House of Assembly: Vol3 - TUESDAY 7 MAY 1985
announced that he had called a joint sitting of the three Houses of Parliament for Monday, 13 May, at 14h15, for the delivering of Second Reading speeches on certain Bills.
Vote No 4—“Constitutional Development and Planning” (contd):
Mr Chairman, referring back to yesterday’s debate, I think there were two salient aspects. The first was the calmness with which the debate was conducted. If one recalls the stormy debates of the past on the political future of this country, it was an astonishing achievement that we could discuss the matter in such an atmosphere.
The second salient aspect was—and naturally one can understand this—that the attention in the debate on my Vote was concentrated on the constitutional development facet because it was relevant and because we all regard it as one of the main issues with which South Africa is contending. I should like to debate the general philosophy and general standpoints, but I think the proper thing to do is for me to refer very quickly and briefly to those hon members who expressed an opinion in respect of the new provincial dispensation, as I announced and envisaged it yesterday.
Fundamentally, hon members’ criticism of the announcement was that it implied centralization of authority, and that its nature and character was allegedly undemocratic. I should very much like to reply to this, and I want to add that I considered replying now to the speech made by the hon member for Umbilo, but I decided it would be wise not to do so at this stage, because if I should do so now, I would lapse into the same crude and hostile language he used yesterday.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition, the hon members for Umbilo, Waterberg, and the hon member Prof Olivier referred inter alia to this, and stated that the character of the provincial reforms was undemocratic. Firstly I want to say that the character of the provincial administrations and of their activities over the years underwent a material change. It reached the stage where the main functions of these administrations are today primarily of an executive and administrative nature. Legislation which was to have regulated these specific activities on provincial level is not required. The fact of the matter is that the provincial councils derived the inherent legislative capacity which they had from the South Africa Act of 1910. Since that date, however, this legislative capacity of the provinces has constantly been appropriated by parliamentary laws. These days, policy-making on provincial level therefore entails executive policy, and in my opinion the place for it is an executive body, precisely like the one which is now being envisaged.
Secondly, I do not intend to exempt this new executive body from accountability for its conduct to a legislative authority. It will have to move within the following democratic parameters. Firstly the State President, who appoints this body, may terminate the tenure of office of its members at any time—just as he may also do with that of Cabinet members. Secondly they will be directly accountable to Parliament in regard to the political, financial and administrative performance of their functions, just as any other member of the executive authority has to do. This could imply that they will be empowered to appear in this Parliament. I maintain that such a control mechanism is a normal democratic practice. The regulations which the executive committee makes will probably be made in practice after consultation with the advisory body concerned, which will be called into existence with reference to the specific subject with which the regulation-making power deals.
Furthermore the regulations which are made are tabled in Parliament, and consideration could even be given to whether they ought not to be accorded parliamentary sanction. Finally, a standing committee in Parliament for the provinces concerned will afford directly elected representatives from the provinces an opportunity, in exactly the same way as any other standing committee, to exercise control over the policy-making which affects the province in question, and to monitor the policy decisions of the new executive committee—as we are in fact doing here in respect of the executive authority on the first level.
This, with all due respect, Sir, is not centralization, since the elected members of Parliament from the provinces concerned are responsible for the matters pertaining to their respective provinces. Speeches in this House have always reflected that it is difficult to classify or to separate national and provincial matters into watertight compartments.
Thirdly it was alleged in this connection that the appointment of persons to fill casual vacancies until next year was an undemocratic act. With all due respect, I want to say that, in the first place, we know at this stage already that that system, in its present form, is going to be terminated between April and June of next year. I maintain that it is completely unreasonable to spend money, manpower and valuable time on elections to fill vacancies which are going to be terminated in any case within a short space of time. Besides, we would not be able to find capable people on an electoral basis to serve for such a short period.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, I must finish in a short while.
Furthermore, this arrangement which I am proposing is in principle precisely the same as an arrangement which, if I remember rightly, was inserted into the Constitution Act last year at the request of the Opposition in order to cause a vacancy which arose in a nominated parliamentary post to be filled for the unexpired portion of the term of Parliament by a nomination by the party of which the nominated MP who vacated the post was a member when he did so. [Interjections.] No wait, the fact of the matter is that that nominated MP was to have been elected by all the members of Parliament. At the request of the Opposition we amended the Act to accept the principle that such a member shall be appointed by the party in question for the unexpired period. [Interjections.]
Now I want to come to the hon member for Pietersburg. I have told the hon member before that he has a problem with facts, and I am sorry that I have to tell the hon member once more that he again had a problem with facts and the truth yesterday. What happened yesterday? The hon member alleged that I had said that there could not be more than one governmental institution in one country. That is a lie.
Not more than one government.
No, one governmental institution. The hon member must read the Hansard report. That is not true. What I did in fact say was that there could not be more than one government in a country, but that there could in fact be more than one governmental institution. The hon member must look at what he said, because he is using it once again to repeat outside. I want to tell the hon member in all earnestness that I have never been afraid to debate a matter with any hon member. However, the hon member must avail himself of the truth when he argues. Until he does that, he must really not expect a reaction from me to this kind of statement.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, please, the hon member must resume his seat now.
With regard to the hon member’s question about where people who have contracted a mixed marriage are going to live, I want to suggest that he reads the Group Areas Act because that matter is dealt with in the provisions of that specific Act. The hon member for Pietersburg must not do in this House what the CP chairman of Pietersburg’s management committee did in his own constituency. At an information meeting which was held last Monday by my officials in Pietersburg to inform councillors and officials about the application of the Group Areas Act, the CP chairman of the management committee, of his own accord, made the astounding confession before the entire gathering that he had never even read the Group Areas Act. However, they are waging a constant battle in regard to the Group Areas Act and the future of White residential areas. It seems to me the problem with the hon member and his party is that they want to take over all boards and committees, yet once they have done that, they are incapable of making a contribution to any positive developments.
I want to refer to the hon member for Welkom and the hon member for Randfontein. The hon member for Welkom dealt with the advantages and disadvantages of party-political involvement in local government elections. I want to point out that to a large extent the functions which are being transferred to local authorities have a significant effect, regardless of whether they are fought on a political basis or not. The hon member for Randfontein was right about that. In the past, however, my experience has always been that people who say we should not introduce party politics into local government, only do so in places where they know they cannot win. We must bear this in mind in future.
The hon member for Kuruman wanted to know whether members of the provincial executive committee in the new dispensation could also be Coloureds and Indians. The reply to that is yes, they could be, just as the 1977 proposals which the hon member for Kuruman supported provided that the State President could be a White, a Coloured or an Indian. The same 1977 proposals, which the hon member for Kuruman supported, also provided that they could be members of the Council of Cabinets, which was to have accepted executive responsibility for general affairs.
There is something else I want to add to that: The members of the executive committee will be appointed on merit, just as in the case of the Cabinet, and the hon member need have no fear at all that such a task will be conferred upon members of his party. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Witbank stressed certain facets of local authorities and he made one important statement, which was that local authorities could not be allowed to undermine central government policy. I want to reaffirm what I have said previously, namely that the devolution of power to local authority level can be delayed and affected by the conduct of irresponsible local authorities which sabotage or undermine central or national policy. This also applies to the restructuring and the functioning of local authorities in future.
Last week when the Vote of my colleague, the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works of the House of Assembly was being discussed, an accusation, inter alia, was made which gave the impression that my Department and I were empire-building. If the implication was intended to centre on me, personally and on my Department, I want to dismiss the statement in the first place as an untruth, and in the second place as malicious. If the interpretation of that accusation could be that I, together with others in South Africa and in Southern Africa, want to help bring a dispensation into existence in which everyone can have a share in the decision-making affecting their lives, in which everyone also has a material share and is able to improve his quality of life, in which every group is able to exercise self-determination and not domination, hegemony or supremacy, in which everyone, in whichever way and in whatever institution or on whatever level, is also able to accept joint responsibility for matters of common concern; and that we are working on a dispensation which is able to elicit the common loyalty of all the communities of our country, then I want to say that the accusation is true.
As a result of the efforts of this Department and its Ministry, together with colleagues from other departments, the State President was able to make announcements which hon members described as “significant for the future of our country”. Then it is no longer an accusation; then it becomes a tribute to the efforts of this Department and the people who are working towards this goal every day. If it also means that such an acceptable dispensation can only be brought into existence by negotiation between the parties and bodies concerned, and that because of the nature and scope of the functions of and directives to my Department, I together with colleagues are taking the lead in finding acceptable solutions, then it is also true. Then I make no apology for it.
In reality all the parties in this House accepted that White, Coloured, Asiatic and Black population groups had to be involved in the investigations and the negotiating process for a future constitutional dispensation for all the communities of South Africa. It is in fact true that some of us now sitting here refused to participate because we did not agree with the composition of that negotiating instrument. It is also true that others of us—and they are also sitting here—refused to participate because they subsequently labelled it as power-sharing and political integration. [Interjections.] The fact remains—and I want to emphasize that what I am now saying I am not saying reproachfully to the hon member, but in another spirit; I am saying this as a warning and, if necessary, I shall say this as an appeal—we must not again withhold our participation in the process because we do not agree with the composition of the instrument and its functioning. The fact remains that that instrument was an important catalyst which brought us to where we are today.
If we have a standpoint of our own concerning the solutions to the problems of the country, as well as the political problems of this country, and if we think that our proposed solutions—and the hon member for Kuruman must please convey this to the hon member for Waterberg who was unable to be here—to the political problems are solutions which can pass the test of the reality of the South African circumstances and demands, let us then be courageous enough to go and say this in forums where other leaders of other groups for whose lives we are offering solutions are also present. [Interjections.] This will then be the stamp of public responsibility.
It requires no special prophetic gift to be able to say that no democratic system can be permanent in South Africa if the type or the model does not bear the stamp in bold letters “Manufactured in South Africa for the demands and circumstances of South Africa for and by all its citizens”, including its Black citizens. [Interjections.] Whether this is going to be possible, whether we shall succeed in doing this, I do not know. But I do know what the conditions for success in this specific connection are. I know it is going to require sacrifices from us—personal sacrifices—because we are personally the carriers of prejudice. We are personally the carriers of condemnation of other people. It is also going to make financial and economic demands on us. It is going to make emotional demands on us and, as hon members know, the greatest degree of emotional tension exists when races and ethnic groups live together. It is also going to require intellectual sacrifices from us and our limitation on success lies in all these elements. What I do know is that we shall seek in vain for other constitutional reference models. We must be capable of innovative thinking in South Africa.
What I also know is that we should like international recognition because we are not an island, entire of itself. The international acceptance we should like to have is going to depend in the first place on the acceptance by the majority of South African citizens of the dispensation we are able to devise for them. We do not wish to devise a system for foreign acceptance or approval, but a system for the interests and requirements of South Africa. No foreign pressure, no matter in what friendly terminology it may be expressed, can change this or contribute anything to it. If it is also able to receive international recognition, it is a bonus for our efforts.
South Africa’s interests come first, and not the interests of any of the groups represented here. Our interests can only be important as long as they serve South Africa’s interests. This is stated in most of our constitutions. The problem is simply that we are not prepared to live up to them. When I say that what is involved is South Africa’s interests, that includes the interests of the Black people as well. They are also reconciliable with South Africa’s interests.
