House of Assembly: Vol3 - WEDNESDAY 24 APRIL 1985
as Chairman, presented the Fifth Report of the Standing Select Committee on Transport Affairs, relative to the National Roads Amendment Bill [No 74—85 (GA)], as follows:
D M STREICHER,
Committee Rooms Parliament 23 April 1985.
Bill to be read a second time.
Vote No 11—“Public Works and Land Affairs”:
Mr Chairman, for a person to understand clearly what actually has been done by the Department of, Public Works and Land Affairs, one has to go through Vote No 11 in some detail because of what the new dispensation entails. However, the Estimates of Expenditure show its importance in that the amount of the funds allocated to it ranks Public Works and Land Affairs sixth out of 25 in the order of general affairs votes.
I should like to refer first of all to the Government Printing Works. This organization continues to do outstanding work and actually pays for itself. However, it would be remiss of us in this Parliament not to show recognition of the efficient way in which they are handling the massive volume of printing that has to be done daily from the time the bells ring the closure of proceedings here in the House until hon members return to their offices the next morning, particularly under the new dispensation with its three completely separate Chambers.
The Bills, the Minutes of Proceedings, the Order Papers and the Question Papers appear with such regularity that we forget the pressure under which the staff-members of these three Houses have to work in order to produce this printed material in time. Therefore we well owe the Government Printing Works a word of gratitude.
I should like to deal now with the proposed Housing Development Corporation. The Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment and Related Matters—the Venter Commission—in its first report recommended the establishment of a housing development corporation, because neither the State nor the private sector alone can undertake township development and the provision of Black housing, in particular in the rapid urbanization period up to the turn of the century.
The commission estimated that almost 14 million Blacks would be living in urban areas by the turn of the century and that the annual provision of Black housing units in the period between 1980 and 2000 would have to be some 90 000 new units a year—in total some 2 million housing units. At 1980 prices the estimated cost of this Black housing will amount to between R30 billion and R35 billion. The uncertainty regarding the status of Blacks in White urban areas in South Africa was the most important reason why the housing needs of this population group did not receive the same attention that housing for other groups received, particularly in the 1970-1980 period.
The State President has now firmly announced the permanence of the Blacks in our White urban areas. However, unless the establishment of the Housing Corporation as proposed by the Venter Commission is forthcoming, it seems as if this objective can never be attained. The annual report on page 7 states that the working committee will report its findings early in 1985. We on these benches hope that this report is now ready. What can, in fact, be a more opportune time for the hon the Minister to inform the House about what has happened under the working committee than under this Vote?
The question I should like to deal with next is the sale of Black housing units. The preface to the report states:
The State President announced during the discussion of his Vote that Blacks would in future be able to acquire freehold rights in Black townships. The Department of Co-operation and Development, unfortunately, in building vast numbers of houses, was supposed to fulfil the functions performed by the Surveyor-General but instead introduced procedures by regulation which deviated from customary surveying requirements, and only considered measures to protect the rights of the lessees of these sites. The result is that although the Government has said that some 500 000 State-owned houses, mostly in Black townships, would be available for sale—firstly on a 99-year leasehold basis and now on a freehold basis—very few of these have become available because they were not surveyed properly and, therefore, correct title deeds under the Land Survey Act could not be drawn up. Building society loans could not be made available. A five-year programme of surveying all the sites in Black townships was instituted, and surveyors are supposed to be busy with the job.
Can the hon the Deputy Minister enlighten the House on how far this scheme has progressed? What is the number of existing rented dwellings in Black townships and in the various administration board areas which have been surveyed and which are now available for sale? This survey is absolutely necessary but it would seem as if it is progressing so slowly that the actual alienation of dwelling-houses is being delayed. The State President has made a statement that freehold title will be given, and this is good news. However, the survey is holding up the sale of houses. Secondly, can the Department of Land Affairs inform the House as to how it intends handling the freehold title statement of the State President and when it will be able to put this into effect?
Lastly, I should like to deal with housing aid to officials. I should like to draw the attention of this House to an item which was previously allocated to this department but which has now unfortunately been allocated to every single other department of State. I refer to programme 3—Housing Aid to Officials. In 1984-85 an amount of R102 million was allocated for State-assisted housing for officials, most of which was for the payment of interest subsidies on mortgage loans to officials in the Public Service. Now it is impossible to know how much will be expended as the actual amounts will in future be under their respective departments and will be given in their administration programmes.
However, annexure 1 on page 15 of the annual report for 1984 shows a table setting out in detail the housing loans scheme for officials and employees in the public sector. As this is probably the last time that such an annexure will be published, it should be analysed. The public sector is much wider than only the public servants in the Public Service. It includes the Post Office staff, provincial employees and the employees of agricultural control boards, other autonomous Government bodies and the universities. It shows—hon members should have a look at the table—that as at 31 March 1984, in one year the number of houses purchased by employees rose from 73 148 to 83 481—this is an increase of about 14%—while the value of loans approved rose from R1,206 billion to R1,737 billion—an increase of 30%. This shows how the price of houses has become inflated.
This table, however, does not disclose what the actual total amount of subsidy was that was paid out in 1983-84. This table shows that public sector spending must have been much higher than the R102 million that it shows. Let us assume that the average rate of interest paid by employees was 3,5% and that the average of the building societies was 20,5%. The State would then have paid a subsidy of 17% on the loans approved.
Therefore, on an amount of R1,737 billion, the minimum subsidy paid out by the State for its employees would have been R295 million over and above what the employees themselves would have paid, namely R61 million. This does not take into account the additional subsidy of R6,60 for every extra R10 that they pay. On the other hand the National Housing Fund in the same period obtained an amount of only R343 million for all the population groups of South Africa.
The problem is that when the housing aid scheme for officials was started in 1969, the building society rate of interest was 8%. Therefore the State subsidized the officials on a 50:50 basis, which is fair enough. The scheme was left open-ended and is now on a 250:50 basis due to the inflationary rise in interest rates.
I do not ask for the scheme to be stopped, but priorities should be properly considered in the allocation of funds. It is no wonder that there was a 30% increase in loans during 1983-84 for which the officials cannot be blamed. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I cannot understand why the hon member for Bezuidenhout devoted the greatest part of his speech to what is, after all, an interim measure as appears from the report of the department. The R193 million voted for housing assistance is, in fact, an entry appearing there largely in a temporary way because up to the present there has been only one undivided housing fund. The sum of R51,5 million is actually the only part of that Vote which, as regards Black housing, may be regarded as a permanent part of the activities of the Department of Public Works.
The hon member went further and spoke of the 500 000 housing units which were available or would be made available for Black housing and he attempted to belittle progress made in that field. If the hon member had taken any trouble in looking it up, he would have known that of that 500 000, 304 000 plots had already been surveyed and instructions for the survey of a further 211 000 had already been issued. His accusation therefore does not hold water.
As the hon member implied, there are certain problems concerning the Vote for Public Works in the sense that it is impossible to indicate comparative figures in this Budget. This department is one of those most closely affected by the new dispensation and a large part of its activities has been surrendered to other departments. Such matters as housing, community development, rent control and squatter clearance among the White, Coloured and Indian populations have been transferred to departments for own affairs whereas all group areas affairs have been transferred to the Department of Constitutional Development and Planning. In fact, no fewer than 1 700 posts in the Department of Public Works have been affected by the new dispensation and transferred elsewhere. That is why it is impossible to draw comparisons with previous years and also why it looks as if the activities of the department are shrinking. The number of subdivisions affecting the budget of the department has therefore been limited to six or seven. Within the space of a few minutes one naturally cannot discuss them all.
I wish to return for a moment to the point made by the hon member for Bezuidenhout. As regards the programme “Surveys and Deeds”, I should like to mention the exceptional performance achieved in that programme in surveys for the 99-year leasehold system as well as regarding the 500 000 houses made available and sold.
I believe it would also be unfair of us not to make specific mention that deeds offices are up to date at present with all their work in all the most important centres in the country. In spite of this achievement the Vote—it is the only programme in which a comparison can be drawn with last year—is only 6% more than that of last year.
I feel one should perhaps also in passing refer to the relatively large amount appearing under the section “Miscellaneous Services”. Various activities are included in the R78 million but the largest part is the R75 million voted for assistance to municipalities. This is for the simple reason that the Rating of State Property Act of 1984 has not yet become operative and the Vote has therefore been done on an ad hoc basis up to the present.
Of the R1 119 million voted for this department this year the provision for buildings, structures and equipment is the single largest item, namely R776 million. This department remains responsible for accommodation needs of State departments for general affairs. I do not envisage speaking on the administration, rental accommodation and the erection of buildings but in the few minutes at my disposal I wish to speak specifically on the repair and maintenance of Government buildings for which approximately R179 million has been voted.
The deteriorating condition of our Government buildings is something exciting concern. Unfortunately it is true that in consequence of escalating costs many of our Government buildings are in a dilapidated condition. We are grateful to be informed that the Cabinet has agreed that up to 1,5% of the total valuation of Government buildings ought to be spent annually on repairs. At present the total estimated value of Government buildings is R6 000 million so at least R90 million per annum ought to be spent on repairs.
The time has come for us to pay serious attention to the weathering of our buildings The effect of rust in coastal areas and of acid rain in industrial areas should be researched so that the life of our Government buildings can be extended. I believe the time has also come for us to learn from older countries which perhaps have more experience of these matters. Not only is the State placed in a poor light if the quality of its buildings is deteriorating but we should also remember that much of our cultural heritage is embodied in our Government buildings. One need think only of the Union Buildings, the complex in which we are at present and Tuynhuys, which has become accommodation for the State President. That is why it is shortsighted to attempt making political capital out of repairs to these historic Government buildings and the money devoted to them.
I wish to refer specifically to a question from the hon member for Houghton on the cost of the restoration of Tuynhuys. The Minister replied that the cost of this restoration amounted to R3,35 million but that is not the whole story. The hon member for Houghton and her party obviously think that they can now tell the country that the arrangement of Tuynhuys for the State President cost over R3 million but this is one of our most historic buildings. In consequence I put a supplementary question and from the reply I received it is clear that the preparation of Tuynhuys for the State President comprised only a small part of the cost attached to the restoration of that complex. I quote from the reply (Questions and Answers, 19 March 1985, col 771):
If one examines the analysis of the cost elements of this R3,35 million, one finds that almost R3 million of the amount related to the restoration of a historic monument, restoration which would have had to be undertaken in any case even if Tuynhuys had been used as a museum. We should therefore beware of permitting political gain to motivate us in dragging the repair of things which form part of our cultural heritage and national property into the wrangle which may ensue on the success or failure of the new dispensation and the arrangement of physical facilities for it.
Mr Chairman, at the outset I want to say that I am the first one to comprehend that this department was given only very recently to the hon the Minister, Dr Munnik. As a result I understand that it must be very difficult for him to accept responsibility for many of the things that have taken place in the past and that he simply had to continue with. I understand that completely. I also have complete understanding for the fact that the officials of that department, officials who have to submit to the wishes and caprices of the Government, sometimes find it difficult to execute certain instructions because they know what the country’s financial position is.
As far as State-owned buildings are concerned, the unrest in South Africa is a very important matter, something that has to be considered. I know that schools have been taken away from this department recently. I know too, however, that there are many other State-owned buildings that experience problems daily. I want to point out a specific case, and I want to mention the date. On 19 April, last Friday, between 700 and 800 Black children invaded the town of Nigel and went to the magistrate’s court where they ran amuck and caused damage, damage that White taxpayers in South Africa have to pay for. [Interjections.] Those are the facts. The newspapers said there were 200 but I have it on authority that there were between 700 and 800. I was in my home town last Friday and I investigated these things. [Interjections.] I saw what was going on there. [Interjections.] There is a chorus of approval from the opposite side, Sir. It is the leftist liberal clique which is part of the Government which is rejoicing and carrying on so.
When the children entered the courthouse, they damaged even a window as well as a door frame. You and I have to pay for that. [Interjections.] It is this Minister’s department that has to take care of these State-owned buildings.
Do hon members know what the irony is? The irony is that if one White child from one White class of a White school did things like this in another area, the heavens would have come down upon him—not in joy, but with all hell let loose! [Interjections.] That is a fact of life. Let us speak very frankly. If they were White children, they would have been sent either to a reform school or they would have ended up in jail. [Interjections.]
Now those buildings that were burnt down are being rebuilt. The magistrate’s court has to be fixed and in addition it took a lot of trouble to get that place clean because it was filthy. The policemen that have to take care of these things, are tried to the utmost. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member must please stick to the Vote under consideration and disregard the Police Vote for the moment.
With all due respect, Mr Chairman, I am talking about the protection of the buildings. Were it not for the Police and the traffic officers, this Department of Public Works would have suffered immeasurable damage. That is why I mention that State-owned buildings are especially dependent on the protection of the police. For the sake of the maintenance of State-owned buildings and to ensure that fires and things like that do not occur, we want to pay tribute to those people, who, when many others are sleeping peacefully, must see to it that things take the right course.
Who is bluffing whom? I now ask the hon the Minister, who is a very senior Minister in the Cabinet, to bring home to the Cabinet that it is not true that this Government rules South Africa with a firm hand. Indeed, that is very far from the truth. It is because certain people see that nothing has been done that they proceed to these deeds.
Those deeds that were committed in Nigel on 19 April, however, will resound across South Africa. Many people who voted “yes” are now asking: “Is what we are seeing now the kind of thing we voted for? We do not want anarchy in South Africa. We do not want to see how State-owned buildings are damaged. We should like to make every effort to protect those buildings, for some of them are our legacy.” [Interjections.]
Now it is true that this kind of thing was by implication encouraged a short while ago by a person who recently received the Decoration for Meritorious Service. I quote from Die Vaderland of 19 April:
[Interjections.] By implication Mr Oppenheimer condones strikes. Strikes lead to anarchy and anarchy leads to buildings being damaged. [Interjections.] That is the effect it has. It is that simple. [Interjections.] It is high time, therefore, that we make sure that we do not give people like this the Decoration for Meritorious Service. If we keep on doing so, however, the decoration will soon be so cheap that we shall be able to buy it at the OK. [Interjections.] That is simply where the position is leading. We must consider this matter again. [Interjections.]
Recently I spoke in another debate about the extravagance that is taking place. I do not intend to repeat it. I do want to correct the hon member who spoke before me, however. I refer here to the Sunday Times of 10 February 1985. There the hon the Minister himself replied to the newspaper which put certain questions to him. The questions did not deal only with the maintenance of buildings. No, we quite agree on that. The Union Building must be in good repair at all times. No part of it should ever be demolished. The amount spent on it, however, was mainly for luxury, not for maintenance. It says here:
But I did not talk about the Union Building.
The hon member spoke about the Union Building and about Tuynhuys. I have spoken about Tuynhuys and am not going to repeat what I said. We must simply protect our buildings, but when it comes to luxuries, we must proceed cautiously in the difficult time in which we are living. A great friend of the Government says for example: “Die geskiedenis van die afgelope vyf jaar is hartverskeurend.” Dr Wassenaar says: “Dit is ’n onmiddellike teken dat Staatsuitgawes nie meer tot die nodige mate onder beheer is nie.” What we are kicking against, is that money is unnecessarily being spent on luxuries. I want to refer to what was written in a newspaper that supports the Government strongly, viz Rapport … [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon member entitled to say “He is just like the UDF; he is in revolt”?
Mr Chairman, I said he was rising in revolt.
Order! The hon member asserts that he said something else and I must accept his word. The hon member for Nigel may proceed.
I shall accept the hon member’s word. I know he talks nonsense sometimes.
This newspaper writes about the poor-White problem of 50 years ago which is recurring. The report reads inter alia:
The newspaper also writes about children at school who have to be fed and reports as follows:
That is the situation the country is experiencing. Therefore, before certain costs which in reality are for luxuries, are incurred, they must be considered very seriously. Before the expense is incurred, it must be determined whether it is urgently necessary.
Mr Chairman, I wish to limit myself as far as possible to the discussion of the Vote. The hon member who has just resumed his seat did not succeed in that at all.
Order! I trust the hon member does not intend that remark to reflect on the Chair.
No, Sir. One had only to note how the hon member wandered. At one stage he dealt with decorations, then the police, Black scholars etc and one wondered whether he had known he was to take part in this debate today. He reminded me of the opera singer who time and again discovered only after the start of a performance that he was singing the wrong part. I think the hon member was speaking entirely in the wrong House this afternoon.
He complained that the work on the Union Buildings supposedly represented luxuries. I wish to draw to his attention that Americans are so proud in the first place of the White House and in the second of the Capitol where their Senate and Congress sit, that those buildings are painted continuously. When one is there one always notes in what an exceptional condition these public buildings are maintained. While one sometimes sees dilapidated public buildings in South Africa, I wish to point out that one is not spending money on luxuries when it is being used to maintain a building but one is preventing the squandering of money. If one permits a building to become derelict, it will ultimately cost much more to be repaired again.
I wish to get to the speech I have prepared and to the annual report of the department. Because so much fuss has recently been made over the removal of people, I should like to quote something from the report dealing with regional development. Under the caption “Boksburg” the following is stated:
The removal of these White residents from Delmore in my electoral division elicited complaints from various radical elements. On the one hand the PFP and the English Press, inter alia, complained about this and on the other hand the HNP, which has now obviously been taken over by the CP, and Hell’s Angels objected to it. Hon members can believe this if they like but Hell’s Angels were also dissatisfied as their clubhouse was situated in that area by coincidence.
By moving the Whites from Delmore closer to other White residential areas of Boksburg, costs of services by the city council to this handful of people would have been decreased enormously. Those Whites were therefore not the only ones to benefit from this financially; there was advantage to the city council as well. By vacating the area the Whites made that land available to enable Reigerpark, which is a Coloured residential area, to be extended immensely. This brought great satisfaction to the Coloured population on the East Rand. The resettlement of these people was therefore both in the Whites’ and the Coloureds’ interests, which is why I saw fit to thank the hon the Minister here that his department had dealt with it so successfully. It was an action taking two to three years but everyone was satisfied and there were no noteworthy incidents. In spite of protest from the PFP and the English Press, the HNP and Hell’s Angels and probably also the CP, I wish to say that there is satisfaction now. I hope Mr Jac Rabie, my colleague in the other House, will also thank the hon the Minister on behalf of the Coloured residents of that area when the Vote is dealt with there. I believe he will do so as the satisfaction there is great. The only people not yet satisfied are Hell’s Angels. They have ended about halfway between heaven and hell, it appears to me, and that is quite symbolic of their name. But enough of that.
I wish to bring another matter to the hon the Minister’s notice. I want to refer to a situation I have noticed in my electoral division which I think does, in fact, receive the attention of his department. In my electoral division there is a building belonging to this department but being used by one of our other Government departments. There are only two officials employed in that building but it was renovated recently at a cost of about R55 000. If this R55 000 had been invested at approximately 15% interest, it would have meant a monthly income of about R690. This is almost 50% more than the cost at which office space could be rented for those officials elsewhere in town. I am bringing this to the hon the Minister’s notice because I believe a joint effort should emanate from this Assembly and Parliament to fix the Cabinet’s attention on places where we can effect savings. We discussed this during the no-confidence debate and I think it is the duty of each member of Parliament to point out such a situation. That is why I wish to say to the hon the Minister I think if this is happening in my electoral division, it can possibly take place elsewhere as well. I therefore request the hon the Minister to attend to this matter because it will mean a huge saving in costs to the State.
In addition that building is located in a poorly developed part of Boksburg. This part is poorly developed because about 20 plots in that specific area have belonged to the State for the past 80 years, and because a type of urban decline has taken place, urban renewal is being hampered by buildings of this kind. If we can therefore establish those people elsewhere, it will be a step in the right direction and enable the city council to bring about total urban renewal in that area.
Nevertheless I wish to tell the hon the Minister that one can draw much advantage from such a building. The valuation of the property on which this building stands is approximately R150 000 so it is very obvious that if such a building is being used by only two officials it means huge losses to the State. I think this department should join other departments using buildings to investigate the benefit to be gained if buildings which are put to such poor use could be provided by the private sector instead.
Mr Chairman, I hope the hon member for Boksburg will forgive me if I do not comment directly upon the aspects that he raised.
I want to take advantage of this opportunity to wish the hon the Minister well in regard to his new responsibility for Public Works and Land Affairs, and express the hope that he will be successful in carrying out his onerous tasks.
In the short time at my disposal there are a number of aspects I should like to draw to the attention of the hon the Minister. The first of these relates to the importance of deeds registries which appears on page 55 of the report. Although this report is rather truncated in that since September of last year many of these matters have not been dealt with, there are in fact some with which we can deal. The deeds office reflects the fact that there has been a 7% increase in the registration of transfers, and of 8% in the registration of mortgage bonds. However, there has been a 4% overall decrease in respect of sectional title registrations. There is a delay of something like eight days in respect of deeds office registrations and, while we realize that there is an accumulation in the month of December, it is very important to try to eliminate this delay because such delays cost many thousands of rand in respect of accumulated interest on guarantees connected with mortgage bonds and transfers.
In the Johannesburg and Pretoria deeds registries on the Witwatersrand, after a deed has been registered there is a delay of some six weeks before that deed is forthcoming from the deeds office. For example, a deed that was registered on 13 February was only forthcoming on 22 April. This means a delay of some six weeks. This causes delays in conveyancing offices and upsets building societies because deeds and bonds are held up. Therefore, I sincerely hope that something can be done about this.
In terms of the appropriate legislation conveyancers have taken on additional responsibilities, and this should help to speed up the process. However, it is at the same time pointed out in the report that there is a shortage of controllers, or examiners as we know them. I also regret to note that, according to the report, there was no training of controllers last year, and I feel that something should be done to remedy this shortcoming.
There are two requests I wish to make in regard to the expedition of registration. Firstly, a standing committee should be appointed on an ongoing basis to consider ways and means of simplifying the registration of deeds and mortgage bonds so as to make these documents as simple as possible while at the same time keeping an eye on costs. Secondly, with regard to the training of personnel, I think it is necessary that the question of autonomy for deeds registries should be considered so that they can attend to their own affairs, pay their own controllers and fix their own fees in that regard.
