House of Assembly: Vol3 - WEDNESDAY 1 MAY 1985


announced that a vacancy had occurred in the representation in this House of the electoral division of Port Natal owing to the resignation with effect from 1 May 1985 of the Honourable Pierre Cronjé.


as Chairman, presented the Third Report of the Standing Select Committee on Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs, relative to the Water Research Amendment Bill [No 73—85 (GA)], as follows:

The Standing Committee on Agricultural Economics and Water Affairs having considered the subject of the Water Research Amendment Bill [No 73—85 (GA)], referred to it, your Committee begs to report the Bill without amendment.



Committee Rooms


1 May 1985.

Bill to be read a second time.


Vote No 4—“Local Government, Housing and Works” (contd):


Mr Chairman, before the adjournment of the sitting yesterday I was saying that although we in the New Republic Party supported the yes vote in favour of the new Constitution during the referendum of 1983, we did so on the basis of its being a start in the right direction; not because we believed it to be an ideal Constitution. [Interjections.]




Furthermore I should point out that although we knew that there would have to be changes in the local government and provincial systems those were not matters that had been spelt out. [Interjections.]




In any case, Mr Chairman, our attitude has been all along that the provincial system should be maintained in a modified form. When I said this yesterday an hon member on the Government side interjected, saying it was not so. He also asked about the Martin Plan alleged to have been framed by Mr Frank Martin, a senior MEC in Natal. [Interjections.]




I will read a statement issued by Mr Martin, signed and dated by him, which illustrates the nonsense that has been written about this proposition. I quote from the signed statement by Mr Martin:

There is an obvious misunderstanding about the proposals I have made concerning a multi-racial body to assist in the administration of Natal when the new dispensation is implemented. Regional services boards are to be set up in several areas of Natal to facilitate development in urban areas. All groups in Natal, including Blacks, are involved in local administration and have a legitimate interest in the workings of these boards. There is a clear need for co-ordination between the various boards in advising the Administrator in Executive Committee on such matters as distribution of funds to each area. The New Republic Party administration in Natal has consistently provided for consultation with all groups in matters of a practical nature. The present proposal is no more than a practical idea to allow all groups to achieve greater efficiency in spending the public’s money. No reference was made to the Buthulezi report and none was intended. Proposals for second-tier government are at present being discussed by the four Provincial Administrations and the Minister concerned. I obviously do not wish to complicate these discussions with premature proposals.





I have read that because there have been so many comments made on the distorted image which is being given to Mr Martin’s remarks in the Press.


Your party is a bit confused.


That hon member is a bit confused. [Interjections.]

I now continue with matters relating to this particular Budget. I believe that this Budget has problems for all of us in that it cannot be considered in isolation without also looking at those of the Houses of Representatives and Delegates. Further, the local government content is virtually nil as it is still being handled, as far as Whites are concerned, by the various provincial councils. Insofar as Housing and Works are concerned, only in respect of Housing can one compare one community with another as regards this particular Vote to see whether the various communities are getting a fair deal. [Interjections.]


Order! I have called for order several times, and there has not been any reaction. I am not going to do so yet again. The hon member may proceed.


As far as this Budget for the Administration: House of Assembly is concerned, this particular Vote does not have to deal with, for example, capital expenditure in respect of schools, etc, because that falls under another Vote. If one takes the relevant figures into consideration, one is really in a difficult position. In respect of this Vote there is, for example, R81 million for the House of Assembly as against R205 million for the House of Representatives and R126 million for the House of Delegates, which looks a little ridiculous when one compares population figures. However, the major sum relating to capital in this Vote is probably of the order of R800 million which comes under the provincial Vote. I just mention that in passing.

We find ourselves with some problems in respect of local government in particular. If I have the time, I should also like to say a few words about housing. The whole position in regard to local government appears to be in a state of flux in that it is the declared intent of the Government to break up the existing local government system into an ethnically based group of boroughs so that each community will look after its own local affairs and also other affairs on the local level. These local authorities will be stripped of many of their present service functions, which will be handed over to the regional services councils. So far so good.


Order! I regret the hon member’s time has expired.


Mr Chairman, I merely rise so as to afford the hon member the opportunity to complete his speech.


Mr Chairman, I thank the hon Whip for his courtesy.

So far so good, but we are then left with a substantial proliferation of small local authorities with limited functions as compared to the present set-up. The aspect that gives us food for thought, however, is that today, in 1985, various ethnic components may not wish or consider it desirable to have ethnic boroughs. In some areas it will not be a practical proposition to have totally ethnic boroughs especially now that central business districts are to be opened up for all groups and possibly in the near future even all other business areas as well. Few of the central business districts are used for business purposes only. Many of the big buildings in the central business districts are multi-purpose commercial and residential buildings.

When we in Natal investigated this very subject in 1978, these matters were all considered and allowance was made for many matters which would seem to be unconsidered by the very sketchy proposals which we have heard on Government intent so far. Although I understand that the hon Minister concerned has some big plans, we have not heard them yet.

Frankly, we are alarmed at the way local government is being tossed around. There are so many questions and so few definitive answers. It is quite obvious that if major local government administrations are to be split into maybe half a dozen smaller units, substantial costs will be incurred. How is this money to be raised? I am not talking about the money to be raised for regional councils at this stage as I understand that that is to be extorted from the business sector. We know that commerce and industry will be fleeced there, as I say, but they cannot be fleeced again to pay for this additional number of local authorities. Where is this money going to come from?

I have newspaper cuttings here of speeches made by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to the effect that new taxes to boost local authority coffers will not meet expectations. While it will probably assist in making ends meet at local government level, it will not bring about a situation in which all expectations can be fully met. At the present moment local government is meeting the expectations, but now we are going to have to pay a considerable amount more. It is said, however, that expectations will not be met. I just do not understand this.

A further problem which worries me is who is going to be responsible for resolving disputes which must arise from time to time between contiguous local authorities and the various Ministers who are going to be involved in local government. I want to quote just one minor item which recently came to hand. I quote from a newspaper report:

Since housing for Coloureds is an own affair with its own budget allocation, Mr David Curry has made certain recommendations in respect of Coloured housing. He has proposed that a six months’ moratorium be granted by a local authority.

The case to which he referred was in Durban. I quote further:

It seems that Mr Curry may have overlooked financial ramifications that also affect that local authority. Whose money is Mr Curry going to take to pay for this moratorium? The council has lost some housing funds already running into millions.

Is a Minister of another House going to be able to tell a local authority who is controlling housing that it has to grant a moratorium? This is a ridiculous sort of situation.

I suggest that the Minister of Local Government give these matters very serious thought now before he takes over full responsibility for local government from the provincial administrations. The Natal proposals of 1978 to which I have already referred also envisaged a somewhat modified form of ethnic local authorities. The proposals also envisaged that they would all come under the control of a co-ordinating provincial executive that would allow for proper co-ordination among the various communities and not under an own affairs Minister. As far as this is concerned I am very, very sorry for the hon the Minister because of the problems I can foresee. I know the sort of problems he will experience. I am also very sorry indeed for the public who will have to pay through the nose for a very, very expensive system of local government which I believe will be considerably less satisfactory than the present system. I really do have great sympathy for local government officials in that having found it difficult enough to deal with the provincial administrations they now have to start dealing with Government officials in Pretoria. They are really going to get heart-sore about this little lot.

On the housing aspect of the Vote, I believe that this Minister has very much the right idea and that he is now in a position to cut out a lot of the red tape and regulations that have made home construction very costly and very time-consuming. Having worked on committee with this hon Minister, I know he has the right ideas. The new proposals whereby building societies will not be able to continue with tax-free investments is in the pipeline and is going to make home loans much more expensive. I would suggest that this, together with the ban on loan money for garages, swimming pools etc, be considered by the hon the Minister. I know that Ministers have a lot of influence with one another, and perhaps he can get together with the hon the Minister of Finance and see whether some means of providing building society funds at a lower rate cannot be worked out after this proposal is implemented. The cheapest money possible should also be made available for so-called “granny flats”, so that the ever-growing demand for secure accommodation for the aged should at least be partly resolved. We are spending far too much money on big institutions for the aged. As far as possible these people should be retained within the family group. It is much more homely, pleasant and civilized than putting them away in kraals all on their own.

Finally, I believe that adequate small, cheap, serviced plots of land should be made available to the smaller builder on the basis of no profit being made on the land. This land should only have to be paid for after the building has been constructed and sold. One of the major costs is the capitalization of interest on money paid on land in advance of the property being sold. I earnestly suggest to the hon the Minister that when it comes to the use of State land this matter be given serious consideration.


Mr Chairman, it is truly a privilege to take part in the discussion on the local Government, Housing and Works Vote. I want to congratulate the hon the Minister on his appointment. I think the State President made a very fortunate choice.

To implement the Constitution of 1983, own departments were created for every House of Parliament. These departments manage own affairs as explained in schedule 1 of the Constitution, and whereas the hon member for Umbilo is now feeling aggrieved, he rightly said that he had supported the Constitution until now. As always the hon member made an interesting contribution and I am sure the hon the Minister will give attention to some of his suggestions. It is my conviction that the hon member will receive replies to all his questions as we progress. I believe the hon member, with his experience and knowledge, will be able to assist in resolving problems.

I want to refer to the remarks made here by the hon member for Pinetown yesterday. He made a statement which more or less amounts to the fact that White local authorities mean nothing. He asked for joint voters’ rolls. I want to state categorically that the NP rejects that and stands for separate voters’ rolls for separate municipalities. When some of the other senior hon members of the PFP take part later, especially the members with a great deal of experience on the level of local authority, we shall appreciate it if they can tell us whether or not they agree with the hon member for Pine-town’s point of view. If so, they can also tell us, if this does take place, how many White municipalities in the RSA will remain under White control.

The NP stands for separate municipalities, but with proper liaison bodies such as regional councils and other bodies to co-ordinate functions and to make proper services possible for all the population groups. The NP does this with an immensely strong mandate as it enjoys the support of two-thirds of the White voters of South Africa. It is my conviction that this standpoint of the PFP will again lead to their sustaining a bloody nose in Newton Park, especially in respect of their standpoint about joint voters’ rolls and their handling of and standpoints about the present unrest as well as their attitude towards the South African Police. [Interjections.]

The hon the Minister presented the wide scope of his department’s functions to us, and pointed out that the State President has already delegated the handling of various laws to his department. Local authority is also an own affair which has been entrusted to the hon the Minister.


Are you sure? That is not an own affair.


The hon member for Pietersburg says it is not an own affair. He was unhappy yesterday too, for in own affairs he sees general affairs, and also integration. The CP makes me think of the old man who told the story of his brand new car which simply rode backwards if he put it in reverse. I think the CP is also driving in reverse! [Interjections.]

According to the hon the Minister the taking over of functions and the extension of the necessary organization is receiving attention at this stage, and we know that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is also dealing with it. This new department has the services of able members of staff, people with years of experience, at its disposal, however, and it is my opinion that they do this party credit. It is therefore comforting for the local authorities to know that the department is equipped to take over this great responsibility, viz the control of local government. Thus far it is and has been the function of the provincial councils, and its implementation has been the task of the Administrators and various members of the executive committees. It is probably fitting, too, to address a word of thanks to them for their many decades of service to the community.

It is only now that the Department of Constitutional Development and Planning is struggling with the rearrangement of functions and responsibilities, that the wide scope and the importance of local authority is being underlined in red once again. I should like to draw hon members’ attention to the fact that municipalities in the RSA exercise authority—these are rounded off figures—over approximately 90% of all Whites, 70% of all Coloureds, 90% of all Asians and about 40% of all Blacks. It is also interesting to note that approximately 80% of this immense urbanization is concentrated in only four areas, namely the PWV area and the areas of Durban-Pinetown-Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage and the Southern Cape, whereas these four areas together comprise only 4% of the area of South Africa.

In addition it is interesting to note that 80% of the Indians live in Natal and 90% of the Coloureds in Cape Town. In comparison with the rest of Africa, South Africa has the highest percentage of urbanization of its population with a figure of 53,4%. It is clear, therefore, that local authorities have an immense task and that they control an immense number of people’s lives from the cradle to the grave. Where local executive functions were indispensable in the past, purposefulness and effectiveness are even more necessary in the new dispensation because their functions are being extended. The public and in particular the municipal voter will have to take note of this and see to it that city councils are composed effectively. On the other hand, councillors will have to spend more time and energy on their task in order to carry it through successfully. Fortunately we in South Africa have experienced town clerks and members of staff at our disposal for whom these new duties and responsibilities will be a challenge.

According to the hon the Minister the regulations as contained in the housing code and circulars of the former Department of Community Development are remaining in force as yet. This housing code was compiled to make provision for various groups with different requirements, ways of life, cultures and religious convictions. That, as well as building techniques, the quality of building material and scientific progress has made the revision of this housing code urgently necessary. I want to plead for the speedy revision of this housing code because I think it is one of the most important stumbling blocks in the way of the hon the Minister.

Industrialization and urbanization made regulations and prescriptions imperative in the past, especially to combat unhygienic practices and squatting. The question now arises: Did we not take things too far? Did we not exaggerate things? Did not precisely that lead to housing that is too expensive and too luxurious?

As far as the future is concerned, the hon the Minister and his department have a gigantic task. In my opinion an effort will have to be made to take the work and housing to the people and to establish new cities and towns and to develop where the people and the resources are. In this way urbanization can be ordered and regulated. The closest co-operation between this department and the Departments of Constitutional Development and Planning, Water Affairs, Manpower and others is imperative in bringing this about.

The hon the Minister also referred to the government bodies. They will have a major task in regulating the expansion of the new cities in South Africa and siting them correctly [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, I request the privilege of the half-hour.

The hon member who just sat down raised a number of matters of detail with which I have little dispute, but he started off on a note reinforcing his commitment to separate voters’ rolls and separate local authorities. One came to realize that he was certainly not the spearhead of reform within the NP caucus, but I have no doubt that as the reform process takes over, he will go kicking and screaming along with the rest of the group on that side of the House.

First of all, I would like to congratulate the hon the Minister on having to deal with his first debate on his Vote. Insofar as those on this side of the House know him and have worked with him, both on what is known as the Venter Commission on Township Establishment and on rent control and other matters, the hon the Minister is the kind of Minister who should be in charge of what is a very sensitive and personal portfolio. I think he is diligent, open to persuasion and correction, I should hope, open to suggestions and he has a human touch. In that sense I believe he is well-suited to the particular post.

I think it is a great pity that the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works should be involved in such a restricted, limited and racist post such as the one he holds. [Interjections.] When he was the chairman of the Venter Commission on Township Establishment the 19 of us did not sit for three years talking about White housing and White township development or Coloured housing and Coloured township development. We spoke about housing and township establishment; we spoke about these things. We did not then say that we each had unique requirements. We sat there and we looked at the whole canvas of these problems in South Africa, and we came to realize that there was no such thing as a unique problem relating to one or other racial community. It is a great pity that this first debate on the hon the Minister’s Vote and his department should be the consequence of the new Constitution which artificially contrived separation on a racial basis even where separation did not exist, where it is not desirable and where, in the long term, it will not even be practical. This is what it has done.

This new department in itself is a contradiction of the claim of the Government that they are moving away from apartheid. It is a contradiction of the very claim which is made here and overseas that this Government is moving away from apartheid, because what does it do? At the time when the Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the State President are telling the world that we are moving away from discrimination and apartheid in South Africa this department is living proof of a process which is dividing the functions of government on the basis of apartheid even where it has not existed in the past. This department is living proof of this.

Secondly, it is creating structures on the basis of apartheid where those structures did not exist before. Thirdly, it entrenches both these functions and these structures by creating the new momentum of separate departments on the basis of apartheid. This is one of the tragedies of South Africa. While there are bland intentions of moving away from discrimination and apartheid we proceed to establish departments—Coloured departments, Indian departments, White departments—where they never existed before, and in that way we reinforce apartheid among the various racial communities. This is the sadness—that a sensitive Minister and individual like this hon Minister should be involved as being symbolic of the extension of the entrenchment of apartheid in government in South Africa.

Let us look at a few of these features. Let us look at the fact that we are taking local government, housing and works, works, mark you—bricks, concrete, sewerage pipes, drains, culverts, roads—and saying that each has a unique requirement. There is a unique attribute of Coloured works, Indian works and White works. We are breaking up housing which develops townships and promotes the building of homes and the elimination of squatting. These are common problems. The problem of squatting is not related to one particular community. It affects all the communities in South Africa. Yet the hon the Minister announces very proudly in his opening speech that the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act has now been referred to him. What he does not say is that only the White part of it is referred to him. The rest of it is retained or referred to other Ministers.


So what?


So what? What those hon members are saying is that they do believe in apartheid. That is what they are saying when that hon member says “So what?”. When it comes to squatting, apartheid is the norm. When it comes to works, when it comes to buildings, apartheid is the norm. When it comes to local government, apartheid is the norm. That is what the hon member for Beaufort West is saying when he says “So what?”. I want to challenge him to go overseas and say to people: So what! We are going to have apartheid in South Africa! [Interjections.] Is that the answer that that hon member gives to a disinvestment campaign? [Interjections.] Is that the answer—“So what?” I think that should ring out. When people say we apply apartheid, hon members on the other side say “So what?” [Interjections.]




With “So what?” ringing in our ears this country is going to go under. [Interjections.] Those functions of government are being fragmented unnecessarily.

Let us take another one, viz the erection of buildings and works. How can works possibly be Coloured works, Indian works or White works? When one actually goes onto the building sites one finds that there is no segregation. There is no segregation when it comes to money or the building societies. However, when it comes to a department of State there has to be a separate department of State for each of these groups. The only reason why the Government is doing this is that it wants to create new power bases for new cadres of Ministers and departments which did not exist before.

Let me give a couple of illustrations. The hon the Minister, in his opening address, spoke about “selfbestuur vir elke bevolkingsgroep in ons land oor sake uitsluitlik van eie belang”. I want the hon the Minister in his reply to indicate any aspect of his portfolio which is “uitsluitlik van eie belang” for Whites.

*There is no department which is exclusive. That, however, is what is prescribed, because he commenced his speech by saying that he had the mandate for self-government affairs which are exclusively of own interest.

†Then he uses this fascinating sentence: “Each population group has its unique needs.” I ask the hon the Minister: What are the unique needs of the Coloured people in the Cape Peninsula that are not also the unique needs of the other people in the Cape Peninsula? What are the unique needs? One can well say that one wants to have separate administrations for other reasons, but actually to moralize and justify on the basis of unique needs is something else. If these needs are so unique, why have regional services councils which actually suggest that the needs are not so unique?

I want to give one or two illustrations that bear out my belief that this proliferation into apartheid has gone mad. In the Hout Bay section of my constituency there have been problems about squatting for some time. These are problems that relate to the community as a whole. There is the question of land, of housing and of crime; and the people of the local community—the Coloureds, the Whites and the church groups—have all been involved in this. I with other people have been to see Ministers from time to time. So I tabled the following question to the hon the Minister on Tuesday, 12 March 1985:

  1. (1) What is the estimated number of (a) squatter shacks and (b) squatters in the Hout Bay area;
  2. (2) whether any steps are being taken to provide these squatters with (a) housing and/or (b) site and service facilities; …?

The answer I got was that there were about 70 squatter shacks and about 271 squatters. The hon the Minister was entitled to tell me that because they are squatting on White land. When, however, I asked him what steps were being taken in this regard, I was told that “the provision of housing for the persons concerned is the responsibility of the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Agriculture of the Ministers’ Council for the House of Representatives”. What kind of nonsense is this? In respect of one small community, the hon the Minister is entitled to inform me of the nature of the problem, but when I ask him about the solution, he tells me that it is somebody else’s responsibility. What kind of absolute nonsense is this?

Let me give another illustration. In March 1983 there were prominent announcements of the sale by the State of what they presumed were going to be 500 000 houses. The target was set to sell 500 000 houses by 30 June 1984. They appointed Mr Johan Kruger of the Urban Foundation as the director of the sales unit and there was going to be a national campaign to sell houses. I have been trying to find out what has happened. Now, however, there are apparently four housing campaigns. So then I tried to ask how many houses had been sold but, I was told that I could not table the question. I was told to ask the White Minister how many houses he had sold for Whites and to ask the Minister of Co-operation, Development and Education how many houses he had sold for Blacks. I was told that I was not allowed to ask how many houses had been sold for Coloureds and Indians. One of the members in the other Houses would have to be asked to find out what had happened to that part of the housing sales scheme. This is plumb crazy!

The Government has one person directing a sales campaign. They have called in the estate agents and the building societies, and they have said that this is a national campaign. Then, however, they suddenly find that this has collapsed because apartheid has taken over. Still, the answers that are forthcoming give some indication of why they do not want to give the answers. The number of houses that has been sold is pitifully low. According to the figures I have—and this is up to the end of February 1985—the number of houses for Whites sold is of the order of 2 100 and for Blacks of the order of 33 000. This makes up a total of about 35 000. Let us assume that around 35 000 houses for Indians and Coloureds have also been sold. We would then be talking about the sale of 70 000 houses—and the target of this scheme was to sell 500 000 houses by June 1984! I raise this issue because once one starts proliferating functional departments that deal with the sale of houses into racial compartments, one robs these departments of their thrust and drive and subsequently a well-meant scheme like this one is shipwrecked on the rocks of apartheid.

I want to move for a moment from the question of housing to that of local government. Regrettably this Government has decided not to extend local government on the basis of the existing provincial ordinances in terms of which it is completely feasible to extend participation. The Government should not say: “Ah, but then there will only be one form of local government.” No. It is possible to have small local government bodies and large local government bodies. It is possible to have village management boards, town councils and city councils. The provincial ordinances allow for a wide variety of forms and sizes of local government. They do not even stipulate how one should draw the boundaries. One could gerrymander the boundaries if one so wished even if one wanted to do so along racial lines. However, this Government does not do that, but says instead: No, we will scrap all that. We will now have local government on the basis of separate racial local authorities. That is the only way we are going to allow it. Because we have to have separate local government, we have to have separate local government officials, and then separate local government departments. Then we have to have separate local government Ministers. In this way this mad thing proliferates, where the simple solution would have been to extend it within the framework which was permitted within the local government ordinance.

To try to offset some of the damage which has been done by this proliferation of racial local government in South Africa the Government intends coming to this House and saying: Having done all this damage, let us create another structure, regional services councils, to undo all the apartheid that we have done, by having joint services. Let us have a new, additional form of taxation to try to recoup some of the costs that we have incurred by this racial madness.

What kind of a system of local government is this in South Africa? Because the hon Minister is committed for this present brief moment in our history, I hope, to separateness and apartheid in local government, housing and works, I want to ask the hon the Minister a question. If these departments are going to function separately and racially, then the question of liaison between them becomes a matter of critical importance. Therefore I put it to the hon the Minister: What practical machinery exists for liaison between his department, the Coloured department, the Indian department and the Black department through the Department of Co-operation and Development, in the field of local government, housing and works? Are there joint committees at either departmental or ministerial level, do we all play it “voel-voel”, by remote control, or do we all rely on the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to make the final decision? I want to know what cooperation there is among the three racial components?

Take as an example the simple issue of squatting. How is the issue of squatting being tackled in practice? Does he sit down with Mr Curry and the Indian Minister and the Minister who is in charge of Black Affairs, and work out a practical programme for the elimination of squatting, or does it still repose in the hands of the hon the Minister of Communications and of Public Works? That makes it even worse, because then we have a fifth Minister—we have the Ministers of Co-operation and Development, White Affairs, Coloured Affairs, Black Affairs, and now we have Dr Lapa Munnik as well. I want to know from that well-meaning hon Minister on the other side, in practice, what co-operation is there in the field of getting rid of squatting? In practice what co-operation is there in the field of this overall housing plan? Who can tell us about it? Who is in charge of it? In what way is he liaising? Who provides the drive, the initiative, the thrust, without which government cannot operate in South Africa?

I do not cross swords with him often, but on this occasion I do so with my colleague the hon member for Bellville. He seems to be ecstatic over the fact that the National Housing Commission which looked after housing in South Africa has now been broken up into three racial components. I say it is a sad day when the hon member says that because it is not exciting to make separate decisions. The excitement of living in South Africa is the excitement of taking collective decisions, of taking decisions each impinging one upon the other for the collective good of our society as a whole.