I want to devote my remaining remarks to aspects of negotiable solutions. Consequently I want to speak specifically to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. I do not doubt the bona fides of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition in respect of the search for peaceful solutions. In fact, I do not doubt those of the other parties either. However, I differ with them profoundly and materially in regard to the solutions. There is only one basis on which we can talk to one another. If I can make a contribution towards broadening that basis for discussion, I should very much like to do so. If I co-operated in the past in narrowing it, I should also like to rectify what was done. However, the situation in the country is dangerous enough to compel us to push our own interests to one side. If I then make a critical analysis of the hon member’s statements and standpoints, it is to see whether we can broaden the basis for negotiation. He must please accept it in this spirit. We shall have to tell one another what is negotiable and what is not.
The first aspect which is not negotiable is the realities of South Africa. Let us not quarrel about them today, because I do not want to do so.
There are different interpretations of that.
Let us look at them. Of course there are differences, but frequently they are not differences of interpretation, but differences in perception. That is something else again.
The group composition of the country’s population is a material element of the reality. Whether it is statutorily defined or whether it takes place by way of voluntary association, it remains a material element. If we do not take that fully into account—and I shall come back to this point in greater detail later—then our system cannot succeed.
The location or the geographic distribution of the population is part of the reality. We can adopt economic, physical and financial measures to influence this, but the fact remains that the geographical distribution and location of the population must be taken into account constitutionally. The hon member for Randburg referred to that.
A third statement I wish to make is that the need for stability has to be taken into account, because stability does not imply stagnation, but is the basis for the peaceful continuation of political processes and the evolutionary development of solutions.
The existence of minorities, White, Coloured, Asiatic and Black, is a fact. Their striving for self-determination and their resistance to any form of domination is a material reality which has to be taken into account.
These are only a few aspects of what ought to be taken into account. Even these few cause many people to shrink from the task which awaits us. Those lacking in courage, faith and spirit should rather stay away from this scene in which the future history of our fatherland is, humanly speaking, being planned and where the scenario is unfolding.
I should now like to come to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. In the first place the hon the Leader said that the time available in this House was too limited to conduct a real, in-depth debate on the constitutional future of South Africa. I agree with him on that score.
As far as the Opposition is concerned, yes.
I do not want the hon member for Sandton to interrupt me, because I am now talking to leaders. [Interjections.]
I agree with the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. We would all like to spend more time on a discussion of what I believe should not only ensure the continued existence of the Whites and other groups but also the continuation of the values in which we believe.
This House, however, is not the only place where a debate can be conducted. Other opportunities can also be used. The Cabinet Committee and the forum represent such a place and such an opportunity, and I trust that he will use them to good effect, according to his ability to participate, to conduct a dialogue.
The Standing Committee on Constitutional Development and Planning affords a further opportunity for this dialogue, and that Committee can also sit during the recess, which also offers an important opportunity for dialogue. The Committee on Constitutional Matters is another forum in which we can conduct a dialogue.
In the second place I want to refer to what the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition said. He said inter alia the following:
So far I am in complete agreement with him. However, he also said:
We can discuss this; not quarrel about, discuss. The hon the Leader also said:
I want to make the statement that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition has his facts wrong and displays an incorrect understanding of history. Statutory descriptions of people and their participation and association go back a very long way in our constitutional history. This was the case prior to Union in 1910 and also afterwards. As a student of politics the hon the Leader will know this. I am referring to the labour and land title legislation which excluded people in terms of the civil law and not on the basis of voluntary exclusion. I am also referring to the laws of 1913 and 1936 in respect of Black communities and the group-defined indirect White representation of Coloureds and Blacks in the old House of Assembly and in the Senate. The hon the leader will not quarrel with me about this. In fact, he will concede that this was surely not voluntary association. Consequently it is not in the first place only this Government and the National Party who did this, but other parties as well. Secondly we are obviously—and the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition knows this—dealing here with the remnants of a colonial past. I am conducting the argument on this point solely for the sake of historical perspective.
What I want to say with this—and I am saying this in all earnest—is that if we wish to unlock the future for this country and its people—the political future as well—and if we wish to make progress, we shall have to place the historical reality—also in regard to groups, their participation and their association or otherwise—in its correct historical perspective. In this regard I do not think the hon the leader will differ with me.
He says no.
In addition the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition also referred to the question of race and ethnicity. He will concede that many people have the ability to draw this distinction. Consequently it is nothing new. In this connection, however, I want to put it to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition that there is no difference between the intensity of conflict and confrontation between race groups and the intensity of conflict and confrontation between religious groups, language groups, cultural groups or nationalisms. I think the hon the leader will agree with me in this regard as well. All these groups can also be termed ethnic groups. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition knows as well as I do that the religious conflict in Northern Ireland and in Lebanon is far greater, in intensity and in the number of fatal clashes between people, than the racial conflict in South Africa. With that of course I am not in any way condoning racial conflict.
The point which I wish to emphasize is merely that the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition and I, as well as our hon colleagues in this House, must not stumble over concepts of race and ethnicity, or even elevate those concepts to principles, while we know that the conflict potential in all the other aforesaid cases is just as intense, if not more so. We must accept both ethnicity and group ties as realities—realities which we have to take into account in our constitutional planning. When I say this I am not in any way condoning these realities. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition knows that, too.
The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition went on to say that he was not prepared to become involved in a negotiating process if what was involved was merely an attempt to give a friendlier appearance to separate development. Let us be clear on one thing. Recognizing ethnicity or race, and taking it into account—in his constitutional model in any event—even though on the basis of voluntary association, also implies the element of divergent forms of participation in the existing or envisaged institutions. The hon the leader acknowledges that I am correct when I say that.
He says yes. Very well, let us not argue about this with one another now.
The hon the leader also said that he was only prepared to become involved if we were going to make a positive effort to establish what the future basis for negotiation was going to be. Let me immediately make the following statement to the hon the leader. What is involved in the negotiating process and dialogue is not a friendlier appearance for separate development, but the accommodation of Black people and Black communities in the constitutional dispensation. That is our highest political priority.
In this connection I want to make it very clear that the purpose of the enlarged Cabinet Committee is to afford all the opposition parties an opportunity to make their inputs, to seek solutions together with the Ministers involved, and to debate them and to try to find a broad basis in which a dialogue with Black leaders can be commenced.
I want to welcome the acceptance by the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition of the invitation to participate in this negotiating process, and to express the Government’s appreciation for doing so. I hope all hon members will also do the same.
The invitation to participation is based on the premise that each participant will participate in the negotiating process from his own framework of policy. There is no question of the acceptance by all of a single prescribed framework or declaration of intent. The only guidelines for the negotiating process laid down by the State President were threefold, namely peaceful and democratic solutions which complied with the demands of fairness and justness; that every group would have a say in the decision-making processes affecting his interests; and the rejection of any form of violence as a method for political change.
The strategy for change is negotiation, and we must not confuse principle, methods and strategies with one another. The principle which must be accepted as a point of departure in this connection is that the Government, by means of this Committee and its functions up to the present and in future, will seek solutions to accommodate the Black communities to the satisfaction of all. The fact of the matter is that the announcements that have already been made by the State President, for example in respect of the citizenship issue, proprietary rights, relocation, urbanization, etc were the results of the special Cabinet Committee. In other words those negotiations have so far been fruitful.
I wanted to conclude provisionally as far as the hon member is concerned. In his speech, for example, he referred specifically to citizenship and influx control, and I want to tell him categorically that these matters are seen as important matters on which negotiations will take place with the Black people before we reach finality.
As regards the hon member’s reference to a jointly worked out declaration of intent, it is the standpoint of this Government that it is only possible to come forward with such a declaration after we have negotiated on it; and that such a declaration may be result of the process of negotiation, but cannot precede the process, because it would then be prescriptive.
I want to come now to the hon member for Waterberg. He made the following statement on the South African nation:
The definition of a nation is constitutional and refers to the citizens of a specific state. Black people who did not acquire citizenship of the TBVC countries were and have been South African citizens since Union. One need only look at the citizenship legislation. What upsets me is that the leader of a party who claims to be the alternative State President, does not, so help me, know who the citizens of the country which he wishes to govern are.
He also made a statement about White South Africa, as follows:
Saints preserve us! There has never been a White South Africa! [Interjections.] Let us not try to score debating points off one another. There was in fact a South Africa in which Whites were governing and there was a South Africa in which Whites had the monopoly of government, but I think all of us, including the hon member for Waterberg in his way, were committed to getting away from the concept of domination.
That is going to cost you a lot of votes.
I would rather lose votes than my country.
Man, you are going to lose your country with votes and all.
The other day I said to Dr Van Wyk, the Director-General, in my office that the only thing I was sorry about as far as the law faculty of the University of Stellenbosch was concerned, was that that hon member had obtained a degree there.
I am sorry that you serve on that council.
I maintain that both the NP as well as the CP wish to get away from White domination. With all due respect, what was the 1977 prescription then? It consisted of proposals for Coloureds, Whites and Asiatics to be in separate parliaments. What were they to do there? They had to govern a common fatherland in a particular way. Now we have quite suddenly made South Africa non-White. What nonsense!
What else did he say? He said that the NP had now degraded the White people into a minority group. When were the Whites ever in the majority? Surely it is a fact that the Whites are a minority group in South Africa like the Coloureds, Asiatics, the Xhosa and the Zulu, set off against all of the other groups together. Surely that is a fact, and none of our doing.
For the first time now the hon member for Waterberg at least had sources of reference. I had intended to deal with this, but he is not here now, and I want to say this when he is here.
I want to tell him that there can be no question of White rights which do not also recognize Black, Coloured and Asiatic rights. If one is seeking the destruction of White rights, the most certain way of succeeding is to withhold the rights of other people. Once again, let us differ on how we wish to give expression to this in practice, but we cannot get away from the fact that these are the problems with which we will have to contend every day.
I come now to the last quotation, because I do not think I should bore hon members with such misrepresentations. On a common fatherland he had this to say:
The hon member was chairman of a committee on education matters pertaining to Black people in 1978, and he had to consider giving greater substance to links with the homelands and extraterritorial powers for the homelands, just as the hon member for Lichtenburg did. What was his finding, together with others?
- 1 Multiplicity of peoples in Black residential areas;
- 2 Multiplicity of education policies;
- 3 Secondary education;
- 4 Buildings and financing;
- 5 Education control points.
How is it possible that when one is involved in a governmental situation, one has a standpoint, but as soon as one is no longer part of that situation, one thinks there are imaginary answers to the problems of the country in which one is living?
The hon member also said that we wanted a unitary state. I want to say it will avail us nothing to conduct our debate in the light of imaginary fatherlands or in the light of imaginary unitary state concepts. The reality dictates otherwise.
Mr Chairman, I rise with a certain sense of despair at the limited time I have at my disposal to reply to all the issues raised by the hon the Minister, but I promised yesterday that I would give a more detailed response to the announcement made by the hon the Minister yesterday concerning the abolition of provincial councils.
Having listened to the hon the Minister and having studied the document, I must say that I am filled with a sense of disquiet and even apprehension. In fact, more questions are posed than solved, and one goes away with the feeling that constitutionally we have clarity about what the Government is moving away from, but we are not quite sure where we are going or towards what we are moving.
