the revision of our legislation on national monuments which is regarded as being antiquated and inadequate. It is inadequate for purposes of the demands set today for preservation of the built-up environment to a community imbued with the awareness for preservation. In consequence there is an appeal for a consolidating measure to be based on a total revision of all the existing legislation and its expansion in the light of current thought, current knowledge and current expertise about preservation.
Regarding the modus operandi for such an exercise, as a starting point there are thoughts of the appointment of a committee of inquiry. What is of importance here is that the committee should not resemble the interdepartmental committee of 1969; it should be a parliamentary committee. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Algoa referred to the National Monuments Council and the cultural-historical heritage of South Africa. I want to tell the hon member if we take the happenings of the past few days and recent announcements by the NP into consideration, that where the NP has chosen the way of political integration, that party will also soon fall under the cultural-historical in South Africa. [Interjections.]
Today, as the PFP has done over the years, the hon member for Bryanston appealed for the abolition of section 16 of the Immorality Act and the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act.
Yes, they eventually managed to steer it through successfully. He also appealed here today for schools to be thrown open. I wish to tell the hon member that over the past week the NP has removed laws from the Statute Book which caused division between individuals. [Interjections.] In the same way the NP will also ultimately comply with demands made here today—circumstances will force it to do so. [Interjections.]
In reply to a question on own community life put to the hon the Minister of Home Affairs and of National Education in a previous debate, he said as an example it meant own schools, own residential areas and own welfare organizations. He said, inter alia …
Yes, I know. I am getting to that now. He gave the confounding answer that the fact that some own organizations were accessible to others, did not mean own organizations should not exist. Now I wish to ask the hon the Minister: If Coloureds, Indians or Blacks are permitted to become members of a community organization consisting at present only of Whites, can he still call it an own White organization? I wish to ask him: If liberalists gain the upper hand in the ACVV, a wonderful Afrikaner welfare organization, and it decides to admit Afrikaans-speaking Christian Coloured women as members, will he still be able to say the ACVV remains an own White welfare organization? [Interjections.]
If I were to ask the hon the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning whether he would raise objections if ACVV members decided to admit those of colour to the organization, I know he would tell me he would raise no objection to such a decision although it is an own welfare organization for Whites at this stage.
At present there is one Coloured and one Indian in the Cabinet. I wish to ask the hon the Minister if he says it is an own White Cabinet. He can no more describe the multiracial Cabinet as an own White Cabinet than he can describe certain White organizations as own White organizations if those of colour are admitted as members. The liberalists in the party—and they are in the majority in that declining party, especially in the Transvaal where the hon the Minister is the leader—will in future force own welfare organizations like the ACW and WAA to admit those of colour to their ranks. What will remain of their own community life? I ask the hon the Minister what will remain of own community life.
It is strange that the hon the Minister did not refer to sport as part of the own community life of a nation. I wish to ask him today whether sport and sports clubs form part of own community life of Whites.
What do you say to the All Blacks?
We are glad the All Blacks are coming and we hope the Springboks are going to give them a good trouncing. [Interjections.]
They are evading questions I want to put to them. Does the hon the Minister say sports clubs form part of a community’s social structure?
I shall reply to that.
What do you say?
I say they do. I wish to quote Prof Gerrit Viljoen’s words spoken in 1977 when he was still the rector of the Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit. The hon the Minister of National Education says he will reply to me. I shall be pleased to hear whether he agrees with what the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development said at the time. I quote from Die Transvaler of 13 September 1977, as follows:
The hon the Minister said sports clubs formed part of a community’s social structure. Does he still subscribe to what he said at that time?
The Minister said further:
At the time the hotheads were the people who brought about mixed sports clubs. He continued:
That is what the hon the Minister said in 1977, and he has just admitted he still believes they form part of community life.
In The Citizen of 12 March 1984 the following is reported:
Now the hon the Minister, who just the other day said legislation would be required for separate sports clubs because mixed clubs would endanger the identity of the White, appeals for integration in sport. [Interjections.]
In Rapport of 17 April 1985 there is a declaration of intent by chairmen of controlling bodies in sport. I wish to ask the hon the Minister of Home Affairs whether the NP underwrites the declaration. Does the NP as a party underwrite the principles stated in it and the strategy of the sporting bodies? [Interjections.] It says here:
[Interjections.] Mr Chairman, would you please give me the opportunity of completing my speech? Hon members about me are making such a noise one cannot complete one’s speech. [Interjections.]
Here it says:
at school level. It also says:
Mr Chairman, I listened to the hon member for Kuruman more in sorrow than in anger. Nearly every sentence was barbed; he made only a single positive remark in his entire speech. He said he was glad the All Blacks were coming. I wondered, when the hon member reached the end of a day and it became quiet in his room and he thought back over the day that had passed, realizing he had only destroyed and demolished and not helped to build this nation …
I do not build integration!
… whether the hon member really derived any feeling of satisfaction from his action?
Like most other hon members, the hon member for Kuruman made little reference to matters entrusted to me so it seems I shall have to develop my own theme.
I wish to thank the hon member for Sundays River, however, for his reference to the good work done by the NMC. He put forward certain proposals and I undertake that we shall study them. He made proposals on essential statutory amendments which we are already examining and also suggested a preservation fund etc. The hon member can speak with great authority on this subject as he is a member of the NMC and represents the Eastern Cape with its rich socio-historical tradition on this body.
Yesterday the hon member for Primrose referred very briefly to another matter entrusted to me. He made an appeal to hon members to view the exhibition of heraldry at present being held here in the South African Library in the Company Gardens. I am thinking especially of the hon member for Rissik—if I can draw his attention. He will be very interested in that exhibition. I do not think there is a single member in this House with a more extensive knowledge of genealogy than the hon member for Rissik. I have great regard for his knowledge and I think as a student of history he is also very interested in heraldry.
In connection with heraldry I wish to say just this—the hon member most probably knows it of old but I discovered it only the other day; I do not know whether the hon member has a Van der Merwe family crest … Oh, he does. The hon the Minister of Health and Welfare does not necessarily have the same as a family crest is something individual and devolves only upon posterity. Theoretically speaking—I think there are about five Van der Merwes in the House …
Theoretically speaking, I think the seven Van der Merwes in this House can each have a separate family crest. Those family crests—this is most interesting—originated at a time when many of our European forefathers were unable to read or write. They used symbols to indicate their background and what they stood for so I think one of the Van der Merwes may certainly have a representation of a locked door being kicked open as his family crest. [Interjections.] I think that holds enormous symbolism. It does not only indicate violence because there is great symbolism in open doors as well. I think the hon member for Rissik will have just the opposite in crests. I think his crest will bear a locked door which is also bolted. [Interjections.] That was in truth the entire theme of his speech yesterday—we should keep the doors of our universities locked to other population groups. The hon member believes he can retain his identity only when he can conceal himself behind a locked door and spin himself into a cocoon. [Interjections.] There are other Van der Merwes like the hon the Minister of Health and Welfare who have more confidence in the maintenance of their identity.
Mr Chairman, this afternoon I wish to speak about international contact in the spheres of sport and culture. Sport is becoming increasingly politicized; it is being used by many countries as a weapon to attempt isolating South Africa. That is why we are so exceptionally delighted at the courageous decision of the New Zealand Rugby Union to send its team here in the face of enormous political pressure. We are very grateful that union has decided that the interests of sport transcend political considerations.
The UN with its Special Committee against Apartheid and Sanroc and other organizations were once more in the vanguard of the struggle against South Africa over the past year.
†In Britain there is an organization which calls itself the Campaign for Fair Play in Sport which was formed to counter the other organization, Freedom in Sport, that is doing such sterling work. If ever there was a misnomer it is this one of fair play in sport because the methods they employ are hardly cricket and cannot be distinguished from those of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Because of this vicious campaign against us, the department has sent a sport advancement officer to London who is building up very valuable contacts with sporting bodies overseas and also disseminating information on the local sporting scene. Our sporting bodies have followed suit and they have also set up an office in London manned by a very eminent cricketer, Mr Eddie Barlow, and he is also doing very good work there.
In spite of all the attempts to isolate us, during the past year we sent 961 of our sportsmen and sportswomen—this figure includes sport administrators—representing 48 different forms of sport to 29 foreign countries. The international sporting world also reciprocated and, during the past calendar year, no fewer than 2 972—almost 3 000—international sportsmen and sportswomen from 53 countries and representing 51 forms of sport came to this country. Although much has still to be done to counter the campaign of animosity against us, I believe that we are succeeding.
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity of attending a farewell dinner with the 60 international anglers who were visiting this country. Their president who sat next to me at the dinner said to me: “Tomorrow 60 staunch ambassadors for South Africa will be leaving the fair shores of your country.” When later in my after-dinner speech I referred to this remark, I was enthusiastically applauded. This is an example of the silent diplomacy with which we are succeeding.
*Our sports administrators have played a significant role in our international sporting relations—21 of them serve on management boards, two of them are chairmen, six of them deputy chairmen and others are senior members of those councils. Over the past year we have held various world championships here in spite of efforts to isolate us. We had the international clay pigeon and target shooting meeting here; we had the race for motorcycles of 250 cubic centimetres as well as the Formula Grand Prix race.
I also wish to say something about cultural contact with countries overseas.
†In the current financial year we will be having 25 cultural leaders who will be the guests of this department visiting us from overseas countries. I had the opportunity of meeting several of these cultural leaders. I did not ask them what their impression of this country was, but invariably they told me what their impression of South Africa was and a favourable picture was painted in each case. We also have the scholar exchange programme with West Germany. Annually we send boys and girls representing all ethnic groups to West Germany and they reciprocate when we are the hosts to German scholars.
*We have a youth exchange programme. In this way we had De Vlaamse Jeugdbond Voor Natuurstudie en Milieubehoud here in the past year. I am sure they were impressed by the unspoilt natural beauty of our country. The organization French—South African Friendship Circle sent 20 young people here. Mrs Susie Terblanche, the wife of the hon member for Bloemfontein North, was their guide. We also received 24 young people sent by the Genootschap Nederland-Suid-Afrika. We sent a group of young people to Taiwan as guests of the China Youth Corps. In the course of the year 22 postgraduate students from 12 overseas countries will arrive here and we shall reciprocate by sending a number of our postgraduates abroad.
There is insufficient time to speak on the aid we provide to international congresses; choir, orchestra, ballet and folk dancing groups who go overseas with financial aid furnished by us; musicians for whom it is made possible to participate abroad; our book and art exhibitions and numerous other matters.
In the few minutes at my disposal I wish to speak on Afrikaans overseas. It is a subject which surely fires the imagination of all, namely the furtherance of this youngest Germanic language abroad. It makes no difference whether Afrikaans is our own or our second language; Afrikaans is something distinctive to South Africa and it is always gratifying to hear one’s own language overseas. At the moment we have a lectorate in Afrikaans in Cologne for which our Department votes an amount of R71 000 annually. Afrikaans, the youngest Germanic language—is taught at various European and American universities as a subdivision of Germanic studies.
I think we all saw the reports in yesterday’s Die Burger on the Chilean sailing ship which is in our harbour at present. A group of South African journalists which went aboard was serenaded with Suikerbossie and Daar kom die Alibama. When they greeted the captain, his first sentence in reply to them was in faultless Afrikaans. That was poor Afrikaans from me—I hope his was better.
This prompted the thought that we should do far more to further Afrikaans overseas—Afrikaans as an export product! Surely that is a subject to fire the imagination of every person but then it should be a friendly, pleasant Afrikaans and not one associated with the suppression of other people. [Interjections.]
This year we have budgeted for less than three quarters of a million rand for our overseas programme in this department—one fourty thousandth of our budget. I believe money could never be better spent as it reaps rich dividends.
Years ago I was talking to a Belgian who told me he had been present in Antwerp on two occasions when South Africans had spoken. He had listened to a lecture by a learned scientist who had read a highly technical paper. Although the paper had made a great impression on this man, he had already forgotten everything the scientist had said. He said, however, that something that had moved him and which he would never forget was the emotion he had experienced when Anna Neethling-Pohl, holding a doll wrapped in a shawl, had recited the poem, Siembaba, siembaba, mamma se kindjie. According to him it had brought a lump to his throat.
We have a powerful message to carry overseas through our culture and by the Afrikaans word, books and songs. John Pauw with his Durban Men’s Choir, the Pretoria University Choir and the Tygerberg Children’s Choir performed overseas last year. The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir goes abroad periodically. Then there is still Ipi Tombi, Macbeth in Zulu and others—all productions which appealed to the imagination of people. [Interjections.]
Prof Ernst van Heerden told me one day how he had seen a small number of Afrikaans books under the title “Minor Teutonic Languages” in the Library of Congress in Washington. He extracted Oerwoud en Vlakte by Sangiro, paged through it and noticed certain parts had been underlined, so he asked himself: Did an American do this or perhaps just a homesick ex-Johannesburgite?
We must go abroad to further in a friendly manner our wonderful language, the language in which we think and dream and live—Afrikaans. [Interjections.]
The Government owes a profound debt of gratitude to these artistes appearing abroad—ambassadors for South Africa. I wish I could infuse much more emotion into the words “thank you” to express our gratitude towards them. Nevertheless on behalf of the Government, on behalf of every citizen of this country, I wish to say to them: You have struck a blow for the fatherland—for South Africa!
Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in sincerely congratulating the hon the Deputy Minister on a speech full of interest and feeling which was definitely worth listening to.
I wish to turn today to the hon the Minister as the person responsible for determining general policy regarding the norms and standards for financing education as well as for salaries and conditions of service for personnel. I represent a large university community in the House. [Interjections.] Through them I have contact with the personnel and students of other universities and therefore know something of what is going on at our universities.
The university community I represent is a responsible one. The lecturing component consists of balanced, dedicated people—people of vision—who are devoted to their task. I am pleased to be able to say that in my experience the same quality of person is also found on the campuses of other universities.
South Africa is very fortunate in this respect because the spiritual force of our universities and the way in which they fulfil their vocations is a source of hope to us in an unstable world and at a sensitive transitional stage in the history of our country. Our universities are training future thinkers and leaders; there are great challenges and also great stumbling-blocks on the road ahead and that is why we shall require many such people. As early as 1963 Dr Anton Rupert had the following to say regarding the type of person we require:
Of all educational institutions universities in essence are best equipped to prepare that man, the man of yesterday and tomorrow, for his vocation. That is why Dr Rupert also said:
A great educator of mine, the late Prof H B Thom, said in 1980:
If it is true that our universities are so important with a view to the future, they deserve exceptional attention from us and the Government. In the words of our previous Minister of National Education, we should entice the best brainpower in our country to our universities. I wish to add that, having enticed them, we should also lavish exceptional care on them. The circumstances under which they work should be such that they are able to carry out their task quietly and undisturbed.
Unfortunately I have to say today that there are certain factors which concern me somewhat regarding the future. I am concerned that our universities may possibly be unable to attract the best brainpower in future. I am worried about certain anomalies that have arisen. Before illustrating my statement, I wish to emphasize that all the lecturers to whom I spoke stressed two matters in particular—the first that they were grateful for the new service dispensation which became operative effectively on 1 October last year and secondly that they had the fullest understanding for the financial problems the Government had to contend with now.
Consequently this is no appeal or argument for immediate or large general salary adjustments as lecturers do not wish to become a pressure group. For the time being they will be satisfied if the Government in the first place reaffirms its faith in and its commitment to the position of leadership of the universities within the educational economy in South Africa and in the second place will examine their exceptional positions within that educational economy as soon as possible.
A debate of this nature is no place to mention comparative figures and to tire hon members with them. In illustrating the point I wish to make, I want to stress two examples in particular and they are not the most extreme I have at my disposal. The first is that if the principal of a large primary school, holding a doctorate, had gone to a university as a lecturer in 1974, I am informed he would have suffered a drop in salary of R360 per annum. If such a principal were to take the same step today, the drop in salary would be R10 345 per annum. Nowadays, therefore, a principal of a primary school who holds a doctorate will no longer consider an appointment as a lecturer at a university, not even if he should feel strongly called to do so. A second example is that people who resigned from certain teaching posts 20 years ago to join universities are now retiring on lower salaries than they would have been earning if they had continued teaching. This in fact means a lower pension for the rest of their lives and from the nature of the case makes university posts unattractive to such people.
I can cite many more examples but do not wish to do so as the purpose today is not to utter a jeremiad on behalf of lecturers. The purpose is merely to illustrate some anomalies by means of a few examples to indicate why a measure of uncertainty has arisen and why the question is being asked whether universities are still holding a position in the front line of educational action in South Africa. It is logical that there will be a degree of concern among lecturers in this respect.
It is also understandable that university authorities in turn would also wish to see that they would at least always be in a position to be able to compete on an equal footing for the best brainpower. I wish to emphasize that the question is primarily not one of salaries; it involves the position and the status of university lecturers within the ranks of the education family in South Africa. In the final analysis it hinges on the future of our universities and the welfare of our country. In consequence I request the hon the Minister to bear it in mind so that at the first opportunity it becomes possible—financially possible—this anomaly may be removed.
I know that universities now have the power, subject to certain restrictions, of determining the salaries of individual members of staff. This is a fact. It is also true, however, that it will take time before this concession—this new arrangement—will have an impact. Furthermore universities cannot accomplish much in any case regarding this with the limited financial sources currently at their disposal. Universities are important instruments in building our future and in maintaining and expanding the elevated objectives set out in the Preamble to our Constitution. In the application of our country’s available financial means we should give just recognition to that as well. That, then, is my plea to the hon the Minister today.
Mr Chairman, I should like to echo the sentiments expressed by the hon member for Stellenbosch. I am certain that we in this party will support any movement aimed at reconsidering the position of the universities, and particularly the financial package to the universities. After discussions with financial officers at my local university—the University of Natal—I certainly know that they are very, very concerned about the financial offers they can make to any of their lecturing staff.
It is possibly appropriate that I should simultaneously join my hon colleagues in congratulating Dr Roe Venter, the new Director-General, on his appointment. I know him primarily as the man who led the inquiry into market-related salaries for teachers in 1980-81. He did a very good job indeed. I hope he will keep it up. I hope he will also look at salaries and related conditions at universities as well.
I want to spend my brief time looking at only two issues. The first one is the question of the assessment of equality, and the second one is the financing of education.
The key Act in national education today is Act No 76 of 1984, and in that Act the key phrase is the one quoted by the hon member for Bryanston:
This spells out the belief found in the De Lange report that, and I quote again:
We must remember that the National Party have committed themselves to this concept. The hon the Minister has at his disposal a department that can do this. Like Caesar’s wife, I am afraid, this department must be one that must be above suspicion. What has the hon the Minister done so far in pursuing equality? As far as the South African Council for Education goes he has said in a reply to me that such a body will be created shortly, after investigation. His department’s report, which we received last week, states, and I quote:
That is this year—1985. How soon is soon? Is it now? Is it May? Is it June? Is it October?
I believe the hon the Minister must realize that the South African Council for Education is seen in the De Lange report as the major body to evaluate the degree of equality reached by the myriad departments of education in the Republic of South Africa. I cannot urge strongly enough how important the creation of this body is.
May I add one possibly new thought? One of the unifying forces in the education system in England and Wales is the use of Her Majesty’s Inspectors—HMI—to assess and to judge standards within and among schools and local geographic school systems. I call for the consideration of the appointment under this department of State President’s Inspectors—with the unfortunate acronym of SPI’s—whose task it would be to assess and report on the degree of equality reached in establishing norms and standards among schools. I call on the hon the Minister to recruit a core group of education experts to his department—White, Black, Coloured and Indian—who could visit schools together and draft reports to this hon the Minister and to other hon Ministers or to members of the executive committees of provinces under which those schools fell.
The hon the Minister must know that the riots and boycotts of 1980, which the De Lange Report was aimed at stopping, have not stopped precisely because no child or parent has been assured that they are, or will be, treated equally in schools or that the public’s judgement of the education received in all these schools is that it is equal. I therefore call for the acceptance of the idea of State President’s Inspectors.
We in this party stand for one Ministry of Education and decentralized geographic departments. The NP, on the other hand, stands for the concept of “separate but equal”. They must, therefore, ensure that separate is in fact equal. It is not equal now; how soon will it be?
Secondly, the hon the Minister has the responsibility to ensure norms and standards for the financing of the current and capital costs of education. Again, in reply to a question, the hon the Minister indicated that a new formula for financing schools in South Africa was under consideration. The hon the Minister said in his answer that the refining of the new general formula was being undertaken and that this would be made known after it had been finalized. In this respect I want to plead with the hon the Minister because he knows how the question of tuition fees has upset the parents of South Africa. The Transvaal has accepted it; the Cape has not passed the ordinance and has withdrawn it; Natal and the OFS have not considered it yet. The hon the Minister of Education and Culture in the House of Delegates has said that he will impose tuition fees. However, what is going to happen in the House of Representatives and in regard to Black education? The question of the payment of fees and in fact the whole question of the financing of education is very important to the parents, the citizens of South Africa. Therefore, I appeal to the hon the Minister to let us have a full public discussion before he finalizes this formula. Let us be open about it and aware of the fact that not all South Africans have the right to participate in this Parliament because 70% of South Africans are not represented here and yet the hon the Minister’s department is also responsible for them.