The next point I wish to raise is in regard to programme 5, and specifically the question of area evacuation for the purposes of removing non-White inhabitants from certain areas for resettlement elsewhere. The amount involved in this regard is R5,8 million. I want to ask the hon the Minister how he reconciles the expenditure of R5,8 million now with the statements made by the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education. As recently as yesterday, in answer to a question, the latter hon Minister stated:
If, therefore, it is true that we are not going to enforce removals and that these will take place only with the consent of the people to be removed, then I think we should have another look at the expenditure of this large amount of R5,8 million that requires to be voted for this purpose.
The next point I want to raise is in regard to programme 6, and specifically the item dealing with chanceries and diplomatic residential accommodation for representatives of the RSA in foreign countries. I can understand the expenditure of an amount of R2,5 million for accommodation for our ambassador in Rome. However, I have some difficulty in understanding—perhaps the hon the Minister can explain—how we can spend an amount of R30 million on ambassadorial accommodation in New York. I have in fact visited some of these places in New York. I do not know what has happened in this regard but I do feel that the hon the Minister owes us an explanation.
The next point I want to deal with is in regard to prisons. Under programme 6 there is expenditure of R49 million which is referred to in pages 3 to 7 of the White Paper supplied to us. The items with which I wish to deal are additions to prisons. I can understand renovations and restoration in the case of old prison buildings but I cannot understand the question of additions.
Looking at the prison population—we only have figures for 1982—98 702 were convicted for offences relating to the pass laws only; that is in relation to reference books and for entering forbidden areas. In 1983 there were 145 067 such convictions. Are we actually contemplating adding to 20 different prisons? I do not have enough time to refer to each prison individually, but on the pages that I refer to, hon members will find the item “Additions to prison accommodation”. Why, in this day and age and with a view to relaxing the laws concerning the movement of Blacks, the carrying of passes, etc, do we now have to spend R49 million or thereabouts on additional accommodation for the prison population? I believe that we have to look at that a little bit more carefully.
The next item I wish to comment on appears on page 14 of the White Paper. I refer to the items in so far as the expenditure for the Union Buildings is concerned. I understand from the report that we have before us that an amount close to R7,5 million was spent on the Union Buildings. I think that that amount is correct. There were other items as well. I believe that this is the opportunity for the hon Minister to tell this House exactly what facilities are being prepared, how this money has been spent, and what provision is being made for standing committees to meet in Pretoria. I am referring here to the standing committees which will meet during the period that Parliament is not in session here in Cape Town. What has been done and what kind of restoration work has this money been spent on? Where will the committees meet? What facilities are available for members who will serve on standing committees? What precisely has this money been spent on? Has the work been completed and are the facilities ready for the standing committees to meet during the coming recess?
Mr Chairman, I should very much like to react to the speech by the hon member for Hillbrow by referring to one of the aspects the hon member raised, namely the issue of influx control and the prosecution of people under the influx control measures. As far as this matter is concerned, I agree with the hon member. The prosecution of people under the influx control measures must be regulated. Influx control is an economic process and it must be regulated by economic measures.
I want to refer to another matter. The National Housing Commission and the National Housing Fund underwent a change with the implementation of the new dispensation. I think it is appropriate at this stage, in the discussion of this Vote, to refer to the outstanding work the National Housing Commission has done over many years in the interest of housing and the housing process in South Africa. The National Housing Fund, as an instrument of the Government in fulfilling housing needs, has fulfilled a specific need since the twenties, and in doing so has contributed to the establishment of orderly communities among all population groups. I believe the National Housing Commission and the National Housing Fund have been among the most important instruments contributing to the ordering of communities in South Africa and to making housing accessible to those who need it. In this connection I should like to address a personal word of thanks to Mr Marais, chairman of the National Housing Commission.
If a list of national priorities were to be drawn up for South Africa, the housing and urbanization of Blacks would be among the first five items.
I believe the time has passed for debating this matter and saying, inter alia, that housing is the responsibility of the State, the individual or the private sector. The time for this debate has already run out. The time is ripe for doing something about the aspect of Black housing, particularly with reference to the urbanization process.
As far as I am concerned, there are two matters in this connection that are causing concern. The fact that from 12 to 24 Black people live in one housing unit is certainly alarming. In the existing Black metropolitan complexes, one structure after another is being attached to existing dilapidated structures. In the interests of South Africa this state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely because socially adverse circumstances form a breeding-ground for radicalism. It is therefore the responsibility of the House and the Government to consider this state of affairs as soon as possible.
Another aspect in connection with Black housing that is also causing concern is the unco-ordinated action in the supply of that housing. To support my statement, I want to highlight a few points. In the first place, Black local authorities are involved in Black housing. The development boards, the Department of Co-operation and Development and the private sector, too, are involved in the planning of Black housing. There is, however, a lack of an overall co-ordinated action as far as the provision of Black housing is concerned.
Moreover, Black housing cannot be separated from the whole process of urbanization, of deconcentration and decentralization. Therefore, if we combine housing and urbanization, especially as far as the Black population group is concerned, I want to take this opportunity to call for the introduction, without delay, of a national council for Black housing and urbanization. This must not, however, be merely a council to co-ordinate national Black housing activities. It must be a partnership between the public and private sectors with a view to actively tackling this problem as the highest priority. When I ask for the introduction of a national council board for Black housing and urbanization, I mean that it should be a statutory council which not only co-ordinates, but also has executive powers and duties. This will enable them to examine the problem and to attempt a solution, because this is suffocating our metropolitan areas.
Should anyone ask what the aim and functions of such a national council for Black housing and urbanization could be, I propose that it begin by examining a matter raised by the hon member for Randburg. That is, in the first place, that since freehold is now available to the Black community, care must be taken to ensure that the system fits the policy, because there is nothing as frustrating as when there is a policy change and the system has not been adjusted to accommodate it. A council of this nature could examine this matter.
A council such as this could look at the short-and long-term results of urbanization and could deal with this aspect. One of the major tasks of such a council will be to provide overall geographic co-ordination of the Black housing process and to create a partnership between the private and public sectors. I regard the National Housing Commission in its amended form as an integral part of such a co-ordinating council, which could serve as a financing instrument on this national co-ordinating council, and involve the private sector in housing. Since the National Housing Fund is declared Government stock, the private sector can be mobilized to invest in the National Housing Fund in order, by so doing, to obtain funds from the private sector which can be made available for housing.
Of all the important issues discussed under this Vote and under all the other Votes, this matter is in my opinion of such cardinal importance that it must be given positive attention.
Mr Chairman, I should like to respond initially to the hon member for Bellville. I just want to refer to two of the points he made. First of all, considering influx control, he said he felt that influx control would in future be controlled by economic measures. I think we should be very careful when we make reference to economic measures controlling anything that there is not a certain suggestion that restrictions may be placed artificially in the way of the free movement of persons. What we have to acknowledge is that one cannot say that people should be restricted from moving because they have to have a house or a job. People will move because of market forces and that will be the only restriction which I think should control them.
Secondly, I should like to refer to the suggestion made by the hon member for Bellville concerning a national council for Black housing and urbanization. I think it is a very interesting suggestion because, again, it is the realization of the kind of thing the hon the State President has been saying. I have grave doubts, however, about the wisdom of making it only a council for Black housing and urbanization. I think we need to get away from a feeling that we are only looking at Blacks moving between cities. However, I think these are areas which we can discuss further under other Votes and I think those were valuable suggestions.
I should like to turn to the rather extraordinary speech of the hon member for Nigel. I agree with the hon member for Boksburg that there were times when the hon member’s speech had little reference to this Vote at all. There is one point I should like to make from these benches, however, and that is in regard to the destruction and damaging of State property that is currently taking place in South Africa—and this includes schools—by pupils and by other persons. I condemn most strongly this destruction and damaging of State property. I know, unlike the hon member for Nigel, that the money which the State is expending is not White money. It is the money of all South Africans including individual taxes from everybody, GST that all citizens pay, and company taxes including the profits made on the gold mines from the labour of all the South Africans working there. All South Africa is being harmed when State property is damaged in this way. Having condemned it, however, I must also add that I am aware of the pent-up frustration and anger which lead to these attacks being made on the nearest symbol of State or Government authority. This, unfortunately, is usually the school. Here, I believe, we should issue a warning to both sides please to learn from history.
There was a terrible, bloody civil war in Algeria that carried on for 13 years. It reached a point of such self-destruction that a bomb, planted by a so-called freedom fighter—someone who claimed he was fighting for the freedom of Algeria—destroyed the magnificent library of the University of Algeria. This had an effect throughout the world. Not only were millions lost as a result but irreparable damage was also done to the cultural and historic heritage of Algeria itself. May we never reach that point in this country. The only way in which we can prevent that point from being reached is by both sides agreeing to talk, not with continual threats of violence in mind from either side but with the promise of peace.
I have very little time, Mr Chairman. There are, however, two other matters I should like to mention briefly: The first one has already been mentioned briefly by the hon member for Bezuidenhout. I, too, want to make mention of the State housing scheme for State employees. The hon the Minister, in reply to a question I had put to him earlier in this session, indicated that statistics in respect of State-guaranteed housing loans were not kept separately for each population group but that 53 771 loans to public servants had been granted up to the end of last year.
I know full well that no money actually changes hands regarding these loans. They are based on a guarantee by the State to building societies that they can grant 100% loans. This guarantee is in turn based on the pension contributions of State employees which at the moment total some R8 000 million. It is indeed a good guarantee. What I am most concerned about, however, is that the hon the Minister may be giving the impression to South Africa that housing loans are exclusively for White public servants. What we need to do is to make quite sure that the thousands of Black employees have access to these guarantees and that we know how many are receiving them because there may in fact be more who need them.
Secondly, Mr Chairman, I should like to turn very briefly to the subject of building during a recession. The De Lange Committee made a very firm recommendation that in order to reduce the adverse impact of the shortage of skilled labour on building costs, contracts for the construction of schools to eliminate backlogs should be awarded and executed during periods of recession rather than during periods of building booms. I would hope that this department can co-ordinate a very good building programme involving all the departments of education in South Africa, aimed at building now, because it looks to me as though, with the recession, now is precisely the time that we should be moving into the era of building educational institutions.
Mr Chairman, right at the outset I should like to wish the hon the Minister all the very best in his handling of Public Works, and also Land Affairs which has now been added to his portfolio.
Furthermore, I should also like to take this opportunity to wish the officials—I am referring here in particular to the Director-General of the department, as well as to other officials with whom I worked for many years in the Department of Community Development—all the best in the new department. I should also like to give the hon the Minister the assurance that in this department he has among the most loyal and trusted workers one can find in the ranks of the Public Service. I wish all those officials everything of the best in the loyal service they are rendering to the Public Service and to the Government of the day.
Next, I should like to refer to the Department of Land Affairs. This department, as a section on its own, came into existence as a result of rationalization, and in the light of all the many aspects affected by rationalization, I think this was a wise step in that we have now combined all land affairs under one specific department. We know what kind of chaos sometimes developed, particularly with reference to valuations, when all State departments dealt with land affairs. I would also like to wish the hon the Deputy Minister, who handles this portfolio, all the best and to assure him of my loyal support at all times when it comes to land affairs in the Republic of South Africa.
I am particularly grateful that the hon the Minister of Education and Culture is also present in the House this afternoon. Right at the outset I should like to raise a matter that I regard as very important, particularly because it concerns my own constituency. I should like to make a cordial appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister who deals with land affairs to give serious consideration to the possibility of purchasing the farm Waterval. The farm Waterval is in the Witbank district and falls within the boundaries of my constituency. This is the farm where the mortal remains of the late General Hertzog and his family were laid to rest. From a cultural-historical viewpoint, I think that since the kwaNdebele homeland is now being consolidated, and since application is being made for independence, the time is now right for the State to consider acquiring that farm.
I should like to refer next to the departmental report we received. In this report reference was made to the steps the Government took in respect of the marketing of redundant State land. During the year under review this matter gained momentum to such an extent that 314 properties—mainly urban stands with a surface area of 1 742 ha—were placed on the market, and I regard this as a positive step.
I should like, furthermore, to refer to the departmental report in which one can read that 92 826 ha of land which belonged to the State was transferred to the Department of Agriculture to be used for agricultural purposes. In my opinion this is also a positive step, and I should like to congratulate the hon the Deputy Minister on it.
If I am to talk this afternoon on behalf of a great number of farmers who have made use of State land for emergency grazing—and I am referring here to 50 530 ha of State land which was made available to farmers for emergency grazing—let me, on behalf of so many of them who made use of that offer, express my particular appreciation this afternoon. [Interjections.]
This afternoon I should like to emphasize the importance of land, taking into account the demand for it. People increase in number, but the amount of land does not increase. If we look at the demographic trends in South Africa, we can see a warning light flickering. One’s dependence on land dates from the time of Adam and Eve. Today’s increasing world population has brought a new urgency to the necessity for increased agricultural production. In my opinion it is important that we make attempts countrywide to kindle an awareness in South Africans, of all race groups, of their dependence on this valuable land, as well as an awareness of the dangers inherent in this important resource’s not being exploited to the full.
If we look at the demand for land, we see in the first place that it is needed for agricultural purposes. One then thinks involuntarily of the population increase and the supply of food to all these people. If we look at the extraction of our minerals in mining, we realize it is important and in the interest of the country for minerals to be extracted. If we think of industrial development, the importance of land is also involved. The provision of land is linked to the Government’s decentralization policy. If we consider that only one growth point, for example Enkangala at Bronkhorstspruit—a growth point that falls within my constituency—extends over 3 500 ha, it becomes clear how much land is needed for only one growth point. Land is also used for the erection of power stations, for Sasols, for defence, for the consolidation of the homelands and so on. Hon members know what Act 18 of 1936 provides in respect of land that has to be used for the consolidation of Black homelands.
If the process of urbanization continues at the present rate, indications are that in the year 2000, 88% of the total population of the Republic of South Africa will be living in cities and towns. As a result, the pace of the development of towns will also increase.
We are aware of the fact—I think it is clear—that provincial councils will no longer exist in their present form. If the provincial administrations are no longer there, there will no longer be any utilization of land at the second tier of Government. There is a strong feeling—I have it too—that land utilized at the third tier of government will also be added to this single Department of Land Affairs. I have no doubt; I think it would be in the interest of the country for this to occur.
I want to point out, further, that in speaking of the use, the utilization of land, we must not forget to give earnest attention to reclamation. We can refer, for example, to what happened in the city of Johannesburg. Eight kilometres from the city there is 1 000 ha of land that was used as a dumping ground. Since then it has been filled and grass and shrubs have been planted there. This is being presented as an example. We can also have a look at what is happening in a city such as London. It is an historic fact that only 243 ha were used where Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are situated in London. In drawing a comparison between these two cities we see that the Johannesburg City Council, in conjunction with the Chamber of Mines, deserves the highest praise. They are setting an example to so many of our people. On the Witwatersrand there were originally 6 800 ha of slimes dams, and 1 200 ha of mine dumps. Grass was planted in those areas. We must utilize every piece of land in this country.
By way of conclusion I should like to make a cordial appeal to the hon the Deputy Minister of Land Affairs. We have already had a water year. I am asking the hon the Deputy Minister to take the initiative and give us, too, a year of the soil, so that we can bring to the attention of all the citizens of South Africa the importance of soil, its uses and its application, taking all contributary factors into account.
Mr Chairman, I want to associate myself with two points mentioned by the hon member for Witbank. He firstly conveyed his thanks to the hon the Minister for the State land that was made available to farmers in the drought-stricken areas. We in these benches are also very thankful for that. The second point on which I am in agreement with him involves the maximum utilization of our land. I shall return to this a little later in my speech.
I want to thank the hon the Minister very sincerely. I notice in the report that his department is going to be spending a certain amount of money in my constituency. In Kuruman it is going to be spent on erecting a prison and prison quarters. The money involved amounts to R1,15 million. We are very grateful for it, because over the years the convicts in Kuruman have been housed in very poor accommodation. We are grateful that new facilities are now to be provided. An amount has also been allocated for the police station and the magistrates’ offices in Kathu. We are also extremely grateful for that.
I also want to thank the hon the Minister for the improvements to the police barracks in the vicinity of Port Elizabeth. We also visited Uitenhage after the riots. I visited the police station and police barracks there. I ask the hon the Minister please to pay urgent attention to the police facilities in Uitenhage. At the moment those people are working under terrible conditions.
The hon member for Uitenhage has already asked for that to be done.
I went to have a look at those facilities. The representations of the hon member for Uitenhage have not had any effect because not one cent has been allocated to Uitenhage here. I am therefore asking the hon the Minister to pay attention to this matter now.
Let me quote from page 42, point 4.2 of the annual report:
This department, in other words, hands over land it no longer needs to the Department of Agriculture and Water Supply of the White House of Assembly to make these farms available to White farmers. I want to ask the hon the Minister if this is also going to make land available to the Coloured and Indian Ministers who deal with agriculture.
Having asked this, I should like to quote from Hansard of 4 May 1984, col 5821, where the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs at the time said:
Now I should like to ask the hon the Minister or the hon the Deputy Minister who deals with this matter whether the policy of the Government still remains what the Deputy Minister at the time said it was. Is it still Government policy that the farmers in the surrounding areas have to give their consent when a Coloured farmer wants to buy a farm? Is it still Government policy that local institutions have to be consulted when farms are sold to Coloured farmers? Is it still submitted to the local Member of the House of Assembly and the member of the provincial council? I want to ask the hon the Minister if it is still Government policy. Perhaps the hon the Deputy Minister could help me in my argument. Is it still Government policy that it should be done this way?
I shall reply when you have finished.
No, I am now asking the hon the Minister because I want to make representations to him. I therefore ask him if it is still Government policy. [Interjections.]
What I find most peculiar in this House of Assembly is that when one puts a matter relating what a Deputy Minister said to a second Minister, asking him if it is still Government policy, he is then unable to reply. [Interjections.] I can only come to one conclusion: This Government changes its policy on a weekly basis. I now want to ask the hon the Minister once again: Is it still your policy?
I just want to say that I am not taking part in a question-and-answer session. [Interjections.]
Oh, it is so easy for the hon the Minister to say he still stands by his policy, but it seems to me he has once again shown his policy a clean pair of heels. [Interjections.]
If some of these institutions gave a negative reply and if it were still the policy of the NP, would the Government then refuse to allow such farms to be sold to the Coloureds? I ask the question because in my part of the world there are Coloureds farmers in the Gathlose-Maramane area who now have to be moved. Initially these people would have been able to buy land in a rural area, but now these farmers, in accordance with the NP policy, have the right to buy farms anywhere. The voters of Kuruman and I would therefore like to know about these things, and that is my reason for asking. [Interjections.]
I want to ask the hon the Minister: If any of these institutions were to refuse to give their consent, is the hon the Minister then going to refuse to allocate the farms to those people? I want him to give me a reply to this question today; he must not be as evasive as he is now being about the questions I am putting to him.
This is a general department and the disposal of agricultural land is a general affair. If a Coloured applies to buy a farm in the Kuruman district and his application is sent to the hon the Minister for approval, and that Coloured makes representations to his Coloured Member of Parliament within whose constituency boundaries that farm falls, and that Coloured Member of Parliament makes representations to the hon the Minister to grant his approval for that farm to be sold to the Coloured farmer, I want to ask the hon the Minister whom he going to take notice of. [Interjections.] To whom is the hon the Minister going to listen when consent for the sale of that farm has to be given? Is he going to heed the representations of the White Member of Parliament or the Coloured Member of Parliament?
That would be my own decision.
Yes, I know it would be the hon the Minister’s own decision, but we would like to know.
This now brings me to the utilization of land and the Khuis land at Kuruman. The Black people were moved from this land to Bophuthatswana nearly 15 years ago.
Where is it?
I am speaking of the Khuis land in the Kuruman district. What does the Government intend doing with this land? In about 1977 this area was divided into farms ready to be made available to farmers. Now I want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister of Land Affairs to make this land available to White farmers as soon as possible so that it may be put to optimal use.
I should also like to speak about the Boland farms between Kuruman and Reivilo. These are White farms that were purchased more than 15 years ago for inclusion in Bophuthatswana. In the legislation of 1975 governing consolidation, these farms were excluded from the additions to Bophuthatswana. For 10 years now these farms have again been under the jurisdiction of the Government of the Republic of South Africa. Today these farms are still a part of the SA Development Trust and they fall under the control of that Minister.
Farms have already been withdrawn for use this year. I want to ask the hon the Deputy Minister, who is burdened with responsibilities on both sides, as Deputy Minister of Development and of Land Affairs, to withdraw the Boland farms as well as Kookfontein and Nooitgedacht that from part of the Taung district from the Trust as soon as possible and to make that land available to the Department of Agriculture and Water Supply of Minister Hayward so that that land may also be made available to White farmers as quickly as possible.
And if Coloureds apply for that land?
Let me tell the hon the Minister that this land was taken from White farmers 15 years ago and has since remained completely unutilized. Since the hon member agreed with me that land should be fully utilized, I want to ask the hon the Minister that this land be made available to White farmers as soon as possible so that it can once again be utilized fully. Reivilo is a small town. The school is attended by a small number of children.
It has a cheese factory.
Yes, it has a very fine cheese factory. It produces the best cheese in South Africa—I could almost say in the world. That cheese factory the hon member was referring to, as well as its schools and the church, urgently needs people. I therefore ask the hon the Minister to settle this matter as quickly as possible.
An adjacent new Council Chamber is being built at the cost of R23 million. This Council Chamber will seat 352 people, although there are only 308 members of Parliament. [Interjections.] Hon members laugh at this, but I want replies. The hon members must not laugh off these questions. If there are 44 extra seats, for whom are they intended? [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, during the course of my speech I shall touch on various points that were raised. Let me associate myself right at the outset with previous speakers in welcoming the hon the Minister to his new portfolio. I also want to thank him for his attitude towards me as a Deputy Minister in his department. I want to thank the officials as well for the work they have done during the year. I want to thank hon members sincerely for the sentiments they expressed in their speeches. I am saying this to hon members on both sides of the House.
