House of Assembly: Vol3 - THURSDAY 25 APRIL 1985

THURSDAY, 25 APRIL 1985 Prayers—14h15. APPROPRIATION BILL (Committee Stage resumed)

Vote No 5—“Foreign Affairs” (contd):


Mr Chairman, when the House adjourned yesterday evening two hon members on the Government side had made reference to the American television programme which we had seen in this country. They also referred to the fact that South Africans had appeared on that programme and that they approved of this. I have no quarrel with that sentiment. I only want to point out that when South Africans do appear in overseas programmes it is very important that they tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. [Interjections.] I am afraid, Sir, one cannot say that that was what happened as far as Nightline was concerned. In saying this I can start with the State President and go all the way down the line.

I also want to add that it is high time, I believe, that South Africans were able to see on television in this country—and not to have to travel abroad to see it—the realities of what is going on in South Africa today. [Interjections.] I believe it might make a very big difference to public opinion if South Africans could see on television what the viewers in England and America are seeing almost daily—the use of sjamboks by policemen, tear-gas being thrown at houses, demonstrators being shot. If they saw all these things, I believe it might cause the same sort of outraged reaction in South Africa that caused changes to take place in America during the 1960s when Bull Connors, the police chief of the Deep South, moved in with his dogs and his hoses on demonstrators and outraged the American public; when the people of that country were horrified at the sight of American soldiers napalming Vietnamese villages, it caused a reaction on the part of the American public that helped to bring an end to the Vietnam War. I believe it is time that South Africans also saw the realities of life in this country. [Interjections.]

I should like to come back now to the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs whose Vote we are discussing. I want to ask him whether he was really serious about the statement he made which was printed in the Cape Times on Wednesday, 17 April, in which he said, and I quote:

Washington increasingly displays a tendency to demand standards from Pretoria not expected from any other government in Africa.

Did he really mean that?




Well, I am amazed, Sir. The hon member for Sea Point raised this matter yesterday and said we must have clarification in relation to this because what it meant was that the hon the Minister wanted us to be judged not by Western standards but by Third World standards. Does he really believe that this country—which is a mixture to some extent in that the Black rural areas are Third World—with its highly developed technology, its expertise and its Western values should be judged as a Third World country? This is very important because it links up with a statement made by the Secretary of State in America, Mr Shultz, that domestic reform in South Africa is the central issue in the United States Southern Africa policy. There is no doubt that we are going to have to do much more by way of domestic reform if we wish to avoid economic sanctions. It becomes clear that the domestic cost in the United States of constructive engagement now outweighs any advantage that the US Government hoped to gain from that policy. I think this is obvious from statements made by Senator Nancy Kassebaum, who is the head of the very important Subcommittee on Africa, and more recently, this morning in fact, in the Cape Times we saw that two conservative Republican senators were actually rebelling against what they called “the soft line” of the Reagan Government and are preparing punitive measures against South Africa.

It seems then that some members of the US Government have come to a two-fold conclusion. Firstly, that there is a point beyond which the South African Government is not prepared to go and secondly, that the South African Government will string out its incremental reforms as long as it possibly can in order to fend off sanctions, but it will not introduce the fundamental reforms that are required. This, I believe, implies that there is now a loss of confidence in South Africa’s sincerity, and I have no doubt that this loss of confidence is compounded by the fact that those reforms which are introduced are almost instantly negated by the incidents that take place almost daily in South Africa.

We already know about the build-up in the USA against policies of the South African Government. I will not mention them again; I have mentioned them over and over again in this House, although I might just say that they now include the denial of landing rights to South African Airways. We know that six states have already legislated against South Africa. There are 20 Bills before Congress at the moment and many cities have already passed legislation prohibiting investment of pension hinds in companies doing business with South Africa. I know there is a lot of bravado about this issue. The State President is on record as saying that South Africa had faced the threat of economic sanctions for two decades and that “we would beat this threat just as we beat the arms embargo and the oil embargo”. I want to stress that we should care about the possibility of economic sanctions and that we should care about the passage of these Bills through Congress because the situation is different today from what it was two decades ago. We are now experiencing the worst economic recession since the 1930s. Unemployment is at an alarming level in a country where there is no safety-net—as there is in the US and in the UK—of social security.

I want to ask the hon the Minister if he ever thinks of issuing warnings to his colleagues against the precipitate action that they take. Does he ever issue warnings on the effects on his own embassies and consulates and their task abroad? Did the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning consult him before the absurd refusal to open the Three Arts Theatre? Has the hon the Minister ever appealed to his colleague the hon the Minister of Law and Order to control his police so that indiscriminate shootings are not headlined daily all over the world? Has the hon the Minister of Co-operation and Development ever discussed with this hon the Minister the possible effects of the removal of Matoepiestad which is a highly sensitive issue in America and has been very widely publicized? I ask these questions because I know that the hon the Minister’s embassies and consulates have a very difficult time abroad and that this is compounded by the actions which are taken by the hon the Minister’s colleagues here at home.

I want to make a couple of suggestions in regard to what I believe will make a tremendous impact overseas, and not only overseas but in South Africa too and more particularly on race relations at home because that is really what we are all concerned about.

Has the hon the Minister perhaps discussed with his colleagues the fact that an announcement that the Government intends doing something meaningful—I stress the word “meaningful”—about the pass laws and influx control will, I am sure, have much more effect on the Black population here and on race relations, than the State President’s efforts to get his forum going? It will certainly have more effect at home and abroad than the abolition of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act.

I wonder whether the hon the Minister has ever discussed with the State President the whole idea of reopening the offer to Nelson Mandela without any conditions whatsoever. I know that the State President has repeated the offer, but again with a condition. It is an absurd condition because if, as hon members should already know, Nelson Mandela or the other prisoners in that category came out of goal and committed violence, they would immediately fall foul of the common law of the land and find themselves behind bars.

I should like to ask the State President or anybody else who was around at that time whether the Government laid down any conditions when it released Robey Leibbrandt. [Interjections.] One of the first things this Government did when it came into power in 1948 was to release Robey Leibbrandt, the would-be assassin of Gen Smuts. Did the Government lay down any conditions at that time? [Interjections.]




Even members of the IRA who are sentenced to life imprisonment are normally released after serving 12 or 14 years of their sentences. They are not asked to give any undertakings not to continue their struggle against British rule in Northern Ireland. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, as was to be expected, the hon member for Houghton spent a long time discussing the USA. It has become a habit in the debate on Foreign Affairs to give more attention to the USA and relations between the USA and South Africa than to relations between South Africa and all the other countries with which we have diplomatic ties. The hon member also could not but make mention of Robben Island, which we should have expected. During the course of my speech I shall return to the hon member’s reference to disinvestment and what we can do to combat it.

In the few minutes at my disposal I should like to talk about South Africa’s relations with countries in the East. If I refer to countries in the East, it does not mean in the geographic sense that the east is the opposite of the west, but I refer to it in the idiom in which the Department of Foreign Affairs uses the expression “the East”. It includes even South America, Australasia, the Near East, the Middle East and the Far East.

While I am on the topic of South America, I must say I cannot remember that reference has been made during the past few years to the relations between South Africa and the South American countries. I wonder how many hon members are aware of the fact that we have five embassies in South America. We have embassies in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. We also have a consulate-general in Peru. I believe the hon the Minister should perhaps tell the Committee of what interest these relations are to South Africa and what we can still do to improve them. Are there perhaps other countries in that part of the world that we can approach as well in order to establish diplomatic relations?

In my opinion it is important that we take note of the relations South Africa has other than only with the USA, other countries in North America and a few countries in Europe.

While I am referring to Australasia, I must say I think the gentlemen Hayden and Hawke, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister of Australia respectively, are at present using the strongest language one can use internationally towards South Africa. Australia has barely taken its place in the Security Council when it immediately declared itself a supporter of compulsory sanctions and boycotts and prepared to impose these against South Africa. One can only guess what will happen after the cricket debacle.

As far as New Zealand and Mr Lange are concerned, one can comprehend that the wounds of the Springbok team’s visit in 1981 have not yet healed. Our hon Minister of Foreign Affairs gave him a glancing blow by luring his following of journalists away from him and granting them an interview in South Africa. I think Mr Lange is rather sour about it. In addition, we then closed our consulate-generalship before Mr Lange, when he came into power, could ask us to do so.

As far as the Middle East is concerned, we have good relations with many of the countries there. Maybe this cannot always be seen on the surface, but where trade practices are concerned, we do have good relations. I believe these relations can definitely improve with the good work done by the hon members of the House of Delegates. We must remember that we have approximately 300 000 Muslims in South Africa, and I think that if we can use this power positively, it can only be to South Africa’s advantage.

Our most friendly relationship in the Middle East is, of course, with Israel; it is an excellent relationship. We do not always proclaim it from the house-tops, but, for example, we have three problems that correspond. We have an inflation rate of between 14% and 16% whereas Israel has an inflation rate of 480% per year. Only a Jew can explain how one can live with an inflation rate of 480%. [Interjections.] We are withdrawing from Angola as Israel is withdrawing from South Lebanon. We are sitting with the problem of South West just as Israel is sitting with the problem of the Palestinian question. The two countries therefore have many identical problems.

I referred to the good co-operation, but we must also remember that Israel is the only listening-post we really have in the Middle East. I am convinced that the esteemed Jewish community in South Africa—I think the hon member for Houghton will be interested in this—does a great deal to improve the relationship between the two countries and to keep it on a high level. The question arises involuntarily: should the Jewish community of South Africa not approach the Jewish pressure group in the USA with greater vigour in order to activate this group positively against disinvestment in South Africa? If South Africa had only a hundredth of the influence in the USA that Israel has, there would be no talk of a disinvestment campaign against South Africa.

A question that is often asked is whether South Africa still has friends overseas and, if so, who they are. I am prepared to say that as far as it is possible to call another country a friend when it does not concern only own interests, the small yellow people of the Republic of China are truly friends of South Africa. Nor are they ashamed to state this emphatically and to prove it openly. Since 1975 we have concluded 13 agreements with the Republic of China. These agreements concern trade, culture, sport, technology, the sciences, health, agriculture and so forth. Visits of trade groups take place nearly every three months.

Often there are also political visits. In 1980 the Prime Minister of the Republic of China visited South Africa and in the same year our State President made a visit to that country. I believe too that the Vice-President of the Republic of China made a fine gesture of goodwill in attending the inauguration of our State President.

Now I should like to dwell briefly on the country that is furthest east from us, viz Japan. At the moment we have an unfavourable trade balance with Japan, mainly because we did not have maize to export in 1983-84. As far as politics and diplomacy is concerned, one can say that politically speaking the Japanese government is reasonably negative towards South Africa. I believe that today we can regard the relationship between the Japanese Government and the South African Government as cool and perhaps correct. I believe it is up to every hon member of the House and of the Department of Foreign Affairs to strengthen relationships with Japan as far as this is possible.


Mr Chairman, before proceeding to respond to matters raised by hon members in this debate, I wish to welcome the new Director-General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as make a statement on the question of subscription television.

Mr P R Killen, who has succeeded Mr van Dalsen, joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1948. He subsequently served as Third Secretary at our mission—at the time a High Commission—in Canberra from 1949 to 1954. From 1954 to 1959 he was back at head office. He then served as Consul in the former Elizabethville, now Lubumbashi, from December 1959 to July 1960, and returned to head office during July 1960 where he stayed until February 1961. He served as First Secretary at our mission in Ottawa from 1961 to 1965, and then served as Counsellor in London from 1965 to 1968. He returned to head office again from 1968 to 1969, and was then promoted to the post of Minister in London and second-in-charge of the mission from December 1969 to July 1973. From July 1973 to March 1985, a period of twelve years, he was head of the Department’s Africa Division. He became Director-General of Foreign Affairs as from 1 April 1985. I wish to welcome Mr and Mrs Killen. We served together as colleagues in the department for many years and it is a great pleasure for me personally and for my wife to be associated with him and Mrs Killen in this position.

*I should like to take this opportunity to announce the Government’s decision on the awarding of the concession for the operation of subscription television.

The House will recall that towards the end of last year the Government appointed a task group to investigate and report on the introduction of subscription television. Dr Frank Hewitt, a former deputy president of the CSIR, was chairman of the task group. The other members were Messrs P H de V van Tonder and B J C T Dicks of the Post Office, Advocate J Rautenbach and Mr J H de Klerk of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Prof A S de Beer of the University of the Orange Free State, Prof D H Botha of the University of Pretoria and Dr D P van Vuuren of the Human Sciences Research Council. On behalf of the Government and myself I should like to convey our sincere thanks and appreciation to all members of the task group for the thorough job they did in the shortest possible time.

The task group had an unenviable task. They had to consider more than forty applications for shareholding in subscription television submitted by entrepeneurs with diverse interests, all of whom, to a greater or lesser extent, were deserving of serious consideration for the award of an interest in subscription television.

The task group recommended that a consortium representing the daily press obtain a controlling majority share in subscription television and that a minority share be awarded to a consortium consisting of companies from the entertainment world. The criterion used by the task group in awarding a majority share to the daily press was based on a combination of factors. Most important was that a healthy, vigorous and responsible Press performed an essential service in South Africa as disseminator and interpreter of news and knowledge and as a watchdog and that it was accordingly important that the daily press in South Africa should not go under for financial reasons.

It is true that the majority of daily papers in South Africa are in financial difficulties. According to the task group, audited figures indicate that five Afrikaans daily papers and five English daily papers are being run at a loss. As hon members are aware, an established English-language newspaper, one of the oldest in our country, will shortly cease publication. Daily papers in South Africa receive no tax relief or favourable loans from the State. In their submission to the task group the Press consortium summed up the dilemma of the daily press in South Africa as follows, and I quote:

Sonder dramatiese en onmiddellike ingryping word Suid-Afrika deur die vooruitsig in die gesig gestaar dat groot dele van die land binnekort geen dagblad sal hê nie.

The Press group ascribes its difficult financial position largely to the effect that the transmission of advertisements on television has had and still has on the advertising revenue of the newspapers. After a comprehensive study the task group came to the conclusion that this argument advanced by the Press could not be accepted without further ado since it was evident that the so-called advertising cake had been enlarged significantly when commercial television advertisements had been introduced. The revenue of the Press from advertisements as such had in fact shown a considerable increase for some years after the introduction of advertisements on television. Therefore commercial television advertisements significantly enlarged the advertisement market. The percentage share of the Press in the market dwindled, but the revenue earned by the Press from advertisements increased. However, both the task group and the Government takes cognizance of the fact that this increase in revenue has levelled off over the past few years and that the daily papers are indeed in financial difficulties.

The task group also mentions in its recommendations that the newspaper industry regards entry into television, and the switch from printed to electronic media, as a normal technological evolution in the media industry. Therefore, if the daily papers were to enter the electronic media they would be remaining within the sphere of the natural course of evolution in their industry. As has been mentioned, the task group also recommended that a minority share in subscription television be awarded to a consortium consisting of companies from the entertainment world. This recommendation is based on the positive contribution that these companies could make to the success of subscription television, owing to their proven know-how and experience in the entertainment industry.

The Government considered the report of the task group against the background of the representations made to the Government by the Press groups over many years in connection with the financial crisis in which they find themselves. Moreover, the Government had to take cognizance of the problem of vertical integration referred to by the task group which could emerge if companies from the entertainment world were to be included. In the commentary by the Competition Board that was called for the Board also pointed out the danger of monopoly formation to be guarded against in the awarding of the licence for subscription television. As regards the possible inclusion of a group of companies from the entertainment world, the Board said the following:

Die samestelling van die vermaaklik-heidskonsortium skyn heeltemal arbitrer te wees, en belangrike groepe in hierdie sektor word uitgesluit. Die vertikale integraste teenwoordig by lede van die konsortium het wesenlike mededingingsimpli-kasies.

In view of all the considerations I have mentioned and the fact that the know-how of the companies in the entertainment world is available on the free market and may be purchased, the Government decided to grant the concession as a whole to the Press consortium. As far as the Press consortium is concerned, the most important Press groups issuing daily papers came together, on their own initiative, to form a consortium. They entered a shareholders’ agreement and decided for themselves how the shareholding would be allocated among themselves and who would perform the managerial function if the concession to operate subscription television were to be awarded to the consortium. The Press consortium consists of the Argus group, Perskor, SA Associated Newspapers, Nasionale Pers, The Natal Witness and the Daily Despatch. There are still several aspects relating to the introduction of subscription television to which attention will have to be given and the task group will consider them in consultation with the Press consortium.