I would point out that the percentage of State expenditure on education is not yet comparable even with a country like Algeria, not even to speak about Japan. The figure of R5 163 million has risen by 22% compared to the figure for last year’s expenditure. Expenditure on White education rose by 25%, on Coloured and Indian education by 14% and on Black education by 24%. I have no doubt that this percentage will change. All I want to emphasize is, by way of a warning to the hon the Minister, that more money will have to go into education and that we shall have to be very careful about where this money will come from.
I wish to emphasize that between 1982 and 1985 the relationship between White and Black education spending has shifted from a ratio of R2,2 for Whites compared to R1 for Blacks, to R1,9 for Whites to R1 for Blacks this year. The hon the Minister is aware of the fact that this ratio is going to be reversed and that without a full public debate on the effect of this increased spending on Black, Coloured and Indian education, and possibly on maintaining the status quo in White education, he will continue to experience very bad political vibes from his political right.
Mr Chairman, from the kick-off I want to say on behalf of this side of the House that we are also delighted by the decision of the New Zealand Rugby Board that the All Blacks can come to our country. I think it is very clear to us from this announcement that sport took the decision. But in another way it was also clear to us that since 1979 this Government had made it easier for sports bodies and administrations to take such decisions because from that date the Government decided to depoliticize sport in this country of ours.
I did not want to react to the CP, but if you are going to allow me a little injury time at the end, Sir, I must say one or two things.
You have an injury.
Unfortunately the hon member for Kuruman is not here at the moment … I am not sure who their spokesman on sport is either, because one moment it is the hon member for Rissik, and the next he passes the ball out and then it is the hon member for Kuruman. [Interjections.]
I want to judge the hon members of the CP—the hon member Mr Theunissen can also reply—by two statements. The first statement is the following:
Do they agree with that? [Interjections.] Perhaps the hon member Mr Theunissen’s scrum is also not working at the moment. Then there is the following statement, and the hon member for Rissik can also reply to it:
These are the people who are pretending to be glad that the All Black team is coming to South Africa. Can one now see what double standards they adopt to mislead the public outside? That is all I have to say about the CP. [Interjections.]
Order! I will not be able to allow the hon member any injury time. The hon members must afford him the opportunity to proceed.
I said that this decision was characterized by the Government’s standpoint regarding the depoliticizing of sport in our country, which has been implemented since 1979. But the irony is that an increasing number of people, not only in South Africa but also abroad, want to drag politics into the decision-making of international sports bodies.
I think one of the best examples of so-called outside interference—I will definitely refer to so-called internal political interference later—is the recent visit by the New Zealand Prime Minister to Africa. I do not think we need waste much time on him, except to agree with the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs who described his visit as empty and meaningless. The view of those of us on this side of the Committee remains that sport must decide for itself.
We are delighted—I already said this at the outset—really delighted by the decision which the New Zealand Rugby Union itself took in the best interests of rugby. I am sure we cannot find better words about this than those of the President of the South African Rugby Union, Dr Danie Craven, who said, inter alia:
Not only the White community of South Africa, but also the moderate Black and Coloured communities of this country.
Let us look for a moment at the factions which are banding together internally to try to drive in a wedge against the tour of the All Blacks. Let us see who they are. In the first place it is the UDF. The leader of the UDF emphasized on British television that the proposed New Zealand rugby tour was going to run into serious trouble in South Africa. He said that mass opposition would be organized to prevent the New Zealanders from coming to play in South Africa.
The second is Azapo. They are also determined to ensure that this year’s proposed rugby tour by the All Blacks to South Africa is cancelled. They say that if they do not succeed in doing so they will do their best to make the New Zealanders’ stay in South Africa as unpleasant as possible.
Naturally the third is bishop Tutu. The bishop also joined the local opposition to the tour:
But some of the politicians in this House are also dragging politics into sport. I am referring, inter alia, to the PFP’s chief spokesman on sport, the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South. This hon member supports the protests planned by the UDF, inter alia. I am quoting from Die Burger of 11 April:
I could read out more quotes, but that was the hon member’s standpoint. [Interjections.] I think this again shows the irresponsible way in which the Official Opposition makes its statements.
Mr Chairman, may I ask a question?
Unfortunately I do not have time for questions. [Interjections.]
This again proves the recklessness of their actions, because what guarantee can that hon member give that such a demonstration would be peaceful?
I also want to refer to what Dr Danie Craven said in this connection, and I am quoting from Die Burger of 12 April. Dr Craven referred to the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South and he then said: “Dit is onverantwoordelik. Hy behoort te weet dat dit tot geweldpleging sal lei.”
You are seeking confrontation! [Interjections.]
I want to ask that hon member, when the UDF protests at a rugby match at Newlands, for example, to go and protest with them. [Interjections.]
Yesterday at the end of his speech the hon member said, inter alia, and I am quoting from his unrevised Hansard of 16 April:
But the hon member is doing the opposite, because he is the man who is dragging politics into sport. He wants to go even further—and this also applies to the CP; one can see they are on the same side—by wanting the Government to make a statement on the declaration of sport. But it is the Government’s standpoint not to drag politics into sport. It is after all the right of autonomous sports bodies to decide for themselves as they see fit with regard to the declaration of sport.
In conclusion I want to state the NP’s standpoint on sport clearly again. In 1979 the Government decided to depoliticize sport and several goals were set in this regard. Unfortunately I lack the time to elaborate on this. By means of these standpoints this side of the House is convinced that maximum participation in sport, including international sport, will be possible, that this will happen and that the words of the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin will be complied with: “The essential thing in life is not winning, but taking part.”
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Newcastle made an interesting contribution on sport. He dealt out blows where they were deserved and I support him in that, and he also gave praise where praise was due and I should like to support him in that as well.
Before reacting to all the hon members who have taken part in the debate—and I should like to thank them for doing so—I first wish to associate myself with all the congratulations expressed here; on the one hand, those addressed to Dr Roe Venter on his promotion to the post of Director-General of this important department, and on the other, those conveyed to the hon member for Johannesburg West on his appointment as chief spokesman and chairman of the study group on this side of the House. I also wish to express my sincere thanks for all the friendly things said to me personally. At the same time considerable demands have been made on me, too, and I shall try to satisfy them, although not always in the way that hon members would like me to do so.
In the absence of my predecessor—I shall see to it that my staff give him the Hansard—I want to say that I cordially thank him for the exceptional contribution he made in his capacity as Minister of National Education when the department was a different one to what it is today. I think that South Africa was fortunate to have had a person with his particular talents and his particular experience at a time when education control systems, too, were being reformed. He made an exceptional contribution in the formulation of legislation and in sorting out what should be general or own affairs. Moreover, in his period as Minister of National Education he laid foundations on which we can build without hesitation. Also with regard to the handling of the De Lange report and the creative period in educational thinking in South Africa that accompanied the report, my predecessor made an exceptional contribution. He has just come in. He had better go and read the nice things I have been saying about him.
To begin with I should also like to convey my sincere thanks to the hon member for Johannesburg West for his fine exposition of the new educational dispensation. It has facilitated my task considerably.
The hon member for Primrose—it is nice to be able to call him that—has already been replied to, in a sense. It is true that he appealed for increased support of private schools and asked that consideration be given to this. I should just like to inform him that I am at present consulting with the Ministers responsible for education and with the Minister of Finance, in the manner prescribed in Act 76 of 1984, with regard to general policy relating to norms and standards for the financing of education. I believe that in this way we shall also be able to obtain funds by means of which larger contributions than at present may be made to private education. I realize that certain problems are being experienced in the field of private education and we are sympathetic towards these problems.
Then, too, I wish to react to certain other hon members on this side before dealing with certain themes. The hon member for Sundays River advocated the revision of the existing act relating to the National Monuments Council. I want to tell him that a draft amending Bill will be published in the Gazette shortly for general comment, once it has been approved by the Cabinet.
The hon member for Stellenbosch made an interesting contribution about the value of the university in the life of a country and about peoples and population groups. I should like to associate myself with the statements he made. He made an appeal for rightful recognition, at the level of financial support, of the value of the university. In this regard I can assure him that we are sympathetic in that regard and that within the framework of the financing formula for universities we wish to provide those funds in full as soon as possible. I hope that the economy will improve as soon as all of us would like to see it do so that we can at least achieve that goal. As regards his plea relating to specific anomalies in the salary structure I want to say that this is a somewhat technical matter and I do not want to use this debate—I do not have much time—to reply to him in full in that regard. I want to say to him that while one has sympathy for individuals that find themselves in weaker positions than they might have been in had they not changed their profession, and whereas one would like to find ways and means to eliminate such anomalies, this nevertheless entails other problems as well and one cannot deal with this matter on an ad hoc basis, but will have to adopt an overall approach on the basis of specific guidelines. It is true that it is now more possible for the universities to introduce a little more flexibility and be a little more market-orientated as regards the salaries they are able to pay lecturers, so that they need not necessarily pay every lecturer at the same level of seniority precisely the same salary. This is perhaps a facet which can already be attended to and that could contribute towards the prevention of such anomalies by the universities themselves in better economic conditions. We would do well to discuss the details further.
First I wish to react briefly to the speakers who have discussed sport. To begin with I should like to say that like everyone in South Africa, I am pleased that the All Black tour is going to take place. It is good news for all South African rugby enthusiasts. It is good news for us as Whites who in fact regard rugby as our national sport. It is equally good news for the Coloured rugby supporters who shout their support for the Springbok team as loudly as we do, those same rugby supporters whom the hon members of the CP want to move elsewhere and to whom the CP says: “You must no longer shout for the Springboks.” As far as the All Black tour is concerned I only wish to say the following: In South Africa, in the whole chapter that has been written up to now there has been no political interference by the Government in regard to the arrangement of the tour, how it is to take place or whether it will take place. It has been wholly in the hands of the rugby administrators and it will remain so.
What about D’Oliveira?
The fact that despite political interference in New Zealand this tour is nevertheless taking place, to me represents a victory for the autonomy of sport. That is all that is of political importance.
The hon member referred to D’Oliveira. After the D’Oliveira episode this Government—this was at the time when I was Minister of Sport and Recreation—announced a change of policy and said that there would be no further interference in sport.
This also brings me to the hon member for Kuruman. He quotes statements made long ago by my colleague the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development and of Education. Those members were in the party when we said we recognized the autonomy of sport. Those two benchmates sitting there were members of my study group. They did not complain. We had consensus within the NP that we should recognize the autonomy of sport. When we had accepted that concept, we recognized that any sports club could do what it liked. At that time the hon member for Kuruman was satisfied with that. Now he has changed his standpoint. In other words, previous standpoints of the NP were changed within the party context, and that hon member was in agreement. [Interjections.] Now he has swung back to former standpoints that he rejected together with me when we recognised the autonomy of sport.
May I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, no, I have very little time.
The hon member complains about schools being thrown open. He says that we are going to yield in this regard as well. Why does he not admit that they are already telling the voters that schools are already open. Why does he not admit that their propaganda campaign is based on the untruth that schools are open? [Interjections.] I want to say to the hon member—and this is also my reply to the appeal made by the hon member for Bryanston for us to integrate schools—that the standpoint of this side of the House with regard to this matter has been clearly and unambiguously stated in the interim memorandum of October 1981 which was published after the HSRC report had been considered. I want to quote from paragraph
The hon member need not be afraid that we shall violate this basic principle and the hon member for Bryanston had better accept the realities of South Africa, viz that this is a fundamental facet of differentiation that is essential and is in the best interests of all the population groups.
The hon member for Kuruman made a long story of own community life and totally distorted what I said to the hon member for Rissik yesterday. He asked what would happen if the ACVV were to have non-White members. I do not control the ACW, nor does anyone on this side of the House, nor the hon member. They are just as autonomous as a sports organization. He is insulting the ACVV if he thinks that they are not capable of looking after their own character and approach. We do not interfere with private and cultural organizations, but deal with them depending on their objectives and composition, within the ambit of the Constitution. Some are active in a sphere classified as general affairs and fall under National Education, and many are more oriented towards the interests of a specific population group and accordingly fall under the own affairs of Culture. Therefore the hon member might as well stop talking nonsense about this.
He asked my colleague and I whether sport formed part of the community life of the community. Yes, of course. However, that is not all it is. At the community level it is an important community activity but it also forms part of a country’s national life. If the All Blacks come and the Springboks take the field, it is of importance for all the communities of South Africa. Then we and the Coloureds shout together. Does he feel threatened because the Coloureds also support the Springboks? The Springboks are not an own affair of the Whites but are of the utmost importance for all rugby enthusiasts, whatever their race or colour. They also form part of the individual culture of a province. Moreover, sport forms part of the professionalized entertainment industry and is therefore a multi-faceted matter. One of its most important facets relates to community life and that is why communities have their own sports clubs, arrange their own affairs and why we allow them to arrange their own affairs.
I want to come back to the attack he made on my hon colleague concerning the change of attitude in respect of a certain matter. I have already explained how that change of attitude took place and I now wish to put an easy question to him.
You did not reply to my questions.
But he would like to answer the question. Does he believe that his leader is an honourable man who ought to lead this country?
I believe that.
I now want to ask him: What did his leader’s dramatic change of attitude with regard to a Coloured homeland do to his credibility? In 1981 his leader signed a statement to the effect that a Coloured homeland was not practicable, and today it is his leader’s standpoint that there must be a Coloured homeland. His leader performed an absolute somersault with regard to one of the most fundamental matters affecting this country’s future, and turned his back on a standpoint that he had endorsed. [Interjections.] He says that this did nothing to his leader’s credibility. Mr Chairman, is the hon member entitled to speak as much as I am doing even though I have the floor?
You are getting hurt.
You cannot hurt me.
Order! I request the hon member for Kuruman not to persist with his interjections immediately after I have called for order.
We on this side are weary of being attacked about relative trifles, about practical matters such as this one, in regard to which the party changed its standpoint in an orderly fashion and those members changed their standpoint together with us, whereas the hon member’s leader can never restore his credibility in the eyes of South Africa with regard to this matter because he underwent a total change of principles and went back on his word.
†I come now to the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South. He asked me the same question as the hon member for Kuruman, and that is whether we identify ourselves with the declaration of intent of the sports bodies of South Africa. He asked me to do two things: Firstly, to identify with and commit myself to that declaration of intent, furthermore he asked me to play an important role in sport through financing on a much larger scale. However, at the end of his speech that very same gentleman made the plea that I should make a contribution towards the depoliticizing of sport. That is a contradiction in terms!
Oh, yes, because compliance with number one will politicize sport. [Interjections.] This is a declaration by the sports bodies. The moment the Government starts commenting on that, if I disagree with one word, would I then be helping the case of South African sport? [Interjections.]
He is dead quiet now!
You see, Sir, he says “no.” If I put forward a view with as much as one word in disagreement, I will be politicizing sport, but as long as I agree with that declaration, I shall be depoliticizing sport. What utter nonsense! In a country where we recognize the autonomy of sport, the less politicians say about sport, the better.
The NP no longer has a standpoint.
Oh, no. I want to repeat… [Interjections.] no, please, I do not have time …
There are certain aspects of your policy …
I shall come to that. I want to repeat the Government’s policy in this regard. Firstly, the Government recognizes and subscribes to the autonomy of sport within the framework of the laws of the country. Secondly, there is nothing in the laws of our country which prohibits organized sport complying with the declaration of intent referred to. Thirdly, sport in South Africa is depoliticized as far as the Government is concerned. It is the organizations under the wing of Sacos on the one hand and the CP on the other hand which try to politicize sport. They are therefore the dangerous organizations in this country which threaten the autonomy of sport. [Interjections.]
Sacos and the hon member for Kuruman are abusing sport for political purposes. I want to warn the PFP that they should not walk into the same trap.
*As far as school sport is concerned I want to say the following: The State is only directly concerned with official school sport. A distinction must be drawn between two facets. There is official school sport falling under the direct control of the education authorities, and I as Minister of National Education am not directly involved in this. The control and decision-making in this regard lies at the level of the various own education departments, the political office-bearers and the MPC’s in the provinces. It is not a matter for the national sports bodies that act outside the school context. It is part of the process of education and it also forms part of the school. That, then, is the position as regards official school sport.
However, there is a second facet, viz the junior sports activities of the national sports bodies. They involve the school-going youth in this, and rightly so. The national sports bodies are also autonomous with regard to this junior sport. Moreover, the State recognises that autonomy, and if the rugby body wishes to organize the Craven Week, it can do so however it likes. The same applies to cricket, etc. The State does not adopt a prescriptive role or interfere with regard to school sport in so far as it is administered and controlled by the national sports bodies. However, in so far as it is part of the school, it is official and falls under State control. [Interjections.]
I now come to the hon member for Rissik. He came up with a long story about the universities. Once again he created the wrong impression. In the first place, he says that for all practical purposes universities are a general affair. That is not true. If the statute of his alma mater has to be changed, it can only be changed in this House. Does he want to say that that is a matter of lesser importance? [Interjections.] Secondly, he had better go and find out on whose budget the large amounts of money appear that are received by every White university in this country. They are not in my budget, but in the budget of my hon colleague sitting next to me here. Is that unimportant? He disparages the importance of these things that are of the utmost importance. It is only with regard to the three matters defined in the Act that this is a general affair. I concede here and now that they are three very important matters, but they are matters of general importance.
They are the crucial issues.
No, those things alone do not comprise the crux of the matter; there are other important and crucial matters. Both pillars are very important, and one should not be regarded as of lesser importance than the other.
Then, too, I want to say to that hon member that the Government does not decide whether a university is open or closed, and has never yet done so. What the Government does do is to have at its disposal the power and measures to ensure that the character of a university is not lost. Primarily a university’s decision as to whether it wants, on principle, to admit people of another population group, is in its own hands. It is in regard to when it so decides that the Government has taken certain steps, made certain arrangements, and will see to it that the basic character of the university is not jeopardized. The universities that those hon members are concerned about do not, however, wish to change their basic character. This attitude of those is an insult to those universities. Basically, those universities are capable of looking after their own character. Those hon members want to destroy the autonomy of the universities. We say that in that regard, too, they are autonomous, but because they deal with matters of considerable national importance, there are certain general matters in regard to which they must still exercise their autonomy within the framework of the overall pattern of life in South Africa. That is why there are restrictions, but basically these institutions are autonomous.
I now turn to the hon member for Bryanston.
†He stressed the importance of education. I agree with him. However, he then made a plea for integrated schools, to which I have already replied.
*Then he asked for one education department and said that he believed that ultimately there would be only one education department. He quoted Prof De Lange. I cannot speak on behalf of Prof De Lange, but I can say that I inquired whether he was happy about the report in Rapport. My information is that he is not satisfied that it is a correct rendition of his standpoint, but I shall leave it to him to deal with that facet of the matter himself if he feels so inclined. However, we must not play with words in discussing an umbrella department. There is in fact a separation of responsibilities. There is a definition of the sphere of activities of each of the departments. National Education is clearly defined in the Constitution, but I do not have the time to quote it now. For the rest all the other matters, including the actual day-to-day control of all facets of the various education departments, constitute an own affair. As far as general affairs are concerned, National Education is the department which accepts the ultimate responsibility. As far as own affairs are concerned we cannot in any way prescribe to those hon colleagues. They are the responsible bodies. Accordingly, as far as the various spheres of activity are concerned, we stand alongside one another, and one department is not subordinate to another.
The hon member referred to equal education, as did the hon member for Pinetown. That is where the problem lies. This insistence on integration—as, indeed, the hon member for Pinetown conceded—derives from the fact that it is felt that there are substantial differences in the standards of the various education departments. Only when we have equal education shall we be able to solve that problem. If we were to integrate education tomorrow those differences certainly would not disappear. If we were to integrate education tomorrow the Black teachers who teach with only a matriculation certificate would not suddenly know their subjects better. Therefore integration of education would not cause the inequalities to disappear either. The hon members are selling a dream if they tell people that.
It would help.
No, it would not help either. The problem would only become more complex, because political tension would then also play a role—something that need not be the case at present. [Interjections.]
As I have already said, own schools best serve everyone’s interests. However, we must then accept the challenge that the Government has already accepted and I call for everyone’s co-operation. We must accept the challenge of bringing the standard of each of those educational institutions, the own education departments and what they offer, to a level at which we can still be proud of them and at which every parent may feel that his child has every opportunity for self-realization.
When are you going to start?
As regards the transfer of functions, the hon member should discuss that matter under the Vote of the hon Minister sitting next to me. We have already made considerable progress with rationalization in the provinces and it is to be hoped that it will not be necessary to pursue the matter for much longer.
The hon member asked when we were going to start. The formula has already been drawn up. I must now consult with the hon the Minister of Finance. I said a earlier that I hoped to be able to make an announcement during this session. If the discussion of my Vote had taken place a little later I should perhaps have been able to make the announcement then. However, I still hope to make an announcement in that regard during this session.
†The hon member for Pinetown also put question in regard to the South African Council of Education. I can assure him that I have already requested my colleagues responsible for the various education departments to submit their proposals to me because in the composition I must consult with them. As soon as I receive their proposals I will be in a position to proceed. I hope that that will be within the immediate future.