There are a few matters that I want to elucidate briefly. I want to start off with surveys and mapping. Hon members will remember that in the announcement of the State President and also with the passing of legislation concerning 99-year leasehold rights, certain policies were indicated, inter alia that Blacks could acquire 99-year leasehold rights, but that it meant that the premises concerned had to be identified, which would entail a fair amount of surveying and registration.
This process involved 500 000 State financed dwellings that had to be surveyed. This created a workload not only for the division of the Surveyor-General, but also for surveyors in the private sector. This additional work that had to be done amounted in fact to double the work. As a result of discussions which departmental officials held with the private sector on how to cope with it, it was found possible to survey 304 000 plots during the course of the year … as the hon member for Umlazi spelt it out. There are also 211 000 stands at present that have already been earmarked for survey and it is to be hoped that this will be completed during the coming year. I just want to mention that in spite of the additional workload caused by the surveys, no additional people have been employed in the division. In terms of the Budget for the coming year it means a total increase of a mere 6%.
This is proof of the initiative that the officials have developed in their work. I do not think it is only the department and the Ministry who are indebted to the officials for the way in which they carried out their work and also involved the private sector in this matter, but in reality the whole country as well—particularly the Black population.
Let me also mention that for Whites, Coloureds and Indians, 2 500 sites have been completed and 85 000 have at this stage been earmarked for survey. Let me mention further that a great deal of progress is being made, and has in fact been made in regard to the situation. I shall deal with the registration of these stands as soon as we get to it.
In regard to the questions the hon member for Bezuidenhout asked about loans and loan facilities for people from private institutions and so on, I would advise the hon member to approach the Department of Co-operation and Development and of Education. It is a matter which rests with them and not with this department and he should raise the matter with them.
On the subject of deeds offices I just want to mention that the department has also made a tremendous amount of progress in regard to this matter over the past year. With reference to the hon member for Hillbrow’s observation that there is a backlog in the deeds offices, I want to point out that we are in the process of mechanizing. Computers are being installed. In addition we have the co-operation of the legal profession. Exceptionally good progress has been made with the completion of these registrations. The department acknowledged that this matter caused great concern last year and the matter was also raised in this House. However, during the course of this year, owing to the initiative of the department, the situation is such at this stage—that is to say 31 March 1985—that the number of working days from the date of submission to the date of registration are as follows: In Pretoria eight days; in Cape Town seven days; in Pietermaritzburg six days; in Bloemfontein six days; in Johannesburg seven days; and in King William’s Town, Kimberley and Vryburg, six days. I want to tell the hon members that a period of six days is the shortest time possible in which this process can be completed. There are therefore only three places where it takes longer than six days and the longest period is only two days longer than the shortest period within which the process can be completed.
I want to tell the hon member that this was the official figure on 31 March 1985.
I am speaking from personal experience.
These are the official figures. If one looks at the number of working days that elapse from the date of registration to the date of delivery of the document, something to which the hon member also referred, the situation is a little less satisfactory than we should like it to be. The hon member said it was a period of six weeks, but in reality it is 13 days in Pretoria—last year it was 47 days or six weeks—in Cape Town 13 days, in Pietermaritzburg six days, Bloemfontein three days, Johannesburg 26 days—that is the least satisfactory—King William’s Town one day, Kimberley one day and Vryburg one day. Even here great progress is therefore being made and the department has given attention to the situation, particularly at the place where the period is 26 days. The date of delivery, however, does not cause financial loss. Nevertheless the department is trying to make the period of completion shorter. The impression that was created here was not entirely correct because the figures quoted were out of date.
As far as computerization is concerned, the main aim is to get the land register in or der as well as the property description in respect of the owners, the title numbers, the bond and contract numbers as well as the interdicts and other encumbrances on properties. If all this information were on computer it would simplify the work a great deal. Information concerning the persons involved in the registration, for example identity numbers, marriage contracts, general powers of attorney, territorial connections, sequestrations etc will also be placed on computer so that the information will be readily available. The department has made good progress in speeding up the process and information will be more readily available in the future.
A second matter I want to deal with concerns leasehold rights and their registration. Up until now leasehold rights were registered by the Department of Co-operation and Development. It has been planned to transfer this matter to the deeds offices as from 1 July 1985. In this way the effectiveness of the entire programme can be facilitated.
The department will keep a computer record of all State land as from 1 April 1985. We hope to computerize all details of such land in order for them to be readily available, since they have until now been kept on a decentralized basis. As a result we shall have a streamlined service in this regard.
I also want to say something about the disposal of State land. This is done mainly under two Acts, namely Act 48 of 1961 and Act 21 of 1935. With regard to State land within municipal areas, our point of departure is that the State is not an entrepreneur as such and should only own land that it can use. Redundant land should be handed over to the private sector as soon as possible. In the course of this process we have disposed of 297 properties covering a total surface area of 1 742 hectares and, involving an amount of R10 859 000 during the past year.
Another point I want to mention is that on principle, sales take place mainly by tender. It can also be done by auction but in exceptional cases it can also take place by offer if the buyers have been approved. This principle prevents individuals from being given unfair preference.
I now come to the matter of making farming properties available. The hon member for Kuruman asked specific questions about that. As he correctly quoted, there are 380 properties totalling 92 826 hectares in the process of being sold, which the department has made available for disposal to the Department of Agricultural Economics during the past year. A total of 31 000 hectares of this land is situated in Calvinia and the remaining of 92 826 hectares are situated in Groblersdal, Jacobsdal, Ventersdorp, Koster, Pietersburg, Lower Umfolozi and in various other places. The department is already planning to have a look at what properties are still available to be disposed of in the same way during the present financial year. We went one step further and also held discussions with the Department of Agricultural Economics. We are also going to hold discussions at the bureaucratic and ministerial level so that we can streamline the settlement process when we transfer that land to the department. In this way the transfer and disposal can take place as soon as possible.
I come now to the hon member for Kuruman who asked specific questions about the disposal of farms. He mentioned farms in the Boland. I presume he was referring to the farms situated here at the foot of Klopinklaru that comprise approximately 14 000 hectares, as well as the farms Kookfontein and Nooitgedacht near Boetsak that comprise approximately 5 000 hectares. These farms were included in the consolidation proposals to Bophuthatswana. To settle this we would have to hold discussions with Bophuthatswana about additions as well as excisions of previous additions that were made and then we can make announcements in this connection. This matter has not been settled yet and it would be wrong of this Parliament or of the Department of Co-operation and Development, which is involved in this matter, to adopt a unilateral standpoint if others are also involved in it. I am therefore not prepared to do this before those discussions have been held and agreements have been reached. That is the first point.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Deputy Minister?
No, I have very little time. The hon member may ask me when I have finished.
The second point concerns the utilization of this land. The hon member was entirely correct in principle when he said that there should be maximum utilization. I know for certain that Nooitgedacht and Kookfontein as well as certain farms in this Boland region were withdrawn during October/November last year because they were leased to Whites for utilization. As a result of the drought as well as overgrazing—under these circumstances—all the information I had at my disposal, photographs I had seen and a reinvestigation that was ordered, made it clear that the land was being overutilized to such an extent that we felt it should be withdrawn so that the land and the grazing could recover. On these grounds I do not see my way clear to making this land available again at this stage before the carrying capacity of that land has adequately recovered.
Mr Chairman, may I now put a question to the hon the Deputy Minister?
First let me dispose of a few other points.
He also asked a few other questions about the principle adopted by the department on the disposal of land to Coloureds and Indians. The State buys the land it has as its disposal from certain sources for a specific purpose. If that land belonged to Whites and it was available to the State, the State in its wisdom could decide to dispose of it to White agriculturists. If the State were to do this, it would transfer the land to the Department of Agriculture. If the State, however, decided that this land which it had acquired in some way or another had to be disposed of to Coloured farmers, for example, it would make that decision after consultation with all the bodies involved. After the State has done this, it would transfer it to the Minister under whose portfolio it falls to dispose of the land as he sees fit within that framework. There is no other way of dealing with that kind of State land.
What would happen if it were not State land and he merely wanted to purchase land from another farmer in the normal way?
I think it is wrong of the hon member to try to make a political issue of this during the discussion of this Vote, where it does not belong. [Interjections.] I am prepared to reply to that question, but such a case does not fall under this Vote because it does not relate to State land. I can only make decisions on State land. I could give him a political reply but not in this debate. [Interjections.]
There is another minor point I should like to raise. [Interjections.] I want to make a few general remarks about boundary fences. We budgeted for R500 000 under Programme 7 for boundary fences. In principle a boundary fence is not the only means at one’s disposal to ensure good neighbourliness. But boundary fences are in any case one of the many methods that facilitate good neighbourliness. This is the basis of our point of departure that we should establish satisfactory boundaries. We held discussions with the SAAU on the small amount of money that was allocated for that purpose, to draw up a priority list of essential boundary fences that have to be erected. After the discussions that were held with the SAAU and with their co-operation it was decided that 11 km of wire fencing at a cost of R44 000 would be put up in Natal and Transkei. Nineteen km of wire fencing will be put up in Transvaal and Bophuthatswana, and in the Eastern Cape, which includes the Transkei/Ciskei area, 70 km will be put up at a cost of R400 000. An amount of R10 000 is being allocated to the upkeep of boundary fences in Venda, Lesotho and Botswana as well as further costs in Transkei and Bophuthatswana and the erection of boundary fences of approximately 29 km in a few specific cases.
It has come to my attention recently that there are problems on the Lesotho border along the Caledon River. It was also mentioned that a specific patrol road could solve the problem. The department has decided that R400 000 will be made available during the present financial year for the introduction of a patrol road in the Free State area along the Caledon River as soon as is practicable to try to solve the problems of the farmers there. We are going to deal with this matter in conjunction with the provincial authorities.
The Department of Co-operation and Development and the Department of Land Affairs has drawn up long-term plans that we want to put before the hon the Minister of Public Works and the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development and of Education for a decision and to quantify the entire project. The total length of the boundary that has been identified is 14 558 km. If one wants to quantify it in terms of money, it will amount to R54 million to erect these fences. Our aim here is a quantification of time and the manner in which it should be done. It has been accepted in principle that private farmers will be used and that they will have the right to erect the fences themselves to save money. They will also receive a premium in respect of their labour. They will, however, have the right to erect the fence in accordance with specific prescribed standards. If this were to be approved we are confident that we could solve this matter which is part of the consolidation process in regard to the farmers. However, decisions still have to be made so that we can make a submission later on.
As far as the communal grazing lands are concerned, there are three areas: The lower Orange River, the Douglas area and the Vaalharts area. The hon member for Upington as well as the hon member for Prieska made representations in connection with the communal grazing lands and asked that disposal should now take place in accordance with the legislation. Discussions have been held with them and great progress has already been made with the area along the lower reaches of the Orange River. This land may in fact be disposed of but it must be done with the co-operation of the people involved. As far as that is concerned the co-operation of the department can also be depended on to accede to the request of the hon members who represent those areas.
There is just one more point in regard to the requests that hon members made. It concerns resettlement and the amount of R5 888 000 that the hon member for Hillbrow raised. The hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development has given the undertaking that “no forced removals will be implemented”. In that regard it is also true that in certain areas we also have to ascertain which communities want to move voluntarily. There are of course such communities. If a relocation of those communities were to take place we must see to it that the necessary funds are available for them. These are in fact the funds that are now being allocated in the Budget.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Deputy Minister?
The hon member may put his question as soon as I have finished my speech.
The hon member for Witbank put a question in regard to the farm Waterval. He spoke inter alia about the utilization of land and a Soil Year and he conveyed his thanks for the emergency grazing that was provided. As far as Waterval, the farm of Gen Hertzog, is concerned we as a House and as representatives of our country and its people at least owe Gen Hertzog something. He rendered excellent service as a soldier and also as a statesman. I therefore think that we should honour him for what he has done for our country. The cemetery on that farm is one of the most impressive cemeteries we have. As a functional department we are therefore prepared to do what was requested if representations in this regard are made to us.
As far as land utilization and a Soil Year are concerned, I should prefer to adopt the standpoint that every year, or rather every day should be a Soil day. It should not only be limited to one year. I thank the hon member for the sentiment but I think we should expand it further by making every day a Soil day.
I am now prepared to reply to a question.
Mr Chairman, I should like to ask the hon the Deputy Minister whether it would not have been better to have used that R5,8 million to provide housing for the Black people?
We may differ about how that R5,8 million should be applied. However, the principle as spelt out by the State President and carried out by the Government is that any resettlement should be directed at development. The development taking place in a certain area and that includes housing amongst other things, is of course to the advantage of the local people. On this we base our conviction that whatever we may do, we are doing it to the benefit of the people.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Deputy Minister of Land Affairs replied so effectively to all the questions that I simply want to put a few general questions to hon members.
Do hon members know which people have lost their life policies? Do they know which debtors have gone insolvent, which companies are in liquidation and which notices there have been to creditors? Do they know which trademarks have to be registered? I also want to ask which proclamations have to be issued. I want to tell the hon member for Kuruman that he will find the answers to all these questions in the Government Gazette which is printed by the Government Printer. In fact, it is the Government Printing Works to which I want to confine myself today.
I want to congratulate the hon the Deputy Minister and the hon the Minister on the modernizing of processes, machinery and equipment in the past year, especially where the new electronic system has phased out the old hot-lead system. An immense technological renewal has taken place. The obsolete machinery and equipment have been replaced this year to the amount of more than R1 million. Highly sophisticated machines have been put into operation. This is of particular interest to those who are interested in the printing trade.
As the hon the Minister of Communication, who also deals with these matters, is present, one wants to congratulate him on the highly sophisticated new postage stamp printing press which can print five colours at the same time, and on the postage stamp production which has increased by 17,5%.
It is really a pleasure to see that the postage stamps of all the homelands are printed there too and that during the course of the year more than 2li million sheets were printed. More than 12 million sheets of postage stamps were printed for the Republic of South Africa alone, 2i million sheets for South West Africa, the fine figure of 3 million sheets of postage stamps for Transkei, 1½ million for Bophuthatswana and more than 1 million each for Venda and Ciskei. Hon members see, therefore, how postage stamps depict the Government Printer’s work to the advantage of the community.
What is interesting—of course, one could also deal with it in the Post Office debate—is that the number of postcards printed has decreased from 16 million to 14 million. It seems that people are not sending many postcards anymore, but the number of airmail letters has increased to more than eight million and postal orders to more than 28 million. That is a great achievement.
The order papers, minutes, Hansards and reports that we find on our tables, are mainly printed on a five-year contract which, I understand, expires at the end of this year. It is a very great task, however, which is also administered by the Government Printer.
I can also refer to the voters’ rolls, the ballot papers and the printed matter for the first official election for the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates, done by the Government Printer. In the course of the year, Government publications, maps and Government Gazettes to the value of R3 million were sold. What I find very interesting, is that more than four million examination papers were printed in the greatest secrecy. The following figures should be illuminating to those people who say that we do nothing for other sections of our population. For Whites, 1 400 000 examination papers were printed; for Blacks the figure was 1 500 000, and that does not include the Std 8 examination papers, which were printed elsewhere; 800 000 examination papers were printed for Coloureds and 300 000 for Indians. The value of the printed matter increased from R21 million to R25 million and according to the latest report, to R28,5 million.
More than 11 000 orders for printed matter were submitted by the individual departments. In all, 760 maps were printed. More than 71 000 rubber stamps were manufactured by the Government Printer. If we add all these figures, it appears that during the course of the year, a total of 26 million sheets of paper was printed by the Government Printer. Altogether 4 million kg of paper was used, as well as 3 million sheets of cardboard, 42 000 sheets of film and 45 000 lithographic printing plates. Truly, that is an enormous achievement.
When one takes into account, too, that the Government Printing Works is almost a century old, and that it dates back to 1888, the progress made thus far is truly remarkable. Almost throughout the nineteenth, and even up to the early years of the twentieth century, Government printing was done in Great Britain.
The Government Printing Works came into being with the establishment of the Boer Republic. It happened as a result of the fact that documents of a confidential nature had to be printed. That was in the days of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. President Kruger then set up a Government Printing Works and in the process took over a part of De Volkstem. It was that old paper that proclaimed the political propaganda of the former South African Party—now the NRP—and which unfortunately no longer exists.
As a result, Mr P W I Bell of the Netherlands was then appointed by the President to manage the Government Printing Works. I find it interesting that the Government Printing Works at present has only its eighth director since the time of President Kruger’s regime. In this respect, therefore, there has not been great fluctuation.
It was during the Boer War, however, that the British government temporarily placed the Government Printing Works under military control. In 1910 the Government Printing Works was, of course, placed under the control of the Union Government, and since 1961 it has been administered by the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
Previously the Government Printing Works fell under the Department of the Interior, but later it was placed under the present department; as a result, naturally, of the process of rationalization which was undertaken in the Public Service. Initially—during the rationalization process—it was under the control of the Department of Community Development, but at the moment it is being administered by the Department of Public Works and Land Affairs.
I want to pay tribute to the people who are doing so much printing work so beautifully for us at the moment. When we look at everything that is printed by the Government Printing Works, we realize the enormous task it comprises. Even the Cape Town office of the Government Printing Works, in co-operation with the Secretary of Parliament, fulfils an immense task as far as the sale and distribution of Government publications is concerned.
The comprehensive printing work done by the Cape Town section of the Government Printing Works during a session of Parliament is, to my mind, an immense achievement. We want to convey our sincere congratulations to the department—that includes the hon the Minister and the hon the Deputy Minister—on the great task that they perform so effectively, not only for us as members of this House, but also for South Africa’s entire public.
Mr Chairman, I must say that it pleases me to hear that the hon the Deputy Minister spends a lot of his time in the deeds offices. It is my wish and my hope that he will spend a lot more time there and a lot less time on the policy of forced removals.
I should like to thank the Director-General of the department for a very comprehensive and informative annual report. I found it most helpful and I am pleased that I have had the opportunity of perusing it. I must also congratulate the hon the Minister on his taking over of this new portfolio. At the same time, however, I must say one hopes he will not take a leaf out of his predecessor’s book and knock down important public buildings and destroy national monuments. In addition, one hopes he will restrain himself when it comes to the spending of public money.
Why do you complain when I undertake the renovation of the Union Buildings?
I will be coming to that. [Interjections.] Be that as it may, however, his track record in relation to the spending of public money is not very good at this stage. I do suppose, however, that a number of major decisions were taken before he assumed responsibility for the department.
In the time available to me I want to focus attention on the enormous amount of money that is being spent on providing accommodation for the three Houses of Parliament and the President’s Council—what, I suppose, could be called our own “Whitehall”.
The hon the Minister, during the course of the past few weeks, has replied to questions, advising the amounts spent on renovating existing facilities and providing additional buildings. He has not really been taken to task, however, and neither has he explained why these amounts have been spent nor has he justified these expenditures.
At the outset I want to make it quite clear that I am not complaining about accommodation being made available for all the various new members of Parliament or for the President’s Councillors. It is correct that all should have adequate and comfortable offices and debating chambers. I have no doubt, however, that the work has been executed in a lavish manner and that this has caused a great deal of public concern. I took the figures which were available to me from newspaper cuttings and from the answers the hon the Minister had given to questions in the past few weeks. However, this memorandum only came to hand just before this Budget Debate started. I must say that the memorandum makes the situation appear worse, so I will stick to the figures I got out of the newspaper cuttings.
I want to begin with the amount of R3,7 million which was spent on the building now housing the President’s Council. In the circumstances I believe this to be an excessive amount. A wonderful job was done on the debating chamber itself, but the glass-covered walkway seems an extravagant addition to the building—imaginative, but expensive. Then there is the Tuynhuys, which is now being used as office accommodation for the State President and which has been referred to by the hon member for Umlazi. This was renovated at a cost of R3,35 million. To put this into some sort of perspective, it should be noted that it will take about 10 years for the 3% cut that we, as members of Parliament, took in our salaries to pay for the State President’s new curtains and carpets. [Interjections.] Why did the State President have to move to the Tuynhuys? [Interjections.] What was wrong with the accommodation used by the Prime Minister in the Hendrik Verwoerd building? What has happened to those offices and to the Cabinet room which was previously provided at great cost? Surely they could have been used by the State President and a saving of more than R3 million would thus have been effected?
Press reports indicate that all is not well with regard to the purchase of furniture and to interior decorating in general. However, this is a very large and complicated matter and to discuss it at this stage will take a great deal of time, so I shall seek answers in this regard by means of questions which I shall table within the next few days.
The third item of major expenditure was the underground parking garage on Stalplein. This concrete cave has cost a staggering R10 million and is destined to become a major white elephant. With the recent 40% increase in fuel, not many people can afford to drive motorcars these days. However, I would suggest to the hon the Minister that he look into the possibility of letting some of the parking bays, and so earn a little revenue.
Having decided correctly, I believe, that the House of Representatives should occupy the old Senate Chamber, it was necessary to provide the House of Delegates with accommodation. I believe the department and the contractors carried out a near miracle in transforming that old building into what it is today. At a cost of R4,38 million, however, a debating chamber was constructed, offices redecorated, and a dining room carved out of a few of the existing offices.
This is all very well, but what is to happen to this building—that is Marks Building—when the “Great Hall of the People” is completed next door to us? Are all those people and their debating chamber to be moved next door? [Interjections.] What will happen to the delightful debating chamber and the dining room with its marble floors when the hall next door is completed? Will the hon the Minister please inform this House and the public what exactly is being built between Parliament and the Tuynhuys, at what cost and when it is anticipated that the job will be completed? Will he please give us the details because we are concerned not only with the appearance of the building but also with the cost and the accommodation that is to be made available.