As regards the contentious issue of the allocation of the so-called advertisement cake and the SABC’s share in this I wish to point out that the SABC is dependent on advertisements for 63,8% of its revenue. Only 21,1% of its revenue derives from licence fees. For the rest, 4,6% of the revenue of the SABC is obtained from the State for the broadcasting of Radio RSA—that is the foreign service. Then, too, 1,2% is obtained from diverse revenue.

At present the SABC earns 9,2% of its revenue from investments, but it is expected that an amount of R90 million from accumulated funds will have to be utilized for capital projects in the coming financial year. This could mean that interest on revenue may drop to approximately 5,5% of total revenue, and in the nature of the matter that places greater pressure on the other two sources of revenue, viz advertisements and licence fees.

Accordingly serious consideration will have to be given to a request by the SABC to increase licence fees to provide for expected deficits. However I can give the assurance that any increase that may be approved—if any increase at all is approved—will be lower than the rate of inflation. It ought also to be mentioned once again that the State expects of the SABC to operate services which, due to the diversity of language groups in South Africa, can only be presented at a heavy loss. Therefore, unless the SABC is permitted to make up the losses with regard to these services from advertising revenue, the licence fees will necessarily have to be increased considerably and this in turn will mean that far fewer people in South Africa will be able to afford television; and that is what we wish to prevent. Over the past year I have received representations from various hon members requesting the extension of concessionary licences to a broader category of pensioners than those who qualify at present. I am at present considering extending concessionary licences, which cost only R24 per annum, to all persons over the age of 70 years, subject to such licences only being issued on demand and only to single people or couples living alone—not, therefore, individuals or couples living with their children or family members. An announcement in this regard will be made shortly. At the same time I can give this House the assurance that we do not envisage increasing the concessionary licence fees even if the other licence fees are increased.

†Sir, I should now first like to respond to the remarks made by the hon member for Pinelands yesterday. The hon member drew the attention of the House to the policy speech on South Africa by Secretary of State Shultz on 16 April this year. Firstly, he told me that I had overreacted to that speech. Then he said that we should, as he put it, “go out of our way” to encourage their helpful stance by starting from the premise that the Reagan Administration was not hostile and not part of the total onslaught against South Africa. I think that that is what he said.




Thank you. I trust that it is hardly necessary for me to explain that this Government does not regard the Reagan Administration as being hostile at all. That is besides the point. No one ever alleged that. They are not hostile. They are not part of the total onslaught. Nobody ever averred that.

At times, however—let me make this plain today—they are nonetheless, from our point of view, too critical of South Africa and overstep the mark in interfering in our internal affairs just too often. I am not going to apologize for that view. It is a free country and, if they are so supportive of freedom of expression, why cannot we be? Mr Shultz’ speech illustrates my point. To explain my point to the hon member, let me say that Mr Shultz’ speech was like the proverbial curate’s egg: Good in parts—no more. Perhaps there are “proverbial curates” whose “proverbial eggs” are always good in all parts.

We, like all other nations in this world, wish to retain control over our own destiny. We co-operate with those who are co-operative but we do so in our own interest. This is so because South Africa’s destiny is the exclusive affair of South Africa’s people. We go our own way. The last thing we would do is “go out of our own way”. Our own way is that combination of considerations which determines our optimum interest. Such considerations may or may not include the interests of other parties. Whether or not they do, remains our decision.

The hon member should appreciate that there are dangers inherent in even the closest, most friendly of international relationships. Mr Pierre Trudeau explained Canada’s relations with the United States as being, and I quote him:

… like sleeping next to an elephant. However well-intentioned the beast, you feel every grunt and twitch.

[Interjections.] When the hon member proposes that we go out of our way, he presumably suggests that we should sleep under the elephant.

The hon member also cited an article by Simon Barber in the Rand Daily Mail of 4 April. It is his view that this article shows that we spend “too much time talking to our friends”. By way of example, he refers to an ex-Admiral of the United States Navy. The hon member did not tell us very much about this dispatch so let me enlighten the House a little more about the salient points.

Mr Barber reports that a group of White and Black South African businessmen visited the United States to speak against disinvestment. Mr Barber chooses to label them a “truth squad”. For reasons best known to himself, he finds it necessary to affix a derogatory label to private individuals merely because they wish to state their views to the Americans. He chides them for meeting with an ex-Admiral. The hon member in turn says we spend too much time talking to our friends, “many of whom are to the right of the lunatic fringe in South Africa”. In so saying the hon member implies that the South African Government arranged the appointments of those businessmen. In his article Mr Barber himself explains who arranged those appointments. They were not arranged by the Department of Foreign Affairs or by any of our missions. They were arranged—and this is reported in the article itself—by a private interest group, the South Africa Foundation. Accordingly, the hon member’s criticism points in the wrong direction. I do not know why he said what he did in this House; he should go and talk to his friends in the South Africa Foundation.

While it has nothing to do with the South African Government, I must, however, put the record straight in respect of a couple of points. Firstly, the ex-Admiral so disparagingly referred to, occupies a position of responsibility in the Reagan Administration. I have heard that we should go out of our way not to be hostile to them. Secondly, what is more serious is Mr Barber’s contention that people speaking against punitive economic sanctions—“truth squads” as he calls them—serve no purpose whatever. I trust that the hon member will agree that this is an appalling assertion which deserves the strongest repudiation by all those persons opposed to disinvestment. Indeed, I assume that the hon member does agree. After all, his party together with all other parties in this Parliament and other responsible political leaders of all our communities, and also a great variety of people from all walks of life in South Africa, strongly condemn disinvestment. I do not for one moment doubt that in opposing economic sanctions the hon member is also following the dictates of his own conscience. I am sure he understands as well as any other hon member in this House that only harm can come from punitive economic sanctions. Accordingly, I would urge the hon member not to confuse the need to oppose disinvestment with the political differences which might exist between ourselves.

Economic sanctions must be opposed because they can only harm the people they are supposedly designed to help. They are the very antithesis of the peaceful evolutionary change to which this Government is committed. The hon member called for the exercise of the utmost care and discretion on the part of the Government and also for genuine dialogue and negotiation with Black leaders. He has heard the hon the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education talk about the way in which this process will take place. His party has undertaken to participate in this process. What process is this? The answer is straightforward. South Africans themselves find solutions to South Africa’s problems. Here I refer to South Africans committed to peaceful change, excluding only those who are committed to violence. South Africans are intent on going their own way.

I should now like to deal with the remarks made by the hon member for Sea Point. He, as well as other spokesmen of his party referred to the disinvestment campaign in the USA and to what he called South Africa’s growing isolation. Firstly, I should like to pay attention to the argument used by the hon member not only during this debate but, if I remember correctly, also in previous debates. He maintained that South Africa’s foreign service officers find the pressure of explaining Government policies overseas intolerable or unbearable.

Let me make it clear that South African diplomats abroad are diligent in presenting the South African story in all its aspects, including Government policy, to foreign policy-makers and opinion-formers. They are trained for this task and are familiar with the nature of the world in which they have to operate. They know that this world functions on the basis of double standards. They also know that for a whole variety of reasons with which I am sure the hon member for Sea Point must be acquainted, there is very little tendency on the part of the world to acknowledge changes in South Africa and to recognize progress. Even the hon member for Pietermaritzburg North acknowledged yesterday that it was obvious that the reform process had started in South Africa. I hope that he and his colleagues in the PFP will emphasize this view overseas and also when they talk to visitors from overseas.

As is the case in regard to diplomats of any country, it is expected of our representatives to understand and follow closely political events and processes in their home country, and to explain them to people overseas. This our diplomats do as loyal South Africans. I can therefore assure the hon member that there is no political mileage to be gained by trying to play off the South African diplomats abroad against the Government that they serve.

There is no doubt that some anti-South African campaigns overseas have been intensified recently as a result of the South African Government’s reform moves and also for internal and international political advantage. There is an obvious correlation between these factors. Our diplomats overseas understand this and will continue to go about their tasks vigorously and effectively, keeping a balanced perspective as is expected of them.

The hon member for Sea Point enquired about the joint operational centre to be established in collaboration with Mozambique at Komatipoort. Let me explain how this came about. In our contacts with Mozambique since the signing of the Nkomati Accord, we have identified a need, in the first place, for a method of obtaining information speedily about alleged border violations. We could not wait for the meetings of the Joint Security Commission to exchange information. The idea of a joint operational centre at Komatipoort had its origin in this particular need. Since the signing of the Nkomati Accord, there has also been an increase in contact with Mozambique on a variety of matters. It is envisaged that the centre will provide facilities to attend to all these matters and various departments will staff it. It is envisaged that the security services of both countries will be represented at this centre together with representatives of other departments.

Regarding Mozambique, the hon member also asked whether the Joint Security Commission was still operating. The answer is yes. Seven meetings have been held. The South African delegations to these meetings are now led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Minister of Defence and of Law and Order. Meetings take place whenever they are considered necessary. This commission was established in terms of the Nkomati Accord, and to answer the hon member’s question, it does not mean joint operations by South African forces and those of Mozambique.

*Allow me to furnish the following explanation with reference to what the hon member for Brakpan had to say about the Cahora Bassa Scheme yesterday and with reference, too, to questions asked in this regard by the hon member for Sea Point. In terms of section 8 of the Cahora Bassa Agreement signed by South Africa, Mozambique and Portugal on 2 May 1984 in Cape Town, South Africa and Mozambique undertook to take joint steps to protect the transmission lines against all forms of attack or disruption and to guarantee the safety of the maintenance and repair teams that will work on the lines from time to time. The two governments will also bear the cost of this protection in accordance with a formula on which they themselves were to decide.

The Cahora Bassa transmission line consists of two legs, a so-called east line and a west line. The total length of this power line is 1 500 km. The greater part of it is in Mozambique, viz approximately 900 km from Pafuri northwards to Cahora Bassa on the Zambesi river, and approximately 600 km from Pafuri southwards to the Apollo station south of Pretoria. At present the east line is being repaired, but on the west line approximately 8 power pylons or masts have been toppled by bomb explosions. I think the Portuguese are repairing them in terms of the agreement. However, hon members must bear in mind that there are approximately 4 000 power pylons built for that line. The eight, although they prevent the power from flowing, are not so many, although further sabotage must be expected.

We are at present negotiating with the Mozambican government in terms of the Cahora Bassa Agreement—which involves certain undertakings which the two countries have given one another—in regard to the establishment of a protection unit to protect that power line against sabotage and violence. The two governments have already agreed that these entities or organizations that will serve in Mozambique can and will accept responsibility for the protection of those infrastructures that they serve or with which they are involved. This entails that the South African Railways, which has a direct interest in the maintenance of the railway line from the Witwatersrand through Komatipoort to Maputo, has accepted in principle that it will furnish aid to help to protect that railway line. The same applies to Escom as far as the Cahora Bassa project is concerned. We are at present negotiating with the Mozambican government as regards the way in which this is to be done and the form it will take. In the nature of the matter it will be desirable for joint action to be taken. At this juncture it is not foreseen that the SA Defence Force as such will be deployed in Mozambique in any way. That is not foreseen. Nor can we make equipment available which is subject to the international arms embargo against South Africa or that we ourselves do not manufacture. That type of equipment which is scarce and difficult to obtain, must be purchased by our friends in Mozambique. We shall help pay for it, but they ought to buy it.

Hon members will understand, with special reference to the questions asked by the hon member for Brakpan, that we are dealing here with linked systems that existed before the present Mozambican government came to power. The construction of the Cahora Bassa project was approved on 19 September 1969. Everyone said that it was a great and imaginative concept. It can become a great concept. Its eventual capacity, if a second power station is built, may be expanded to 4 000 MW, which will make it one of the biggest hydro-electrical power schemes in the world. Therefore there is tremendous potential in this enterprise that South Africa tackled in the sixties together with the Portuguese. We cannot allow it to end there. It is in the interests of the whole of Southern Africa. We and other countries have invested technology and money there and our engineers planned skilfully. The Apollo Station is south of Pretoria. It is not south of Cairo. It is in our direct interest that that power should flow. The Cahora power system is part of the Escom system, so my hon colleague the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs tells me. What do we still have to argue about? If structures that one has invested in become part of one’s power supply system, why still seek justification for protecting such a system?

As far as the quantity of power is concerned, the hon member said that the State President had said that it comprised 10% of our country’s power consumption. That depends on circumstances. At present the capacity of Cahora Bassa is 1 450 to 1 500 MW. If our total consumption in South Africa is 15 000 MW then it is indeed 10%. If our consumption increases, it becomes a little less. If consumption drops, it will be a little more. The percentage is not important. But it is an important existing source.




With all due respect, I am now speaking on the basis of statistics I obtained from the hon the Minister.


I obtained them from him too.


I am explaining them to the hon member now. He perhaps gave the hon member a certain figure with regard to a certain date, but I am now giving the hon member a proper explanation of the position. I really do not know what the hon member wanted to achieve by making a point of this. The fact remains that Cahora Bassa forms part of the Escom system, just as the railway line to Maputo in fact forms part of the South African rail export system. Maputo is still the cheapest export harbour, for exporters from the PWV area in particular, as well as the entire Eastern Transvaal and Northern Transvaal. I wish to re-emphasize the point—and if hon members of the CP do not wish to perceive this, then it is their own affair—that several former supporters of their party in the Eastern Transvaal welcome the Nkomati Accord. They also welcome the possibility that the Eastern Transvaal may experience an economic upswing as a result of greater stability on that border and due to increased use of the road and rail link to Maputo by holidaymakers and businessmen. It is only those hon members in this House who are opposed to peace on our eastern border who have painted themselves into a corner and now do not know how to get out of it.

Our country’s people are quite happy with the Government’s actions. It will honour its international commitments in this regard, but we shall try to do so in such a way that the South African Defence Force does not become involved. Escom has agreed with my hon colleague of Mineral and Energy Affairs that they will try to recruit guards who will be trained by our security services, after which they, together with protection units from Mozambique, will be able to protect the Cahora Bassa power line and in this way prove the good faith of this Government in honouring its international commitments and at the same time serve the interests of its own people, something we have always put first. In that way we shall also be making it clear to our people in the Eastern Transvaal that we are not leaving them in the lurch and that Komatipoort must become an important centre. We are going to establish the joint operational centre there. Malelane has not been cut off and Nelspruit is not becoming an island. These are the steps being taken by this Government.

As far as the conflict in Mozambique is concerned, the other day the State President quoted here from Hansard what none other than Dr Connie Mulder had said in this House in 1976. In 1976, when an opposition member apparently failed to understand why there was a difference between Mozambique and Angola, he explained the position. Apparently they still do not understand it. In the case of Mozambique, power was handed over by the Portuguese government to Frelimo in terms of an agreement concluded at Lusaka on 7 September 1974. Whether the hon member likes it or not is irrelevant now. Power was handed over in terms of international law. The hon member for Brakpan was a member of this party when the then Prime Minister, Mr Vorster, accepted that situation and Dr Connie Mulder expounded it in this House.


You are missing my point.


Has the hon member ever heard him question it? At the time we sat together in the caucus. Did the hon member ever hear him question it? [Interjections.] A person who is now occupying a position of leadership in the CP and who was previously a Cabinet Minister stood up in this House and said—and this was the purport of Dr Connie Mulder’s words, too: We immediately recognized the Frelimo government because it was correct to do so in terms of international law. Mr Vorster said that he was not interested in the colour or ideology of that government. He was only interested in good neighbourliness and stability.


That is not the point we made.


We have now achieved that stability. If that hon member would just give me a chance, I want to tell him that we have nothing to hide. There was of course a time when we helped to train Renamo and assisted it. There was such a time. Why? The hon member is not ignorant. More than 90% of all violent attacks on South Africa—including the bomb attack in Pretoria, as I understand it—were planned and carried out from Mozambican territory. This was done using their territory, or by way of people taken through that territory to undergo training in Russia and Libya and other places, or else they were smuggled back through that territory. It was the main channel for ANC terrorists.