I have already replied to the question of formulae and standards. Regarding the hon member’s suggestion about inspectors, I do not think that that is the solution.
How does one prove equality?
I think the hon member will have the answer to that question when we discuss the new Certification Board Bill that will be presented to Parliament during this session. Indeed, it is almost ready to be presented. By means of proper certification and proper co-ordination we can assure equal standards. That co-ordination is taking place.
I also want to inform the hon member that we have formed a Ministers’ Committee of which I am the chairman. We meet regularly and a statutory body, the Committee of Education Heads, has been formed and they also meet regularly. Every effort is being made to get proper co-ordination and to have sufficient interaction at managerial level to ensure that we proceed to the goal of equality in standards as soon as possible. However, we want to do this in a scientific manner.
In conclusion, I want to agree with the hon member in regard to one particular facet that he highlighted, and that is that we should not politicize education. Education is too important for this country and for all the people of this country. It is that facet of life that lies closest to the heart of each and every parent in this country. We must ensure that through education every South African is placed in a position where he or she can improve himself or herself to his or her highest level of competence.
“Depoliticization” is the new word for integration now.
No, that is not a new word for integration. If the hon member says that the Government and this party have an integrationist policy as far as education is concerned, then he is telling a blatant he. [Interjections.] If the hon members of that party say that we think along isolationist lines, that we are not absolutely bona fide when we say that as far as the community facets of education are concerned, we now have one department, and that we want the best co-ordination, then they, too, would be telling a lie. [Interjections.] Both are necessary because both these structures, the own structures and the common structure, satisfy the demands of the realities of South Africa.
Vote agreed to.
Vote No 3—“Transport”:
Mr Chairman, may I have the privilege of the half-hour please?
I am not going to start on my prepared speech because something happened today which I consider so important that it supersedes what I was going to say. Therefore I intend to start with it immediately.
This morning I received a phone call from Port Elizabeth from the hon member for Walmer telling me that the police had set up roadblocks at the entrances to the Black townships of Port Elizabeth. What they were in fact doing was that they were stopping vehicles and arresting Black taxi-owners who were transgressing the road transportation laws—in other words they were pirate taxis—and that they were being taken off the road. I immediately contacted the secretaries of the hon the Ministers of Law and Order and of Transport and asked them about this. I have had a reply from the hon the Minister of Law and Order or his department but I have not as yet had a reply from the hon the Minister of Transport. The reply that I received from the department of the hon the Minister of Law and Order, in other words from the police, was: Yes, there were roadblocks at the entrance to the Black townships today; and yes, a number of people had been arrested-—the information that I have is 39. They have been taken to prison and they have not as yet been allowed to pay an admission of guilt fine, nor have they been allowed out on bail.
The important thing is, however, that the roadblock was instituted apparently at the request of both the road transportation officials and the traffic police. Sir, I have never seen a more blatant example of ham-handed and crass stupidity. We are all aware that the townships in the Eastern Cape are in an inflammatory state and this has been going on for a long, long time. Now a roadblock is set up to take away the transport that is being used to get the “good people” to work because the buses of the Port Elizabeth transport organization are not allowed into the townships because of the unrest. [Interjections.] They are not allowed to go in there so they stop outside the Black townships, the people get off and then they take the Black taxis to get home. These are the very people who are trying to go to work. [Interjections.] They are not the people who are trying to create the trouble. These are the few people in Port Elizabeth who still have jobs. Obviously because no buses are going into the townships there is a tremendous demand for transportation from the entrances of the townships where the buses stop to the homes of the people; otherwise they might have to walk for miles.
Quite patently the Black licensed taxis cannot cope with a situation of this nature. They cannot cope even when the buses are running into the townships. How can they then be expected to cope in this extraordinary situation? Obviously they cannot. It is patently in the interests of those Black people, and of the White people of Port Elizabeth—and of the White and Black people in the whole of South Africa—that this tense situation in the Eastern Cape townships should not be made worse. I think what has been done today is appalling. [Interjections.] I think it is perhaps destroying a good many efforts that have been put in by a lot of people to try to defuse the situation, which is crying out to be defused. I know there are laws, and the hon the Minister may contend that they are breaking the law. I agree that they are breaking the law. Cannot he see, however, that to turn a blind eye at this stage is in the interests of South Africa as a whole? I want to appeal to the hon the Minister please to instruct his officials to turn a blind eye to those Black taxis that are not legal but that are fulfilling a very great need by taking people who have jobs back to their townships and in to their work in the morning. Obviously it was on their way in to work that they must have been stopped this morning. Furthermore, will he not please see to it that the people who have so far been arrested are released immediately upon payment of an admission of guilt so that they can get back to their jobs and transport people to work tomorrow? [Interjections.]
I should like to get back now to the speech with which I began originally. I want to thank the Director-General and his staff for the work … [Interjections.]
Do you not believe him, Hendrik?
Mr Chairman, is the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs implying across the floor of the House that the facts I have just given are not true?
Every story has two sides to it. [Interjections.]
Of course it has two sides. [Interjections.] The facts I have released here, however, are facts that were given to me by the police themselves. They gave me the facts in connection with the number of people arrested, in connection with the fact that no payment of admission of guilt was being allowed and that no bail was being allowed, and also that the actions were the result of a conference in which these steps were asked for by officials of road transportation. I am not sure whether it was actually the Railway Police themselves who were involved in setting up those roadblocks but certainly the police were involved. [Interjections.]
As I have already said, I want to thank the Director-General and the staff of the department for the work they have put in during the past year. Very valuable work was done by many of them. The weather section, for instance, while not infallible, performs a function which is high profile, noted by millions every day, and good forecasting saves lives. Cathy Caselli’s face is better known than that of Adriaan Eksteen. With that service I have not any fault to find. [Interjections.]
The building of national roads, protection of our coast from oil pollution and Antarctic research are some of the vital functions of this department. Other staff unfortunately do not do valuable work, but that is not their fault. It is rather the fault of their political bosses whose policies they have, willy nilly, to carry out. A prime instance of this is what I referred to earlier in my speech.
This department has to control and police the multitude of regulations which bind and control road transportation to the detriment of us all. Hopefully, this appears to be coming to an end. The National Transport Policy Study is proceeding at a cost so far in excess of R5 million, and I am not complaining about that because if they succeed in getting rid of regulation in the transport services of this country it will have been money well spent. We could save it in a month of deregulation. The sooner this excessive system of regulation is abolished the better. I have no time to go into any details but we will wait and see what the final recommendations of the policy study are.
Secondly, Sir, the President’s Council has been asked by the State President to do a study of the whole situation in the public sector as regards unnecessary regulation. I want to recommend to that study group that they have a very good look at the Department of Transport. I believe they will find it a fertile field.
The first question I have is in relation to the Budget itself. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether he will stick to it or will he have another massive additional appropriation and then use as his excuse the fact that the Treasury has cut him down from his original estimates. This was in fact what he did with the additional appropriation this year. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether there is any area of expense in which he believes he has been voted insufficient funds and that he will therefore need an additional appropriation.
It all depends on the subsidies.
What the hon the Minister is saying—if I understand him correctly—is that if the subsidies work out he will be able to stick to his appropriation.
Yes, more or less.
Yes, more or less. I thank the hon the Minister for his reply. I am delighted to hear that.
When one looks at the Budget one is first of all horrified at the increase over the amount budgeted for last year. It is at this stage no less that 104% up on last year’s budget—R509 million compared to R249 million. Almost the whole increase is as a result of contributions in respect of bus commuters and rail passenger services. It amounts to no less than R359 million. This is one of the measurable costs of apartheid. It is the cost of placing those who can least afford it furthest away from their place of work, and this based only on colour.
When we get to salaries, or personnel expenditure as it is described in the Budget, we find that it has gone up by 13,8% on last year, while the staff has decreased in number by 57. This makes me believe that the so-called 3% cut in Public Service salaries is nothing but an illusion. Obviously salaries have been increased to a major extent in this department and, I presume, in other departments as well.
I want now to come to the number of staff members. In the year ended 1983 there were 3 172 employees in the service of the Department of Transport. This year there are 3 310 employees. These are not teachers, Sir; they are staff members of the Department of Transport. The figure rose by 138. This trend, however, should not be up, it should be down. That hon the Minister knows well that the SATS have reduced their staff by 46 000. I believe the Department of Transport should be reduced in size.
Not 46 000, 42 000.
The latest figure given to the Standing Committee on Transport Affairs only this week was 46 000, unless my hearing was very wrong. [Interjections.] I believe the hon the Minister has to look no further than the General Manager of the SATS to get really good advice as to how to reduce the staff in the Department of Transport.
Our swollen bureaucracy simply has to be cut or it will drive the whole country into insolvency. Individual items I should like to draw attention to are, firstly, Programme 1. Here the cost of the overall management—that is the guys at the top—has gone up by 25%! Salaries in this section have gone up by 18%. According to the memorandum there are two new posts, that of a Deputy Director-General and that of a Chief Director. Can you believe it, Sir? In these tough times they create two new posts to handle the same work that has been done before. While the whole country is tightening its belt, this department is buying a new one because the old one is too small. I despair that this Government will ever learn.
When we look for savings, where do we find them? We find them under “Aviation Safety”, a basic item. Another item that is astonishing is that R35 million is to be spent on buying motor vehicles compared with R19 million last year. May I ask the hon the Minister across the floor if this means more Mercedes Benzes for Ministers of State? [Interjections.] Is it for more luxury cars for Ministers? Compared with R19 million, the amount of R35 million is nearly double the expenditure of last year. It is good news for the motor business but not for the taxpayer who has to pay for them. Why does the Cabinet not set an example and stop using these outrageously expensive cars and drive something that is slightly more modest? [Interjections.]
The next major increase is not in the Budget. That concerns the National Road Fund which will receive an enormous increase out of the increase in the price of petrol which the long-suffering public has recently had to pay. This will, of course, be spent by the Department of Transport. It is overdue. Our roads are in a parlous state as a result of lack of funds, and perhaps also as a result of a lack of proper appreciation of priorities. For example, to spend R3,7 million on a viewpoint on the Tsitsikamma toll road, and this without calling for tenders, was in my opinion irresponsible. At a time when our roads where breaking up through lack of maintenance they spent taxpayers’ money so that taxpayers could see how more of their money had been spent! [Interjections.] Incredible!
The total income of the NRF in the year ended 1984 is given in the report as R229 million. Yet they spent on roads—and I quote from the report—less than half of their income:
It was less than half the amount of money that they received. Where did the money go? Apparently R63 million was not spent at all. The National Transport Commission spent R123 000 on a new committee room. May I ask whether this came out of the National Road Fund?
What about the refurnishing of the Director-General’s office? I asked a question the other day, and in response I found that in 1978, 1979 and 1981 furnishings worth more than R9 000 were placed in the Cape Town and Pretoria offices of the Director-General, but what astonishes me—the man is entitled to furniture—is that it came out of the National Road Fund. I do not believe that is right. I believe that is a wrong allocation of resources. The Director-General’s furniture should not be paid for out of the money which is used for building roads. The excuse was given that it was in terms of section 2(4)(c) of the National Roads Act. I have that subsection here, and it reads:
which this is not—
which this is not—
I think that it is stretching things a bit to describe furniture in the offices of the Director-General of Transport as “other equipment supplied to the officers of the commission”. I realize that he is also chairman of the National Transport Commission, but I think it is stretching it to use road money for that purpose.
I also see in the report that no less than R57 million was spent on road contracts and a massive R17,58 million on consulting engineers’ fees; in other words, 30% of the amount spent on contracts was spent on engineers’ fees. That also does not seem to me to be right, and I should like some sort of explanation for that.
Talking about roads, let us talk about toll roads. First there was the party which cost R44 000. The hon the Minister then told us in this House that it would take two and a half days of collection of tolls to collect that money. This was a mistake he made. It proved not to be true as the largest amount of money taken in any one day at that stage was R1 795 gross; in other words, 24 days with the best daily takings would be needed just for the party.
What made matters worse was that he told us that the highest public relations tender of R240 000 was accepted for publicizing toll roads. It is strange that the winning tenderer at the highest price was a former NP member of Parliament. What the hon the Minister might well have told us at that stage—this he did not tell us—was that that contract had been renewed on 1 February 1984 and again on 1 August 1984 without tender. I accept that he himself did not know, but he should have, and whether he did or did not it is his responsibility.
As a result of the outcry, the contract of R107 000 for two years was wound up two months later, and the winding-up fees were R60 000. They paid this company R60 000 in winding-up fees. I find that extraordinary.
The toll collection facilities themselves cost R4,028 million. From 1 July to 31 December 1984—in other words six months—the net takings were R323 630; let us call it R650 000 per annum in round figures. If we assume that the interest on the amount of R4 million is 10%, then the annual interest amounts to R402 000. Roughly, therefore, R250 000 can be repaid annually. It will therefore take some 12 years to repay just the extra involved in collecting tolls before one starts paying for the road itself, and that does not take into account lavish parties, ultra-expensive public relations firms and R3,7 million on viewing points.
I heard on the news on 19 February 1985 that the Director-General had said that they were doing so well that the loan taken to build the road would be repaid within 14 years instead of 20 years. It is going to take something like eight years just to repay the cost of the toll collection facilities.
I submit that the figures look disastrous and we should reconsider the whole position in regard to toll roads particularly in the light of the extra petrol money available for road building.
I call upon the hon the Minister to have a private sector appraisal done on the Tsitsikamma toll road project, if he has the courage to do so, before we proceed further with toll roads. The figures he has given look absolutely disastrous. They really do, and I do not believe that we can afford to continue with this sort of disaster.
My time is running out. Let me refer him to the AA’s booklet “Why Toll Roads?” If one looks at this particular booklet one finds many reasons, including: The construction and maintenance of collection stations at toll barriers is costly; the manpower and other resources involved in toll collection are totally unproductive; toll roads slow down traffic; toll roads with little or no congestion are not economically viable, etc.
I believe the whole question of toll roads needs to be reconsidered in the light of the experience gained over one year of the Tsitsikamma toll road and in the light of the funds that are now flowing into the National Road Fund. That must now amount to some R450 million plus per annum. To raise the collection levy of 2,354 cents to 5 cents, which is what the hon the Minister has done, will mean a tremendous inflow of funds for the building of roads. It should be enough.
If the Tsitsikamma was a mistake, which I am growing to believe it was, then we should not compound that mistake by building more tolls. Let us learn from our mistakes and let us cut our losses.
I cannot touch on the other areas of concern that I have, such as the lack of debate on the Margo Commission, the lack of action by the department and the lack of a White Paper on the Knobel Commission, the situation as regards Black buses, and alcohol abuse on the roads—57% of accidents involve people who have a high alcohol content in their blood.
Mr Chairman, I believe I have given the hon the Minister enough to think about at this stage and I thank you for the opportunity.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central must excuse me if I do not react to his tirade. He put his questions to the hon the Minister and he will get his answers from him. I am very sorry that I do not have the time to join battle with him, particularly on the question of toll-roads, for apparently he does not know much about that.
I want to begin by congratulating the department on the beautiful annual reports we have at our disposal. They are well produced, and a great deal of facts and many interesting things are contained in them. I want to convey my thanks to the department in particular.
The Road Safety Year of 1984 has passed and to a great extent its success will depend on each individual’s reaction to it as well as the community’s future involvement. From now on South Africa must build on a foundation laid in 1984.
It is shocking, however, that such an enormous number of road accidents still take place. In 1984 there were 411 250 road accidents, in which 8 346 people were fatally wounded. I do not want to go into more detail on this matter, because other members on this side will do so. I merely want to state very clearly that South Africa cannot afford this high accident rate. Every possible method and course of action will have to be developed in order to avoid road accidents now and in future.
Today I want to lay particular stress on the compulsory wearing of seat-belts. I want to give particular attention to the assistance which should be given to children in the form of child restraint devices. An important part of my speech will be about this aspect.
It is conservatively estimated that the use of seat-belts can lead to approximately 450 lives per year being saved in South Africa, whereas it can decrease the number of injured by 5 000. It has been proved that the chances of survival in a collision are twice as good in the case of wearers of seat-belts as in the case of people who do not wear seat-belts. The irony of the matter is that since 1978, adults have been compelled to wear seat-belts, but we allow our children to travel in vehicles unprotected, and this has tragic consequences for them. The mere wearing of seat-belts and the use of child restraint devices cannot prevent the collisions, but can contribute to limiting serious injuries and decreasing the number of deaths.
The average rate of seat-belt usage on all roads during the past four years is as follows: In 1981, 61%; in 1982, 53%; in 1983, 57% and in 1984, 58%. It is pleasing to note that the rate of wearing seat-belts has shown a gradual increase since 1982. This can be ascribed to the fact that seat-belts were one of the six themes of the Road Safety Year, a theme which received a great deal of attention during May and June in particular. Another factor to which the increase can be attributed, is the increase of the maximum fines from R10 to R30. Application of the laws, especially in 1984, also contributed a great deal. As of 1 May of this year, the producers of light motor vehicles have been compelled to make provision for anchoring points for seat-belts in the back of the vehicles. The compulsory installing of seat-belts in the back of new cars, is being envisaged as from next year.
As I said, I should like to focus my attention specifically on child restraint devices. I should like to draw the Committee’s attention to an article which appeared in the Reader’s Digest of January 1985. I am going to read certain passages from it:
I could continue to read to you about several cases in which children have been lost to society in this way.
What are the facts? Every young child who gets into a car, is placing his life in danger. Most parents do not think about the consequences of such a danger. That child is simply flung forward at the speed of the vehicle. Whether the vehicle is travelling at 50, 100 or 150 kilometers per hour, the brain is usually seriously damaged if that child’s head hits the windscreen, and it can mean paralysis, blindness or death. Normally the damage is such that the child suffers from it in later life. It can manifest itself in poor school achievement and even epileptic attacks.
Surveys that were made proved that in Pretoria only 1% of toddlers are buckled up when their mothers bring them to school. Approximately 27% were sitting on the front seat when they arrived at school. How many toddlers do not stand up straight next to their mothers who bring them to school? If the mother applies the brakes suddenly, that child will hit the windscreen violently. Prof De Villiers says:
It is as dangerous if a mother holds her baby on her lap. So I can continue to mention many more examples.
An SABS specification for child restraint devices has been drawn up. Two manufacturers have applied for the SABS mark. The NRSC is striving towards the ideal of making the use of child restraint devices compulsory by means of legislation. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Kempton Park raised a very important matter. One can only trust that many parents—especially the parents of smaller children—will read the hon member’s speech. It is of fundamental importance.
In connection with the inquiry of the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Aspects of Compulsory Motor Vehicle Insurance, the so-called Grosskopf Commission, I should like to know from the hon the Minister, in the first place, whether the commission has completed its activities and, in the second place, when the commission’s report will be tabled. One is grateful that the third party premiums are not going to be increased during 1985 because the public is weighed down under rising costs. It is pleasing, therefore, that they are not going to be taxed further. The hon the Minister made a statement to this effect in this connection. The extent of the demands is rising whereas the income of the MVA fund is not rising in proportion.
It seems to me that the investment of the fund is being handled well. What I should like to see, however, is that a differentiated system of premiums be introduced. The reason I am asking the hon the Minister to devote attention to this, is that there are persons who are repeatedly involved in accidents; or, let us say, they are involved in accidents often. These are people who cause the money that must be paid out of the fund to sky-rocket. I do not think it fair that other people, who are not “habitual accident-makers”, must pay for those who are. We can include the people who are found guilty of driving under the influence of liquor in this group. I should like to know from the hon the Minister what his point of view is in this connection.
In connection with the development of aerodromes, I want to say that I am pleased that the State’s financial contribution to the development of aerodromes has been increased. Previously it was R600 000 and this year it is R1 200 000. I trust that this money will be used for the development of rural aerodromes in particular. It is important that the rural aerodromes be developed because they have strategic value. I cannot go into detail about this now, but I can discuss it with the hon the Minister. I know of several places in our country where a local aerodrome in the rural areas is of strategic value. In some cases the development of local aerodromes can serve as an economic stimulus, as industrial development—even if only to a limited degree—can be effected. In many cases we find, too, that tourism is promoted in this way.
It is also pleasing that the subsidies for flying training have been increased. Although the increase is only R150 000, we welcome it. Flying training has become very expensive and the man in the street can no longer afford it. It has become a sport for the rich. We hope, that with the additional subsidy, other people who have an aptitude for flying but do not have the necessary money to pay for it, will be helped.
It is important for private persons to be trained as pilots. They serve as a source from which the SA Air Force can supplement its needs in war-time. In addition the SA Airways and other airlines are continuously seeking well-trained pilots. The subsidy will contribute a great deal to saving flying schools, which experience many financial problems these days, from ruin.
For consideration of the hon the Minister I want to ask whether a uniform system can be introduced for training and examination of all pilots. Although the regulations prescribe a syllabus, it is not always clear whether the same high standards are maintained by all clubs. Perhaps it would be a good thing if private pilots also sat for their theoretical exams under the supervision of the department, as commercial pilots do. Candidates can then do their final flying test under the supervision of independent grade 1 flying instructors.