Without taking into account the new building next door—because the figures were not available to me at the time—R21,5 million has already been spent, or is to be spent, on the parliamentary complex. That is not taking into account the R11 million spent on revamping the Union Buildings in Pretoria. In anyone’s language that is a great deal of money, and in these times when people are losing their jobs and companies are being forced to close, it is quite irresponsible of the Government to squander money in this disgraceful way. I spoke to two people at the weekend, one of whom is a doctor who is fearful for his future. The other is a senior executive with a large company in Johannesburg who is to be retrenched. People are losing their jobs and we are squandering money. The Nat fat cats spend money like drunken sailors while the rest of the population tightens their belts.
Accommodation has to be provided—and I have not even gone into the question of housing, especially the three opulent houses which are being provided for some hon Ministers—but it has to be within reason. While the rest of the population is seeking ways and means of surviving, it ill behoves the Government to be seen to be spending taxpayers’ money in an extravagant way. I think the hon the Minister owes the House and the country an explanation.
Mr Chairman, the hon member has succeeded admirably in raising one’s blood pressure a little.
I should firstly like to tell the hon member for Nigel something about the problem regarding the magistrate’s office and the restorations that have to be done there. It is not only the White taxpayer that is going to pay for this; the Blacks, Coloureds and Asians contribute just as much to Exchequer.
Mainly the Whites.
The hon member says mainly the Whites, but I want to tell him that the contribution of the Blacks, the Coloureds and the Asians to the Exchequer in the form of GST is more than that of the Whites.
I want to say something about the new Parliament Building the hon members for Kuruman and Johannesburg North spoke about. I am referring to the building next to the present building, the building that is being erected and has at the moment just reached ground level. That building is going to form a unit with the existing building. If the hon members had read the annual report, they would have obtained the information there. The building will consist mainly of offices for various people, and I shall presently say more about those people. There will also be a chamber.
It is specifically the chamber that is a great source of concern to the hon member for Kuruman. It is being planned for that chamber to provide seating to 1 100 people.
Under one roof. [Interjections.]
Yes, under one roof.
Of those 1 100 seats, 350 will be installed as they are here, with a further 750 seats being installed upstairs for visitors and whoever else. [Interjections.]
Surely hon members know by how much the number of members of Parliament has increased while the hon member for Kuruman has been here? Just think how uncomfortable some of the CP members in this House of Assembly are because there are not enough seats.
The point the hon member for Kuruman wants to make about these 350 seats, in relation to the 308 seats that are necessary, is that there will be room for the members of the fourth Chamber of Parliament. With that story the hon member wants to run to Kuruman where he will not allow a Coloured person to farm. This is the case, not so? [Interjections.] The hon member who said “in the Richtersveld” is absolutely right.
I come next to the question of office space. In the new building there will be, apart from office space for members, adequate provision made for office space for parliamentary staff. I wonder whether the hon member for Kuruman has ever been to see in which offices in this building parliamentary staff work. Has he ever been to the offices of some of our Hansard staff? At the same time let me put in a word for the members of the Press, although they are also among the people critical of some of the items of expenditure. In the new section that is now being erected, an adequate amount of space will be provided for our Press people and the people from the SABC. I do not think the people for whose benefit the space will be provided, should criticize it.
The hon member for Johannesburg North complained about the parking provided. But this is something we have all needed for a long time now. If he does not want to use his parking bay, I am sure the hon members for False Bay, Stellenbosch and Primrose would be only too happy to use it. If there is one thing for which we are very grateful, it is the fact that undercover parking is provided for members of Parliament. [Interjections.]
The new dispensation has made particularly heavy demands on many people. It has also made particularly heavy demands on this department whose Vote we are discussing today. We held a referendum in November 1983; we had a Parliamentary session that ended on 13 July 1984; and the planning was done after the referendum. One ought to go and have a look at how lovely the planning of Stalplein and the new extensions looks. This will be a real asset for this beautiful city in which we are now.
The planning was concluded on 1 August 1984 and these sites and buildings were then handed over to the contractors. The contractors are the people who did all the alterations to the buildings such as the Marks Building, the Verwoerd Building, the parking area and this building. All the alterations and extensions that were carried out began on 1 August 1984. By the time we arrived here for the parliamentary session, the work was practically finished. These people worked virtually day and night; they worked over weekends. They were the only builders, Black and Coloured included, in the country who did not take the usual builders’ holidays in December. They did that to create these facilities for the benefit of this Parliament. The Department of Public Works deserves the highest praise for this show of strength. I think we can be proud of the excellent piece of work the Department has done in this connection. I think that in the present circumstances the world is a much more pleasant place for each and every hon member of Parliament.
Mr Chairman, in the few minutes I have left I should like to mention two issues. In the first place it is probably fitting that I, as a Natalian—since this item falls under this Vote—express the sincere thanks of this side of the House for the Government’s decision to purchase the agricultural land in the Umfolozi area in Natal, which was irreparably damaged by floods. This was a great concession; 2 626 ha were involved, 11 properties being completely destroyed and 16 properties being partially destroyed.
The matter to which I should like to return is the point the hon member for Nigel made—or tried to make—about what he calls the excessive expenditure on the Union Buildings. In my earlier contribution under this Vote I spoke about the various amounts spent on the restoration of the Tuynhuys. I pointed out that the R3,3 million spent on the Tuynhuys was for the most part for restoration work which would have to be carried out on a valuable, historic building, regardless of whether it would be used by the State President or as a museum.
Then along comes the hon member for Nigel and makes exactly the same accusation in respect of the money that has already been spent, and is still going to be spent, on the Union Buildings. Surely the hon member knows that in the departmental report reference is made to various aspects which, with the restoration of the Union Buildings, have been receiving attention. This not—only includes the furnishing of committee rooms for the new dispensation. Mention has been made of restoration work to be undertaken in phases. It has been pointed out that the improvements to the wiring, the communications system and air conditioning are also involved. Provision is also being made for the repair, overhaul and restoration of the outside of the building, which is of course understandable. It is a sandstone building built in 1914, that is 71 years ago. It must therefore be overhauled from time to time, and this costs a lot of money.
These buildings are, to all of us as South Africans, of extreme importance. There are not buildings proclaiming the glory of this government. They are buildings that foster our national pride. It should be a matter of honour to us that buildings such as the South African Museum here in Cape Town, the rebuilt Newlands House here in Cape Town, and the Palace of Justice in Pretoria are properly maintained for those of us who, from time to time, view those buildings, and for those who visit us from other countries.
The PFP and the CP are the two parties which, two years ago, voted against the new dispensation. The fact that they are still not able to reconcile themselves to the new dispensation is apparent from the fact that they are trying to get political mileage out of every cent that is spent. In the process of creating a feeling of opposition to the new dispensation, they drag these buildings, which are an important source of national pride to us, into the political arena. I think the hon members of those parties ought to be ashamed of themselves. Let me say without any fear of contradiction on this side of the House that, as far as we are concerned, the amount—whether it is R50 million or whatever, being spent on the overhauling, maintenance and furnishing of this parliamentary complex and the R17 million that it is the intention to spend on the restoration, overhauling and furnishing of the Union Buildings, are a drop in the ocean for a country with revenue of R30 000 million. Those two parties are saying in effect that if one has an income of R30 000 per year and spends R70 or R80 to enlarge one’s house because the family has become larger, one is spending too much. We would say that a man like that is actually being too miserly.
In their haste to get political mileage out of it, the hon members of those two parties are not only dragging those buildings in; they are also bringing into the political arena the whole question of whether they themselves attach any value to our historic buildings and cultural heritage. I am talking specifically to the hon members of the CP, because they are, after all, the people who are continually informing us that they are the great Afrikaners and the great South Africans. Let me tell them that we on this side of the House were instructed in November 1983, by two-thirds of the people of South Africa, to introduce this new dispensation, and we intend to do so in a dignified manner, regardless of what those two parties say.
Mr Chairman, I have listened to an interesting debate and I should like to thank all hon members who participated for doing so. In a few moments I shall reply to some of the poorer contributions but in any case I thank all those who contributed. Some made exceptional contributions like the hon member for Umlazi who has just resumed his seat.
Actually there is very little for me to say. I found it very encouraging to see how the work group and the hon member as the chairman of the standing committee had studied the facts submitted to the department. This is an open department—facts are available to any person who wants or requests them. I do not think, however, that hon members can expect it of me to provide answers to them in a debate if they can find such answers in reports like the annual report or in replies to formal questions in the House. I would therefore rather not deal with some of the aspects in detail. This is not a question-and-answer session and I would rather state principles on certain matters.
I want to express my special thanks to the hon members for Bezuidenhout, Hillbrow, Johannesburg North and Pinetown. I also wish to thank hon members for Umlazi, Nigel, Boksburg, Bellville, Witbank, Kuruman, Rosettenville, Hercules and once again the hon member for Umlazi.
I wish to begin, however, by directing an especial word of thanks to the hon the Deputy Minister of Land Affairs. In the first place I am very grateful for his good wishes and also his comments on how I work with him as a Deputy Minister. He is a competent Deputy Minister who does his work. On listening to him, hon members could discover that he was capable of answering any questions put to him and he could also put the hon member for Hillbrow right on conditions in deeds offices. The hon member could also have found much of that information in the annual report if he had only taken the trouble to read that report thoroughly. Once again I wish to thank the Deputy Minister very heartily and also congratulate him. He is a hard worker who serves two Ministers. That is probably not the easiest thing in the world but I could not have chosen a better Deputy Minister if I had selected one myself. I thank him for his contribution.
†I shall reply to the hon members in the order in which they delivered their speeches and then I shall possibly deal with some matters in general, especially with some of the rather unkind and nasty remarks that were passed. The latter is a matter I want to clear up and to deal with properly.
The hon member for Bezuidenhout raised a number of points which were dealt with mainly by the hon the Deputy Minister. The hon member did, however, spend some time talking about housing aid to officials. I am not going to dwell on that issue. With effect from 1 April, all housing aid to officials is to be reflected in the respective budgets of the various departments. It will not fall under the control of my department except in respect of those members of my department actually affected. It will therefore not be my job to go to the hon the Minister of Finance. Each Minister will be responsible for housing aid for his own officials and this will have to be reflected on his budget.
*Under our new system of budgeting by objectives it is actually important for each department to set itself an objective in the manner of handling these matters.
†The hon member referred to the large sum of money—R330 million—spent by the Housing Commission on other population groups. This was very adequately answered by the hon member for Umlazi, as the hon member would have realized if he had listened. I do not want to reiterate that. [Interjections.]
*I think the hon member for Umlazi dealt very well with the hon member for Bezuidenhout. He gave a very clear summary of what is actually involved in the Department of Public Works. The department is quite different from that with which the hon member had dealings last year. The responsibilities of the department have been changed fundamentally. We must have made a great deal of progress in handing over certain matters—if we have not already completed this—to the own affairs ministers with whom I co-operate heartily. I met them from time to time and officials of my department also met them periodically to finalize certain matters.
The National Housing Commission still falls under my control in the sense that I have to approve amounts which are spent but even in that connection much good work has been done. As we have decentralized, the chairman of that commission is in Durban and also serves here in the Cape on executive regional committees which can make decisions here instead of having all this work done in Pretoria. Much work has been carried out in streamlining the department in this regard.
I think the hon member for Umlazi also dealt very effectively with the stories—I call it gossip—circulated about Government buildings. The hon member for Nigel denigrated them to a certain extent but it was the hon member for Johannesburg North who was actually guilty of this.
†He talked about our “lavish spending” at a time when the general public have to tighten their belts, etc. The hon member for Pinetown who sat next to him when he was speaking should have replied to him because he is the one who pleaded for recession spending. Recession spending means that one gives out building contracts …
May I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No. If the hon member wants more information, he should listen to what I want to say now. The two departments I am responsible for are spending over R2 000 million this year on building complexes, minor works and other job-creative projects. It has been said that for every one million rand spent in this way, 62 jobs are created. This means that these two departments are creating 124 000 jobs by way of recession spending this year. However, the hon member for Pinetown should ask the hon member for Hillbrow what he said about our spending during the Post Office debate. He said that we were taking too much money from the public to spend on capital works. According to the hon member for Pinetown, we should spend money on infrastructure and capital works. [Interjections.]
*WilI the hon member please give me a chance? I did not interrupt him when he was speaking a while ago. I should like to speak in general and supplement what the hon member for Umlazi said.
We have not been planning this complex about us for the past day or two only. I was the Administrator of the Cape Province when I visited the late Minister Blaar Coetzee’s office one day and he showed me models according to which Marks Building would be razed to the ground. There was to be a square in front of Parliament Buildings stretching to Plein Street. Fortunately the Government later decided to abandon this as Marks Building is such an exceptional old building. The planning of the complex started in the sixties. During the seventies my benchmate, the Minister of Law and Order who was still a Deputy Minister at the time, was involved in the planning of Stalplein. In 1979 final decisions were taken and a start was made on development. We know what Stalplein looked like. Was the parking lot there an ornament to the Government buildings in the vicinity? The President’s Council Building used to be the old Good Hope Theatre.
†Hon members said they hoped I would not do the same as my predecessor and knock down historic buildings. Do they want me just to let them fall down? [Interjections.] The Good Hope Theatre was the seat of the first Cape Parliament. Today it has been restored. The hon member complains about the glass roofing that was put over a passage very ingeniously by a very good architect, but that is all he can complain about. It would probably have cost us an additional R4 million or even R7 million or R8 million if we had had to build it from scratch. What we did, however, was to restore one of the most beautiful and oldest buildings in Cape Town to fit in with the rest of the complex.
The State President is housed in Tuynhuys as the State President of this country should be housed, together with his staff. The hon member asked what we were doing with the accommodation in the Verwoerd Building. The State President does not only function as the Prime Ministers used to do. He is also the executive State President and has to receive diplomats, foreign missions, heads of foreign governments, etc. Does the hon member want us to shove them all in a lift and take them up to the 18th floor? Where would we find a lounge or other accommodation for them to sit in? There is no room there. The State President can now receive diplomats and heads of state as the head of any decent developing country which is the leading country in Southern Africa should be able to do. I make no excuses for our restoration efforts, not even to the hon member for Houghton who leaves when she is going to be replied to in respect of what she has said.
*The Union Buildings are an ornament to the country but the hon member for Nigel said the money spent on them had been spent for luxuries. I do not believe the hon member for Nigel has been in the building since its restoration. The building is very old. We had to rewire the entire place which cost well over a million rand. Little was done to the office of the State President except for new carpets and curtains. There were decent chairs …
What was wrong with the old ones?
The hon member is dwelling too far in the past. [Interjections.]
†The hon member for Hillbrow asked me if it would be ready for the standing committees. Of course it will be ready for the standing committees, just as we got this complex ready. The hon member for Hercules thanked the builders and the staff for what they did from September to the middle of January to finish this total complex, all of which is part of a master plan. Now the hon member complains that we have built a white elephant. It is quite interesting that he uses a phrase such as “a white elephant” in regard to a parking garage which, if one walks through it, is three quarters full at any time of the day. However, he must not walk through it when everybody has gone home. He must go there during the day and have a look. This particular garage was only enlarged. It was planned long ago.
The hon member also asked me about Stalplein. According to the architect who redesigned it, Stalplein is going to be one of the most beautiful squares to be found in the centre of a government complex in the world. We shall have an area where military ceremonies can be held right in front of Tuynhuys. There are entrances to the garages. The statue of Gen Louis Botha will for the first time be put in a proper place where he will be looking right up Roeland Street instead of being huddled in a corner next to the Verwoerd Building. The memorial to the young people who died on the General Louis Botha training ship will be removed and put closer to his statue. There will be a war memorial to the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame. All of this will form part of the total State complex. When one comes out of the President’s Council one will look right across this square and down Parliament Street. It will really be a worthwhile complex.
*The hon member for Kuruman asked very mysteriously why there were 352 seats for only 300 members. An hon member has already replied to him. The CP will most probably now tell Harrismith and such places that we are going to put Blacks in the other 52 seats. [Interjections.]
I looked at the plans only this morning and gave them my final approval. Our decision this morning was that those 52 seats would be used for administrators or judges or whoever so that they would not have to be crammed into a sardine tin again as happens when we have the opening of Parliament here. Our wives had to sit on loose chairs on the floor of the House and we could invite hardly anyone to view the beautiful opening of Parliament. Now there will be 1 100 seats for the public.
But there are 1 000 seats in the gallery.
Yes, there will be that number but who does the hon member want to put there? Does the hon member want to seat members in the gallery? [Interjections.] Surely we should have ample space where members are to sit. The hon member knows this is just casting suspicion. That chamber is for the present tricameral parliament. The State President has said on numerous occasions there is no Black fourth chamber. The hon member had better go and tell the people that now; neither do I make any apology for the money we spent on it. [Interjections.]
An hon member asked what we intended doing with Marks Building. We need accommodation. I have Government personnel working in buildings all over the city. As soon as those members move to the new buildings—this may possibly happen only in three years’ time, as I think the building will not be ready before 1987 or 1988—we shall use that building immediately for personnel. Did the hon member think we were going to demolish the building? Surely we cannot conduct this type of conversation when it involves the expenditure of money on absolutely essential restoration.
The hon member for Umlazi made the point that the Government had received a mandate from two-thirds of the White population of the country to proceed with the new dispensation. Where were we to accommodate the other two Houses? We rented very expensive accommodation down in the city but we had absolutely no room for the Asians. Where were we to go? Just because the hon member did not want them in one Parliament, we were supposed to make them sit in the street!
I wish to dispose of this story now. The hon member for Nigel made a long speech and he constantly kept returning very skilfully to Government buildings. He kicked up a big fuss about Blacks who stormed into a magistrate’s court and tore up the place. This has no relation to this Vote and I am not going to reply to that except to say it is not something a person can approve. The hon member also said something about the police and that is surely something he can raise when the Law and Order Vote is discussed.
†I have only one thing to say to the hon member for Pinetown, namely that I agree with him totally concerning recession spending but then it must be on infrastructure and job creation. That is the main thing; money should not be spent on anything else. However, the hon member for Pinetown did say two other things. He talked about housing and said that people would move because of market forces. He said we would not stop them. However, that does not mean that the Government must be held responsible for housing everybody who wants to move in order to obtain a job somewhere else in the country.
*Since when has everyone had the right to demand a house from the Government? The hon member for Bellville also wanted to create the impression that the Government was responsible for housing everyone. The Government takes care of emergency housing but surely every man in this country has to look after himself and his family. He cannot merely travel from Transkei and Ciskei and alight here and accept a job and then come and sit at the Government’s door and insist that the Government supply him with accommodation. In consequence of that approach we now have the problem of Khayelitsha—particularly in an area where one would certainly not have welcomed it. [Interjections.]
†The member for Pinetown told a story, but his wording was interesting. His somewhat gruesome story was about something that happened in Algeria, and then he spoke about these people as being freedom-fighters. Does the hon member suggest—because it sounded that way in that connotation … [Interjections.] I shall answer questions when I have finished. [Interjections.] When you spoke just now, you did not say anything about inverted commas. You spoke about freedom-fighters, but the connotation was such that it made it sound as if these people who are committing arson and throwing petrol bombs and dancing around the bodies of their own friends whom they have murdered in their own Black townships, should also be regarded as freedom-fighters.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: The hon the Minister has now on two occasions put words into my mouth which I have not said.
Order! That is not a point of order. The hon the Minister may continue. [Interjections.]
Your implication was so definite, you might just as well have called those people terrorists.
Now you are playing cheap politics.
But not in the same way that you are trying to play them. [Interjections.]
*I think you (“jy”) should persevere. I think you (“jy”) should accompany that doctor who the hon member for Johannesburg North said was depressed and wanted to leave the country … [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order …
Before I listen to the point of order, I insist on more silence while the hon the Minister is making his speech. I appeal to hon members to give the hon the Minister an opportunity to make his speech. The hon member for Parktown may now put a point of order.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon the Minister entitled to address hon members as “jy” and “jou”?
I did not hear that but I request the hon the Minister to refer to hon members as “hon members”. The hon the Minister may proceed.
The hon member for Boksburg provided answers to many of the matters on which I have just spoken. It is interesting that he referred to the CP and Hell’s Angels who acted in concert against the removal he wished to bring about in Boksburg. Obviously the CP has now fallen out and only Hell’s Angels remain. It seems to me the wrong people are left. [Interjections.]
The hon member spoke of the renovation of a building at R55 000 for two people. We are in the process of a whole investigation into the matter of needs as well as the question whether it is preferable to build or to rent. As hon members have seen for themselves from the proposals, we are already renting accommodation at approximately R100 million per annum. I am uncertain whether it would be preferable to build or rent but experts are going to investigate the matter for us.
†The hon member for Hillbrow raised the question concerning prisons and asked why we build additions to prisons. Perhaps I should point out to the House that we are a service department. We do not make out a case as to whether or not they should enlarge or build prisons at all. Various departments such as Prisons and Police come to us with their needs. They qualify their needs and say for example that they need a police station at Addo or wherever, and that they need 10 extra rooms attached for policemen, although they do not think it features high on the priority list. They give us their needs and priorities and we follow their instructions. We do not say to the Department of Prisons: In our view you should not build further extensions to that prison; or: We do not think it is wise to build a new prison there. We may enquire whether a new, larger prison is actually needed and then get further particulars from them. We are, however, a service department. It is not our function to establish what the need of every other department is.
May I please ask a question? I understand what the hon the Minister is saying, and I agree with him. However, should he as a Cabinet Minister not draw the Cabinet’s attention to this point?
That is not my job.
*I have already replied in part to the hon member for Bellville and said inter alia that the private sector as well as the individual should contribute a share.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question?
I am not prepared to reply to questions now. If I have time, I shall get to the hon member later.
The hon member for Bellville requested that we should pay attention not only to Black housing but also to urbanization, decentralization and deconcentration. He proposed a national council, but I suggest that he raise this matter under the Co-operation and Development Vote. It is not my function to decide how to deal with matters like urbanization, decentralization and deconcentration. My department is purely the functional or service department which has to assist with housing. Via the Housing Commission, for example, we provide the necessary funds for the development at Khayelitsha or wherever. The hon member put forward interesting proposals but unfortunately I cannot respond to them.