It would appear that in principle the Government has decided upon an extensive decentralization of administrative structures while concentrating policy-making and decision-making power at the centre. I think it is important that the hon the Minister and I understand each other in this matter. I draw a very clear distinction between what I call functional autonomy on the one hand and administrative decentralization on the other hand. In fact, they can be in contradiction to one another. Functional autonomy involves the effective devolution of power from one central unit. In other words, that central unit divests itself of certain functions and of certain powers in terms of which those functions have to be exercised. For example, if the central level of government is divested of certain powers and those powers are given to Natal, Transvaal or the Orange Free State, they are functionally autonomous and can decide for themselves how those powers will be applied in the decentralized field of housing, education or whatever. What I am suggesting to the hon the Minister is that what he is now trying to substitute for the provincial councils is the opposite of this. It is not functional autonomy. It is administrative decentralization within one structure, underpinned by a common philosophy and common assumptions.
But also executive decentralization.
No, Sir. That is the difficulty I have. The executive authority, in the final analysis, is traced back to a central executive authority.
Let us consider a few examples. There is no possibility or likelihood that these new authorities can in fact decide on their own educational policy or on whether they want to have group areas or not. Natal and kwaZulu, for example, will not be given functional autonomy to decide how they want to arrange their own residential patterns, etc. That would be functional autonomy. What the hon the Minister is saying is that all provinces, all regions, all local and second-tier government can administer certain functions, but within a specified framework in respect of which the executive power rests with the State President. That is basically the position, and that is a different thing. I think it is necessary to disabuse people outside of the notion that we are now decentralizing power. We are not decentralizing power. We are decentralizing administrative functions. It would therefore appear that, in the place of the existing provincial councils, the structure or institution on to which administrative decentralization will descend will be an administrator and an executive committee appointed from the so-called political arena by the State President.
So, the State President—I am not talking about any particular personality or individual, but in constitutional terms—has the power to appoint an administrator and executive committee from the political arena. What is meant by “political arena”? It can mean from one party, from a number of parties, from one racial group or from a number of racial groups—it does not really matter. The point is that the State President has the discretionary executive power to do whatever he wants to do in this respect. So, to say that that is democratic is just stretching it beyond any tolerable limits. Thus, provinces or regions will no longer even have the limited accountability of representatives they have had in the past. The State President will now appoint according to his will and wisdom. Furthermore, this appointed body will have such administrative and financial powers as determined by the executive and a standing committee of Parliament will oversee the activities of this body.
At present there is no clarity about what functions are to be transferred to this body. Despite this lack of clarity, we are expected to approve the scrapping of the provincial councils. I find this wholly untenable. It is also not clear how these advisory councils are to be constituted and how they are going to be linked closely to the electorate.
We will be able to debate that when I introduce a Bill dealing with that.
That may be so and we may have a wonderful debate then, but we are now being asked to adopt a position in principle on a whole new structure of government no details of which are available to us. All I am saying is that in the absence of such detail I cannot give my approval to it.
To sum up, the PFP cannot support this move as it stands on the basis of what we have been told. We cannot support it because of the obvious degree of concentration of centralized executive power. A whole new arena of presidential largesse is being created—there is no question about it. Secondly, we cannot support it because of the absolute vagueness of the alternative to the existing system. Thirdly, we cannot support it because of the total absence of any information about the constitutional role and accountability of Opposition parties—whether Coloured, Asian, Black or White—in respect of the domination of the governing party. We have no idea where oppositions will function, what their roles will be, and whether the State President is constitutionally bound to appoint somebody from another party or not. All we know so far is that he has the power to do whatever he pleases. Now we must say that we think it is not a bad idea. We do think it is a very bad idea and we have to say so at this stage. That then in brief is my response to the hon the Minister’s announcement yesterday.
I want to come back to another matter. The hon the Minister mentioned a very serious dilemma, namely the relationship between constitutional structure and the process of negotiation. I understand that the Government is faced with a very real difficulty—any government would be.
How does one reform from a given structure on the basis of negotiation? One cannot simply let the structures evaporate. I want to concede this. I said yesterday that the hon the Minister would come back to me and say that what is non-negotiable are the realities of South Africa, and that is exactly what he said.
I said that.
Yes, I do not dispute it. However, it makes a very great difference whether groups associate voluntarily or not. Whether they are constitutionally entrenched by executive fiat or by a decision of the government of the day does not matter; the groups are there. There is a great difference between whether groups are going to be allowed in future to participate on a voluntary basis in a political system or whether they have no choice at all.
I am suggesting to the hon the Minister that both he and I—and I assume many Blacks—are really interested in negotiating ourselves out of this difficulty that South Africa finds itself in at the moment. As the hon the Minister accepts my bona fides, I accept his in this regard. However, let me mention a very practical difficulty.
If, in the process of constitutional transformation, the hon the Minister and his department and the Government create constitutional structures which in themselves are regarded by Blacks as the very object of negotiation, then we run into a difficulty. In other words, if we say that Black local government structures must be created and we must get the leaders of those Black local government structures to come and negotiate with us, but at the same time it must be understood that Blacks must live in those prescribed areas which are called Soweto, New Brighton or Mdantsane, that that is where they will have to live for all time but that they have to come out of there to negotiate about a new South Africa—I am just mentioning a difficulty—we can forget about it. The reason is that the very structure which one has created is the object of negotiation. That is the dilemma as I understand it.
That is why I want to come back to what the hon member for Helderkruin said yesterday. Unfortunately he is not here now. He told me that I must not place obstacles in the way of the process of negotiation. Far be it from me to do so; all I am saying is that we must recognize the difficulties confronting us.
One of those difficulties is that whilst the hon the Minister on the central level invites Black and other political leaders to come forward and negotiate, he and his Department are busy restructuring the Constitution of South Africa. He is already creating those structures. Now he wants people to come and negotiate. What do they want to negotiate? Many of the structures created by the hon the Minister are seen by those Black leaders as the issue over which negotiations have to take place.
If one says one has to structure on the basis of local government but will only work on a particular level; if one has to structure on the basis that Natal and kwaZulu can only come to an agreement within a framework of Government policy, and the people then say that they will not come to negotiate because that is what they want to negotiate about, then one is in difficulty.
*I am not trying to score debating points off the hon the Minister; I am merely trying to spell out a real dilemma which we shall have to face if we want to make any progress in drawing up a joint declaration of intent. That is one of the dilemmas which we are facing.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition would like to maintain that he wants to conduct a meaningful debate in this House, and then intimates repeatedly that the major obstacle in the way of meaningful debating is confusion about terms. As far as that is concerned, I agree with him.
I should like to enter into discussion with him this afternoon on some of the terms to which he referred in his speeches yesterday and today. The hon the Minister has just reacted very effectively in this connection and I, like Ruth in the fields of Boaz, shall try to pick up the loose ears of corn which have fallen. [Interjections.]
I want to return to the concept “groups” to which the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition referred. He conceded that there are groups. “Inevitably,” he says, “they are part of the political reality in which we live.” By the way, may I make the remark that this is important progress since a few years ago when the hon member for Yeoville caused quite a stir upon making the admission that the South African society is a plural one, because until that stage it had not yet been officially accepted by the PFP that we are a plural society. I am pleased that progress has been made in this respect. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition continues by saying, however, that they believe it to be contradictory to make the statement that one can base one’s constitutional process on groups which do not identify or associate voluntarily. Voluntary association or identification is therefore raised to the highest norm.
Not the highest norm; the most important one.
This is the only logical deduction that could be made from the words of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition. His statement would be irrelevant otherwise.
In addition, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition reproaches the Government because a constitutional system has been created on the basis of non-voluntary membership of groups since 1948. He then says that neither the Whites nor the Coloureds nor the Indians—as represented in this Parliament—are ethnic groups. According to him they are racial categories. By implication the hon the Leader says that representation on an ethnic basis would be acceptable, but not representation on a racial basis. His statements in this connection would also be irrelevant otherwise. He continues to say that the participation of these people does not rest with ideological involvement, however. Those were his words. Ideological involvement is now being required as the basis of group formation for the purpose of representation.
A party has a policy; a race does not have a policy.
In the meantime it is declared PFP policy that a national convention of all interest groups should be held. [Interjections.] Community of interests is accepted in this connection as the basis for group formation and representation at the national convention.
My question to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is the following: If members of a specific racial group were to identify with one another voluntarily to promote their communal interests, would group formation on a racial basis then still be wrong?
If it is voluntary, what can one do about it?
Group formation on a racial basis is in order, therefore, on condition that it is voluntary. [Interjections.] The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition argued yesterday, however, that racial grouping inevitably is not voluntary.
Oh no, I did not say that.
Yes, he said that racial grouping cannot be voluntary because it is a fact. [Interjections.]
If, in addition, members of a specific racial group were to have the same ideological involvement, the argument is even stronger. On the other hand, group formation on the grounds of ethnicity is no more of an expression of voluntary association or identification than group formation on a racial basis is. [Interjections.] Ethnicity is just as much of a factual situation in which one finds oneself, as one’s membership of a particular race, determined by one’s birth. [Interjections.] Yes, I know the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition wants to argue that one can renounce one’s ethnicity. I take it that is what the hon the Leader wants to maintain.
How can you talk such nonsense?
I believe the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition wants to maintain that one can renounce one’s ethnicity, but people who want to run from their ethnicity can also try to run from their race. [Interjections.] The heart of the matter is that free association has as little to do with ethnicity as with grouping on a racial basis. [Interjections.]
Naturally there are groups and naturally that is part of the political reality of South Africa, but when the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition rejects certain groups as a basis for constitutional planning, he must also point out clearly why that group basis is not acceptable and he must point out which groupings in the constitutional arrangement should receive recognition and why. Just asking questions and expressing doubts about certain group formation as a basis for constitutional planning, brings us no further and will not bring about the discussion the hon the Leader says he would welcome.
I also want to come back to the question of the centralization of authority. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition says we are now getting—with reference to the hon the Minister’s announcement about provincial authorities—a centralization, and not a decentralization, of authority and power. According to him it is a decentralization of functions, however. He says functions are decentralized on lower levels, but on the high central level the administration of those functions is monitored and the policy according to which those functions have to be performed is determined.
I did not say that. I said the Minister had said it.
We can consult the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition’s Hansard, but I differ from him on this point. The fact I want to stress, is that since Union, the second tier, or provincial authorities, have had derived or allocated authority. Their powers and authority were granted by the Constitution and legislation of Parliament. They did not, therefore, have inherent or original powers and authority. This enabling legislation also determined the parameters within which those powers and that authority would be exercised. Administrators were appointed by the central authority and in practice had to account to the central authority. Legislation of the second tier authorities was subject to legislation of the central authority and was only valid in so far as it was not inconsistent with it. In practice this meant that the policy of the central authority was exercised on provincial level by the second-tier authorities, but the true authority still rested—as the name indicates—with the central authority. The proposed dispensation therefore does not comprise a centralization of authority as the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is maintaining, at all. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, thus far we have really had an interesting debate. I want to return briefly to the explanation the hon the Minister tried to give for the decision of the Government to fill future vacancies which may occur in the provincial councils which are now going to disappear, by nominations from the party that held the relevant seat. The hon the Minister tried to explain that it is similar to the case of nominated MPs, viz that if there were to be a vacancy, the party to which the relevant MP belonged, would fill the vacancy. That may be an ingenious argument but, in the case of nominated MPs, it is a fact that those people are nominated in proportion with the strength of the particular parties in this House. Here, however, we are dealing with a representative of a particular constituency’s voters.
No, he is chosen indirectly. That ingenious argument will not hold water. I cannot but think that there would be more sense in not filling incidental vacancies which were to arise for the following year at all, as provincial councils are now being phased out. I think it would make more sense, because I do not think it serves any practical purpose to fill those vacancies, except perhaps of giving a man a job for 12 months for which he can receive a salary or remuneration. [Interjections.]