The hon the Minister must consider, too, whether a stricter means test should not be applied for the granting of subsidies. It should not be necessary to subsidize the flying training of the rich. Rather subsidize those who have the aptitude, but require financial assistance to be able to obtain their flying licences.
There is evidence that flying accidents are decreasing. One can attribute this to a few things. Possibly there is better flying training in general, better maintenance of aeroplanes, better meteorological services, greater responsibility on the part of pilots, good aerial radio navigation facilities and the effectiveness of our air traffic controllers, whom I want to compliment today. They compare with the best in the world.
A good Government.
It has nothing to do with the Government. Speaking of the Government, I want to ask the hon the Minister, as pilots have to pass a medical examination in any case, to have them subjected to a test by clinical psychologists as well, because the impulsive tendencies revealed by some people make them unsuited as pilots. It is a psychological defect. I want to request, therefore, that prospective pilots also be examined by a clinical psychologist so that those who display defects may be prohibited from receiving flying training. We cannot allow the State to subsidize people who display mental defects. [Interjections.]
I should like to inquire from the hon the Minister about the progress made by the CSIR in their research on flying accidents. Has the investigation been completed? If it has been completed, will details about it be made available to pilots?
Mr Chairman, the hon member for De Aar made a speech today reminiscent of the ones he made when he was still sitting here. It was a very responsible speech because it was very factual and emotionless. He almost allowed himself to be led astray by troubling himself about impulsive tendencies. The hon member must not allow himself to be led astray!
I cannot say the same, however, about the speech of the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central. If I had the time, I would merely indicate once again to the hon member the futility of his argument about toll roads. Another hon member will refer to it later, however.
Today I want to speak about something that is the concern of everyone in South and Southern Africa. While we are active on our borders, keeping the enemy outside South Africa and protecting our dear ones against those enemies, there is a domestic enemy that is engulfing us. It is an enemy we live with daily, to the extent that we have become used to it. I am speaking of road safety. Until recently we have had a fairly unconcerned attitude towards road safety. A Road Safety Year in 1984 was then decided upon. Even at that stage, when we realized that we had to do something to counter this enemy, there were people who came to the fore as prophets of doom and said that it was simply another new gimmick to keep a whole lot of people occupied and to waste money. Even today, after the Safety Year ’84, there are still people who cannot see its positive consequences. People expected that accidents, road deaths and damage to vehicles would decrease as if these things had been touched by a magic wand.
There are approximately 400 000 accidents in South Africa every year. Approximately 9 000 people die on the roads of South Africa every year. Road accidents cost the RSA nearly R2 000 million per year. This money could have been used for other purposes. What is most shocking of all, however, is the fact that in a period of three years, more South Africans die on our roads than died in the First and Second World Wars. A total of 24 533 South Africans died in the two wars. In view of this, it was imperative for us to regard having a Safety Year as a priority.
This Safety Year had four priorities. The first priority was to take a general view of the concept “accident” and the causes, the extent and the consequences of road accidents. The second priority was to make the travelling public more aware of road safety. The third major priority was community involvement. In my opinion this was the most important aspect of Safety Year ’84. The fourth priority that resulted from this, was, of course, the combating of road deaths.
This effort was aimed not only at 1984, but also at the future.
We involved the public to such a degree that 200 local road safety committees were established in our cities and towns. What was encouraging that it was not only Whites who established these committees; all ethnic groups promoted road safety in their own areas, amongst their own people. [Interjections.] Did we involve the public? Yes, we did. State Departments, the SAP, the Defence Force, the provincial administrations, educational institutions, trade and industry all worked together. Three national conferences, which dealt only with road safety in 1984, were held. To give hon members an idea of people’s involvement, I mention the example of Santam which organized an art competition with the theme “Road Safety” for children. Such was the degree of children’s involvement in the Road Safety Year of 1984 that more than 17 000 entries were received from across the whole of South Africa, from all race and language groups, and it was all about the promotion of road safety in 1984.
It is clear that the prophets of doom who believed that the Road Safety Year of 1984 would not succeed, have been proved pitifully wrong. Perhaps our success in 1984 was greater in promoting community involvement than driving awareness, but then I want to hasten to add that although more accidents took place in 1984 and their consequences were worse than in 1983, we must also remember that there were more vehicles on the road. In addition more licences were issued in 1984. For that reason the risk was greater. Let me refer immediately, however, to the beginning of 1985. I said that this whole effort was aimed at the future. The Safety Year was aimed at the future in particular. I am convinced that now, in 1985, the fruits thereof will be reaped. If one draws a comparison between the accidents that took place in January 1984 and January 1985, one finds that there were 40 fewer deaths in January 1985 than in January 1984. There were 91 fewer deaths on the road in February 1985 than in February 1984.
Although a few fatal accidents still took place during the Easter weekend of 1985, in which groups of people died—which we deeply regret—a change did take place and the death rate in 1985, according to provisional figures, is probably the lowest since 1979. It is very clear that the NRSC, and the department and everyone who had something to do with the initiating of Safety Year 1984, is to be congratulated. I want to mention only three figures to hon members. The death rate during the Easter weekend of 1981 was 180. In 1983 it was 240, and in 1985 it is with thankfulness that one can say that the death rate has decreased to 134. This can be only ascribed to the fact that there was a Safety Year 1984. I want to make an appeal for us to advocate road safety as a compulsory subject in every curriculum in the schools of all the provinces, so that we can teach our children throughout their school career what road safety means, and what it means to have respect for one’s fellow travellers on the road.
It is not only the man in the car or in the other vehicle, however, who is a danger on the road; the pedestrian was also identified as a major road danger. I want to conclude by saying that each one of us who drives a vehicle, should remember to be aware of the other vehicles that have to use the same road. If we can impress upon our pedestrians that they, too, can cause accidents, I believe Road Safety 1984 will have truly fulfilled its purpose.
Mr Chairman, in the ten minutes available to me it is obviously impossible to cover the ten divisions and many subdivisions of this department with its very wide scope of responsibilities in so many fields. I will only be able to touch on one or two of its facets.
I want to start with what is undoubtedly the most controversial, the one that leads to the most criticism. In fact, in many fields it builds up feelings of antagonism that almost verge on bitter feuding. I refer to the role of the National Transport Commission and the local transportation boards.
The year 1977 was the year of great expectations. In that year this House passed two Bills that became two new Acts. As far as transportation was concerned, I believe it was a year of hopes, of expectations and, unfortunately, of dreams. To start with, let us look at the Urban Transport Act that was passed eight years ago. There are seven areas that have now been identified. There are various interim reports. However, despite all the dreams, including those of the money that was going to be made available to streamline urban transport, nothing has actually materialized. We still have the traffic jams. We still have all the nightmares of urban traffic. We still have not seen any of these efficient bus services that were going to take motorcars out of the city centres.
It is unfortunately so that our public transport is largely used by people who have Hobson’s choice—they have to make use of it. It is confined to those who often have to use an unsatisfactory service that does not meet their convenience. We are still talking about it, we are still planning. We are still debating underground transport as a possibility. There is now again talk of a monorail system. These are, however, all matters that we discussed eight years ago. We even talked about them ten or twenty years ago, but the fact is that we have not solved the problems for which that law was passed by this Parliament. In fact, I cannot see that we are going to solve these problems in the foreseeable future. This should, however, be a priority.
I do understand why people are unwilling to use public transport services. It is because these services are not convenient. I use a bus regularly. However, I cannot use it from my home. I have to use my motorcar to get to a bus route. I have to park it there and then go to town by bus. I do so because it is cheaper and because it is more convenient in Durban. There is, however, no transport service that takes me all the way from my home to my destination.
If the services were convenient and were quick, people would use public transport. I have mentioned the one Act that we passed and that is still in the planning stage. Of the money that was promised, that was expected to be spent on these services, we get a trickle through. I think R7 million odd is available for the current year.
The other 1977 Act that I wish to refer to is the Road Transportation Act. I served on the select committee, and I had hopes myself that this was going to bring about a big improvement. Now, in 1985, we are still having an investigation. There is the national transport policy investigation on which there was a very interesting seminar the other day. I want to tell the hon the Minister that this plan to “rationalize”, to have a new structure for the National Transport Commission and its activities is not going to change anything unless we get down to the basic crucial problem, viz that the National Transport Commission is sees as, and in fact is, the shield for the SATS and particularly its railway services. As long as this is the position, one can reorganize, one can put judges at the top, one can have beautiful structures, but those structures will be discredited instantaneously and will be fitted with an instant-destruct system unless the basic problem of the uneconomic transport services of SATS is solved. Then the Railways will have to compete freely in the open market for its custom. I can understand their present point of view, however, because while they have to cross-subsidize they will have to be protected. I want to quote just one figure. That is that of the public permits applied for last year, the Railways objected to 8 028. Of those objections 175 were not upheld; in other words, 97,82% of those objections were upheld. As regards private permits, the Railways objected to 1 477; and 96 were granted; in other words, 93,5% of the Railways’ objections were upheld. They say that they do not object to everything, but in the case of public permits it is 20% and in the case of private permits it is 28% of the applications. Until we can solve the cross-subsidization problem so that the Railways can compete freely and private enterprise can compete freely, the NTC is going to remain a shield protecting the Railways and no amount of plans and pretty structures is going to help. This is the task that the Railways and the Government have to tackle immediately, and those socio-economic services have to be paid for.
I wanted to deal with the question of kombi taxis and so forth, but I will not have time for that other than to state in principle that particularly in this time of recession we should be encouraging the informal sector—and what better opportunity could there be for people to provide a service, a much needed service? They would not risk fines and going to jail and the sort of thing the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central described this afternoon if the service was not needed. I believe this is another field where the NTC and Government policy is acting contrary to the interests of South Africa, particularly at the present time.
What will happen to the buses?
The buses will compete. Let the bus companies put their own kombis onto the feeder routes in the same way in which the informal sector is doing it. Let us not make people walk miles to get to a bus route.
He does not have to walk.
That is right. He does not have to walk; he probably rides in a Mercedes.
The other point I want to deal with in the minute that I have left is motor vehicle insurance. 22 000 Claims were lodged in 1983-84. That is 0,55% of the policies. There were legal fees amounting to nearly 20% of the total of R88 million paid by way of compensation, and there are some cases that have remained unsettled for many years. There is definitely something wrong with the system if, bearing in mind the vast sum of money that is held, with only 0,5% claims involved, they take so long to settle. In only 22 000 claims from the 4 million vehicles involved there is indeed something wrong with a system which causes that to happen. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, in my opinion the hon member for Durban Point made a very solid contribution to the discussion here. The hon member will excuse me if I do not react to what he said, as I should like to talk about a different subject.
You probably want to fly a bit!
Sir, I do want to fly a bit, as the hon member for Durban Point says. [Interjections.]
I should like to talk about civil aviation, with reference to the report of the Margo Commission of Enquiry into Civil Aviation, as well as the Government’s White Paper. The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central has again referred this afternoon to the fact that there was not sufficient opportunity to discuss the White Paper. The White Paper has, however, been available for a very long time. If the hon member had not become so carried away with his own political views that he wanted to air in a debate on Transport Affairs, he would have had sufficient time to discuss the White Paper and its contents.
The hon the Minister promised us an opportunity of debating the White Paper. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Port Elizabeth Central will have to make time for that himself. He will have to drop all his other things and return to those things that are of real importance. [Interjections.]
South Africa is a developing country, a very vast country with a very long coastline, and which is very well suited, because of its geographic position in respect of other continents and world cities, to the development of a good and solid local aviation industry. For this reason aviation—and in particular civil aviation—fulfils a very important role in South Africa, and also forms an important part of the South African infrastructure. Without doubt aviation will play an ever greater and more important role in our country’s future development. That is why it is important for this means of transport to keep pace with that in the rest of the world.
It was for this reason that the Government thought fit to appoint the Margo Commission of Enquiry into Civil Aviation. Without fear of contradiction, I therefore want to state here today that all those involved in civil aviation will agree with me that that commission has done particularly meritorious work as far as civil aviation in South Africa is concerned, and that most of the recommendations made by the commission meet with the approval of the Government. This report will bring about a change in civil aviation as and when the necessary money is made available.
When I say this, I do want to point out, however, that this commission of enquiry was not appointed to take over the job of the Directorate of Civil Aviation; nor was it a case of the Directorate’s not having done its job properly. The opposite is true, however. The Directorate—especially during the past few years, under the capable leadership of Mr Germishuys—has done work of great merit in this field. I want to congratulate Mr Germishuys today on his appointment as Deputy Director. We also want to wish his capable successor, Mr Malcolm Armstrong, the best of luck, where he is now taking over as Chief Director of the Directorate of Civil Aviation.
Without wishing to offend the commission, I also want to say that the Directorate made a very substantial contribution to the findings of the commission. Many of the recommendations made by the commission—it later appeared—were at least being considered at that stage, whereas some of them have already been applied by the Directorate. For that reason, because the Directorate for Civil Aviation has made this great input in respect of the functions of the Margo Commission, I believe that one of the Commission’s major recommendations was that the status of the Directorate be raised, and that the staff and the budget of the Directorate be expanded considerably. For nearly thirty years I was closely associated with civil aviation in South Africa, and today I want to say that it is beyond my understanding that such a small department can do as much work as the Directorate for Civil Aviation has done.
In addition we are dealing here with a discipline in which there is not much margin for error. When we look at the large sums of money that this Directorate has to handle—take merely the running of the large airports in our country as an example—I want to say that we must find out today whether we really have an accountant in that department, and I want to call the hon the Minister’s attention to that. Where the department is working with regulations and this kind of thing, I believe in addition that there is no lawyer in that department. I want to urge upon the hon the Minister that we must truly, despite shortages, investigate the strengthening of the directorate in this respect as soon as possible. It is important that we investigate this matter. A strengthened Directorate for Civil Aviation, in respect of status, staff and finance, will be one of the most important cornerstones on which the future development of civil aviation will be built. It will enable them, too, with the organized bodies within the industry, to give the necessary momentum to the future development of civil aviation on all levels in South Africa.
As the hon the Minister promised us last year, a White Paper did appear, and the standpoints of the Government concerning this have been set out very clearly. I sincerely believe that at the moment that should be sufficient to give effect to the important recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry. In view of the National Transport Policy Study, the NPTS, which is in progress at the moment, however, I believe that some or many of the recommendations will probably have to be rewritten. We look forward with great expectation to the final recommendations of this study.
Unfortunately there are some people, however—I see the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central is looking at me rather sharply—who complained that the directorate and the Government are being rather tardy in the implementation of the recommendations of the Margo Commission. That is not true, and I object most strongly if anyone should make such an allegation. This was also obvious in the speech of the hon member for De Aar. I want to concede to the hon member immediately that he raised good points here on which I agree with him. Many of the things he spoke about, however, were recommendations of the commission, of which some are being applied at the moment in any case. It is indeed so that not much attention could be given to some of the recommendations as a result of financial conditions and staff shortages. Rome was not built in a day, however, and when conditions are more favourable, the recommendations will receive sufficient attention.
I merely want to refer to a few of the recommendations in the White Paper which have been carried out already. Please note, I am referring only to a few. I want to make so bold as to say that well over 40% of the recommendations have been put into practice already. The vast majority are receiving positive attention, and only a few recommendations could not be implemented as yet on account of the financial conditions.
Order! I regret that the hon member’s time has expired.
Mr Chairman, I am rising merely to give the hon member the opportunity to complete his speech.
Mr Chairman, my thanks to the hon member, the Chief Whip of the PFP.
No, that is not my title yet.
I should like to refer to recommendation A 10 on page 12 of the White Paper which deals with the positions and salaries of Air Traffic Controllers. The hon member for De Aar also referred to this. I say the salaries of Air Traffic Controllers have been improved considerably as a result of occupational differentiation. At the moment there is no shortage in their ranks. It gives me pleasure to say that all positions for Air Traffic Controllers have been filled at this stage.
Next I refer to recommendation A 12 on page 14 which deals with the increased subsidy to the Aero Club of South Africa. I want to point out to the hon member for De Aar that where the recommendation was that the Aero Club should receive statutory recognition and a subsidy to cover its modest administration costs because of its important contribution to the control of sporting aviation and to safety and proficiency in private aviation, they have been subsidized by R75 000 during the past financial year.
I want to hurry. There are many other points I can point out, but I am omitting many. I come to the question of the development corporation that must be established. In this connection I can say that the envisaged establishment of an Aviation Development Corporation, as referred to in the Government’s standpoint on recommendation C 3, is receiving attention after the CAAC, at its last meeting, submitted memoranda in this connection to the department.
The hon member for De Aar referred to the subsidies for pilot training which have been increased. It is only R150 000 but we say thank you for it. I merely want to tell the hon member that I think he is a bit confused, for it is not only the rich who are subsidized. I am a poor man, and my son is learning to fly. We are trying to get a subsidy for him, but have not yet succeeded. Anyone who want to fly and joins a club, is entitled to receive a subsidy.
If one is rich, you do not need it.
Where training and security are concerned I do not want to take up any more of the Committee’s time, but there is a whole series of recommendations which define what will help us to ensure greater safety in aviation and that the future training of pilots will take place on a firm and better basis. All these things are receiving attention, and we are very grateful to the Directorate: Civil Aviation for the application thereof at this stage.
I wish I had more time at my disposal to pay attention to these matters and the recommendations accepted already, just to show that we are not being tardy in this connection.
On the basis of time, physical work and planning the Directorate: Civil Aviation cannot be told that they are dragging their feet; on the contrary, seen in the light of the meagre resources—that is what I call it—at their disposal, I think you will agree that they have performed a mammoth task and are still doing so.
I want to wish Mr Malcolm Armstrong and his directorate the best of luck in future. In addition I want to congratulate him on the way in which they liaise with other bodies and organizations in this country. To them it is not a question of wanting to proceed on their own as a department. I refer to the co-operation that takes place with organizations such as the Aero Club of South Africa, the Airlines Association of South Africa, the Aircraft Owners Pilots Association of South Africa, the South African Society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers, the United Municipal Executive, the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut, the Association of Chambers of Commerce and the South African Federated Chamber of Industries. Many of the members of these organizations also serve on certain bodies and on the CAAC. This brings about a good interaction between the directorate and the private sector in our country.
I want to express the hope that the private sector will also do its bit in respect of civil aviation in future so that what the hon member for De Aar asked for can be realized; so that we will not have to beg from the State, but that the private sector will make a real contribution towards the development of civil aviation in this country.
I believe flying schools belong in the hands of private initiative. Let the State subsidize the training of people, but we want to plead with the private bodies in our country to do their bit, too, to make civil aviation flourish and expand to where we believe it should be in this lovely country of ours.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Kroonstad has put forward a very good case indeed about the Margo Commission and so did the hon member for De Aar. We on this side of the House agree, but we did ask the hon the Minister to give us some time to discuss the Margo Commission in detail. He promised us this last year, but we are still waiting for that opportunity. [Interjections.]
Let me say further that I fully agree that every young man at the age of 16 should be given the opportunity to learn to fly. Unfortunately very few of them have rich fathers who can afford to pay what it costs to become a qualified pilot. Unless the State does something to help, we will have the problem which was raised by the hon member for De Aar about not having qualified pilots available in times of trouble and war.
I would like to deal with the future of road transportation control as exercised under the Road Transportation Act, and the new future role of commerce and industry in relation to such transportation.
Reading through the report of the Department of Transport and of the National Transport Commission on this subject, I had a feeling I was looking through the wrong end of a telescope. The whole emphasis appeared to be directed towards the control of vehicles, the construction of roads and the franchising of rights to bus and truck owners in order to prevent the State-owned SATS from going out of business. What I could not understand was that it would appear that under the able guidance of the General Manager of the SATS, Dr Bart Grové, there had been a change in approach in his open competitiveness in the transport market and nothing would suit the SATS better than to be relieved of the shackles of regulations in order to compete as the giant in the transport industry.
The question at stake is: Is the Department of Transport really playing its rightful role when it looks at the whole transportation scene through the wrong end of the telescope? If they were to turn the telescope around and focus it on the broad spectrum of South Africa as a whole, they would perhaps see a different picture.
Whether the department likes it or not, the future belongs to deregulation. It is no longer a question as to whether the Minister personally favours it or not. It is a question of the economic pressures in South Africa forcing political fads like apartheid into their right perspective. The SATS budget is a good example of what is happening. In order to compensate for the losses in passenger services imposed by bad policies of apartheid and compounded by the realities of urbanization, the real sufferer is the private businessman and the consumer whose goods become more expensive year after year because the tariffs have to be increased annually, fanning the flames of inflation. Legislation has so confused the situation in order to provide protection to franchisees that he, the producer and consumer, who pays the piper does not have the slightest chance of calling the tune.
I will be referring to private enterprise companies in my speech, and my definition refers to private enterprise in commerce and industry generally. I do not mean private enterprise in the transportation industry per se.
We must realize that the day the SATS modernized its approach to the facts of life by breaking away from its fixed tariff system and adopting to an increasing degree the use of contract rates, the race for deregulation had begun. Hampered for years by a published tariff book, private hauliers could undercut it with the utmost joy under the guise that the law compelled a Government institution to disclose its hand, while the private haulier could play his game of poker with cards close to his chest.