I have already replied to the hon member for Pinetown. The hon member for Kuruman thanked me for the police station at Port Elizabeth and subsequently made representations in connection with a police station at Uitenhage. I think, however, the hon member for Uitenhage and the hon members for Port Elizabeth electoral divisions are stouthearted enough to make representations in that regard but in such a case they direct them to the Minister of Law and Order and not to me. The Minister himself does not investigate proposals of that nature, however. After his police officials have investigated the need for a police station at Uitenhage and in their opinion it is in fact essential, he will go into it further. The hon member should therefore not now attempt to imply that it is the Government’s fault if there is not a suitable police station at Uitenhage. There may possibly be representations as regards police facilities there but such an item does not appear on our programme. I therefore suggest the hon member should discuss it with the Minister concerned and the SA Police.
Maybe he will listen to representations from the hon member for Uitenhage.
If the hon member for Kuruman has just realized that, the hon member for Uitenhage knew it long ago and has already made representations in this regard to the Minister concerned. [Interjections.]
The hon member made a big fuss over what the policy actually was and asked whom a person should consult. The hon the Deputy Minister answered him most effectively. We deal only with Government land and not with private transactions. The hon member asked inter alia what would happen if a Coloured farmer wanted to purchase a farm in Kuruman. The hon member should approach the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning regarding this and he will attend to it. I hope I have put him right because it appears that he is unsure under whom matters of this nature fall. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Kuruman need not respond to each statement made by the hon the Minister.
The hon the Deputy Minister gave excellent answers to matters raised in the debate.
Each time the hon member for Rosettenville speaks in the House one can listen with interest. He usually makes a study of the subject on which he wishes to speak. Today he again gave an excellent explanation of the function of the Government Printing Works. Most people accept that the Government Printing Works is a type of factory in which one finds only oil and ink. I paid a visit to the premises of the Government Printing Works a few weeks ago and honestly one could eat off the floor it was so clean. I saw them using the most modern apparatus in the world for printing the new stamps in five colours. There are numerous countries in the world, countries much bigger than South Africa, which do not even print their own stamps. Countries like New Zealand and Australia have their stamps printed in England, for example. In fact, there are only five countries in the world where stamps are printed and we are one of them.
In truth the hon member for Rosettenville carried out a great task this afternoon by congratulating the Government Printing Works and staff for the work they do. I found even a member of a third generation to work in that printing house. Some of the staff’s great-grandfathers were already working there when the printing works fell under Paul Kruger’s government. I am proud to be able to have such an institution in my department because it is also a business undertaking and operates at a profit. The Government Printing Works earns its own income because every Government department has to pay for printing done for it.
†I have dealt with most of the matters which the hon member for Johannesburg North raised. I am very sorry that he adopted the attitude he did and spoke about squandering money and lavish spending. Surely we must be able to be proud of our legislative capital? He should talk to the people of Cape Town and ask them what they think of our restoration of Tuynhuys, the accommodation provided for the President’s Council and the additions to this building in character with the existing one. Let him ask them what they think of Stalplein, and of the special paving for Plein Street right up to the church, which will attract tourists. The City Engineer feels that this is one of the greatest things that has happened to Cape Town but all that that hon member does is to make statements about lavish spending, that we should all tighten our belts and that such work should not be done. I do not want to deal with that matter again.
*It was pleasant listening to the hon member for Hercules because he pulled up nearly every one of the hon members on the other side over things they said for the sake of it. His contribution was excellent and I thank him very heartily for it.
In closing I wish to thank the hon member for Umlazi once again. He nipped the casting of suspicion in the bud and also said that allegations of our squandering money were merely to cast reflections on the new dispensation. I thank all hon members for their contributions. If any time remains, I shall reply to the hon member’s question.
Mr Chairman, I should like to ask the hon the Minister when we can expect the report of the working committee which dealt with the proposed housing development corporation, a corporation combining public and private enterprise.
I do not have the exact date available. I know it is very far advanced and I will personally let the hon member know within the next day or two.
Vote agreed to.
Vote No 5—“Foreign Affairs”:
Mr Chairman, I ask for the privilege of the half-hour.
We debate the hon the Minister’s Vote at an extremely difficult time in South Africa’s foreign relations. Just as at the end of the last session we thanked Mr Van Dalsen, the retiring Director-General, for his services and wished him well, right at the outset, on behalf of the Opposition, I want to welcome the new Director-General, Mr Rae Killen, and wish him very, very well indeed in his new post. To my mind this post is one of the toughest and one of the most important posts in the Public Service, whether this is viewed from a security, an economic or a political point of view.
When this House debated South Africa’s foreign relations last year, things looked extremely promising. It looked as if things were going to go well. Shortly before, on the 16 March, we had been present at the signing of the Nkomati Accord, the Lusaka Agreement and shortly afterwards there was the Prime Minister’s European tour. At that stage things looked promising.
I was privileged to sit as a guest in the other House a short while ago to listen to the hon the Minister. May I say that, sitting in the gallery, I was once again reminded of the tragedy that even foreign affairs, a matter which affects each one of us equally in the three Houses, has to be debated separately in the three Houses. The hon the Minister said there that our foreign relationships had retrogressed during the past year. I want to say that regrettably our foreign relations are grim, to say the very least. Viewed from almost every quarter of the globe, the grip of isolation on South Africa is getting tighter and tighter. The most obvious manifestation of this isolation process is the growth of what is known as the disinvestment campaign. In the United States this has mushroomed within a few months from a core group of activists to a popular movement which at times embraces the spectrum from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans.
Even in Europe and the United Kingdom, which are less subject to the volatile political pressures that operate in the United States, there are already some early warning signs that the disinvestment campaign is beginning to gain ground. This campaign is being resisted by the governments of our major trading partners. I refer in particular to the governments of the United Kingdom, West Germany and the United States. In these countries the governments are under increasing political pressure from their own electorates to adopt a more isolationist attitude towards South Africa.
Our diplomats abroad, and particularly the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs, are in the front line. They have to deal, inter alia, with well-funded and highly organized call-groups and organizations. They have to try to counter the negative impact of years of institutionalized apartheid and discrimination inside South Africa, and the impact that this has had over the years on the attitudes of the peoples and the governments in the West. They have to deal with the impatience and the frustration, with the slow and uneven pace of change that is taking place in South Africa. Added to this, they have to deal with the impact of such things as shootings, forced removals, bannings and detentions, which, whatever we might think, raise the tempo of emotions to a point at which rational arguments or objective judgements are simply swept aside.
Our foreign service offices have a tough job. I believe that it will be made easier to the extent to which we dismantle discrimination and apartheid in South Africa. It is still not going to go away but it will be made easier to the extent to which we dismantle these things. It will also be made more difficult every time the South African Government shoots itself in the foot through some hamhanded executive action. That is a reality which, I believe, our foreign service offices have to face. Obviously our missions abroad have to try to put the South African record straight. They can tell of the achievements, and there are achievements. They can elaborate on Government intentions. I hope that the one thing they will not do—and there is a tendency among politicians inside South Africa to do so—because it is counter-productive, will be to try to justify apartheid and discrimination, not even by implication, or try to rationalize the injustices which flow from this institutionalized system. Pointing a finger at other people may win verbal debates but it reinforces the view that apartheid in South Africa is being justified.
I think the hon the Minister’s moment of glory was when he went to the Security Council and said that discrimination solely on the grounds of race could not be justified. It was an unqualified statement. He added that this Government would do everything in its power to move away from it. We believe that this is the Government’s best attitude—to admit the errors we have made, to admit things that are wrong and to state we will do everything in our power to move away from them. What worries me is that the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs—I must say this to him—will gain nothing and will lose credibility for the reforming image of his Government if he complains that, for instance in the United States, they do not judge South Africa according to what he calls African standards. He said if they admitted that they were doing this they would in fact be racists because they would be admitting they were judging us because we were White.
Mr Chairman, he referred to military dictatorships, lack of personal freedom, financial mismanagement and to the absence of independent judiciaries in Africa. These are things that are wrong in Africa. There are certain pluses which are right about Africa as well. We should be particularly careful, in our set of circumstances, when we are in a process of reform, not to generalize, even about Africa. I believe there are certain states in Africa—I take for instance the state of Botswana—which have far better records of civil liberties, of lack of discrimination and of genuine freedom that we have in South Africa. I believe we should not generalize about Africa, even if in parts of Africa things are wrong. I want to warn that we should not succumb to the racist temptation of seeing the problems of Africa in terms of race instead of in terms of historical and developmental factors.
The hon the Minister refers to dictatorships in Africa. In my youth, I can recall, most of Europe was ruled by dictators—from Stalin to Hitler to Mussolini to Caetano to Franco. It was not because they were White or Black.
Let us take, for instance, the phenomenon of civil wars. The Spanish civil war was not between Black and White; neither is the Lebanese civil war between Black and White. It is not a question of blackness or whiteness. The hon the Minister refers to the lack of personal freedom. South Africa was a friend of Argentina a short while ago, when there was a military dictatorship and when there were death-camps, but we did not say that that was because they were White or Black. Economic mismanagement, violence and killing are not the prerogatives of any one race in this world. These are determined by a wide range of background factors.
However, I want to say to the hon the Minister that it is ridiculous to ask that South Africa, the most highly developed and advanced country in Africa, should be judged by the worst features of the least developed countries in Africa. It will be just as ridiculous to ask that the United States should be judged by the behavioural standards in the banana republics of Latin America and elsewhere and not by the standards of its own society. Let us face up to the fact that the dominant political group in this society is seen to be highly developed. It has a sophisticated technology; it is steeped in centuries of Judaeo-Christian religious ethics, and it brought from Europe concepts like personal liberty, rule of law and representative government. Instead of complaining that we are not judged by what is the worst in the world, we should be proud to live up to the challenges which history has imposed on us. [Interjections.]
In our own Constitution this Parliament has said that our national goals are: “To uphold Christian values and civilized norms; to uphold the independence of the judiciary and the equality of all under the law; and to respect and to protect the human dignity, life, liberty and property of all in our midst.” Surely we should want to be judged by the standards that we set ourselves. Surely when we write that into the Constitution, we are setting standards for ourselves—standards of which we are proud and against which we want to be judged. If dictatorships, malgovernment and lack of freedom are standards which are to be equated with Blacks in Africa, what on earth is the State President doing when he forms a forum to try to discuss a political dispensation within the single state of South Africa? No, I believe we should boldly accept the challenge of being a modern, civilized country and not ask that we should be judged by the standards of backward countries here or elsewhere in the world.
I want to deal with one or two aspects relating to Southern Africa, and in particular I want to raise a few matters about Mozambique. There was a time a few weeks ago when, I think, we were all concerned because it appeared as if the Nkomati Accord was close to a point of collapse. There was certainly a recrimination against us from the other side of the Nkomati border. It was correct that the hon the Minister flew there with his hon Deputy Minister and, I think, took strong and firm action in order to try to remedy that deteriorating situation. We have to face up to the fact that if the Nkomati Accord with all its symbolism collapses, the cycle of co-operation and development which has been started in Southern Africa is going to reverse into a cycle of recrimination and violence. If that happens, it is going to have a far-reaching effect, not just on Mozambique and South Africa but it is going to have an effect on the mood and climate of Southern Africa as a whole. If the Nkomati Accord and all that it means collapses, it will also be a matter of strategic importance because it will bring back the Soviet Union into a position of importance and influence in Mozambique and the Southern Indian Ocean area. For all these reasons we attach tremendous importance to the Nkomati Accord.
I do not want to go over the grounds now; it was essentially because the Mozambicans thought that with the Nkomati Accord it would be the end of the MNR. In reality it was not the end of the MNR; the MNR seemed to be strengthened as a result of that accord and it was more vigorous in its campaign of terror. I am pleased that the hon the Minister has announced that we have taken very specific and firm action to prevent any assistance getting to the MNR from South Africa. Whatever the situation was in the past—and I think it was an unhappy past situation—let us hope, as I believe, that the slate has been wiped clean. One would also like to know what specific action has been taken. Has specific action been taken to prevent arms getting across?
The hon the Minister said that certain people in the SADF who were sympathizers of Renamo had been moved. I have had questions on the Question Paper to the Department of Defence to learn who has been moved, and every time the request has been made that those questions stand over while the matter was being investigated. We should like to know whether there are very specific and concrete steps being taken because we accept that the intention of the Government is that there should be no assistance to the MNR coming from South Africa.
We should like to hear from the hon the Minister whether he can tell us more about the operation and the effectiveness of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Scheme and the Cahora Bassa Treaty between ourselves and Mozambique and Portugal. Is the hydroelectric plant operating and is power being fed through the power lines to the South African power grid? In other words, is it working? What is the security situation in respect of the plant and the power lines, because to a limited extent we have a very direct interest as to whether that plant is effective or not. What commitments does the Government have to the specific issue of joint protection of the plant and the power lines in so far as terrorist attacks are concerned?
I was going to ask a few further questions as regards the security arrangements, but in one of the other Houses about an hour ago the hon the Minister made a statement, unbeknown to hon members in this House, in which he announced that a so-called joint operational centre, known as the Nkomati Operational Centre, was going to be built on the banks of the Nkomati River close to where the Nkomati Accord was signed. This joint operational centre will have permanent buildings and it will be a focal point for certain joint operations.
We welcome the establishment of those buildings and the intention in so far as they seem to cement relationships which were born out of the Nkomati Accord. I should, however, like to ask the hon the Minister, in relation to the operational centre, who is going to staff it; in particular, which departments? I can understand Customs being there and Foreign Affairs. We want to know whether the SA Police will be there. More particularly, is the SA Defence Force going to be there? Will it, in other words, be an operational base for the SADF?
Some time ago after Nkomati there were negotiations to establish a joint security commission between the two countries. Is the joint security commission still in operation? Can the hon the Minister tell us what it has been doing? Is it going to be housed in this new joint operational centre? Does the establishment of a joint operational centre on the border imply joint security operations by SADF and Frelimo troops inside Mozambique? These are the questions to which the public is entitled to have an answer in view of the importance of the announcement of the hon the Minister.
If the stage has been reached that negotiations have been going on and that there is now going to be a joint operational centre, I want to ask the hon the Minister whether he has taken or is taking this a step further to negotiate the start of proper diplomatic relations between the two countries. I want to urge him, if he really wants to cement the Nkomati Accord, to make it real, to see to the opening of a South African embassy in Maputo and a Mozambican embassy in South Africa. These are the points which we believe should be made in so far as the Nkomati Accord is concerned.
I want to say one or two words about two other countries, first of all Lesotho. Clearly there has been an improvement in relationships between the South African Government and Lesotho. I must assume that the South African Government is now party to seeing that the LLA, the Lesotho Liberation Army, does not use South Africa as a base for any activity against Lesotho.
Can the hon the Minister tell us whether relationships between the two Governments, the South African Government and the Government of Lesotho, have improved to the extent that the Oxbow Hydroelectric Scheme is now on the cards? Have relations improved to the extent that we can start that new hydroelectric scheme?
As far as Botswana is concerned, in exactly the same way there is clearly a better relationship than existed a year ago. Botswana, on its part, is clearly accepting that the South African Government views the security situation as a very serious one. The hon the Minister is aware that discussions with the Foreign Minister of Botswana have indicated a willingness to respond to the seriousness of the security situation.
On the other hand, the hon the Minister and his Government have learnt the wisdom of not trying to compel neighbouring states to sign Nkomati-type accords. I am delighted that a better relationship has in fact been engineered between these two states without anybody being forced or coerced into signing a formal Nkomati-type accord. One has to be pragmatic yet firm in these matters.
The hon the Minister has had meetings with the Foreign Minister of Botswana and encouraging statements were forthcoming from those meetings, but I want to ask him if he can indicate to us that relationships have generally improved and that as a result of the meetings that have taken place the security situation itself is much better than it was before.
Finally, there is the question of Zimbabwe. Any look at a map will show that Zimbabwe is of critical importance to the development and the peace of the whole of the Southern African region. We would like to know from the hon the Minister—in spite of problems that have arisen—at what levels negotiations take place. In what departments is there co-operation? Is the hon the Minister setting his sights on trying to arrange a meeting at ministerial level?
I have raised this on three or four occasions. I believe that a summit conference at ministerial level would be the cherry on top and would be a critical step forward in improving relations here in Southern Africa.
Mr Chairman, it gives me exceptional pleasure to extend a hearty welcome to the new Director-General of Foreign Affairs, Mr Rae Killen, in his new position. His task will not be easy but, after 37 years in the diplomatic service and with his wide experience in many countries, he is especially well equipped for this great task. We wish him everything of the best.
There is a saying that one fool can put more questions than a thousand wise men can answer. The hon member for Sea Point said very little here this evening; he put so many questions that the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs will require hours to reply to all of them. If the hon member for Sea Point should ever be so fortunate as to hold a portfolio one day, he will definitely have to be the Minister of Questions. [Interjections.]
I wish to say to the hon member for Sea Point that the international picture is not as sombre as he sketched it here tonight. We have achieved great successes with our initiatives and I shall illustrate them in a moment. In consequence of its diplomatic successes of the past year, South Africa has become a focal point again; a focal point of attack and criticism but also of new interest in our country. It is true that our enemies have descended upon us with new viciousness and I do not think it is far-fetched to say that even internal riots can be traced back to that.
Nevertheless we should guard against lapsing into depression as has the hon member for Sea Point. The picture is not so sombre. In recent times South Africa is being regarded increasingly by the world as a regional power; a regional power with an ever-increasing role to play in this subcontinent.
Nearer home we find that countries in Southern Africa—countries which up to the present have been most condemnatory towards us—are now openly prepared to oppose disinvestment because they realize that they too will suffer if our economy is harmed.
The Argus of 17 April bears the following report from Washington:
You see, Sir, we are progressing; we are obtaining support even from these directions.
Until very recently we were looked at askance overseas if we claimed South Africa was a leading regional power in Southern Africa. Now the Minister of Foreign Affairs of mighty America, Mr George Shultz, comes and spells it out in glowing terms that South Africa is a “regional powerhouse”. He said:
A while ago it was unthinkable for the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the mighty USA to say such words regarding South Africa. The eyes of the Reagan administration and of many Americans have been opened as regards the realities and capabilities of South Africa. One can only hope that other Western countries will follow this example and cease playing right into the hands of Moscow with their attacks on South Africa.
South Africa is taking the initiative increasingly and our ability to direct happenings in Southern Africa is growing. The message going to the outside world is becoming increasingly clear that nothing is established in this subcontinent without South Africa’s involvement. In a front-page article in the well-known French paper Le Figaro Jacques Brulon writes as follows on South Africa—and they are beautiful words in South Africa’s favour:
He proceeds to say:
You see, Sir, we have made progress and everything is not as sombre as the hon member for Sea Point says.
At the moment we are again suffering reverses and we shall experience even more in future because we live in a changeable part of the world but the fact of the matter is that South Africa is continually strengthening its position as a regional power and receiving increasing recognition for this. Africa has learnt a great deal and obtained new perspectives; African countries especially have obtained new perspectives on South Africa. Happenings here in South Africa are watched with an eagle eye by Africa although they will not always admit this in public. Our African diplomacy will therefore have to remain a quiet one owing to pressure exerted on Africa by radicals.
A good barometer of African involvement with and dependence on us is that 45 of the 56 countries of Africa trade with us to a greater or lesser degree. In spite of the drought and economic recession, our trade with Africa remains reasonably constant. I wish to quote a few interesting figures in this respect. In 1982 our exports to African countries amounted to R904,8 million. Owing to the drought and economic slackness this was reduced to R788,6 million in 1983 but last year it rose again to R891,2 million and that despite the fact that the drought dealt our food exports a telling blow.
Business suspended at 18h45 and resumed at 20h00.
Mr Chairman, before proceedings were interrupted, I was indicating what progress South Africa was making in trade with Africa.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I should like to draw your attention to the fact that there is no quorum present in the committee.
Will the Whips of the Government party establish whether there is a quorum?
The attention of the presiding officer having been called to the absence of a quorum, the division bells were rung.
A quorum being present, debate resumed.
Order! The hon member for Bloemfontein North may now proceed.
Mr Chairman, does the hon Chief Whip of the Official Opposition agree that there are five CP and six PFP members present in the House? [Interjections.)
Order! The hon member for Bloemfontein North may proceed.
Mr Chairman, I wish to thank the hon Chief Whip of the Official Opposition for the increased audience he has provided me with.
Before the adjournment of proceedings I attempted to indicate how South Africa was progressing as regards its trade in Africa. A trade consultant on Africa, Mrs Sally Gallagher, who travels throughout the continent regularly, points out that South Africa’s exports, even to countries which officially wish to have nothing to do with us, have increased by 20% to 25% over the past few months. Mrs Gallagher says African governments are no longer even attempting to hide this.
Order! I regret the hon member’s time has expired.
Mr Chairman, I rise only to say I am prepared to give the hon member an opportunity of completing his speech. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Bloemfontein North may proceed.
Mr Chairman, my thanks to the hon Whip for the concession. I appreciate receiving so many occasions of addressing this House this evening. [Interjections.]
Mrs Gallagher says African governments no longer even attempt to conceal that they trade with South Africa. She says trade with South Africa has become quite the fashion; practical economic action overrules ideological considerations according to her.
Another example is the part played by our railways in this trade. The enormous extent of SATS activities in neighbouring states appears from the fact that in January of this year a daily average of 7 200 South African trucks under payload moved on lines in neighbouring states as against only 900 of their trucks on our lines. The tendency is very clear: Africa is turning increasingly to South Africa for its trade.
I wish to get to the role of America in Southern Africa. We have every reason to appreciate the Reagan administration’s constructive engagement. South Africa has definitely benefited from the most recent American diplomacy in the subcontinent; this diplomacy has strengthened our hand in many respects in negotiations we have had to conduct. Dr Chester Crocker worked hard on solutions to international disputes in this area. In negotiations between governments in this part of the world the Americans fulfilled the useful role of impartial go between and simultaneously provided protection against aggressive interference from outside. Results of this were not long in coming, especially as gauged against the stagnation of the Carter era. We should like to recognize the Reagan administration for their initiatives in Africa but they should not claim all the credit for themselves—credit they do not deserve. They will be greatly at fault if they think reforms we have brought about here have been done under external pressure. America and the rest of the world will not accomplish anything by exerting greater pressure on us because this can only result in resistance and obduracy. Besides we have no intention of being forced into reforms dangerous to our survival. We wish to tell the Americans to help us in our striving for peace and prosperity in the subcontinent but we request them to keep their hands off our internal politics.