I ask the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works what has happened? Is the commission being broken up into three racial compartments and, if so, how are its assets and the liabilities being allocated to Whites, Coloureds and Indians? I find it weird that in the field of housing in South Africa today, we should be going in more for the fragmentation of housing authorities rather than the bringing together of housing authorities.

Perhaps the hon the Minister can give a positive answer to this question. What is happening to the South African Housing Advisory Council which was set up by Act No 102 of 1984? [Interjections.] The hon the Minister of Communications and of Public Works may not understand this but that hon Minister should be a member of it. I am entitled to ask him who is responsible to this House as a member of that body, whether it exists. What is he doing there?




He is or should be a member of that council in terms of the Act, and I am asking him, the White Minister who is responsible to the White House of Parliament, to tell us what he is doing on that council. [Interjections.] I do not want the hon the Minister to try to obfuscate what is happening on that council. I want to know what he is doing on that body. Is it working? Is it functioning and is it giving the advice that it should give? [Interjections.]

Then there is the whole question of local government and development. My hon colleague from Pinetown and the hon member for Umbilo have raised the issue of the future of local government in South Africa. I see the hon the Minister—buttonhole and all—sitting like a titular monarch on a throne set in the middle of an empty field. There he is, sitting on his throne set in the empty field of local government, and his palace of local government is occupied by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. His subjects in local government are controlled by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning through the Administrators. His future and the future of his realm of local government are not in his hands. They are in the hands of the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. There he sits with all the good intentions in the world on this throne set in the barren field of local government. What powers in terms of local government have been transferred to this Minister? He must not tell us about squatting. In terms of local government, what powers have been transferred to the hon the Minister in charge of this debate? What decisions has he taken in terms of local government since he was appointed? He must spell it out for us: These are the decisions I have taken. We should like to know what decisions he has taken. We must put this to the hon the Minister in all kindness: Has he been given the title of Minister and is he being paid the salary of Minister merely to be one of the many advisers to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning?


You are being ridiculous.


No, I am saying this because we can look at the legislation. Whether it deals with the council for the coordination of local government affairs, town clerks, regional services councils or the franchise for local government bodies, in the end the operative person is not the hon the Minister of Local Government, it is the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. We want to know what function this Minister is performing.

Let me put to him a practical illustration affecting White local government. Without any warning—I hope with some advice—not this hon Minister but the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning announces that as far as White local authorities throughout the country are concerned there are going to be no more municipal elections until 1988. This was not announced by the hon the Minister of Local Government; it was announced by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I thought this hon Minister was in charge of White local government, yet the announcement comes from somebody else. I want to ask this hon Minister if he was consulted in that decision. Did he advise the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning to cut out elections until 1988? Was he party to that announcement and that decision?

Should he say “yes”, as he might, then I want to ask him another question. A few weeks later there was another announcement that there were going to be elections in 1986 and not in 1988. I want to ask him if he was consulted? Did he give different advice? Was he party to that decision? Who is the boss even in respect to White local government? Who is running the show? Is it this hon Minister or is it the hon the Minister who is absent at the moment?

The cavalier way in which the Government through the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning plays ducks and drakes with the whole question of local government elections in South Africa, shows that this Government has no sensitivity and no regard for the importance of elections as the basis of responsible government in this country. How can the Government possibly chop and change on this basis? Surely there must be somebody who makes a decision as a result of well-considered plans.

When is this hon Minister going to scrap the advisory appendages to White local authorities in the form of management committees and see to it that the Coloured people are given full local government rights? How long is he going to carry on with this farce in South Africa? Whites and Blacks have full municipal rights. Whites have full voting rights in local authorities, Coloureds have full parliamentary votes but when it comes to local government they do not have full rights. I want to ask the hon the Minister how long this farce is going to continue. Why must we carry on with this farce while the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is trying in his own inimitable style to rearrange the chairs and the furniture of local government along his own pet racial lines? I believe that we are entitled to some answers in this regard from the hon the Minister.

I was impressed at the joint sitting on Monday with the speech made by the hon the Minister of Home Affairs. I would not have said that the hon the Minister of Home Affairs is normally in the vanguard of reform. However, when he dealt with the question of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and section 16 of the Immorality Act, he said that the repeal of these provisions was a serious step in getting rid of discrimination. He said nobody should say it was only cosmetic. He was very specific. He said that this was not a cosmetic step but a serious step. If it is not cosmetic but serious, for how long in the face of the abolition of these provisions can we contain the myth of separate local government, of separate works and of separate departments of housing? Are we or are we not serious?

With all due respect to the hon the Minister I should like to give him some advice at this transitional stage. He can move in one of two directions. He can move either in the direction of reinforcing—he can become a racial empire builder—apartheid in South Africa or he can in his own way move in the direction of trying to reinforce the links that unite the various communities. I would like to express the hope that the hon the Minister will use his influence, even within the system, to strengthen the links uniting people in South Africa and not to reinforce those prejudices that divide this country.

I want to turn now to the specific question of housing in regard to which the hon the Minister has indicated that he will say a few words. Rent control, sectional title and share blocks have been the subjects of ongoing investigations by commissions and select committees ever since 1982. Significant changes have been effected to the Sectional Titles Act and are now also to be made to the Share Blocks Control Act. All the changes that have been effected up to the present have been to the good because they have stabilized the whole conversion situation. They have brought about a fairer balance between the rights and obligations of the landlord on the one hand and the tenant on the other, and they have brought about a degree of stability in the property market in urban areas. However, Sir, there are still a number of issues surrounding the whole question of rent control to which I do hope the hon the Minister will give his serious attention.

In his opening address the hon the Minister said that rent control applied to a very limited number of people in South Africa. He said it applied to people living in flats and buildings that had been occupied prior to 1 October 1949. These are therefore people living in very old buildings or still forming the residue of protected tenants in the buildings that were decontrolled between 1949 and 1966. Therefore, we are dealing here with a limited number of people. We are not asking for revolutionary changes in this regard. We are looking at the question of protection for a limited number of people who are affected in this regard.

One of the recommendations of a commission way back in 1983 was to prevent the abuse that is taking place in terms of section 28(d)(iv) of the Rent Control Act in terms of which landlords are having tenants evicted by saying to them: “We are giving you six months’ notice to leave because we need this building for renovation or for restoration.” The poor tenant, of course, does not know what to do. He takes fright and leaves, and then finds out that he has lost his right to stay there.

I think the recommendation of two select committees has been that the notice has to be accompanied by a court order so that the court can test the appropriateness of that notice before it is served on the tenant. I want to ask the hon the Minister not to procrastinate any longer in respect of this particular issue. This was a unanimous recommendation of all parties, and the hon the Minister knows—I have brought cases of this nature to his notice—about the ongoing abuse in that tenants who should be enjoying the protection of rent control are being evicted by unscrupulous people who take advantage of the pressure they can bring to bear in terms of section 28(d)(iv). We believe that a court order prior to and not subsequent to the notice will eliminate this problem.

In the second place there are practical problems that arise out of the purchase of old blocks of flats that are rent controlled and in which live tenants who are not well off. Somebody buys the building, gives the tenants notice to quit, revamps the building and then demands rentals which he maintains are in keeping with the revamped or improved building. I am all for the recycling of buildings, Mr Chairman, but it defeats the object of providing a certain amount of accommodation for protected tenants when one can upgrade a building to such an extent that when the rental is applied to the upgraded building the tenants are no longer able to pay it. I believe something has to be done in order to ensure that those tenants who fall within the limits of the means qualification—those who deserve protection because of their income—are indeed also protected as far as the rental is concerned which they pay, should that building, through a voluntary act on the part of the owner, be upgraded so that the normal rental would be beyond their ability to pay.

The third question I want to put to the hon the Minister is the following. Would he please tell us what criteria he applies when he agrees either to decontrol a building or decontrol an individual flat? He has the power to do so. There may well be circumstances in which it will be reasonable to do just that. When it is under sectional title or share block the whole building is owned by individuals who occupy that building, and therefore no tenant is prejudiced. There may be a case for that kind of thing. We understand that too many buildings and too many individual units are being decontrolled at this present time to the disadvantage of the protected tenants living in those buildings.

All we should like during this early stage of the hon the Minister’s career in this department is for him to indicate what criteria he applies when he receives a request to decontrol a building.

The fourth question is the following. Way back in 1983—I am dealing now with protected tenants—it was suggested that once a protected tenant reached the age of 70 years that person should no longer have to prove what his income was. He may have been living in a particular unit for a long time. He is now 70 years old and he has been proving for the past five years or more that his income is less than R450. Having reached the age of 70, we believe and the commission believes and recommends that once that age has been reached the person in question should no longer have to be subjected to an ongoing requirement of proving his income. I would go even further and tell the hon the Minister that protected tenants, as opposed to tenants in rent-controlled buildings, have all been protected tenants for the past five years because the last buildings to be decontrolled were decontrolled in 1980. That means that every protected tenant has already been living in his particular unit for five years, proving his income every year. I believe that after five years that income provision should be scrapped. Those people have already shown that they are ongoing protected tenants in terms of their income, and I see no reason why there should be an added requirement that they be subject every year to the condition of proving that their income has not yet reached the level of R450. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, this afternoon the hon member for Sea Point occupied the hon members of this House for a full half hour with a whole range of complaints. He was wonderfully successful in grumbling about a variety of matters. As usual, however, the hon member did not, unfortunately, get so far as to say what his party would like to do and how they see the system of local government in this country. [Interjections.]


Even the tune they sing remains the same.


Yes, but after all, that is typical.

I shall return to the hon member for Sea Point at a later stage. To start off with, however, I also just want to take the opportunity of paying tribute to the deceased Chairman of the Minister’s Council, the late Dr Nak van der Merwe. It was also my privilege to serve on his executive committee while he was the Administrator of the Orange Free State. I therefore also want to mention with appreciation the services he rendered, not only to South Africa, but to the Orange Free State as well. I believe I speak for all hon members when I say that our sympathies are with his loved ones.

Furthermore, I should also like to make mention of the hon the Minister himself. I naturally do not want the proceedings to degenerate into a long chorus of congratulations and praise. I nonetheless want to associate myself with those who have already conveyed their congratulations to the hon the Minister and add my congratulations to theirs on the occasion of his acceptance of this important task, which hon members of the Opposition have tried so hard to run down. We know, however, that it is unnecessary to take them at all seriously.

I should also like to convey my sincere congratulations to the Director General of the Department, Mr André Cornelissen. He is the former Provincial Secretary of the Orange Free State, a post in which he rendered exceptionally good service. He is a dynamic person and I am certain that he and the members of his team will perform this task with signal success.

Sir, the time available to me is limited. The problem with such a short speaking turn is that one really does not have the time to reply to previous speakers because then one’s own speech is encroached upon. I nevertheless want to refer briefly to the hon member for Sea Point as well as the previous speaker of the PFP, the hon member for Pinetown, and to the hon member for Pietersburg as well. What was so striking were the conflicting standpoints put forward by these hon members. They emphasized an unrealistic approach here and in doing so gave a beautiful illustration of the contradictory way in which these two political parties, which are at the opposite extremes of the political spectrum, interpret the Government’s policy and its implementation of that policy. All three of these speakers refuse to take cognizance of the reality of South African society and want to sweep history aside.

Yesterday the hon member for Pine-town—I say it in his absence—arrogantly expressed his indignation at the so-called domination by one Minister. According to him everything has to be uniform. He goes so far as to make the following allegation:

The Government is trying to unscramble the South African omelette.

However, what does the hon member for Pietersburg say? He contends that the Government is busy making an omelette. It is quite amusing. The hon member for Pietersburg in turn requires watertight components for the various population groups. It must be lovely to live in such a protected dream world. [Interjections.]

As far as the hon member for Sea Point is concerned, I want to contend that if one observes him over the years one notices that there is a whole series of matters in regard to which he tries to show as dramatically as possible how terribly things are developing. He referred to the hon the Minister and said he had no task to perform and sat alone on his little throne with absolutely nothing to do. It is peculiar that the hon member found so many matters to talk about in this particular debate on the Vote for which the hon the Minister is responsible. It really contradicts his statement that there is nothing over which the hon the Minister has control. I am in any case going to leave him at that.

In the limited time left to me I should like to touch on a few other matters. I want to refer to the exciting breakthrough that holds great promise as regards enabling local government in South Africa to fulfil its role in the economy of the country in a meaningful way. Hon members referred here to the limited sources of revenue of local authorities. The prospect of the tax structure and tax basis of this level of government eventually being broadened is good news. The details are not important at this stage. The fact remains that over the years the standpoint has generally been adopted that the State’s sources of tax could not be shared with local authorities. We now have a breakthrough because it has been accepted in principle that this can in fact be done. In spite of numerous commissions and investigations into the finances of local government over the years it nevertheless remained handicapped as it was limited exclusively to rates as a source of revenue. The infrastructure of all towns can now be improved without the householder being taxed out of house and home. This development is still in its infancy. Therefore we cannot already state at this stage that large amounts of money are going to be available for local government. The fact remains, however, that there is a difference in the approach to the levying of tax by local authorities. In my view this is a major breakthrough.

It really ought to be, because the infrastructure that has been created by municipalities in towns and cities has not been to the advantage of the householder only; a wide spectrum of institutions has also benefited by it.

The Bill to which I referred and which it is envisaged will make provision for this system of taxation, will be an important milestone in the process of the regulation of the urban communities in South Africa. I think the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning made a statement in this regard in December last year and said that it was hoped that legislation in this regard would still be passed during this session.

Orderly urban development promotes a stable society. A pleasant place to live and work is the best guarantee for the quality of life of all people and therefore deserves high priority. The details of the proposed levies to which I referred a moment ago are mainly concerned with regional services levies, which are based on the payroll of the particular undertaking, and regional establishment levies. The norms taken into account here are also output and floor surface area.

I also contend that if the regional services councils were to obtain this sources of revenue it would also be to the advantage of the so-called dormitory towns which do not always have those sources available to them.

The Margo Commission will make provision for further refinements, as will the President’s Council, that has also been instructed to investigate the matter further.

Sir, I noticed you casting a serious look in my direction but in concluding I want to say that this change in the tax structure is a very important development for local authorities that could be to the advantage of this important level of government in our country. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, I should just like to make one remark about what the hon member for Sea Point was saying today. It is that his speech was characterized by a long list of questions which he put to the hon the Minister. I think that it is precisely in this specific department of own affairs that one could make a major contribution which would be very much to the advantage of the public outside this House in particular. I believe that rather than occupying ourselves with scoring political points we should make positive contributions in regard to the needs that exist amongst the public.

I should like to associate myself with the congratulations conveyed by the hon members for Witbank and Walvis Bay to the hon the Minister, not only on his promotion, but also on his appointment as the Minister of this department. It also fell to my lot—it was a privilege—to serve on the Venter Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment and Related Matters under the chairmanship of the hon the Minister. There I had the opportunity to get to know the hon the Minister better in that sphere as well. I can assure you that not only was it a privilege but I also most definitely learned a lot from him. It was indeed a pleasure to be a member of that commission.

At this stage, too, I am enjoying liaising with the hon the Minister and I want to thank him in particular for his continuous patience and his complete sincerity. If there is anyone who can make a success of this department, then it is most decidedly the hon the Minister. He sets an example of diligence and consequently his staff is prepared to work so many extra hours to make a success of the department.

As the secretary of the NP study group I liaise on a regular basis with the officials of the department. I should also like to ask the hon the Minister to convey the thanks and appreciation of the NP members to Mr Gerber and Mr Gordon Verster, Mrs Patterson and his private secretary, Mr Gerrit Wissing. We also appreciate the hard work that is done behind the scenes by the staff, with whom we do not always come into direct contact.

In his opening speech yesterday, or perhaps I should say in his maiden speech, the hon the Minister referred to the Acts relating to settlements which were assigned to his department. Two of these settlement Acts apply to areas in my constituency. They are the Klipdrift Settlement Act, No 23 of 1947 and the Vyfhoek Management Act, No 39 of 1935. It is also interesting that I myself live within the jurisdictional area of the Northern Vyfhoek North Management Board which was established in terms of the Vyfhoek Management Act. As recently as February 1985 I once again had the privilege of voting in the election of the new board for 1985. There are a few matters concerning this board that I should like to take up with the hon the Minister. Let me say at the outset that if he does not have the replies to the questions today or does not want to respond to my representations today I shall not mind hearing from him later on, by way of either a written or a verbal reply.

The first matter that I want to raise concerns the term for which the board is elected. At present an election is held annually, but this creates a problem in that the interest of the voters in this matter declines considerably. I want to suggest that a term of five years for board members be introduced. This will put the image of the board members in a better light and will enable them to give better service over a longer period. It could possibly then also coincide with a municipal election, particularly since this area of jurisdiction is virtually surrounded by the municipal area of Potchefstroom. When a municipal election takes place in Potchefstroom the people in the area become involved, in so far as they are aware of the election, but cannot participate in it themselves.

Secondly, these board members do not receive any remuneration for their services, and perhaps this aspect can be looked into as a means of stimulating further interest among the board members.

The second aspect I mentioned would necessitate amending legislation and we would therefore do well to put forward amendments next year or the year after with a view to rectifying this aspect.

As far as the Northern Vyfhoek Management Board is concerned, however, there are a few questions that occurred to me which I should like to put to the hon the Minister. Let me repeat that I should have no objection if the hon the Minister did not reply to them today. If the hon member for Langlaagte is interested in the replies I can assure him that I shall make them available to him. Although he is in the House I do not think he would hear if the hon the Minister were to reply. I do not suppose one could expect the hon the Minister to have the replies at his fingertips immediately, as he first has to establish himself in the department, but going by my knowledge of him he has probably already contacted the secretary of the chairman of the board and acquainted him with the terms of the legislation affecting this settlement. The first question is whether the Northern Vyfhoek Management Board has funds at its disposal and what these funds are used for. Is the board empowered to repair and maintain roads between the small holdings? Does the board employ any staff and does it have any road building machinery with which to repair roads? If it does not and the board has funds, could it not employ private contractors to repair roads? If the board has funds, what is it supposed to do with the funds?

In terms of section 15 of the Act and with the approval of the Minister, the board may levy an annual tax. No tax is being levied, however, and I think the inhabitants would be prepared to pay a small amount in tax if the roads were in fact maintained. At present it is being done on a voluntary basis and every inhabitant is nevertheless paying an amount every year to whomever is prepared to take the responsibility of finding a contractor and ensuring that these roads are maintained. The only question now is what source of income the board has.

Lastly I wish to ascertain whether there is still any land that belongs to the board and for what purpose this land is being utilized.

Getting away from the subject of my constituency, I now want to get round to the Venter Commission of enquiry. During the investigation I was struck by one aspect in particular, and that is that there are numerous newly wed couples who rent a flat and then save to buy a plot or possibly a house. As soon as they have saved enough to put down a deposit they buy the plot, and having done that they naturally have to pay instalments on the balance of the purchase price. They then suddenly find themselves in a situation where they have to pay rent for the flat and the instalments on the plot. Under these circumstances they can no longer save because the monthly amount they had previously saved now has to be used to pay off the instalments on the plot.

After a year or two they feel they are not achieving anything, and they then simply sell the plot. This takes them back to square one and creates impatience and despondency in these young people. I must say that I am very sympathetic towards these young people. The Venter Commission was fully aware of these facts and in my view it came up with very sound proposals for providing possible relief. I am not going to address the House now on the recommendations of the commission and shall therefore leave the matter at that. However, I think that we shall have to start implementing many of the recommendations as soon as possible, that is to say, as soon as the economic situation in our country permits of doing so. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Losberg will pardon me if I do not continue to enlarge upon his theme at this point. I have no problems with the subject he was dealing with.

I just want to return briefly to the remark of the hon member for Welkom concerning the fact that the hon member for Sea Point adopts one standpoint, and the hon member for Pietersburg an opposing standpoint. He finds it somewhat amusing and I just want to tell hon members that it really is very simple. The hon member for Pietersburg adopts a standpoint based on the principle of separate development, while the hon member for Sea Point adopts a standpoint based on the principle of total integration. When one addresses an issue with these two principles as standpoints it is obvious that the approaches will differ. I just want to explain this by saying that as far as this hon Minister’s portfolio is concerned we have an item on own affairs, but that item is in the midst of a mass of things which constitute general affairs. After all, all general affairs are integrated affairs.

The problem of the hon member for Sea Point is that he wants the few matters that have been selected as own affairs to be integrated as general affairs as well. On the other hand the CP, represented by the hon member for Pietersburg, says that we want to jealously guard the pitifully small portion that has been set aside as own affairs—which will belong to the Whites and which will not be integrated as general affaire. Consequently we want to guard against that insignificant portion being swallowed up by general affairs as well and therefore eventually no longer being in the hands of the Whites. That is how simple it is. I really cannot think why the hon member for Welkom finds it so amusing. In my opinion it is very logical when viewed from the differing principles on which standpoints are based. I therefore want to tell the hon the Minister that he must jealously guard those few own affairs of the Whites that have been entrusted to him. He must not allow them to be taken out of his hands as well.

I now want to return to the hon member for Witbank. Yesterday this hon member said that he could not understand why we were still talking about the Constitution, because it had been finalized and that that debate was past. The debate on the Constitution, however, will never end, because this Constitution determines everything that will take place in the future. Moreover this Constitution has an appendix which deals with local government as an own affair.

In this connection there are two matters that create problems for me personally. These two matters are representative of my problem with the portfolio, namely that general affairs are interfering with the paltry own affaire that had been given to the Whites. My first problem is that a local government area is declared in terms of a general law. The second problem is that everything the hon the Minister’s department is going to do regarding local management, is going to be subject to any general law. The department of the hon the Minister now has to deal with the White own affair of local government within the confines of these general laws that already exist or are still going to be passed.

Now the important question is: If the general law is prescriptive, and it is prescriptive, then the department in the first instance has to operate within the confines of that law or laws. Only under that umbrella law could the department pass its laws on own local government, which in the nature of things may not be in conflict with the general law which is the prescriptive one. We find this to be the one big problem.

At the moment the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is the person who makes the general laws; he makes the general laws within the ambit of which local matters of own affairs have to function. The general laws which that Minister makes are all integrated laws.

This council—what do they call it again?


The Maize Board! [Interjections.]


This co-ordinating council and the regional services councils … [Interjections.] Now if I were an NP member I would steer well clear of the maize price and the Maize Board; that I must honestly say. [Interjections.] They contradict each other and it is very interesting to note how, one by one, they dissociate themselves from their own Minister, but I shall leave it at that. [Interjections.]

These regional services councils and co-ordinating councils are integrated.


Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Would the hon member be prepared to reply to a question?


Order! That is not a point of order. The hon member for Koedoespoort may continue.


That hon member is wasting my time now as well. I just want to tell that hon member the following: When we came to this House he was far more conservative that I. Now I cannot understand how that hon member became so liberal but I shall not expose him any further and shall leave it at that. [Interjections.]

These councils which the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning has introduced are racially mixed and integrated. These councils are going to make decisions on local government affairs.




Of course they will. The hon member should just read the Regional Services Councils Bill that came before us. The hon member has not yet read it. The hon member for Bellville got up yesterday and announced with great fanfare that the new dispensation was wonderful and that it stood on two strong legs. I want to tell him that that body he saw which supposedly stands on two legs was a caricature of a person, with one elephant leg and one tiny leg of a day-old baby. The baby leg is own affairs and the elephant leg is general affairs. Now to him, that is a wonderfully strong figure. I can therefore understand that he does not know what is written in the Regional Services Councils Bill which has been put before us.

I just want to warn that the hon the Minister finds himself in the unenviable position of having to act according to the precription of these two councils and according to what they are going to say and do as far as local government matters are concerned. They will be the deciding factor and we shall not be able to get away from that. I therefore want to issue the warning that the hon the Minister will have to keep an eye on what the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is in the process of building up around him regarding local government affairs. That Minister, and not our own Minister of Local Government, will eventually be the Minister who will control the whole question of local government in South Africa. That is what I am concerned about.

I at least have this consolation …




The hon member for Witbank is very jealous about Morgenzon. It is quite obvious that he also has it on his brain.




What at least consoles me about the department of the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works is the question of housing matters. This hon Minister is now dealing with the land purchases as well and provision is being made for the purchasing of buildings for the aged. I am not so sure any more, however, what the policy of the Department of Health and Welfare is on the care of the aged. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Koedoespoort will pardon me if I do not follow up on what he said, but I am in any case going to start off with the topic which he had intended discussing.