What are the real objectives that the Department of Transport should seek to satisfy? The department has an obligation to ensure that a new transportation strategy is effected so that private enterprise in commerce and industry, which provides the goods and services for the economic welfare of South Africa, can obtain the competitive advantage of the transportation sector, which in effect means price. That is even more vital in these times of recession, because in many cases the survival of companies is at stake.
On the other hand, private enterprise, commerce and industry, on its side must now change its organization and management and anticipate the new round of developments when deregulation takes place. Managers in commerce and industry have to ask themselves three big questions. Firstly, what transportation services does their company require? Secondly, how should these transportation services be provided? Thirdly, what resources are required to support the company’s transportation strategy and how should they be managed? Those are the questions that must be answered by commerce and industry, because it is the answers to those questions which the Department of Transport requires in order for it to define a new transportation strategy.
What must be fully realized is that transportation is a major cost in doing business—I want to stress that—and involves both inbound and outbound costs to various industries in various ways. I have here a table compiled in the United States of America. The figures may not be exactly the same as those for South Africa. I shall supply the hon the Minister and the officials with copies so that they can see what the costs involved are.
The table shows the inbound and outbound transportation costs as a percentage of product prices. It indicates that various industries are affected differently. Firstly, there are the high-cost sectors. In the case of stone, clay and glass products transportation costs amounts to 27%. I can also list the following: Petroleum products, 24%; lumber and wood products, 18%; food and kindred products, 13%; and furniture and fixtures, 12%. Then there are the medium-cost sectors in which the transportation costs vary between 11% and 7%. I quote some examples: Primary metal industries, 9%; transportation equipment, 8%; and rubber and plastic, 7%. Then there are the low-cost sectors. I list the following: Tobacco manufacturers, 5%; printing and publishing, 4%; and apparel and other textiles, 4%. These figures show that various industries are affected differently by transportation costs.
Clearly, reducing transportation costs—that is why deregulation is important—improves business performance. Transportation directly influences such factors as inventory-carrying costs, which can be reduced by careful planning. Different managers in different businesses require different forms of transportation from the fast response time of aircraft to the scheduled time of the Railways or trucks. There are, therefore, a whole range of transportation requirements that must be considered and they cannot be shackled by a law.
Commerce and industry in its turn must look at the broader picture rather than at the limited role of private enterprise in the transportation sector only. The only thing they ever seem to discuss is the franchise holders themselves.
Commerce and industry must realize that the costs of inbound and outbound transportation can be pertinent for manufacturers and traders whose profit margins after tax average only 4% to 8% of sales. They will seriously have to consider the appointment of transportation managers at the various levels because of the vital role they can play in the decision-making process of logistic strategies.
In turn, with deregulation, five major trends will have to define the new legal, legislative and regulatory environment within which private enterprise transportation managers must construct their companies’ transportation strategies. These are: Freer entry, exit and restricting of those who participate in the transportation sector; secondly, more flexible, aggressive pricing; thirdly, ever-increasing use of contract rates; fourthly, more flexibility for private carriage; and, fifthly, greater reliance on user charges.
Business suspended at 18h45 and resumed at 20h00.
Mr Chairman, just before the break I said that even with deregulation it would in future still be necessary to have new legal, legislative and regulatory measures. I mentioned that one of them would be the ever-increasing use of contract rates.
I also said that when the SATS began to use contract rates, the whole question of a race for deregulation started. I also said that there would be a greater reliance on user charges. Let me conclude by saying that the latter is of even greater importance because as South Africa’s transportation system matures, whether we like it or not there will be a continued build-up of pressure to reduce and eliminate Government subsidies. So the problems that have arisen in the past will disappear and Government subsidies will in the future cease.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Bezuidenhout has always been a very interesting figure. He has been struggling with the transport problem for many years now. He first started doing so in the city council, I think, and then he struggled with the problem in the provincial council.
No, I have never served on the city council.
Oh, then that is the reason why he knows nothing about transport. [Interjections.] Now I understand. I was always under the impression that the hon member was also on the City Council of Johannesburg, on which I served for 15 years, but he was only on the provincial council. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Rosettenville is receiving too much encouragement.
The hon member again referred to the transport strategy involving commerce and industry as well. I think he should wait a while until Dr Wim de Villiers issues his report on the SATS. This report will cast a completely new light on all the questions that hon member put this evening, particularly in regard to privatization and all the matters connected with it. [Interjections.]
We have been struggling with this problem for a very long time. I see the hon member for Hillbrow is present. We served together on the city council for a very long time. We gave him a very hard time of it in that city council—sometimes until four o’clock in the morning. On those occasions he did not know where he was. [Interjections.]
He still does not know.
Yes, he still does not know. It has probably been 13 years now—I served on the city council for 15 years and I think he came to the House just after me—that the committee of inquiry into urban transportation has been struggling with this problem. I nonetheless do think the hon member has made a bit of progress. This evening, however, he will realize that there are still many things we shall have to teach him, particularly as far as Hillbrow is concerned. [Interjections.]
There is a threefold and an eighteenfold estimated increase in cars for Blacks and Whites respectively. There are at present greater job opportunities in our large cities. There are surface areas that have not yet been utilized. We have a sound urban economy that could eventually also lead to an improvement in the economy of the country as a whole. However, there are also entrenched properties that are not in keeping with the existing narrow blocks and narrow street plans. However, I shall return to that later.
In this regard I also want to speak about the Westdene bus disaster which took place a few weeks ago and in which 42 children went to a watery grave. More than ever before the emphasis fell on municipal transport in Johannesburg. This evening I want to say, however—and I think the hon members will confirm this—that the Municipality of Johannesburg can be proud of its safety record in the transport of passengers.
According to my information, the transport services of the Municipality of Johannesburg transport 27 000 children by bus between their homes and schools every weekday. That represents a total of approximately four million children per year. The safety record in regard to bus transport is therefore very good.
This bus disaster, however, emphasized safety once again and preventive steps are being taken. However, the matter is now pending and one still has to find out who or what did, in fact, cause the accident: Was it the busdriver, or the bus, or was it the surface of the road that caused the accident? There are, however, so many factors that could have caused a disaster of this nature and one will just have to wait until one receives the report.
Nonetheless I feel if safe cycle paths could be created for children in Johannesburg, cycling could become an alternative method of transport. Attention has been given to special cycling lanes in Pretoria and Cape Town. A survey conducted in the southern suburbs of Cape Town revealed that there were 11 500 bicycles, 5 000 of which were the property of schoolchildren, with the rest being owned by adults. Of the 5 000 owned by children, 1 200 were used to travel to school, while 3 800 did not use their bicycles because it was too great a risk to travel on them from home to school and back.
The question at this stage is whether Johannesburg will be able to manage on the scanty allocation from the Urban Transport Fund. It would appear as if disinvestment really is taking place as far as Johannesburg is concerned. Sufficient money is no longer being paid into the fund. In 1977 the fund amounted to R450 000, in 1979 R4,5 million and in 1980 more than R7 million. Complete disinvestment followed and the fund dropped to R732 000.
Why is it necessary to expedite the study on urban transport? In the first place parking and loading facilities, and the times allocated for that, leave much to be desired. The restriction on shopping hours also aggravates transport problems. The synchronization of traffic lights in Johannesburg is handled very well, but it has become vitally necessary for attention to be given to parking at suburban railway stations so that people do not have to travel by car to the city centre. Route planning to the city centre should also be improved.
At the moment operating losses are being incurred. The worsening economic and social conditions, the environment, the noise factor and the influence of development areas on existing transport systems are contributing factors. A more economic comparison between the various transport systems should be made. The question that should be asked is how accessible buildings are so that people can be transported to them. Which needs of the Black and White commuters are identical?
It is interesting that R120 million will have to be found just for certain bus routes in order to make bus transport more acceptable, more reliable and more economical. In comparison to that, it would also cost R120 million to build a single railway line in Durban to transport 950 000 Black commuters.
I am very pleased that Mr Ray Smith, chairman of the body involved in the mass transport system of Johannesburg, is present here this evening. He has a formidable task. In the first place he has to focus on the standardization of vehicles.
When I served on the city council, trams were the most wonderful means of transport. It was then decided that trolley buses should rather be used. Eventually the choice fell on diesel buses. Now there is a tendency to revert to the use of electrically powered vehicles. This has resulted from a lack of standardization. I hope a uniform system will be introduced.
The question that arises is whether more capital-intensive measures should not be introduced for building more roads and whether the capital-intensive improvement of existing bus services should not be speeded up. Within the next 15 years the traffic within the Johannesburg-Roodepoort-Germiston area will come to a complete halt unless a realistic approach is adopted. By 1990 the cost of traffic jams will amount to approximately R420 000. The cost of transport facilities up to the year 2000, as far as the road network is concerned, will amount to R564 million, public transport R122 million and traffic congestion R420 million, which means an estimated total of R1 106 million. According to estimates, a mass transport system will cost approximately R950 million, which would mean a saving of R156 million in comparison with the above-mentioned. I still feel an underground train system ought to solve many of the problems. Big companies speak of privatization, etc. Why do they not come forward to assist in building these systems?
That’s right, oom Sporie!
Why do these people not build their hotels, their cafés and all these undertakings along the routes where these networks are to be built?
That bunch of “fat cats”.
Yes, it is those “fat cats” who do not want to contribute money towards it. A timeous solution will have to be found. Our country is in the process of becoming a fool’s paradise.
In The Star of 1 April there was the following:
To do that they would have had to expropriate large properties such as golf courses. According to this report they would even have expropriated the synagogues. They would even have had to expropriate the zoos as well in which there were bears and rabbits and all kinds of animals like that. That was on 1 April. It really was like that. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, unfortunately the hon member for Rosettenville and I are in the same party, otherwise it could have made matters a little more interesting if I had been able to launch an attack on him because he was in a fairly militant mood here just after dinner.
A destructive mood!
The hon member devoted himself mainly to the traffic problems being experienced in cities and I want to agree with him that it is a very important matter. It is also, as he said, a matter which requires vast amounts of capital. I should like to discuss, or rather refer briefly—unfortunately my time is too limited to go into it too deeply—to a matter which the hon members for Bezuidenhout and Durban Point also discussed, and that is the privatization of road transport. It appears to me as if the concept “privatization” has really become a fun word to play around with, if I may put it like that. During my school days there was a kite season, and then again a season for playing tjoekie and then kennetjie, etc. It seems to me as if Dr Wassenaar and other institutions in the economy are having an enjoyable time playing around with this concept. I suppose there is a lot to be said about this, but I just want to tell the hon members, and the hon member for Bezuidenhout in particular, that privatization is an excellent idea if it can be meaningfully applied but there are certain services which need to compete on an equal basis and in these cases where privatization is not possible, in my view it cannot be meaningful. There is no difference between a monopoly controlled by a private institution and a Government enterprise.
The hon member referred in particular to the minibuses and so on. He said they were a solution to certain transport problems and alleged that a need for them existed. This is probably true, but if there were to be unequal competition, private bus companies inter alia would disappear and that void would be very difficult to fill. It would create problems with which the hon member would be saddled because he would not have any solutions for them. I unfortunately do not have the time to discuss this matter any further. It is a very interesting subject and one could probably say a lot about it.
I want to briefly refer to the National Road Safety Council. It has already been said that everything is expensive today. It is particularly expensive and dangerous to travel these days. In the society and the times in which we are living one just cannot manage without motor transport. It is, in fact, an indispensable convenience and a necessity in the demanding society in which we find ourselves.
The National Road Safety Council actually came into existence to promote road safety and probably, too, to bring about greater co-ordination amongst the various institutions responsible for this matter. It has been said here before, but I want to emphasize that during the past years we found that in spite of the efforts made, it became apparent that road safety was a very difficult and complex problem. There are approximately 5 million vehicles in our country of which more than two thirds are cars. Our freeways extend over 1 600 km; other national roads, 1 400 km; provincial tarred roads, 47 000 km; and gravel roads, 134 600 km. This amounts to a total of 184 000 km of roads. Other than that there are municipal roads and streets totalling 43 000 km, and that does not include those in certain of our Black states as well.
There are approximately 6 000 traffic officers who have to ensure that our roads can be used with a certain measure of safety. The National Road Safety Council tries to do its best under difficult circumstances and I think we are greatly indebted to them. The hon member for Roodeplaat referred to the effort that was made with Road Safety Year last year and its results, but I want to refer to certain problem areas. I do not think we can get optimum results unless certain basic problems can be eliminated.
First of all I want to point out that the enforcement of traffic laws is fragmented. As a consequence of this we have a problem concerning the effective utilization of traffic officers. We have the provinces and the local authorities controlling this matter, and in some provinces it has been found that the local authorities issue driver’s licences. They are also responsible for the registration of certain vehicles, roadworthy tests and so forth. In this case municipalities are dealing with these matters. In other provinces again, the provincial administration does this work itself. I am just mentioning it to show that there is a lack of uniformity in this matter.
As far as legislation is concerned, to bring about greater uniformity in regard to road traffic ordinances, the so-called Icot—the Interprovincial Co-ordinating Committee on Road Traffic—was established. I get the impression it is in fact an effective bottle-neck which is delaying legislation. This has been my experience and I also heard from people who are at present involved in this matter that it is one of the methods by means of which urgent legislation is being delayed. Normally there is a tug of war between the various institutions represented on that committee. There are officials and other people who do not get on very well with each other. If I may mention an example, I want to point out to hon members that it was decided quite a while back that the speed limit could be raised to 120 km per hour but there is still a lot of humming and hawing about when it is in fact going to come into effect and when the decision will be taken as to the roads on which it will be applicable. Even in a modern era like the present, months go by and we still do not know where we stand in this regard. Something seems wrong to me. It looks like a tug of war and unnecessary delays.
We have been examining the problem of driver’s licences for many years now. It was first decided to include the driver’s licence as part of the identity document. Eventually it was decided to remove it from the identity document and to issue it separately. There has been a request for drivers to have to have their licences with them at all times. We live in dangerous times and these are important things. We are, however, dragging our feet in regard to these important matters.
Hon members referred to the high mortality rate resulting from accidents on our roads. It will not help us to discuss other trivial matters while the basic bottle-necks are not being eliminated. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, thus far I have found the debate very encouraging. The criticism of my department by the Opposition is actually a praiseworthy …
It is a good department, but a rotten Minister.
Go drive your little lorry!
I want to stay calm this evening. I do not want to lose my temper.
I want you to get angry.
I want first to turn to the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central. I want to repeat these words of his: “Turn a blind eye to illegal Black taxis.” Those were his words. I want to repeat these words at a meeting with the legal Black taxi-owners who are pleading with me to protect them. I want to repeat these words at that meeting because the PFP wants to govern South Africa. However, they will never get the opportunity to govern this country. [Interjections.] They try to gain popularity.
*Today I received a report in connection with the conditions in Port Elizabeth from the Chief of Police. In spite of having had this report in front of him, the hon member nevertheless asked us certain questions. The report contains the following:
That is not a proven fact. It is merely an allegation.
Order! I am not prepared to allow a running commentary on every word and every sentence uttered by the hon the Minister. The hon the Minister may continue.
The report goes on to state:
The people there profess to have nothing against people who are transported by combi to a certain point and travel further by bus. Then it is not a question of their being deprived of their livelihood. Here it is a question of illegal taxis. I am not speaking about the legal taxis, the legal Black taxis, my clients whom I want to protect. I am talking about the pirates. Unfortunately I cannot read the following passage because the writing is too small. [Interjections.]
†I want to protect the legal operators. I am in favour of free enterprise. However, what is happening in the bus industry in South Africa? We made the bus companies rich. Thirty-seven years ago they were paupers. Under the NP Government they became fat cats, but today they are not prepared to invest one cent in a bus. We are killing the bus industry in this country. In South Africa there are 16 000 buses in the hands of private enterprise. An amount of R2 000 million is involved. Should we not protect these people?
*Let us go and tell the Johannesburg City Council that we should exempt kombis so that everyone can buy himself a kombi with which to transport people. There is unemployment in this country. So many people would do so that one would not be able to move.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister how he protects the buses by stopping the pirate taxis bringing the people to catch those buses? [Interjections.] That is what happened today.
I shall come back to that“ later. There are at present 10 million urbanized Blacks in South Africa. Reasonably conservative forecasts estimate that in the year 2000 there will be 21 million urban Blacks. This means that, if current trends continue, the number of daily commuters into and within the metropolitan or urban areas will increase from the present 2,1 million to 6,7 million. What is the implication of this in terms of the subsidy costs?
The hon member for Bezuidenhout made a wonderful speech, but he talked a lot of nonsense. He said that eventually we will phase out subsidies in this country. Let me tell him that the subsidy will increase from R463 million this year, apart from rail cross-subsidization, to R1,4 billion by the year 2000. That will be the level of subsidies. Even if we did not have apartheid, even if the Blacks could have stayed in Bezuidenhout and the Sives in Soweto, we would still have had the same situation. The subsidy would still have been increasing annually because of the population growth.
Let me come back to the buses now. The number of commuters can never depend solely on kombi, taxi or minibus services. One can forget about that. There has to be a bus service. It must be accepted that some form of mass transport system will have to be devised to undertake the conveying of the bulk of these commuters in an area such as Johannesburg for a certain distance. The kombi is not my enemy. We need the kombi, but we must definitely protect the bus. What is happening to the bus today? Look at the prices of shares of the bus companies on the share-market.
*Here we are gossiping fit to kill about these people, but there are 16 000 buses in this country that we have to protect. What do the illegal Kombis do? They travel the routes that the buses should travel and load up all the passengers they want to. The Black commuters are now complaining to me that the buses no longer travel certain routes. The kombis do not travel regularly either. And they also stop and wait until there are at least 18 people before they set off. Tomorrow, if a soccer match or a race meeting is being held, they do not pitch up at all. They leave the Blacks waiting in vain, because the buses are no longer running and the kombis do not pitch up. What the kombi owners also do is to increase their fares suddenly from R2 to R4, whilst for the bus service one has a regular and controlled transport system.
I am not being unsympathetic, but it is high time we started giving attention to the private entrepreneurs, who have spent R2 000 million on buses in this country, with a view to protecting them. Let those hon members go and speak to the Prog city councillors of Johannesburg, their own blood-brothers.
They are not in control.
Yes, but the Johannesburg City Council is nevertheless 49% Prog—people who are not quite mature yet. Why do hon members not go and ask them? They would find out that the city council could not permit an increasing number of kombis to enter the metropolitan area of Johannesburg—nor that of Cape Town—forcing the buses off the road, with even cars not being able to move. I do not want to dwell on this point any longer.
The hon member referred to a few other matters and then spoke about toll-roads. He said there was one thing he could not accept. I think that only a man who is really a great man can manage to do that—admit when he has made a mistake. In the Standing Committee these hon members agreed with the idea of our having a toll-road system. We even went on overseas visits for a proper in-depth scrutiny of the system. They all agreed unanimously with everything. Then, however, they received a telex message from a certain undertaking in which they were urged to vote against the toll-road system. Right then—and I am now possibly being very colloquial—they did a somersault; they got such a fright they jumped out of their skin. They no longer wanted any toll-roads. They were then unanimously opposed to toll-roads. When we introduced the toll-road system at Tsitsikamma, however, and it was an immediate and unqualified success …
What they were then saying was that people had had too fancy a meal there! [Interjections.]
They are still opposed to toll-roads. They do not want any toll-road system whatsoever in South Africa. That is what the hon member said a short while ago. That is, however, the only way in which we can obtain the money for the construction of further roads in certain parts of the country. [Interjections.] Yes, they can do what they like; the solution to South Africa’s road construction problem lies in toll-roads, if justified.
Will you also be placing cigarette advertisements at the toll gates? [Interjections.]
I want to thank the hon member for Kempton Park for his contribution. He referred to the importance of the use of seatbelts to protect children. We have taken note of it and shall be giving it our attention.
The hon member for De Aar made a positive contribution. I only wish that the hon member for Kuruman would make as impressive a contribution as the hon member for De Aar. Whenever he opens his mouth, however, he insults me. [Interjections.] He makes a point of doing so.
I hate you integrationists!
I do not hate anyone. I do not even hate the hon member for Kuruman, Mr Chairman, and that really is saying a lot! [Interjections.]
Be that as it may, the report of the Gross-kopf Commission will be tabled shortly. The differentiated premium system was also broached by the hon member. We have, of course, now reached the stage of levying a premium of R19 per car. That is also what the hon member pays. Meanwhile he drives a distance of 50 000 kilometres each year in his large constituency. The pensioner who only travels about 4 000 kilometres each year in his car also pays a premium of R19. I think the time has now come for us … [Interjections.] Yes, that is why I am so glad the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs supports us in this matter. He has given us a little extra money for road construction. He really is an old stalwart! Danie, I am talking to you now. [Interjections.] He gave us some extra money for road construction.
Do you want more money?
He is going to give us a little extra. We could perhaps try to ascertain in the future whether the right thing to do, as far as the fuel fund is concerned, is not…
Are you again going to increase the petrol price?