What did we do? We warned the Mozambican government by way of telexes, which are on record, that they should not permit that. When they did not want to listen, we sent some of our troops over the border and carried out reprisal actions. At the same time Renamo’s requests for aid were acceded to. I wish to confirm today that in similar circumstances in Southern Africa, we should do it again. Let us understand one another very clearly as far as this is concerned.

We then achieved our aim. The Government in Maputo perceived that this could give rise to serious conflict and they were prepared to conclude an agreement with us. When we concluded that agreement, all aid was terminated. We did not found Renamo—we received requests from it. They approached us for assistance and we realized that it would further the aims of South Africa to help them. When it because clear to us that our aim had been achieved and that it would now no longer help us to help them, we terminated that assistance. It is as simple as that. Hon members may say that that is wrong or reprehensible, but I have never regarded it as reprehensible to put my country’s interests first.

At present it does not serve my purpose for Renamo to blow up a power line in which I have a direct interest, nor does it serve my purpose that it should blow up railway lines in which I have direct interests. Nor does it serve my purpose that it should threaten the harbour in Maputo which is our exporters’ cheapest channel of exports. Rename must stop its violence. In any event, it cannot achieve decisive military victory. The worst that will happen if things go on as they are is that President Machel will either be forced out or compelled to return to Moscow to request large-scale military aid, and what would happen then? Russia would comply with his request. Cubans would enter Mozambique, and a disturbing and tense situation would develop between ourselves and Mozambique.

Those are the facts. I had not wanted to discuss this matter so openly today, but if the hon member wants to know what the realities are, then he knows them now. Why do hon members not ask one these questions in one’s office? Then one would be able to say what considerations are in one’s mind. When we analyse it in this way he must concede that one bears these considerations in mind and then takes the steps with one aim only and that is for the sake of the interests of our country—South Africa. The object is to check Russia and Moscow. If we, as a neighbouring country, can establish an important sphere of influence in Mocambique, why should the hon member not want to do that? If we can have tourists and our bikini girls on Polana beach, there will be no Russian bikini girls. If we can help to promote productivity there again, and can assist in agriculture, if we can utilize that Maputo harbour to the full—we are only exporting between two to three million tons there and it can handle seven to nine million tons per annum—just think what we could save. Our products would become competitive again. We should bring peace to our Eastern front. We do not know what might happen at a later stage on our other fronts. For how long do we have to argue to get certain hon members in this House so far as to put South Africa’s interests first? I hope I do not have to argue once again about Cahora Bassa or the advisability of achieving peace with Mozambique.

However, that is not all that the hon member said. He also had a great deal to say about the Multi-party Conference, if I remember correctly. The hon member was concerned about the policy of the RSA with regard to South West Africa. He wants us to prescribe to them how they should handle their affairs. He is unhappy about the MPC having had the arrogance to accept a charter of basic rights. He thinks it is a disgrace that South Africa permitted the people of South Africa to have a political system different to that of the Republic. He asks that the RSA give a guarantee that Dr Savimbi will not be left in the lurch.

Let me begin there. This hon member is suddenly the bosom friend of Dr Savimbi. The hon member might as well give me an answer to the following: The Unita movement of Dr Savimbi has in its ranks Whites, Coloureds and Blacks. Together they form part of his system, of his command and of his fighting units. Every evening Dr Savimbi eats around the same table with those people. Dr Savimbi allows those people to vote in his system of management: Whites, Coloureds—they are called mulattos—and Blacks. Just imagine, Mr Chairman—the hon member for Brakpan now comes forward and discovers that this African leader is his friend! Does he subscribe to Dr Savimbi’s policy? Has he asked Dr Savimbi whether he wants his support? [Interjections.] Certainly not! However, we are asked for guarantees that we will not leave Dr Savimbi in the lurch.

Dr Savimbi has been fighting for longer than 26 years. For longer than 26 years he has been fighting—first against Portuguese colonialism, as he puts it, and at present against Cuban colonialism and domination. It is unnecessary for him to ask guarantees from South Africa or others. His guarantee lies in the majority support of the population of Angola that he enjoys. That is where his guarantee lies.

Allow me now to explain to this House how the position with regard to Angola differs from that relating to Mozambique. In contrast to the situation in Mozambique, where the Portuguese handed over the power of government directly to Frelimo, in the case of Angola an interim government was established in terms of the Alvor agreement of 15 January 1975 consisting of the Portuguese government and three parties—the FNLA, the MPLA and Unita. In terms of a recognized international agreement, these parties were jointly to form an interim government in Angola until elections—I think the date set was October 1975—were held.

Those elections never took place. Why not? The Russians saw in the situation the ideal opportunity to get rid of Unita and the FNLA. They had in a position of authority a Portuguese who was a communist. They helped him by bringing the Cubans into Angola and kicking out Unita and the FNLA. The facts of the matter are—whether president Dos Santos likes my saying this today or not—that he came to power in violation of the Alvor Agreement. It is pointless objecting. He did not hold elections as agreed. He made no effort to prove or indicate his support among the Angolan population.

In contrast, Unita’s forces operate from the south to the north, from the east to the west, and in the meantime Luanda is going downhill. As we understand it, all that Dr Savimbi seeks is not a military victory but national reconciliation. He is willing—and he has said it in public—to speak to president Dos Santos. However, it seems to me that president Dos Santos is afraid to speak to him because the moment he speaks to him he will have to concede that he is speaking to a leader who enjoys the overwhelming support of the population of Angola. These are simple facts, Mr Chairman.

Now I should like to come back to the objections advanced by the hon member for Brakpan to the Security Council’s Resolution 435. I do hope that this will be the last time! All of a sudden he does not know how it had happened that a system of one man, one vote and other similar arrangements had been incorporated in Resolution 435. I fail to understand that.

I have before me a booklet entitled Vrugte van die Nasionale Bewind. It is a booklet the foreword of which was written by the late Mr John Vorster. This is the booklet which all of us, including the hon member for Brakpan, the hon member for Soutpansberg, the hon member for Waterberg and the hon member for Lichtenburg—at least those hon members—used in the November 1977 election. They used this booklet from platform to platform throughout this country. We handed out copies of it. The hon member for Brakpan even handed out copies of it in his constituency. I know that. He sent out copies of it—with his blessing—and said that it contained his Government’s policy. Mr Vorster wrote the foreword. In this booklet he refers with pride to the achievements of his Government, his National Party. It is stated here, and I quote:

Suidwes sal so gou as moontlik, in elk geval voor einde 1978, onafhanklik word.

It is already 1985.

Die gebied sal as ’n geheel onafhanklik word. Verkiesings sal landwyd gehou word om ’n grondwetgewende vergadering te kies, op die grondslag van een mens, een stem, ten einde oor ’n grondwet te besluit.

Now hon members must recall that it was before Resolution 435 that these things were written. I am now referring to the election of 1977. This was our propaganda document. We used this to fight the election. I quote further:

Die Sekretaris-generaal van die WO kan homself tevrede stel dat die verkiesingsregulasies billik en regverdig is en dat geen intimidasie gepleeg word nie. Diskriminasie gegrond op kleur word verwyder. Alle Suidwesters mag na Suidwes terugkeer om vreedsaam aan die verkiesings deel te neem.

Honestly, Sir, I appeal to my hon colleagues to get up in this House and say: I, the member for Brakpan at that time, supported that, but in the meantime I have changed my ideas; I no longer want to support it; do not continue to hold the past against me; I was part of that stream and policy, but I am now no longer part of it. Then we shall understand one another; we shall understand one another’s standpoints.

However, that is not all, and I have been authorized by the State President to discuss this. The hon member for Waterberg, Dr Treurnicht, was a member for the NP caucus in April 1978 when we explained Resolution 435 to the caucus. The explanation was accepted by everyone in the caucus. He was there; he did not get up to object. In the winter of 1981 the present State President, then Prime Minister, invited his entire Cabinet to a place in the operational area, as he sometimes does. He takes his Cabinet to places where our country’s troops are to show that we stand with them there. On one such occasion, in the winter of 1981, he took his Cabinet there—to the “bos”. He also invited the leaders of South West Africa, and we were all sitting there in a tent and the Prime Minister of the day then said to the leaders of South West that he wanted to explain to them what the implications of Resolution 435 were and why we were committed to them. He added that his entire Cabinet, as they sat there, supported that decision unanimously. Dr Treurnicht did not object.

However, let us come to a more direct instance. On 11 November 1981 and on 21 December 1981 I, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent letters to hon colleagues in the Cabinet, including the hon members for Waterberg and Lichtenburg, which contained the constitutional principles which the five Western powers had submitted to us and in which I said, on instructions from the Prime Minister, that he wished to discuss those proposals at the next meeting of the Cabinet, in January 1982. Moreover, that is exactly what happened. All hon colleagues had a full month to study them and at that time there was no occasion to remain silent because every hon member or his office had to acknowledge receipt of the documents in writing. I have the signatures; they did receive them, and they had a month to study them. On 19 and 20 January 1982 the Prime Minister had each hon Minister respond—that is his custom where important matters are concerned. He does not allow one to sit out one’s turn and say nothing; he has one speak. On that occasion Dr Treurnicht, now the hon member for Waterberg, did speak, and he said that he was unhappy because inadequate provision had been made for the protection of minority rights. However, the hon the Prime Minister was far more unhappy about that, and eventually I wrote the letter to Gen Haig which was worded in far more extreme terms than Dr Treurnicht’s standpoint. However, the Cabinet took that decision unanimously on 20 January 1982. Those are the facts.

Now the hon members come here and object. That is not fair; we are not dealing here with internal political policy. We are dealing here with international commitments and understandings entered into. That hon member used to be an attorney, and if he concluded a contract five years ago or advised a client to conclude a contract, then he has to keep to that. He cannot say five years later that that contract should never have been concluded. We are dealing here with principles of international law, and a state cannot arbitrarily abandon its legal commitments, as that party does. If they were to come to power tomorrow, would they repudiate those commitments? There is no rule of international law in terms of which they could do so. What is more, they shared in its creation.

By this I just wanted to say, Sir, that I appeal to the CP to say to us that for political reasons they have taken a different course as far as South West Africa is concerned, but where international affairs are concerned, I also ask them: Let us honour commitments that we have concluded honourably and which you concluded together with us.

*Mr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Rosettenville):

Mr Chairman, we are very pleased today about the hon the Minister’s announcement in connection with the system of subscription television. We are aware of the daily papers’ dependence on advertisements, and we have heard again that the SABC is 63,8% dependent on advertisements, and we believe that this will bring about a better relationship, as well as that it will make the change-over from the printed media to the electronic media possible. We are delighted that the entire contract has been awarded to a Press consortium. We hope that rationalization co-ordination and co-operation will follow. It poses the greatest challenge to the Press, however, to do responsible reporting, to create a better future for the journalists, as well as to create a higher journalistic level. We want to say thank you very much, and we are pleased about that announcement. We want to wish the hon the Minister, the hon the Deputy Minister and Mr Ray Killen, the Director-General, as well as Dr Burger and the whole department which is dealing with measures against disinvestment at present, the best of luck.

Recently 300 students of the University of Columbia protested there by means of a sit-down strike in favour of disinvestment. Amy Carter, a daughter of the great peanut farmer and former President of the mighty USA, joined the protesters. Amy Carter did, like many of us, manage to attain a Std 6 certificate. It was in Std 6 that a teacher told her she had to write an essay about apartheid. She got to the White House and asked her father what apartheid was.

He called his whole team of advisers together and told them they had to put in writing what apartheid was, in connection with a complex project. At that stage he and she were even more uncertain about what the complexity of apartheid and of our country’s problems entailed. All those advisers struggled for a whole week to put something together. After they had racked their brains, they called a whole team of typists together, more than we have in the Verwoerd Building, to type out the whole project. The most powerful man on earth had the whole project in front of him. Amy eventually rewrote it into her school scribbler. It was a proud Amy Carter who eventually handed the piece compiled by her father and his advisers to her teacher.

The teacher was not very impressed and gave the paper a D symbol. Whether it was a D for disobedience or a D for disinvestment I cannot say. Perhaps that is why Carter is no longer the President of the USA, because ultimately he did not know what all these things mean.

History has proved that economic sanctions cannot succeed if they are aimed at the frustration of political goals. Economic sanctions strengthen military action. Economic sanctions do not present a peaceful alternative to violence. The groups in favour of disinvestment see economic sanctions as a necessary step to creating economic chaos that will lead to violent revolution. They believe that economic sanctions are punitive measures to force the Government to a change in policy.

In this Committee all the parties have identified themselves with the State President’s policy statement that we are opposed to violence. That is why I say it is the duty of every party in the Committee to throw its full weight behind the hon the Minister and the State President.

There is one thing I cannot understand. How can the people in the USA accept the responsibility of waging a campaign against 750 000 family members in South Africa, that can entail their being deprived of their bread and butter? The more I think of it, the more I realize that it involves additional expense for the USA. It is a violation of the key elements in the USA’s constitution if they are going to submit to this. It encroaches upon the Federal Government’s prerogative of controlling foreign affairs. In addition, it causes State funds to be taken away from countries in the USA. It deprives those business undertakings of the right of doing business with the State there as well as here. I can see that we have already begun to accept the Sullivan Principles in many respects.

The importance of investments from the USA can be seen from the fact that according to the USA’s Chamber of Commerce, the total of direct investments comes to stand on three billion American dollars. There are 340 USA corporations established in South Africa. The number of people working for them here is 150 000, of whom 120 000 are Blacks, Coloureds and Indians and 30 000 are Whites.

The supporters of this disinvestment campaign are made up of liberal Democrats on the federal, state and municipal level. They are made up of the Black caucus of the Democratic legislators in the Congress. They are pressure groups and interest groups. They are church groups and student organizations. They are radical and militant organizations into which the ANC and the PAC have infiltrated. The organizations which are waging the disinvestment campaign are anti-South African organizations such as the Free South Africa Movement, Artists and Athletes against Apartheid, Trans-Africa, pro-marxist and ANC activities. We in this House have the task of uniting and eventually helping to make this campaign fail. We must prove to America that in South Africa justice is done to everyone.


Mr Chairman, in the very few minutes I have at my disposal I want to react in the first instance to the hon the Minister’s reply and say that I find aspects of his reply disappointing and that I find other aspects disturbing.

On a personal basis, I want to refer to his reaction—I hope he prepared his own notes on this—to my response and attitude towards his department and his public servants. At no stage did I say that their position was unbearable or intolerable. At no stage did I use those words. Secondly, I did not denigrate them. I was explaining—as I had heard the hon the Minister explain in the House of Delegates—that their task would be made easier to the extent that we dismantled discrimination and apartheid, and that it was made more difficult every time the South African Government shot itself in the foot by some ham-handed executive action.

I believe that that accurately reflects the situation. If the hon the Minister does not know that his missions abroad find it more difficult when there are dawn raids on students, detentions, bannings or Coventry Fours, then he has not understood the problems of his own missions abroad. At no stage did I, as he suggested in his reply, try to make political mileage by playing off the diplomats abroad against the South African Government. It was neither my intention nor did I do it, I resent the hon the Minister’s suggestion that that was what I did.

We also dealt with the question of destabilization and Renamo. Here we have had a very frank and forceful admission that the South African Government was involved some years ago in training and organizing Renamo across the border in Mozambique.

Once again we have had the balance—it is always a difficult balance—between the short-term easy political advantage of knocking one’s neighbours and the longer-term strategic disadvantage that may bring about. We had far too much emphasis today on the short-term military advantages from a Foreign Minister who should be concerned with the long-term strategic consequences.

The reality is that we helped Renamo and we got it going. We now find that it may well be the very creature we established and took over from the Rhodesians in 1979, the very organization we nurtured and helped, that destroys the Nkomati Accord and brings the Soviets back to Mozambique. The hon the Minister said this.

Almost exactly the same thing happened in 1975. [Interjections.] South African forces went within 50 miles of Luanda. What did we achieve? We did not achieve a change of government in Angola. What we did achieve was a vast escalation of Cuban forces there and a greater impact of Russian influence in Angola.

Today we are sitting with Namibia. We cannot get rid of Namibia because we say the Cubans are in Angola. However, we were largely instrumental by short-term military operations in placing this long-term strategic millstone around our necks.

I accept there is always a balance between these two, but I would hope that the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs sees himself as the diplomat, as the man who must counterbalance the short-term militarists in the Government. He must see the long-term diplomatic and strategic advantages for South Africa.