I am going to point out to hon members that one of the functions of the hon the Minister’s department is to make funds available for the housing and care of the aged. The Government has a fine record in this regard. The Whites of our country have also done more than their duty in regard to the care of our senior citizens. The contribution of our ladies in particular, through their welfare organizations, was exceptionally outstanding. The partnership between the women—for the most part—on the one hand, and the government on the other, has resulted in the percentage of White aged in our country who are housed in homes being the highest in the Western world. It is between 7% and 8%. The mere mention of this fine achievement, however, immediately confronts us with the remaining challenge, because all the existing homes are 100% full. A rough calculation shows that the names of between 15 000 and 20 000 people appear on waiting lists. Many of the needy no longer even bother to apply. Between 45 000 and 50 000 are infirm but are house-bound because there is no room for them in institutions. The result, according to medical practitioners, is that some of our hospitals are virtually in the process of becoming institutions for the infirm aged. This, naturally, is an unsatisfactory state of affairs.

It must also be borne in mind that White South Africans as a community are growing older and older. In 1904 2% of them were older than 65; in 1980 it was 8% and in the year 2020 it will be 15%. The problem is therefore escalating. If one wants to put it more positively, however, one could say that the challenge of caring for the aged is continually increasing.

It is a fact that the existing situation as well as the future projections are realities which cannot be ignored or explained away. This gives rise to the question: What can be done? It would appear to me as if our point of departure should be that housing on a large scale the increasing number of elderly people in old age homes is financially and otherwise beyond our reach. In fact I think we should regard it as a blessing in disguise that we do not have, nor will have, the means to provide so many old age homes, because it is in the interest of the elderly person to remain in the society to which he is accustomed for as long as possible. However, it is also in the interests of that society to have the enriching influence of the contributions by the elderly to its activities for as long as possible. But then we should adopt an imaginative approach to them. They are not a homogeneous group that can all simply be treated the same way. A retired, 65-year-old married couple, still in good health and with a reasonably good income, cannot be treated in the same way as a sickly, 80-year-old social pensioner without family.

A variety of facilities should therefore be available to the aged. The facilities should cater for the different categories of aged. An old age home, which is the most expensive of all facilities, should be the last option. It should only serve those who are no longer physically active and require personal care on a more or less regular basis.

What are we going to do now? First of all I think that land of sufficient extent for the erection of comprehensive facilities for the various categories of aged should be made available to welfare organizations. It should preferably be situated in such a way that shops, post offices and churches could be safely reached without much effort. The prices of course should also be reasonable because at present welfare organizations often have to compete on the open market for the limited general residential sites that are available. Naturally this causes the final costs of their projects to skyrocket.

I can think of two ways in which they could be helped. Firstly, the need for comprehensive facilities for the aged should be taken into account, even more than is the case at present, when the layout plans for new towns are approved. The National Council for the Aged could possibly be asked to make an input in this regard. Secondly, local authorities very often have suitable land and I think they should be more willing than they are at present to sell it at reasonable prices to approved welfare organizations, or even—in specific cases—to donate it.

When I speak of comprehensive facilities for the aged—I have referred to this a few times—I mean in the first place that there should be a service centre where people could still live independently, enjoying the benefit of a variety of aid and support services. There should also be an old age home with a sick bay and a section for the care of the frail and the senile. In spite of this, if we were to have all of this there would still be those, particularly in our urban areas, that would need more than a normal service centre but who still would not necessarily need or want to be—or could be—admitted to an old age home. In this specific case I am speaking of people who are still mobile and do not yet require continuous institutionalized care but who, as a result of frailty, are not in a position to be completely independent. These people sometimes live with family members who do not mind caring for them on a part-time basis but who would experience problems if they had to do it fulltime.

In recent years the Americans and British have developed a system of day care centres for these cases. The aged visit the centre for a day or half a day one or more times per week. A variety of programmes are offered according to the needs, and there is usually close co-operation with medical and other care services that already exist. I just want to mention a few examples of what has been done: Meals are prepared in hospitals or in old-age homes and are served at the centre. It is seen to that the patients take their prescribed medication regularly. Medical examinations are given when necessary; as well as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Assistance and guidance are given on the subject of looking after themselves. Bible study is undertaken. There are opportunities for relaxation exercizes, for group discussions and games. In fact, the possibilities are virtually unlimited and many of the services could be rendered by volunteers.

On the one hand, the system is aimed at lightening the task of the next-of-kin who remain primarily responsible for the care of the parent. At the same time it also brings those in need of care into regular contact with other people while they receive continuous care and nursing. It is a system we would do well to investigate. It is so much cheaper than an old-age home, and that goes for operating costs as well. The second advantage is that the family of the aged can maintain an involvement in and a responsibility for their care without intolerable disruption.

In concluding I want to point out that it is necessary that we have to provide for the maximum care of the largest possible number of aged; that we shall only be able to do it if the nature and extent of the care given to each person is in direct relation to his real need; and if the available financial means are utilized for the facilities that are designed for the real need. We must examine all possibilities in this regard. I think that day care centres constitute one of these possibilities. I know that the hon the Minister and his staff have enough enthusiasm and dedication to do it and I wish them every success.


Mr Chairman, it is a privilege for me to speak after the hon member for Stellenbosch. I shall add to what he has said later, because our pleas are closely connected.

I see the hon member for Sea Point has returned. He rebuked me a little while ago, but I want to point out to him that the word “apartheid” which he uses as a term of abuse, has not held good for a long time. Neither I nor anyone on this side of the House makes a secret of it or denies that we support separate institutions for every population group. Their living-space is a matter on which we stand firm. The hon member for Sea Point need not profess here, therefore, to be the mediator for the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates. Those people discuss their own housing needs and so forth. That is why I tell him: What does it matter if there are three institutions? I stand by that.

I had the experience that I spoke to those people about what was in their interests. We stick to our own community life and that is what those people want too. It is only right and fair, therefore, that each has his own institutions. I want to ask him a question, however, in connection with Port Elizabeth’s municipal council which last week voted with a two-thirds majority against open beaches. PFP members serve in that council as well. Does the hon member for Sea Point condemn the fact that people want to create their own living-space for themselves as apartheid too?

I come back to the Vote. I agree with the hon member for Stellenbosch. The department which is being denigrated here as being insignificant, is not insignificant at all. Let us add immediately, however, that this building process is still in progress. We are working at it. It is a new dispensation that we have entered. Everything does not turn out well overnight, especially when local authority is involved. Local authority has to be regulated and the institutions have to be created, and so we shall progress in this area. I regard this department as of the utmost importance, for it deals with what affects man’s daily life—his living-space, his living conditions and his own community life.

The Government has a task and a responsibility towards the aged and those in need of care and the people who cannot afford housing. As indicated, the responsibility for this lies primarily with the child, the relative and the community. One has great appreciation for what is done in every community to help relileve this need in the form of housing for these people.

I listened to the hon the Minister with great interest yesterday when he referred in his speech to two very important matters, viz that land should be put to better use in this country because it does not become more, but becomes less every day; and that the existing infrastructures should be put to better use.

I then want to come to the better utilization of infrastructures. In the rural areas and everywhere in our country—but I refer specifically to the rural areas—a lot of housing is available today as a result of the urbanization process. There are many uninhabited houses in the rural areas today because farms are emptying, communities are shrinking and aged people are dying. These empty houses can be repaired at a negligible cost or rented for these purposes. When one says this, one is sad to think of the rural areas and to see that farmhouses which cost a lot of money, are standing empty and no longer have any purpose.

We heard a little while ago that the RSA has a good reputation for the provision of housing to destitute people. The RSA’s reputation is one of the best in the world, but it is an ever-growing demand, a demand which cannot be satisfied forever. That is why I want to request today that the aged be kept in the rural areas. In my constituency there are old age homes that are overcrowded and that is why I want to ask today for the possible investigation into the possibility of including these empty houses in existing service centres or homes for the aged. There should also be liaison with the Department of Welfare in order to transfer the subsidy until provision can be made.

It is imperative for us to keep aged people in the rural areas, because for each one who moves back to the rural areas, the need for services arises, and when enough aged people are being kept in the rural areas or brought there from elsewhere it entails the service sectors having to be extended. Normally this involves younger people with families and in this way young people and children are moved to the rural areas and the schools and community life are kept going. I know the hon the Minister will give these problems very sympathetic consideration. We realize it is very difficult in the present economic conditions, but I do not doubt that conditions will improve again and then we can look at this.

The hon the Minister also said that a survey is being made of the available housing. I believe if the community, the local authority, the department and everyone who can be used, make a co-ordinated effort, we can make these houses available to people who are retiring and are still physically healthy. Indeed, it happens here and there in my constituency in the rural areas that people from Johannesburg or Pretoria or wherever buy a house there, for it is true that land is still relatively cheap in the rural areas in comparison with urban areas. House prices have not escalated to such an extent in the rural areas as in the urban areas because the demand is not so great, and therefore anyone who is retiring can settle fairly cheaply in the rural areas. Thanks to the expansion of Escom during the past years, almost every rural town has electricity. An aged person need therefore not do without his television, his deep freeze and whatever else he requires. Perhaps electricity tariffs are a little higher in the rural areas than in the urban areas, but if we can persuade these people to settle in the rural areas, we can consider instituting a possible compensation here too. I believe this can also play a great role in the fight against the depopulation of the rural areas, as well as in the application of the Government’s decentralization policy.

In addition I should like to refer briefly to another matter. This is residential parks as opposed to caravan parks. These two things are often confused. As hon members know, the Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment and Related Matters found that there is room in South Africa for residential park housing as well. The commission also found that the construction costs of conventional housing rise much faster than the manufacturing costs of fabricated residential units. It is in this very respect that the mobile residential units we find in residential parks are of importance. According to the commission a demand for this kind of housing exists in South Africa. In addition the Commission found that the quality of material used, as well as the production techniques applied, have improved to such an extent and become so durable that even the SA Bureau of Standards now stamps it with its mark of approval.

The commission says that as a result, a permanent settlement of people in residential parks will systematically become accepted as a way of life in this country. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Beaufort West, having made an injudicious interjection during the course of the speech of the hon member for Sea Point, spent the early part of his speech back-pedalling as fast as he could to try to explain his rather foolish interjection. Two points he appeared determined to make were that irrespective of what was said about apartheid, his party and he himself stood by the concept of separate community life, and that there should be living space for each community. I think that is part of what he said.

He will know, Mr Chairman, that in the cities of South Africa—if nowhere else—we live under a system of integration between 09h00 and 17h00 and apartheid after hours, so that the concept of community life—that is what the hon member says he wants to keep separate—is really only an after-hours community life because when we look at our factories, our offices and our shops, we will see that we live in an integrated country even now.

Then also, Mr Chairman, when we look at the churches—maybe not the church the hon member for Beaufort West belongs to—we will see that many, if not most, of the churches in this country are no longer separate; they are integrated as well. In our cities most of the major theatres are also integrated. I should think that if something is part of community life …


I have no problem with that.


The hon member has no problem with that. Are churches and theatres not part of community life then?


I was talking about housing and about residential areas where people live.


Order! The hon member for Beaufort West has had his turn to speak. The hon member for Cape Town Gardens may proceed.


Mr Chairman, to suggest that community life does not include church worship and theatres which are two of the main vehicles of culture in a society is I submit ridiculous. Then we also come to the question of sport. Again I should like to know from the hon member for Beaufort West whether he considers sport to be part of community life or not. The Government has claimed repeatedly that we have integrated sport in this country, and if that is not part of community life I should like to know what is.

I wish to refer essentially today to certain aspects relating to the removal of rent control and some of the consequences thereof. I think we will all agree—the hon the Minister included—that it has caused certain problems. After 30 years of rent control it was phased out for large numbers of dwellings over a period of three years. At the same time sales under sectional title have aggravated the problem as those sales increased rapidly over the same period. There has of course been a select committee looking at these problems, and there is action pending, one hopes, as a result of the recommendations by that select committee.

I should like, however, to make a few comments and suggestions in relation to this matter, some of which have been touched upon by the hon member for Sea Point. I should like to elaborate further on some of those comments.

Firstly there is the question of urgency. We must recognize that there remain thousands of tenants who are terrified at what might happen to them. This applies particularly to the elderly who are often bewildered and fearful of ending up on the streets without a roof over their heads. Rent increases, sectional title schemes and immoral landlords who harass tenants cause widespread insecurity and misery. Something must be done about it, and soon.

In making this plea, I am not for one moment suggesting that the majority of landlords are insensitive tyrants, nor that there are not many unreasonable and badly behaved tenants, but I believe we have a duty to ensure that vulnerable tenants get a fair deal. It is a matter of considerable urgency and deserves immediate attention from the Government.

The first point I now wish to make concerns the definition of monthly income. I believe that the salaries or wages of persons over the age of 65 or 70 should be excluded from that definition. Regulations made in terms of the Social Pensions Act in respect of social old age pensions, war veterans’ pensions and disability pensions provide that for purposes of the means test—and I quote from the relevant document:

“income” shall mean— (a) any remuneration, either in cash or otherwise, received for services rendered, but shall not include such remuneration received by a male person after he has attained the age of 70 years or a female person after she has attained the age of 65 years.

Then there are other paragraphs on what “income” means. They include directors’ fees, income from a trust and so on.

My request is for exactly the same provision to be made by the Minister by proclamation under section 52 of the Rent Control Act. I believe he has the power to do that without amending the law.

I think the logic is fairly obvious. In most cases salaries or wages earned by people over 70 are either the result of casual or temporary jobs, or are unlikely to be able to be relied upon for any length of time. For such people to fail to qualify as protected tenants on the basis of their income from employment is likely to result in injustices occurring or in people feeling obliged to resign from jobs they have taken so as to remain protected tenants. We should encourage people to help themselves and try to supplement their meagre incomes, and not discourage them from doing so.

The second point I wish to make relates to the question of income limits. The current limits were proclaimed and became effective on 1 July 1983, viz R450 per month for a lessee without dependants and R850 per month for a lessee with dependants who is the head of the family. Since then the cost of living has increased by 25% and the housing component of the consumer price index has increased by more than a third.

I therefore appeal to the Minister to increase substantially the income limits for protected tenants. Limits of R600 per month for single persons and R1 130 for lessees with dependants would effectively restore the position to what it was two years ago. I hope, too, that the Minister will make regular adjustments to these limits in future so that protected tenants are not prejudiced because of delays on the part of the Government.

The Minister will realize that it becomes a nightmare for a person if he gets an increase in his pension or salary that may result in his exceeding the permissible limit for protected tenants. I believe further that it contradicts the Government’s policy of attempting to encourage the private sector to help pensioners and to become involved in alleviating various social problems. It is one of the good-news, bad-news situations that can arise, but unfortunately it is not a joke when a person hears that he has the prospect of an improved income, either by way of pension or salary, and merely because of the income limits not being adjusted it could result in his being thrown out of his flat or no longer enjoying the protection he enjoyed previously. The limited benefit that such a person may have had from that increase in salary or pension could then more than be wiped out by a considerable increase in his rental. I think it will also tend to encourage dishonesty.

I ask the hon the Minister to look at both these aspects relating to the income of protected tenants. He should look at those tenants who are over 70—in their case the definition of monthly income should be looked into—and he should also look at the absolute limits set by proclamation. Inflation erodes these, and regular adjustments are needed. Both these aspects are causing serious problems.

There are a couple of other matters which I wish to raise in connection with rent control but I shall deal with them later in the debate.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens will excuse me if I do not react directly to his address. Nevertheless, I shall deal with certain of the aspects in the course of my speech.

Permit me at the outset to make a few sidelong references to the standpoints put by the CP once again this afternoon about the fact that in their opinion the debate on the Constitution is not yet over and that quite a long battle was commenced by the hon member for Koedoespoort as well as the hon member for Pietersburg yesterday in respect of own affairs and of general affairs. The hon member for Koedoespoort is welcome to wave his hand like that; the only question I want to ask the hon members, while we are on the subject of the Constitution, is whether they are still adhering to the 1977 proposals of the NP.


Which Act was that? It is a pity that there are such stupid people here.




They are frustrated because they cannot reply to that question today. [Interjections.]




They cannot reply at all because in the meantime, on the occasion of the by-elections, a new marriage has taken place. I am referring inter alia to the statement made by the hon member for Lichtenburg in Port Elizabeth, and I quote from yesterday’s Die Burger:

In vraetyd het hy gesê die KP en die HNP het eintlik reeds besluit dat daar net een party na regs moet wees.

What is wrong with that? You and the Labourites are one …




According to the hon member for Lichtenburg the matter became so urgent that if he could have his way …


And Rajbansi is your Minister.




The hon member for Lichtenburg says if he could have his way, it would happen before the end of this year. What follows now is interesting:

Daar is nog ’n klein aantal verskille tussen die twee partye, onder meer oor die Indiërs, maar dit kan oorkom word.





I think that is one of the aspects responsible for the fact that the hon members cannot reply to the question as to whether they are still adhering to previous statements concerning the 1977 proposals. [Interjections.]


Order! No, there is too much of a dialogue.

I have only called upon the hon member for Newcastle to speak.


To return to the discussion of the Vote, I want to point out that the housing shortage for Whites is presently estimated at approximately 14 000 residential units. Unfortunately a more accurate estimate cannot be made because of insufficient information. The sources of the central statistic services are inadequate and the 1980 census data has not yet been processed. As generally accepted, waiting lists are not a reliable source either as a result of duplicating, changes or incomprehensiveness. Surely computerization can cut out some of these deficiencies.

It is estimated that at present approximately 45 000 residential units have to be built annually to supply the need of White housing. The average number of units built in the past five years amounts to less than 38 000 per annum of which the public sector has supplied 4%, the private sector 81% and the public corporations 15%.

In order to promote house ownership as well as to improve the capital reflux to the Housing Fund, the Government launched a national sales campaign on 1 July 1983 which was to continue until 1 July 1985. The campaign’s purpose is to promote the sale of approximately 500 000 existing letting units to their lessees. On 1 July 1983 there were almost 11 000 White dwellings which had not been sold. The sales campaign makes provision for new dwellings to be sold at cost, whereas dwellings older than two years are offered for sale at a selling price based on the average cost and replacement value. In order to stimulate the selling of dwellings even more, it was decided that dwellings more than two years old could be sold at certain discount terms. If prospective buyers are not capable of buying cash, a deposit of R300 or five percent of the purchase price can be paid, while the balance of the loan is paid off from the National Housing Fund over a period of 30 years. Transfer can take place once 10% of the purchase price has been paid.

The importance of house ownership cannot be over-emphasized and various speakers on this side of the House have pointed that out. It is gladdening to hear that the department is constantly taking steps to involve the private sector and individuals in the provision of housing. The importance of house ownership, especially among the less wealthy, cannot be over-emphasized. The involvement of the individual in ensuring that he is properly housed, can rightly be regarded as one of the cornerstones necessary for the maintenance of a stable community. House ownership cannot be achieved if individuals are not given the opportunity to buy the type of housing that suits their requirements and financial means. I should like to know from the hon the Minister how the sales campaign has progressed thus far and whether it has become necessary for certain adjustments to be applied to the conditions of the sales campaign.

As far as the rent formula is concerned, it has been introduced for a trial period. A breadwinner with an income that does not exceed R150 per month pays 5% of his gross income in interest and redemption, with a minimum of R2,50 per month. For breadwinners who earn more than R150 per month but less than R800 per month, there are differentiated interest rates on the costs of their dwellings. With this year’s adjustment in respect of pension schemes, I should like to hear from the hon the Minister whether there is a possibility of income scales being adjusted in respect of the rent formulas.

A last aspect to which I want to refer briefly, concerns the maximum income level. I think the hon member for Cape Town Gardens referred to this as well. It is the policy of the National Housing Commission that people with an income of more than R150 per month should be responsible for their own housing. The problem is, however, that there are many rental units which have been erected with the Fund’s money and which are not marketable because the income level does not keep pace with the increase in building costs and the general wage structure. The present maximum income level of R650 per month for the breadwinner of a family and R360 per month for a single person was approved in 1980. The income level for 90% loans was increased in March 1982 to R800 per month, but because of the fact that funds for the provision of new housing are extremely limited, it was decided that the income level of R650 per month for housing projects be left unchanged for the present. My question to the hon the Minister is whether or not the income levels of R650 per month for the breadwinner of a family and the income level of single people cannot be raised.

In conclusion, on behalf of this side of the House, I should like to wish the hon the Minister and his department the best of luck with the very important own affairs department they operate.


Mr Chairman, Langenhoven once said that one cannot use a donkey to do a horse’s work. If we listened to the hon member for Newcastle, to the figures he furnished about the demand for housing and the limited funds that exist, this department is indeed trying to use a donkey to do the work of a horse. [Interjections.] Sir, I was really not referring to our hon the Minister … [Interjections.] It concerns the limited funds.

I think we are all aware of the fact that most young people have the ideal of eventually owning an own house. On the other hand we often hear the argument that it has become almost impossible for young people to realize this ideal today. Surely this is a valid argument that should be investigated. For the very reason that house ownership—which has been highlighted here a number of times—is so important, however, it is necessary in my opinion for another perspective to be raised. I want to leave it to the experts this afternoon to make a full evaluation of the financial implications of owning a dwelling.

I should like to express certain ideas about the standards set by young people in the purchase of their first dwelling. One should ask whether couples do not buy precisely those houses they cannot afford. [Interjections.] It has become the accepted norm today for a house to have at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge and a family room, as well as two garages. It would be interesting to determine in how many houses the second bathroom, the extra bedroom, the lounge and the extra garage remain unused for the greater part of the year. I have a few figures here to show that this is a possibility, because approximately 85% of the White South Africans live in the family context. Of this percentage, the husband and wife live alone in 25,2% cases; husband and wife and one child, 23,1%; husband and wife and two children, 24,1%. If we look at these figures, the question can arise as to how many of these families live in houses which are in actual fact too large for them. The question must necessarily arise as to whether these houses are being utilized fully. Is this not one of the reasons causing young couples to suffer financially, and to have a burden of a house that is too big for their needs, and which they cannot afford? One hears the argument that a house such as this will be utilized later, as the family is extended. I think, however, it is sensible to build a house that supplies one’s immediate needs. One should not plan for years ahead because it has become too expensive.

It is true that a number of status symbols have developed in the South African community, of which the dwelling has become one. People’s prosperity is often symbolized by the size of their house, the number of cars they have, whether they have been overseas, and by the porcelain dove on the coffee table in the formal lounge. We should not, however, become a society that dissuades healthy motivation to achievement and increasing the standard of living. It is just as valid and important, however, to ask whether this kind of material display has not become a purpose in itself, and whether life is not being reduced to the collecting of material possessions. Has it not become necessaary for greater modesty to be displayed in the building of houses? Is that not exactly what is necessary to enable young people to take this very important first step towards house ownership?

This objective can be achieved with limited funds, if young people are prepared to build houses in accordance with their immediate needs. The State has a responsibility to identify those who need support. That is why schemes for this purpose exist at present. I believe, however, that a fresh, new approach is necessary to provide basic houses which can meet all the immediate needs of couples. A basic house of this kind has nothing to do with an inferior standard or even with a downgrading of standards. It is a practical matter which makes it possible to buy what one can afford. It will be found that a number of rooms in the normal house are not being fully utilized.

I should like to ask the question as to whether the State should not set the example in providing basic housing in particular which can be developed by the owner in due course. Seen from the building societies’ point of view, we can understand that this matter will not be very profitable for them, but to me it seems a useful suggestions for our building societies to make smaller loans available on a larger scale for basic houses and more modest projects which can be developed later.

A number of conditions are involved in the success of this idea. In the first place young couples must accept that one cannot begin where one wants to end. A dream house can develop in the course of time as money becomes available. In the second place the occupation of a basic house will have to be accepted by the community as a sensible step towards house ownership. I think the technical finish of such a basic house can still be of the highest quality, and durability can be acquired by the appearance, the design and the finish.

Future requirements can be allowed for fully in the advance planning of a basic house. It must be flexible, however, as needs can change in the course of time. In order to make the erection and development of this project possible, financing has to be available for smaller loans in order to make it affordable.

The basic house can also meet the requirements of retired people or people who have to move to smaller places. A house of this nature can be developed and marketed later.

I conclude with the idea that young people should become inspired with the knowledge that it is not the varnish, the glitter and the splendour of a home that is of importance, but its warmth, its conviviality and its genuineness.