I wish to get to the Nkomati Accord, to which the hon member for Sea Point also referred, and inform the media they are wrong if they assert the Nkomati Accord is dead. The Accord is not dead; negotiations between South Africa and Mozambique are still continuing at a high level. The hon the Minister has visited Maputo on various occasions to pursue the negotiations. In passing I should like to tell him we greatly appreciate the manner in which he deals with South Africa’s initiatives. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the team of people about him as well as to the hon the Deputy Minister who provided such strong support in this regard.
Proof that the Nkomati Accord is not dead was produced again this afternoon when the hon the Minister announced an operational centre would be established jointly between South Africa and Mozambique. In his announcement the hon the Minister said, “The Nkomati operational centre is a practical manifestation of both countries’ desire not only to reaffirm the Accord, but to implement its provisions fully.” He also said: “Facilities will be used jointly by the two countries to deal with security questions and other matters of mutual concern.” That is excellent proof that the Nkomati Accord is not dead—it is still being honoured.
Implementation of this Accord is just as essential to South Africa as to Mozambique and that is why we will do all in our power not to scuttle it. South Africa has nothing to gain but much to lose from a continued civil war and instability in Mozambique. The Maputo harbour remains the shortest and cheapest route for the export of raw materials and others from the Eastern Transvaal while the power supply from Cahora Bassa is cheap and advantageous to us. The fact of the matter is that Renamo is harming South Africa’s interests in Mozambique; its cohorts do not hesitate to attack South Africans travelling in Mozambique. Neither do they hesitate to interrupt the Cahora Bassa power supply and to disrupt road and rail links between the Eastern Transvaal and Maputo and by so doing hamper our exports and imports.
The Nkomati Accord is of the utmost importance to us. It brought about a turning point, not only in relations between South Africa and Mozambique, but in Southern Africa as a whole. It made an appreciable contribution in curbing ANC activities and scaling down the potential for conflict in this subcontinent. That is why South Africa continues in its efforts to keep the Nkomati Accord alive and that is why we are so grateful for this fresh step which the Minister took this afternoon by creating that operational centre on the border between our two countries.
The failure of this accord can have the most far-reaching consequences for stability and development in the whole of Southern Africa which is why it is in South Africa’s interest to proceed with it.
Mr Chairman, I should like to associate myself with previous speakers and in the first place extend my best wishes to Mr Van Dalsen who has retired as Director-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs. I have known him personally for many years and we were at university together. I had and continue to have great appreciation of him and hope he has an exceptionally pleasant and long period of retirement. I also wish to be associated with what speakers said about the new Director-General, Mr Rae Killen. May he follow successfully in the deep tracks left by his predecessors in this very important department.
In returning to the debate I have to say that over the years the debate on the Foreign Affairs Vote has always been one of the most interesting held in the House of Assembly. That is why it was a disgrace that there was not even a quorum to continue these proceedings when the bells went at eight o’clock this evening. [Interjections.]
Where is Driesie Partisie? Where are your frontbenchers?
The hon members of the CP who have been paired off had every reason to be so and the five who are present were all at their posts when the bells went. [Interjections.] The fact remains it is a disgrace that the NP was the reason that there was no quorum during this important debate.
We are experiencing the afterglow of the Nkomati Accord, the Cahora Bassa Agreement and the then Prime Minister’s visit to Europe so it is fitting that, like other hon speakers in this House, I should refer to these three aspects. We know there were problems with the Nkomati Accord and it appeared that it would come to nothing, but after the hon the Minister’s visit to Maputo the matter was put right. It was also reported that at the end of December 1984 the hon the Minister visited Malawi, the Comoros, Saudi Arabia and other places to discuss the security position of Mozambique with African powers. It would be advantageous if the hon the Minister were to enlarge somewhat on those visits which he paid in Africa in this regard. The embarrassing situation in which the Government finds itself remains obvious. Before concluding the Nkomati Accord, it had supplied Renamo with weapons and assisted in training its troops and that while the Government had given solemn assurances over the years that it was not interfering in the domestic affairs of neighbouring states.
Yes, they were lying!
Order! Did the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North say someone had lied?
I said they had lied, referring to the Government.
Order! The hon member for Pietermaritzburg North must withdraw that.
Sir, to whom did I say he had lied?
Order! The word “lie” is unparliamentary in any case and the hon member must withdraw it and not argue with the Chair.
I withdraw it, Mr Chairman.
The hon member for Brakpan may proceed.
The dilemma in which the Government finds itself is aggravated by the fact that Frelimo is a Marxist organization and this affects the credibility of the Government if it continually reminds South Africa of the total communist onslaught. The State President went a step further and said on 18 April in this House that if the West or President Machel asked South Africa to furnish aid to, or attempt to create order in Mozambique, the Government would consider the case on its merits. We are becoming more and more deeply involved.
We warned last year that it was the duty of the supplier of electric power to supply that power at the Limpopo. If one South African boy has to sacrifice his life to protect that power line, it makes the argument that electric power is obtained more cheaply from Maputo totally nonsensical.
We have now reached the point that a possible request for aid—which is nothing less than military aid—will be considered on merit. This is not the meaning or consequence of a non-aggression pact. It was no partnership agreement which was entered into at Nkomati; it was a non-aggression pact. Naturally we have to protect our eastern border as we do all other borders but this definitely does not mean that we should consider military aid in a domestic struggle, especially not on behalf of the Marxist-Socialist Frelimo Government.
The crux of the matter is not, as the State President said, the recognition or non-recognition of Mozambique. The State President blew this up into a great case and in the process he did not reply to the argument of the hon member for Soutpansberg. Neither does it hinge on the fact that especially the Eastern and Northern Transvaal use Maputo as a harbour; in fact, this was already happening before the conclusion of the Nkomati Accord. We supplied Mozambique with electricity before the conclusion of the Nkomati Accord and, what is more, I should like to know what percentage of Mozambique’s electric power is supplied by South Africa.
The crux of the matter is actually that the RSA took the initiative in forming a bulwark against the total communist onslaught by means of a confederation of Southern African states. Now one of its most important partners in this bulwark is no less than a Marxist state. At the same time our sympathies lie with Dr Savimbi who is fighting communism in Angola. Surely this is inconsistent. What is our message then to African states which are anti-Marxist? That is the crux of the matter and not the recognition or non-recognition of Mozambique.
This brings me to the Cahora Bassa Agreement. In Beeld of 3 May last year the hon the Minister attacked us and told us he would like to see what housewife, industrialist or farmer in South Africa was opposed to steps aimed at ensuring a constant supply of electricity at the cheapest possible price. That is what the hon the Minister said. Last Thursday, however, the State President told us we were dependent on Cahora Bassa for 10% of our energy but that was not the reply the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs gave to a question I put to him.
In reply to question No 187, put on 25 February of this year, the hon the Minister said the supply was partially restored at 02h16 on 27 January 1985 for the first time and again interrupted at 12h06 on 8 February 1985. This question was answered approximately two months ago. At the time no money had as yet been paid for electric power coming from the Cahora Bassa Scheme. It represented 4% of the electricity supplied by Escom.
That was not during the winter.
The point is that electric power had not yet come from the Cahora Bassa Scheme, yet the hon the Minister said housewives would hold it against the CP because we could obtain cheaper electricity from that scheme, but we had hardly received any from Cahora Bassa.
What about the State President’s words uttered three days ago? He said then that 10% of our energy came from the Cahora Bassa Scheme, but here one of his Ministers says only 4% of Escom electric power is derived from that scheme. The hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs would do well to attempt to solve this problem for us.
Order! I regret interrupting the hon member but his time has expired.
Mr Chairman, I rise only to give the hon member for Brakpan an opportunity to complete his speech.
My thanks to the amicable hon member for Bloemfontein East for the concession.
I now reach the euphoria over the previous Prime Minister and the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs’ overseas visit. It is very clear now that its impact was precisely nil. We heard what Mr Rifkind of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom had to say about it. After the happenings at the consulate he said: “I am afraid I cannot believe anything more that the South African Government tells me.”
It appears to me as though the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs is an obstacle to the hon the Minister of Law and Order. We in the CP support the hon the Minister of Law and Order in his strong action against people who supposedly, with violence or in contravention of the laws of the land, are a threat to law and order. From the hon the Minister’s reply to question No 16 of 16 April 1985 it appears that Dr Worrall said the incident at Uitenhage had been tragic and there could be no justification for it—“there can be no justification”. After all, this sentence has not been taken out of context.
The content of the statement in which Dr Worrall anticipated the findings of the Kannemeyer Commission bears the approval of the hon the Minister. Dr Worrall said the incident could not be justified. If this statement also has the approval of the Minister of Law and Order, the gods are truly driving certain people mad before wanting to destroy them. [Interjections.]
I suspect that the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his excessive eagerness to oblige foreign countries, has a constraining influence on the hon the Minister of Law and Order.
That brings me to South West Africa. By chance I found an article in my file written by Franz Josef Strauss on 1 April 1978 in which he quoted Leopold von Ranke as follows:
Franz Josef Strauss then says he sees South West Africa as “a cemetery of good intentions”. On listening to the State President’s pronouncement, this actually appears to me to be the case at present.
On 18 April the State President said inter alia that after December 1978 a National Assembly and a Ministers’ Council had been instituted in South West. The international community rejected this. Now the Government comes forward again with the decision that legislative and executive powers are to be reinstituted in South West Africa—it remains a vicious circle. The international community has shot this plan down as well. A second aspect which causes the CP concern in this regard, is precisely the declaration of basic principles of the Multi-party Conference. It said inter alia:
It then proceeded to say:
Sir, that is one man, one vote. The NP therefore accepts for South West Africa what it rejects in South Africa; those are statements which even the NP rejects in South Africa. In the highest Government circles even this objective is accepted of no longer remaining involved in South West Africa.
The Multi-party Conference does, in fact, consist of people playing leading roles in South West African politics but the problem remains that this conference is not legitimate. It is therefore futile to institute a legislative body which is not elected. No matter how difficult local conditions, the obvious way is the recognition of the multinational nature and ethnicity of South West Africa and that elections should be held there for the various peoples and national groups in which they can make their wishes known. An election on the basis of one man, one vote continues to hold the danger that the Whites will be surrendered to Swapo. I wish to return to what Franz Josef Strauss said in this respect as well, which is still true today:
This multinational conference, however, still wishes to reach a peaceful settlement with Swapo.
It does not make sense either merely to hope that the withdrawal of South African troops from Angola will increase prospects for peace in that area or that the Cubans will withdraw from Angola. The Cubans themselves say they are delighted South African troops have withdrawn from Angola but it does not affect their decision to remain because the South African Government is still strongly represented in South West Africa. So we are back where the initiatives started. We are back to square one. No progress has been made and it appears to me that in the process Dr Savimbi will be left as much in the lurch as Renamo. As regards this matter, we request the hon the Minister to give us an unambiguous assurance that this is not the case. We should not like to see Savimbi abandoned also as was the case with Renamo.
Mr Chairman, I should also like to associate myself with the congratulations to Mr Killen and the good wishes to his predecessor.
Many of the aspects raised by the hon member for Brakpan this evening were dealt with in the debate on the State President’s Vote and therefore that hon member will permit me to begin by referring to a speech his hon leader made last Thursday in this House. In it he said inter alia that the President of the USA projected a very much more sympathetic image in South Africa than his predecessor. The hon member for Waterberg added, however:
I believe there should be unanimity in our attitude and reaction as regards the approach towards South Africa. We ought to say we are prepared to listen to the strongest power in the Western world; we regard him as indispensable to the Western world although naturally this cannot go totally unqualified.
Now I should like to put it to the hon member for Waterberg in his absence that I agree with him on this and that in my opinion unanimity does, in fact, exist among fair-minded hon members of this House on this aspect. That is why I find it rather surprising that the cry goes up from some ranks that this Government is supposedly creating the image that the USA is its master and that its peace initiatives in Southern Africa and its constitutional development actions in South Africa are being undertaken to please President Reagan.
The other day the hon member for Soutpansberg made a speech here along those lines and I must say I was also absolutely dumbfounded by the fact that the hon member for Umbilo made similar noises from his side as well. I can in no way agree with that perception. The State President has said repeatedly that nothing will halt South Africa in its effort to do what is right and to maintain orderly Government according to its own judgment.
In particular reference to the understandable tendency of American politicians to wish to indicate to their voters as well that the policy of constructive involvement—as seen from their point of view—is bearing fruit and the consequent erroneous impression this creates, namely that America is actually prescribing to South Africa, the State President said and I quote him:
A fact lending particular significance to this statement is that it was not directed at an internal audience but at millions of Americans on the well-known American television programme Sixty Minutes. With this the State President sent out a very clear signal that he, as the hon member for Waterberg did say, was prepared to listen to the greatest power in the Western world and co-operate in matters of common interest but that he would not tolerate prescriptions from any world power, including the USA, on the handling of South Africa’s internal policy.
In his characteristic way the State President added—or told the interviewer—that he did not believe in friendship among nations but in common interests. He said when common interests dwindled among nations they drifted apart.
In the more recent television programme Nightline the State President repeated this message in even more direct and clearer language—once again to millions of American viewers. As the hon member for Waterberg indicated, there is no doubt that President Reagan’s policy of constructive engagement in South Africa is very much more acceptable than his predecessor’s policy of destructive pressure and that under these circumstances it is therefore easier for South Africa to co-operate with the USA as regards specific common interests than it was when the Carter Administration was in power.
It is also incontrovertibly in the interest of both countries that this co-operation be extended; neither can it be denied that Mr Reagan is a statesman of stature. It should be as plain as a pikestaff to all in South Africa and beyond this country, however, that if the policy of constructive engagement, or the American government’s handling of it, should become counterproductive as regards the interests of South Africa, this country would obviously curtail and even withdraw its co-operation in consequence of that.
The NP programme of principles states this very clearly. South Africa’s willingness to deliberate and negotiate with others for the sake of peace and peaceful co-existence is not a sign of weakness but of realism. South Africa speaks from a position of strength—the American administration is well aware of this. Dr Chester Crocker, various spokesmen for President Reagan himself and the American Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr George Shultz, admitted this unequivocally. Mr George Shultz acknowledged this before the Press of America in his recent statement of policy on Southern Africa. As my colleague, the hon member for Bloemfontein Central quoted, Mr Shultz pointed out to his compatriots that America had very limited capabilities for influencing matters within South Africa. He said South Africa was not an insignificant little country but a strong, independent regional power of considerable importance to the West.
In truth there are countless examples of South Africa’s expressed and definite rejection of demands from America and other international directions regarding its internal policy. The most recent case was the rejection of the criticism of America and other powers concerning themselves with South West Africa on the South African Government’s decision to permit an interim government in South West Africa. Another reasonably recent example was the rejection of demands issuing from certain directions as regards the 16 people of the UDF and the National Ecumenical Council who are currently standing trial for high treason.
If time permitted, I could quote a number of other examples. Nevertheless it is also true that South Africa and the USA have common interests in Southern Africa, amongst others the stemming of Soviet expansionism and the furtherance of peaceful co-existence and stability on this subcontinent. In this regard it is in the interest of South Africa and of the entire West that America and South Africa should co-operate and promote stability in this subcontinent. That is why I find it very strange that the hon member for Brakpan adopted such a negative attitude here this evening towards the Cahora Bassa Agreement and the Nkomati Accord.
We can play a part to ward off Soviet expansionism from our subcontinent if we can show governments with Marxist leanings, like those of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, that our approach of a free economy and democracy is better than the Soviet approach of oppression and expansionism. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I want firstly to extend a warm welcome to Mr Rae Killen. We wish him well in the daunting task that lies ahead of him as our new Director-General of Foreign Affairs.
In reply to something that the hon member for Benoni said, I want to say that I believe he misunderstood completely what the hon member for Umbilo was saying the other day. If he pays attention to a few words that I will direct to him during the course of my speech, I think he will understand this party’s attitude better.
I can understand why there was difficulty with the quorum earlier because 20 minutes short of this coming hour, 11 years ago, a very fine crop of men was duly elected to this Place, including the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, the Chief Government Whip, the hon the Deputy Minister who has just gone out and quite a number of other very fine chaps. Of course, I happened to be among that lot. I say that in all modesty!
I remember the feeling of expectancy and excitement that I felt when I came into this House on the first day of the no-confidence debate which was on Monday, 5 August 1974. I was particularly impressed by the closing remarks in the speech of a Government member. If I may say so, in those days he was a backbencher. He said (Hansard, Vol 50, 1974, col 91):
It was a fine speech.
Yes. The hon member who made it was then the hon member for Wonderboom. He made one more speech before he departed and took up duty as Ambassador to the United Nations. He is back today. He is still sitting in the same corner, but today he is in the front bench and is the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs. It is incredible that 11 years ago he said what he said. It is incredible too that he spoke about electrical power going backwards and forwards, and here we have this debate tonight in which we are referring to Cahora Bassa and many other issues.
I do not believe that that hon Minister’s dreams and ideals have changed one iota. I sincerely believe that gentleman has personally made tremendous sacrifices, and I think he has worked tirelessly towards the attainment of his dreams and ideals. I believe too that he knows and must feel sometimes that time is fast running out on us.
Unfortunately four to five years were wasted before the Government started on the road of reform. Four to five years between 1974 and 1978-79 were lost, and during that period our image and credibility suffered enormously. We all know of the traumas of that era.
The new regime, if I may call it that, which took over in 1978 under the premiership of the present State President, only started to flex its muscles in the early 1980s. While all this was happening, international impatience grew. Our problem, I believe, is that our good intentions always appear to be lagging behind international expectations, and it is on this account that we remain the whipping boy in the game of diplomacy.
With the best will in the world we do not seem to be able to get the international community to appreciate that the process of political enlightenment in this country, indeed in the whole of Africa for that matter, is not a matter of merely throwing a tumbler switch which gives one instant and brilliant illumination out of absolute darkness. It is a matter of throwing a different type of switch. It is a matter of throwing a rheostat switch which gives one gradual illumination from that darkness. That switch must also be handled with a measure of care because it can only be moved at a certain rate towards a peak of illumination. If one does not do this, if one seeks to move that switch suddenly, one will find that one will fuse the whole system and one will plunge it back into that darkness, that impenetrable darkness, once again. There will be no middle line; it will be immediate.
I have no argument with the great nations that would watch our progress towards enlightenment. I have no argument with the great nations that would encourage such progress, but I have serious reservations about anybody or any nation, big or small, who would dictate the pace and the timetable of progress and change. I think this is something that the major Western powers should take note of.
I am sorry to say that I must highlight the USA and its current diplomacy in this regard. I think we all agree that Secretary of State Mr Shultz made a very important speech last week. It was titled “Southern Africa towards an American consensus” and he made the speech at the International Press Club in Washington on 16 April. I think there are those of us who will recognize the hands of many in the compilation of that speech. I think we know some of the authors of that speech.
I think we should look at the penultimate paragraph, because this is important. Mr Shultz says:
But we must not stand by and throw American matches on the emotional tinder of that region.
I think that I would want to believe, and I like to believe, that continuance of America’s constructive engagement will be contained within the parameters of the paragraph I have just quoted. I believe we can all live with that, but what we cannot live with is blatant interference in our internal affairs and problems. That none of us can live with.
Mr Shultz went on to say: “We,” meaning the USA, “should be indignant at injustice and bloodshed”. We accept that because we remember the indignation we felt at the appalling injustice and bloodshed that occurred a little over 10 years ago in the village of My Lai in Vietnam. The entire population of this village was massacred by certain members of the USA Armed Forces in the name of Western democracy.
Order! I regret the hon member’s time has expired.
I am merely rising to afford the hon member the opportunity to complete his speech.
I thank the hon Whip for his courtesy.
We remember the indignation we felt at that. We also remember how supportive we were of the subsequent investigations into that dreadful affair and how we applauded the fact that those responsible were brought to book.
I think it would do us a lot of good, and it would do the whole world a lot of good, to remember those wonderful words: “Let him among you who is without fault or sin cast the first stone.” I think that is something we should all remember here tonight. I think we are trying to seek the truth of injustice and bloodshed. It will out, and those responsible can and must be brought to book.
In the international game of diplomacy and counter-diplomacy South Africa has for many years been on the top of the stove. From time to time we have been pushed onto the back burners, the slow burners, but every now and then our little pot is brought right to the front and put fairly and squarely on the hottest plate on that stove; and that is where we find ourselves at this moment. Sadly, we are also being used by certain party politicians in their quest for favour in seeking high party office in the next presidential elections in the United States. I believe that if Senator Kennedy and his ilk had their way, they would destroy our society for short-term political gain and office. I want to ask that gentleman, I want to ask his colleagues, I want to ask all those who rant and rave about our so-called “unjust society”: “What will you put in its place? What can you afford to put in its place?” I suggest that the destruction of our society as we know it will only lead to its being replaced by yet another surrogate of Moscow in the form of a Marxist one man, one vote one-party state.
South Africa needs support from the international community. We need to belong to a family of nations that will help us walk along the road into the future. We need to be part of an international community that encourages us. What South Africa does not need, however, is those who stand on the sidewalks of that road in order to bludgeon us, in order to vilify us and in order to spit on us and then believe that we have no pride and will just stumble along blindly regardless. We South Africans will not stand for that, but I say in all humility that we will always be grateful to those who would encourage us with sincerity and honesty.