In addition the hon the Minister said that the composition of the instrument for negotiation should not keep people from taking part in the negotiation process. I can agree with the hon the Minister on that point, but the crucial question is: What is the purpose achieved by the negotiations? What is the ultimate purpose and the ultimate objective in regard to the people who are taking part in the negotiation process?
I have only 10 minutes—please!
I am trying to reply to the hon member’s questions.
The hon the Minister still has many chances to reply.
In the short time at my disposal I want to point out that we have again—unfortunately just after two important by-elections—received a new document of the National Party, and I take it it has the official sanction of the party. I am referring to this brochure of the National Party … and what about the Black people? [Interjections.] It was not distributed very widely in Harrismith in any case. [Interjections.] If I am to give a short summary of what is contained in this document, it is that Dr Stoffel van der Merwe, the hon member for Helderkruin, has succeeded to a great extent in writing the obituary in respect of the National Party’s policy as it was in respect of separate development as far as the Blacks are concerned.
Here we have a reasonably correct explanation of what the objectives of the old National Party were in connection with the Blacks, inside and outside the national states. At the same time we find a staggering admission of guilt that the National Party was not capable of or did not succeed in accomplishing those objectives.
Not the National Party; South Africa.
The National Party was governing South Africa.
This is the astonishing admission made by them. What is more, is that one would expect a powerful governing party to come forward with an alternative to spell out why they were making an impartial admission of failure in respect of the largest package of their policy. One would expect them to put the alternative, as they see it, to the voters and to this House. All we are getting now, however, are the vague words which we have also heard in the case of the Coloureds and the Indians, namely that all groups and peoples should command effective political participation in the composition of the government that governs them.
That is an ultra conservative old statement!
All peoples should have effective political participation in the government that governs them. The Government has repeatedly told us that a fourth Chamber for the Blacks is out of the question. In the final analysis the Government that is in power is the Cabinet. Or is it the NP’s intention to institute a higher instrument of authority by which the Blacks will then be joint-decision-makers over the whole of South Africa, as an umbrella body over the Cabinet as executive authority and over Parliament as legislative authority. We should like to have the answer to that. It is a very important answer.
In the short time I still have at my disposal I want to refer briefly to the speech made by the hon member for Randburg. I do not want to be over-friendly, but I think he made an interesting speech. I really expected the hon the Minister to respond more fully to the hon member’s speech, but perhaps he prefers rather to respond to it in a caucus context. What did the hon member really say? I quote only a part of his speech. He has certain reservations and he says:
I do not think anyone on this side of the NP, the governing party, will contradict that in the past it has repeatedly been stated as the policy of the NP not so much to consolidate territories, but to consolidate peoples, to give peoples freedom.
That is what I always say.
That is why I am quoting the hon member. I shall only quote him if I think he has said something interesting. [Interjections.]
What do we find now, however? History has taught us that one of the major problems for Africa has been created by the very colonial powers which lost this matter from view, which created arbitrary borders between peoples, and which created new political entities regardless of the ethnic composition of those political entities. [Interjections.] Now we find that the NP has a new concept: Black homelands and Black fatherlands on the one hand which will quite probably be governed by themselves, that is by every separate people. I hope that is still the NP’s policy. In addition a new Black identity which is not going to consist of members of the respective peoples or ethnic groups, but of a broad mass of Blacks outside the national states, regardless of which people or ethnic group they belong to, is now being created—and I think that is the hon member for Randburg’s reservation.
If I understand the hon member for Randburg correctly, I think his logic wants to lead him to the fact that in this new dispensation one will have to go further than just the introduction of a new dispensation of the Blacks outside the national and independent states. My deduction is, however—and the hon member can have the opportunity later to rectify me if I am wrong—that all Blacks, even those within the national states and also within the national independent states, must become part of a new political package for the whole of Southern Africa. That is the deduction I make from the hon member’s argument. We should like to know what the NP’s official standpoint is. What is the NP’s purpose? What is its objective? Where is it taking South Africa? [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, before I come to the hon member for Barberton, it is a great pleasure for me to thank the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning for his large share in the reform processes in our country. We know that that hon Minister does everything in his power to seek solutions to the complex political questions of our country. I want to convey my sincere thanks to the hon the Minister for his large contribution. I want to tell the hon member for Barberton that in the past year the State President has made many important announcements in connection with Blacks. The Government has committed itself in no uncertain way to giving a high priority to reaching solutions for the future political position of the Blacks in South Africa. At the opening of Parliament and again during the discussion of his Vote, the State President laid down very clear guidelines in this connection which can generally be regarded as progress on the road of the constitutional development of Black communities. These announcements have recently become the core of diplomatic talks, but also of political talks. Foreign ambassadors tell us that they regard this as a milestone in the constitutional development of South Africa. This hon member, however, pretends that we do nothing, that we have no direction and that the NP does not know where it is taking the Blacks.
You tell us.
The State President has shown with these announcements that the Government, now that it has ended the 60-year deadlock in connection with the Coloured and Indian representation, is determined also to tackle the question of our Black communities in great earnest. The Government is determined to accommodate Black political aspirations in some way or another. It has shown its willingness to bring about the necessary structures by ordered and reasonable negotiation. The hon member for Barberton must be patient, for these things do not all come about in one day.
I want to agree, however, that we cannot wait any longer. Our great leaders warned years ago that one should not procrastinate in respect of the Black question. On 8 November 1938 in Bloemfontein, Dr Malan used these very meaningful words which still apply today:
Sir, now that we want to tackle these things, we have obstructionists on that side.
We are resisting your integration policy.
That was Dr Malan’s warning, but General Hertzog also acquitted himself well about the necessity for change. In 1921 General Hertzog said in Bloemfontein:
Within their own homelands.
Let us be honest with one another. Then we cannot but tell one another that there is fear in the hearts of Whites, of Coloureds and of Asians of the domination by numbers. There is fear, therefore, amongst minorities. Hon members will ask me now how this fear can be allayed. This fear can only be allayed when a dispensation is created in which the Black man’s position, politically, economically and socially, is regulated on a firm basis so that he can have a vision of his future and the minority groups will have greater certainty concerning the road they must take.
A prerequisite for such a regulation of the position of the Blacks is that they will have to help us and co-operate with us in two aspects in particular. In the first place the Blacks will have to help in the curbing of uncontrolled population growth, otherwise there can be no proper regulation.
In the second place the Blacks will have to ensure that they are not taken in tow by radicals and anarchists who are seeking the downfall of the orderly dispensation in South Africa.
Just as the sea casts out the flotsam, the Blacks of South Africa will have to cast out the elements that upset their peace and their rest, and handicap their evolutionary progress. The Black unrest was not good for the Blacks’ image, and did not promote their cause. The London Sunday Times quotes a White South African liberal, who said:
In an article in the Sunday Times the well-known Coloured educationalist Mr Franklin Sonn gives the following warning:
The Blacks must take note of these words, of these things that are being said. The silent, peaceful mass amongst the Blacks will have to emerge and push their moderate leaders to the fore. They will have to strengthen the hands of those leaders of theirs so that the radicals do not take over. Leaders with pluck will have to rise in Black politics and declare themselves prepared to endure being abused by radicals. The Government is in great earnest in regard to this matter. Its intentions with the Blacks are good, but it cannot effect its reform plans and its good intentions if there is no co-operation from the side of the Blacks, if there is constant obstruction and the unrest does not end.
There are still too many moderate leaders who hesitate to grab hold of the opportunities for dialogue and negotiation offered to them and to use these in the interests of their people. Radicals constantly cast suspicion on the new constitutional authoritative institutions which the Government is offering them. This makes moderate leaders recoil. I believe that to be wrong. The moderate leaders should not be deterred by this. They should rather emerge more strongly. They should rather acquaint themselves with what is going on, and should take the lead so that the radicals in our country can be eliminated.
It is a fact that the greater majority of Blacks in this country desire peace and are prepared to take part in the evolutionary process of reform. I want to quote here what was said by a man who devoted his life to the service of the Blacks. I am referring to Mr Doom Spies, director of the Southern Free State Development Board. On his retirement he said the following:
These are the wise words of a man who has devoted his life to the service of the Blacks.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition when he addressed the House earlier this afternoon put forward the reasons why his party was not able to accept the proposals by the hon the Minister in relation to second-tier government. I should like to point out that the reasons he expounded for his party’s not accepting this are to all intents and purposes exactly the same as the reasons why we in this party cannot accept those proposals. It is not devolution of power. Furthermore, there is no accountability on the part of the people who will be appointed to the executive posts.
Yesterday I was rather vehement in my condemnation of the proposals. I think it must be accepted that that was a cry from the heart from the people in Natal who have run a good second-tier government for 75 years. It so happens that my party and its lineal predecessors have been the party that ran that province. During the whole of that period there has been no question of maladministration or corruption of any sort whatsoever.
Not till you get to the Cabinet.
I am not going into the details of that. The hon member for Bloemfontein North extended his appreciation to the hon the Minister for the hard work he has put into constitutional change, and I must confess that this hon Minister has worked extraordinarily hard in attempting to change the Constitution. I believe that perhaps if the results had been more to our liking, we would also have been able to show greater appreciation. However, nobody can deny that the hon the Minister has put in a great deal of time and work.
The meetings that were held in respect of the subject that was under discussion yesterday have been carried on over a very long time. The hon the Minister expounded the view to the people at those meetings that he wanted to gain consensus. If that is so, and I believe that that was the intention of the hon the Minister, why did he not hold those meetings with the legitimate political representatives of the people? [Interjections.] An Exco member of Natal is not a legitimate political representative in the sense that he can bind his political party, and neither can the leader of the NP in the provincial council in the Orange Free State bind the NP to any decisions. We believe that had the hon the Minister genuinely wanted to gain some sort of consensus there might well have been a better way of approaching it. The CP and the PFP have members in the provincial councils, but they were not included in this consensus discussion because they do not happen to have MECs. But they do have political leadership. This was a rather sad mistake. If they had been brought in, and it were possible to obtain some sort of consensus, genuine consensus could have been achieved.
It is said that this set of proposals is to bring the other races into the provincial level of government, and I believe this to be the intent, but what genuine leadership of the other communities took part in these discussions? I know there were representatives of LACs or managements committees, a couple of whom did subsequently become members of Parliament, but the point I am getting at is that I happen to know that certainly one of those people was so vehemently opposed to this that it was quite incredible. I spoke to him yesterday and he was really most uptight about the whole thing. Furthermore, there was no representation of the Black communities at all. Here we are, again attempting to find solutions for people without those people being involved.
The hon the Minister gave certain reasons for the abolition of the provincial councils. There were quite a number of them and I do not propose to go through them all. We know that we have to change the provincial system and the local government system and that other communities have to be brought into these levels of government. Our belief was that we could have adapted our present systems to accommodate this. One of the principal reasons given are that they only represent Whites and that nothing can be done about this. We tried to do that and came forward with a changed local government system in 1978. That was thrown out by the Government. I believe that given the opportunity, we would have been able to produce an adapted form of provincial government as well.
Another reason given was the limited functions, again largely for Whites, that where handled by the provincial councils. They are so limited that they are hardly worth keeping. Who took away those other powers that they had had? After all is said and done, when the NP became the Government in 1948 the provincial councils had considerably more powers than they have today, including education for all groups. It may be said that the standard of education was not very good, but after all is said and done, money was short at that time. Nonetheless, those powers were held by the provincial councils and were taken away by the Government.