Mr Chairman, I am delighted to follow the hon nominated member Dr Venter. I want to congratulate her on a very good speech; I think it is the best speech made on that side of the House since this Vote has been under discussion. [Interjections.] She re-emphasized Langenhoven’s wise saying, viz that one cannot expect a donkey to do the work of a horse. This is also applicable to the status given by the Constitution to own affairs where this department of affairs has been absolutely minimalized in the Constitution. I have the Constitution in my hand and only paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Schedule have not been handicapped by some or other Act. [Interjections.]

I should like to join other members in congratulating the hon the Minister on his appointment. I believe that he, as far as he will be permitted to do so, will do his utmost for this portfolio.

I also want to join them in congratulating Mr Andries Cornelissen, Mr Frank Gerber and all the other officials.

It is a great pity that this department is subject to general affairs. Naturally the aspects administered by this hon Minister, are subject to a general law. A general law is a law of the coalition Government. [Interjections.] That is the way it is and there is no getting away from it.

I refer to the hon member for Bellville who spoke yesterday. He said very clearly and I quote him: “Ek wil dit in hierdie debat beklemtoon dat eie sake nie ondergeskik aan algemene sake is nie.” I was surprised when I heard the hon member speaking; he should know better. Surely he is someone who knows something about law and who can read an Act. [Interjections.]

We also heard what the hon member for Witbank said when he addressed the House. He said the Constitution was no longer under discussion. When we return, however, to a Bill such as the one before us and we point out how this Bill is being hampered as a result of the Constitution, we must emphasize it and express our regret, because these are the spiders’ webs of misrepresentations that are submitted to this House every now and then.

Yesterday, when the hon member for Wit-bank spoke, an hon member near him made a very unsavoury remark. I do not know who it was. I see in the hon member’s Hansard that it was simply indicated as an interjection. I do not blame Hansard, for I know Hansard does its utmost to keep the dignity of this House raised above such disgusting remarks. [Interjections.]

I refer to Hansard: House of Assembly, vol 9, col 2671, where the Minister of the Budget introduced this debate for us. He said:

Assistance is rendered to individuals who have not previously owned a house or flat and who, for the first time, wish to purchase a new dwelling or a dwelling not previously occupied, for occupation by themselves, or who wish to have a new dwelling built. Additionally this subsidy is only paid in respect of mortgage bonds not exceeding R40 000 on a property, the full purchase price of which does not exceed R50 000. This concession is not available to persons who receive housing assistance from other sources.

We are delighted about this. I can mention that since the Minister of the Budget made this speech, many enquiries have been received from people who wanted to hear to what extent they can receive that assistance. I believe the hon the Minister whose Vote is under discussion at present will surely tackle this task by means of the town councils, for they are the most logical institutions to undertake it. Where there are no town councils, it will have to be done by those councils that exert control over a certain area. There is great interest in this.

While I am speaking about town councils, I want to mention that housing is a special concern these days because it is almost impossible for a beginner to obtain a house today if he does not have a rich father, uncle or father-in-law. Prices are sky-rocketing.

I believe that the hon the Minister, although it does not fall immediately under him, even though he does deal with the building of houses, will try to bring certain aspects to the attention of the relevant persons, namely that building costs will rise because certain manufacturers form cartels which raise the prices to such heights that houses simply become impossible to buy. Bricks, for example, are one of the basic necessities when a house is being built. Yet bricks are probably one of the most expensive items in the building of a house today. As a result of the cartels formed there, houses are becoming too expensive to buy and this makes it impossible to start a household today.

We know too that an amount has been budgeted for the building of houses, but if we see the need that exists today, we cannot but realize that it will be very difficult to give those houses to the people who deserve them most. Housing is expensive today. Someone who has a house or can come into consideration for a scheme of this kind can count himself lucky.

I now want to ask the hon the Minister whether he, as housing loans are now being granted to people who have never had a house, can give the assurance to those who were lucky enough to obtain a loan, that the Group Areas Act will be retained, because it has been proved all over that in areas where integration occurs, the value of the property simply drops. These areas are eventually evacuated by Whites. This happens everywhere in the world and we hope that an assurance of this kind can be given by the hon the Minister, for there is a great deal of doubt in this regard. The hon the Minister is well informed and probably realizes that since everything has simply been given away, people no longer know whether they will be protected in this connection.

In addition I wish the Minister every success as far as this scheme is concerned. I know he will do his best, but I hope he will be permitted to do so, because this portfolio of his is subject to general affairs and I am very sorry about that. I repeat that I find it a great pity.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Nigel need not be concerned about the survival of own affairs. The goodwill of this side of the House as regards extending own affairs as one part of the Constitution must not be under-estimated, and we assure him that we shall not undermine own affairs, but that we want to extend our own affairs.

However I wish to associate myself with the hon member Dr Rina Nel…


Dr Rina Venter.


Yes, I beg your pardon, Dr Rina Venter. Rina Nel was probably an old girlfriend of mine. [Interjections.]

In any event, I want to associate myself with what the hon member Dr Rina Venter said about housing, and I want to deal with housing utility companies and the role played by these utility companies in the provision of housing. I shall of course confine myself to those companies that are at present providing White housing. I am privileged to serve on the board of directors of the housing utility company of the Public Servants’ Association. The work that this company has already done and is doing at present to contribute towards the provision of housing is unfortunately not fully appreciated in some quarters.

Housing and the supply of housing has become such a complex challenge that any effort to supply it should not be summarily denigrated. Unfortunately the efforts of housing utility companies, particularly those of the PSA utility company, are being denigrated in certain circles. The latter—so the argument goes—is allegedly infringing in the sphere activity of the private sector. As a professional employees’ organization the Public Servants Association surely has the right, just like any other body—and the obligation, too, I believe—at least to make an effort to provide housing.

This type of utility company first began to gain real momentum after the present State President, during the Good Hope Conference in 1981, appealed to the private sector, too, to take an active part in the efforts to provide housing in the lower income groups. This resulted in the Housing Act being amended in the interim to enable these companies to obtain access to the financing of initial capital from the National Housing Funds. On this basis 27 such utility companies are registered at present, 20 of which are registered for the provision of White housing. I should like to place this on record and for that reason I shall furnish certain statistics relating to what is already being done by utility companies with regard to Whites. To date more than R33 million has already been drawn from the National Housing Fund by the various utility companies. 425 units have already been completed and 163 units are under construction. A substantial number of units viz, 1 521, are at the planning stage and will be built shortly.

Further regional statistics are that eight utility companies have already been registered in the Witwatersrand region; the figure for the Cape Peninsula is 8; for Pretoria, 4; and for Natal, 3.

Housing utility companies, with their objective of providing housing for the lower income groups in particular, obtain most of their funding from the National Housing Fund. Apart from the initial 10% of the initial capital and 5% of the project capital, which has to be obtained by the companies from other sources—in contrast to other housing funds—the National Housing Fund is prepared and ready to help. For collection purposes the companies have to submit a biannual balance sheet to the Department for as long as the project is in progress. The loans to the company are repayable over a period of five years, undoubtedly a very reasonable arrangement for such a project.

The initial provision of initial capital is also fair if one takes into account that R100 000, plus the cost of the land and the development cost, is provided by the housing fund on registration. Subsequently an estimated amount has to be provided to provide the necessary cash flow to enable the Department to make payments on an ongoing basis. This arrangement applies to every new project which launches a company and is regarded as an individual project. This partnership between the private sector and the State in launching projects by way of the National Housing Fund has the potential to develop into something fine and positive. The involvement of the private sector in the housing set-up must not be overlooked. One should like to see it becoming a total involvement.

The State cannot and may not be solely involved in the provision of housing for the lower income groups. Therefore, when the private sector becomes a participating partner in this set-up and takes part in the activities of these utility companies, there must be, not merely willingness to participate and launch the project, but also the will, the know-how and the managerial skills to launch the project and plan it properly. Perhaps the most important aspect in this connection is to have the resources to see this project through to completion.

Know-how is certainly a prerequisite for the availability of housing. In some instances the planning and preparation takes far too long and an escalation of costs results. It is probably so—the hon the Minister will probably be able to help us in this regard—and it will be necessary that the existing and future utility companies take into account the fact that the Department will undoubtedly have to ascertain which are the most successful companies. If there has to be elimination for the sake of housing, then that will simply have to be. In other words, it may be necessary for certain companies functioning in this sphere to be eliminated due to the lack of skills in completing a project. If a company is not capable of functioning properly and carrying out the task and of launching its project in the most economical time, then it must not enter this field. Funds for housing are scarce and cannot be utilised unproductively by being allowed to lie fallow for too long due to a lack of competence or to delays.

Once again I should like to appeal to local authorities to assist the housing utility companies in getting their projects under way as soon as possible. The unnecessary delays due to red tape represent wastage of scarce money that could be utilized productively, and such delays will have to be limited. The Department of Local Government, and utility companies, should work together in partnership to provide this type of housing, rather than putting a spoke in the wheel by delaying such projects. We take pleasure in supporting this vote.


Mr Chairman, I am sure the hon member for Gezina will excuse me if I do not comment on what he has said, as I wish to return to the subject of rent control and discuss a few further aspects in addition to the two aspects about income to which I referred earlier.

The first point that I should like to raise is a question of clarification. I should like to ask him to give us some clarification in respect of a person sharing accommodation with a protected tenant who is the lessee, if the protected tenant dies. Most often, of course, this is a husband or wife, also sometimes sisters or friends who are living together. The Act does give a definition of lessee and it appears to provide that the survivor automatically becomes the lessee. However, I should like to request the hon the Minister to confirm that if the survivor is within the income limit the survivor will enjoy exactly the same protection as the deceased protected tenant had. If not, this is a loophole that needs to be closed without delay and I hope the hon the Minister will comment on this matter at some stage during the debate.

The hon member for Sea Point has also mentioned the fourth point that I wish to make. I should like to emphasize it because it is certainly a matter of grave concern in my constituency. The most common tactic used by unscrupulous landlords to harass protected tenants is to give them six months’ notice in terms of section 28 for intended repairs or restoration. Many tenants are not aware of their rights but, in any event, the trauma of finding alternative accommodation for an unspecified period, the costs and inconvenience of having to move out and back again, and the uncertainty of what the new rentals are likely to be, are often enough to cause elderly tenants to throw in the towel. They cannot stand the uncertainty and the worry that goes with it. They cannot bear the thought of fighting endless battles against hostile landlords and their lawyers. They want peace and quiet in their retirement, so, after being forced out, they lose interest in ever returning. The select committee addressed this problem to some extent and suggested amendments to sections 28 and 30, but no legislation has been forthcoming. Legislation is urgently needed to assist these people, and I appeal to the hon the Minister to help them.

The final point I wish to make is that there is an acute shortage of suitable accommodation for elderly people—and others too—of limited means. The number who qualify for protection is dwindling all the time. The removal of aspects of rent control in recent years has resulted in large numbers of people losing all protection and being left to the mercies of market forces when it comes to finding accommodation. In these circumstances I do not believe that the Government has done enough, or even its fair share, to ensure that sufficient accommodation is available for people with modest incomes. It is untenable that people are being forced out of flats they have lived in for decades because of the ravages of inflation, changes in laws and inaction on the part of the Government.

I appeal to the hon the Minister not to underestimate the desperate plight of these people or the urgency of the matter. I urge him to take action without further delay. Every week that passes, results in more people being thrown out of their flats.


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens will undoubtedly excuse me if I do not react to his speech and instead confine myself to my own subject.

I should like to take this opportunity to extend my cordial congratulations to our hon Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works on his appointment. He is a man who does his work in a calm and quiet way and I believe that we shall be seeing the results in future. Since the City of Germiston is to celebrate its hundredth anniversary next year I believe it would be appropriate to say a few words about this city, particularly as it is my constituency and, what is more, because the administration of this city is situated in the heartland of my constituency. Germiston, an industrial giant, and South Africa’s fifth biggest city, became a municipality in 1983.


That was just after Boksburg.


I am coming to that. The history of Germiston dates from the days of one Schalk Meyer who married a woman by the name of Van der Linde. That was in 1880. She was the owner of the farm Elandsfontein. Like most of his contemporaries Mr Meyer, too, trekked with his cattle to other pastures during the winter months; to places like Chrissiesmeer, in the area of the hon member for Ermelo. It was there that over a period of years he became financially involved with two dealers—one John Jack and one Angus Simmer. This also resulted in his having to cede part of his farm Elandsfontein to these two men. Simmer and Jack rented out their part of the farm Elandsfontein to a farmer in the vicinity for a meagre ten sacks of wheat and a few rolls of chewing tobacco. During September 1886 a messenger came to warn Messrs Simmer and Jack at Chrissiesmeer that unlawful prospecting work was being done on their land on the Elandsfontein farm. Moreover they were warned that pending a decision by the rulers of the then Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, certain areas were to be declared diggings. One of these two men, Mr Jack, apparently rode the 240 kilometres on horseback and within a few days, rid the area of prospectors.

Accordingly Mr Schalk Meyer had to formally hand over his share in the farm Elandsfontein. On this occasion Mr Jack was assured by a Mr Knox that in the course of the prospecting work gold had in fact been discovered under the surface. This meant that approximately 288 lawful claims were registered with the State. The founding of the mining company of Simmer and Jack resulted in the founding of Germiston.

Shortly after Boksburg had been declared a municipality on 2 December 1903 … yes, I am of course quite unable to understand why that should have happened first … Germiston acquired the same status. [Interjections.] Developing mines with a growing population gave rise to industrial development. Situated in the middle of the PWV area, Germiston found itself in the limelight as probably the biggest junction of railway networks in the Republic.

Germiston proudly accommodates the world’s biggest gold refinery and processes 75% of the gold of the Western World. This plant was established in 1921 and is the joint property of large mining companies. In fact, at present industry equals the gold-mining industry in importance. I believe that it has become even more important.

Accordingly the first industrial area on the Witwatersrand was established in Germiston in 1917. The firs clothing factory in the then Union of South Africa opened there in Knox Street, Germiston.

When it gained the status of a city in 1950 Germiston had 150 factories and boasted a population of 112 000 souls. Today industries in Germiston offer job opportunities to 100 000 Black workers. At the moment this city boasts 400 factories; not to speak of the large number of small business enterprises. Notwithstanding stable growth and progress, certain early essentials were lacking as far as this city was concerned; for example, well-considered planning. The latter most probably applies to the majority of towns and older cities in our country. I believe that urban and town planning probably comprise the most important component of local government. For interest’s sake I should like to furnish the following statistics. These are figures relating to local government in the four provinces. The figures date from 1980. In the Cape there were six city councils, in Natal there were two, in Transvaal there were four, and in the Orange Free State there were two. In the Cape there were 166 town councils, while there were 30 in Natal, 57 in Transvaal and 68 in the Orange Free State. The number of community councils in the Cape was 63, in Natal 15, in Transvaal 30 and in Orange Free State six. With the exception of a few cases I believe that if the present city fathers could have replanned their towns, cities and towns would have presented a totally different appearance.

It is my humble opinion that if there had been town planning from the outset, most of our present-day problems could have been prevented and central business areas, residential areas and industrial areas would have been clearly identifiable. Cities or towns which are not oriented towards industrial development may not experience the same problems as those experienced in an industrial city like Germiston. As was mentioned earlier, the city owed its origin to the mining industry and the subsequent industrial development, together with the eventual establishment of the central rail linkage of the PWV region.

In 1986 Germiston will be a hundred years old, and instead of urban development having become easier, it is becoming increasingly complex. Due to the city’s situation certain problems are cropping up. The biggest city in the RSA, Johannesburg, and the sixth biggest city, Germiston, are barely 10 kilometres apart. Therefore, as far as further expansion is concerned, the city is confined, space-wise, to the south. Accordingly an urban renewal programme has been launched and much of the centre city has been razed and is in the process of re-development. This will mean that community and social problems will be overcome.

Perhaps Germiston could not be regarded as a garden city, but I can give hon members the assurance that we Germistoners are proud of our city. We are proud of being one of the biggest industrial cities of the RSA, of creating job opportunities for many surrounding communities and, very probably, contributing towards their being able to live in garden cities or towns. As I said earlier, planning in the development of new towns, as is envisaged in regional development and the development of growth points, has the advantage that some of the scientific methods of planning may be employed with the resultant prospect of outstanding towns and cities.

Finally I wish to say that faulty planning belongs to the past and that meaningful planning belongs to the present and the future. I therefore associate myself with the idea expressed by our respected State President, viz that we certainly have an appointment with the future.

There is something I just wish to add. The hon member for Gezina referred here to the Housing Fund. On this occasion I again wish to appeal to the hon the Minister—on previous occasions I made such an appeal to the Minister who is at present the Minister of the Budget, and I made the same appeal to our present Minister of Finance the other day—to give consideration to national housing bonds. They have abandoned defence bonds. However, we find at present that people who are retiring and have sums of money to invest, are able to invest in the Post Office and in Treasury bonds. I should like to ask that they be allowed to invest in a similar way in national housing bonds, perhaps at a very low interest rate, to enable people to obtain houses. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Germiston made a very interesting speech about the city of Germiston. Let me say that my department and the city council of Germiston have been co-operating very well for many years now. Let me also tell the hon member, on behalf of my department, that we should like to maintain close ties with him and his city council. I should also like to discuss specific projects with the hon member in the future.


Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister what he has ever done for Del-mas? [Interjections.]


Sir, I promise the hon the Minister of Transport Affairs that I shall give a sympathetic hearing to any representations I receive from him. [Interjections.]


Order! Apparently it does not always help to ask questions. The hon the Minister may continue.


At a later stage in the debate I shall reply to certain aspects, particularly to certain remarks relating to local government and the question of rent control.

At the very outset I want to make one general remark: Notwithstanding the standpoints and the negative statements made here by opposition members, and notwithstanding the disparaging attitude adopted towards the question of own affairs and this specific department, my colleagues and I will continue to expand our horizons in regard to the task entrusted to us—and not only this department, but also own affairs—and to make a success of it, and also to exercise the powers entrusted to us. It is interesting that hon members opposite speak about matters on which this department is not yet empowered to act. They make out a tremendous case for it, whilst giving scant attention to the matters on which the department is already empowered to act.

At a later stage I shall be elaborating on certain matters, in particular rent control which is a very sensitive matter. At the beginning of this speech I should like to say something about the Director-General. In this connection let me also thank my hon colleagues for their friendly remarks about the Director-General, Mr Andre Cornelissen, and his staff. I myself would like to thank him and his staff for co-operating with me and my department and I also want to say that we greatly appreciate the work Mr Cornelissen is doing in building up and extending the horizons of the Administration: House of Assembly.

I should also like to thank the hon member for Bellville, who is also chairman of the study group, not only for his speech—in my opinion it was a very good speech—but also for the friendly words of congratulation. The hon member referred, in particular, to the question of retirement towns, care of the aged and the establishment of homes for this purpose. He labelled this a welcome phenomenon, at the same time warning against exploitation.

I want to say this evening that on the basis of a resolution adopted by the Ministers’ Council, the department has already been instructed to investigate methods whereby possible control can be exercised over retirement towns. We shall be reporting on this at a later stage. At the same time let me give hon members the assurance that we are not engaged in a witch-hunt, because the truth of the matter is that people who obtain an interest in a retirement town are thereby making provision for their old age. Apart from security, such a town should also offer the facilities needed by the aged, as their powers decline with the years, so that they do not need to have recourse to care outside their settled environment, thus needing to be resettled. Several colleagues have emphasized today that we should keep the aged in their familiar environments.

Exploratory interviews have already been conducted with deputations from Sapoa and the Sinodale Kommissie vir die Diens van Barmhartigheid of the NG Church. Various other interviews are also envisaged, amongst others with the SA Council of the Aged and the SA Vrouefederasie. An officer of the Department of Health and Welfare is also present at these interviews, thus allowing us to examine these matters with the closest possible co-ordination.

We do not have any concrete evidence of malpractices before us, but one consistently has a feeling of concern for the vulnerability of the aged to exploitation. The hon member for Bellville rightly said that the aged were soft targets. It is therefore necessary for one to take steps to ensure that the money they have at their disposal will, in point of fact, assure them of a permanent roof over their heads.

There is also the question of whether existing legislation offers adequate protection to people obtaining an interest in such a retirement town. Attention is also being given to this. It is a complex matter. We shall carry out the investigation, but at the same time I must appeal to our aged to ensure that they take the correct steps and first get some advice before entering into agreements. Fortunately there are wonderful schemes available in this field. I want to thank the hon member for Bellville for having brought this positive aspect to the Committee’s attention.

The hon member for Witbank made a very interesting speech about the co-operation, the partnership, between the public and private sectors. I want to thank him sincerely for his speech. As deputy chairman of the study group the hon member makes an important contribution to the functions of that study group, and I should like to thank him for the good wishes he extended to me and my department. He touched upon an important point by appealing to employers to make a contribution to welfare housing for when their employees retire one day. I shall be giving attention to the matters he broached in his speech.

†I should like to deal with a matter raised by the hon member for Umbilo. I want to thank him for his kind remarks. We know each other quite well. We had the opportunity to travel far and wide when both of us were members of the Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment and Related Matters. I know that he is very sincere in his approach regarding these matters, although I think he was not so sincere when he spoke about local government affairs in his speech earlier.

The hon member is a member of a housing utility company which is indeed doing very well in providing housing accommodation. The hon member for Gezina also made a very important speech on the matter of housing utility companies, and I want to deal with a few matters regarding this subject a little later.

The hon member for Umbilo quoted from a newspaper what the hon Minister Curry had said with regard to the six-month moratorium in respect of arrear rentals. He asked who is going to pay. The position is that the six month moratorium is established policy laid down by the National Housing Commission some time ago. The loss in rentals can be recovered by increased rentals after a tenant’s income position has improved if the Rent Loss Reserve Fund cannot bear the losses or if the local authority does not wish to use those funds.

*I am advised that even charity funds could be employed for this purpose.

I want to come back to the question of housing utility companies. A Federation of Housing Utility Companies has been established, a federation to which such utility companies belong, and already there is close co-operation between the federation and the department. A code of conduct with specific guidelines for housing utility companies using funds from the National Housing Commission has been drawn up. The code of conduct is at present being revised by the federation and the department. I should like to emphasize that housing utility companies should, in all cases, call for tenders if funds from the National Housing Fund are used. One should guard against planning dwellings on too luxurious a scale, and stands should be carefully selected in order to keep unit costs as low as possible. In this connection hon members have already expressed themselves in very emphatic terms. That is, after all, the purpose of a housing utility company. We must bear in mind that the housing utility company’s target group is comprised of those with an income of more than R800 per month, but not exceeding R1 500 per month. I must say that I am not completely clear in my own mind about the income of this target group. Recently I asked an important private organization for its opinion on the income groups for which the private sector would be able to make provision, and I should like to take another look at these income levels as soon as I have obtained their opinion. With this group as the target group, I think it is the aim of housing utility companies to keep the cost per unit, excluding the cost of the land, within the R40 000 limit so that the purchasers may also qualify for the interest subsidy granted to the purchasers of first dwellings by the State.

Let me say, too, that housing utility companies ought not to be linked to any organization—for example building firms—which are profit-orientated because this could, where State funds are involved, give rise to accusations of preferential treatment. People involved in housing utility companies should not act as consultants for the companies either. Likewise consultants should not unnecessarily become involved in the activities of such companies, except with prior written permission from the department. I should like to see utility companies, which intend planning a project, first consulting my department before planning costs are incurred, the purpose being to ensure that the project can be accommodated financially and otherwise. In this way I think that fruitless expenditure could be avoided.

My standpoint is—and here I link up with the hon member for Gezina—that emphasis should be placed on efficiency, reasonable cost and quality. That is why I am also asking people who intend to enter this field, and who want to register housing utility companies with the department, to hold consultations in advance before incurring any costs in regard to the establishment of such an organization, so that one can determine whether, in fact, it is feasible to proceed with the project. At the same time let me emphasize that we welcome the housing utility companies in this field; they are, in fact, doing a very good job in the creation of housing accommodation.

The hon members for Stellenbosch and Beaufort West both referred to the question of welfare housing on the one hand—something the hon member for Stellenbosch specifically referred to—whilst on the other hand the hon member for Beaufort West, in particular, referred to the unutilized premises in rural areas. As I have already mentioned, we should like to take a fresh look at the possibilities for utilizing such premises when a survey of such unutilized premises have been completed. Let me tell the hon member for Beaufort West: If there are any specific proposals in regard to the possible utilization of premises, he is very welcome to bring them even more pertinently to my attention. I regard it as important for people—including the aged—to remain settled in their familiar surroundings.