No, there is no fuel price increase involved. We must ensure that people like the Barnards who do a lot of travelling and the poor people who travel much less pay pro rata amounts. That is why I agree with the hon member for De Aar about that. It is a very good idea he raised here.
Is that Danie Steyn’s money or the motorist’s? [Interjections.]
The hon member for De Aar also asked me certain other questions. I shall be giving him some of the replies in writing. In regard to the psychological tests that certain of his members have to undergo … [Interjections.] But the hon member asked for psychological tests! [Interjections.]
You have the wrong end of the stick!
In regard to the introduction of compulsory psychological tests when a private flying licence is issued for the first time, I am glad to be able to say that negotiations are already under way with the Institute for Aviation Medicine with a view to introducing the very procedure the hon member advocated.
†I want to return now to the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central. He put a question to me in relation to the amount of R35 million intended for the purchasing of motor vehicles. An amount of only R13,5 million is required from the Treasury for the purchase of vehicles for essential new services. This amount is not considered to be excessive, taking into account the demands made upon the various departments and the fact that no funds were made available for this purpose for the financial year 1984-85. There is no additional amount to be voted for the coming year. We do, however, have many old vehicles which have to be replaced at a much higher cost than ever before.
The final question the hon member put to me was in connection with a matter which is actually of a confidential nature. I do not mind, however, replying to it openly here because I do believe it is no longer of a confidential nature. He wanted to know what budget cuts had been made in respect of aviation safety. In his question to me the hon member intimated that the amounts voted in respect of aviation safety had been reduced. The amount originally budgeted for for a research programme to find means of combating possible missile attacks on aircraft in flight was in fact reduced by R1,2 million. The R1,2 million reduction the hon member asked about is not an actual reduction since it is a once-only amount. Aviation safety in general still receives normal attention. It was in respect of a single research project on missile attacks on aircraft in the previous year that we used that money for.
Should Defence not pay for that?
No, it is part of our daily operations, although also in co-operation with Defence.
*I have replied to the hon member for De Aar. He referred to flying accidents and flying training. The means test is already being applied. During the lunch hour I was informed that if one came for training for one’s flying licence, the means test was indeed applied these days.
The hon member for Roodeplaat spelt out very clearly the importance of road safety. It is so important and so essential that we repeatedly talk about road safety. I want to emphasize that it is not the person who drives fast who necessarily causes accidents. Accidents are caused by those who travel at 40 km per hour from here to Somerset West in the right-hand lane. [Interjections.] I gnash my teeth just thinking of that fellow out for an afternoon drive with his family, travelling in the right-hand lane at 40 to 45 km per hour and looking round at the scenery. I am perhaps travelling at a somewhat greater speed, and then have to pass him in the left lane. What I am saying is that it is the individual who is wide awake …
Give him the death penalty!
Yes. In any event, I thank the hon member for Roodeplaat very sincerely.
†The hon member for Durban Point referred to matters such as urban transport, traffic jams and an inefficient bus service. He also said that the national transport services legislation acted as a shield for the SATS. That will unfortunately be the situation until the SATS receive the full subsidy in respect of losses on passenger services. I fully agree with the hon member.
That was what I said.
Yes, and I agree with you. So do not be cross with me! However, we are today pricing the SATS out of the market in respect of certain commodities. There is, for example, cross-subsidization. The hon member speaks about…
Mr Chairman, if the hon the Minister agrees with me, may I ask him what the point is in messing around with restructuring and reshuffling the NTC set-up when he knows that it is not going to solve the problem?
We are not shifting the NTC set-up about but the National Transport Commission cannot allow just anybody who has a few rand simply to buy a lorry even without a deposit and start a transport operation at a time when there is a job scarcity as is the case at the moment. Does that hon member want to allow anybody to do transport work anywhere and at any time? Does he want that? [Interjections.]
*There the hon member sits; not shaking or nodding his head!
Sir, there should be regulation. We cannot simply allow anyone to drive any vehicle. The Transport Services loses R980 million on passengers, whilst the State’s contribution is less than R500 million. Where do we get the other R400 million?
By way of cross-subsidization.
By cross-subsidization and pricing out certain commodities. We are pricing out certain agricultural products. Anybody can transport any agricultural product.
*Today anyone can load up a bag of oranges at Marble Hall station and take it to Cape Town. The Railways charges R1,91 per pocket for oranges. I have here 5 quotes from private contractors, and the highest quote is R1,05. That is almost half the Railway’s price. I have asked the Railways whether that is good business, and the reply is that the Railways must make a profit in order to cover certain losses, and no agricultural product is subject to a permit—even the Vause Raws can, left, right and centre, transport oranges, pumpkins or anything else by lorry without a permit! [Interjections.] In any event, the hon member asked certain questions about the third party setup. As far as legal costs are concerned, these are not regarded as excessive, amounting to approximately R950 per claim, and the 20% to which the hon member referred includes the cost of both parties. There are lawyers’ fees, advocates’ fees, costs for medico-forensic reports and also the costs for evidence by expert witnesses. This covers a wide field of the overall costs. If one goes to court after an accident and wins the case, the other party pays the legal costs. If one has claimed R100 000, one gets the full R100 000 paid out. At a later stage, at the end of the debate, I shall be coming to a few of the other points. The hon Whip says I must leave it at that for the moment, but I must first briefly refer to the hon member for Rosettenville.
†I must, however, first come to the hon member for Bezuidenhout. A private haulier must be able to compete. The hon member for Rosettenville gave a wonderful reply to the hon member for Bezuidenhout. I am all for privatization but then they should not pick out only the eyes. [Interjections.] An underground rail system in Johannesburg can be built by any private organization, but they will not build it because there is no money in such a system. I should like any private organization to take over the Railways or the transportation of commuters by the SATS. They can take it over straightaway, but one will not find one single stupid chap in South Africa who is prepared to take it over. Let me point out that not a single private concern in the USA is prepared to take over the transportation of commuters in that country. The same applies to the United Kingdom and Japan. The hon member wants to privatize but at the same time he wants the eyes to be picked out.
*The hon member for Rosettenville made a very “smart” speech, amongst other things about safe cycle tracks. I can agree with everything he said.
The hon member for Welkom was a member of the Executive Committee in the Orange Free State. In that capacity he was entrusted with roads. He knows the combi story better than I do. Hon members are free to ask him about this matter. I also thank him very sincerely for his contribution concerning the Road Safety Council.
Later this evening I shall be replying to other points.
Mr Chairman, as is customary in this House, I am now supposed to tell the hon the Minister that he must pardon me for not reacting to his speech. [Interjections.] Nevertheless, I wish to make a small correction in respect of something he is interpreting incorrectly.
He said that it seems as though the department receives little criticism. I want to point out to him that we are intent on giving credit where credit is due, and consequently, when we give this department credit, the department deserves it. The hon the Minister must not then interpret it as being the Government to whom that credit is due. It is the department to whom it is due.
By way of commencement, I want to thank the department for a most illuminating annual report which they have submitted to us, an annual report containing important information and facts about all the aspects, all the functions of the department.
I wish to commence immediately with a matter pertaining to this department which is not of long standing, but fairly recent, and which I believe to be very important and which deserves emphasis for a change. To commence with, I want to refer to the department’s A B Eksteen Museum. I had the opportunity of going through that museum at the personal invitation of the Director-General—that day he set aside the time to be our personal guide—because I am interested in history, antiquities and museums.
I thoroughly enjoyed that occasion because it has become a very important museum. It is equipped with many important items of historical value. That museum is on a par with any other museum in the country despite the fact that it is new. That museum will prove to be one of great historical value—I could almost say cultural-historical value—in the future. I also want to say that it will prove to be of educational value in the future and that it will also become a tourist attraction as it becomes more well known. Now I want to ask the Director-General to publish a photograph of a section of the museum in the annual report next year, so that it can become more widely known.
I also wish to convey my sympathy to the Director-General concerning this museum. The place where it is situated—I can understand that—is not sufficiently suitable, in my opinion. It is not large enough, since it is very important that it be possible to exhibit large items. They are not small items; some of the items are large, and it is important that they be exhibited in such a way that they attract people’s attention. I do not think the place where it is situated is good enough. It is somewhat concealed, and one does not find it easily if one does not know that it is there.
I therefore want to ask the hon the Minister to show an interest in this museum by affording his department the opportunity of obtaining a little additional money from somewhere so that the locality of that museum could be improved. If we can do this, there can be a very important museum development in the future which will comply with all the important points I have mentioned.
I now wish to focus the attention of the Committee on, and place on record our appreciation for, those people who have done research in Antarctica over the years. It is 43 years ago that the first observation station was established on Tristan da Cunha. The 25th, 50th, 75th and 100th anniversary of any event is always important. Today I want to place it on record that this year it is 25 years, a quarter of a century, since South Africa’s first Antarctic expedition spent the winter in Antarctica in 1960.
Since then, scientists have gone and spent the winter there year after year in order to do very important research work. I do not have the time to spell all this out to the Committee now, but that research work has been so important to South Africa, as well as the other countries that were able to benefit, that I believe we would do well to mention it on the 25th anniversary, and express our appreciation to the people who have gone there, who have made that sacrifice and have suffered hardships in order to carry out their research work there in the freezing Antarctic.
Order! Hon members must speak more quietly.
I believe that despite the adventure linked to it, we shall in future have to rely increasingly on scientists who are prepared to go and fulfil a function there. That is why I am saying that we should express our gratitude to those people now, so that it will serve as an incentive to those who will have to succeed them in future years.
I cannot go into all their advantages and disadvantages now, but I want to ask the hon the Minister to equip these people with the very best in every respect and at all times, so that they can be compensated for the hardships they experience and the sacrifice they make in order to go and do this important work there.
In conclusion, I wish to associate myself with the hon member for Roodeplaat—and I think the hon member for Welkom referred to the same matter. It concerns the activities of the National Road Safety Council with their project “Perseus”. I do not wish to repeat the very important statistics that have already been mentioned. However, I want to emphasize that we are saddled with a fact…
Order! I can hear the hon member for Umfolozi from here.
We are saddled with the fact that each year when it is time for school holidays, and at the end of school holidays, and at the beginning and end of long weekends each year, an enormous campaign has to be launched simply to bring our drivers on the road to their senses and to urge them to be courteous, to drive safely and to be careful. Everything is put into operation: Weeks before the time people are urged on the radio and on television to be careful and courteous. Every effort is exerted. During that time, provincial and municipal traffic officers all have to sacrifice their leave and be on the road to go and monitor people and see to it that they drive carefully and display the necessary courtesy so that there can be an end to the carnage on our roads. Despite the success that is achieved, and despite all the trouble that is taken to try to do something about this situation, each time at the end of such a period we again have to hear about 100 or more people who have been tragically killed. I have a great deal of sympathy with those traffic officials. They are denied the privilege of a long weekend for the sake of the convenience and safety of other people, of whom a large number really do not appreciate it.
The causes of the deaths of the 134 people who were killed over the recent Easter weekend have been stated, and the main cause given was the fact that people used the road after having had too much to drink. We can argue all we like, but this was given as the main cause, and we must take action against these people. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I heard the hon member for Koedoespoort talking about museums, and I am a great supporter of conservation. I should very much like the hon the Minister to reserve a niche for the hon member for Koedoespoort because he is also one of a vanishing breed. [Interjections.]
Sir, I want to talk about the biggest project the National Transport Commission has ever tackled. It is also going to be one of the commission’s biggest and best investments, because then everyone will be in a position to enter the beautiful Breede River valley within an hour of leaving Cape Town—where we are standing now. Then more people will realize where the real Boland is. I am referring now to the Du Toitskloof tunnel. It is on National Route 1 through the Klein Drakenstein mountains between Paarl on this side and the beautiful Worcester on the other side.
This major project was accepted by the National Transport Commission in the early ’seventies because it was already realized that within another decade the present Du Toitskloof pass would not be able to afford the necessary safety and meet the traffic requirements any longer. The tunnel will shorten the travelling distance by 11 km and eliminate a rise in altitude of 379 meters which will save quite a bit of travelling time and costs for heavy vehicles in particular. The present traffic congestion behind heavy lorries illustrates the need for this improvement.
By the way this tunnel is going to be approximately 4 km long—it is the longest in Africa if I am not mistaken. Consequently this is a fairly big task they are now engaged in.
Frequently State departments and commissions are condemned and accused of making mistakes and of slackness, but in this case I want to congratulate the National Transport Commission on careful planning which was carried out well in advance. While research and survey work was under way, in 1975 a start was already made with a series of contracts to do preparatory work for the tunnel. It was not simply a case of digging a hole; it required a great many calculations. By the end of 1984, R33 million had already been spent on power-lines—after all, the hole is dark—on the building of a preliminary tunnel so that the people who had tendered could see what the mountain looked like on the inside, and on the building of bridges. [Interjections.] I could tell the hon members something about that, but then it would be said that I was out of order. When the bridge was half built people spread the rumour that the Government was bankrupt and that no further work would be done on the bridge. But in the meanwhile the contractors worked very cleverly: They began building from the bottom and every Monday they lengthened the bridge by 15 metres. In this way they progressed by 15 metres a week until they reached the other side. Now that is what I call using one’s head! [Interjections.]
Then a bombshell hit the project. Owing to the increasing demands and the drop in the value of money, shortages arose in the National Road Fund which delayed the building of the tunnel, and the entire process had to be spread over a longer period. Consequently the period was longer than was initially envisaged. Mr Chairman … [Interjections.] Who is speaking there? [Interjections.] I am speaking to you, Mr Chairman.
But in 1983 the commission decided that the tunnel could be operated as a toll facility. That decision opened new doors for the loan funds. Consequently arrangements could be made for the final contract for the completion of the tunnel. These toll gate projects, or toll money, were a common practice in the past and were one of the best and fairest ways of collecting money for the building of roads. Although the Tsitsikamma toll road project was again under fire from the backward Official Opposition the hon the Minister must not pay much attention to them.
On Tuesday, 5 February, the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central—it seems to me as if he has to open his hon mouth (bek) in every debate—asked the hon the Minister … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member must withdraw that word.
Sir, I withdraw it.
The hon member may proceed.
Then the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central—it is him I was referring to, Sir—asked the hon the Minister:
The hon the Minister of Transport Affairs then replied that the gross takings were approximately R500 000 and that the collection fee was approximately R300 000. Then the hon the Minister added:
This in fact looks like good business. The other day—on 9 April—there was another question from that troublesome side. Then it was asked:
I do not know how those people’s minds work and what they want to do with this information. The hon the Minister’s reply clearly indicated that the project was a success.
The hon the Minister will be asked more of these questions, but he is involved in a success story. Toll money is a solution and is fair, because if a person does not want to pay toll money there is always an alternative route. As far as I am concerned this is very much like the legislation on mixed marriages we are going to discuss. There is no law which says that a person must do it and similarly there is no law which says that a person must go through the toll gate. I travel this road every week. I know it wet and dry. I know it in thick mist, and I know it behind a long row of lorries. Yesterday evening I travelled that way and I can give you the assurance that there is a great deal of activity there because they are digging day and night from all sides. On behalf of our people who are closely involved I want to thank the hon the Minister and the commission for this major effort. He will not be disappointed. This is one of the best investments he could ever make.
Because the hon Opposition asks the hon the Minister so many questions, I also want to ask a few questions now. However, these are not catch questions, but direct questions to bring me up to date. I have them here with me: Mr Rabie, MP for Worcester—that is me—asked the Minister: The people living in the Worcester area are very interested in the building of the Du Toitskloof tunnel which is going to be a toll road project from now on. I would like to have more information on this project which is going to have such a big influence on businesses making use of this route and also on the ordinary motorist who drives over the Du Toitskloof pass every day. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Worcester is a difficult act to follow for more reasons than one.
I know that the hon the Minister is probably sitting there thinking to himself that I am going to talk about Louis Botha Airport. I do not want to let him down, because I would hate for him to be disappointed. Let me therefore talk about this thing that is called an airport, because that is where all similarity ends. Any relationship between the shambles that exists at a landing strip, situated between the City of Durban and the Borough of Isipingo, and an airport is both fictitious and coincidental.
I think the hon the Minister is probably one of the most popular people in the House. He is a warm person, a friendly person, and we all love him dearly.
He is a slippery answerer.
Well, sometimes he ducks an answer here and there. However, he likes to tell a story, and he does tell a good story. He loves to tell us of the times he flies SA Airways, and gets out of his seat and goes and mixes with the crowd “daar agter”, has a little puff with those right at the back where he smokes a pipeful or a cigarette or two. He tells us how they appreciate it and love it when he comes down to the back of the aircraft. But you see, Sir, that is where it ends, because the Minister never gets off the aircraft with the crowd. When he gets off the aircraft, there is a smart salute waiting for him on the tarmac and a car which whisks him off into the night.
You are making a big mistake.
You will get your turn just now, but I will have my bash at you now.
That is what it is all about. I want the hon the Minister to mix with the crowd a little more. I think he must get off with the crowd, and not just talk to them in the aircraft. If he really wants a meaningful experience in his life, if he wants to bring something new into his life, he must do this in Durban. That will really bring a new excitement into his rather dull existence. The hon the Minister, and every other Minister, should be compelled to travel with a suitcase and to put that suitcase in the hold. There should be no first-class labels and no business-class labels. There should be nothing like that. They should then have to go and stand with those poor suffering people of Durban—the businessmen, the tourists, the industrialists, the whole lot—and try to collect their suitcases and get out of that airport. On occasion, just to add to the confusion, they even place a motor car, around which one cannot even walk, in the foyer of that delightful place called an airport. They do that to exhibit it or for sales purposes for the benefit of some local manufacturing concern.
I am sorry to have to drag the officials into this debate, but I think it is not only the Minister who should experience this but also every one of his top officials. I think that, from the Director-General of Transport Affairs down; every one of them should enjoy this experience. I am quite happy to supply them with suitcases. I shall donate them suitcases. I shall give away five suitcases and each of them will contain 20 kg of bricks as ballast. These suitcases can stay at Jan Smuts Airport and every time that Minister or one of his officials travels to Durban, he has to promise me he will take a suitcase, book it in the hold of the aircraft, and then wait to get it off the aircraft in Durban. Then, I want to tell you, Sir, we might see some action as far as this so-called airport is concerned. He only needs to join that happy throng of travellers as they stand around waiting for baggage. That is all he needs to do.
That hon Minister is in a certain measure of trouble with the people of Durban. He has blotted his copy-book over a road that is planned between Chatsworth and the City of Durban. He is in a lot of trouble, not only with the Indian community, but also with the Durban City Council and the Natal Provincial Council. I have news for him: He is also in trouble with the NP constituency council in the constituency through which it is proposed the road will run. He is in trouble all around. He has it from the Progs, he has it from the NP and he has it from our party as well. However, if he thinks that people are upset about that, all he has to do is to continue to ignore the pleas that I have directed at him every year—and as long as I am in this place, I shall continue to do it. Such pleas are directed at him not only by me, but also by the Durban Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Industries, the City of Durban and generally by the people of Natal. They are pleas regarding the absolute disgrace people have to put up with as an airport. Yet, not one thing is done to alleviate the plight of those travellers, not a single thing. Those responsible drag their feet and it is an impossible, unacceptable and untenable situation.
Last night that hon Minister appeared on television and he said: “Every time somebody kicks me in the backside, or somebody kicks somebody in the backside, we manage to move forward a couple of paces”. I just hope that this little jolt in the backside will get him, and not only him, but also the Department of Transport, to move forward a few paces as far as this situation is concerned. We are truly angry about it now. We have had enough in the City of Durban. We have had enough of being treated as the Cinderella province. We see airports all over the country being improved, but Louis Botha remains exactly as it is. Then they talk about building new fire stations and moving from old fire stations, and phase one and phase two and phase three, but phase nothing ever happens! There is a Yiddish expression that says: “Shabbas a fortnight”. That is exactly what the hon the Minister’s philosophy is as regards the Louis Botha Airport in Durban.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Umhlanga will pardon me if I do not react to his speech, because I think he was talking to the Minister, who will reply to him.
I want to begin by thanking the Minister for something which I asked for last year and which was done this year, namely that all the parties in all three Houses should be provided with information on the national transport policy study. We were provided with information on one of the aspects of that study, namely the organizational aspect, which in my opinion is the least difficult of all the problems. Inherent in certain of the proposals and recommendations is the possibility of making a contribution to the solution of the serious transport policy problems that are at present being experienced in the RSA and in Southern Africa. On the other hand, certain aspects of the proposals of this policy study give rise to serious concern. I shall let this single observation on the national transport policy study suffice until the entire package has been put together and presented to us.
The second aspect I want to touch upon is privatization, and everything that goes with it. A good deal has already been said here about this matter. Attacks were also made here on the quality of our road network, etc. In this instance I also have something to say. Since there is a great demand for funds, which have to be provided by the Exchequer, I want to ask the hon the Minister, since he and his department have decided to make toll roads available to private enterprise as well, to apply that policy which he has begun to evolve as soon as possible, for two important reasons. Firstly it will be possible to build roads more quickly, and secondly there is the possibility of private enterprise sharing the financial risks with the Government. We must accept that the State does not have enough funds to build all the roads that are necessary. In particular I am thinking here of the South Rand road which, I think, should in fact have been completed a few years ago.