A further very important reason was that 85% or more of the funds of the provinces came from State revenue. This again is, of course, quite true, but prior to the Government’s taking away the taxing powers of the provinces somewhere around 1969 or 1970, the provinces did have taxing rights. The Government took away those taxing rights, consolidated the government and provincial tax and then paid out the provinces their share. Therefore, when one says that the Government is paying, one ought to remember that the Government took those taxing rights away.
I consider it to be rather cynical to give these reasons for the provinces being no longer of any consequence when the Government has created those reasons. After all is said and done, we could have enacted legislation for change and we did have taxing powers as well, but those powers were taken away by the Government.
It seems to me, however, that this is a dead horse that is not worth flogging for very much longer. The hon the Minister is determined that the situation is going to be as he wants it, but I want to say just this: It is a pity that the hon the Minister is not prepared to accept at least our bottom line—that we are prepared to go along with the abolition of the provincial councils as such provided that the replacement second-tier system will be of an elective nature, either directly or indirectly. This we feel is not impossible to incorporate. It is a reasonable thing to ask. If the hon the Minister has some difficulty in finding a method, we are prepared to co-operate to the utmost to try to find an appropriate method.
I want to say this merely in passing: I wonder what individual states in the United States would do if the central government of the US were just to wipe out and abolish those state governments. I do not think they would be very happy about it.
In the minute that I still have at my disposal I should like to touch upon two small points. The first one is the peculiar expression in a paragraph on page one of the Department’s report which reads:
This sounds a most extraordinary expression to me. I do not want any conflict management; I want peaceful management.
If one manages conflict, one has peace.
I have been to the library and spoken to various people there. I have made all the enquiries I can as to the meaning of “conflict management” but nobody can tell me what it means. I hope that the hon the Minister will be able to do so in due course. The other point I should like to touch upon …
Order! I regret the other point will have to stand over since the hon member’s time has expired.
Mr Chairman, I should like to return to certain of the aspects touched on by the hon member for Umbilo yesterday and today, but I want to begin by making a remark prompted by the congratulations of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition to Prof Andreas van Wyk on his appointment yesterday. I should like to associate myself with that. The hon the Leader of the Official Opposition made the statement that they were colleagues at Stellenbosch and argued about politics even then. It is clear to me now which one of them was the cleverer if I see where Prof Andreas van Wyk is sitting today, whereas his former colleague is only the Leader of the Official Opposition. [Interjections.]
I want to tell the hon member for Umbilo that he made a much more moderate speech today than yesterday. It is a compliment that he can say—and surely they can rightly boast about it—that there was no maladministration or any corruption in Natal during the period in which the province was governed by the NRP and the old United Party. I simply find it strange that he implied that the political leaders should have been consulted. I assume he was referring to the parliamentary representatives. By doing so he created the impression that there is a large gap between the parliamentary caucus and the provincial caucus of the NRP. It is also particularly strange in view of the fact that it is a small political party. I do not believe the gap should be so large that there is no liaison whatsoever between the Assembly and provincial council’s caucuses. They should, therefore, be informed in all respects. [Interjections.]
Do not talk nonsense.
If one treads on a sore toe, the reaction one gets is like that of the hon member. [Interjections.]
I think it is a good thing that the provinces’ levying rights in respect of taxes have been taken away from them. It is a pity that the leader of the NRP in Natal has to differ from his colleagues who serve on the executive committee. In his opening speech and at the time of his announcement the hon the Minister said expressly that he had had discussions with the Administrators and MECs of the various provinces on the various dates he mentioned. Consensus was reached about the broad guidelines for a new second-tier government. One of the points of consensus was that provincial councils were to be abolished. The MECs of the NRP in Natal agreed with this, as did their Administrator. The Government enjoys the support of the people who are directly affected by this. It is strange that the Government does not also receive the support of their provincial leader.
The hon member made the additional statement that the NRP supported the Government during the referendum and encouraged their voters to vote “yes”. The basis of their support was inter alia that there would be changes on provincial level and that people from other population groups would be included by means of this change. The Minister said this afternoon that people of other population groups can be included in the executive institutions which are coming in the place of the provincial councils. People of colour are not being excluded. If the system does not create reasonable expectations, it will definitely fail and the system will destroy itself. The NP has time—it must use it and it is its task to use it—to make the Constitution which has been introduced and that which the Constitution has to effect, work in such a way that it is acceptable to all and supplies the needs of everyone in the country. The Government must see to that. If all facets of the new dispensation have been worked out and introduced, there cannot be change in South Africa without violence.
The CP believes in sovereignty and that is the very danger in South Africa. Without doubt it will plunge us into a revolution and that will definitely lead to violence. What we must also remember, is that the government of the day is in power. Its policy, principles and directives must be executed on all levels, even on the third tier. If the Government’s policy of separate schools and residential areas is ignored by a local authority, action must be taken against this local authority or institution.
I had the privilege of sitting in the provincial council for seven years. During my term of office as MEC I said that provincial councils had to disappear, especially once we had accepted the 1977 proposals. I realized even then that provincial councils in their present form would have to make way for something else. After all, we could not have a provincial council for Coloureds and a provincial council for Indians in every province as well. To give only one reason: How would the provincial roads then be handled? Under which one of those provincial councils would they fall?
There are members of the Transvaal Provincial Council today who say provincial councils should disappear and who welcome this step of the Government. My MEC told me at a function on Friday night that he was in favour of the provincial councils’ being abolished. In addition he was of the opinion that it should be done immediately. At that stage neither he nor I knew anything of the announcement made by the hon the Minister on Monday.
Let me remind hon members that more than 66% of the voters voted “yes” for the new dispensation in the referendum. Even then we said that provincial councils could not continue to exist in their present form. I said it repeatedly from the platform.
It is a pity that the hon member for Koedoespoort is not in the House at present, for I want to quote his words from Hansard: Provincial Council, volume 175, 1978, page 345:
I also want to put this question to hon members of the Opposition who are opposed to the abolition of provincial councils. Has the result of the referendum not penetrated their understanding yet?
In the same Hansard the hon member for Koedoespoort continued:
If more than 66% of the voters in South Africa vote for the new dispensation, the Government is on the right course. In South Africa the Whites, the Coloureds and the Indians will have to seek solutions to our problems.
The hon the Minister said White South Africa has never existed, upon which the hon member for Koedoespoort shouted at the hon the Minister in an interjection: “Dit sal die dag wees! Jy het nog nooit vir Verwoerd gehoor nie.” In conclusion I want to refer once again in this respect to the words of the hon member for Koedoespoort when he said:
I should also like to remind the hon member of his own words when he said: “Die belang-rikste vryheid wat daar in hierdie wêreld bestaan, is die vryheid van die waarheid, want alleen die waarheid sal jou vrymaak.” If the hon member wants to adhere to the truth, therefore, he must admit that the homelands for Coloureds and Indians have never formed a part of his political thinking or policy—or should I perhaps say: Until the hon member for Soutpansberg got hold of him.
Mr Chairman, I am afraid time does not allow me to respond to the provocative and thought-provoking speech of the hon member for Losberg.
The planner in South Africa has a daunting task. In any normal society the planner uses the available resources, that is natural resources, capital and human resources of entrepreneurship and manpower, and he puts this together in some logical package. His yardsticks are effectiveness and economy in terms of the application and allocation of resources, and efficiency in its execution.
In South Africa the planner faces the additional constraint of apartheid, past, present and future, that makes modern planning almost impossible. The grand scheme of apartheid as a blueprint for political, social and physical planning has failed. The admission of this failure, especially of physical separation, as a result of economic realities, is now hailed as giant “steps in the right direction” and “new initiatives of reform”.
For the NP that was hooked on mainline Verwoerd these admissions may indeed be a giant step. However, for the rest of South Africa and mankind it is but a yawn. Instead of cleansing itself now of the philosophy of group separation or apartheid, it is merely trying to overcome these withdrawal symptoms by groping for more palatable alternatives such as “self-determination”, “joint determination”, “own affairs” etc.
*We heard the hon member for Randburg actually begging us to see whether we could not find one small item that could fall under own affairs. I am sure that someone with his intellectual abilities certainly could not find it in the normal Government departments. I am referring to possibilities such as own water, own transport and own defence. Yet he is searching for a little something and he is saying that in order not to sound “verkramp”. I must say that as a Prog he still sounds very “verkramp”.
†This does still not amount to the planning of the new future for South Africa—the King’s horses and the King’s men are merely trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again. [Interjections.] This time, Sir, his guts are spilt and the CP, of course, is cross about it. However, the new smiling face cannot hide the old empty shell from the majority of people over which it looms.
*During the remainder of the short time at my disposal I should like to point out a few of the restrictions imposed by apartheid on the various planning projects. Physical planning of, for example, transport systems, townships and land usage cannot be done according to scientific norms. Although it is said that economic planning cuts across regional boundaries, totally artificial physical planning is necessary within those regions, for example, as a result of the Group Areas Act. People are not placed in areas according to their economic or social-functional contribution to the economy, but according to race. When on top of that, a semi-international border is drawn around a city such as Durban, the result is that the planner or entrepreneur is totally caught up in a network of separate authorities, budgets—even in political intrigue.
I want to know from the hon the Minister whether he is planning to repeal section 3(5)(c) of the Physical Planning Act, which is nothing but influx control with regard to Black factory workers. This section in fact instructs industrialists to work on a capital intensive rather than a labour intensive basis. It also inhibits smaller undertakings.
I would furthermore like to know whether local authorities are still bound by the guideline which was issued by administrative edict and which instructed them not to allow undertakings to be established within five kilometres of the borders of independent states. Sir, such an arrangement is quite ridiculous because it limits the best use of the existing infrastructure according to which job opportunities should actually be created near the people—especially in cities such as Durban and Pietermaritzburg where people are concentrated around the borders of so-called White Natal.
The next matter which I wish to discuss is economic planning under the heading “Central Economic Advisory Service”. It is impossible to debate it in full now, but once again the factor which inhibits economic development is of an ideological nature. The Government has committed itself to free enterprise and a market-orientated economic policy. I now want to ask the hon the Minister whether he will remove from his policy all aspects which deprive the individual of the freedom to work or to apply his entrepreneurial skills wherever he wishes. Secondly I want to quote from the White Paper on a Strategy for the Creation of Employment Opportunities, in which the Government commits itself to—
In the first instance I want to know how this is to be reconciled with a mainly ideologically inspired decentralization effort which is in fact aimed at distorting the prices of production factors to such an extent that investors have to invest in precisely those places where it is not an economic proposition for them. In the second instance I want to know—I shall discuss this in more detail during the Manpower debate—whether the hon the Minister is aware of the distortion of the entire manpower resource which is taking place as a result of the disproportionate demand made by the public sector and the Defence Force on the most highly skilled group in South Africa, namely the Whites.
†I want to raise a last but very serious point in terms of economic planning. Purely as a result of apartheid, South Africa is facing a very serious threat to its normal economic activity in the form of disinvestment. [Interjections.] The “yes” vote was supposed to have won the world over so that South Africa could reach its true economic potential. I want to tell this hon Minister that as long as he is in search of a new philosophy; as long as he sticks to the present one and as long as he cannot convince the people of South Africa that we have a political future in which we can all believe, so long will he not convince the outside world that we have a safe political future and therefore also a safe economic future. I ask the hon the Minister whether he has designed a contingent economic plan in the event of the increasing intensity of disinvestment taking real effect. I see nothing about that in his annual report, although it is a very real threat.