The hon member also referred to the question of residential parks. My department and I are positively disposed towards this, and if the opportunity presents itself, in the discussion of this Vote, I shall elaborate on that. I do, however, want to tell the hon member that we have a positive attitude about the question of residential parks as a possible alternative form of housing to relieve the bottlenecks.

The hon member for Stellenbosch referred, in particular, to the aged and welfare housing. He also mentioned waiting lists. I want to deal with one aspect of this, and in this connection also make a specific statement in regard to the position of the aged.

It is true—as has been said here—that the State cannot continue to provide welfare housing at the present rate. The department envisages launching a campaign to involve the community, in which the aged find themselves, to an ever greater extent in the provision of accommodation. The community will increasingly be required to contribute, by way of financing, to the State financing of accommodation for the aged. The policy is also to establish old-age homes in areas where a peaceful atmosphere prevails. The intention is also that the aged should not have their lives disrupted by taking them from the areas in which they are settled.

Liaison between the department and the Department of Health Services and Welfare, which is responsible for the payment of subsidies in regard to the operating costs of old-age homes, is now taking place on an ongoing basis, so that essential projects are not delayed by virtue of funds, for example to cover building costs, not being available, with no provision having been made for operating cost subsidies. Local authorities, registered welfare organizations and housing utility companies will be encouraged to provide the necessary housing for this purpose.

The launching of suitable projects with more flats and single dwellings in a set-up in which service centres furnish the essential support services—with full-fledged care centres only for the debilitated—is a matter constantly receiving attention. That is why I am also so pleased, in this respect, to be able to associate myself on a positive note with the speech made by the hon member for Stellenbosch. The aged who are still living independently in their own flats ought to have access to the facilities of service centres. It will be preferable if certain home-care services could also be made available to this group on an organized basis.

On the recommendations of my department the National Housing Commission recently decided to place the rents for economic scheme houses rented by the aged on the same footing as those applying to the aged in welfare institutions. This decision will bring relief to the aged living in houses which form part of economic housing schemes. This concession does, of course, already apply in regard to sub-economic dwellings.

In the debate mention has been made of the question of the basic rent, the calculation that is applicable and the tariffs that are payable, and I am not going to repeat this. I just want to say, however, that although there is no income limit for admission to welfare institutions, the policy is that preference be given to those in the lowest income groups. Aged occupying units established for a higher income category previously paid the prescribed rent based on the applicable interest rate. I therefore think there has been relief as far as this is concerned.

I know that my hon colleagues will agree that for the purposes of planning ahead, for the establishment of housing programmes and for the aspect of financing, it is essential for needs to be assessed in a proper, scientific manner. The truth is that an accurate estimate of housing needs is not, in point of fact, possible at the moment, and I have said as much on a previous occasion in the House. The Building Research Institute of the CSIR has also indicated that there is no reliable data base for the determination of housing needs in existence. In consultation with the institute it has been decided, as an extension of the existing data bank, to have waiting lists computerized. The system which is at present in the design stage aims at eliminating the red tape involved in keeping waiting lists up to date and also aims at creating a reliable data base. This will eliminate the shortcomings inherent in the present system of waiting lists, for example duplication, outdated particulars and incompleteness. The intention is to have all the waiting lists of the department, local authorities, utility companies and welfare organizations revised and to have particulars of all applicants computerized.

For this purpose a new application form has been designed. By means of the system the following can, amongst other things, be determined: The number of persons inadequately housed, the prevailing rent levels, the ratio between a tenant’s rent and income and many other useful data in processed form.

At present we are doing research on the most efficient method of carrying out a survey of needs. I hope to announce particulars about this as soon as possible—in any event, in the course of this year. I should again like to thank the hon members for Stellenbosch and Beaufort West for their contributions.

The hon member for Newcastle referred to the promotion of home ownership, the sales campaign, the rent formula, income limits, maximum income limits and so on. I want to thank the hon member for Newcastle for his informative contribution. Since the sales campaign was launched on 1 July 1983—the hon member for Sea Point also referred to the sales campaign—there have been 10 825 saleable White dwellings that have not yet been sold. Until quite recently approximately 20% of these units were sold—the hon member for Sea Point referred to the figures. If one looks at the total number of saleable dwellings since 1920, however, built with money from the National Housing Fund, another perspective on the matter comes to the fore. Since that date 139 346 saleable dwelling units have been constructed, 130 616 having been sold. So during that period 93,7% of the saleable dwelling units for Whites, erected with such funds, were sold. And people have indeed become home-owners.

I should also like to tell the hon member for Newcastle that in order to promote home ownership the National Housing Commission recently decided to extend the sales campaign, on the present footing, for another year till 30 June 1986. Linked to that, and with a view to the present economic climate, the Commission also decided, in regard to dwelling units for Whites, including welfare units, financed by the National Housing Fund, to continue with the present formula for the determination of rents. An in-depth investigation is being launched, however, into improving the present rent-determination formula, with a view to bringing relief to those who need it and, in general, also fixing realistic rents. Together with the department I am also, at present, giving attention to the possibility of facilitating matters for those who want to buy State-financed dwellings, but find it difficult to afford them, without additional subsidies being paid. The payment of deposits, sliding-scale repayments and longer repayment periods will be investigated at length.

I should like to refer to the question of the interest subsidy on mortgage bond loans. My colleague, the hon Minister of the Budget, announced in his recent Budget Speech that the interest subsidy was to be increased from 1 April to 33,33% and that an amount of R5 million had been voted for that purpose during this financial year. As hon members will conclude, the conditions of the scheme, as applied up to now, remain in force, except for the subsidy being increased. The limit of R40 000 remains unchanged because we should like prospective home-owners to accept realistic standards and we should like the size of a dwelling to be adapted to the size of the family—the hon member Dr Venter also referred to this—with dwellings being enlarged at a later stage as the need arises. The truth is that smaller dwellings do not mean lower standards of living.

On this occasion I should like to say that it has also been decided to pay this increased subsidy to those who already receive the 20% subsidy for the remaining portion of the five-year term for which they qualify. It is also stated, at times, that building societies are not all that eager to grant smaller mortgage loans at lower interest rates, and in that regard I also want to say, in all humility, that building societies should, in my opinion, bear their social responsibility in mind and assist all borrowing sectors with home financing, and in this connection I therefore want to appeal to them to make the smaller loans more freely available, where possible, to those building their first homes.

I should also like to refer to the speech about standards by the hon member Dr Venter, and I should like to thank her for saying things with which I gladly concur. It is, in fact, true that we shall have to accept more modest standards. More modest standards do not mean forfeiture of one’s standard of living, and as the hon member said, it is necessary, in this regard, for us to cultivate an approach aimed at more modest housing.

In this connection my department shall also be of assistance and take positive steps to promote more realistic housing standards within the financial means of the average individual. This embodies the implementation of a number of pilot projects involving basic dwellings which will lend themselves to being extended and enlarged in accordance with the needs and financial means of the owners. Although only the basic dwelling will initially be completed, the approved plans will include all the extensions. The standard of these dwellings will comply with accepted norms, and although the dwellings will represent a basic residential unit, their design and workmanship will in no way compare unfavourably with dwellings in well-to-do residential areas. The object is to provide a dwelling to give a family a good start, with every possibility for later extensions. The Department has already identified the relevant areas which have been chosen in such a way as to comply with the requirements for the development of a good residential area. The first project is envisaged in Elandspoort in Pretoria, and the planning is so far advanced that work can commence within a few months. We have already identified areas in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg for this purpose. The department will open a technical advisory centre in the area to enable the owner of a basic dwelling to undertake his own extensions to his dwelling by making use of the advice of experienced officers of the department.

I want to emphasize that these projects are not low-cost housing projects in the sense that they are planned to comply with the requirements applicable to sub-economic housing. They encompass housing which will initially not be all that expensive because only basic units are involved, but units which nevertheless meet all the essential accommodation requirements in accordance with the standard that they will fit in well in any good residential area, also embodying the benefit of extensions.

The Elandspoort project will consist of 12 units. Some of them will, from the outset, have the later phases completed as a demonstration of the fully developed dwelling. We expect to commence construction in September. This project is also planned in such a way that it can be linked to the State’s interest-subsidy scheme according to which—as hon members know—the purchaser of a first dwelling qualifies for a subsidy of 33,33% on the interest portion of his bond payments. I should like to thank the hon member for the contribution he made in this connection.

In regard to the question of income limits, I should also just like to say that the present maximum limit—the hon member for Newcastle referred to that—were laid down in 1982. The adjustment of income limits is being given constant attention. Consideration has been given to increasing them, but hon members will understand that owing to the limited funds available for housing, it would serve no purpose at the moment, since in the allocation of available funds the lower income groups are being given preference.

As far as the aged are concerned, I have already announced, for those receiving social pensions above the limit of R150 per month and renting scheme dwellings, that the National Housing Commission has approved a scheme to equalize their rent payments with those of old-age homes. To my way of thinking this will also afford some relief.

I should like to thank the hon member for Losberg, the secretary of our study group, very sincerely for his contribution, for his friendly words to me and also for the work he is doing. He referred to the question of the establishment of townships. He was a member of the commission and also made a valuable contribution there. Amongst other things, the hon member dealt with the question of the Klipdrift Settlement Act and the Vyfhoek Management Act. He also put a number of questions in connection with the relevant period and so on. Let me tell the hon member that I shall gladly give attention to his request that the longer period of service and the election of councillors should coincide. I shall be furnishing him with a reply at a later stage.

As far as the funds of the board are concerned, let me say that according to my information the board has an amount of R38 000 and has purchased certain assets over the past five years for the maintenance of roads. They also make certain charitable donations, amongst other things to one of the schools for retarded children. In toto the board has 31 ha of land, including 20 ha of access roads, land adjacent to canals and cemeteries. Included in this are 11 ha of land alongside the canal which is, on request, made available to adjacent owners from time to time.

If one looks at this legislation one finds a very interesting situation. The aspects the hon member touched upon will, in all probably, embody statutory amendments if they are proceeded with, and at a later stage I shall gladly supply the hon member with further information about this.

The hon member also referred to recommendations in connection with the Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment. I trust I shall have an opportunity, at a later stage in the debate, to refer to that in more detail. [Interjections.]

I should also sincerely like to thank the hon member for Walvis Bay for his speech and also for his friendly words.

Business suspended at 18h45 and resumed at 20h00.

Evening Sitting


Mr Chairman, may I at the outset add my congratulations to the hon the Minister and good wishes for the task that lies before him. The same applies to the officials in his department. The hon the Minister and I have worked together for some time, and he has earned my respect. I believe we can in this regard look back at the Share Blocks Control Bill which we spent many hours framing. We are pleased to see that it is on the Statute Book and that it is working at the moment.

There are two aspects to this debate, namely local government on the one hand and, of course, housing on the other hand. I intend dealing with both, but in this part of my speech I should like firstly to confine myself to local government, which as most hon members will appreciate, is intimate government. Since it is involved in the constitutional changes facing South Africa today, the stage is now set and the spotlight is on local government.

I believe the die was cast in 1982 when the then Prime Minister, now State President, in a speech in Durban said the following:

It is contemplated to exercise in future only those functions which cannot be executed at the local, regional or provincial level, at the central level. This will result in a higher government level being only macro-norm setting, policy making, co-ordinating and regulating wherever possible, while execution and implementation of government services take place as near as possible to the man in the street, that is, at the lowest possible level.

That is what we are dealing with now. The present system of local government is exercised mostly by executive or management committees. I am just a little sorry to see that too many of these powers are being delegated to officials, and not being handled by those people elected to those management and executive committees. One wants to avoid having a local authority whose members are mostly rubber stamps, and do not have an opportunity to play their full role in local government. Therefore, one must look at the system of management or executive committees in that light. As far as the Provincial Ordinances are concerned, they prescribe exactly how local authorities are to operate. Transvaal, for example, has 95 provisions in the one Ordinance alone, and a local authority can only do precisely what the Ordinance says it can do, and nothing outside of that.

Fortunately, in recent times a little licence has been given to the larger local authorities as far as the borrowing of money is concerned. However, when it comes to general aspects, whether it is a local authority with a budget of R1 million or a local authority with a budget of R500 million, they are treated exactly the same. I think the time has come for the hon the Minister to consider whether, since we are now putting the spotlight on local authorities, large local authorities that have city status should not be given some charter of independence. In the Transvaal, for example, there is Johannesburg, Pretoria, Germiston and Roodepoort. I believe the qualification there is 50 000 voters. No doubt cities like Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein might also qualify. I believe the time has come for those local authorities to be given a charter, to be made more or less independent, so that they can run their own affairs as far as possible, subject to the minimum amount of control by other, higher authorities. That is what we should try to aim at, and I believe the time has come for us to consider such a charter.

One of the important aspects facing local authorities is that of town planning. There again I believe it is absolutely wrong for a Provincial Administration, or any other higher local authority, to try to determine what the town planning should be in respect of a specific local authority. The people living in the area of jurisdiction of that local authority are the best people to determine how the rezonings and the development should take place. I think the hon the Minister himself will recall that one of the commissions on which he sat heard, in evidence taken, that it would be beneficial in the establishment of townships for the local authority to have full say in having the township applications dealt with and finalized, and not have to send them to many departments and higher local authorities, wasting time and money. The result will be that land can be given much cheaper to the purchaser in order to build houses. I believe that is what we want to do. In the circumstances, I believe that, if we consider that town planning aspect, if there should be any form of control, an appeal body, such as a judge and two experts on town planning or on surveying, could settle any differences between an applicant and that local authority. Therefore, I believe that the time is ripe for this to happen.

Local authorities, of course, cannot exist without adequate finance. For years their biggest struggle and problem was to obtain additional finances, relying only on assessment rates and profits they made on sewerage, water, lights and that sort of thing. However, that is not sufficient. Some local authorities are approaching dangerous straits when they find that the interest payable by them on their loan accounts is now equal to their rate accounts. Then they reach a very dangerous position. They have lived through investigations like that of Borckenhagen, whose Committee sat for twelve years, and those of Niemand, Driessen and Browne, who actually recommended that the White local authorities subsidize Black local authorities. That was overruled by Mr Croeser, who came with different suggestions, for instance a regional services levy of 1% of the total salary of all employees. To a city like Johannesburg this would mean that, in addition to all the other burdens they have, they would have to pay something like R2,6 million on this tax alone. Cape Town will have to pay something like R1,5 million. In passing, I would say that the Government would have to pay something like R40 million for this subsidy.

We also find that local authorities are not exempt from the payment of GST. I think this is a big mistake. Local authorities should be exempt from GST. In England the local authorities pay VAT, value-added tax, but it is refunded by the central Government. That should be done here as well. Then there is a regional establishment levy with regard to the gross turnover and the floor-space as well. If that is implemented, local authorities are going to suffer because it is going to be counter-productive. It will mean that those developers will rather go to regions and areas where this tax is not payable. So, local authorities are going to lose out. It is going to have the opposite effect of what they actually wish to achieve.

As far as the Croeser Working Group is concerned, there is one recommendation which I want to oppose in the strongest possible terms, namely the proposal to make it obligatory for local authorities to levy rates on improvements as well as on the bare land itself. I think that is a retrogressive step. In the past—certainly in the Transvaal—an option was given to local authorities to decide whether to use the land or the land with improvements. Many local authorities have chosen deliberately to leave out the improvements, and this has enabled cities to grow. It has enabled cities to have skyscrapers. It has not inhibited developers from building magnificent buildings and making improvements in the cities. I think it is absolutely scandalous to come with a tax at this stage and make it retrogressive and let those people who have improved the cities pay up now. I also believe that, if it is now applied for the future, one is going to inhibit development in cities. If a city wants to levy rates on improvements, let them do it, but let them have the option. I plead with the hon the Minister not to support the idea that it should become absolutely compulsory for them to do so.

Then we are faced with the situation that local authorities are absolutely left hanging in mid-air. Apart from Provisional Administrations not knowing where they are going, local authorities do not know what is happening to them, and they need an indication from this Parliament of where their future lies and to whom they are responsible. Are they still responsible to Provincial Councils? Are they responsible to the regional services councils? At discussions taking place among institutes of city councillors and representatives of local authorities, there is absolute confusion. Some say the regional services councils are going to act as agents, and some say that the regional services councils are going to take over their authority. Nobody knows where they are going. There is complete uncertainty. They have to plan for the future. If they are responsible to Provincial Councils, as they are today, what will happen when Provincial Councils are phased out? I think it is on the cards that they are going to be phased out. To whom will they then be responsible? We have a state of confusion today where we have the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning having a say in local government, the White, Coloured and Indian Ministers of Local Government having a say and also the Provincial Councils. Now, how much of the authority exercised by the Provincial Councils, is now exercised by the three Ministers I have just mentioned? Is there not complete confusion? Have they not crossed lines, and when are they going to sort out who is responsible for what? It cannot go on in this way.

Then there is the question of elections. First we heard that elections are going to be held in 1988. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Hillbrow raised a few very interesting points during the course of his speech. It is regrettable that he disgressed at certain stages of his speech. On the whole, however, I believe he made a very constructive contribution to this debate. Since I want to follow a different tack altogether, Mr Chairman, the hon member will forgive me for not following him in the arguments that he advance.

*It is with a feeling of satisfaction and great thankfulness that I am taking part in the discussion of this particular Vote tonight. I say that because, as far as Local Authority, Housing and Works is concerned, we can participate for the first time today in a discussion which, in terms of our new Constitution, deals with an own affair of the population group of which I am a member. That is why I want to convey my sincere congratulations to the hon the Minister on what he, his department and his officials have achieved thus far. I believe sound foundations have been laid; foundations on which we can build. That is why we want to wish them the best of luck.

You will forgive me, Mr Chairman, if I refer for just a moment to Mr Andre Cornelissen. He is a former Free Stater, and the two of us co-operated very closely in the days when I was a member of the Provincial Council and he was a member of the Provincial Administration of the Orange Free State. I want to wish him many blessings and everything of the best in the very great task he has to perform.

This is only one of the comprehensive new executive institutions which have been established for each of the groups concerned. Indeed, it defines the prayer and the desire of every person, that he will be able to express himself fully in the milieu of his own community life with regard to his own culture and group identity. That is why it was so extremely important, so urgent, for structures to be established in which the respective groups could obtain the right to self-determination in that sphere in which their people live and work; where they are enabled to improve the quality of life of their own people to such an extent with the aid of their own structures that community development can take place in the true sense of the word.

When a community can constantly and uninterruptedly by controlling its own affairs become and stay involved in community development, it truly achieves maturity; a maturity which in turn leads to political stability and stable political independence. I regard this—and I should like to emphasize it—as a prerequisite for political stability.

What I have just mentioned involves many facets of this matter. Housing, however, surely forms the most important facet. Housing which supplies the needs of the respective categories of people in the community is a prerequisite in every regulated community. That is why it is one of this department’s primary tasks to provide housing for those who would not otherwise be capable of obtaining it, by means of local authorities, loans to individuals, the subsidy scheme of 20%—which has now been increased to 33%, as announced by the hon the Minister earlier tonight, and for which I want to thank him very much—and also many other means.

It is estimated that 45 000 residential units have to be built annually for Whites in order to supply the need. It is also interesting to note that during the period of five years between 1979 and 1983 187 289 residential units were built all together, of which 4% were provided by the public sector, 81% by the private sector and 15% by the public cooperatives. In the 1984-85 financial year approximately R120 million was spent by the National Housing Fund on White housing and R138,5 million has been budgeted in respect of White housing for the coming financial year.

Then there are various campaigns for the provision of housing which have already been elucidated or are going to be elucidated by other hon members. That is why I want to confine myself briefly to housing provided by the department and by local authorities. I should like to draw the attention briefly to a few aspects in this connection. In the first place I want to point out that the National Housing Commission grants loans from the National Housing Fund to local authorities for the execution of housing projects by the local authorities themselves or for redistribution by them to welfare organizations and utility companies. Above and beyond homes for the aged, homes for the handicapped and other welfare organizations, which provide accommodation to nearly 51 000 inhabitants, approximately 75 000 residential units were sold to individuals whereas almost 16 000 residential units are rented by the department and local authorities to Whites—the hon the Minister announced new figures in this connection tonight, but unfortunately I did not have them at my disposal. As far as I know, nearly 9 000 of the number of residential units I mentioned are still available for sale.

Recently loans were also granted for the buying of blocks of flats by local authorities, utility companies and other welfare organizations for the housing of aged persons who, partly as a result of the phasing out of rent control, cannot afford to pay rent in the private sector. We also want to thank the hon the Minister for what he has announced in that regard tonight in respect of rent for aged people.

Then there are also the loans granted by the National Housing Fund to approximately 14 000 individuals for the building or buying of dwellings. This applies to people whose income does not exceed the limit of R800 per month. In such cases the maximum loan is R29 700 for a dwelling of R33 000.

The hon the Minister also referred to the interest subsidy scheme and the increase of the subsidy from 20% to 33%. This makes a particular contribution in this connection. In addition there is the State-supported house-ownership scheme which encourages prospective house-owners to save for the buying or erection of an own dwelling. Interest is calculated on daily balance at rates determined by building societies, and is tax free. These investors enjoy preference in the granting of loans by building societies. Then there is the self-help building campaign to which the hon the Minister referred. I think it is a very important concept. A basic residential unit can be put at the disposal of people, and can then be extended as their ability to pay increases.

As I have indicated, the department has various campaigns and projects which are focused on the creation of housing opportunities for the public. Where it is the declared policy of the Government to encourage the private sector to play a more active role in the economy, it will enable the public sector to function in a supportive rather than an executive capacity. I should like to emphasize that this policy is applicable to all housing, including that for the middle and lower income groups. That is why it is imperative for the private sector and individuals to be involved in the provision of housing.

I should like to wish the hon the Minister and his department the best of luck in this great task that rests on their shoulders. We shall see that the people who speak against this department and against these own affairs which are very important to us, will sing a very different tune in future.


Mr Chairman, I wish to associate myself with previous speakers who referred to the considerable importance of this department, because it really is the department that is closest to the inhabitants of towns and cities. Accordingly I want to say to the hon the Minister and his staff that I wish them wisdom in the circumstances that prevail at present.

The Department of Local Government, Housing and Works is a department which forms a part of own affairs. The aim of the department is to carry out the functions relating to own affairs of local government, housing and works. We could in fact divide these functions into four categories: In the first place, the execution of local government affairs. In the second place, the administration and development of property. In the third place, the handling of housing affairs. In the fourth place there is the provision of building services. All these things are very important for the ordinary inhabitant of every town and city.

There are matters which I regard as very important and I wish to touch on some of them. In the first place I want to refer to “traffic”. Nowadays traffic is becoming an ever increasing problem. What is particularly important is that we feel that pupils on foot and on bicycles are exposed to the consequences of this problem. It is therefore essential that town planners should consider this right at the outset. When infrastructure is being planned, pavements for cyclists, in order to keep them out of the bustle of the busy streets, must be planned, particularly because many of them may be very small children not yet able to think for themselves.

The planning of luxurious civic centres in a difficult time like the present is a matter which we feel must be looked into. Many of these centres have a vast amount of floor space that is not used. There is so much luxury in these centres, and it is really not a very large percentage of the inhabitants of a town or city who derive any benefit from these buildings. I therefore request that only the most essential facilities be created. It is true that towns vie with one another to have the best town hall and civic centre, but this is something that must be eliminated. It must be done in accordance with what an hon member said when he pointed out that we should eliminate these luxuries in houses for young married couples too.

Another matter that must be looked into is the planning of the establishment of parks and other public facilities. Such parks are planned, and usually they are situated in areas which are absolutely overrun by loafers. These are factors that we feel must be given attention because people cannot mix in parks. The culture, the leisure activities and the needs differ, and separate facilities in my opinion are imperative for orderly coexistence and to prevent friction and conflict.

The preservation of national monuments so that history may be preserved for posterity, must at all times enjoy priority and should not make place for luxuries which sometimes become mere white elephants.

The planning of accommodation for the elderly is another subject about which I should like to say something this evening. I believe that there is a great deal of unanimity among us in regard to this matter. Some talk about villages for the elderly, but what I really want to ask is that when in future housing for the elderly is planned—we like to call them senior citizens—it should rather be seen to that all three of the phases may be accommodated at the same place. It is a fact that an elderly person does not like moving.