As a parliamentarian there is another point I must make. It makes something of a farce of this House when the Opposition year after year argues with and challenges the Government on the question of destabilization and year after year we get denials across the floor of this House that the Government was involved in these activities, and then six or seven years later an hon Minister announces and admits that this was done. How can we conduct the business of this Parliament properly if we have denials of this kind and then, in retrospect, admissions of it some years later? [Interjections.]

I want to deal very briefly with one or two aspects concerning relationships with the TBVC countries. In the main the problem I want to deal with is the economic situation. There are other problems. There is the problem of citizenship which remains unresolved. There are the problems of squatting, housing, commuting, etc, but I want to deal in particular with Ciskei, Venda and Transkei, where I believe there is grave cause for concern at the economic policies, at the economic behaviour within those countries because they impinge on South Africa.

These countries are being sustained with vast sums of South African taxpayers’ money—in this Budget there is more than one billion rand—by way of statutory allocations, decentralization schemes and project aid. Yet there is every evidence of extravagance, of lack of proper control. The policies adopted in those countries run counter to the very intention of the policies being applied by the South African Government. In Ciskei, while the South African Government increases its aid, it abolishes company tax and reduces the income it can get in its own territory. We now find that in Transkei, at the time that the South African Government is spending close on one billion rand on decentralization schemes to get industries to flow to Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei, that government is introducing a new Licensing Control Bill which will have the effect of driving industries and business away from Transkei back to South Africa. What kind of game is this, when on the one hand we are subsidizing neighbouring states to get them to have an economic base, while they, on the other hand, are adopting policies to destroy the base we are trying to subsidize? I believe that a far more coherent and co-ordinated economic and fiscal policy should be applied throughout the Southern African region.

I believe that the creation of Ciskei between the Border and the Eastern Cape is one of the root causes of the problem of economic deterioration in that area. It has had a vast impact on the Border area, Transkei and Ciskei. In the offing is the independence of kwaNdebele. I want to ask the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs if he will see to it that this farce is not played out once again. I believe he has the obligation to say that it is a farce to create a state of that kind some 30 or 40 kilometres away from the Witwatersrand and Pretoria. He must use his influence in the Cabinet so that it will have a much more rational approach towards the economic wellbeing in Southern Africa.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Sea Point rightly said that enormous amounts are spent in the interests of the independent and self-governing states. In the few moments I have at my disposal this afternoon, I want to ask that we use the opportunity we have to vote that money, in such a way that the whole effort will be successful, so that one day we can write the success story of this history in which we have taken part.

The road taken up to and including independence is usually a very long and laborious road and on that road there is often a great deal of pushing and shoving. The acceptance of independence is not the end of the negotiation road. It is possible and even probable that it may be the beginning of the most difficult part of the process of negotiation. This fact should not disillusion us, although that is the idea one sometimes gets when one hears how certain people evaluate and experience this newly created situation. Everyone who supports the policy of development of self-governing states up to and including the eventual acceptance of independence, should know what the policy involves. Least of all can we cry hurrah and say now we are free and released from our burden. On the contrary, for obvious reasons, we are and shall always remain linked. Whether or not we want to admit it and whether or not we see our way clear to doing so, we are part of a greater Southern African subcontinent.

Our neighbours’ problems are our problems and vice versa. If, however, like prophets of doom, we regard the coexistence in regional connection only from the problematic side, we certainly do not have a chance of winning. We shall be overcome by a spirit of negativism. If, however, we want to proceed as winners, we must open our eyes to the good opportunity and the exciting possibilities that may be awaiting us. Naturally we must identify the problems, but we must not be obsessed by them, allowing an opportunity to pass and perhaps become an embarrassment to us.

In spite of the negative things that often occur because of dividing lines, we have enough proof of goodwill, receptiveness and mutual trust. We have enough of these to catch hold of and make the best of them. When does one make an impression if one is negotiating? If one’s case is good and one’s effort honest, one is meeting two of the most important conditions of making an impression when negotiating. No one is impressed by a forced, artificial front. It will never work and has never worked anywhere.

The people with whom we are going to come into close contact in this newly created situation of co-operative coexistence, may not have the expertise in the technological field and may perhaps not have the experience which is the result of exposure to the democratic government processes, but they see easily and quickly through a front. I am saying all this because I want to come to the role that co-operative or relations committees can play across dividing lines in Southern African politics.

I cannot decide whether “co-operative” is the word that describes it most clearly or whether it should be a relations committee. The fact is that both are of cardinal importance and that those two terms are inextricably linked in this process. I have no doubt that there is a need for this informal negotiation structure, but we are asking the hon the Minister for clearer directives in this connection. The initial steps done to approach the heads of neighbouring states in the process and obtaining their approval so that such liaison can take place, have been taken. The liaison campaign across the dividing lines has always been, and still is, the obstructive factor when we want to deal with matters that are of mutual importance in this informal way. That is why the department has, for example, received various requests from Region B that liaison committees be brought into being.

It appears, however, that the field of operations of the Regional Liaison Committees, supported by the Regional Development Committees, is too broad and that the relations or co-operative committees which are going to be established lend themselves rather to a narrower, defined field of work where local problems can be addressed more specifically. National Development Region B has appointed two persons, but we ask for these two public relations officers to be used correctly and we shall receive clearer directives about the way in which the liaison structure can be further extended and utilized.

It is possible to achieve success with this liaison process, but it would depend on the following conditions: It must take place with the best intentions and in mutual trust. It must be non-political. The MPs should be involved in it in an advisory, supportive and interested capacity. The communities must be involved in order to identify problems and co-operative possibilities, for this is being done for the sake of communities and happy coexistence. It is the very communities who will eventually reap the fruits. If that problem or co-operative possibility has been identified, very clear and effective action, without unnecessary delay, can be taken in order to achieve the envisaged objectives.

This means that the liaison structure has to be correct and that there should be very clear liaison with the department so that liaison can take place more easily when matters have to be dealt with on a more official diplomatic level. It is not only heads of state or multilateral ministers’ councils who make cooperative coexistence possible. Each member of the community has a part to play across dividing lines. That is why I say that these liaison committees which are developing into a structure that can deal with that informal negotiation process in respect of an identified problem situation, can play an enormous role in the interest of communities across all barriers in order to make co-operative coexistence possible.


Mr Chairman, I should like to react to certain remarks made, by the hon member for Sea Point concerning assistance given to the TBVC countries. He made remarks about the control over the misapplication of funds that takes place there. There are a few facts that I should like to discuss in this respect. For fear that I shall not get round to everything, I have turned my prepared speech around a bit. I merely hope that I am not going to repeat certain things.

The facts are that in 1982-83, for example, R988,6 million was paid to the TBVC countries by the South African Government in the form of money collected as a result of grants, services and taxes claimed according to the customs agreement and also in terms of the Rand Monetary Union. What has happened in these countries as far as project aid is concerned? I want to dwell specifically on project aid. It is logical—and I shall return to this in a minute—that when one country grants another political emancipation, it retains a certain responsibility and obligation towards that country. Of the funds paid to the countries by South Africa—it is their own money therefore—percentage-wise they spent inter alia 35,2% on social services and education whereas they only spent 6,9% on agriculture. I shall point out presently why these are the facts. I want to say, however, that of the projects on which the South African Government is spending money at the moment, projects in the field of agriculture and training make up by far the most important part. Since 1982 for example, South Africa has paid approximately the following amounts to the respective states in the form of project assistance: Transkei R129,9 million; Bophuthatswana R179,9 million; Venda R32,1 million; and Ciskei R64,5 million.

Now we must look at the assessment of and control over this aid. That, in my opinion, is what the hon member for Sea Point objects to. Before the Republic of South Africa approves a project, certain steps are taken. In the first place, there is an evaluation of the project. This is done by experts appointed by the South African Government. Then the progress of the project is evaluated by the committee of experts appointed and before claims are certified and paid out, they have to make sure that the funds have been used as originally decided. Before claims are paid out, officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs look at the project and evaluate it. Payments take place only as the project advances. The money is not, therefore, paid out in one sum. Payments are audited by the South African Government as well as the auditors of the receiving state.

Special measures are taken in respect of employment and programmes for relief of distress. A project co-ordinator is appointed, for example, and he handles its management from day to day. There is also an inter-government management committee which monitors the activities. They do this on a regular basis. The co-ordinator certifies the claims. The claims and payment are authorized by officials of the department. Payments are also audited.

As far as project aid is concerned, I am satisfied, therefore, that everything possible is being done to ensure that funds meant for a specific project, are used for it. This is different from the position in other states, but time will not allow me to refer to other states in which project aid is involved. The hon member must simply remember, however, that when a state is dependent, it is surely its right to take decisions within the framework of its own economy, to take certain steps and in this process, to use its funds, its own money, as it thinks fit.

He must remember that three kinds of money are involved. There is money for project aid. That is our money and we see to it that it is used for the correct projects. Then there is money that is applied as subsidies for our decentralization programme. That is also our money, and there is control over it as well. I do not have time to mention the whole long fist. The hon the Minister will probably reply to the hon member. Then there are the funds of that state itself, which they can surely use as they think fit. [Interjections.]

I should like to make a few remarks about the whole philosophy of assistance. Dr Anton Rupert said on occasion that self-development is the only enduring development, and without it the beggar’s bowl is not exchanged for the spade and no individual is truly free. In South Africa we have an economy in which our involvement with our neighbouring states is absolute. We are an integrated economic society, and I merely want to make the remark that South Africa is dependent on its neighbouring states for the economy to a much lesser degree than they are on it.

What importance does this have for South Africa, however? Why do we have an economic interest in our neighbouring states? I find this a very important aspect, viz that political emancipation does not necessarily mean economic isolation. That is why every country that helps its neighbour to be emancipated and to reach independence, retains an economic responsibility towards that country. We have seen the contrary of this in Africa. People pull the economic pillars from the society after they have emancipated the country politically. The result is social decline which has passed into political chaos. We in South Africa shall see to it that we do not lead our neighbours to political emancipation in that way. We shall fulfil our economic obligations to those countries.


Mr Chairman, the hon member must excuse me if I do not follow up on what he said. The issue of South West Africa has come strongly under the spotlight over the past few years—not only in respect of South Africa and South West Africa itself, but in the international world, too. It is a very sensitive issue which, in my opinion, ought to be discussed in a balanced way and only with great sense of responsibility, and then preferably by people who know something about the issue.

Although one can debate seriously and productively about certain aspects of South West Africa, for example the legal political, military and economic aspects, today, as someone born and bred in South West Africa, I want to talk in a somewhat lighter vein—or perhaps somewhat more congenially—about the ordinary, human aspect of this matter, about things that usually happen to our ordinary people here.

I can say that a truly unique relationship exists among many thousands of people from South Africa and South West Africa. I do not have the time now to mention figures. I merely want to say that if I talk about myself in a light-hearted way I mean it as an example to many thousands of other people, including some people in this House as well.

Let me begin at a point about 48 years ago when I, as a two-year-old boy, was playing near the fire and almost burnt myself. There was a Black woman who scolded me severely, and my parents always teased me and said that before I could speak Afrikaans and say the word “Mamma” I could say the word “Mohanna”. Now for the sake of hon members, and also to make it parliamentary, I want to unravel the meaning of that word for a moment and translate it. It means: “Be careful! You are going to get it in the neck!” That is how I grew up with those people. We played together, we rode calves together and we swam together. At that time it was not a sin. Kandiripô was my best friend. He and I also got hidings together, for example the day we swore at old Damms, the old Black man with white hair. In those days it was still a sin to swear at an old man. The rules that applied to me applied to Kandiripô as well. Therefore very strong bonds developed between the two of us.

We did not, however, only play and share many difficult times together. We even, on occasion, slept together. During the great drought of 1942 we guarded the cattle together. There was not always enough water for them and they were sometimes so weak we had to tie them to poles to keep them standing. We even cut branches from the apple trees to feed them. At night we made a big fire and we children had to stay in the veld to look after the animals. When the jackals howled at night and the owls hooted one could still maintain some measure of apartheid, but when the tigers—we did not call them leopards in those days—growled close by, we forgot all about apartheid. We then all crawled in under the same blanket. In this way we stood together and strengthened ties, ties that still exist today.

I unfortunately do not have the time now to go on and recount our shared use of the Afrikaans language. For example, I gave a Bible to an Ovambo. We often talked about the fox and wolf stories. In fact, one evening at my friend’s hut, I saw the other Ovambos split their sides laughing when he told them about Kaspaas’s hair and beard. At that time it was no disgrace to share one’s language and culture. Today, however, people get the heebie-jeebies if one says anything about the Coloured people drawing closer to us. We are still today plucking the fruits of the Afrikaans language that almost became the lingua franca in South West Africa.

My time, however, is limited and I would like to conclude. I want to take hon members on two journeys to Robben Island. In 1952 during the Van Riebeeck Festival I visited Robben Island. We then visited the South West African pavilion in Cape Town, where we saw an old Herero. I could see immediately that this man was heartily sick of the Cape and of the thousands of people gaping at him. He was tired and missing South West Africa. I then said to him in his own language: “Wha pendoeka? Irne nauwha?” Whereupon he leapt up and grabbed hold of me. I was then already six foot one and three-quarter inches tall and had a much better build than I do now. Indeed, I was then still athletics captain of the Gymnasium High School and vice-captain of the rugby team. There the old man and I stood with tears in our eyes because there were strong human ties binding us.

A week or two ago, 33 years later, I went to Robben Island again to look into a certain matter. Among the prisoners I saw a Black man whom I recognized because I know the people from South West Africa. We chatted to each other and I asked him what it was like in the prison. The point is, however, that a strong human bond existed between us. I then asked him whether he wanted to send a message to the Government, and he said: “Yes. Tell them I would rather be in prison in Windhoek.” So I promised I would convey his message.

Apart from the legal, economic and so many other aspects, strong human ties exist between the people of South West Africa and those of South Africa. That is why I ask everyone in the House to co-operate with a sense of balance, responsibility and humanity to help South West Africa. Let us stand together and do our duty to make South West Africa completely independent, in the political sphere as well. Then let us tell them in the Herero language: “Na band owe o moeroemendoe omoenênê.” (Now you too are an adult man.) Let us stand together in this country. Let us not run one another down, as the extremists do, with some saying: Come, let us leave South West Africa to its own devices; we have nothing to gain there; they are bleeding us dry—that is what someone said recently—while other extremists say: We must shed our blood and give our money; we must give South West Africa everything we have. I merely ask for equilibrium, for responsibility and for humanity.


Mr Chairman, I should like to proceed with my response to matters raised by other hon members and which I have not dealt with.

The hon member for Pietermaritzburg North enquired about the purchase price of our official building in New York. May I point out that the price was R30 million and not R45 million as was suggested.




I do not doubt it but I am merely giving the facts.

Both the offices of our Consul-General in New York and of our permanent mission to the United Nations will be accommodated in this building. This transaction is in line with our general approach of purchasing wherever possible in preference to continuing rentals. We have calculated that in the medium to long term considerable savings can be effected by this course of action. In New York, for instance, the minimum rental for suitable premises for the two missions would be of the order of R2,5 million per annum.

I now want to turn to the speech by the hon member for Umhlanga. I was touched and warmed by what he said, not because of the remarks that he made about me and the speech that I delivered in Parliament some 11 years ago but because he reflected what I can only describe as a true and genuine South African point of view cutting across all party lines. He spoke as a representative of this country. We have wasted time in the past but we have no intention of allowing that to happen again. We refuse to be the football for politicians of other countries to kick around according to the dictates of their own interests. We shall resist what the hon member referred to as blatant interference in the internal affairs of this country while we shall listen to genuine criticism and comment from our friends. It is encouraging to know that we have the support of his party in the challenge that lies ahead.

*Various hon members maintained a high standard of debate yesterday and today and I want to thank all hon members, even though we may differ. The hon member for Bloemfontein North showed an exceptional grasp of the complexity of our relations with Africa. I agree with him that we cannot allow ourselves to be pressurized by the outside world to effect changes to suit them, but we do welcome a constructive dialogue with those who are interested in the facts of our country.

The hon member for Benoni referred to the role that the outside world can play in our affairs and the role that they must not try to play. South Africa listens to constructive advice from other Governments but in the final instance it is true, after all, that every country must look after its own interests and take its own decision.