*The last section is about constitutional development. With regard to the Indians, Coloureds and Whites we now at last have the political machinery that the Government wanted in 1948. We have political apartheid institutions which harmonize with the social and physical apartheid legislation.
On the other hand, as my hon leader pointed out yesterday, there is in fact pressure for the reform of those very Acts which enforce segregation. Let us say that it will take another three years before all these Acts have been repealed. In 1988 we will then have taken 40 years to get back to 1948, but this time we are going to be saddled with constitutional political apartheid which will no longer harmonize with social or economic integration. That really is a Humpty Dumpty situation.
The big question today is: And what about the Blacks? The NP admits that they are not concentrated in the Black states to the extent to which the NP thought that they would be. They say it is because of three problems. The NP calls the first one the development problem and says: “We thought that it would be easy to develop these regions: Inject a little money and technical aid into those areas, and lo and behold, development would take hold.” Now the NP is proposing to give the residential Black townships more than municipal status so that they can administer their own apartheid, and lo and behold, development will follow automatically. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, it is a very fine custom in this House for an hon member to react to the speech of the hon member who has just spoken, but I think that the custom does hinge on the fact that the previous speaker has made a meaningful contribution. [Interjections.] When the hon member for Greytown was speaking, it was with half an ear that I heard the hon member for Kimberley North saying: “Let us adjourn and hold a prayer meeting for him.” In my opinion it would perhaps have been virtually the best thing to do, because having listened to the hon member for Greytown, I think we should be very grateful for the fact that he will never be governing this country one day. That would entail complete chaos, confusion and the utmost lack of discipline imaginable. The hon member first had to make a passing reference to apartheid, simply scraping together all these aspects to present a speech which, in point of fact, made no fundamental contribution at all.
In a young country such as South Africa, which is developing constitutionally, it goes without saying that adjustments will and should be made from time to time. It goes without saying, too, that from time to time important decisions will have to be taken because the constitutional set-up in South Africa, as a young and developing country, has not stopped developing since we have not yet reached any finality.
If we think back a spell, we remember the very important decisions that were taken and we also remember specific incidents in our history. There is, for example, the advent of Union in 1910, the advent of the Republic in 1961 and the commencement of the new Constitution in 1984. There is, however, one thing we are quick to forget when we argue in this way, and that is the recommendation in the report of the Theron Commission in 1976 and the concomittant decision on the part of the Government at the time. I just want to quote paragraph C of that recommendation:
It is this recommendation that the then Government adopted, ie that the existing Westminster-based system of Government should be changed. As far as my knowledge goes, no one in the erstwhile NP caucus voted against that. No one said that this recommendation should not be implemented in practice.
Because we accepted it, because the then Government accepted it, a process of constitutional change was set in motion. At the time we had a Cabinet committee to which the hon member for Kuruman referred yesterday when he said that the decisions of that Cabinet committee had been twisted round. The hon member forgets that this was followed up by the Constitutional Committee and subsequently the President’s Council.
Everyone helped to do the twisting!
The process has already borne fruit. Hon members now sitting opposite me, in the ranks of the CP, participated and gave it their blessing.
We did not help to do the twisting!
They jointly decided that the Westminster-based system of government in South Africa would have to be adjusted because we could not simply make use of it as it stood. When we reached the stage of making the adjustments, however, those hon members who had the courage to do so remained, and they are still sitting on this side of the House. [Interjections.] They had the courage to carry these adjustments through, to make these adjustments in the interests of South Africa. The others took their hats and left! [Interjections.]
This process of change has not yet been completed. Underlying our constitutional set-up there is the group nature of our society. This puts me in mind of the words of the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition who said here yesterday: We do not differ on the existence of groups, but on the participation of groups in the constitutional setup. I think those were his words, more or less. If that is our point of departure, we can really conduct a meaningful debate about the constitutional set-up in South Africa.
This afternoon I want to state, from the point of view from the NP and the Government …
Order! The hon member for Kuruman is not permitted to hold a continuous conversation with the hon the Deputy Minister. The hon the Deputy Minister may continue.
Could we not send him to Morgenzon, Mr Chairman? [Interjections.]
In the Republic of South Africa the gathering together of inhabitants into groups with similar customs and traditions is acknowledged. In fact, in the preamble to the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act this principle is acknowledged:
The structures and systems that have been designed are aimed at achieving the self-determination of groups and at respecting group ties.
The Constitution, which came into force last year, does not simply aim at giving substance to a political philosophy of a political party. It aims at creating a better dispensation for the distinguishable groups living in the Republic. It has been accepted that no Government can identify the needs of individuals or meet such needs. It has also been accepted that aspirations and expectations can be given much clearer substance in the group context. Provision has therefore been made for the structures in which the respective groups can take the opportunity of identifying the needs of their own groups and give expression to their aspirations.
What is the Government acknowledging? The Government is acknowledging the individual identities of the various ethnic groups that exist in South Africa. The measures created, for example, by the Groups Areas Act enable the respective groups to identify their own leaders and to strive for development of the various communities. Thus the aforementioned act—the Groups Areas Act—made provision, as far back as 1966, for the Minister to establish consultative local affairs committees and management committees for Indians and Coloureds if a group area for the particular group exists.
Now the truth of the matter is that the creation of these local government structures is a first stage in the development of local communities. It is an initial stage designed to give community leaders an opportunity to come to the fore, to gain knowledge and experience in dealing with community affairs and to gain practice in Government at community level. It is also interesting to note that the majority of the present members of the House of Representatives and of the House of Delegates were, prior to the election, members of management committees or local affairs committees.
The Government accepts that all communities are equal. We nevertheless have to acknowledge this afternoon that not all of them necessarily have equal facilities. With the support of all the groups and all the group leaders equality can, however, be brought about in all spheres by the new dispensation. I do, however, think there is one statement we have to make and one guideline we have to lay down, and that is that community leaders must not expect other groups to make any effort to develop a particular group. Every community’s leader must promote the interests of that community. This also means, of necessity, that the leaders must accept responsibility for the decisions they take on behalf of the community. I think that this realization of community ideals and endeavours is, amongst other things, protected by the Government’s policy of separate residential areas. This is what is always referred to with such relish, ie, that we are now going to do away with separate residential areas. Let me put it very clearly this afternoon: The various population groups in South Africa will have their own residential areas.
It is a worldwide phenomenon that the inhabitants of urbanized areas tend to live in identifiable groups. Even in countries where legislation does not regulate the groupings, informal, delimited groupings with individual group characters do exist. Sometimes this takes place on the basis of an economic or social stratification. In heterogeneous communities, however, we find that the divisions can even take place on religious, cultural or political grounds. The principle, however, is one of group formation on some basis or other.
I want to make it very clear this afternoon: Having said that the Group Areas Act makes provision for residential areas for the various groups in this country, let me add that this does not mean that the Group Areas Act is going to remain unchanged. [Interjections.] In 1978 the Riekert Commission found, for example, that specific sections in the Act inhibited the full realization of the free-market system. The Commission therefore recommended the elimination of relevant restrictions in the Act. In the White Paper on the Riekert Commission report the Government accepted the particular recommendation in principle. In the Group Areas Amendment Act, 1984, provision is also made for the elimination of a series of restrictions so as to permit all population groups to trade in specific areas on an equal footing and without any restrictions. I think it is only right for us to introduce that amendment, and it is right for us to introduce this principle in South Africa. I also believe that all population groups in this country should be able to trade in terms of these provisions of the Act.
The amending Act has already been signed by the State President. Steps are already being taken to implement the Act. At present the existing so-called user areas are being deproclaimed to have them proclaimed on the same footing as areas defined in terms of the new section 19, and I am of the opinion that this will be possible by the end of the month.
The passing of section 19 is a step towards obtaining equality in trade and industry. This offers each population group an opportunity for the optimal utilization of its own entrepreneurship—for its own benefit and for that of its community. It can create job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship and be of benefit to the country.
Yesterday the hon member for Pietersburg referred to the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and put certain questions. I just want to refer the hon member to the report of the relevant standing committee where, in paragraph 4.2, he can see that the finding was that since the Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, and section 16 of the Immorality Act, 1957, were placed on the Statute Book, provision has been made for the regulation of groups by dividing the population into groups, the determination of separate residential areas, attendance at separate educational institutions, etc. It is also said that these measures are an adequate assurance of the continued regulation of social, educational and political structures in the individual communities. About this we have reached consensus. Let me tell those hon members of the CP that the member who represented them in this standing committee did not take part in these discussions. That is why he cannot reply to the questions the hon member put here yesterday. I now want to invite the hon member to come to my office so that I can explain the Group Areas Act to him, in particular the relevant section. [Interjections.] I shall then give answers, with explanations, to the two questions he put yesterday. In the standing committee we all achieved consensus with the hon member who represented that party, and I can therefore accept the fact that those hon members do not know what this is all about.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Deputy Minister?
No, Sir, I do not have the time now. The hon member for Pietersburg need not, however, be concerned. He should merely make a study of the Group Areas Act. Those hon members are so fond of talking about the Groups Areas Act, but they do not know the Act. They do not know the contents of the Group Areas Act, nor what the provisions of the various sections are.
We are laughing at you.
Sir, look how comfortably the hon member for Kuruman is reclining in his seat. If I were merely to ask him now what section of the Group Areas Act determines where he may live, he would not even know that.
As has already been mentioned, the mechanism for providing local authorities for all population groups has already been created. I think the structures can now be built up to fully meet the needs of every community by extending the powers and providing the financial resources to implement decisions. The implementation of these extended powers requires experience and knowledge. The knowledge can be acquired, amongst other things, by liaising with established local authorities. Practical knowledge can therefore be gained in implementing these powers. This can be brought about by establishing communication between the communities at local government level.
The Government has frequently been criticized about its so-called lack of initiative in the upliftment of local communities. I want to point out this afternoon that as far back as November 1984 regulations were promulgated to regulate communication between White local authorities and the management committees or local affairs committees of the various population groups.
It is with great regret that I say here this afternoon that there are unfortunately some local authorities not yet making use of these measures. It is also interesting to note that the majority of the complaints about this come from areas in which the White boards are controlled by people who are members of the parties on the opposite side of the House. That is unfortunately the case. They also come from those boards’ areas in which decisions are taken with which the residents do not agree.
Recently, for example, the Department received numerous objections from residents of municipalities where decisions clashed with the general value judgments of the residents. It then just starts one wondering where the greatest lack of liaison is. Unfortunately I have to say that it is here where we find ourselves this afternoon, here in the old Mother City, Cape Town, where the utmost lack of liaison is specifically to be found in a city council controlled by the PEP. I really do believe it is now about time the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition also made a contribution in this regard. The time has come for him to ensure that the necessary liaison also takes place there.
Apart from formal channels of communication, other avenues for discussion are also needed to promote relations between the respective population groups. It is true, is it not, that knowledge of one’s fellow man results in one having a better idea of his opinions and customs. And this is specifically one of the functions the Government has been performing for a number of years now—the relations campaign.
I should like to congratulate the hon member for George on his speech yesterday, on the contribution he made to this debate when he dealt with the relations committees and the work done by them throughout the years. Relations committees have now being linked up to this Department. I therefore hope and trust that we shall continue on the same footing. Since it was consistently brought to one’s attention by relations committees that one participating entity did not have the right to vote, let me say that that objection has now been eliminated, and I believe we shall now be able to make a greater contribution in the relations committees and in the relations sphere by allowing the respective population groups to get to know one another better and to stand together more solidly in the interests of South Africa and in the interests of the communities we have to serve.