The first phase I would describe as accommodation. Usually this is a small house with a piece of land for an elderly couple. There they can perhaps provide themselves with vegetables by cultivating a small garden. They may even cultivate so much on that land as to be able to provide the institution with vegetables. In my opinion it is essential and of the utmost importance that elderly people should never feel superfluous. They should never feel that they become a burden to the people around them. They are still needed. When people are on the wrong side of fifty they often feel that they are superfluous, and this has a detrimental effect on them. It would be as well if they could make a contribution to the activities of the places in which they find themselves.

The second phase occurs when one of the spouses falls away and the surviving spouse is no longer able to live alone. In these circumstances he must not have any difficulty moving to a room or small flat where he can be close to other people.

The third phase entails the availability of a sickbay and a place for infirm elderly people. They are entitled to good care and medical assistance because they have done so much for this country and its people. When they were still healthy and productive they served the community well and in addition they probably brought children into the world who mean a great deal to the country. We cannot contend that they are receiving favours when we provide them with such accommodation.

As I have already said, it is important that all three of these phases may be offered on the same premises. As some of the previous speakers have said, it is also a good thing if they can be close to a church, the doctor, the post office and a shopping centre.

There is another group of elderly people who have spoken to me. They are the people who are able to afford good accommodation for their twilight years but who are no longer able to live in their own homes. They are able to pay for their facilities, and some of them can pay double, but they would like to be at a place where they can be with other people.

If possible, elderly people must be used in these homes to which I have just referred to do certain things. Many of them have exceptional talents and the skills and knowledge they have acquired over the years can be used to very good effect by such an institution. They can assist in repairs and the maintenance of facilities, the decoration and ornamentation of the buildings etc. All these are things that can be entrusted to such people. This will give them the feeling that we like to use their services, are grateful to them and would like to benefit from the knowledge and experience they have built up over the years.

I should like to enquire from the hon the Minister about the settlement at Loskop. In the past, settlements have made valuable contributions towards helping people to regain a place in life after depressions and droughts, and to make them prosperous and self-sufficient again. Many people from these settlements own their own farms today. I should like to know more about a settlement for medically semi-fit people at Loskop because I, too, grew up in that part of the world. Medically semi-fit people are often lost to society, and if they can really become useful citizens here I feel it would be a very good thing. Could the hon the Minister perhaps give me more information on about where this settlement is and how it functions?

I wish to point out to the hon the Minister that the functions of the department are subject to general legislation, as is evident from schedule 1 of the Constitution. The open business areas in the urban area will impose drastic changes and restrictions on town planning. In any event, any decisions will be subject to general legislation. We feel that local authorities should be able to proceed unhindered to plan and create facilities for the inhabitants of the specific town or city. They must not be hindered or made subject to general legislation. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Germiston District made a well-balanced and well-considered speech. She is a real little mother of the people and I want to congratulate her on that. [Interjections.]

I had intended devoting my attention to the issue of rent control this evening, but I must say that this subject has been so thoroughly dealt with this evening by various sides of the House—by hon members of the PFP, the NP, the CP and by the hon the Minister himself—that it would probably be somewhat unbalanced of me to elaborate on it further. I just wish to convey my cordial congratulations to the hon the Minister, as a man of ’74, on the post he now occupies. We see that he is already doing the work that this Vote entails in a balanced way. He was my benchmate in 1974, and what is more, because he was younger than I he was my junior! In the five years that I was absent we watched him carefully, he made good progress, and we saw that he did his work in a balanced way. This also applies to rent control and to the issue of promoting housing for the elderly. Without going into detail I just wish to say that in these spheres, too, he must maintain a balanced approach. I do think—and I say this with the utmost respect to all the hon members who have discussed rent control thus far—that their approach has been somewhat unbalanced in that they have stated only one side of the case and have omitted to mention the fact that we must assist the private sector to make its contribution because without that they will not be able to do so.

I now wish to deal with something that occurred in this House yesterday. I could almost call it an incredible occurrence. Allow me briefly to sketch the situation. Yesterday, when this Vote came up for discussion, the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works—by definition the hon the Minister’s portfolio embraces own affairs—stood up and introduced the debate. He explained what fell under his departments and what their functions were, and referred to the various laws that were administered. He laid down the guidelines, if I may put it that way; he chalked out the lines for the playing field clearly. However, what happened then? The teams then had to come onto the field and play—the Government on the one side and the Opposition parties on the other. The hon member for Parktown, spokesman of the left wing of the Opposition, the PFP, was first to speak. [Interjections.] I was reminded of the song: “It’s a strange, strange world we live in, Master Jack.” [Interjections.] What did this hon member say?

†Sir, can you believe it? He said, and I have his Hansard here:

We have the ridiculous situation of having a so-called White local government Minister in South Africa while, honestly, there is no single White local authority.

He repeated that remark two or three times, saying that White local government simply did not exist as a separate entity, and so forth.

*Can you conceive, Sir, how remote from reality that hon member is? He says that there is no such thing as a White local authority in South Africa; there is no such thing. I think that this left wing played so far off the field that they were not on the field at all!

However, the right wing then had to enter the frey. I now wish to say with great respect to the hon member for Pietersburg, who is a great medical friend of mine, that yesterday he made statements and adopted standpoints that could probably be numbered amongst the most ridiculous, ill-considered and unrealistic I have ever heard in this House. [Interjections.] I have his Hansard here, too. He referred to the hon member for Bellville, who spoke in the debate on Law and Order and said towards the end of his speech, “We must build, we must not break”. How did the hon member for Pietersburg respond to that? One can scarcely believe it, because with reference to the hon member for Bellville he said:

Towards the end of his speech, however, the hon member said with reference to the previous debate that in respect of this department, too, we want to build and not to break down. That breaking down and burning down, however, has nothing to do with this House. I think that as far as that is concerned the hon member found himself in other spheres that do not affect this House at all.
*Dr J J Vilonel:

How can you say it does not affect this House?

*Dr W J Snyman:

After all, there are no Whites that have smashed and burnt down houses.


Is that untrue?


That hon member is really very far removed from reality if he thinks that those matters have nothing to do with this House. After all, that hon member is a member of Parliament and is an educated person, but he says that that has nothing to do with this House. If there is one matter that definitely has to do with this House it is that. This demonstrates that there are own affairs such as Black local authorities and White local authorities, but violence and arson and everything that that entails are general affairs. What is our police force doing there if the situation has nothing do to with us? [Interjections.]

The hon member for Langlaagte, who is making such a noise at the moment, was making money while we in this debate … [Interjections.]


Order! Is the hon member Dr Vilonel prepared to answer a question?


Mr Chairman, the hon member may put a question to me and perhaps then he will be properly informed.


Mr Chairman, I asked the hon member Dr Vilonel to come and make this kind of statement together with me on the same platform in Langlaagte. [Interjections.]


Order! The hon member Dr Vilonel may proceed.


If the hon member wants decent company I shall give it to him, but he need not seek out such places where he wants to stand and makes a noise in order to have my company. [Interjections.]


Order! The hon member for Langlaagte must contain himself.


I should prefer to give him my company in this House where we can look one another in the eye. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Pietersburg says that these matters, burning down and other difficulties, have nothing to do with us. My question is: What are the Police doing there then? The hon member said that it had nothing to do with this House; I say it has everything to do with this House. Moreover, it has everything to do with own affairs, because it affects us just as much as it affects them. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Koedoespoort tried to say that when we speak about own affairs and general affairs—yesterday the left wing played right off the field and the right wing played around in the pavilions—one speaks from the point of view of integration and the other from the point of view of separate development. That is not true. One spoke of the point of view of total integration and the other of the point of view of total segregation, and that is impossible. Those hon members are still going to swallow their words about what they refer to as “the little bit of own affairs”. Own affairs are inter alia local authorities, housing and works, that we are dealing with now, as well as other spheres, such as education. The hon member for Germiston District expressed it in a very fine and balanced way when she referred to own affairs as very important matters. I should like the hon members to listen to this. [Interjections.]

We must have an honest and faithful image of reality and of what is feasible in this time. In other words, we must know what is feasible in 1985. I want to appeal to both the left wing and the right wing of the Opposition to co-operate with us on the basis of realities.

It is pointless saying, on the one hand, that there is no such thing as a White local authority, and on the other, that Black local authorities and problems like arson has nothing to do with this House. It does not help this country to argue on the basis of such unbalanced, unrealistic and extreme standpoints. On the basis of an honest and faithful image of reality, of what is feasible and of what is feasible now, I call upon the hon members of this House to take our hand and co-operate in extending these own affairs of ours too. When it comes to general affairs and we have to share the power with other people, whether we want to or not,—I want to share it for the sake of this country—then I ask that we all co-operate to make a success of this country. Let us not look at today’s by-elections with petty politics in mind, and let us not look at the next general election either, but let us consider the future of our country and our children as the hon member for Germiston District did this evening.


Mr Chairman, I should like to associate myself with the congratulations conveyed by the hon member Dr Vilonel to the hon member for Germiston District on a very good speech. However, I should like to ask her today whether she does not want to help us. She made a fine speech about old age homes, but I want to say that she must help us, because at election times we find that there are people who go around these old age homes telling the old people that these homes are to be thrown open. These are lies, and they upset the old people. [Interjections.] I want her to appeal to her party colleagues to refrain from this kind of thing for the sake of our old people. [Interjections.]

Abraham Lincoln said:

Property is the fruit of labour. Property is desirable. It is a positive good in the world. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another but let him work diligently and build one for himself. Thus, by example, assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.

This links up with what the hon the Minister said here today, viz that it must be our goal in this country to allow as many people as possible to become home-owners. It is our duty as a Government to create the circumstances within which home-ownership may be acquired. I do not ask that the Government build a house for everyone in this country, but that we create circumstances within which people can build houses for themselves.

Unfortunately it is true that today the price of a house is very high. It is also true that the Government is in earnest about doing something about this matter, and evidence of this is the appointment of the Venter Commission. However, the final price of a house is not determined by a plot only, but by various components. This evening I want to consider the cost of just one of these components, viz the cost of building material.

The cost of building material is one of the most important components of the construction cost of an average economic housing unit. It amounts to 60% of the total cost. I have carried out some investigations recently and spoken to various people in the construction industry, the manufacturing industry and the suppliers industry. Information was not always readily available. I tried to correlate it, and in the time at my disposal I wish to refer to some of these different components of building material.

To begin with I want to refer to cement. According to my information there is just one company that controls, directly or indirectly, all factories manufacturing cement. What I find interesting is that those factories sell their products to a single wholesaler. That wholesaler is controlled by the same company that controls the factories. This is where the real profit is made. The big builder who undertakes large contracts can buy from this wholesaler, but on two conditions. The first is that he has to pay cash, because there is no competition. The second is that he may not go and fetch that product himself; it must be delivered to him by that company. For that he pays 87 cents per sack of cement, whether it be delivered a hundred yards away from the factory or at any other distance. Today a sack of cement costs R5,05 over the counter. Before the disparity between the rand and the dollar we were able to import cement 17,5% cheaper than we could buy it locally. That does not even include excise duty, shipping costs and delivery.

The second component to which I want to refer is stone. One cannot make concrete without stone. Four or five years ago all the quarry owners came together and established a central marketing organization through which they all market their products. Everyone has to do their marketing through the organization. The price is the same. Before this marketing organization came into being one could get stone at 3,73 per ton. Today we have to pay R12,60 per ton for it.

When we look at the glass industry we see that there is one company that controls approximately 80% of the entire glass industry in our country. Today one can buy glass at a price of R10,74 per square metre. One can have it delivered from abroad “on site”, as they say, at R5,42 per m2. This includes shipping costs, conveyance to and from harbours and excise duties and clearing fees.

Let us look at timber. The timber grower—the farmer—gets R12 per m3 for the tree trunk. If we want to buy it after processing, viz over the counter, we will have to pay R705 for that timber. [Interjections.] R705 per m3!

Let us look at floor tiles. There is only one supplier of the basic raw product; only one, and he has an interest in all the manufacturers. His price per m2 is R4,97. We can import it for the landed price of R2,36 per m2—for tiles that are just as good if not better! [Interjections.] I concede that we should then still have to pay excise duty, clearance fees, delivery and the so-called “forward covering”. If we set the forward covering at 48 we shall be able to import tiles at a price of R3,51 per m2, including all these costs; this in contrast to the R4,97. I could continue in this vein.

Let us look at gypsum, the basic source material of our ceilings. In this industry there is only one trader. When we consider the manufacture and suppliers of the raw products of PVC pipes and steel we shall see that the story is the same. As far as paint is concerned, I could entertain on hon members with a terribly interesting story, which is that the titanium that is mined here is exported to Canada and then re-imported; and we have to pay for that.

My conclusion is that all is not well—to put it euphemistically—in our industry. If we are in earnest about self-build, we shall have to give urgent consideration to this situation. My request to the hon the Minister is that he refer this matter to the Competition Board, and if the board is unable to deal with this matter without delay with the manpower at its disposal—because I think that this is a matter of urgent importance—then I ask him to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to expose this matter fully, in the interests of housing at a reasonable cost in this country. I deny no-one the right to make a profit, but I reject the exploitation as a result of the monopolistic conditions prevailing in this industry.


Mr Chairman, I have no quarrel with the hon member for Parow. He has made a constructive speech, and any suggestions on how to alleviate the housing shortage and on how to enable more people to buy houses at a cheaper cost will, I am sure, meet with the full approval of every hon member in this House. I will deal with housing in a moment, but I should first like to conclude my remarks on local government.

I was dealing with the question of elections. There are two matters which I would like the hon the Minister please to try to settle. Dealing with elections, we heard one announcement, namely that all local authority elections would take place in 1988. That was subsequently amended and we heard that the elections would take place in 1986. Will the hon the Minister please clarify this? Will all those elected serve for a period of five years? Will they all be simultaneously elected? Finally, will they all be eligible to go on to serve on regional services councils? In passing, I should also like to ask the hon the Minister to tell us whether it is now the intention of his Government to stand as a political party in all elections for local authorities. If they propose to do that, I would have no quarrel with it. I believe that every single member of a local authority has political affiliations and, when he stands for elections—whether it be under that party’s flag or as an independent—he in fact caucuses and he makes all his decisions as a member of that party. They elect their mayors and their management committees on that basis, and so I do not think that they should hide behind anything except the flag under which they stand. In this way the electorate will know exactly what they stand for.

May I please ask the hon the Minister to settle a few questions: Firstly, if provincial administration is phased out, will there be an administrator and an executive committee, and, if so, what will their functions be? Secondly, if provincial administration is phased out, since the last Budget shows that something like R4,5 billion has been voted by this Parliament to subsidize the four Provincial Administrations, should he not appoint a committee to see how much of that R4,5 billion will be saved, so that it can be used to finance local authorities? Certainly education and health services must be provided, but a lot of that money will be saved because there will be no duplication of many departments and I take it that there will be no provincial councillors in those four Administrations. Thirdly, if there is to be a metropolitan body, will it be superior to the regional services councils, and what will be the relationship between the regional services councils and that metropolitan body?

In my final plea for a charter for local authorities, I want to quote none other than the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning who said:

The Government has accepted the principle of maximum devolution of power and decentralization of administration at local government level and of minimum administrative control of local authorities.

In those circumstances I believe that the scenario that I would like to see is the following: I should like to see one large local authority embracing Johannesburg, Bosmont, Riverlea, Mid-Ennerdale, and Lenasia; I should like to see all those areas divided into wards, and I should like to see all the people living in those areas being eligible to serve on one local authority. That should be the framework for the new deal and the new look for local authorities in South Africa. [Interjections.] My last plea to the hon the Minister is please to tell local authorities what is happening to them. Please tell them. They are in a state of flux and they would like to know what is happening.

Let me turn to the question of housing and rent control, of which we have heard so much tonight. Let me say at once that I do not believe that the Rent Control Act should be phased out. There is a Bill, on which we who sat on the select committee made certain recommendations and in terms of which it will be phased out to a certain extent, but the Act will still remain, and the exigencies of the economy, from time to time, will demand more control or demand less control. The Act must always be there so that the hon the Minister can exercise the choice of more or less control as and when it may be needed. There is no question about the fact that there are many people who are struggling, there are poor people who cannot afford to pay the rents. Applications are made to a rent board and the rent board is fixing rentals far beyond the means of the people who then cannot afford to live there. As recently as last week, on 23 April, I received a letter from a person who, incidentally, lives in Durban Point. In the letter he says:

My main plea is that the new increase …

That is from the rent board:

… is affecting poor old age pensioners who are paying 75% of their pensions and, if those property owners continue to exploit them, they will not be able to pay their rent and will be thrown out into the street.

That is the plea of a pensioner. I do not know why we require the protection provided for in the Rent Control Act in such a case. The philosophy behind the Rent Control Act was not to protect people who can afford to pay the rent and who happen to live in rent Controlled buildings during the period between 1949 and 1966. The idea was that those people who needed protection should continue to receive protection, and at the same time not inhibiting development. I am pleased to see that the Share Blocks Control Act and the Sectional Titles Act are to be amended in order to cope with the same sort of protection that is built into the Rent Control Act which has been amended.

The select committee made these representations some two years ago. Therefore I appeal to the hon the Minister to tell us when we will have this Bill before Parliament. While we are waiting for this Bill, people are being exploited and share blocks control has taken away all the protection that was built into the Sectional Titles Act. People are being exploited and sent to places where they cannot afford to pay the rent, with the result that they are crying that the pension they are receiving is not sufficient to carry them through. As the hon member for Cape Town Gardens said, the question of the limits of R850 and R450 should be revised. He mentioned a 25% rise in the cost of living and quoted figures of R600 and R1 130. My plea, too, is to have this amended as soon as possible.

Local authorities are of course responsible for housing. They have to draw up a scheme and submit it to the National Housing Commission. Under this new set-up, how is local government going to operate, for instance in a place like Johannesburg where they have the management committees of the Coloured and the Indians under them and have to supply funds to them for their budgets? To which Minister will they be responsible? How will responsibilities be divided between the National Housing Commission, who has to receive the applications, and local authorities? How will those applications be processed for a housing scheme to be brought about?

As far as home-owners are concerned, I agree with the hon member Dr Venter that it is very important now, not only to think of the elderly people, but also to think of the young couples. Young couples must have somewhere to live. The whole question of accommodation has changed since the days when a flat was merely a place that one could rent. With sectional title and share blocks control, flats have become places of permanent abode. The people who, many years ago, sold their houses and invested their R10 000 or R20 000, on which they were then living, moved into rented flats to live out their lives, now find they are forced to buy and use their capital. Therefore, they have to be assisted. However, the young couples do not have the money saved up and they want to start a home and a family, but property is very expensive. I think the R40 000 limit which applies at present to people buying their first homes should be looked at. I think R40 000 is not enough. Let us try to do something that will assist the young people. For example, one positive thing that we can do is to say that the instalments they pay on the bond should come off their income as far as tax is concerned. That, I am sure, will assist a lot of the young people and enable them to obtain bonds and live in proper homes.

I think we have to encourage the private sector to build houses as well. There is obviously an obligation upon the private sector, as well as the public sector, to do so. However, we must make meaningful concessions to the private sector to make it worth their while. It does not pay them at the moment to build accommodation that can be let, because people cannot afford to pay the rentals which must be paid to match the expenses of the capital the developers had to lay out in order to provide rental accommodation. While the Government is busy phasing out rent control, I want to appeal to the hon the Minister not to carry on phasing out those buildings which are presently under rent control. Letting accommodation is getting less and less, and soon there will be very little, if any, left. They are already using the Share Blocks Control Act to try to get people out. I do not know what criteria the Minister uses, but as I have seen in the past—and I am not saying it is this hon Minister; I am not blaming him personally—because a building happened to be in Killarney, or Rosebank, or Lower Houghton, everybody thought that all the people living in it were wealthy. They are not. Many of them are pensioners, living on their pensions. One must not judge the individual by the particular area in which he lives. That is not the criterion to use. My final plea is: Please, come to their assistance. [Time expired.]

*Mr H M J VAN RENSBURG (Rosettenville):

Mr Chairman, when I listen to the hon member for Hillbrow I can clearly see that he is very nervous about Newton Park. [Interjections.] He is really so nervous that he is now dragging in constitutional matters by the hair, whereas we are engaged in a discussion on housing. The debate he wants to conduct will only come up later. However I invite him to go outside with me for a smoke. We two can go and smoke a cigarette together in order to calm our nerves somewhat. [Interjections.]

In the speeches that hon members have made thus far this evening I have detected two particular truths. They are, firstly: That houses are built for people to live in and not to look at. The other is that one must not simply buy a house, but also the neighbour. [Interjections.] Yes, after trouble with the neighbours one so often has to go and restore the peace again. However, let us leave that aside for the moment.

I should like to convey my most sincere thanks to the hon the Minister, his officials and all those fine people in the department for the wonderful way in which they have listened to my representations in the past.

As hon members are probably aware I have a very bulky file—it becomes bulkier by the day—in which I keep letters from people who bring their complaints about rent control to me. In this regard, therefore, I can associate myself with the hon member for Hillbrow as regards the whole issue of rent control. The other day, for example, I received a letter which, when I quote from it, will clearly indicate the kind of problems I am sometimes saddled with. This particular letter reads as follows:

Geagte mnr Sporie van Rensburg, Die woonstelbewoners het baie klagtes, maar is te bang om te praat omdat hulle sal kennis kry om te trek. Waar gaan ons heen? Die mense is bang vir die mafia want hulle regeer die suide van Johannesburg. Hulle verhoog die huurgeld soos dit hulle pas. As hulle iets moet regmaak moet die huurder maar betaal. Baie dankie Baie bang Rosettenville

Now, that is exactly what I should like to emphasize here this evening. In many respects these people really are frightened, and it is the issue of rent control as it stands at present that frightens them. However, before going ahead with what I want to say about rent control there is another matter to which I first want to refer. I believe that to a large extent the Johannesburg City Council does its share. When I say that, however, I also immediately want to relate that to what the hon the Minister and the Department have done. What they have done is to spend more than R15 million on housing in the Johannesburg urban area. For the entire Johannesburg region they have guaranteed the infrastructure by more than R27 million. What really makes me afraid for the future are the extremely long waiting lists of people waiting for accommodation at present.

I spoke recently to Mr Wilsnach, the official in charge in Johannesburg. He informed me that 300 applications had been received from people without children, 450 from families with one child, 500 from families with two children, 200 from families with three children and 120 from families with between four and six children. Accordingly to my own calculation this means that approximately 15 000 people are involved. Of these applicants 30% are elderly people while 70% are members of families that ultimately want to obtain accommodation.

As far as I can determine the biggest bottleneck we are faced with as far as the leasing of dwelling units is concerned is the fact that in the case of flats, all rent increases are ascribed to general tariff increases. I have before me a circular sent to the lessees of flats in a certain block of flats. It reads as follows:

Dear tenant, there have been substantial increases in all costs relating to the property in which you stay.

However let us note what is included here. I quote further:

… assessment rates, 10%; electricity, 6%

In the meantime the lessees pay their own electricity in any event:

… parking, 20%-100% …

This, of course, despite the fact that the majority of those people do not possess motorcars:

… gas, 7%; busfares, 7% to 23,5% …

What bus tariffs have to do with it, goodness alone knows:

… sewer rates, 15%; cleansing, 6%-7%; business and industry, 19%.

Mr Chairman, I am convinced that ultimately these estate agents go so far as to misuse all kinds of tariff increases in an effort to justify their own tariff increases. Moreover, I have before me copies of receipts which attest to the drastic increases in the rentals of certain flats.

In one instance the lessee was still paying R232 per month in January last year. In August the rent was increased to R255. In October 1984 the rental was increased once again, this time to R360. Worst of all, of course, is the fact that new lessees immediately have to pay double the rental because a deposit equal to one month’s rental is also required of them.

In many instances the provision of services to flat occupants has been curtailed, or stopped entirely. Lessees have to renovate their flats themselves and replace or repair broken fittings. Protected tenants are not aware of the protection they can claim, and when they go and complain anywhere they are simply given notice by the agent of the owner of the block of flats in question that they have to leave because the owner himself wants to occupy the flat or that the flat has to be renovated. This, of course, does not happen, and that flat is merely leased to new tenants for increased rentals.