Mr Chairman, I have crossed swords with the hon member for Umhlanga on many occasions in this House, but we would like to congratulate him with the responsible speech he made tonight and say to him that, if that is his attitude and that of his party, there is room for us to talk about the future in South Africa. I would also like to congratulate the hon member and other hon members with their eleventh anniversary as members of Parliament. Sir, you will allow me to say that in my short political career 24 April 1974 was a disastrous day because that was the day on which my political mentor gave me a hiding at the polls. Though it was only with 330 votes in a poll of 12 000, I learnt a lot out of it. I did, however, return to this House representing the same seat at a later stage.
The hon member for Umhlanga talked about unreasonable international expectations and that is something I should like to deal with in the course of my speech. Secondly he said he had a problem with the dictating of the pace of change. I agree entirely with him on that. The third remark he made to which I should like to refer is that the outside world does not present an alternative of what they think should happen in South Africa. Perhaps there is some consolation for South Africa in the words of the Secretary of State, Mr George Shultz, when at one stage he said:
I think that, if the outside world adopts that attitude, we can arrive at some acceptable solution.
I would like to say this evening that the P W Botha Government has placed South Africa irrevocably on the road of orderly reform. This is an undeniable fact and I think that the sooner people who think like the CP also accept that, the better it will be for the rest of South Africa. Any reasonable and objective observer without prejudice against South Africa should confirm that democratic processes, economic opportunities and social services have been broadened in this country in order to accommodate a meaningful participation by all the people of this country. In fact, this statement was confirmed by Dr Chester Crocker at one stage when he said:
The hon member for Sea Point remarked in his speech this afternoon that 1984 initially looked promising for South Africa, but that the situation retrogressed to a grim situation and that South Africa was now in the grip of isolation.
The Minister said “retrogression”.
No, I am not fighting with the hon member. All I want to say to him is that this Government has in fact warned South Africa that the more we progress on the road of reform, the more we shall be pressurized by our enemies—especially the radical elements—because they dare not allow progress towards peaceful co-existence in this country.
It is, however, an unenviable task of the hon the Minister to project South Africa’s image overseas where double standards, First World norms and unreasonable expectations are the order of the day.
Furthermore, the hon member for Sea Point tried to wave the old magic wand: “Dismantle apartheid and all will be rosy in the garden.” That is what the hon member again said this afternoon: “Dismantle apartheid and all South Africa’s problems will disappear.”
I did not say that at all. [Interjections.]
I would like to say that expectations for change based on transition from White minority rule in South Africa to Black majority rule, and efforts on the part of the outside world to pressurize South Africa into submission through economic boycotts and threats of disinvestment invite the reply so aptly given by the well-known Mr Harry Oppenheimer, who is most definitely not a supporter of this Government—on the contrary, he has for many years been an ardent opponent of this Government—when he said:
It is amazing that when we are criticized, we are told that 70% of our population is excluded from political participation referring to the 21 million Blacks in this country. When, however, the outside world evaluates South Africa, it does not subject us to African norms but to norms set according to Western standards. If an evaluation is based on facts, the situation is quite different. Let me refer to a few examples in which South Africa should be looked at within the context of the African situation. Let us look at political and economic stability on the African continent. After the Nigerian coup, Time Magazine focused on what they called, and I quote:
The magazine made a few startling remarks which I would like to quote:
Economically, in nation after nation, independence has been followed by a steady decrease in per capita food production. African countries are so riddled by foreign debt, estimated at a total of US $100 billion annually, that they are rescheduling loans by arguing that they are near bankruptcy. Almost without exception, African governments have allowed a crucial part of their colonial inheritance, the infrastructure of roads, railways, cities and towns built by Europeans, to deteriorate.
Not to forget South Africa, they conveniently add the following:
In contrast, due to the lack of time, one can only say that all we ask of the Western world, is that if it wishes to evaluate South Africa, it should evaluate us in terms of the fact that 70% of our population belong to a Third World and not a First World situation.
Mr Chairman, I also want to comment on the relationships between South Africa and the United States, and I also want to refer to the speech made by the Secretary of State, George Shultz, on 16 April, because I believe it is a very important speech and certainly the latest comment we have on these relationships.
It will come as no surprise to this House that our interpretation of that speech is a little different from that of the hon member for Umhlanga, and certainly very different from the interpretation of members on the other side of the House. In fact, it is very different from that of the hon the Minister himself, who I believe overreacted to it. For once SABC-TV gave some of the negative points made by an overseas critic and did not just select the very best part and leave out the hard part. The hon the Minister did not like that, because of course it was different. I believe that he could have reacted much more creatively and much more positively.
The United States, whether we like it or not, is the major power in the West, and without bowing slavishly to every suggestion they make, I think we should be going out of our way, as it were, to encourage their essentially helpful stance towards South Africa. In our foreign relations we must start from the premise that the United States Administration is neither hostile nor part of the so-called total onslaught against South Africa. I want to bring as my witness the Secretary of State, Mr George Shultz. He summarizes what he believes ought to be America’s attitude towards South Africa, and I believe he does so very fairly. He says, firstly:
No one can fault him on that. He goes on:
We have all said that. We believe that that is a correct estimation. Thirdly, he says, and I suppose this can be regarded as being negative although I would regard it as very positive:
May I say that my colleague the hon member for Sea Point did not say that all our problems would disappear if apartheid should go. What he did say, correctly, was if that should go, it would certainly make our position very much easier in our relationships. I have no doubt that that is so. Mr Shultz says, fourthly:
What is wrong with that? It is fair and, I believe, acceptable. Fifthly, he says that South Africa is a very important part of the total region. He goes on to say:
The hon member for Umhlanga quite correctly quoted Mr Shultz as saying that the United States understands that it is not the chief, or the main actor, in this human drama, but that the people of Southern Africa themselves will have to make the change and seek the right direction for themselves. However, it is also true that he goes on—and that is what I find lacking in this debate—to point out certain conditions which exist in this country and which they find unacceptable. I believe that the Western World generally finds these conditions unacceptable. He does mention forced removals, arbitrary detentions, bannings and pass laws. Who among us in this House would believe that this actually makes a creative contribution to good and peaceful relations in South Africa? None of us, surely. It is true that he does emphasize that political dialogue between White and Black must begin now and must be seen to be taking place.
Against this background and the background of escalating disinvestment, which none of us should underestimate, we must come to terms with the demands, the requests and the entreaties, not only for the sake of international good relations, but also—and more importantly—for a move towards internal peace. When we look at the disinvestment campaign and see it mounting almost daily—one hears only today that it seems to be gaining momentum in certain parts—I believe that we must be very careful as to how we combat disinvestment. It is no use, I believe, to point out other people’s sins and to stress that they too have problems. We have to deal with the situation as it is in this country, and do it fearlessly and honestly. Where we are wrong, we have to try to move and change.
The columnist, Simon Barber, who writes from Washington, I think makes a very useful comment when he says:
He discusses some of the ways in which some people are going from this country to try to tackle this problem. I have time to mention only two examples, and I am quite sure that there are many other better examples. I do believe that, very often, we spend far too much time, when we go to the USA to fight disinvestment, in talking to what we term our so-called friends. I am of the opinion that many of our so-called friends are to the right of the lunatic fringe in this country, and we spend far too much of our time massaging them and looking for comfort from them, instead of confronting our critics and the main stream in the USA. He gives one example, and I quote from a report in the Rand Daily Mail of 4 April 1985:
He goes on and, to demonstrate the erosion of racial barriers, he recalls lunching in a hotel with “this really beautiful girl from the South African Foundation”. He concludes by saying: “You would not even know that she was Coloured”. [Interjections.]
We do not need friends like that. We want to concentrate on people who have genuine misgivings about the situation and helping them to help us. If we wish to encourage helpful and healthy relations with the US, there are two things we must do. Firstly, the utmost care and discretion at both ministerial and police level must be exercised in the handling of civil disturbances and Black political opposition. Instead, like yesterday again, we detain three more of those opponents. We must learn to defuse demonstrations in townships without the deadly volleys of gunshots which reverberate around the world.
Secondly, we must have a genuine political dialogue and negotiations with credible Black leaders. This will do us far more good than any other thing we could do to cement good and healthy relations, not only with the United States but with other countries in the West that essentially are our friends rather than our enemies.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Pinelands has once again placed before us all the negative things said about South Africa. I was just thinking that it was a pity that the hon member had not demonstrated to us how what is good in South Africa can be marketed. I think that the debate on the Foreign Affairs Vote is an opportunity for us to demonstrate to countries abroad, too, that there is good in South Africa as well.
I should like to associate myself with the sentiments conveyed to Mr Van Dalsen and Mr Killen. For the rest I wish Mr Killen many pleasant and fruitful years of service in the department.
This evening I should also like to refer to the standpoint of the PFP, viz that South Africa should withdraw from South West Africa. Before coming to that, however, I want to refer to representations received from Walvis Bay for many years that we, too, should be linked up with the television services network. I have received a communication from Mr Cronjé of the SABC in which he states:
On behalf of the people of Walvis Bay I thank the SABC for this kind assistance. We are going to enjoy it and we appreciate it.
It is true that the Department of Foreign Affairs is very much in the limelight. The hon member for Sea Point demonstrated this here when he put before us all the negative things said about South Africa in presenting to us the onslaught on South Africa. A great deal of the time of the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs is devoted to the question of South West Africa. During the past year there has indeed been visible progress. Here we call to mind, for example, the joint monitoring commission which has now eventually reached the border; the Multi-Party Conference, about which I shall say a few words later with reference to what the hon member for Brakpan said; discussions with Dr Crocker of the United States—everything revolves around in-depth discussions concerning the withdrawal of the Cubans from Angola. While it is true that South Africa is enduring a concentrated onslaught at present it is a great pity that the PFP, in the person of the hon member for Sea Point, is singing in this same choir.
What is being demanded of South Africa? Unconditional withdrawal from South West Africa. At the same time there is an insistence on unconditional abdication and surrender within South Africa. When this call is heard from our enemies and from the Official Opposition—withdraw from South West Africa—the question arises: On whose behalf does the PFP speak here? Is it the voice of the Swapo spokesman Adv Lobowski? If South Africa were to withdraw from South West Africa could they tell us who would take its place? Who is to fill that vacuum? For whom must the table be set? For Swapo? For Cuba? Or for Russia? If recognized leaders in the MPC ask us to remain in South West Africa, why should we ignore them?
The Government’s standpoint on South West Africa is very clear. We are there at the request of the inhabitants of South West Africa. In the second place, the Government does not intend abandoning the inhabitants of South West Africa to the forces of violence. South Africa has a responsibility to South West Africa. South Africa also has a responsibility as a regional power. Peace in Angola and in South West Africa form part of the long-term security of South Africa. An unstable Angola and an unstable South West Africa would also lead to an unstable Botswana, and everything that would follow from that.
We as inhabitants of Walvis Bay are also directly affected. The shock-waves of what happens in South West Africa are felt by us. South West Africa is our part of the world, too. It is also my part of the world.
You left South West in the lurch!
The hon member for Kuruman, who is making such a noise, knows that I had the privilege of representing a large part of South West Africa in this House for eight years.
You left it in the lurch.
I know that great country and its people. They are tough and rugged people but friendly as well.
We understand the uncertainty in the minds of the White people there. We are aware of their inner conflict. We are aware of their struggle. We know how they are struggling with independence, how they are trying to escape from international pressure. It is true that the Whites of South West Africa have always hoped that the pressure on South West Africa would be reduced as a result. For that reason I appeal for understanding; not for noise. It is not easy to bid one’s country, one’s flag, one’s national anthem, farewell. Therefore I ask that we leave the process of negotiation to the Government and the inhabitants of South West Africa.
The CP—to its credit—is not actively involved in the politics of South West Africa. However, from this House they condemn the MPC, the leaders who are making a positive effort to exorcise the greatest enemy in South West Africa, viz uncertainty. Domestically that is the biggest enemy in South West Africa. The efforts of the Government to get the MPC moving again, to establish an interim government again, are specifically aimed at exorcising this uncertainty. I therefore request the South African Government to proceed to lead the people of South West Africa to independence. We know that it is twilight in South West Africa at present. However we also know that the Government will guide South West Africa so that in its twilight hour it will be able to move forward in the clear light of South Africa, the giant of Africa, on the road to a new dawn. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, may I ask a question?
No, I am sorry but those hon members are stealing my time. Mr Chairman, I withdraw the word “steal”.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon member entitled to say that that hon member is stealing his time?
Order! The hon member for Walvis Bay has already withdrawn the word “steal”. The hon member may proceed.
In fact he is wasting my time.
I ask those who criticize South West Africa’s leaders to take another look at South West Africa. Look at the infrastructure created there since the NP obtained a right to sit in this House in 1950. Look at its road, look at its power network, its railway lines, its air links, its telephone links and the developed harbour at Walvis Bay, and compare that with the infrastructure in Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana a quarter of a century after they had obtained their independence from Britain. Compare that with any comparable country, and hon members will find that they have reason to be proud of what their own country has achieved in South West Africa. I want to call upon them to refrain from merely condemning and criticizing. Publicize these excellent results, too, and help to build. It will give them so much more joy.
We also wish to ask the hon the Minister and the Government: Carry on with the good work in the interests of South Africa and all its people. We should like to help you to build a bigger, finer and more stable South Africa.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Walvis Bay is, of course, a blessed member of this House because he has such a small constituency that he can sit in this House with very few votes. However, we do not begrudge him that. The hon member for Sea Point dealt with the South West issue in a previous debate and I think our stand in this regard is clear.
†I wish to deal very briefly with a matter concerning the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, viz the reports on his lobbying activities in 1983. I believe it is important for the individual concerned as well as for our Department of Foreign Affairs that the Deputy Minister should make his position clear to this House because it is obviously a matter about which we are all concerned. It was a matter which was raised as the Christmas holidays came and which has not been raised in this House yet. I think we should get some sort of indication from the hon the Deputy Minister and an assurance that his involvement in and retention by—the relationship apparently no longer exists—the MacPhail Coal Company of the W & A Group has ceased. We should also, I think, have some indication from him whether he supports a lobbying system and the registration of lobbyists, as is practised in the United States, because I do not think that anybody objects to people lobbying but, if they are being paid to do so, that should obviously be disclosed and made public knowledge. We know, of course, that in 1947 a certain Mr Goldberg, who was a member of this House, requested the appointment of a select committee which went into the matter and pointed out that MP’s should not accept payment for gaining access to Ministers and State officials. The select committee said that it was inexpedient and derogatory to the dignity of the House. I think we need to have some kind of statement from the hon the Deputy Minister, first of all, on whether he believes that lobbyists should be registered. Secondly, we would like an assurance from him that he is not being retained by any Group at present. The person who was employing him apparently said:
Why do you not read the apology to me and settle the matter for yourself?
I think the important thing is that the hon the Deputy Minister should settle it himself in the House.
I want to deal briefly with this historic month. It is not only a historic month because a number of us were elected to Parliament for the first time on the 24th of April, but it is historic because, according to a report in the newspaper Rapport, this is the month in which the Department of Information was finally blotted out in administrative terms.
I believe this is a month not to be regretted because the episode in the history of South Africa relating to the Department of Information was a classic example of means justifying ends. The end, Mr Chairman, was to sell a policy which was indefensible by any civilized standards. It was also a sad period when lies, deceit, disinformation, the high life and the abuse of public money were the norms. I believe it is a tribute to our democratic institutions—emasculated as they were at the time—that they dealt with that scandal by destroying the careers of two of our very senior politicians and of at least three senior public servants. I believe that is a credit to the democratic institutions of our country.
The caravan must, however, go on, Mr Chairman. We obviously need an information function in our South African society but I believe the first thing we ought to do is to float off from the Department of Foreign Affairs what one might call the internal information functions. Those are the publications which disseminate Government points of view internally. The department appears to be moving towards developing internal sections of information or of public relations in each and every Government department. That seems to be a sensible process but I do believe that the Department of Foreign Affairs should basically be concerned with disseminating information overseas, in foreign countries, and not for the sake of internal political purposes—as valid a function as that may be in the eyes of the Government for its own use.
In the same way, I believe, the Department of Foreign Affairs should float off its foreign aid functions to the benefit of the Development Bank. The Department of Foreign Affairs should not have to administer all the money that goes through to the TBVC countries. I believe the same should happen to the Information Service.
The Department of Foreign Affairs can now develop a new style in selling South Africa because it is quite apparent to everybody who observes what is going on in this country that a process of reform has begun, which means that instead of trying to defend the indefensible, the Department of Foreign Affairs can now begin to sell South Africa. I believe it should first of all sell the concept that reform is a process not an event. We cannot simply flick our fingers and put the situation right.
Let us take the Uitenhage incident as an example from an information point of view. I do not intend to decide on the rights and the wrongs of the whole incident but I think our ambassador in London was absolutely right in saying that there was no justification for that event. In any society one gets situations which are similar to those that occurred at Uitenhage. How should our Information Service sell that sort of thing? It should not try to justify it. What should be pointed out, however, is that there is a judicial commission of inquiry investigating the matter. It should be pointed out too that there are six members of an opposition party who have gone to Uitenhage, who have submitted a report and who have retained one of their members as an advocate at that inquiry. The fact should also be made known that there is a member of the provincial council, elected by White voters, who is actively involved in watching over the rights and the interests of many of the people who were affected by the events at Uitenhage. It should also be made known that there was an enormous funeral attended by more than 50 000 people that went off peacefully. The fact should be made known that an organization such as the UDF could send its own speakers to an event of that nature. These are all things which indicate that South Africa is at least endeavouring to maintain some civil liberties and some democratic rights.
There is yet another issue which we can sell. That is the whole matter of labour reform. It is interesting to note that in connection with the issue of disinvestment one hears almost nothing at all from West Germany. I venture to suggest the reason for this is that the West German labour movements and trade unions have very good links with our Black trade unions. What happens is that they ask the Black trade unions in South Africa whether they are in favour of or against disinvestment. They say they are against it. The West German trade unions state their own opposition to it and that is the message that is conveyed to the West German economy. That is why we do not hear a message of disinvestment from West Germany.
I believe there is a clear message in that situation because the German labour lobby understands that in the labour field in South Africa, at least, there is real reform, and there is a genuine attempt to respect the rights of labour to negotiate and work out their own deal. I believe the emphasis in the Information Branch should be to say to people: Help us to encourage faster change; do not scold us all the time for not changing fast enough. It is that kind of spirit that should be conveyed: An acceptance that we make mistakes, but that, at the same time, we are struggling to create a genuine, civilized democracy in this country.
Finally, I want to ask the hon the Minister two questions. Firstly, can he tell us why we are spending R45 million in New York on a chancellery, an embassy or some building, because that seems to be an enormous amount of money, even if one takes the exchange rate into account. Secondly, why are we spending R840 000 in Transkei on two residences at the Embassy? That is R420 000 per house and it seems an enormous expenditure. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, at the outset I must say that I am very disappointed with the personal tone of the speech of the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North. We in this Parliament should always endeavour to keep our personal attacks behind the scenes. After all, there is a procedure for each and every hon member to follow if he feels that any other hon member behaved in any way which did not befit him in his position as a member of Parliament. Frankly, I must say that I do not think that that hon member raised the point of his own free will; I think he was asked to do so in view of the by-election in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth. The fact that matters like these should be drawn into debates with the sole view of using such things in parliamentary by-elections, makes this an even sadder occurrence.
*I should like to begin by saying to the hon the Minister, Mr Killen and all the officials of the Department that we in South Africa are very proud of him as a Minister. We are proud of Mr Killen and we are proud of all the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs who do a tremendous job for South Africa in extremely difficult circumstances. It is true that this hon Minister, as the hon member for Umhlanga remarked, has in many respects been in the forefront of the struggle that South Africa has had to wage in the outside world. In domestic politics the hon the Minister has constantly been engaged in the struggle in the debate on the tempo of reform in South Africa. I believe that many of the people in South Africa can think back on many years of stating standpoints and must admit today that many of the things said to our electorate under the leadership of this hon Minister have on occasion been a little ahead of current thinking. We honour him for that; we are all together in a team and it is a pleasure to fight in that team for South Africa.
On the way to Acacia Park the other day, I was travelling behind a little old lady who was travelling quite slowly in her car, more or less in the middle of the road. She hesitated, wanting to move first to the left and then to the right and then, all of a sudden—because it was Cape Festival time—it occurred to me that this little old lady was struggling with herself. I instinctively said to myself “Kap dit uit of ‘hesitate’”. That is the question. If, in this debate on South Africa’s reform programmes, we consider this expression, we could in fact ask ourselves the question: “What are we to do? Must we ‘kap dit uit’ or ‘hesitate’.” In my opinion the balance for all of us probably lies between these possibilities.
The human rights section of the American Department of Foreign Affairs issued a report on human rights—including human rights in South Africa—earlier this year and one of the headlines in our own newspaper read: “South Africa’s Dismal Human Rights”. In this report by the relevant American Department they refer to what they regarded as a denial of human rights in South Africa. This report of the American Department of Foreign Affairs did not adopt a standpoint by way of comparison between South Africa and other countries; they merely made factual statements about the nature of what they regarded as infringements of human rights in South Africa. For example, they advanced facts on detention without trial, which they regard as a lack of access to courts of law, and so on.
In this debate it is also being said on the opposition side by the hon members for Sea Point and Pinelands that we should not compare our position as far as human rights are concerned with the rest of the world. I should like to say that I honestly believe that we can state the standpoint that human rights are denied in other countries, but that ultimately, as far as South Africa is concerned, no comparison with any instance of the denial of human rights in Africa or in any other country in the world will help us, as South Africans, in any way.
What is of importance to us is what the Government is doing out of conviction, out of firm conviction in every sphere in South Africa to get closely to what we regard as an endorsement in principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In his time as a member of this House, the hon the Minister said that we could in principle endorse that Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I should like to reiterate this evening that everyone on our side of the Committee knows that South Africa can endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in principle. All we ask is that what is stated in that Declaration of Human Rights concerning the freedom of the individual and the practical rights of the individual be applied equitably to everyone in the world and to us as well.