I began by saying that we have a developing constitutional set-up. There is a great deal to do in South Africa, and it is therefore unnecessary for us to go forward in fear and trepidation. We must rather have faith in doing the work we have to do with a view to caring out a great and wonderful future for this beautiful country.
Mr Chairman, I should like to point out that I read the annual report of the hon the Minister’s Department carefully. The nature and the scope of the functions of the hon the Minister and of his Department are very clearly set out in it. No one can doubt the importance of these functions in any way.
Naturally I do not want to be unnecessarily critical now that I have read that report, but I should like to associate myself with what certain hon members have said, and put it clearly that I am worried, that I have serious qualms about the immense—the almost too great—concentration of power in the hands of this hon Minister. The hon the Minister responded to this earlier this afternoon when he said the statement that he had built himself an empire was untrue and malicious. All I can say to the hon the Minister in response, is that one should refrain from judging statements other people have made about one.
What do your voters say about that?
My concern, my qualms, do not concern the hon the Minister’s intellectual and physical abilities to handle such a large department. My concern is the fact that this hon Minister is generally regarded in South Africa as being a Minister whose leftist-liberal political thinking is taking South Africa on a course of Black majority government. [Interjections.]
Look at all the people who are laughing at you! [Interjections.]
I hear the hon the Minister is getting sympathetic sounds from the PFP’s side. I have often heard the hyenas howling and I know that they howl most loudly when the spoils are at hand.
The hon the Minister is assisted by a whole crowd of academic and other advisers, inter alia advisers whose liberal political thinking is similar to that of the hon the Minister. For example, there is the hon member for Helderkruin who is the author of what I call a treasonable document, treason against the policy of the NP. I am sorry to put it so harshly. One of my colleagues called it an admission of guilt and I feel it has become high time for the NP to seek a different name after this. It can no longer call itself the National Party; it must now call itself the Capitulating Party. The hon the Minister has put South Africa on the course of political power-sharing and I have not the slightest doubt that the hon the Minister is leading our country to eventual Black majority government with the political processes spelt out in the annual report. It appears from the annual report that the Government is setting certain objectives, of which the most important is to involve Blacks outside the independent and national states in the political processes in White South Africa. This afternoon the hon the Minister made what is probably the most scandalous statement ever made by a Minister in the House when he said there had never been such a thing as a White South Africa. I think it is the most scandalous statement a Minister can make.
May I ask the hon member a question?
I shall not answer the hon the Minister’s questions for I have too little time. He must rather listen.
The Government intends to create so-called mutually acceptable structures, structures in which Black communities must attain political rights, rights of citizenship and rights of ownership in White South Africa. In the annual report we also find very interesting admissions that the new dispensation has little legitimacy, little credibility. The Government hopes to give the new dispensation greater credibility by involving Blacks in it. Even the Progs are now being given the opportunity to serve in the extended special Cabinet Committee in order to give greater credibility to the new dispensation politics of the NP. After listening to the Leader of the Official Opposition yesterday, I told myself how delighted that party must be, because it is getting the opportunity now to tighten up on the NP even more. The demands made by the PFP even at this stage, predict difficult times for the NP. The hour of truth has come for the NP. In this extended special Cabinet Committee, the PFP is going to force the NP to make a choice once again, a choice between the road to Black majority government and the road back to separate development. I am sorry to say this, but I believe that the NP is already so far on the liberal road of the one man, one vote system that in a few years’ time it will accede to the request of the PFP to make a declaration of intent that it will agree to Black majority government.
Nevertheless I want to give the hon the Minister advice. I want to tell him: Leave this Prog policy. He knows that in the multiracial South Africa he can only create feasible structures if he sticks to the old tried policy of separate development. If, however, he proceeds with these absurd political processes which he is spelling out to this Committee, it will eventually merely result in Black majority government. The hon the Minister knows, after all, that in the communistically-inspired onslaught against South Africa the only acceptable structure for inter alia the officious foreign countries is a structure of Black majority government. This is the only structure which will be acceptable.
This demand of Black majority government will not only be made to the hon the Minister by the PFP, but will also be made to an increasing degree by the Government’s political coalition partners in the House of Delegates and in the House of Representatives. This demand for Black majority government is also being made outside Parliament by that vast majority of people of colour who constantly busy themselves in shouting “amandhla, amandhla”, or “political power, political power”, from mass meeting to mass meeting.
Indeed, I believe there are some of the hon the Minister’s colleagues who will not mind eventually living under Black majority rule.
The question to which the Leader of the Official Opposition must also reply—I should like to put it to him—is whether he and his party will be prepared to live and work under a Christian Black majority government. Can the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition give me a reply to that?
I shall reply.
The political course that the State President and the hon the Minister now want to take with the Blacks, is in total conflict with the old NP’s government policy. After all, the Government has no mandate of White voters to deviate so radically from the Government policy in which the voters have supported the NP through the years. The NP cannot get away with its flimsy argument that in the 1983 referendum it received a mandate to deviate in this way from the old tried and trusted NP policy. [Interjections.]
Political integration with not only the Coloureds and the Indians, but very definitely also with the Blacks, is an unrealistic and impracticable illusion. It is a theoretical dogma and an extremely dangerous ideology. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, it is now my task to speak after the hon member Mr Theunissen. I heard someone say behind me: “Mr Theunissen, your voters think you are talking nonsense.” We all know who his voters are. Once again I was astonished at the bitterness that was so evident in the hon member’s speech. I made a few notes: Leftist-liberal Minister leading the country towards a Black majority Government”; “a scandalous remark by the hon the Minister”; and “this is a document of treachery”. I really tried hard to find something positive in what the hon member said in this debate today but I was unable to find it.
I detected one fear in him and that is that the hon member Mr Theunissen already accepts the reality of a Black majority government. The hon member has so little confidence in his own policy that he is convinced that the White voter will not buy his policy and for that reason, as he puts it, this hon Minister is going to head this country in the direction of a Black majority government as a result of the liberal policy we supposedly pursue. I should have thought that one should have more confidence in one’s own policy and in the persuasive powers of one’s candidates to enable one eventually to form the Government and implement one’s own policy.
Today I should like to dwell on one of the most identifiable minority groups in South Africa, viz the South African Chinese community. So far as I have been able to determine there are approximately 10 500 Chinese in this country who are South African citizens. Then, too, there are about 500 in the national states, Swaziland, etc. Apart from these Chinese there are also people who work in South Africa in terms of a permit system. Originally the permit applied for three years. Later it was changed to five years. It can also be extended from year to year. One of the reasons for the permit system is the fact that for immigration purposes the Chinese are still regarded as Asians in terms of our legislation. This is the terminology that is still used. As such the Chinese is not acceptable as an immigrant in South Africa.
When the President’s Council was established the idea was to have the widest possible representation in that council and a Chinese, too, was appointed. I am convinced that Mr Winchiu has performed a tremendous task, and not only on behalf of the Chinese community. He has also emerged as a very proud and dedicated South African.
What did we do then? We amended Section 103 of the former Constitution to include the term “Chinese” so that we could appoint a Chinese to the President’s Council. However, when we accepted the new Constitution in 1983 we deleted that term and referred only to Whites, Coloureds and Indians. In addition we used the term “Indians” instead of “Asians”. Therefore the Chinese have been denied the privilege of serving on the President’s Council or even of voting for a member of the President’s Council.
These people are citizens of South Africa but they do not have the vote in South Africa. Everyone in South Africa can vote: The Black people can vote, the Whites can vote, the Coloureds can vote and the Indians can vote. However the Chinese, who are citizens of the country just as I am, cannot do so.
Particularly in the urban areas which have had many dealings with Chinese we have come to know these people as a sober and law-abiding group of people in our country. Formerly there were four group areas for Chinese. There was one in Port Elizabeth, one in Uitenhage, one in Pretoria and even one in Kimberley. However, they were phased out. Over the years they were deproclaimed. The last to go was the one in Port Elizabeth. It was Kabega Park which was deproclaimed in 1984. Where are these people living now? Where are they working? Where do they worship? After all, these are the questions we must ask ourselves.
In 1977 we ascertained that more than 90% of the South African Chinese lived among White South Africans. To begin with we issued permits for them. We then had to go around asking the White neighbours whether they would object to Chinese people moving in. In my constituency several such permits were issued. I have never received any complaints from the neighbours about the Chinese. Fortunately this, too, was repealed in 1984 and since then that has not been necessary either.
Let us admit to one another that the Whites in South Africa have accepted the Chinese community in their residential areas, in the Church, at school, at university and in the work situation. Surely that is so. Surely there is not a single member present who does not wish the South African Chinese who are citizens of this country to be fully enfranchised. There is one place, Sir, where they may vote. They may not for a city council or a provincial council. However, there is one place I could find where they could in fact vote. In the Referendums Act we included the Chinese in the definition of “population group”. This means that the State President may call a referendum for the Chinese group and they will then be able to vote on the fundamental issue for which the referendum was called. However, that is the only occasion when they may vote, and then they will be voting among themselves and for themselves.
I could speak until I was blue in the face but there is nothing that any of us can do to enfranchise the Chinese if the hon the Minister and the Cabinet do not do so. I could go on to say a great deal about our relations with the Republic of China and our internal relations but the hon the Minister and his department know more about that than I do. I believe that the hon the Minister will have to listen to these representations and that he will have to recommend them to the Cabinet in the strongest terms.
There are four ways to give these people status again, to give them the franchise. The first way is to give them a homeland. The hon member for Kuruman would be very happy about a homeland for Chinese. The question is only; where, when and how. However, it is not going to work and we know it.
The second way is to establish an advisory body from the ranks of the Chinese community to advise the Government, but then it still will not be taking part in the decision-making processes of the day.
The third method is to nominate a person to the President’s Council or to one of the chambers, but then he has not yet been elected. Nor may he be nominated in terms of the Constitution unless we take another look at section 52 and perhaps even at sections 53 and 71 of the new Constitution, and change the Electoral Act.
There remains a fourth possibility. To me it is obvious. It is reclassification. [Interjections.] I know that reclassification involves many problems but I see no other way out. I can put it no more strongly than that I hope and trust that the hon the Minister can find more solutions for this problem that I have sketched today, than I myself have found thus far. I trust it is possible that the hon the Minister will react not only here, but also in the Cabinet, to these representations that have been made to him today.
Mr Chairman, it seems to me that there was a man on the PFP side who did not speak and therefore I am not the man who had to wake up. I merely felt that we should save the occasion. This means that I have not yet fully prepared myself. Now I am simply going to put my notes aside and express what I feel in my heart. [Interjections.]
I should like to ask the hon the Minister that we give consideration, in our planning programme in South Africa, to a dramatic redistribution of urban land. Each of us who represents an urban constituency knows that what the NP has accepted, viz that the Black people are in urban areas permanently, has manifold implications. The decision we took about the freehold Black people has far-reaching implications.
In the interests of our children we on this side of the House would like to ensure that we do not overlook these implications and enter a future in South Africa in which the Black residential areas carry on as poor appendages next to our cities. Today every big city in South Africa has a Black residential area as a poor appendage. It is a fact of South Africa today that the national Black states—I do not say this to be disparaging—are to an extreme degree poor appendages of a wealthy South Africa.