Recently I heard about a specific estate agent who simply told more than 300 lessees in blocks of flats in my constituency to leave. The fact is that the majority of them are protected tenants. However they are unaware of the protection they enjoy. They therefore vacate the flats because they are unable to afford the increased rentals. There are even people receiving a disability pension who enjoy no protection in this regard.

I also wish to refer the hon the Minister to Suidhewels—he knows about this. I have here a map of Moffat Park consisting of 500 ha which have not been developed but which can still be developed. However there is also a small park of 48 ha. This is a small piece of land. All I want is that part bordering on Moffat Park. I want it and I am going to get it. Plans have already been drawn up. All I ask is part of Stand 1202 which comprises 48 ha and borders on Moffat Park. There are services right across the street. There are 900 small parks in Johannesburg that could be developed. I want to say that 250 flats could be built in that park. The City Council of Johannesburg urgently needs accommodation for 100 families. Where I am there are also several families that need accommodation. All I want of the Minister is the small amount of R7 million. If I can get it, the contract will be carried out by the City Council. What is R7 million in the Minister’s coffers? It is only a small amount. This is a very serious matter.

I want to point out that the City Council of Johannesburg has a major problem. There is today a waiting list of 446 families who wish to move into economic housing in my constituency. There are people for whom it is vital to get in there. In total the City Council of Johannesburg accommodates 1 130 elderly people—698 in single units and 216 in double units. There are already major aid contracts because Johannesburg has a total of 1 414 units being built at a cost of more than R43 million. I have already told this House that they finance their own development fund with loans from abroad. It is really necessary that these people ultimately be given accommodation.

I also just want to refer to what the Department of Housing has done in Johannesburg. They have obtained 384 stands in Suideroord. I think that this is close to the constituency of my hon colleague for Turffontein. Up to the end of March, 339 plots had been sold for amounts ranging between R5 000 and R10 000. The size of the stands varies from 600 to 2 000 square metres. Today there are only 43 stands left. However there have been 900 applications and it was therefore necessary to draw lots to help the people.

Sir, I want to say that some of my people tell me that they live in cars. If they give me a street address then they live in a car. There are people who bought a train ticket between Springs and Randfontein and who pass their evenings on a train because they have no home. There are people living in wrecked cars. We must really wake up—the private sector too—and realize what conditions our people in general are enduring. I therefore thank the hon the Minister and his staff for what they are doing in this regard. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in following in the tracks of the hon member for Rosettenville. I wish to associate myself with him in pointing out that the housing problem is a very serious one in our society. I should like to return to that later.

I wish to begin, however, by appealing to the hon the Minister and telling him something he actually knows, which is that he should really not take any notice of the attacks aimed at him especially from the side of the CP. From what has been said here today, from previous debates and from a document I wish to quote, it is clear that these people have lost touch with reality entirely and that they have developed into relating only to the problem in South Africa but in no way to any solution or peaceful coexistence.

The cultural ringleader of the CP, the “Volkswag”, issues a leaflet under the title Op Wag and in the April 1985 issue they deal with Youth Year under the caption “Die Angel in Jeugjaar 85”; They point out that the origin of Youth Year actually lies with the UNO. They continue by making this statement:

In die RSA word die volgende organisasies deur die WO gebruik; Die YMCA, die YWCA, die ANC en die Girl Guides.

They say two of these organizations merit closer attention, namely the ANC and the Girl Guides. They make the statement that “die Girl Guides in the Republiek van Suid-Afrika ’n belangrike front-organisasie vir die VVO is”.


Order! The hon member must please help me. It is not quite clear to me how what he is saying relates to this Vote.


Sir, I think we have said enough about the CP and now we can move on to more important matters.


The hon member may proceed.


The third and final report of the Commission of Enquiry into Township Establishment and Related Matters, the Venter Commission, was tabled in Parliament on 9 July last year. With few exceptions the more than 150 recommendations by the commission were accepted by the Government. [Interjections.]

If the hon member for Langlaagte who also served on the commission had been as loquacious in that body as he is now, he may have been able to make a contribution.

The report of the commission was exceptionally well received by the private sector and I believe that its general acceptance is a tribute to the hon the Minister who was the chairman of the commission.

The inquiries of the commission, which are reflected in its recommendations, in general reveal the following crucial points: Firstly, that the provision of residential sites and accommodation is primarily a financial problem. The necessary building materials, expertise and manpower are available to supply housing needs but the problem is its financing and more specifically the financing of housing for persons in the lower income group. According to evidence before the commission it appears that a large part of the population simply does not or will not have the financial ability to be able to provide its own housing.

The cyclical nature of funding in the building industry has an intensely constricting effect and the precarious situation that at times there is almost an excess of funds available and at others almost a shortfall leads to dislocation and instability in the industry and gives rise to large-scale unemployment at times with an attendant loss of expertise, increases in price and an aggravation of the housing shortage.

A further aspect is that in the present structure the private sector, in which profit-seeking is justifiably the objective, concentrates to a great degree on the provision of housing to the middle and higher income groups whereas it is left largely to the State to provide for those who cannot acquire housing from their own funds.

If one notes the enormous housing need, one finds that a conservative estimate indicates that the total housing need will amount to 3,5 million units in the following 15 years and will have to be provided at a cost of almost R4,6 million per annum. One then finds it clear that neither the private nor the public sector in itself can fulfil this need.

To obviate these problems and to accomplish successfully the task of development arising from the expected future urbanization, the commission points out that it is necessary that the task be undertaken jointly on an integrated basis by the public and private sectors. To accomplish this, the commission suggests a partnership in the form of a housing corporation which will result in the stabilization of the flow of funds and that expertise will be supplied on a fixed basis.

It is imperative that a housing corporation or a similar structure be established to overcome bottlenecks as regards the financial aspects of township establishment and housing and by so doing enable young people to acquire a first house and to place senior citizens in the position of being able to retain their houses and to remain in the community after retirement.

A second crucial problem found by the commission is coincident with procedures followed in the application and approval of township establishment. Current procedures sometimes lead to delays and have an enormous influence on the increase in costs. Provincial differences also complicate the position. Here the commission recommends a simplified procedure with as much provincial uniformity as possible which will lead to expediting the processing of applications. An important component in this respect is that of delegation to local authorities who intially handle applications so that they themselves can take the necessary decisions where the necessary expertise and manpower is available to them.

A third point indicated by the commission is that timeous planning is of cardinal importance. The commission suggests a hierarchy of plans which would create certainty without causing rigidity.

The fourth point to which has already been referred in the debate and which the commission also pointed out is that the standard of service provision is often too high as well as that the ultimate housing itself is often far too luxurious and totally out of touch with the actual need. This fact also gives rise to enormous increases in cost.

The implementation of the findings of the commission has devolved upon the Director of Land Affairs. As Mr Leon Claassens was the chief adviser to the commission, it could decidedly not be left in more capable hands. In the light of the extent of the implementation action, however, and the fact that various departments are affected by it, it is necessary that supporting personnel with the relevant powers be made available to examine the implementation of the recommendations of the commission under his guidance. I shall return to this shortly.

The recommendations of the commission can basically be divided into two categories, namely those which can be implemented without, statutory amendment and those which can only be carried out through statutory amendment. As regards the first category in which legislation is not required, progress has already been made and the administrations and local authorities involved have been requested to proceed with the implementation. As regards recommendations which can only be carried out by means of statutory amendments, however, the position is not quite so satisfactory. In this way, for example, there are indications in the Transvaal that the relevant ordinance will not be passed by the provincial council in May this year. I wish to contend that it cannot be permitted that any delay ensue in implementing the recommendations of the Venter Commission. The provision of attainable residential sites and related housing is a priority for every community. The recommendations of the commission are of the utmost importance. There can be no doubt that, if they are carried out, they will make residential sites and housing available effectively, rapidly and more cheaply. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, on nearing the end of the debate, it is very clear to me that there is one matter under this own budget which speakers on the Government side have avoided totally, namely arrangements as regards local authorities. The hon member for East London City even made a detor to Youth Year whereas the hon member Dr Vilonel though the unrest situation had a bearing on this own affairs budget. If there is such a degree of confusion among representatives in this House, it is surely obvious that even greater confusion should reign outside the House.

The hon member for Beaufort West, for example, stated categorically that there should be an own local authority for each population group. Allow me to mention only one example of how great the confusion is in the Cape Province. Residents in the Cape recently held a congress and I read in Die Burger of 25 April that a decision was called for on a motion by the Deputy Mayor of Swellendam that Brown people within municipal areas should have representation on municipal councils in proportion to their financial contributions to the maintenance and development of towns in those areas. That proposal was seconded by a Cape Town city councillor. I wish to illustrate the other side of the matter, however, and I quote:

Munisipaliteite van Oudtshoorn, Cradock, George en Aberdeen het hulle sterk uitgespreek teen die mosie, en gesê die stelsel van bestuurskomitees werk baie goed in die praktyk.

They decided to leave this motion in abeyance for a year before proceding further. Nevertheless this did not happen only in the Cape Province. In the Free State, where an election has just been held, the order paper of the Bloemfontein City Council carried a motion which read as follows:

Die Bloemfonteinse Stadsraad versoek die Vrystaatse Munisipale Vereniging om ernstig te besin oor die nuutste ontwikkeling van derdevlakregering en in besonder die streeksdiensteraad (SDR). Die Stadsraad van Bloemfontein is daaroor bekommer:
  1. (a) dat die streeksdiensteraad soos nou voorgestel, ontwikkel in ’n verdere statutêre owerheidsliggaam en bly nie meer ’n raadplegende, koordinerende raad soos oorspronklik beoog nie;
  2. (b) die ontkiesering van kiesers;
  3. (c) die feit dat primêre plaaslike owerhede tot niks-beduidende instandhouers van strate, sypaadjies en parke gereduseer word;
  4. (d) die finansiële implikasies vir die belastingbetaler in die verantwoordelikhede toegesê aan die SDR en nuwe inkomstebronne, en
  5. (e) die algehele finansiële implikasie vir die totstandbrening ban hierdie streeksdiensteraad soos nou beoog.

Even in the Free State there is great concern on the direction in which this government by local authority is moving. It is a source of concern to a Bloemfontein city councillor and perhaps the hon the Minister can assist this city councillor to cast off his concern.

For this reason I wish to put a very pertinent question to the hon the Minister: Are provincial councils to be phased out as the hon member for Witbank said? If so, when are they to be phased out? I think the Government is morally obliged to publicize its intention loudly and clearly so that electors out there can know where they stand with the Government.

According to the most recent figures of the hon the Minister of Finance the White taxpayer in this country currently pays R3 421 million in income tax.


You should get your figures right!


Then that hon member had better ask the hon the Minister. In addition he will be responsible for certain tax in respect of the provincial authority; further there is the question of the regional services levy and regional establishment tax which is going to affect every thinkable taxpayer in this country directly. I think the hon the Minister owes it to us to explain in detail how this will affect each one. In addition there are also the usual municipal rates. In the end this will have only one consequence which is a further impoverishment of our people out there.

At the beginning of the year the hon the Minister sent an organigram to us to explain the composition and functions of his department. According to it the purpose of his department is to carry out the functions relating to own affairs, namely local government, housing and works. There are two directorates: The Directorate of Local Government and secondly the Directorate of Housing and Works. The hon the Minister indicated that the Directorate of Local Government was yet to be instituted. I wish to ask the hon the Minister now when he envisages instituting that directorate and how its functions will differ from those of the provinces at present. Is this directorate possibly going to replace the provincial authorities? I hope the hon the Minister will be able to provide us with greater clarity on these matters.

The next matter I wish to raise deals with the amount of say the local authorities are going to have in determining own residential areas, own business districts and own recreational areas. The Group Areas Act is naturally a general act and is administered by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. What I should like to know, however, is to what degree the local authority will have a say or decision-making powers in this respect. Is the general Minister possibly going to make this decision after consultation with the local authority? For instance, where 44 business districts are now going to be thrown open to all races, I want to know how much say local authorities are going to have in this regard. Will a local authority, for example, be able to decide at all whether it wishes to have such an area or not? If this is forced upon it, will a local authority have some say on where such an area ought to be? [Interjections.]

Is such an area to be exempt from the provisions of the Group Areas Act? In other words will an occupier in such a free trade area obtain property rights to his business undertaking? If there should be flats on a business site as well, to what population group are they to be available or is it going to be a free residential area at the same time? Is it going to be a grey area where in terms of the Government party’s new policy it will be possible to accommodate mixed couples or to allow them to live together within or outside the marital relationship? [Interjections.]

As soon as that party is driven into a corner by the logical consequences that are obvious from the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act which will be especially applicable at local government level, they hide behind the Group Areas Act which supposedly prohibits now this and now that.

The question remains: Where are these people going to live? Where are these mixed couples going to live? If it is to be “arranged administratively” as the recommendation of the committee runs, we want to know what role the local authority will play in this particular case. [Interjections.]


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


No, the hon member knows I have no time.

I wish to ask the hon the Minister: Will the local authority play a decisive role in these cases? Will a local authority retain the full right of disposition over its own residential areas? I have a good example here of the Government’s hiding behind the Group Areas Act where the hon the Minister of Home Affairs said at a meeting the Group Areas Act protected a White neighbourhood and non-Whites were not permitted to live there. I now wish to ask the hon the Minister pertinently: Are you prepared to declare categorically in this committee tonight that couples who marry across the colour bar will never come into their own in White residential areas? [Interjections.] I think the hon the Minister owes the country an answer. I wish to contend that the hon the Minister cannot say this.

It has now become necessary for the hon the Minister to give a clear explanation of the fine print of the integration policy of that coalition government so that it is obvious to all. In South Africa there is only one of two options: Either integration with the consequent abdication of the White at every tier of government or own autonomous government institutions at the local as well as every other government level. The latter is the choice of the CP and that is why the CP rejects every form of integration at local government level. [Interjections.] Surely this affects our people on the personal level more than at any other tier of government. [Time expired.]


Mr Chairman, the hon member for Pietersburg made use of this last opportunity to introduce a considerable amount of politics into the debate. It is perhaps a pity that he should have done so at this late stage and at this late hour of the evening, but I wish to say to him I nevertheless think this debate proceeded beautifully and that excellent contributions were made. I honestly believe this is not the type of vote which should be politicized to such an extent.

The hon member asked whether, if people of colour purchased business undertakings in a grey area and flats were built there, a mixture of colour would take place because Whites and those of colour would all be permitted to live amongst one another? I wish to tell the hon member now that a permit for flats will never be granted in such an area. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister will reply to other questions.

A great deal was said on housing and the subject was well thrashed out in this debate. Arising from the opposition parties’ attacks on this department and the fact that they do not believe this department justifies a Minister, I should like to refer to only one aspect of this department, namely the works division. I find it a great pity that hon members sit in this House and wish to belittle and denigrate what is their own. Personally I am very proud of what this department does for the White people in my electoral division. If I merely look at the exceptional needs that exist in my constituency and at the attention this department pays those matters, I wish to convey my thanks to the hon the Minister and the officials of this department.

What must be one of the most beautiful homes for the aged has been erected in my electoral division. At the official opening of the complex its effectiveness and neatness were commented on. The inmates of that home assure me that they live there very happily and my greatest problem at present is that there is an enormous number of applications pouring in for accommodation in that home for the aged. Fortunately another complex is envisaged in the Westonaria region and the city council is currently involved in acquiring the necessary land where this complex is to be erected.

If we take a more general view of the duties entrusted to this department, we realize the valuable service furnished to Whites throughout the Republic of South Africa. I consider it necessary to refer to a few of the duties. For example it has taken over 110 contracts to the value of R225 million of which the planning had already been completed and which are in process of execution from the Department of Public Works and Land Affairs. Only the allocation of funds is being awaited for certain of these contracts. If these hon members of the Opposition had appealed tonight for more funds for this department, it would have made much more sense to me.

In addition there are 40 services in the planning stage. Over the past six months no noteworthy small works have been carried out, chiefly in consequence of a lack of funds. During the financial year 1985-86 the intention is to carry out repairs to the amount of R327 000 at the Tara hospital.

In consultation with other departments such as those of Health Services and Welfare, Agriculture and Water Supply, Education and Culture as well as the Department of the Budget and Supporting Services this department is at present revising its own needs in accordance with capital services placed on the building programme by the Department of Public Works and Land Affairs. The building programmes for the 1986-87 financial year and subsequent financial years will be compiled from this. A pre-planned building programme covering 15 years is being worked out.

I am mentioning a few of these pre-planned building programmes in respect of which an undertaking cannot be given to have them included in this building programme through a shortage of funds. The Administration: Assembly will be able to indicate which of these services qualify for inclusion in the building programme only after the Treasury has approved its financial programme. I wish to mention only a few of these: 12 flats at the Sonop settlement at Brits to the value of half a million rand; the Protea place of safety in Port Elizabeth, R230 000; flats to the value of R180 000 in Pretoria North. Houses and single quarters to the value of R310 000 are being planned at the Department of Agriculture and Water Supply. At the agricultural research station at Bethlehem an improved water supply to the value of R265 000 is being planned and at the Cradock experimental farm the planned water supply will run into R130 000. Then there are agricultural research stations, workshops, etc to the value of R2,5 million; power supply at the Janseville research station to the value R80 000 and services at the Roodeplaat research station near Pretoria running into almost R6 million. A rehabilitation centre at Maitland, Cape Town, R200 000; improvements to a technical college in Springs, R506 000; additions to the technical college in Vereeniging, R152 000; trade and special schools, R8,5 million; Queenstown High School, R220 000; George Trade School for Girls, R3,5 million; Eversdal Trade School, R11,07 million; hospitals and clinics for infectious diseases, R640 000; welfare accommodation, homes for the aged and rehabilitation centres, R2,5 million; an agricultural college at Nelspruit, R11,669 million.

I can continue in this way and enumerate dozens more of these institutions and building programmes but I am afraid I am running out of time. I have mentioned all these envisaged programmes to indicate how essential it is to support this department. What I have mentioned amounts to only a small part of the activities of this department. I did not even touch on budgetary and supporting services—neither is there a survey available for Local Government, Housing and Works.

I should like to appeal to the opposition not to be merely negatively orientated; they have more cause to be proud of what we are doing for our own people. I hope that in future no more disparaging references will be made to this department and that the opposition will also lend this Minister and this Vote their support.


Mr Chairman, I immediately want to thank the hon member for Carletonville for the positive speech he made here about a very important facet of the department, ie the works aspect. I thank the hon member for the information he made available to the Committee here. One could, in fact, add a great deal of interesting data to that. As the hon member rightly indicated, it is obviously a question of funds, because otherwise we would probably be able to do quite a bit more in this connection. It is nevertheless the department’s earnest endeavour, with the available funds, to take the most efficient action possible, thereby achieving the maximum under the circumstances. I also want to thank the hon member for the positive note on which he brought the debate to a close, and in particular for his remarks to the hon member for Pietersburg. I shall soon come back to the hon member.

As the hon member for Carletonville said, in fact, it is true that we have negative comments made by Opposition members about own affairs. The fact remains, however, that whatever the hon member for Pietersburg and his party may be in a position to do about the question of own affairs embodied in the Constitution, including the executive authority, to which I shall be referring in due course, we on this side of the House—my colleagues in the Ministers’ Council, my colleagues on this side and I—will do everything in our power to promote own affairs in the interests of the people we serve; and we are not doing this at the expense of other people.

I also want to thank all the other hon members for their positive contributions to this debate. From this side of the House there were exceptionally positive contributions. I also want to thank hon members sincerely for the good wishes of the kind the hon member for Carltonville extended to me.

The hon member for Walvis Bay made a balanced speech. I referred to the hon member just before supper. He lodged a plea for the revision of the Housing Code. I should like to tell the hon member that my department, as hon members know, intends to introduce a Development and Housing Bill. The Bill has been formulated. It has been to the legal advisors and a few legal and technical aspects are being investigated. It could appear on the Order Paper any day now, and as soon as this own affairs legislation involving the establishment of a Development and Housing Board is placed on the Statute Book we shall be coming to light with a new Housing Code providing exclusively for the needs of the White population group. This will also contain the amended procedure for local authorities and welfare organizations in regard to applications for approval of projects and funds from the National Housing Fund. The code will also make a comprehensive manual on the provision of low-cost housing, in particular, of value to local authorities in dealing with housing matters. I am therefore glad to be able to respond positively to the hon member’s request.

I want to thank the hon member for Kroonstad for his friendly comments about me and my department. The hon member made a very good speech which could serve as a reference when it comes to the provision of housing. The hon member referred to the State-supported home-ownership scheme, and I should like to support the hon member in his representations involving greater use being made of this scheme. The scheme has been in existence since 1971 to promote home-ownership. The State contributes 3% to the interest rates offered by the building societies in terms of the scheme. This is exempt from tax and investors are given preference in the allocation of loans by building societies. Parents can open such savings accounts for their children and vice versa. The maximum amount that can be saved in terms of this scheme at present is R20 000, and the interest subsidy is payable over 10 years. I should like to advise prospective home-owners to make use of this facility since it could help them to become home-owners more quickly. I therefore thank the hon member for Kroonstad for his contribution in this connection.

The hon member for Welkom also extended his good wishes to me and to the department. The hon member also replied to specific aspects mentioned by the hon member for Pinetown and the hon member for Pietersburg, and I want to thank the hon member, in particular, for the positive contribution he made in the House, and also for the support that he gives my department in this specific regard.

The hon member for Koedoespoort spoke about housing at the end of his speech, raising the question of housing for the aged, etc. That was actually the only positive point the hon member made, except for the fact that the hon member for Koedoespoort tried to take my senior colleague, the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning, and myself and play us off against each other. I just want to point out to the hon member that he might just as well stop using those tactics even before he starts, tactics also adopted by other hon members in his party. [Interjections.] The hon member will not achieve anything by such tactics. The hon member spoke about the “little bit of own affairs”. In the course of time, as the debates on my colleagues’ Votes progress, and as the respective departments and administrations are extended, the hon member will find himself swallowing those words about the “little bit of own affairs”. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Nigel was kind enough to congratulate me on my appointment to this post, and for that I want to thank the hon member. The hon member mentioned specific aspects in connection with housing, ie the fact that it is necessary for people to be able to afford to buy houses. He pointed out that housing was expensive. In the light of replies I have already furnished, the hon member will concede that I have already replied to those points. He raised one point in connection with building materials which I shall be elaborating on in due course.


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


Mr Chairman, I do not know what the hon member wants to ask me, but I shall be replying to his speech. He may rest assured that I have not yet done with him. The hon members problem is that there is something bothering him, because I have not yet even spoken about the matters that hon member raised and already he wants to start asking questions. [Interjections.] I want to point out to the hon member that he should change his approach to the question of own affairs and local authorities. Surely the hon member knows better. The hon member is still conducting the debate that was held here in 1983 prior to the referendum on the Constitution. Hon members can go and read his speeches in Hansard—he is still debating that issue. [Interjections.] And then he debates the point under the wrong vote too! [Interjections.] Let me say that it does not suite the opposition parties to have any progress made in regard to the Government’s policy on self-determination and the furtherance of that policy. That is why they adopt this attitude, such a disparaging attitude, towards the question of own affairs. Surely it is logical that it does not suit the opposition parties to have us succeed in the constitutional sphere and give substance to the development of the right to self-determination.


The whole world is already against us because of that policy. [Interjections.]


I do not want to engage in petty politics with the hon member this evening, but I always find it interesting that the hon member for Sunnyside sat in our party for years waiting for someone to walk out, because he did not have the courage to do so on his own. [Interjections.]

The hon member for Pietersburg denigrates local authorities, but at the same time the hon member and his party take an intense interest in local authorities. He belittles local authorities, but at the same time they are involved with local authorities outside the House. I want to tell the hon member and his party this evening that for many years local authorities have played a great part in building up sound community structures in South Africa. The hon member and his party must guard against allowing petty politics to stir up our wonderful communities. Nor do I want them to carry this into the sphere of local authorities.


Who has mixed boards?


The hon member for Langlaagte should rather confine himself to subjects he knows something about. [Interjections.]


I wonder whether you, in fact, know what it is all about. Your own members call you a donkey, and I agree.




Mr Chairman, the hon member for Langlaagte must really not get upset. Did the hon member’s party lose today?


It looks like it! [Interjections.]