We do not say to the world, to the USA or to anyone else that they must not criticize us. We do not say to anyone in the world that our recognition of human rights is a wonderful instant recipe, but we do say is this: Apply the same test equally to everyone in the world. In no country in the world, neither in the political, the economic or the social spheres, is there a government, a religious body or anybody else that can say that what they do in practice, complies 100% with the ideal as far as human rights are concerned. We are faced with a very delicate situation in Africa. I just wish to state the point—I do not say this to be derogatory—that I think that we occasionally make the mistake of referring to Africa when we are attacked and saying how badly things are going in Africa. The intention on our side is to say that we live in the continent of Africa, but the experience of other people in Africa may be that in saying that, we mean that because people are Black, because they are in Africa, they are in certain respects politically backward, and it is for that reason that they deny people and their human rights. I think that that is wrong.
I think that South Africa is struggling with a cultural and a total politicol-cultural problem that in fact puts Africa in a position in which many of the states cannot comply with the Declaration of Human Rights, even though the elite leaders in Africa such as President Banda and President Kaunda say that they would like to endorse fully the human dignity of man and the freedom of man. We understand that.
I want to make this point. In the Black states of Africa, whether the opposition likes those states or not, merely by virtue of the cultural experience and merely by virtue of the cultural milieu in those states, there is an inherent denial of fundamental human rights which is not the consequence of apartheid but is the result of a cultural milieu which gives certain people more rights and other people lesser rights. We understand that, and in that spirit we should like to say that we stand with Africa. We, the White children of Black Africa, stand together with the people of Africa for the furtherance of human rights in the world, which, inherently, has very great human rights problems. When we discuss human rights we should like to ask that the test for human rights that is set the Government, is also applied to those people who incite revolution in South Africa. I should like to repeat this this evening. In the book No easy walk to freedom, under the heading “Letter from the underground”, Nelson Mandela said in 1961:
I want to repeat this point here: This was an objective of the ANC as far back as 1961. Also apply the test of human dignity and human rights to these people who deny Black people the right to participate in political processes, who literally mutilate and murder Black people. If that does not constitute the grossest denial of and trampling upon human rights then I do not know.
We must reject organizations that openly say they reject the capitalist system and economic freedom, because they stand for a socialist system. These people in the world, under the leadership of the USA, the nation which is the great champion of freedom in the world, must apply the test of the implementation of human rights not only to us, but also to every organization—the ANC, the UDF, Azapo, Azano and Azaso—which in this struggle in South Africa, which they regard as a struggle for freedom, deny human rights in our country in the most extreme fashion.
Mr Chairman, when we talk about Foreign Affairs, which is almost a highlight of the Budget debate, it behoves us inter alia to take off our hats in gratitude to our diplomatic representatives for what they do for South Africa in very difficult conditions abroad. We must take off our hats to the hon the Minister and the officials of the department for the work they do. That task is truly a gigantic one and the circumstances are not easy. I doubt whether there are other diplomatic representatives in foreign countries who have as difficult a task to fulfil as our people from South Africa.
Part of the responsibility of this department is the provision of information; not only the provision of information on South Africa, but I should say part of the responsibility is also to provide information within South Africa about events, attitudes and standpoints abroad.
In that connection I should like to express my appreciation of the fact that South African television broadcast almost the whole of the Nightline programme the other day. To a certain extent it was the first time that many South Africans could see what is being presented about South Africa in foreign countries. I want to state that it is imperative that this kind of information be made known in South Africa on a larger scale.
†I should say that we are doing South Africa a disservice to keep them wrapped up in comfortable cotton wool, away from the information of the cold winds that blow against South Africa overseas.
*South Africans can only be hardened to reality once they know what is happening abroad, once they are aware of the uphill struggle that our people in the diplomatic service have to fight abroad every day. That is why I say that our information should be channelled in that direction.
There is a matter that I should like to broach and that is that in our information service and our handling of the information, perhaps more specialized emphasis should be laid on certain branches since they are under very heavy fire at the moment. I have a reasonable degree of knowledge of the situation in Germany because I am German-speaking and of German descent and am kept informed of conditions in Germany. One of the most important factors in Germany which makes the openly good relationship between us and Germany difficult, is the attitude taken by the churches in Germany. The most acrimonious onslaught does come from the Evangelic churches, but not only from them. It also comes from a certain section of the Catholic church in Germany.
Let me, since I am on the subject, just say that we are often religiously prejudiced against the standpoint of Catholics. There is no doubt, however, that we find a great deal more understanding for South Africa amongst the Catholics of Europe than amongst the so-called Protestant element in the Scandinavian countries, Holland and Germany.
I want to quote something in passing. I have a pamphlet in which the following is written about an organization in Germany which is called “Misereor”:
I have a picture here that they distribute in the schools. It is a drawing of a monster that represents apartheid. The children are asked in the schools, as part of their official schooling, to fill in certain words in order to bring home to them the idea that apartheid is oppressive. In the drawing the monster is standing with its right foot on the back of a small Black. That is how small children are trained in the schools.
It doesn’t happen only there, however. I do not have the proof at hand, but in the Evangelic churches exactly the same thing happens, nor does it only happen there. I have a letter here from a person with whom I have been corresponding for years and he says he would very much like to have the opportunity to have a book exhibition in South Africa to show how the children in West Germany as well as in East Germany are trained every day to hate South Africa. I also have a poster here which is distributed in East Germany: “Solidarity with the Blacks”. The same theme is portrayed on a calendar. This theme receives publicity every day. The person with whom I correspond, says that there is not a single day on which a hate campaign is not being waged against South Africa; more cannot be done to aggravate the situation against South Africa.
In the pamphlet I referred to, that gives publicity to the organization in West Germany, it says:
Indeed, it is so: Unfortunately there is a movement towards politicizing the Church. It is not that the churches themselves are necessarily political, but there is an active element that is trying to politicize the Church, and we must be prepared for this element. I think we should be more active in that sphere in order to present the matter in its correct perspective.
South Africa is condemned to such an extent internationally and its apartheid policy is stated so negatively for the very reason that the word “apartheid” is seen as a personification of racism. It is interesting that the word “racism” did not appear in a single dictionary before 1950. I carried out a test the other day. I examined a number of old dictionaries and I found that the word “racism” did not appear in a dictionary until 1950. Yet the word “racism”, which is linked to the vague term “apartheid”, is identified with the negative destructive racism of Nazism. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I should like to say the following this evening to the hon member for Walvis Bay: The NP of South Africa, under pressure from abroad, has left the Whites of South Africa in the lurch. [Interjections.] As a member of the NP the hon member for Walvis Bay is jointly responsible for that.
That is nonsense. That is not true.
I want to say to that member that he knows, after all, that the course now being taken by the MPC does not represent the will of the Whites of South West Africa. Surely he knows that. They are compelled to take that course in an effort to save what can still be saved. [Interjections.]
Jan, there are other people besides White people in South West Africa.
I want to say to the hon member for Innesdal that I am here as a representative of the Whites of South Africa in this Parliament, and he can carry on championing the cause of the Blacks.
Bishop Tutu, Nobel Prize winner, who was described by the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs as a moderate Black leader, said last year in a BBC radio broadcast:
Bishop Tutu said that to the BBC last year. [Interjections.] This “moderate” Black man—according to the Deputy Minister—is therefore saying by implication that when Dr Verwoerd was the leader of the NP and the Prime Minister of South Africa, South Africans knew exactly where they were going. [Interjections.]
Where were they going?
That leader stated precisely where they were going. Was it not wonderful in those days, when the members of the NP could spell out to everyone within and outside South Africa where the leaders of the NP were going with South Africa? Those were good days. There were boycotts, threats of boycotts and also sanctions against South Africa, but South Africa unashamedly told the world that peace in Southern Africa was to.be found in the vigorous implementation of the policy of separate development.
What was said by the then member for Algoa, who later became chairman of the NP’s foreign affairs study group and was later appointed ambassador to Ciskei by that hon Minister? He said the following:
[Interjections.] That was where the NP was going then. [Interjections.] The then hon member for Algoa also said … [Interjections.] Oh really, Sir, that nervous hon member for Waterkloof would do well to listen to what is being said here for once. The then member for Algoa said:
Order! I call upon hon members not to deliver a running commentary on what the hon member for Kuruman is saying.
Therefore the then hon member for Algoa said that the survival of the Whites depended on the policy of separate development of the old NP, as did the survival of the other people living together with the Whites at this southern tip of Africa. Under that policy there was confidence in the future of South Africa, the Whites had confidence in their future. Under that policy, the Whites had control over the White Parliament which was able to do creative work in building its own future. The then hon member for Algoa said about the old UP:
That is what the CP wants to tell the NP today. The NP wants to follow an easy policy. It would like to be popular in the outside world. The NP has already made so many concessions that the Whites are no longer master in their own Parliament and in their own fatherland. The NP has handed over control of South Africa and the future of its people to the jurisdiction of a multiracial tricameral Parliament and a multiracial Cabinet. Since the inception of the new constitutional dispensation South Africa has been experiencing unprecedented riots, insurrection and incredible provocation of law and order, and this is finding a response abroad. I know that the hon the Minister of Law and Order knows how to maintain law and order, but he dare not do so because the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs is afraid of what his friends abroad will say about it. His fear of foreign opinion and the damper he places on the implementation of law and order has caused the idea to take hold among rioting Black youths who think that they can bring about change in South Africa by revolutionary means, that they are succeeding. That is why we are hearing every day about new unrest, new riots and new destructiveness. I reiterate: Since the inception of the new constitutional dispensation we have had unprecedented provocation of law and order in South Africa, and this has found an echo in the outside world. Why? Black people ask why Coloureds and Indians are sitting in Parliament and in the Cabinet whereas they are not. When the NP accepted power-sharing with Coloureds and Indians, the CP warned that Black people were going to ask why they were excluded. We also warned that in the new Parliament the Black people who were being excluded would have the support of the PFP, the Rev Hendrickse and Mr Rajbansi as regards also being involved in the political decision-making process. We warned that the NP had no moral right to bring in Coloureds and Indians and exclude Blacks. We warned that the outside world would demand of South Africa that Black people, too, be involved in the new dispensation. There is pressure from outside and insurrection within, and what has happened now? The NP is yielding to the outside pressure. It has been announced that Blacks are going to be involved in regional services councils, that they can obtain permanent residence and that citizenship is to be considered. It is no longer essential that when a Black people becomes independent it must relinquish its South African citizenship. There is a Cabinet Committee on which the Leader of the Official Opposition and the NRP serve in order to plan power-sharing with the Blacks.
Are you afraid?
We are not afraid. The CP rejects power-sharing with Coloureds and Indians, and also rejects power-sharing with Blacks because we say that is a dangerous policy. The world will not stop exerting pressure before there is a Black majority government in the country. [Interjections.] The outside world are going to exert pressure on them to do so. Nowadays everyone in South Africa is asking where the NP is going with South Africa. Where are they going to draw the line? The other day even the hon member for Vasco asked the State President where he was going to draw the line. Nowadays everyone is asking how much more they are still going to concede. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?
No, I do not have the time. That is why Bishop Tutu says that South Africans are panicking and uncertain of themselves. The concessions made up to now have resulted in great uncertainty in South Africa. In contrast to the situation at the time of Dr Verwoerd South Africa does not know where the State President and the hon Minister of Foreign Affairs are taking South Africa. [Interjections.] How does South Africa solve this problem?
How do you solve the problem? Tell us your story!
I want to tell the hon member: Get a government in South Africa that does not allow itself to be prescribed to from abroad. Get a government in South Africa which will not yield to outside pressure. That is the solution. [Interjections.] Therefore I ask the NP to hold a general election. I ask the State President to hold a general election so that we can have a government which will not bow to pressure from abroad. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Kuruman, together with Bishop Tutu, insinuated that under the leadership of the NP the Afrikaner no longer knows where he is going.
Do you know?
I shall tell the hon for Kuruman where the NP is going. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Kuruman has already delivered his speech.
The NP is heading for a system of co-operative coexistence in South Africa which entails prosperity for all and certainly for the Whites as well.
The Government is being accused of furthering the aims of communism by signing the Accord of Nkomati but particularly in the implementation of the Accord. It is being said that the Government is deliberately out to support a marxist organization, Frelimo, in its struggle against a non-marxist organization, Renamo. It was the hon member for Soutpansberg in particular who made these allegations in the discussion of the State President’s Vote. Earlier this evening the hon member for Brakpan also referred to that. Last year a report appeared in Die Patriot entitled: “PW gooi SA grense oop vir kommuniste”. [Interjections.] I think nothing could be further from the truth than that allegation. What are the facts?
I think that for a change we should debate this matter seriously with one another. In implementing the Accord of Nkomati the South African Government had only two objectives. The first was that peace and stability should be brought about in Southern Africa. The second was to check Russian expansionism in this part of the world. Surely it is a wellknown fact—and the members of the CP areas aware of this as I am because the State President has indicated the link between the ANC and the South African Communist Party very clearly—that the ANC used Mozambican territory as a springboard for terror attacks on the RSA. Surely it is general knowledge that if this situation were to continue we should be facing a second front. However, by way of the implementation of article 3 of the Accord we put an end to this possibility that was facing all of us. Surely section 3 recognized the responsibility of states not to permit their territories to be used for acts of war, aggression or violence against one another. After all, the implementation of section 3 entailed that the Mozambican government carried out raids on the houses of prominent ANC members.
Even the KGB agent Joe Slovo, who is in fact the architect of urban terror in South Africa, had to leave Mozambique. Surely it goes without saying that the implementation of section 3 of the Nkomati Accord caused grave problems not only for the ANC but also for Russian expansionism as a whole. Allow me to quote a Sovietologist in this regard. Brian Crozier writes as follows in an article entitled Soviet Strategy for Southern Africa:
He goes on to say:
If that is true then surely it is impossible that the implementation of this treaty furthers the aims of communism. If in the process South Africa, in terms of the quid pro quo principle, has to comply with its part of the treaty and prevent Renamo from using South African territory or airspace for attacks on Mozambique, then surely that represents nothing but compliance with the agreement on our part. Surely, then, it is not a deliberate effort to support a so-called marxist organization against a non-marxist organization.
However, we can go further. I believe that the best test we can apply to determine whether the implementation of the Nkomati Accord furthers the aims of communism is the reaction of the South African Communist Party itself to this Accord. If it were true that this treaty and its implementation furthered the aims of communism then surely the South African Communist Party would applaud this Accord. However, let us listen to what they say in their mouthpiece, The African Communist. The following is said with reference to the Nkomati Accord:
I shall come back to this statement later. The hon member for Soutpansberg, in a speech he made here last week, also said that the Government was in fact wooing Frelimo, because it had transferred a female translator with Renamo connections out of the Defence Force. However, let us consider the view taken by the South African Communist Party on South Africa’s efforts to get Renamo and Frelimo to the conference table. I do not agree with this but let us consider their reaction to it, because it is very important. They say in The African Communist:
They go on to say:
As they see it this surely does not constitute wooing of Frelimo. Surely this is a totally different picture to that held out to the world here by the hon member for Soutpansberg. The fact of the matter is that the observations of the hon member for Soutpansberg and the hon member for Brakpan are incorrect, but the same applies to the South African Communist Party. The Government is not wooing Frelimo, nor is it furthering the aims of Renamo in Mozambique. All it is seeking to do is to put South Africa’s interests first. All it is seeking to do is to act as mediator in an effort to bring about peace and stability in Mozambique. Peace and stability in Mozambique are also in South Africa’s interests and that is why I express the confidence that an effort to get Renamo and Frelimo to the conference table will remain on the agenda of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
I want to conclude with this remark: I do not think we are doing South Africa a favour if we publicize reports that we are collaborating with communists, when precisely the opposite is true.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North referred to a newspaper report which appeared in the former Sunday Express of 9 December which, according to him, referred to my “lobbying” activities. The hon member is fully entitled to do that, and I do not take it amiss of him for having raised it here, because he is entitled to put questions of this nature to Ministers and Deputy Ministers. However, when asking the question the hon member had the answers in his own hand, because after he had asked the questions and required an explanation, I sent him a note asking him please to send me the newspaper reports he had in his possession.
What happened here was that on 9 December the newspaper published a statement purportedly made by one Mr Cutten, who was not involved in the company for whom I performed certain legal work while I was an ordinary Member of Parliament. This statement by Mr Cutten was critical of me and I did not agree with it. However, I should now like to quote from the newspaper which the hon member had before him and which I have obtained from him. It is the newspaper of 16 December 1984, and in it appears the following:
Later in the report the following appears:
What I hold against the hon member is not that he raised the point, but that he did not also mention the apology in the course of his speech.
I also just wish to say that the PFP and the CP had both spoken to the newspapers before that apology appeared. I have before me a copy of a report in The Argus of 10 December 1984 entitled: “Louis Nel earned money legally say the PFP and the CP”—the idea that the PFP and the CP agree on Louis Nel is a very pleasant one. Then the following is said:
Sir, I am of course very grateful for the standpoint of those two spokesmen of those parties.
The hon member for Pietermaritzburg North asked whether I was still acting as a lobbyist today. I want to say to him that every newspaper that has written about this matter has stated very clearly that not the slightest reflection has been cast on me by suggesting that I had done professional work from the moment I had become Deputy Minister. There are no grounds on which he could base such a question. Nevertheless I want to say to him, since he did ask the question, that I do not perform professional work of any nature in any way—directly or indirectly. I want to conclude by saying that according to two of the opposition parties it is general practice for members of the House of Assembly who are professional people to carry on their practices as members of the House of Assembly, and as far as I know there are members of the PFP and of the CP who do this as ordinary members of the House of Assembly.
The hon member also asked me one final question, viz whether I thought there ought to be some form of registration of anyone acting as a lobbyist. The question ought not really to be addressed to me, because it is clear that I was not a lobbyist. However, I just want to say to the hon member that when anyone negotiates with the State in any way his interest ought in my opinion to be one hundred per cent clear, and if he is acting as a professional person and is being remunerated for his services, then that ought at all times to be clear.
Mr Chairman, what I want to say now fits in perfectly with what the hon the Deputy Minister has just been discussing, viz that sensational news is in fact about the only news that ever reaches the main headlines of a newspaper, whereas good news never gets there. If one considers the efforts made over the past forty years, first by the Department of Information and today by the Department of Foreign Affairs, to convey an image of the realities abroad, and the relatively meagre success we have achieved in that regard, then the allegation by the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North goes to prove that this is in fact one of the biggest problems faced by our Government. We find almost every day that people abroad or visitors to South Africa ask us whether we could not do more; they ask us whether we could not do more to convey to countries abroad what is positive in South Africa; and therefore whether we could not also try to tell the other side of the story. I believe that the guest programme of the Department of Foreign Affairs makes a fine contribution in this regard. However, as far as this, too, is concerned, one so often hears it said that the guests brought here by the Government are merely people who have to parrot what the Government says. I want to make a very strong appeal that people who come to South Africa as tourists should hear the real story, and not only that, but also that the private sector step up their efforts to bring people to South Africa so that they can hear South Africa’s story in a totally objective way.
I have with me a very interesting letter written by a person who was in South Africa recently. When he returned to America on 4 April 1985 he, as a Republican, wrote to his own member in the House of Representatives to haul him over the coals for having voted in favour of one of the bills in regard to disinvestment. What is interesting is that that man, who was in South Africa and had heard the real story here, succeeded in persuading his own member in the House of Representatives to rectify the situation.
However, I really want to discuss something else and that is an excellent new opportunity that has now presented itself that South Africa must avail itself of at all costs in order to put our story in the correct light overseas, viz the use of foreign television media. Sir, neither you nor I have any doubt that the electronic media, for example television, are today undoubtedly the most powerful image-builders imaginable. In America elections have been won and lost as a result. However, the problem is that the turnover—and as far as television networks are concerned not the turnover, but viewer ratings—play a very important role in the search for advertisements. Sensational news coverage is food and drink to them, just as it is to us and to the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North. The problem is that the events at Uitenhage on 21 March and the ongoing riots are major news every day on the foreign TV networks.
Now a wonderful thing has happened. On many of the networks, particularly those that are objective, they are making a genuine effort in their actuality programmes to take a more analytical look at the situation. They are trying to adopt an objective approach to what is really going on in South Africa.
Since the State President took part in the programme of 60 minutes to which reference has been made, our leaders in South Africa today have been swamped with opportunities to make use of foreign television time. It seems to me as if many of our leaders were in the past somewhat cautious of taking part, and that is quite understandable because quite often it was taken totally out of context. However, if we refuse to participate then some of our most vehement critics are going to take those opportunities. We must simply seize on those opportunities. I want to make an earnest appeal to our leaders at all costs to make use of opportunities to state our standpoint offered by responsible foreign television networks. Even if they are critical, we must do it. The very fact that it is critical gives it more credibility. The TV programme Nightline, in which the State President, the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs took part was accompanied by negative criticism of South Africa, but it was just that that gave it credibility. For the first time countries overseas could see that in South Africa today a discourse is indeed taking place between Government leaders and their most vehement opposition.
Has this House ever considered what it would cost if we were to buy this time on overseas television? The cost of advertising time during a programme like Nightline is approximately R120 000 per minute. If one bears in mind that the State President spoke on that programme for 30 minutes, that time would have cost R3,6 million. That is twice as much as the total advertising Budget of the Department of Foreign Affairs for the past year or two.
Credibility is the most important aspect that must be considered when one participates in these overseas programmes. Moreover, I think we can only take off our hats to our leaders who appear on a direct transmission programme under the sharp lights of television and facing the most vehement critics. It is in consequence of the appearance of our hon Ministers on Nightline and other programmes that far greater objectivity is being displayed by people overseas.
Recently the State President spoke at Moria. That evening Ted Koppel of Night-line could tell millions of Americans: Where do you think the biggest meeting in the world took place today? Was it the 300 000 people who listened to the Pope at the Vatican? No, you are wrong. It was 2 million Black people in South Africa who were listening to the State President, Mr P W Botha. Where in the past has South Africa had that kind of publicity on overseas television? We have been given a new opportunity here, and we must make the best use of it.
Chairman directed to report progress and ask leave to sit again.
Mr Chairman, I move:
The House adjourned at