†The hon member for Turffontein made a number of very valid points. It is perfectly true that there are unreasonable international expectations regarding the political dispensation in South Africa and incorrect assessments of the political realities. It is also true that the more progress that is made in South Africa the more virulent the attacks of our enemies abroad will become. We must expect that. They do not want us to achieve success. This has been the pattern for years. The hon member quite correctly pointed out that it is naïve to say that South Africa’s international problems will disappear “when apartheid is dismantled”. They will not.


It will help.


It will help.

*The hon member for Walvis Bay asked a very valid question when he asked the Opposition on whose behalf they were speaking when they demanded that South Africa withdraw from South West Africa. After all, stability in South West Africa is important to us, too, although we do not interfere in that country’s internal political decisions. To underestimate the complexity of the political and constitutional problems in that territory is to be short-sighted. Fortunately there are signs that some of the major parties in South West Africa have been burying the hatchet recently. The hon member’s reference to the assistance of the SABC as far as television is concerned is appreciated. The SABC has indeed taken a great deal of trouble in this regard. The hon the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs may refer to this again.

I should also like to refer to the contribution of the hon member for Innesdal. That hon member discussed and dealt with the problems of Africa with great understanding and insight. The deterioration and decay in Africa is a fact. We do not rejoice at it, but it is a reality. Therefore it is important that the world should realize that this continent is struggling with almost insurmountable problems. Interference in Africa by the Soviet Union and its surrogate forces will help no one. African countries must be helped to help themselves.

A particularly interesting but unfortunate truth was discussed by the hon member for Klip River. The role played by certain churches in the international campaign against South Africa must not be under-estimated. It often takes place behind the scenes. However, this cunning strategy does not make them less effective enemies of South Africa under the cloak of religion. Here South Africa churches have a major responsibility. Our clergy and church bodies must continue to hold discussions with their opposite numbers in other churches abroad, however difficult it may be to do so. They must continue to state the complexity of the South African case. Unfortunately certain church leaders in South Africa themselves play the opposite role. That is a pity. They must realize, however, that ultimately they will have to bear the responsibility for the hate and violence they incite.

Yesterday the hon member for Randfontein broached a matter which certain hon members of this House will do well to consider. In what I regard as an outstanding analysis the hon member pointed out not only that the idea of some hon members of South Africa’s interests is quite distorted but also that they harm those very interests by making irresponsible statements. The reference of the hon member for Randfontein to the reaction of the ANC specifically and the communists in general to the Nkomati Accord is accurate. All the worst enemies of South Africa in the OAU, the non-aligned nations, the UN, the Eastern Bloc States, the Marxist states in general and the ANC agree that the Nkomati Accord was a mistake. They are opposed to it and would have liked to see the Accord failing. Moreover, President Machel was attacked at a conference in Africa not too long ago. We know what happened there. The radicals reproached him for having concluded the Accord. Countries like Swaziland that had to get up to defend President Machel in that council. I want to warn once again that the hon members of the CP should take note of the people in whose company they are increasingly finding themselves with regard to matters like the Nkomati Accord.

In his speech the hon member for Paarl referred to the contribution made to the better understanding of our country’s problems by visits to South Africa by foreigners. This indeed, is one of South Africa’s assets, viz the fact that we are an open community. What the hon member went on to say with regard to the value of actuality programmes transmitted abroad, is something that I can endorse. South Africa must communicate with the outside world so that better understanding of our problems may be cultivated.

The hon member for Roodeplaat gave an interesting survey of the state of our relations with the Middle East. He referred to the Republic of China, Australia, New Zealand as well as South America. As far as the Middle East is concerned, it is true that we have good relations with Israel and endeavour to maintain them. However, I must point out that Israel, too, is struggling with its own grave problems and, like any other country, it has to take its own international interests into account. As regards the actions of South African Jews in the USA and elsewhere in combating disinvestment, I can give the hon member the assurance that some of the most effective campaigns to combat disinvestment have been undertaken by South African Jews, voluntarily and at their own expense. I give him that assurance.

I realize that we can expand and improve our relations with countries in South America. However, I wish to point out that the University of South Africa recently opened a centre for Latin-American studies in Pretoria. This centre is particularly active. I should welcome hon members’ involvement and interest in this centre. My department co-operates closely with this centre.

As regards our relations with the Republic of China, it is true that we maintain good relations with that country. There is good co-operation at practical levels and in our common interest. We appreciate the friendship of the Republic of China. As hon members are aware, we had the privilege of receiving the Vice President of the Republic of China, Mr Lee, here on the occasion of the inauguration of the State President. We regarded that as an honour.

The inter-ministerial committee for economic and technical co-operation between South Africa and the Republic of China has just finalized its seventh sitting in Cape Town.

I thank the hon member for Rustenburg for his contribution. I listened to his suggestions. We shall certainly consider them.

I also thank the hon member for Springs for his contribution and for his analysis of the control measures with regard to aid projects. Then, too, I want to convey my most cordial thanks to the hon member Dr Vilonel, not only because he spoke to us in this House in such an exceptional way this afternoon, but because he also did so in a way that will stay with us for a long time.

†There are still a few matters raised by the hon member for Sea Point as well as by the hon member for Houghton to which I should like to react. I feel I owe it to those two hon members to address myself to the matters in question.

The hon member for Sea Point said that our relations with Lesotho and Botswana had improved in recent times. I agree with him. We welcome this improvement. I should point out, however, that there is still a need for vigilance as it does not always seem that the governments of those two countries are fully aware of the implications of anti-South African terrorist groups using their territories for violence against South Africa. We are, however, conducting discussions with one another. We are giving them details of the presence of people we consider to be either trained terrorists or people who may plan or who have planned acts of violence against South Africa.

We hope we will be able to make progress on the road of good neighbourly co-operation and of the development of economic projects that can be of benefit to all of us.

The Highlands Water Project in Lesotho to which the hon member referred, is still the subject of a feasibility study at technical level between the two governments, and we are awaiting the outcome of this study—which will take some time yet—together with other investigations into the utilization of available water resources in South Africa. The Highlands Project is not the only possible project.

As far as Zimbabwe is concerned our relations are at present of a practical and realistic nature. Contact takes place within the framework of the commercial and transportation relations between the two countries, and I would gladly explain to the hon member in private why I think it would be better, at least for the time being, not to say too much in public about our relations with Zimbabwe. These are, however, realistic, and I am quite satisfied with them.

As far as Swaziland is concerned our relations are very good. They are realistic, and I appreciate very much our current relationship with Swaziland.

*My attention has been drawn to reports concerning the so-called Kudu oil gas field off the coast of South West Africa. Reports have appeared that could imply that Soekor or the South African Government wants to control the exploitation. I should like to refer to the statement issued on 31 January this year by the Department of Foreign Affairs. I quote from it as follows:

In reaction to the statement today by Swakor on the possible exploitation of the Kudu gas field off the coast of South West Africa/Namibia the Department of Foreign Affairs wishes to reiterate that whatever gas and/or oil resources there may be in South West Africa/Namibia or off its shores are the property of South West Africa/Namibia. Such resources will be developed for the benefit of South West Africa/Namibia alone.

The South African Government wants nothing to do with that oil gas field. The South African public in this country does not want a cent of it. The South African Government says that South West Africa must take that oil gas field for itself. We welcome it if South West can obtain extra sources of revenue so that the large sums of money that the taxpayers of this country have to send there, can be reduced somewhat. I just wish to state this standpoint very, very clearly, so that there may be no misunderstanding.

I now wish to turn to the criticism advanced by the hon member for Sea Point and the hon member for Houghton with regard to my statement that the USA requires of South Africa standards which are not required of any other country in Africa. Strangely enough, the hon member for Houghton looked at me, half surprised, and asked whether I meant what I said when I said that the American government had a tendency to expect of this country and this Government standards which they did not expect of any other African country. I want to speak about that because in my opinion, in this concept and in this apparent difference of opinion lies the key to peace in South and Southern Africa. It seems to me that we have eventually arrived at the real difficulty around which the South African political debate and the future of this country revolves. Why do I say this? I do not wish to fight about this with these two hon members; on the contrary, I thank them for having raised the matter and for having done so in a responsible fashion. Why, then, do I say this? If we do not achieve clarity and distinctness among ourselves with regard to this very aspect then a peaceful solution to our country’s problems is impossible. It is as simple as that. I cannot put it more simply than that. I wish to point out that I say this without trying to hurt any leaders of other population groups; they know me, and they know that what I am saying here now is the crux of what we discuss when we sit down together—when we sit down together alone, from here to Morocco. From here to Morocco we sit down and speak to African leaders. This includes leaders in this country as well as leaders from our neighbouring countries, some of which have gained their independence from us and some of which were made independent by the British. It revolves around this one point, viz the overall constitutional pattern of Africa. There is a typical African pattern, because it has a political culture and a background, although this has nothing to do with colour as such. I should be obliged if the hon member for Sea Point would refrain from introducing the idea of colour in this argument. I am not sitting in South America, where worse cruelties have taken place than in any place in Africa. Nor am I sitting in Germany or in Russia, where worse cruelties have taken place than any in Africa. I am in Africa, and to me, the sole issue here is not one of differences as regards colour and sociological affinities. The crux of the difference lies in differences in political patterns. Recently two senior officials paid a visit to one of the most respected African leaders—one who is by no means far from here. The hon member for Sea Point and the hon member for Houghton have also visited him, and they have spoken of him with praise. I do not take that amiss of them because I, too, have referred on occasion to his hospitality. He tried for two hours, and I told the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition about this—I am not ashamed to say that I discussed it with Dr Van Zyl Slabbert—to convince the two officials that we in South Africa must accept the one-party system, and this brings me to the point I want to deal with.

I do not think that there is anyone in this House, and I do not think there is anyone outside this House, who would not say this afternoon that the dilemma of this country is the following: The Whites are afraid they will be dominated; the Coloureds are afraid that the Whites are not going to make it, and the Indians as well—they are caught between two fires: The Blacks now want what they think they were denied—they want political power, and they want economic power, particularly the young ones, who are becoming increasingly radical. Somewhere between these demands, in this turbulence, we must find one another, and we must negotiate with one another about structures, structures which can more or less give every community what belongs to it, its language, its culture and its method of government, or else we must fight about it. I think we shall be dishonest with ourselves and our voters if we do not get to that point. We are also being dishonest to our Black friends if we do not reach the point at which we ask one another bluntly: How do we want to be governed?

Let us go further. I told a Black leader bluntly that this Government did not see its way clear to making a law for all the communities of South Africa to legalize polygamy. This is not such a ridiculous example as hon members may think. This difference concerns the cultural pattern. What about the other differences that have nothing to do with colour discrimination, such as the legal systems, law of succession and several other facets of life. Then, too, there is the indisputable tendency among our African friends, in South and Southern Africa as well, to have a totally different view of leadership to ours. They cannot tolerate having opposition parties in the government of a community, whose task it is to sit and propound contradictions which, as they see it, disturb the stability of the community.

They say they have enough problems with technological training and adjustments. They can get by only if they are allowed peace and political unanimity. I do not believe in superiority on the basis of race. I certainly do not believe in superiority, but I operate on the basis of observable facts from here to Morocco, and I get the same answer, not from a different kind of being, but from another creature of God, Black leaders who, when the issue is one of negotiations which I may not even mention in this Committee, become angry with me and tell me: “You Whites do not seem to understand our way of doing things. You do not seem to understand how we want to be governed.”

The dispute will concern this point: The style and character of government. I can see that the Whites refuse to accept a system which will not permit him any further elections, which will not permit him freedom of speech and criticism. The White will not accept such a system of government. On the basis of my personal experience I do not know today how one is going to compel Black communities, in the face of the whole trend of Africa, to accept precisely the kind of Western system of election that we have if one of the most respected and successful African leaders who is referred to in terms of praise by the opposition in this House tries to convince us, in all seriousness, that we must accept a one-party state. That is what is at issue. I do not say that is bad. Nor do I say it is good. I am merely stating the fact.


It is bad.


Wait a moment. I do not look down on Black people because they want to accept a different system. The PFP is the party with the racist tendency. [Interjections.] Yes, I shall prove it. The PFP states that the USA must expect a higher standard of White South Africa than of Black Africa. That is what the hon members for Sea Point and Houghton said. I said “they must not accept the same standard”, but what I added was: Why must South Africa be singled out? Whereas the majority of people within our borders are specifically of African descent, does that not make our country at least an indivisible part of Africa? Is South Africa now expected to have so many more Black people at university than is the case in another, comparable African state that is equally well-endowed with raw materials and natural resources? We must not make differences in political pattern a point of dispute. I said that if country A wants to be governed by a lifelong president or by a one-party state, then I have sympathy with it, but then I ask that there should also be sympathy with regard to the specific standards and norms and styles that the people who elect us, expect of us.

I repeat this, and I shall do so again. Unless White and Black leadership, in the days and months that lie ahead of us, can discuss these matters honestly, painfully honestly, with one another, I do not see how there will be a solution. Unless guarantees of minority rights can be found I do not see how a solution can be achieved.

For one to say that the others’ standards are meaningless—one will have to fall in with free elections, one will not be able to create a one-party state—will not work, because that will cause conflict. There are important Black leaders who want to govern in that way because they themselves consider that that is their people’s way of being governed. I do not say it is bad. Nor do I look down on it. Throughout Africa there are governments governing on that basis. Throughout Africa and in the world at large we have negotiated on the basis that different communities with different political cultures can produce forms of government uniquely appropriate to their history and their communities’ norms and values. Therefore I am fully prepared to accept a life president as the leader of his people or community. I am prepared to take joint decisions with him. However, the problem and the conflict will occur if there is an insistence that we, too, should accept a one-party state or if we insist that they hold free elections exactly as we want them. It is not that they cannot accept it, it is just that they do not want to accept it. Therefore the leaders of South Africa will have to accept that they can obtain their political leadership in different ways.

If one conducts a discussion with them in this regard, it explains them to one. They say this every day in discussions, but those hon members do not understand it. They explain to one that as they see it, democracy is built into their particular system as well. They say that they allow criticism within the one-party system. They say that within a one-party system they have their ways of tackling the Government about misconduct. There are many leaders in South Africa who accept the one-party system as the natural African system, and some of them have achieved success in this regard.

All I am saying is that we must approach our real differences sincerely. This is not an American problem; it is our problem, the problem of our Black, White, Coloured and Indian leaders. It will be our challenge in the months that lie ahead to tell one another what our demands are in respect of a government in this country. We shall have to say to one another what we expect to be done to ensure that these different points of departure and styles are respected, but also, what can be done so that the interests of the country as a whole can eventually be served jointly in one decision-making structure. That is my standpoint.


Mr Chairman, I would like to welcome the announcement made earlier this afternoon by the hon the Minister in regard to subscription television and in particular in regard to the proposed involvement of the Press and the newspaper print industry in this development.

However, having heard this announcement we must not for a moment believe that this involvement will be the panacea to cure all the ills of the Press. With the capital expenditure and the infrastructure needed it will be some time before any tangible benefit will accrue to the private sector at all. Nonetheless, we welcome the announcement and believe it is a step in the right direction.

I would like to start by mentioning the recently published annual report of the SABC. It is an impressive document, glossy and lavishly presented. It is filled with statistics and other information, but regrettably also with a large dose of self-adulatory comment. The document is so costly that most parliamentarians have not been supplied with a copy and cannot obtain one. Most MPs are therefore to remain in ignorance of the activities of the corporation. Even I was originally not allowed a copy and received one only after making special representations to the SABC.

This is most unsatisfactory. Perhaps a report in this extravagant form should be dispensed with. It is truly a wasteful document, saying mostly all the good things about the corporation and addressing little that is critical.

The report blandly dismisses the SABC’s losses, inexplicably incurred in a market in which it holds a virtual monopoly. The report admits an annual loss of some R18 million on uncollected licence fees but then fails even to begin to address the problem.

All the while the SABC is embarking upon and planning capital expenditure on a scale of expansion that would startle even the creator of the Taj Mahal. We all like to enjoy congenial working environments but the SABC’s executive offices, reception areas, parking and other facilities are far in excess of anything I have seen in any comparable organization throughout the world. However, I suppose that is what happens when no competition is allowed.

I was a little alarmed to hear that the hon the Minister is giving attention to an increase in licence fees. I believe the answer to the financial problems of the SABC is not to raise licence fees but to cut expenditure and to collect what is owing to it and to waste less money.