I now want to touch upon another matter which other hon members have already discussed but which I wish to bring to the attention of my colleagues again, namely the entire urban transport problem. Recently we have heard a great deal about urbanization and population expansion. Urbanization is an accomplished fact in this country and we must accept it. The hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education elucidated the entire problem of squatting and urban development the other day. Earlier today the hon member for Durban Point discussed the Urban Transport Act. I think it is Act No 78 of 1977. This evening I want to request that that Act be repealed. [Interjections.] That Act no longer has any merit. That Act cannot solve the problems. That Act has been functioning for seven years now, and we are further away than ever from a solution to our problems.
With the coming of the new dispensation and the regional services councils in respect of which we had draft legislation before us, I think the time is ripe for the regional services councils themselves to proceed, with the money which they are now going to receive and for which statutory provision is being made, to solve the traffic problems which are being experienced in specific regions.
Every city’s traffic problems are unique, and there are basically six major cities which are experiencing very serious problems. If it is necessary we shall then have to pass co-ordinating legislation here which will lay down certain guidelines for these regional services councils. At present very little is happening as far as the urban transport problem is concerned.
The hon the Minister gave us an analysis of his Vote. On page 3-10 and 3-11 of the Estimates of the hon the Minister of Finance we see that an amount of R6,9 million has been budgeted for urban transport. With that amount of money we can no longer build even two kilometres of urban road, and that amount is being subdivided among a large number of items. At this stage I should like to suggest to the hon the Minister that he give consideration to reaching an agreement with the regional services councils in order to solve this problem and to help with the financing, where necessary.
The second part of this problem is very serious. It is concerned with an aspect which has been touched upon umpteen times and which I am not going to discuss tonight, namely the role played by the bus, the public train, the taxi, the combi-taxi and the minibus. I think there is also room for minibuses in this country, although people do not know precisely what minibuses are.
In six weeks’ time it will be two years since the final report of the bus transport commission was tabled. Therefore I want to ask the hon the Minister what progress we have made with that problem. Is the report going to be accepted or rejected? If we are given a final decision on what is going to happen in that connection, the confusion which is at present prevailing in respect of this entire policy aspect could be eliminated. This confusion was very clearly apparent in this debate this evening. We can eliminate many of the problems and bottlenecks in this connection if we know where we stand with the various studies, which in particular also make provision for solving the urban transportation problem.
I should like to ask the hon the Minister, in the short time still left to us at this late hour of the night, what we are going to do as far as the subsidy problem is concerned.
I think the entire subsidy problem can be dealt with in three fundamental categories. These are subsidies for roads, for transportation in general and for public transport, which includes bus services. This subsidy problem in turn creates a greater problem because a part of the subsidy must apparently be recovered from the regional services councils. I get the impression that we are milking some of the regional services councils. In my opinion the question is whether there is in fact enough money to recover all the subsidies from the regional services councils. I trust that the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs will succeed in continuing to obtain money from the Exchequer.
When all is said and done, only two alternatives have been proposed in regard to the transportation problem in South Africa, and they are total regulation or total deregulation. We cannot have 50% of the one and 50% of the other. This will only lead to an aggravation of the confusion already prevailing in respect of public transport and the transport policy in general in South Africa. While these conditions are prevailing we shall not find a solution to our transport problems, and it is imperative that we do.
I agree with the hon the Minister that the root of the problem is Transport Services’ cross-subsidization. As long as the conveyance of passengers by rail in South Africa is not financed by the principals, this problem will continue to exist. I think this is the root of the problem which we shall have to solve in the short term. If we are able to solve that problem, the remaining parts of the jigsaw puzzle will fall into place. Then we will be closer to a policy which will be more acceptable to both private enterprise as well as the public sector.
In my opinion it is essential that we should try to solve these problems in the short term. The hon the Minister furnished certain figures. If that tendency should continue and we continued with the present subsidization of train services, we would have to spend more than R3 000 million in subsidies alone for transport services by rail in the 1990s. I cannot see how we can recover this amount by means of cross-subsidization or pay for it out of the Exchequer. In precisely the same way as has have happened in other countries, it will lead to the downfall of our transport as well. At present a city such as Hamburg is paying more for transport subsidies than the total subsidy paid in South Africa for all bus services. If we are not careful we will fall into the same pit. My point is that we must be careful not to fall into that pit, because we do not have inexhaustible resources with which to finance subsidies.
Consequently I should like to ascertain from the hon the Minister what his policy is going to be in future. This also affects the future of public transport in South Africa. He spelt out his short-term policy very clearly, and I thank him for doing so. In particular it affects the public transportation of urban passengers. I am not referring now to long-distance train or bus transport. I am referring in particular to short-distance suburban train and urban transport.
If we cannot solve the problem of urban transport—in my opinion the regional services councils do not have the funds to cope with all of it—a serious problem will arise, particularly in regard to the urbanization of the Black population. Khayelitsha is already an example of where special arrangements had to be made to accommodate the transport requirements of the Blacks.
Mr Chairman, the hon member will pardon me if I do not react to his speech. I want to confine myself mainly to programme 5 of Vote No 3, which deals with Government Motor Transport. This programme covers the period 1983-84.
The object of the Government Motor Transport division is to meet the overall needs for motor transport of the State and certain approved public institutions. To achieve this object the Government Motor Transport Division had a full complement of 18 375 vehicles in the 1983-84 financial year. This was 537 more than in the previous financial year. These vehicles covered a total of approximately 211 million kilometres. This was approximately 8% more than in the previous year.
Order! I find it difficult to hear what the hon member who is speaking is saying if other hon members converse so loudly.
The operating cost was 33,35c per kilometre and this was distributed over the whole series of vehicles, which represented an increase of 2,07c per kilometre. During the financial year 2 526 vehicles were involved in accidents. This was 284 less than in the previous year. However, the number of fatal accidents during this financial year increased from 22 to 37. The average death rate on South African roads is estimated to be 18,3 per 200 million kilometres, and according to this calculation 38,-4 people would have died in fatal accidents according to the number of kilometres covered, but in reality 37 people died. We may therefore accept that the accident rate in respect of Government vehicles was kept within the average limit for South African conditions.
When we take cognizance of the fact that the average cost of a fatal accident in the Republic is estimated to be R102 000, the direct and indirect costs of these fatal accidents were approximately R3,8 million. In all fairness it must be pointed out that the Government Garage as such was not responsible for these losses. In fact, everything possible is done to prevent loss of life and the financial loss ensuing from accidents. The drivers of Government vehicles are trained and tested, and care is taken to ensure that the vehicles are roadworthy at all times.
Trained staff with the necessary equipment in 12 Government Garages throughout the country take care of the maintenance of this diversified fleet of vehicles. Unfortunately the new Government Garage which is being planned for Cape Town is not under construction yet and problems are being experienced in following a proper maintenace programme with the existing facilities. Since there seems in my opinion to be an unnecessary delay with this project, I would be pleased if the hon the Minister would give attention to this matter.
The repair work which cannot be done in the Government Garage is given out on contract and steps are taken to ensure that it is carried out economically and properly. When one considers the control measures it is clear that proper supervision is being maintained over this valuable asset of the State and it is reassuring to know that skilful managers are in charge of this division.
I find it a pity, however, that a computer system has not yet been introduced to improve the control even further. At present control is being carried out effectively without this modern aid, but apart from the fact that the system which is being applied is labour-intensive there are many other advantages to be derived from a computerized control system. When one considers the control over fuel tyres, oil and maintenance in regard to more than 16 000 vehicles, one realizes that any means of making better control frøssible must result in increased savings.
It happens quite frequently that vehicles which have to be kept in operation for a longer period owing to the economic conditions—as is the case at present—are repaired at great expense and if the vehicle should again become defective, it is scrapped because insufficient information exists on what the condition of the vehicle should be, with a computer programme such losses could be prevented, and it is also more satisfactory if one is able to budget better.
With the help of a computer which is programmed to indicate deviations from the norm it is possible to monitor fuel and oil consumption very carefully and since such large quantities of fuel and oil are used annually the savings obtained in this way could be considerable. With a computer programme it is also possible to keep a careful record of defects in specific vehicle makes or models, which could be of inestimable value. The availability of such information would make it possible not to accept the tenders of manufacturers of vehicles which show defects. This information could also be put at the disposal of other departments responsible for the purchase of their own vehicles.
I nevertheless want to ask the hon the Minister to try to find the money, even if money has to be saved in other spheres, to acquire a computer supported monitoring system for this department. There are few larger local authorities which do not make use of computer systems to monitor their fleets of vehicles, and since the benefits have already been demonstrated there is no reason why the State should not also put such a system into operation.
These days appeals are being made to the Government sector from all quarters to transfer the services that are being rendered by the State to the private sector. I have no doubt at all in my mind that many private entrepreneurs are licking their lips in anticipation of the day when they will be able to take over the services of this department as well. I am also convinced that this is one of the Government departments whose productivity is higher than that of many similar private undertakings. However, I want to make an appeal to the hon the Minister not to allow the services of this department to be privatized, as it is called, without a thorough prior study and without considering all the implications.
We are on the eve of the rationalization of the functions of provincial authorities, and I want to ask the hon the Minister, if it is in any way possible, to include the transport aspects in the existing organization and not to allow the existing department to be fragmented. The present financial situation in the country requires everyone to save as much as possible. Since it is not in fact possible to save on fuel and maintenance without personal sacrifice, and consequently without prejudicing the rendering of service, I want to make an appeal to every driver of a Government vehicle to drive thriftily. For example unnecessary journeys could be eliminated, wherever possible people could travel together, and one could also drive more slowly. A low speed is a very important factor in this respect.
It is a pity that it is not feasible, instead of officials who use Government vehicles having to forfeit portion of their annual bonuses, to recover that amount from the amount which they were able to save on transportation. I am certain that if this could happen there would definitely be a far greater saving than the portion of their bonuses they had to surrender.
During the course of the financial year 809 applications for subsidized vehicles were approved, and since it is beneficial to the officials as well as the State to make subsidized transportation available, it is encouraging to note that so many new applications were approved. I want to thank the hon the Minister, the Director-General, Mr Adriaan Eksteen, and the Director of the Government Motor Transport Division, Mr Chris Smit, as well as the personnel of the division, for another year’s hard work. At the same time I want to congratulate them on the results they have achieved. Under difficult circumstances they have definitely proved that a Government department can in many respects be as productive as even the best undertaking in the private sector.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Maraisburg will forgive me for not reacting directly to what he has just said. I should rather react to the very interesting and—let me say it quite honestly—the very excellent speech delivered by the hon member for Primrose.
The shortage of funds for transport facilities, especially to serve urban areas, is very serious indeed, and we should not become tolerant of this bad situation. There is, however, another aspect of the provision of transport facilities which is equally important, and I ask the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs and his department to give it their equal attention and direction.
The end result of urbanization is that towns, cities and metropolitan areas become the full-time environment for almost all people—our children, their children and all future South Africans. Because of the time which elapses between planning and the experience of its product, no generation can meaningfully plan its own environment. We must do for the next generation what it cannot do for itself, and this is a profound responsibility. We must create urban environments that will not only be economical to maintain but also comfortable and stimulating. Past failures in this respect cause this to become even more important.
There was a time when transport facilities helped focus a community. We all remember very well the old-time main street with its church, its post office, its pub, and its people congregating on the pavements, not only to shop or go to church but also to talk with each other and to exchange gossip and the news of the day. The busy mixture of pedestrians, cars and buses was exciting and interesting. Everything was just right. It depicted the vibrance and the stability of the community.
However, with the proliferation of cars a new transport facility came into being—the urban highway. It has the ability to butcher community life, to cut neighbourhoods into pieces and to scar and disfigure the environment. Planners argue that urban highways syphon off traffic from neighbourhoods. This might be true if they did not actually pass through them and if the car population was not increasing alarmingly, but the real situation is that they simply promote the use of cars everywhere. Today, the urban highway threatens almost every element that gives a neighbourhood its identity, comfort and stability.
I acknowledge that transport facilities are essential services but they are not like water-pipes in the ground which everyone takes for granted. They are a great cause of conscious concern to ordinary people who recognize their potential for disruption. Thus the planning of transport facilities, including public transport, must be done in close co-operation with the public. Who is a better judge of what will improve or damage a neighbourhood than the community itself?
In this respect I must give credit to the Department of Transport which assists the Minister and the National Transport Commission in their final approval of metropolitan transport plans. In July 1980 the Department of Transport issued guidelines for the preparation of urban transport plans. These called for the description of the measures taken to inform the public of the planning being undertaken, of the public reaction to the plan and for an explanation of public relations activities. They urged, and I quote:
However, here we are, five years later, and what has become of these good intentions?
I should like now to discuss the Johannesburg metropolitan area. In this area the guidelines on public participation in transport planning have been completely ignored by the metropolitan planning authority. In spite of the absence of funds, planning has proceeded apace and the public, which will have to face its children with the results, is kept in the dark and is treated as so much fodder for the planner’s computers.
I do not want to involve hon members of the House in parochial matters unnecessarily but my own constituency of Parktown and its environs provide an excellent example of what is happening. The hon the Minister knows that there are plans for at least two new, major arterial highways, the A3 running north to south and the A6 running east to west. The general plan of the A3 has been approved by the National Transport Commission, while the Johannesburg City Council is acquiring land in Upper Houghton, Parktown and Richmond to protect the route for the A6.
Both these urban highways will adversely affect the ability of the neighbourhoods through which they pass to become more physically and socially cohesive. In many cases they pass directly between schools, churches, parks and the communities which these serve. The north-south highway, the A3, is planned to disgorge its six lanes into the existing Barry Hertzog Highway which is already filled to capacity at peak hours with traffic using its continuation, Empire Road, all of this being in a part of my constituency. Thus an additional road will have to be built northwards to cope with the doubled traffic. Official plans accidentally shown to residents show a northerly extension of Henley Road, which passes next to the SABC’s TV complex, through the country club and through Richmond. Residents have coined the name “Springbok Highway” for this proposed additional north-south road because it seems to leap from the Brixton ridge to the Richmond ridge.
The east-west highway, the A6, will cleave suburbs from Upper Houghton to Newlands, including Parktown, Auckland Park and Westdene. To impress the House with the reality of the planning, I wish to quote as follows from a Johannesburg Management Committee document:
where it links through Roodepoort to the Western Bypass—
The Management Committee Item then continued with a discussion of the A6 route in some detail.
Ever since the public got wind of the planning and started to express its concern through the media, various elements in the Johannesburg City Council put on an impressive show of denials. I cannot quote all of them, but just a few. On 7 October 1984 the Sunday Times quoted a senior council official saying:
On 9 October 1984 the following report appeared:
I wrote directly to the city council, and they again denied this road.
If its eventual effects on our neighbourhood were not so devastating, this planning circus in Johannesburg would be quite funny.
I realize that the residents in and about my constituency are privileged, but the hon the Minister may think that this is not very important because most of these roads run through the poorer areas and that those people are only too happy to get a new road. While I appreciate the attempts by the Department of Transport to initiate public participation in transport planning, I must point out that these attempts carry the assumption that is mainly a technical process. In fact, it is mainly part of the democratic process.
What we really need is some legislation incorporated into the Acts which deal with planning, in order to secure firmly the concept of open planning with full public participation. I should therefore like to say that I assume that the department of the hon the Minister considers road proposals put forward by the various metropolitan transport planning authorities. I assume further that the department has a clear grasp of the implications of such proposals. I assume further that the department has a grasp of the whole proposed road network of which a particular proposal forms a part since major roads are not planned in isolation. I hope my assumptions are correct.
I therefore should like to ask the hon the Minister some questions, and I should be very grateful if he will be prepared to furnish me with answers. The first one is as follows: How is Barry Hertzog Avenue to cope with the combined traffic load of Empire Road and the A3? This is the second question: What are the eventual terminii of the A6 route and through which suburbs does the A6 route pass? Thirdly I should like to know what measures the Government will insist upon to involve the public in the planning of the A3 and the A6 before it commits its support to these highway projects irrevocably.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Parktown was very critical this evening, inter alia of the Johannesburg Management Committee. I want to tell him that he is an exile from the Cape who landed up in Johannesburg, and perhaps he should spend a little time looking into the history of Johannesburg, for then he may realize that the possible alternative management committees that are sitting there at the moment, the old Sam Mosses, die Max Nappies, the Alex Jaffes and the Issy Schlapoberskis, were responsible for some of the worst problems we are now saddled with in Johannesburg.
All metropolitan areas experience specific traffic problems owing to the population increase, urbanisation and the increase in the number of licensed vehicles, but tonight I wanted to confine myself to Johannesburg as the main component of the Johannesburg metropolitan area.
I immediately wanted to convey my thanks to the Minister of Transport Affairs. I am pleased that the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs is also present at the moment, because I also wanted to thank him. The same also applies to the former hon Deputy Minister of Finance. I am conveying my thanks to them for the visit in loco which they paid by helicopter to Johannesburg. Apart from Johannesburg appreciating their visit, they were also able to observe the peak hour problems from the helicopter. [Interjections.]
I know there are problems in connection with an improved and expanded road transport network. We know inter alia that there are limited funds from the Transport appropriation. We know there is a limit of 9,75% on the growth of capital expenditure by local authorities.
Johannesburg is and remains the main artery of the economic strength of South Africa. The National Transport Commission is just not able, with its subsidy of 60%, to discharge its responsibilities in respect of urban transport. The R8 million for urban transport during the coming year really makes no sense if one bears in mind that Johannesburg alone needs R102 million. And then we are not even mentioning the contemplated N4 toll road which must be built from east to west. This is the amount that Johannesburg alone requires from 1984 to 1989 for the expansion of an essential road network which was planned and approved years ago. And then we are not even mentioning the matter raised by my colleague, the hon member for Rosettenville, namely the possibility of a metro system of R1 200 million to cope with mass transportation in Johannesburg.
There is one ray of light at least, and we have the Government to thank for it, especially the hon the Minister who pleaded for this for many years and the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs who is also present here tonight. Historically only 2,354c of the petrol price was made available for transport. Subsequently 0,7c was added. Today 5c of the petrol price is being made available to the National Transport Commission. This amounts to an estimated total of R408 million. Tonight I wish to advocate that a larger portion of the R408 million should go to the Urban Transport Fund. A further one cent from the road fund which can be channelled by means of legislation to the Urban Transport Fund could make a tremendous contribution to the solution of our problems in Johannesburg.
What makes Johannesburg so important? If we look at the 1980 census figures we see that there are 1,7 million people in Johannesburg. These are half a million Whites, 100 000 Coloureds, 50 000 Indians and more than a million Blacks. The operating costs to keep Johannesburg going—this gives one an idea of the importance of this city—amount to R1 million plus per day. This gives one an idea of the flow of traffic to the city centre. Every working day 27 300 vehicles enter the city centre of Johannesburg within 45 minutes. Over the entire peak period of 2i hours the figure is almost 65 000 vehicles. Jomet, the Johannesburg metropolitan area, had 649 000 licenced vehicles in 1980. This was 43% more than it had in 1972. Today that figure is probably in excess of one million vehicles.
Every day 450 000 vehicles enter the Johannesburg metropolitan area. In 1970 the figure was only 180 000, in 1980 it was 350 000 and today it is probably almost a half million vehicles. It is estimated that the Ml and M2 freeways cope with 120 000 vehicles per day. These are probably the busiest roads in the whole of Africa.
The replacement cost of Johannesburg’s existing road network is estimated to be more than R400 million. And then we are not even mentioning the R8 million which is needed annually to maintain those roads.
Johannesburg’s contribution to the gross domestic product of the Republic amounts to R10 000 million. This is 15% of the total gross domestic product of South Africa. Johannesburg is responsible for 40% of all wholesale activities, 18% of all retail activities, 35% of all financial and banking activities and 20% of South Africa’s industrial production.
Johannesburg is playing its part. While a metropolitan area like Cape Town received a subsidy of 80% in respect of its completed freeways, Johannesburg for example, for its M1/M2 which cost a total of R84,5 million, received a subsidy of only R21 million. Instead of the 60% plus 20% they therefore received a subsidy of only 25%. Johannesburg’s ratepayers paid for those roads which are not used exclusively by the people of Johannesburg.
We must do two things, and I wanted to urge their necessity upon the hon the Minister. A mass transport system will have to be planned to meet the requirements of the year 2000. Whether it is a metro system, a monorail system or an improved public transport system, makes no difference but very urgent attention will have to be given to this matter. Secondly, I want to ask the hon the Minister whether the Government cannot consider alternative methods of financing in respect of our problems in that area. What we are asking is that we plan and build now for the next twenty years. Why cannot Johannesburg raise long-term loans in order to build now and then pay off the loan over the next twenty years? We must share the responsibility between the generations of today and tomorrow because it is the generation of tomorrow which is ultimately going to derive the benefit of the road network. The Minister of Finance said that we must not borrow to finance deficits in the Budget. However, he also said that we must not borrow to finance current expenditure in particular. But surely long-term loans do not fall within the ambit of this sound approach of the hon the Minister of Finance. The sources of revenue of Johannesburg and all local authorities are tremendously limited. Neither Johannesburg—nor any of the others—can be expected to provide roads for people who come from all over the country and in particular from all over the Witwatersrand. I want to mention only one example. Johannesburg collects R29,7 million annually in respect of motor vehicle licences. Of that amount they retain only R5,9 million and, after administration costs have been deducted, only R3,2 million. That is why I want to ask the hon the Minister to plead with the Government for its consent to long-term loans in respect of this situation.