I should like to tell the hon member for Pietersburg that the repeated references by him and his party to the so-called policy of integration and coalition government will not put us off our stroke.


Of course not! You are, in point of fact, integrationists!


The hon member for Langlaagte will not put me off my stroke either, not even with his best efforts.




Nor will I allow myself to be threatened by the hon member for Langlaagte, and I therefore pay no heed to his finger-waving. [Interjections.] I should like to quote from the speech the State President made at the opening of the meeting of the Council for the Co-ordination of Local Government Affairs on 26 March of this year. On that occasion the State President said the following:

Die devolusie van gesag na die plaaslike owerheidsinstellings van die onderskeie bevolkingsgroepe is ’n konstitusionele meganisme om minderheidsgroepe se belange in ’n heterogene samelewing in stand te hou. Die ryke verskeidenheid van die bevolkingsgroepe en gemeenskappe wat in ons gemeenskaplike vaderland woon, sal dus as ’n gegewe werklikheid erken moet word. Hierdie feit sal staatkundig binne die Afrika-konteks verreken moet word en gestalte kry in die strukture wat ons skep. Ook op plaaslike owerheidsvlak sal die bestaan van groepe of gemeenskappe dus as vertrekpunt erken moet word, sal die regte van groepe beskerm moet word en sal die welsyn van alle gemeenskappe nagestreef moet word.

Yes, you quote everything brother Chris Heunis tells you, don’t you? [Interjections.]


Mr Chairman, there is no doubt about the question of the composition of the executive authority in terms of the Constitution. Section 19 of the Constitution provides that in regard to matters which are the own affairs of a certain population group, the executive authority of the Republic rests with the State President, acting on the advice of the relevant Ministers’ Council, and that as far as general affairs are concerned, it rests with the State President and the Cabinet.

So there are no restrictions on the House of Assembly submitting and piloting through legislation on own affairs, as set out in Schedule 1 of the Constitution. In conjunction with that, let me point out—in the absence of the hon member for Sea Point—that it is not the intention that the items mentioned in Schedule 1 should be confined to a specific population group only, but rather that there are those aspects that a specific population group needs for the realization of self-determination as set out in section 14(1) of the Constitution. If the hon member for Sea Point envisages this in any other terms, or attaches some other meaning to it, that is not correct.

The hon member for Pinetown was kind enough to convey to me his courteous good wishes on the occasion of my first presentation of this vote here in the House. In his absence I should therefore like to thank him very sincerely. In the matters I shall be referring to in due course, I shall be furnishing further replies to the points the hon member raised. This also applies to the question of local Government matters which he raised.

†The hon member for Hillbrow also spoke at length about certain matters relating to local authorities. Obviously, Mr Chairman, as I have already indicated, the hon member may just as well have waited until next week’s debate. As a matter of fact, many of the aspects to which the hon member referred in his speech had been dealt with earlier by the hon member for Sea Point.

*Mr Chairman, as in the case of the hon member for Pietersburg—he conceded as much—there are also other hon members who have been able to examine the department’s organigram. Hon members therefore know that this department does not have any legal power in regard to local authorities. The implementation of functions and the transfer of own affairs functions of the provinces to the relevant department are matters still under consideration. This department and I therefore do not, in that regard, have any legal powers.

The post of Director in the Directorate; Local Government of this department was advertised, and it is a pleasure for me to be able to announce that several applications for that post were received and that someone has been appointed. The present secretary of the Transvaal Municipal Association, Mr Jan Koekemoer, has been appointed to this post. The substructure of the administrative framework in the directorate is receiving attention at the moment.

In the process, Mr Chairman, the local authorities to which I have referred have thus far played a very important role. In the future they will, I believe, also play an increasing role in our relevant forms of government.

I have pointed out to the hon member that local authorities, as a third-tier government mechanism, have played a major part in the orderly development of our various communities. This led to the development of a form of government very close to the ideal of a democratic form of government, if we bear in mind that the mere fact that we are human makes the complete realization of an ideal impossible. On the strength of the joint housing and development campaigns, there is already close co-operation between my department and local authorities. Mutual understanding and sound liaison have already been established. During the recent conference of regional representatives of my department, they were instructed to visit each local authority in the respective area at least once a year, the express purpose being to discuss problems of common concern. These existing channels of communication can be used to good effect when local authorities, with greater authority, enter the national system of government as executive bodies. Meanwhile mutual agreement has been reached amongst provincial administrations, my counterparts in the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates and myself that matters of fundamental importance being considered by the provincial administrations should meanwhile be referred to the own affairs Ministers for consultation, and this is already being done. The Director General of the Administration: House of Assembly and I are both members of the Council for the Co-ordination of Local Government Affairs. I am also a member of the Council’s action committee. In terms of the Local Government Training Act, my department also has a seat on the Training Board for Local Government Bodies and the executive committee of that Board. About the question of regional services councils, there will also be the necessary consultation with me in the case of White local authorities being affected.


Bloemfontein rejected that—on 28 March.


I am not familiar with the matter the hon member has just referred to. I therefore cannot comment on it. In this way we have a say in matters primarily affecting local authorities, and their interests are properly looked after. With White local authorities linking up to my Department there will inevitably have to be large-scale extensions within the departmental set-up, with further reorganization inevitably being necessary as far as that is concerned. I have already referred to the question of legislation, which the hon member for Pietersburg also referred to, and I have briefly given him some information about that. I think I have sufficiently dealt with the hon member’s contribution. I want to make sure that I do also reply to other hon members.


Mr Chairman, may I now put my question to the hon the Minister?


Perhaps the hon member will first give me an opportunity to finish speaking. Then we can see whether there is still some time available.

The hon member for Sea Point is not present. He put several questions to me about the problem of rent control. Let me tell him that we have taken note of those questions and will give them our consideration in the light of what I also want to say in connection with rent control in due course.

†The hon member for Cape Town Gardens also raised certain issues with regard to rent control. He also made certain suggestions and put certain questions. Unfortunately I do not see the hon member for Cape Town Gardens here. [Interjections.]


I told your Whip what the circumstances were.


Yes, I am not saying it in any derogatory manner. I should like to say to the hon member that we will take his comments and suggestions into consideration when we consider the question of rent control. Among other things he raised the question of the definition of a lessee. In terms of the Rent Control Act a “lessee” includes—

a sublessee and the widow or divorced or deserted wife of a lessee or sublessee who was living with him at the time of his death, divorce or desertion.

I think that that will clarify the matter for the hon member for Cape Town Gardens. As I have said, I will take his other comments into consideration.

As regards the hon member for Hillbrow, I have already dealt with certain aspects he raised and in a moment I will come to some of the suggestions he made. I should like to thank the hon member for his comments. I know that the hon member for Hillbrow takes matters pertaining to housing and rent control seriously and therefore I should like to thank him for his contribution tonight and the suggestions he made.

I have already referred to the R40 000 limit and I am in agreement with the hon member that we should endeavour to assist people in becoming home-owners. Obviously the matter relating to any concessions on income tax does not fall within my ambit.


Where is the money you collected for Connie?


The hon member for Langlaagte is apparently caught up a very lengthy dream. He is being completely silly. He should go and talk to the hon member for Sunnyside. Perhaps he can help him.

I should like to thank the hon member Dr Vilonel for his standpoint in connection with rent control and for the fact that he stated, as a point of departure, that there should be a sound balance between the interests of owners and tenants. He also wants a sound balance in our approach to this matter. I should like to endorse that. I want to thank the hon member for his speech and also for the exceptionally positive remarks he made.

†The position is, as all hon members know, that the latest proposals, to which the hon member for Hillbrow has also referred, are contained in the third report which was tabled in the House on 9 July last year. It was the third report of the select committee under the chairmanship of the then Deputy Minister Mr Pierre Cronjé.

I should like to point out that I have had discussions with Sapoa as well as the Rent Control Board in Pretoria and the chairmen of most of the full-time rent boards. The views of these persons and bodies were thoroughly taken into consideration as regards to the desirability of amending the Act during the current session of Parliament.

The most important aspect of the proposed legislation concerns the phasing-out of rent control so that only dwellings occupied prior to 1 June 1966 and occupied by protected tenants will be subject to rent control. The practice that is followed by certain landlords of evicting protected tenants under the pretext that repairs, restoration, conversion and demolition of the rented accommodation will be effected, will also be addressed in the proposed legislation. A protected tenant, in terms of the latest steps to phase out rent control, is one with an income of R850 per month in the case of families and R450 in the case of single persons.

Subsequent to the reply to a question in Parliament on 26 February, the late Chairman of the Ministers’ Council mentioned that it was anticipated that legislation concerning rent control would be introduced after the Easter recess, but further and new circumstances have now arisen which change the position. If the Act is amended as proposed, rentals of exempted units will inevitably increase and this will detrimentally affect tenants in the present tight economic climate who, as a result of their income, do not qualify as protected tenants. The hon member for Rosettenville also referred to these aspects.

According to an indication by the chairmen of the rent boards the practices referred to above in connection with notices of eviction as well as the intimidation of protected tenants have lately decreased considerably.

My department is at present considering the possibility of exempting certain areas on a selective basis. Affluent persons who do not require the protection of the Rent Control Act are in actual fact being subsidized as a result of their occupation of certain buildings. The interests of protected tenants in those areas will be protected by means of the laying down of suitable conditions of exemption.

I regularly receive applications in terms of the provisions of the Rent Control Act for the exemption of controlled dwellings from rent control. After a thorough investigation and recommendation by the department and the relative rent board, applications are carefully dealt with by me on merit. Normally units occupied by persons who do not require protection are not readily exempted. Normally only dwellings of which the rental cannot be afforded by the lower income groups are exempted. I have laid down as policy that exemption will only take effect three months after the approval for exemption has been granted so that tenants will be able to make alternative arrangements if they wish to do so.

From time to time I receive representations in connection with unreasonably high rentals, as has been the case tonight. These cases are investigated by the department and the rent board, and I wish to state in no uncertain terms that should cases of exploitation occur in respect of uncontrolled premises, I shall not hesitate to subject them to rent control. I am of the opinion that the Rent Control Act can be improved and I intend to submit proposals to this House for the amendment of the Act during the next session of Parliament.

Consideration is also being given to the consolidation, if possible, of the entire housing legislation package for Whites concerning land development, housing, rent control, slums and squatting.

*To conclude this subject, let me say that there are also other aspects to look at, for example the question of how the lessor deals with statutory increases, the possibility of sworn statements accompanying applications by applicants to the effect that they are authorized by the owner to eliminate the practice to which the hon member for Rosettenville referred, the retrospective effect of rent determinations, the question of vacating premises when repair-work to dwellings is being carried out and is related to building reconstruction, etc. I shall be giving attention to all these aspects, including the question of income limits and their possible increase. The hon member for Hillbrow, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens and, amongst others, also the hon member for Rosettenville on this side, referred to that.

I hope I have hereby given an adequate reply. I also want to thank the hon member for East London City very sincerely for his contribution on the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Township Establishment. The implementation of the recommendations is, in my opinion, progressing particularly favourably and I should like to support the hon member’s plea that there be no delays with the implementation of those recommendations. I have here a comprehensive statement of the progress being made in this connection and hon members who are interested are free to discuss the matter with me. The hon member was a member of the commission, in which capacity he did very good work, and I should like to furnish him with the data. I know that the hon member for Umbilo is also interested in the progress being made with the implementation of the recommendations and I would be only to glad to give him the necessary particulars.


May I put a question to the hon the Minister?


I am not finished yet.

The hon member is in so much of a hurry and is so nervous … [Interjections.] He could probably ask his question next week too.


You would not, in any event, be able to answer it next week either.


The hon member for Langlaagte has no reason to be upset. I should like to thank the hon member for Germiston district for her words of congratulation. She made a good speech about the housing question, as some of my colleagues have already pointed out, but spoiled it towards the end by again singing the old refrain about general laws and so on. She asked me a specific question about the Loskop settlement and I should like to tell her that the Department of Health Services and Welfare is the body responsible for finding settlements for the semi-disabled and providing them with a livelihood. The Department of Local Government, Housing and Works exercises overall control over the provision of aid measures, the furnishing of services and the maintenance of improvements and acts in support of the first-mentioned department. An amount of R71 000 has been budgeted for maintenance in the present financial year.

I should like to thank the hon member Dr Vilonel for the appeal he made for co-operation on the basis of the realities in South Africa. I should like to endorse the hon member’s plea in this regard.

The hon member for Parow made a very important speech here this evening. The hon member referred to the question of the costs of building material and to the apparent possibility of cartel formation, possible price-fixing, which takes place. It is important for attention to be given to these matters with a view to bringing housing within people’s means. From the very nature of the case this is a sensitive matter, and I must tell the hon member that in this regard high prices undoubtedly have an adverse effect on the question of accommodation. As the hon member requested in his speech, I shall convey the matter to my colleague, the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry, who administers the Competition Board. At the same time I should be glad if the hon member would make any further particulars he may have available to me so that we can take this matter further along suitable channels. I want to thank the hon member for the speech he made here. I have no doubt that if the facts set out here could be confirmed, one could bring about a possible reduction in prices by way of sound competition. [Interjections.]

Then I want to refer to the hon member for Rosettenville’s speech. The hon member for Rosettenville has again launched a very fine plea for the people he serves. I also want to thank the hon member for the spirit in which he always approaches my department about the problems he has. You know, Sir, he has such a nice way of putting things that even in these hard times, R7 million sounds like small-change! [Interjections.] Let me tell the hon member that it is big money he was talking about, particularly at this time of night, but the hon member felt himself at liberty to make his representations to us. I also took to heart what the hon member said about the question of the possible exploitation of tenants. The hon member must feel free to make further representations to me at any time.

The Whip has indicated that my time has expired. I just want to make sure that I have thanked all hon members who made speeches. Yes, I also thanked the hon member for Carletonville. [Interjections.] I should like to conclude by sincerely thanking all my hon colleagues, and I again want to express my great appreciation to my department head and the officers in my department. I also thank every one of my own colleagues for the spirit in which this debate was held, even though we did cross swords with one another here and there. Let me therefore thank everyone for his contribution to this debate. [Interjections.]




Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister, with all due respect—with reference to a very apposite question which I put to him when I was speaking and which he did not reply to—whether a local authority, in the case of free-trade areas, has any say in the decision about whether such free-trade areas are going to be permitted there or not and in where it is envisaged those areas should be situated. [Interjections.]


Mr Chairman, from the very nature of the case—and the hon member knows this—this is not an aspect pertaining to my department. I have no doubt, however, that the local authorities will be consulted about the question of free-trade areas before they are introduced. [Interjections.]



Vote agreed to.

The Chairman directed to report progress and ask leave to sit again.

House Resumed:

Progress supported and leave granted to sit again.


Introductory Speech delivered at Joint Sitting on 29 April


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

One of the sources of revenue—and probably the most important—for the National Road Fund is the 2,354c per litre of the customs or excise duty on petrol, kerosene, distillate fuel or residual fuel oil which is paid into the National Road Fund as a charge to the State Revenue Fund.

A second very important source of revenue for the National Road Fund is amounts which the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs and the Minister of Finance, may after issuing a notice levy on every litre of petrol or distillate fuel which is sold or supplied by any person at any point in the Republic, or imported by any person into the Republic.

As a result of the fact, but not exclusively so, that the Act, as has been mentioned, makes provision for an alternative procedure to obtain money for the road fund the Cabinet, after prior talks between the Department of Transport Affairs, the Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs and the Department of Finance, as well as representatives of the oil companies, decided that the existing provision of 2,354c per litre of the customs or excise duty on fuel should be terminated. To implement the decision of the Cabinet, the State Oil Fund Act, 1977, has already been appropriately amended. That is why the National Roads Act, 1971 is also being amended now, and the customs and excise regulations will also be amended as soon as is feasible.

†The port and settlement of Walvis Bay has until now been excluded from the payment of the levy on petrol and distillate fuel which is imposed by means of a notice. It is, however, deemed necessary and reasonable that all road users should contribute to the building and maintenance of roads, and the Act is consequently being amended now to include Walvis Bay.

Urban transport planning and the execution of approved transport plans in all the declared metropolitan transport areas have until now been curtailed drastically in view of insufficient funds and only the most necessary projects have been undertaken. The stage has, however, now been reached in which traffic congestion has assumed such alarming proportions that remedial steps must be instituted immediately. In order to achieve this objective provision is now being made for the transfer of funds from the National Road Fund to the Urban Transport Fund with the approval of the Minister.

Second Reading resumed


Mr Chairman, we on this side of the House will support the Bill.

Before we start I should like to ask the hon the Minister a few questions as there appear to have been some misconceptions in his Second Reading speech. He said that representatives of the oil companies assisted the Departments of Transport and Mineral and Energy Affairs, as well as the hon the Minister of Finance, in coming to an arrangement. As far as I am concerned the law does not allow the oil companies to have any say whatsoever as to what the levy should be. It seems strange that the hon the Minister has brought them in at this particular time.

This is a very short Bill consisting of one clause that amends section 2 of the National Roads Act, 1971, but it has a lot of financial punch.

Previously, 2,354 cents per litre were allowed out of customs and excise, and 1,3 cents per litre formed a special levy. This, however, is going to be changed completely and the 2,354 cents per litre will fall away. There will only be a special levy which the hon the Minister will decide upon together with the hon the Minister of Finance and the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs. We on this side of the House agree that the levying of the tax at the petrol pump is quite the correct thing to do. It does not matter if it is a Mini or a 10-ton truck; the Mini travels further because it is lighter, whereas the heavy truck consumes much more petrol.

The hon the Minister will remember that I brought to his attention during the debate on the Transport Vote last year that the question of a fixed amount of money was really quite absurd. When the Act was originally passed in 1970 it constituted 10% to 12% of the total amount of the fuel price, whereas by 1984-85 it had dropped to between 3% to 4%; therefore, this is quite the correct way to do it.

In conclusion I would like to say that I see the hon the Minister has followed our advice. We told him that the whole basis on which revenue was accumulated for the National Road Fund was completely outdated and that it could not be used under present-day conditions. We asked the hon the Minister to change it. We told him that we thought he had the business acumen to do it and that he could persuade the hon the Minister of Finance, and we now want to congratulate him. He also said we had made very good speeches to assist him. We support this Bill.


Mr Chairman, I wish to thank members of the Official Opposition for their support of this amending Bill. It is in accordance with the actions in the standing committee where we also reached a unanimous decision on it. I thank them for giving it their unanimous support in the standing committee as well.

Time is actually short this evening. The chief source of income to the National Road Fund is the 2,354 cents per litre which it has at its disposal. I am informed that the additional two cents will mean R180 million to the fund if fuel sales remain at the same level. Another important source of income to the National Road Fund is money the Minister can provide with the permission of the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs.

Furthermore the Cabinet has already also decided to amend the State Oil Fund Act suitably to enable the National Roads Act, 1971, to be amended now and, because all road users should contribute to the building and maintenance of roads, the Act is also being amended appropriately to include Walvis Bay. Inadequate funds have given rise to crisis situations in our urban transport planning and power is now being furnished for the transfer of funds from the National Road Fund to the Urban Transport Fund with the Minister’s approval. I therefore wish to accord my hearty support and that of my party to this very fitting and appropriate statutory amendment.


Mr Chairman, when we examine the legislation before us, we realize we are dealing with a legal draftsman and a Minister who are both versed in these matters in contrast to what we experienced a short while ago. This hon Minister has in recent times demonstrated very clearly in this House that whatever portfolio he deals with, he does so in such a way that it is a pleasure to behold. We do not say he is always right because he has to do with a Government which is guilty of one faux pas after the other as we have seen recently. Nevertheless it is a bright spot that a Minister in that Government can continue to keep his head above water and act successfully.

There is one matter which causes me some concern, namely the fact that the Cabinet and all these bodies held discussions. I agree with the hon member for Bezuidenhout that it is not pleasant to find now that the oil companies also had a certain say. I do not believe that was necessary; I do not believe all interest groups are involved in Cabinet decisions—that is unnecessary. I do not wish to reproach the hon the Minister about this but I think he could have dealt with these matters without the oil companies.

Another matter which worries me somewhat and which I regret is that Walvis Bay, which is a few thousand kilometres from here, is being taxed for road-building funds. I think that is rather unreasonable. The fact is that from one end to the other Walvis Bay is only about 10 kilometres in length, yet they have to pay. I find it surprising that the hon member for Walvis Bay did not object to this but the NP does this in the newspapers nowadays—like the maize farmers.

The other question which is of importance to me is that moneys are now being transferred to the Urban Transport Fund. In the case of cities like Johannesburg in particular the ordinary local government cannot provide roads because it does not collect sufficient money from tax.

We could continue talking on this at length but we wish the hon the Minister every success with this good legislation.


Mr Chairman, it is obvious that the votes are in the ballot-box and that they are being counted because the hon member for Langlaagte is lavish in his praise of the Minister tonight. I find that quite amazing. He talks about the hon the Minister as a man who can keep his head above water, “nogal” a “mielieboer” at that. That, to me, is quite remarkable.

We welcome this Bill because it serves to alter the procedure for the collection of levies for the National Transport Commission, particularly in respect of the fact that we can, it is to be hoped, see the light of day for the National Road Fund. However, there is one point that we should like to emphasize, viz that never again should our national roads be allowed to deteriorate and end up in the shocking condition in which they have been of late due to, I would say, the inadequacies of the provisions for their funding. However, now that the power is vested in this hon Minister and in the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs, there will—I sincerely trust—be an improvement.

I apologize for the absence of the hon member for Durban Point. He would normally have handled this matter but he asked me to say that we on these benches certainly welcome the measure.


Mr Chairman, I should first like to thank the hon the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs for making it possible to have this legislation adopted. I always struggled on my own but he has helped me and we are now to receive 5c from the Central Energy Fund.

†The hon member for Bezuidenhout is perfectly correct. At one stage 14% of the price of a litre of petrol was allocated to the National Road Fund. Now, however, when one buys a litre of petrol in the Transvaal for 90c we take only five cents—less than 5%! This is but a very small portion of the price. In any case, I thank the hon member for Bezuidenhout for supporting this measure.

*The hon member for Kempton Park illustrated an important aspect, namely that we can finance the Urban Transport Fund by means of this legislation. This will also solve the problem of Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay does not have only the road to Swakopmund but also roads within the town. I therefore think the contribution Walvis Bay is going to make will be able to be put to use again within their area.

I wish to thank the hon member for Langlaagte for his support as well.

†The hon member for Umhlanga is absolutely right. We should not let roads deteriorate. Now we have the money and in addition we have the toll finance in Natal. I thank hon members very much for their support. [Interjections.]

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Certified fair copy of Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days after the disposal thereof in all three Houses to refer the Bill to a committee.


Introductory Speech delivered at Joint Sitting on 29 April


Mr Speaker, I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

We are now dealing with a short Bill containing the following aspects: Firstly, the definition of ’‘State Oil Fund” in the principal Act is being changed to “Central Energy Fund”.

†Secondly, the present allocation of 0,055 cents per litre of the customs or excise duty on a litre of petrol, distillate fuel or residual fuel oil to the Oil Pollution Prevention Fund from the State Oil Fund will be replaced by an amount which will be determined by the Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs with the concurrence of the Minister of Transport Affairs from time to time. This amount will be paid over from the Central Energy Fund.

That is the whole story. I think I am being very effective and efficient!

Second Reading resumed


Mr Chairman, the Bill is so clear and so easy that I move that it be passed without discussion. [Interjections.]


Mr Chairman, I agree with the hon the Minister that there is really no change in this Bill. It is an administrative matter. We on this side support the measure.


Mr Chairman, seeing that the hon the Minister has explained to us so nicely that the matter is in actual fact generally acceptable, I agree with the hon the Minister and with the Official Opposition. I think that generally speaking, we must accept the Bill. [Interjections.]


Mr Chairman, the CP supports the amending Bill and we are satisfied with what we have before us.


Mr Chairman, it is remarkable how this clock before us helps towards consensus in this House. [Interjections.]


Order! It is not clear whether or not the hon member for Umhlanga supports the Bill.


Obviously, Sir! We have reached consensus.


I should like to thank the hon members for their very fine speeches and very fine contributions. [Interjections.]

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Certified fair copy of Bill to be transmitted to the State President for his assent unless the House decides within three sitting days after the disposal thereof in all three Houses to refer the Bill to a committee.


Mr Chairman, I move:

That the House do now adjourn.

Agreed to.

The House adjourned at 22h28.