Let us start at the beginning. It is widely rumoured that the chairman of the board of governors of the SABC is soon to retire. We all wish him well on his return to the Orange Free State and the academic atmosphere of his university. But who is to follow him? The buzz at Auckland Park is that it is to be Brand Fourie, the present ambassador to Washington. The last thing the SABC needs is yet another political appointment, especially through the influence or the suggestion of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Dr Fourie is a distinguished diplomat, and my remarks are not intended personally at all. He has served the country well, but he is not the man for this particular job. I believe that the SABC should strive at least to appear to be independent of Government influence. It seldom succeeds in this. Another obviously political appointment bearing the stamp of the Minister of Foreign Affairs will make this goal of independence absolutely impossible to attain. I hope that the hon the Deputy Minister will give us an assurance in this regard today.

Late last year, together with a committee of three, I handed in to the Deputy Minister a petition of some 60 000 signatures asking that the SABC cease spending money on trying to stop the limited spillage of Bophuthatswana Television signals. The rationale behind the petition was simple. People wanted freedom of choice. They wanted the free-market principle to operate. Many people were bored with SABC television programmes, while others wanted to view less baised news reports. We were given a courteous hearing by the hon the Deputy Minister who, upon having heard our arguments, immediately gave his prepared response. His response was both firm and clear-cut. He said:

The Government was most concerned about the viability of a free Press. Many Transvaal newspapers were running at a loss and were in danger of closure. This would be a disaster for South Africa. Television had already made inroads into the South African advertising cake and if the commercial Bop TV was to be allowed to cover large areas of the Witwatersrand, this could have serious results for the viability of the Press. The Government had received and had taken heed of representations from the major newspaper groups and was therefore acting purely to protect newspaper groups. There was no question of stifling competition. The SABC was in no way threatened by competition from that quarter.

I found this argument hard to swallow, but the members of the committee who handed over the petition accepted the argument in good faith. However, three days later, the Director-General of the SABC telephoned me to tell me of the imminent announcement of TV4, another commercial station drawing its revenue from advertising. This was three days after the Deputy Minister had put forward this argument for blocking Bop TV spillage. About this I want to tell the hon the Deputy Minister that if he who is charged with responsibility for the SABC was not aware of the launching of TV4 when he saw the petitioners three days earlier, why was he so ill-informed and why was he so out of touch? Surely he should be kept up to date on SABC intentions? On the other hand, if the hon the Deputy Minister, when he saw us, knew about this impending development about the opening of a new commercial station drawing advertising as its revenue, why did he not disclose it to the petitioners? Above all, knowing what the SABC was going to do three days later, why did he shed those crocodile tears about the viability of a free Press and about the SABC’s duty to protect it? The hon the Deputy Minister treated 60 000 honest South Africans like children and used good-sounding arguments which 72 hours later were proved to be both cynical and lacking in sincerity. This is to be deplored. The country and that committee deserve an answer from that hon Deputy Minister on that point of deception he played on the petitioners who went to see him.

The real truth is that the Government and the SABC do not like competition. They want their monopoly preserved. Why else do they hound the independent radio station, Channel 702, at every opportunity, even to the extent of trying to get their reporters banned from the racetracks in the Transvaal? If they were not frightened of competition, why did they embark upon such action?

A few days ago I was in conversation with some leading figures in the music and entertainment industry of this country. They tell me that, coupled with other events, the broadcasting corporation’s arbitrary banning of the music of a musician called Stevie Wonder has done irreparable harm to the efforts of impresarios and the music industry to bring to South Africa world famous entertainers from America. Several engagements have already been cancelled as a direct result of this ill-conceived banning, and new productions are virtually impossible to organize. The SABC is an entertainment medium; it is not the prosecutor, it is not the judge and it is not the executioner of every artist who appears on its airwaves, or on its TV screens and whose personal viewpoints it does not agree with or finds distasteful.


Order! The hon member’s time has expired.


Mr Chairman, I rise to give the hon member the opportunity to complete his speech.


I thank the hon Whip for his courtesy.

The SABC is the servant of the public, it is not the Government of this country. Its immature, ill-considered and petulant action has already cost us dearly. While the SA Airways plays Stevie Wonder’s music on every Johannesburg to Cape Town trip amidst laughter from its passengers, the SABC behaves like a spoilt child, discriminating against music because it does not like its author. How much more short-sighted, foolish, childish and incompetent can a broadcasting corporation become before it is called to account?

I have two further points to make. Firstly, in regard to the Artes and Astera awards, surely the time has come to deal with these occasions in a more mature and a less racialists manner. Television and radio award ceremonies do not go together, not anywhere in the world. By combining these awards one makes for tedious ceremonies. There should be a single ceremony for all television awards and another ceremony incorporating all radio awards. That is the logical and the professional thing to do. It is time the SABC cast aside its paternalistic attitude towards race and colour and followed this pattern. By perpetuating awards based on race and not on merit the SABC is lagging far behind the progress that is being made in the rest of the country. Does the SABC feel that Blacks are not good enough, to compete for television awards in the Artes, or are they worried about “verdringing” at the ceremonies?

Lastly, on this subject, an independent panel of judges should be entitled to include in their consideration for awards for programmes, all programmes beamed to South Africa, for instance Capitol Radio, Channel 702 and Bop TV. Awards should not be no more than a racially segregated back-slapping operation confined to the SABC.

I have a last point to make. I should like to deal very briefly with a speech made by the Director-General in Durban on 11 April 1985. He is reported as voicing the SABC’s commitment to making a contribution to the successful implementation of the new Constitution. He is quoted as saying that

The SABC would not bear any message of confrontation on its services … He saw the role of the SABC as being one which strengthens the hands of those playing a positive role in the implementation of the new dispensation.

If those words came from the political executive or even from any parliamentary party, I would not find fault with their right to make those statements. However, the SABC is not a political party. It is a broadcasting organization. It should be a news disseminator, supposedly independent of Government. The role of the SABC should be that of the bearer of news, not of the shaper of history. It should stand aside from the executive and report the facts as they are, thus keeping the public fully informed. That is the SABC’s brief as also its duty. By trying to manage the news so that it conforms with SABC norms it is adopting a practice which is rife in the Third World and which is quite out of keeping with a free, democratic and Western society. Someone in Government who knows a little about the standards of freedom should try to explain that point to the SABC. Perhaps it would help.


Mr Chairman, I have limited time at my disposal, but I should like to react to a couple of matters the hon member for Sandton raised here. To start with his last point, namely the speech by the Director-General on 11 April, I just want to tell him that I am convinced that the SABC is also in a certain sense a medium that can adopt an editorial policy of its own and act accordingly. That is what the board is for. I agree that it should not be a mouthpiece for the Government, but I want to add immediately that as far as its programmes and their quality are concerned, I think the development, particularly over the past few years or so, has been positive. More debates about topical matters in the community have been brought to the fore. One has in mind issues such as the various standpoints within the Church, the debate within Church circles, and poverty and wealth. There are also various actuality programmes, for example Nightline, Eyeline, etc. I think that overall there has been a noticeable improvement and balance in programmes, and I am grateful for this.

The hon member referred, too, to the Stevie Wonder affair. In this connection I want to agree with him, although not necessarily in the same terms he employed. I must say that I, too, was bitterly disappointed to hear about the ban on playing Stevie Wonder’s records. The statement issued by the SABC in this connection created the impression that Stevie Wonder had done more than just say he accepted the award on behalf of Nelson Mandela. The impression was created that he also displayed solidarity with the ANC and that he had made financial contributions to that organization. On those grounds the SABC said it would not play his records because it would then, in fact, be supporting the ANC by paying royalties. It is possible that the board or the decision-makers were under the impression that this was indeed the case when they made the decision. It is also possible that they were trying to justify their decision. I do not know exactly what the motive was. They were obviously also under pressure because the programme was due to be presented the following evening. If one looks at the circumstances, however, one realizes that Stevie Wonder is, after all, a top artist who stopped singing and then made a comeback, that he is someone with whom there is a great feeling of solidarity. He is blind. In general he is not known for reflecting a radical protest culture in his art.


And he sings well.


Yes, he sings very well. I think we would all very much like to hear him again. I, in particular, should like to have the opportunity to hear him. I actually just want to say that the SABC made its point when it placed the ban on the playing of his records. I hope the SABC will find sufficient reason in the near future, and sooner rather than later, to make Stevie Wonder’s music available for our pleasure, too.

I should like, too, just to react to the reference to Bop-TV made by the hon member for Sandton. His constituency virtually borders on mine and we are in the area where all our voters were lucky enough to see Bop-TV. Indeed, many spent a fair amount of money on erecting antennae, but then later could not receive the signal. One must say though, in all fairness, that the SABC continually issued warnings, from the first statement concerning its introduction and on at least five subsequent occasions, by means of statements, and not only in reaction to Press reports, that people should not respond to the signal because they would be losing it. Various reasons were given. One was that the agreement forced the SABC to comply—those were not the words he used, but that was the idea conveyed. It has been said throughout, from this House as well, that the SABC only has to fulfil an agreement.

It has also been said on occasion by the hon the Deputy Minister that they act in the letter and in the spirit. They certainly acted in the letter and probably in the spirit as well. The point was, however, that we did not know what the spirit of the agreement was. I should like to add to that the fact that—and this is not necessarily all that negative—when the hon the Deputy Minister delivered the statement to which this hon member referred on 15 November 1984, I think, Mr Prince of the National Press Union reacted to that by saying that he could understand it because in the past they had been of the opinion that there should be no further television coverage of advertisements. He said, too, that in his opinion this would be contrary to the interests of the SABC. The hon member can also refer again to the answer the hon the Deputy Minister gave to his question on 5 March when the hon the Deputy Minister told him that a further provision of advertising time by an electronic medium and by foreign television services would indeed have an effect on the interests and revenue of the SABC.

The hon member said, too, that even though this organization was a monopoly it could not make a profit. It did, however, have a statutory obligation to run the Afrikaans and English radio services without any advertisements. It also had an obligation to run TV2 and TV3 which are at the moment running at a tremendous loss as a result of the downswing in the economy that we are at present experiencing, because in these circumstances this is the area where the advertisers and the private sector first begin to curtail expenditure. One should therefore bear those factors in mind when discussing the management aspect. I think it really has proved that it is working positively towards placing management on a sound financial footing.

In the light of the announcement that subscription TV has been accepted and will be introduced, I should just like to draw the attention of the hon the Deputy Minister to a provision in the agreement made with the Bophuthatswana Government when Bop-TV was introduced. I am referring to section 2(2)(e) in which the undertaking was given, by both contracting governments, that they would not allow any new television service to be run within or from their area to each other’s borders without a prior agreement. I would suggest that subscription TV does fall under the restrictions of this section, and I should like to know whether the hon Minister or the hon the Deputy Minister has been in touch with the Bophuthatswana Government. I do not think this can really affect them, but I would still suggest that it is our duty to honour our agreements with them, too.

There are also a great many matters one would like to discuss, but time has caught up with me so I should like to say in general, from this side of the House, that I am grateful for the opportunity to participate, and I should also like to thank the top management of the SABC for being so approachable and also for being so willing to argue, even if they do not agree with one.


Mr Chairman, right at the beginning of his speech the hon member for Randburg responded to the hon member for Sandton’s criticism as regards political operation of the SABC radio and TV services by saying that the SABC also had a right to its own editorial point of view. I concede this but if the party political colour of the SABC is so one-sided, however, as we see it on television and hear it on the radio, I think it is not fair toward the total viewing and listening public of South Africa. [Interjections.]

In opening I wish to congratulate the SABC on this outstanding and illuminating report which includes a comprehensive description of increasingly expanding SABC activities. Nevertheless I wish to associate myself with the hon member for Sandton and also deplore the fact that all hon members in the House did not receive this report and that we actually had to ask the Clerk of the Papers for a copy. It was then lent to us; I do not think it was given to us. It is a beautiful document and probably very expensive but I do not think the SABC should have attempted to economize in such a way. I think it necessary that facts reflected in this should be made available to each of the hon members in this House.

The main report is of exceptional interest as it is actually a comprehensive summary of SABC activities. It is to be welcomed that a Directorate of Public Affairs has been created in view of the so-called new style in national politics. On page 9 I read the following:

… the SABC canvassed opinions over a wide front and submitted itself to penetrating self-analysis to determine whether it was still keeping audiences properly informed.

I shall return to this particular point in the course of my speech. The most important point of criticism remains the bias in many of the programmes on television and on the radio—bias in favour of the Government.

Yesterday in a debate of the House of Delegates the hon the Minister again hid behind the autonomy of the SABC. We can say with justification here this afternoon that although the hand we observe is that of Esau, it seems that as regards public politics it is still the voice of Jacob we hear.

The SABC cannot evade the justified allegations the Opposition parties continually make against it in this connection. The lowest point we must have experienced regarding this was during the referendum campaign. We remember well how Mr von Schirnding told us in “Monitor” of the new dawn which would break for South Africa in the UNO if the yes vote triumphed. For instance, we also had to view on television how ambassadors from across the world gathered here to tell us how essential it was to vote “yes”.

We saw a television film which I believe was shown at every military base; it was incontrovertibly a one-sided film in favour of the yes vote. [Interjections.] I now wish to ask the hon the Deputy Minister whether the SABC made that film and, if so, whether it is fair to enlist the SABC in such a one-sided way as regards a party political question such as we had in the referendum.

I wish to get to the report year under discussion, however, and I should like to recall a few incidents. We had the protest march at Pietermaritzburg in which the hon member for Barberton was completely ignored; we do not accept the explanation that it was not intentional. According to other reports we saw covering that meeting, the hon member for Barberton played a very important part there—in fact, there are reports maintaining he elicited the greatest applause. On television we were not even aware of his presence at that meeting.


Was it a meeting or a demonstration?


It was a topical news incident which should have been presented objectively to the viewing public of South Africa but this did not happen.


I saw it on television.


Did the hon member see the hon member for Barberton on television?




Well, then surely it was not an objective news report.

I can quote a second case. A member of the CP, Mr Clive Derby-Lewis, appeared on another topical programme with Mr Metrovich and others. I believe every objective observer will agree with me and admit that the interviewer concerned was partial and prejudiced. The way in which this member of the CP was treated was absolutely unacceptable to a large section of television viewers. The most recent case occurred last Monday evening when the hon the Minister of Home Affairs—after the fatal decision on the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act—was questioned by two leftist political correspondents from Die Burger and Die Vaderland, which I regard as extreme leftist papers, on this topical subject. [Interjections.] Not a single right-wing person was included to provide perspective to that programme. [Interjections.]

Further, we have to do with political correspondents who do not renounce the subjectivity they have learned from the Government Press when they appear on television. At congress after congress we have to do with sharp criticism of television and radio. We find this at every provincial congress and at the national congress of the CP. I wish to read those hon members a few of the resolutions passed at the national congress and tell them to take note of them because they will find out next Wednesday in Harrismith that there is an appreciable number of people in support of the CP and radio and television should take note of the feelings among those people. [Interjections.] One resolution ran:

Die kongres versoek die raad van die SAUK om ter wille van billikheid teenoor die kieserkorps, alle politieke partye wat in die Parlement verteenwoordig is, gelyke tyd op die radio en TV te gee om gedurende verkiesings hul standpunte aan die kiesers te stel.

That was a resolution from the Transvaal and Natal. A second read:

Die kongres maak beswaar teen:
  1. 1. Die blatante misbruik van die radio en televisie om NP-beleid te verkondig.
  2. 2. Die opvallende verswyging en verontagsaming van die ander politieke partye se standpunte.
  3. 3. Die uitsending van georganiseerde sport op Sondae en die vervaardiging en aanbieding van nie-Christelike programme op Sondae.
  4. 4. Advertensies en programme wat doelbewus anderkleuriges insluit om die volk te breinspoel.

That originated from the Free State, Transvaal and Natal. I do not have time to read them all but let me read one more resolution:

Die kongres versoek dat radio en TV as volksbesit erken en aangewend word.

That came from the Cape Province.


What people?


Now we have to listen again to “What people?” When I speak, I am speaking of the White people of South Africa for whom TV1 was instituted.