There is a further question I want to put—and with that I shall conclude. I want to ask the hon the Minister when he is going to announce the consortium in respect of the Golden Highway, the so-called N4, which will be called the Gouerifsnelweg in Afrikaans. If that N4 could be built and the Gill-view interchange and the Gillview-Ridgeway Road section could be completed soon in order to complete the ring road round Johannesburg, that would alleviate the pressure on the central Johannesburg area tremendously. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, in the first place I just want to thank those colleagues who, by saving time on their speeches, have given me an opportunity of participating in the debate this evening.
The temptation was very great this evening to ask the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs to draft legislation banning motorcycles completely from this country’s roads. However, before I make such an irresponsible although deeply felt statement here, I want to say that I looked at some statistics and found that motor-cyclists are far safer drivers than motorists because out of every hundred registered motor vehicles 11,5 are annually involved in accidents, while out of every 100 registered motor cycles only 7,3 are involved in accidents. This proves that the motor-cyclists, because they ride on motor-cycles, are far safer drivers than motorists.
There is another side to this matter though: Among those involved in motor accidents, 84% of the drivers or passengers emerge unscathed. In other words, 84% of the persons involved in accidents are neither lightly nor seriously nor fatally injured.
In the case of motor-cyclists, however, 50% of those involved in accidents are either fatally or seriously or lightly injured. If the hon members were to walk into the casualty ward of any hospital, particularly the orthopaedic ward of a hospital, they would be able to see the tragic cases. Every hon member knows about a tragic story of a motorcycle accident in his constituency in which a young man and/or a young woman either died or was very seriously injured. These are young people on whom the State has up to that stage only incurred expenditure. The State had to spend a great deal of money on their school education. Those are young people who had either finished their studies just prior to the accident or were still studying; or young people who had just finished their military training or were still undergoing military training. The people who are either seriously or fatally injured in motorcycle accidents are for the most part our young people. Every hon member knows young people like this because they know about such accidents.
We are compelled to do something about this matter of motor-cycles and motor-cycle accidents. If I may I should like to make the following recommendations in this respect: The maximum size of a motor-cycle should only be 250 cc. In Japan the Japanese do not allow motor-cyclists to ride larger motorcycles than they are able to pick themselves. Yet they export motor-cycles of a 1000 cc and more to this country. [Interjections.]
As far as licensing is concerned, we allow a person to obtain a licence for a 50 cc motor-cycle, but then we allow him, with that same licence, to ride a motor-cycle of 1100 cc which costs almost R12 000.
I conclude by saying—and the mothers and fathers of this country will support me—that we must prohibit young women from riding as passengers on the pillion-seats of motor-cycles.
Mr Chairman, I should like to begin with the hon member for Koedoespoort who referred to the A B Eksteen Museum. Furthermore he said that it was a very good department, but that it had a poor Minister.
I did not use the word “poor”.
Well, he did not speak with great praise of the Minister. Nevertheless, that is his privilege. I am very pleased, however, that he mentioned the museum. It is really a commendable museum which has emphasized the cultural-historical value of transport affairs. He also said that we should encourage the staff to do their best and that we should equip them well. I cannot differ with the hon member. He made a very good contribution.
The hon member for Worcester put a few questions to me. The estimate is that when the toll facilities at the Du Toitskloof tunnel have been completed, it will cost R1,50 per motor vehicle; R4 for motor trucks with two axles; R8 for motor trucks with three axles and R16 for motor trucks with four axles. In June we intend explaining to the public in Worcester, how the toll will work. To drive through the new tunnel will be much cheaper than to drive over the old Du Toitskloof pass. I foresee that travellers will only use the old road if they wish to admire the scenery, while they will use the toll road for reasons of economy.
The contract price for the main tunnel—the contract has now been awarded—on which work is in progress day and night, as the hon member said, is R110 million. When it is finished the cost of the entire road between Paarl and Worcester will have totalled R250 million. This is an enormous amount which we are spending in the hon member’s constituency. Since he has been a member of this House the hon member has been asking for the tunnel and now he has got what he wanted.
†As regards the comments of the hon member for Umhlanga, I first want to deal with his remark that I am unpopular among Indians, the nationalists and the city councillors because of Chatsworth. What did I say about Chatsworth?
I don’t know; you tell me.
How can the hon member then say I am unpopular? I told the House of Delegates that the matter of the access road to Chatsworth was something that had been going on for the past 20 years. It is not something that has to be resolved by the SA Transport Services or the Department of Transport.
I am not fighting about Chatsworth; I am talking about the airport.
I am referring to everything the hon member said. I am coming to the airport.
I said that it was the province that should decide on this road. The Durban City Council, who are Progs, should decide on the road. We have to subsidize it by 60%, and we would build the shortest and cheapest road. However, it all depends on the recommendation of those bodies. Why should I then be unpopular? The hon member for Umlazi has been fully informed about this matter and there is no problem about it.
The hon member asked me to carry my own suitcase when I arrive on an aircraft at Durban, but he does not carry his suitcase. When we get out at the back of the aircraft in Durban, we all have to wait for our luggage. As regards the Durban Airport, tenders for the new terminal close at the end of June. We have voted R16,9 million for the Louis Botha Airport and the work has to be completed by 1987. Why is the hon member laughing?
Do you know how many years we have been listening to this kind of nonsense?
But I have just told the hon member that tenders are being called for for the work. I want to reply to the hon member, and tell him that tenders will close at the end of June and that we have voted R16,9 million for the new terminal … Oh, forget it.
I am listening to you!
You are not listening, you are laughing. It is not a joke. We are sincere about the Louis Botha Airport. It is not a joke, because we want to set the situation right there. I reply to the hon member in a gentle way, but he laughs in my face.
*I want to give the man a courteous reply, and then he sits there giggling like a school girl.
The hon member for Primrose inquired about the R6,9 million which is needed for urban transport. I do not think that the regional services councils will be able to generate all the money, and we are therefore having the law amended so that money from the National Road Fund may also be utilized for this purpose. The hon member for Turffontein also referred to this. As far as subsidies are concerned, I can tell the hon member that he was quite correct that we shall have to continue to subsidize commuters in future. We are carrying out a national transport policy study, and a White Paper will be published on the Welgemoed Report, after which we can discuss it. All these matters are dealt with in that report.
I should like to tell the hon member that I am in full agreement with him. He said we should decide to have either complete regulation or no regulation. If we want to create chaos in this country all we need do is follow the lead of these people who say: “Lift all restrictions!” We shall then have the same situation here as in Bangkok. That we cannot allow. We simply have to protect certain undertakings.
The hon member for Maraisburg asked me to investigate the matter of Government motor transport. I have asked the department to see whether we cannot privatize the Government Garage. If we can leave it to private enterprise, someone who has travelled by plane and who needs a car can use a Hertz or Avis car. This applies to officials or anyone who may require transport. After an investigation by the Commission for Administration we found that that would cost us more than the present system. We must be careful in regard to privatization. When we consider the matter of the provinces, it will be necessary to take everything into consideration. The computerized control system will possibly be put into operation soon. I thank the hon member for his contribution.
The hon member for Parktown asked for a series of things. He was correct in saying that new developments had taken place, urban highways had become necessary and conditions had changed. He was right. In earlier days towns were peaceful with a bar, a church square and slow traffic. Now the traffic moves at a tremendous speed, and there is congestion and traffic jams.
†The hon member referred to public participation. The public do participate by electing members to their city councils. The city councils should decide on the matters he raised because those matters lie mainly with them.
There must be co-operation.
That is correct, but we are waiting for their proposals. They must come forward with definite proposals. One cannot always pass the buck to the Government. The public elect the city councils, and they must come forward with proposals with regard to the roads the hon member referred to.
Then they are bad councils … [Interjections.]
The hon member for Bezuidenhout says Johannesburg has a bad city council. [Interjections.] May I quote the hon member? He has just said that Johannesburg has a bad city council.
Yes, but we do not control it.
But surely they were in control at one stage, and what happened then? [Interjections.] Fifty per cent of nothing!
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question? I accept the hon the Minister’s reply, but I still have a problem. If there is a problem between the city council and the voters on what is a very serious matter to them, such as these two or three roads, and they cannot get a reply from the city council, should the hon the Minister and his department, who are the highest authority, not settle this issue?
Must we take over the function of the city council?
No, you must protect the public.
But the public elects their own city council! The Department of Transport cannot intervene in all the affairs of the City Council of Johannesburg, the largest city council in the country. The hon member must go and talk to his city councillor in his constituency. He has never approached me. The city council has never approached me either. No one has ever contacted me about the roads to which the hon member is referring. I realize, however, that attention must be given to them.
The hon member for Turffontein mentioned a few things which were of great importance. Forty per cent of the major commercial activities in South Africa are concentrated in Johannesburg. A total of 480 000 vehicles enter Johannesburg every day. I said one day that consideration would have to be given, and I am not talking about the hon member now who said that proposals were on their way, to zoning a certain section of Johannesburg and saying that it was over-congested with motor vehicles. In this one spot around the Carlton Hotel it is not possible to move. Let us, from 07h30 to 08h30 in the mornings, charge every motor vehicle wishing to enter that area a R2 levy. They almost cut my throat. This was an idea which emanated from the people of Johannesburg, but I realize that when the Government puts forward ideas and wishes to implement them, it is heaped with abuse. That is why I say these things should in future emanate from the people living in the city. If the public wishes to waste 20% of its fuel waiting in queues with their engines idling, and one comes forward with a practical suggestion which is then taken amiss of one, then matters must simply remain as they are.
The hon member discussed the South Rand road and asked when we were going to come forward with proposals. We expect to hear something from private enterprise by the end of May. We are dealing with institutions such as Barlows, Barclays Bank, Volkskas, Sanlam, Old Mutual and Rembrandt. If they say they can form a consortium and build a toll system road, it will be considered. We are awaiting their proposals. The entire matter is in the process of development, but I think that by the end of May, perhaps at the beginning of June, we shall have their proposals in this regard.
The hon member referred to alternative financing methods. He was quite correct. He raised quite a few interesting matters. I wish he was on the Johannesburg City Council, then we would probably have had a few of these proposals implemented in practice by now.
The hon member for Hercules referred to motor-cycles. Today the motor-cycle is the poor man’s mode of transport. It is impossible to state summarily that only 250 cc motor-cycles should be allowed on the road. It is true that it is tragic, if one visits the casualty ward of a hospital on a Saturday night, to see the mutilation that has occurred as a result of motor-cycle accidents, although there are not many of these accidents. The reason for the mutilation is that there is no protection for the motor-cyclist. I agree with the hon member that we shall have to look into this situation. The person who is usually involved is the person under the age of 21 who owns a 1000 cc motor cycle. I always say that it is nothing to show off in the city or at a school. The responsible person who takes a motor-cycle and goes for a ride along a remote country road when the speed cops are sleeping, and who then rides a little faster, is not usually the person who has an accident. But the same does not apply to these irresponsible people.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister whether he still rides a motor-cycle and whether he still has his motor-cycle.
Yes. [Interjections.] That is a stupid question. [Interjections.]
I should like to tell the hon member for Port Elizabeth Central that we have just received a report that Port Elizabeth Tramways has been informed that a double-decker bus was hijacked in the White area of Despatch. It did not happen in the Black area. The bus was taken to San Souci—I do not know where that is—and the driver was assaulted there. In that region a very bad thing is happening as far as public traffic is concerned. I just wanted to inform the hon member of this. I have to protect the people of Port Elizabeth Tramways.
Get stuck into them!
No, I do not want to. I resolved to keep calm on this trip. I have been wanting to get at him for a long time.
I want to conclude.
†Let me turn to the projects for which the National Transport Commission received awards. These are the highest awards. I want to announce that the 1982 award of the South African Institute of Civil Engineers for excellence in civil engineering in the Western Cape was awarded to the commission for the Hugo’s River viaduct. Their 1982 award for excellence in civil engineering in the Eastern Cape was awarded for the Bloukrans River Bridge. In 1983 the award for excellence in civil engineering in the Western Cape was given for Sir Lowry’s Pass. The 1983 award for excellence in civil engineering in the Durban area was given for the Msimbazi lagoon at Kingsborough.
The South African Institute of Steel Construction 1984 award of excellence in the structural and functional category was awarded for the Corten Footbridge on the Eastern Bypass of Pretoria. The 1984 award of excellence in the architectural category (runner-up), was also awarded to the commission for the Corten footbridge on the Eastern Bypass of Pretoria.
*These were some of the achievements of the engineering division and other personnel of the National Transport Commission.
I want to conclude. My colleague, the hon the Minister of National Education is still going to deal with another piece of legislation. My time is up, but I want to point out that the debate proved that no one in the ranks of the Opposition could criticize the Department of Transport for any mismanagement of affairs. We did not have money to do certain things and we had to economize. We have now even decided to spend almost R17 million on the Louis Botha Airport. We get no thanks for that. We are going to modernize this airport. The work at the airport will virtually have been completed by the end of next year. It is not like the airport at La Mercy which I said would not be built in my lifetime. I said before that we did not at present have money for La Mercy, but certain things at the Louis Botha Airport had to be remedied.
I want to thank hon members of the House of Assembly for their contributions. I want to thank Mr Eksteen and his department, the road safety people who were involved in Road Safety Year, the people who have to regulate the roads, Mr Jock Germishuys and all his people, Mr Ray Smith and all the others who make such pleasant co-operation possible.
Vote agreed to.
Chairman directed to report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.
Mr Chairman, on Friday last, the 12th, at the adjournment, I asked the hon the Minister when he has the opportunity to reply—which unfortunately due to circumstances he did not have on that day—to give us some indication as to why, after such a short period of time, he was prepared to agree to the request that the mandatory requirement that the development boards must or “shall” appoint committees should be done away with. It was the feeling in this party that the appointment of committees was vital not only in improving the image of the development boards but also in respect of their function in the new approach of the Government towards Black townships.
In the evidence given before that select committee in the “Kommentaar van die Raad van Voorsitters en Hoofdirekteure van Administrasierade op die Wetsontwerp op die Ontwikkeling van Swart Gemeenskappe”, in Schedule B on page 8, it is made very clear that they would have preferred this not to have been mandatory but that it should depend on the different boards.
In a subsequent report, a supplement thereto, in the change in that paragraph—otherwise that paragraph reads the same—they say very clearly: “Die komitees moet nie verpligtend wees nie.” Despite that request and the evidence by the Urban Foundation to the contrary and also the efforts of the select committee, the opposite view in fact won the day, that these committees should be mandatory and that the board “shall” appoint them. Now after such a short period of time—just over a year—that situation has been reversed back to what the boards required. It is neither in keeping with the evidence, nor with the whole spirit of the situation. As a result of the debate in the standing committee, I asked a question of the department as to whether each development board has co-opted persons to serve on each of the committees as laid down in section 9 of the Black Communities Development Act, No 4 of 1984. I also asked various further questions, for example who the co-opted persons are, for what periods they have been co-opted, and what their experience and qualifications are; and if none were co-opted, why not, and when it is anticipated that persons will be co-opted. The reply indicated that not all the boards, but, in fact, only four out of the 14, had appointed members on these committees. Of those four boards, none of them had appointed all the members as envisaged by the Act. Yet we have a situation before us where this is now summarily to be scrapped before the original intention of the Act had in fact come to complete fruition and before the various members of those committees had an opportunity to add to the efforts of those development boards to bring about an improved and a new situation.
While there may be—and I say “may be”—valid reasons why this should be scrapped, the point is that the memorandum gives a reason purely based on the fact that the boards’ numbers were now so small that there were insufficient members to sit on all these committees, but that is nonsense. It is an invalid reason and that is why we in these benches feel unhappy about the approach to this. We should like the hon the Minister now, in the time available to him, to give a sufficient explanation as to why he, as a very intelligent, perceptive and reformist Minister in this portfolio, if I may say so, has acceded to this request which we believe is entirely a negative and retrogressive one.
Mr Chairman, in reply to the debate I should like to convey my cordial thanks to hon members of all the various parties in this House for their support of this Bill. It is true that the finalizing of this non-contentious Bill stretched out longer and longer, like a piece of black liquorice, but we are pleased that we have at least reached the end now.
The hon members for Berea, King William’s Town, Lichtenburg and Gezina each expressed their support of the Bill. One point of criticism relates to clause 3, to which the hon member for King William’s Town has just referred in more detail. As the hon member for Gezina pointed out in his contribution to the debate, it is really going a bit far to impose upon a body consisting of only seven members, the duty to appoint at least three, and possibly even more, subcommittees from among those seven members. I believe that esperience has taught us that the development boards, in the present reduced form, would in fact find that very inconvenient. It would entail an unnecessary duplication of activities, particularly since the committees have to report back to the full board, and what this would amount to, therefore, would be that the same people sitting on the committee would have to deal with the matter again in the full board. That is why the boards have requested that the binding stipulation that this appointment of committees be done, be made an enabling provision.
However, I concede to the hon member for King William’s Town and to the hon member for Berea, in his absence, that the aim that Parliament had in mind in the appointment of these committees is still a valid and important one. It is that the boards must consider each of those different spheres of work or activity in respect of which the various committees are appointed.
Mr Chairman, may I ask a question?
Yes, I shall reply to it with pleasure.
Is it not true that because of the smaller board it is all the more important to obtain know-how and skills from outside in respect of those facets? Therefore it is not unnecessary, but more necessary than before.
I shall come back to the hon member’s question in due course.
With a small board of seven members one also could do justice to, and give due attention to, these specialized aspects by way of proper arrangement of one’s agenda, viz in such a way that at every meeting one sets aside a special point or section of the agenda for each of these specialized aspects. In this way all seven members of this relatively small board will in fact be involved in each of these specialized aspects that form part of the joint agenda. I therefore believe that by arranging the agenda, fundamentally the same results can be achieved in a less time-consuming way than by doubling meeting times, reporting and so on, which would be the result if separate committees had to be established.
I want to give the hon members for King William’s Town and Berea the assurance that in the discussions I hold from time to time with the chairmen of the development boards I shall emphasize the point and insist that each of these spheres of activity be accorded due attention in the course of their functioning.
I should also like to concede that it is important that experts in the various spheres, who cannot be full members of the board, be co-opted and involved. It would indeed be as well to involve outside experts in committee meetings. I believe that such experts could indeed be involved on occasion and that this would not necessitate the unnecessarily complex organizational structure of on-going standing committees drawn from such a small core group of seven members. When I hold discussions with the chairmen again I shall bring to their attention how essential it is that they involve authorities from outside the board, because there are many interested and competent people in such a environment who could usefully be involved. I have already put it to the chairmen that since the issue here is a board concerned with the promotion of the interest of Black communities I deem it desirable that people with knowhow from the Black communities also be involved as experts in such activities of the board.
I believe I have now dealt with the most important objections. I should like to conclude by emphasizing once again that this amendment envisages the updating and improvement of a principal Act of crucial importance viz the Black Communities Development Act. As you observed in dealing with the Bill, this relates, on the one hand, to the functioning of the development board and, on the other hand, to the functioning of the 99-year leasehold system.
Once again I should like to emphasize the importance of the role played by the development boards in the general development of Black urban communities and in particular the development of local government in those Black urban communities. I wish to emphasize once again how important is the transformation in the character and main purpose of these development boards which that took place last year. This was the transformation of administration boards, which had the ultimate power to govern and administer the Black community, to development boards in terms of which power is now vested in Black local governments which are being established to an increasing extent and in which the development board has a supportive and advisory role. The development board is a body with experience that has built up over the years that can be used to good effect by the autonomous Black local authorities.
It is of the utmost importance that the experience built up over the years by the development boards in the spheres of personnel skills, township establishment, housing, the development of infrastructure and the provision and training of staff, continue to be available to and, indeed, used by the new autonomous Black local governments. Therefore—and I want to emphasize this—it is necessary however that there be a relationship of mutual trust between the Black local governments and the development boards. This is a matter to which very high priority must be given, particularly by the senior partner in terms of experience, namely the development boards.
As far as the 99-year leasehold aspect is concerned—this, too, is a matter dealt with by this Bill—I want to emphasize once again how extremely important home ownership and land ownership is as a basis for civic pride. If the inhabitants of a specific town or city are attached to it in that they are also home-owners or landowners, they have a civic pride, a sense of responsibility and a preparedness to help promote the order, stability and prosperous development of that community. Therefore the 99-year leasehold is a very important institution not only as regards the personal, economic interests of individual inhabitants, but also as regards the entire development of community involvement in general welfare, and in particular the local governments in the Black communities.
I hope that by passing this Bill we shall be giving further impetus to the general development of Black communities.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Certified fair copy of Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days after the disposal thereof in all three Houses to refer the Bill to a committee.
Mr Chairman, I move:
The House adjourned at