This spontaneous reaction which manifests itself in opposition ranks comes to the fore year after year and it should be emphasized that the time has come for the Minister, the Board of Control and the Director of Public Affairs to take thorough note of this. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, I do not wish to link up with the hon member for Pietersburg as I want to give the hon the Minister the pleasure of demolishing him in his reply.

I should like to thank the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs today for his announcement on subscription TV and in that connection make a few remarks about the necessity of protection of private media in our country.

To anyone reading the national objectives in the Preamble to our Constitution, the emphasis on freedom should be striking. Various types of freedom are mentioned: Freedom of religion and worship, freedom of our country, freedom of us all. Although there is no specific mention of freedom of the press, this is certainly implied.

In South Africa we have a tradition of freedom of the press. In fact, the freedom of our press is regarded on all sides as one of our most important national assets. It is no less than a cornerstone of our democracy.

Since the establishment of the first newspaper in 1824 until one and a quarter centuries later in 1950, private media financed themselves largely by placing advertisements. Today advertisement fees from about 75% of the gross income of a typical newspaper like Die Burger. This means that if, for argument’s sake, Die Burger lost all its advertisements, its price would have to be approximately four times as high.

In most countries of the world income derived from the sale of a newspaper is only a very small part of the total costs and does not cover even the paper and printing costs. Financing through advertisements is the way in which newspapers have grown to a cheap and effective medium and source of information, culture and entertainment to all income levels of communities.

Springbok Radio was established in 1950 and for the first time a State-controlled communication service began demanding a share of the national advertising pool. The demands of Springbok Radio were relatively modest but they stabilized and by 1977 we had the situation that approximately 16,5% or about one sixth of the advertising pool was going to Springbok Radio.

The advent of TV1, as the hon the Minister indicated, changed matters drastically. From 1977 to 1981 expenditure on newspaper advertisements declined from 49,3% to 36,2% of the advertising pool. During the same period the share of the advertising pool representing State-controlled electronic media grew from 16,5% to 35,5%—it more than doubled.

The shift from paper to electronic media in South Africa, especially since 1977, forms part of a worldwide pattern. The growth of electronic media is irreversible. One could just as well attempt to stem the sea with one’s hands—one cannot accomplish it.

We on this side of the House wish to express our pride in the SABC. We are grateful for the privilege the SABC furnishes us of being able to share in the advantages and facilities of the space age. The time has come, however—I am delighted with the hon the Minister’s announcement in this regard—for the implementation of the recommendation of the Meyer Commission that the Press be afforded protection as an established medium of communication if another medium of communication like television should be introduced. To me freedom of the Press also means that the Press should be financially independent as far as possible.

The recent fourfold increase of TV channels and the introduction of regional radio services from 1 July 1985 will most probably have an accelerating effect on the decline of advertising income from newspapers.

Much has been said in the debate regarding claims on the advertising pool. I investigated this problem independently and wish to put a few impressions from my point of view. Firstly, if one examines the Broadcasting Act, it is not the Minister, as the hon the Minister said, who is responsible for decisions and internal management of the SABC. Secondly, what strikes one is the fact that the electronic media were a State monopoly until the hon the Minister’s announcement today. Thirdly, television is the dominant medium worldwide. When television advertisements are televized, advertisements are taken away from open-air media, the cinema and the radio—because the radio was also dealt a blow in consequence of television regarding advertising income—and the Press. Fourthly, as appears from the annual report, the financial position of the SABC is sound to the core and one is glad of this.

I agree that this SABC annual report is too luxurious. One would like to see a more modest edition on offer next year and that a copy be made available to every hon member.

Furthermore, in times of economic constriction, people economize on newspaper advertisements first and on TV advertisements last—which is just another illustration of the fact that television is a dominant medium.

There is also a tendency to draw comparisons in expenditure on advertisements for the various media in terms of rand values. In our economy in which one has to do with inflation and in which the gross national product is growing, one has to take that growth into account in drawing comparisons.

In the years between 1978 and 1983 expenditure on advertisements in South Africa increased from 0,63% to 0,85% of the gross national product—an increase of 34% within the space of five years. On the one hand it is naturally true that the economy has developed as well but, on the other hand, television advertisements possibly stimulated the increase in the advertising volume.

In closing I wish to point out that the Government’s announcement is very important in the sense that it enables newspapers to be financially independent. I also wish to ask whether consideration may in future be paid to giving the printed media a share in TV4.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Pretoria East has made a very interesting speech. He will, however, forgive me if I do not comment on it.

I want to state at the outset that I am in no position either to complain about or to praise the annual report of the SABC. The reason for this is quite simple. I never received one. I may appear to say that rather lightheartedly but I say it with a sense of seriousness and with some sense of annoyance because I think the very least that can be done is to ensure that the spokesmen on SABC matters of each party should at least receive copies of the annual report. I do not think the present situation is a very desirable one at all.

I believe we must accept that the winds of change are blowing almost at gale-force through the long-accepted patterns of communication in terms of the dissemination of views and news. There are many of us who will still remember the early 1930s when radio had a marked effect on the patterns then. Since that time, however, radio has established its position very firmly in the media spectrum.

An explosion took place in 1974-75 with the introduction of the South African public to television. The visual medium arrived on the scene, and with it, its ability to bring the world into everybody’s living-room. That, Sir, is something that no printed word and no printed medium can ever hope to do.

The recent economic downturn has highlighted the plight of the newspaper industry. It has accelerated the pattern of change that is surfacing. I sincerely believe that we now have a consumer resistance building up, and more and more South Africans are resisting, and will resist, the spending of money on those daily newspapers that have only recently increased their charges by 33%. Recently the price of a newspaper was increased from 30c to 40c. That is a 33% increase on the old price.

The public can of course listen to the radio or can watch television for a licence fee of little more than one cent a day. When one adds to that—with modern technology and the transistor—the cost of electric power consumed, I doubt whether that figure will even reach five cents a day. I do grant of course that there is an initial capital outlay.

The trend that is emerging is adequately reflected by the situation in New York City which has only two newspapers and something like 13 television stations. That, in my view, says it all. This trend, however, also highlights the awesome task and responsibility that rests upon the SABC, and particularly the television service.

Television is the most powerful medium ever devised by man, and I believe it behoves us all to ensure that it is properly used and not abused. I have said before that political bias depends entirely upon one’s position or on how one looks at things. I think the hon member for Pietersburg illustrated that very well today when he spoke of Die Burger and Die Transvaler as being left-wing, liberal newspapers. If those are left-wing, liberal newspapers, I should be interested to hear what he would call either The Cape Times or the Rand Daily Mail.

I want to say, however, that we in this party have little argument with the SABC because it is the one medium that does put our point of view, and for that we are grateful. We do appreciate that both the PFP and the CP have nothing but criticism—for obvious reasons. We also appreciate that both the English-language and the Afrikaans-language Press will level similar criticism because nobody can deny that they support certain political viewpoints and that they will continue to present their news and views according to the political viewpoints that they favour. The English Press, we know, favours the leftist point of view and the Afrikaans Press favours, in the main, the Government of the day.

Having said that, I wish to stress that I believe the time has come for those in authority to take careful stock of this incredibly powerful medium and its effect on all sectors of the population—on all race groups. You see, Sir, television has the ability to reach out and inform all South Africans, and the powers that be should ensure that it does so accurately and comprehensively. It should do so accurately in the sense that the SABC’s bias should never be allowed to show, even if it has a bias, and comprehensively in the sense that events taking place in our country as well as abroad should be covered. Here I would latch on to the comment from the hon the Minister earlier when he said that South Africans should communicate with the outside world. Yes, Sir, and here the SABC has a duty to allow the outside world, through that powerful medium, to communicate with South Africans.

Television has the ability to involve people more in the debate that is taking place in our country all the time. One of our major problems in this country is that the English-language Press gives one side of the argument while the Afrikaans-language Press gives the other side. I believe it is up to the SABC to present all arguments at all times.

Prejudice and counter-prejudice are the dominant features of our political life, and they have very deep roots in the folk cultures of our various population groups. Coupled with this, I sincerely believe that the level of public awareness of political trends and factors is frighteningly low.

The SABC has unfortunately been dubbed “His Master’s Voice”—and not without reason—with the constant inference that it serves only the governing party. This has done little to enhance the credibility of the corporation but I believe sincerely that the situation is improving, and there I must give credit where credit is due. Unfortunately there are those, both in the political field and in the journalistic field, who would seek to have that name stick. This is a problem which, I believe, the SABC can overcome, and I believe the hon the Deputy Minister can play a most important role in assisting them to do so. I believe he should state publicly and without equivocation that the SABC should serve no other master than itself, that it should be guided by no particular political line of thought or ideology, and that it must, at the very least, at all times give every point of view wherever possible. This is a challenge to both the SABC in the shape of its board of governors and to the hon the Deputy Minister. I sincerely hope that he will take up this challenge and impress on the SABC board to do likewise.

The SABC has done much to improve its image but it has got a long way to go. I accept that it will never be able to please all tastes and all persuasions but I believe it can and should do everything in its power to create an image of fairness in all things because that will be welcomed by all South Africans.

In conclusion I want to say that television is the one medium which can really bring truth into the home in the sense that when one has debates on television, when somebody is asked to give his point of view and that person looks at that camera, he is not merely looking into a camera but he is looking into the eyes of two million viewers and he is talking to them. That is when the fluff flies out the window. That is when the real issues are debated. That is when reality and truth emerge. That is where television must be used.

As the hon leader of this party suggested, there should be debates on television about the Budget. This is something which ought to be given serious consideration. I should like to ask the hon the Minister to think about it.


Mr Chairman, I shall not reply to the speech of the hon member for Umhlanga as I have a problem of a more local nature.

Before getting to it, just a single comment that the authorities in our country have created no facility with as much educational and entertainment value and yet drawing as much criticism as SABC TV. We also want to Say to the board and management of the SABC that they should never attempt compiling programmes to satisfy the taste of all people every moment of the day because this is impossible on this earth. The smallest homogeneous group in our country is a family. They cannot even reach consensus on the presentation of programmes; how can one hope to satisfy a large population.

In contrast with what the hon member for Pietersburg said, I merely wish to say that we should permit the Government of the day to make more use of radio and television as a medium to convey Government policy and information to our viewing public. [Interjections.] We know there is great criticism of this from the side of the opposition but one can surely not permit them the same time merely to make insinuations and then to be heard on the radio and to appear on television.

The current problem with SABC TV does not concern the content of what is presented but areas not yet covered. An example of this is the region north and northwest of Upington, an area of more than 1 000 km on the border of South West Africa and Botswana. It is the largest geographic area not yet receiving the convenience of television.

As regards radio, they are dependent on short-wave transmissions from Johannesburg. I can say that until last year this transmitter was just like a train—it whistled only at every station. [Interjections.] Since then special antennae have been installed and the position has been considerably improved.

It is estimated that between 12 000 and 15 000 viewers of all race and population groups are involved in this area and deprived of the convenience or advantage of television. The irony is that the overspill from Botswana and other Black states is received in the area, something totally undesirable nowadays if one looks at the propaganda which is being disseminated against us.

Inhabitants in that area erect high aerials in an attempt to received FM. In consequence of the fact that we have these comprehensive regional services—in our case Radio Orange—regional news is now being broadcast which cannot be received by these people because they are dependent on short wave from Johannesburg.

The area has no SABC TV service although there are private transmitters. Farmers have now erected a transmitter which broadcasts to Noenieput. The hon the Minister will recall that on the day we made an emergency landing there he was able to sit in comfort that evening and watch television which the chaps had generated through solar power. We had such high hopes that the set would be full of snow that evening so that the hon the Minister could not hear the story and pity us. Unfortunately it was a beautiful day and that evening he could enjoy a transmission in the Kalahari by means of solar batteries.

There is yet another system being planned in the direction of Askam for which a loan of R160 000 has been granted by the SABC. Now they find it will be R270 000. So we shall have to find extra money for this as well.

I repeat, this is a border area which has to be inhabited at all times unless it is to be protected militarily—something which is utterly impossible from a practical point. The present inhabitants are forced to live there. We have already provided them with water in the Kalahari and we also think they should receive radio and television services there.


Mr Chairman, I have very little time and I just want to make a few comments on the SABC and the SATV.

Per kind favour of my colleague the hon member for Sandton I managed to secure a copy of the missing annual report. If the hon member for Umhlanga would like to borrow it, I would be glad to give it to him. This debate will probably go down as the debate on the missing report, and I am going to keep this copy as part of Africana, if hon members will forgive the pun. [Interjections.]

I want to refer to page 49 where we are told of the News Division and the “tailoring”—I use the exact words—

of the structure of the News Division specifically for its task of attracting the attention of its audiences to the developments which affect their existence, and of improving their comprehension and appreciation of these facts.

When I look at the restructuring of the News Division, I can only say that it has sinister overtones reminiscent of the worst features of Lord Haw-Haw.

On page 9 of the report we are told specifically that the reason for the restructuring is as follows, and I quote:

The new style emerging in national politics emphasized dialogue in the handling of major issues and the SABC had to determine whether its own programming reflected the new approach and its requirements.

The inference is that because the Government has apparently changed its style of politics the SABC has decided it must follow, whereas I think that SABC and the SATV ought to show some initiative and take some leadership in South Africa instead of merely slavishly following the Government.


We have no say in it.


What would happen, I ask that hon member, if the PFP came into power? Would the SABC and SATV then readjust their approach? What would happen if the CP came into power? Must we then expect that we are going to have Mother Grundy ruling the whole roost? Is that the approach? What would happen if a Black majority government came into power? Are we to assume that the News Division will be restructured in order to follow that government slavishly?

I would have hoped that the SABC and SATV would have used their considerable influence and awesome responsibility to give leadership in South Africa instead of simply slavishly following the political ideology of the day. This is a medium which has incredible resources and wonderful opportunities. However, instead of using that wisely, it says to the Boss: Tell us what to do and we will do it. We will restructure the news in such a way that nobody can argue against the slant we give to it. [Interjections.] This is not news.


Are you not ashamed?


No, on the contrary, that hon Minister should be ashamed of himself. [Interjections.] He does not understand the position. He says he is not responsible for the SABC. He just features on it more often than most people. He ought to tell the SABC and the SATV that they should reflect the news as it is.

Let me give one example to the House. As far as the recent unrest in townships is concerned we have not had a correct reflection of what is really happening there.


What do you want to see?


I want to see the SABC holding up a mirror so that the real facts can be seen. If we do not tell all the people of South Africa, Black and White, what is really happening in the country and what is at stake here, there will come a time when these people—like those of countries near to us—will one day say: Why did somebody not tell us what it was really like? The SABC and the SATV are not doing that. I believe it is high time they gave attention, not to controlling the news, not to informing—that is the word they use—not merely interpreting according to Government policy, but to holding up a mirror for the sake of us all.

Race relations are a very vital factor in South Africa. If the SABC and SATV, which comes into our homes in the most intimate way, could lead South Africa and not always follow this Government, it would provide a service for all of us.


Mr Chairman, there are certain points on which I differ with the hon member for Pinelands but I shall get to them later.

Television has inevitably become part of the child’s world of experience. This is proved by the HSRC newsletter titled “How children react to TV”. Because I taught for 30 years, because I am a mother and because I have grandchildren, I take such an intense interest in children’s reaction to television programmes and how they influence them.

The HSRC newsletter points out that children on average spend more than 19 hours per week in front of the television set. Smaller children from Stds 3 to 5 spend 22 hours per week in front of the set. This decreases in proportion to the increase in schoolwork and they have to devote more attention to that so that in Std 10 pupils watch television for about 15 hours per week. Nevertheless a shade over 19 hours per week is the average time a child spends in front of the television set. If the child sacrifices his free time, childhood and time for playing, I think he should exchange these for something really worthwhile.

We have no fault to find with many of the programmes on television. The news is covered very well and sport, especially internal sport, is something we propagate strongly because children are interested in it and this is a good thing. Stories which are distinctive to the White population’s culture are an important part of the child’s education. Good music and song are just as important, as well as educational programmes on history and geography and the plant and animal worlds. Naturally Bible stories are included here. We approve of all these programmes.

I wish to direct a definite and urgent warning, however, against programmes which are decidedly not good for or elevating to our youth. There are programmes definitely detrimental to receptive childish minds, for example tales of brute violence. So many stories bristle with themes in which violence and destruction are the order of the day. Motorcars and buildings are destroyed and even human lives mean almost nothing in many of these programmes. As children usually watch television between 7 o’clock and 9 o’clock in the evening, it is not right that programmes showing such things are televised at that time. By this means such unacceptable things become commonplace to children; they become conditioned into accepting this as permissible conduct. Often clever criminals who outwit the police are elevated into heroes.

This medium brings the world and its happenings right into our lounges. It also introduces bedroom and bathroom scenes which are not beneficial to the minds of children. Many of the stories ridicule marriage and the family whereas the latter is actually the foundation stone on which the State and Church are built. Sometimes scantily clad female figures are displayed. Is it necessary that the advertisements of the commercial world should abuse the female figure in scanty clothing for material gain? It has always been the mystery—and hon members would do well to listen now—of the female being which has made her a costly jewel lending so much lustre to marriage, the family and in every sphere of society. Would hon members like to laugh about that as well? [Interjections.] If woman is divested of this mystery, she becomes cheapened and decline will be visible in every sphere. The quality of a people depends upon the quality of its women and the higher moral standard she maintains as a woman has an influence on society.

Why do we have so many dubbed films if so many beautiful films can be manufactured locally? Why should the youth be conditioned in this way? In my opinion all the programmes televised on Sundays are unsuitable for TV on that day. After all, sport is not one of the Whites’ activities on a Sunday. [Interjections.] Many other programmes are also unsuitable for Sunday afternoons or evenings, especially programmes in which political leaders are opposed to each other. A Christian nation should obey the commandment to honour the Sabbath and also televise this. Presentations and programmes in keeping with Sunday should be compiled. If some people wish for other programmes, they can tune in to other channels if those suit them.

As regards sport, we should very much like to see more of our own sport, even at schools level. [Interjections.] The overseas soccer matches which are presented are not as beneficial to us.

Concerning the speeches this afternoon, I differ a little with the hon member for Pine-lands. [Interjections.] He wants a true picture of these riots to be given. The conduct of these militant agitators and vandals sometimes receives far too much cover on television. Riots and insurrection are planned to receive a great deal of television cover in order to be seen by prejudiced people overseas and also here in this country. Far too much time is devoted to this and they delight in all the anomalies and oppression. The police in particular are denigrated to a great extent and accused in all these programmes; too much time is devoted to riots and this elicits too much reaction.

We as women feel—and I am speaking on behalf of many women in South Africa—that it is, in fact, very important to us that our children should be able to see real life in all its beauty in such an easy way. They do not even have to concentrate on what is being said; they merely have to watch it. I am very sorry if I have offended some hon members…


Which one?


The people who are singing in concert on that side. I am sorry it does not bear their approval if I speak on such matters but I can assure them that thousands of women in our country feel as I do today. [Interjections.] We see the children as such an important cornerstone for the future of this country. It is on their feet that we have to march into the future and that is why I am pleading their cause and asking that what they see should be good and elevating.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Germiston District who has just resumed her seat definitely attempted to make a balanced speech on the SABC. She praised the SABC where I think it deserves praise and she also criticized it in certain respects. Although I do not agree with all the criticism she expressed, I wish to say to her there are aspects of her criticism with which I am in agreement in any case. In consequence of her attempt to attain balance, the hon member’s speech was in sharp contrast to speeches of certain other Opposition members. That is why I believe the hon member for Germiston District’s speech—as a critical speech—will achieve much more credibility than the speeches, for example, of the hon members for Sandton, Pinelands and Pietersburg.

I wish to begin by referring briefly to the hon member for Rosettenville who expressed interesting views in connection with the disinvestment campaign. He cast light on important aspects of this campaign and I am very sure if the supporters of the campaign were to write a test on their knowledge of South Africa, the vast majority would fail. I think Amy Carter would be one of those.

In the course of my speech I wish to refer to some of the speeches made; I hope I shall be able to get to them all. In the first place I should like to thank the hon member for Randburg for his contribution. He dealt with certain questions from hon members on the side of the Opposition and I shall not repeat them but I think there is one matter I should put right. He said it was possible that the institution of subscription TV would be in contravention of paragraph 2(e) of the contract concluded between the Government of Bophuthatswana and the South African Government. Although the paragraph reads as he quoted it, I wish to point out to him that it contains the following reservatory clause:

Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to reasonable, inevitable or accidental overspill.

If one were therefore to institute a station beamed directly at Bophuthatswana, it appears to me the contract would apply; otherwise that is not the case.

Criticism was expressed by the hon member for Pietersburg who particularly quoted CP resolutions. The hon member for Sand-ton and the hon member for Pinelands also referred to this matter. The criticism comes down to the fact that the SABC is actually an extension of the Government and that in its news bulletins and conduct the SABC gives prominence to Government policy and disseminates propaganda for the Government. Naturally the SABC is a very important communication channel and in the process it is naturally the conductor or the communicator of a political message. In its news programmes the SABC is obliged to convey the political standpoints of the various political parties and groupings in South Africa as well. It has to do this because they are newsworthy. Whether a specific point of view is newsworthy or not and should therefore be broadcast or the reverse, depends on many circumstances, for example the status of the person making the statement, the occasion on which he makes it and the extent to which the statement he makes is known. We hear this criticism from time to time and actually ad nauseam. I do not believe the SABC or any electronic or other medium should be free of criticism. It is also true, however, that the basis on which the SABC is criticised is often misplaced; attacks are constantly being directed at the SABC for supposedly favouring the Government in an improper manner in its presentation of its news and actuality programmes.

In this regard I wish to refer to a most interesting case which came up in England. There the Social Democratic Party of which Dr David Owen, a former Minister of the Labour Government, is the leader, instituted a case against the BBC. In this case they contended that the Social Democratic Party received only 6% of BBC cover whereas they had in the region of 22% of the support of the English population. His standpoint was that the support received by various parties should be reflected in a better way. It is unnecessary to say that Dr David Owen and his party lost this case—the reason being that the Government of the day is the newsmaker. It is the Government which, in fact, makes the news; it is the Government which takes a decision that troops be withdrawn from Angola; it is the Government which tables the Budget and which makes many decisions affecting the lives of the citizens of South Africa on a daily basis. This should all be reflected in news programmes.

If it should happen—the hon member for Pietersburg read out one of the resolutions—that the relative support of the political parties were reflected in news bulletins, it would mean the SABC would not take the newsworthiness of a report into account in determining whether it should be broadcast but only the support of the political parties concerned. The SABC would then become a purely political propaganda medium which had lost its credibility entirely. It is therefore impossible for the SABC to give effect to that resolution because the SABC has to bear the newsworthiness of a specific case in mind.

I also wish to respond briefly to a matter which was raised by many of the hon members in the House, namely the question of the annual report.


Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Deputy Minister?


No, I do not have the time!

In this regard I received an explanation from the Director-General of the SABC. He said they had been in touch with the Secretary to Parliament; that they envisaged an economy programme and had therefore consulted the Secretary to Parliament on how many annual reports should be distributed. The Secretary had then fixed on a number of 140 and the annual reports had been distributed. The SABC regretted that all hon members had not received annual reports but those were the circumstances under which the distribution took place.


Surely at least the spokesman for each party should get a copy.


In connection with the remarks on Bop TV …


Did you hear that interjection?


No, I did not hear it.


Well, I will repeat it: Surely the spokesman at least for each party should get a copy of the annual report.


As far as that is concerned, I agree with the hon member unreservedly. However, the SABC has explained that it asked the Secretary to Parliament to distribute the annual report to the members of the standing committees and the important spokesmen. Unfortunately—so the SABC tells me—that was not done. I am relaying that explanation to the hon member as I received it.

*I wish to say regarding the question of Bop TV to which the hon member for Sand-ton referred that we think we have come to the end of the debate on Bop TV and we shall most definitely not pursue it again in this House. It appeared very clearly from certain specific questions put to me, however, that when that delegation came to me and requested that overspill be permitted, the answer at the time had to be a very definite “no” and has to remain “no” now. The reason I gave for this at the time, namely that it would make an unacceptable claim on the available advertisements in South Africa was valid then and that reason is still valid today. I should tell the hon member that when it was subsequently decided to institute TV4, this was done without drawing additional money from the advertising pool up to this stage; in other words, additional payment is not made at this stage for advertisements broadcast on TV4. Experimental transmissions are being made by the SABC in this regard and they will most definitely have to be paid for at a later stage. At this stage, however, they are not being paid for and the newspapers are not suffering any disadvantage in this regard.

By the time the new system—in connection with channel 4—becomes operative and when advertisements are paid for, we hope a great deal of progress will have been made with subscription television which will compensate newspapers adequately. The entire action regarding this has a logical flow and I think we can leave the matter there with confidence. [Interjections.]


May I ask a question please? Firstly, at the time that the hon the Deputy Minister met the petitioners and argued that he did not want any further inroads into the revenue of newspapers, was he aware that TV4 was going to be announced within days? Secondly, will subscription television be allowed to attract commercial advertising?


Will subscription television …?


… be allowed to attract commercial advertising?


As regards the first question, a reply has already been given to this arising from a question put in the House. The Government was most definitely aware of this. I can unfortunately not reply to the second of the hon member’s questions.

The hon member for Pinelands referred to the SABC report in which mention was made of a new style in South Africa, namely of consensus, and it was indicated that this would be reflected in SABC programmes as well. In this regard the hon member for Sandton also referred to a speech by Mr Eksteen, the Director-General.

We changed the Constitution of South Africa. In consequence of the new Constitution of South Africa we received a new constitutional system. In exercising our legal powers in Parliament, we attempt to reach consensus on as many matters as possible. In view of that very objective, the system of standing committees was instituted. There can be no doubt that the official constitutional style of government in South Africa has changed which is why I think it fair of the SABC to take note of this and reflect it in its programmes.


If the Government’s style changes again, will the SABC change its style?


It is not the Government’s style that has changed. The Constitution of South Africa has been changed. The hon member might have voted against the Constitution, but he was part and parcel of this body that accepted the Constitution as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It is, therefore, not a question of the Government’s style having been changed. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa has been changed. In my opinion that point was not well made by the SABC.

*I now get to the hon member for Gordonia who spoke on the possibility of reception of television programmes in his area. In this regard I wish to congratulate the SABC on their initiative in hiring a satellite transponder. This will now enable the SABC to relay the image or signal direct from a satellite to various extensive areas in South Africa from where it can be distributed. This does not mean that all vast areas in South Africa will immediately be able to receive television transmissions for the simple reason that programmes cannot be received direct by television from the satellite. A station first has to be built in a specific area from which programmes may then be televised. Nevertheless the possibility now exists that television programmes will be able to be televised to more distant areas much sooner.

The hon member for Sandton referred to the Artes awards. I wish to tell him that the awards are intended in recognition of deserving work and achievements by SABC personnel. That is why they cannot also be made applicable to transmissions from neighbouring states like Radio 702 and Bop TV.

SABC personnel present 18 radio services in 11 languages and four television services in seven languages. The hon member contends there should be one function and one award in this connection and he also says we should cut out racism. The question then arises, however, in which language such an Artes function for all radio and television services should be presented because a great diversity of languages is used in our services. Colour is therefore not involved; the crux of the matter is the language and culture of the various groups. We have to accept the reality of the existence of a variety of languages and cultures in South Africa—we can do nothing about that. It will be reflected in every aspect of national life in South Africa.

In connection with the hon member for Umhlanga’s argument that debates should take place on television, I wish to say to him that the SABC naturally presents a variety of debates on confrontation situations. I know what the hon member has in mind, which is that debates between various politicians should take place.


It is done in other parts of the world.


I am aware of that. I do not know whether we shall see it happening in the immediate or near future, but, who knows, maybe we shall move in that direction.

The hon member for Sea Point referred today to Transkei and Ciskei and investments there. I find it very difficult to establish exactly what the PFP’s standpoint in respect of these homelands is. On the one hand the PFP acknowledges the independence of these Black states as a fait accompli. There are many statements in Hansard in which the PFP says precisely that. The PFP alleges that the Black areas are over-populated and that more land should be made available for Black habitation and use and also that land should be used more productively by Blacks. This was said inter alia by the hon member for Berea, the hon member for Wynberg and the hon member Prof Olivier; the references are in Hansard. The PFP contends that South Africa has an important part to play in the development of Southern Africa. On 4 March 1983 the hon member for Sea Point had the following to say in this House and I quote him:

As far as the people of South Africa, and I am talking here of all the people of South Africa including the people of the homelands, and the independent states, are concerned, South Africa not only has the ability to assist with development but also the moral responsibility to do so. Neither the existence of homelands and separate government entities nor the creation of any number of independent states can in any way dilute South Africa’s moral responsibility for the upliftment and development of all the people in all the territories that were once part of South Africa. We have not lost our moral responsibility towards Transkei because we have given it sovereign independence. I believe the moral responsibility of South Africa for the development of the whole of South Africa is one which we cannot wish away and which we have to fulfil.

A very good speech.


I agree with the hon member that it was a good speech—in fact, it was one of his best. In direct contrast, the PFP criticizes the Government on the transfer of land to the independent states outside South Africa. The hon Leader of the Official Opposition in his speech in this House in January this year criticized the Government on the R122 million allocated for the consolidation of Black areas in 1984-85. He criticized the Government on the R1,65 million allocated to non-self-governing homelands in the 1984-85 Budget. He criticized us for the allocation of R717 million to the TBVC states and the allocation of R324 million for the Government’s decentralization policy. He said for example and I quote:

Each time the Government attempts artificially to duplicate economic growth points to keep Blacks away from the existing metropolitan areas and pursue ideological objectives, it is wasting money.



The hon member for Sea Point says “yes”. How can the hon member on the one hand say we have a moral duty to assist in development but, when money has to be voted for this purpose, he says we are squandering it?

One has to ask oneself: Where does the PFP stand? From the references and statements it appears that the negative criticism from the PFP as regards development aid to less developed areas in South Africa does not always agree with its declared standpoints in this regard. It is very clear to me that there is conflict between the standpoints of the hon Leader of the Official Opposition and the hon member for Sea Point in this connection. In fact, I believe the hon Leader of the Official Opposition in all probability confused the hon member for Sea Point.

There were specific questions in respect of the transfer of money and I wish to refer to them briefly. Firstly, statutory amounts are transferred in budgetary aid. The purpose of this form of assistance is to enable the TBVC states to maintain the same standard in the provision of services after independence as they had before it. There are negotiations afoot at present with the TBVC states on the nature and structure of future financial relations between them and the Republic of South Africa. These proposals, the so-called normative system, in essence mean that this form of direct aid will in future—as regards negotiation norms between South Africa and the TBVC countries, as well as in respect of standards of objectives—be based on expenditure as well as income in the medium term.

The second form of assistance is provision of manpower. We second personnel which is a very well-known aspect and I do not wish to pause here.

The third aspect is project assistance. This is very important and the hon member for Springs dealt with it very comprehensively. I agree with what he said and it is unnecessary for me to spend any more time on it.

Fourthly there is the rand-for-rand contribution as regards industrial incentive measures. According to current South African TBVC arrangements, South Africa is obliged to recompense the TBVC states on a rand-for-rand basis for all actual expenditure incurred in terms of the improved industrial incentive measures and adjusted concession schedules which became operative on 1 April 1982. Demands of the TBVC states in this regard, as agreed with them, are verified by the RSA Decentralization Board before the RSA contribution is paid.

In the fifth place there is payment of the bread flour subsidy.

In the sixth place there are also emergency relief and special short-term job creation programmes.

In the seventh place there are technical and other forms of assistance we furnish these countries because we, as the hon member for Sea Point said, have a moral duty to do so. Furthermore there are also multilateral and other forms of co-operation.

What is important, and I wish to close on this, is that since the implementation of incentive measures as of 1 April 1982, according to the most recent information at my disposal, approximately 33 500 new job opportunities have been created in the TBVC countries while almost 23 000 job opportunities have been created to date during the provision of emergency aid to the TBVC states on account of drought conditions experienced there. Against this, up to date 8 000 new job opportunities have also been created in Transkei and Ciskei in consequence of the special job provision projects.

I see my time is almost up. I wish to thank all hon members in the House who participated in the discussion. I shall reply in writing within the next few weeks to hon members to whom I could not reply as a result of insufficient time or to whom I could not reply fully.

Vote agreed to.

Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 19.

House Resumed:

Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.

The House adjourned at 18h00.