I should like to say to the hon the Minister that the Government’s decision that Black people may own land is one of the most dramatic decisions that the Government has taken in the steps and actions to generate welfare. There is nothing to equal freehold as a means of motivating people or giving rise to programmes to generate wealth. Let us tell one another bluntly: One of the most important reasons why the whole of Africa and all the Black states in Southern Africa are to a large extent poor in initiative and economic development lies in the fact that there is no private land tenure. To put it in plain language, one could say that the discrimination of the traditional culture in the whole of Africa and in our Black states is one of the most fundamental reasons why the tremendous initiative of Black people has not been able to keep pace with the process of development in South Africa. I want to say something here today which may sound dangerous but I believe it with my whole being: If we are unable to redistribute urban land in South Africa dramatically so that we can achieve justice and fairness for all people then this neglect will be the biggest single threat to the Group Areas Act in South Africa. [Interjections.] We on this side of the House believe in the principle of co-existence alongside one another. Therefore we ask this hon Minister today to take another look at the physical development plans. I have looked at the figures relating to Black people on the Central Rand, the East Rand, the far East Rand, the West Rand, the Pretoria complex and the Vaal Triangle complex. The Black people under the age of 15 years in each of those areas comprise approximately 25% of the lawful inhabitants of the whole PWV area. On the other hand, there is an acute housing shortage in the whole PWV area and in every subregion of this area. As regards the economic development in the PWV area—which will simply have to maintain its momentum—I should like to say today that unless we reconsider very dramatically the redistribution of urban land we shall inevitably be heading for a tremendous conflict of interests in South Africa. The fact of the matter is that if we consider the history of the way in which people have obtained land in South Africa, for example in the ordinary way of occupying land, by way of wars on land, treaties concluded about land and negotiations, each of these methods whereby land is being obtained is going to be repeated in South Africa. At Crossroads we have in a certain sense experienced exactly what I am trying to say here because there was occupation of land and, in a figurative sense, war about land; in another sense negotiation about land and, finally, the purchase of land.
We may not be blind to this reality and I should like to say to the hon the Minister that when I look at the regional development plan that his department envisages for the Pretoria region—and I know that I differ with some of my hon colleagues in Pretoria in this regard—I must say that I regard the long-term planning in regard to Black people in the Pretoria region as untenable. I say this in the interests of the White inhabitants of Pretoria. It is in their interests that we distribute land in that complex in such a way as to satisfy the Black people.
If one takes note of the words and expressions used by Black people over the years to describe their homes and residential areas—I am reminded, for example, of dormitories—one realizes that land is one of the aspects in South Africa that gives rise to some of the most intense emotions. I believe that this will continue to be so and that it will increase in intensity if we do not consider afresh the provisions of certain proposals made by the hon the Minister’s Department.
However we must not only consider the tremendous backlog in regard to housing; we must also consider the tremendous degree of overcrowding. I often ask myself whether any hon member in this House has ever wondered how a Black child is able to study in a house in which ten to twelve people live. I ask myself—and I do so as one who was given my first desk when I was 21 years old—how young Black children manage to get any real studying done in those circumstances. The poor socioeconomic conditions which result from too little land and, later, a shortage of accommodation with the consequent over-occupation of some houses, is a question that we must deal with in a dramatic fashion now. This would be in the interests of order and peace for everyone in South Africa.
Another point I should like to raise is that in redistributing this land we must leave room for a healthy sale and resale effort by Black people. No one can really grasp the value of land and the benefit of the value of urban land if he does not have the opportunity to buy and sell land in his lifetime. The increased allocation of land in itself contains tremendous economic potential because people can buy and sell, use the land as security and build up capital. [Interjections.] With specific reference to the problem situation in Pretoria I should like to appeal to the hon the Minister and his Department to consider seriously the physical planning programme of Pretoria. It is an untenable situation that we should have to freeze the Black areas of Mamelodi and Atteridgeville. We have a programme to accommodate masses of people at Mabopane. Let us say to one another frankly: In a country in which have an acute shortage of capital we must have as few people as possible having to travel a long way to their places of employment.
I do not have time to go into that now, but commuting costs of workers who have to work in the Pretoria area daily has become an extremely negative factor. It has become a factor which seriously hinders production and the rapid development of the economy in Pretoria. It is offensive, too, and a problem for many people. Therefore, while we cannot undo the realities in the Pretoria complex I should like to ask that in our future actions we try to combat that problem and to consider the stabilization of the Mamelodi complex and its expansion to the Cullinan area. As regards Atteridgeville, too, we must, in the interests of the Whites of Pretoria, reconsider a matter that is creating a major problem there. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I listened with great interest to the hon members for Roodeplaat and Innesdal. The point made by the hon member for Innesdal about the importance of a re-evaluation of land, both for political and economic reasons, cannot be sufficiently emphasized in South Africa. One of the dilemmas we are faced with is that for too long in South Africa an attempt has been made to base a constitutional system on the racial distribution of land and then to say: Now the various communities must get along on the basis of that distribution.
It is one of the points of departure of the CP that according to them partition is a fundamental solution for a race issue.
A total solution!
Yes, a total solution. However, the Government must not only be aware of the dilemma of the CP; they must also be aware of the same dilemma that is embodied in the Government’s approach to land, eg with regard to freehold for Blacks and the people of colour for business and residential purposes, etc. We have legislation that disposes of land on that basis.
It was almost heart-rending to hear the hon member for Roodeplaat expressing his concern and his feelings about the dilemma of the Chinese minority in South Africa. I must say—I do not wish to offend him by saying this—that I cannot escape the conclusion that he is using a numerical convenience to express moral indignation. If there had been, not a mere 10 000 Chinese, but about 1,5 million Chinese, would the hon the member have conveyed that same moral indignation to the Minister? After all, the 10 000 Chinese cannot even take a constituency for themselves. If the hon member had really been morally indignant, irrespective of the number of Chinese in South Africa, it would be a sound argument because then I should agree with him. If that applies to the Chinese, why does it not apply to the Coloureds, Indians and Blacks on the same basis? I merely mention this; unfortunately I do not think that the hon member had time to develop the argument more fully and I do not wish to offend him by asking him the question in this regard. [Interjections.]
In fact, Mr Chairman, I wish to come back to the speeches by the hon member for Mossel Bay and the hon member for Helderkruin as well as that of the hon the leader of the CP, in his absence. The arguments advanced by the hon member for Mossel Bay and the hon the leader of the CP largely correspond. [Interjections.] Therefore I just wish to try and eliminate the confusion that could arise concerning the concept of voluntary association. However, in order to do this I must state clearly—I do not wish to offend the hon member for Mossel Bay either—that in my opinion extreme ignorance is displayed in the arguments relating to the concepts of “race” and “ethnicity” which the hon member used.
Generically speaking there are three basic racial categories in anthropology—I do not wish to spend much time on this—viz the Mongoloids, the Caucasians and the Negroids. It is true that one need not attach a way of life, a self-determination or even a racial connotation to those three basic race categories. One of the biggest world wars we have experienced this century was among members of the White race! To speak about people with the same way of life is unacceptable. There are political differences as well as cultural and other differences. For that reason I say that one cannot be blamed for one’s skin colour; that is a characteristic that one is bom with and that one cannot help. If that characteristic is used as a basis for participation in social and political interaction then it is an involuntary characteristic that is imputed to one and which determines how one has to act. If the hon member insists that that must be the basis then we have trouble.
This brings me to the point that the hon member for Helderkruin made in this epoch-making book he has just written about the new policy of the National Party. In it the hon member says that the difference between the Blacks …
Do you think that book is very enlightened?
I think that the hon the Minister is far more enlightened than this book. However, I do not wish to go into that in too great depth. [Interjections.]
For example, the hon member argues in this book that there is a greater cultural affinity between the Indians in South Africa and the Whites than between the Blacks and the Whites. However that is the biggest lot of nonsense. For example, there is a greater affinity between, say, Sam Motsuenyane of Nafcoc and the hon the Minister than between Minister Rajbansi and the hon Minister. However the hon member does not want to admit Sam Motsuenyane here but he is quite prepared to have Minister Rajbansi sit in the Cabinet. It is a question of differences of degree—it depends what one is talking about. If one uses the purely racial argument then the hon member has no grounds on which to argue. The fact is that Sam Motsuenyana is a Western Black man. He accepts the free-market system, he speaks English, he is a Christian, his way of life is Western—he is as far removed from a tribal tradition in the rural areas as Minister Rajbansi and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. Therefore, to use that kind of nonsensical argument will not help us to solve the constitutional problem.
However I want to go further. I do not underestimate the intensity of ethnic or group conflicts, or cultural differences. There are members of the same religious group who are at present engaged in one of the bloodiest wars in the world, viz that between Iraq and Iran. Both of those countries are Muslim, but one is a Sunnite and the other a Shi’ite Muslim country and they are destroying one another. Hon members must go and look at the scale on which they are doing so. Another case is Syria, where there is an Alid minority under Assad that is totally oppressing the Sunnite majority in the bloodiest and cruellest fashion. Therefore I do not deny that there is intense ethnic conflict—it is quite evident that there is. However the fact is that those ethnic groupings entail voluntary identification with a principle of religion or language, etc.
I now come to the hon member for Waterberg, the leader of the CP. He uses the concepts “people”, “nation” and race” quite interchangeably, as if the one means exactly the same as the other. He speaks about the survival of the Whites and the Whites’ sense of identity and then all of a sudden it is the nationhood of the Afrikaner that may not be placed on the altar. A moment later he speaks about the ethnic differences, etc. In this regard let us take as an example the debate about what is a true Afrikaner. Prof Dirk Kotzé of the University of Stellenbosch wrote a book entitled Positiewe Nasionalisme, in which he puts forward ten—or is it seven—criteria for a good Afrikaner. If one satisfies five out of the ten criteria one simply is not an Afrikaner. It does not matter whether one’s parents spoke Afrikaans or not; one simply is not one. Fortunately they have now seen that that kind of rubbish no longer works. The NP cannot draw up a check list to determine who qualifies as a good Afrikaner, particularly not since the present CP leaders broke away from the NP. Now they do not have the same establishment that is going to provide who is “kosher” and who is not “kosher” and who qualifies and who does not. That is why the Afrikaners are fighting among each other about different political ideas.
Yes, but that is just the point I am making! We have the hon member for Waterberg who talks about the credo of a true Afrikaner, Prof Kotzé who talks about the six criteria, Dr Wimpie de Klerk who says that Catholics and even atheists can also be Afrikaners and then Prof F A van Jaarsveld who says that 16 December is not a holy day for Afrikaners, thus inciting other Afrikaners to tar and feather him. [Interjections.]
What are you?
I am an Afrikaner! Now I want to ask that hon member: Is a Coloured an Afrikaner if he speaks Afrikaans, belongs to the Dutch Reformed Church and believes in the Afrikaans language? Is he an Afrikaner?
No, he is not an Afrikaner.
The hon member for Randburg has just said yes and the hon member for Turffontein has said no. This illustrates the very point I am making here. Do hon members know why the hon member for Turffontein says no? He says no for one simple reason, and that is that that Coloured is not White. [Interjections.] That is the only difference between the answer of the hon member for Turffontein and the answer of the hon member for Randburg. Culturally speaking the Coloured person has the same characteristics; he speaks the same language and has the same religion. The CP are consistent—they say he is not an Afrikaner. The hon member for Turffontein actually belongs with the CP—I have always said that. [Interjections.] Nevertheless I should never do that to the CP because as it is the NP is having enough trouble with that hon member.
Therefore the point I am making is that if the hon member for Waterberg speaks about a collective identity for the Afrikaner or the people or the race, the simple question arises: Who determines that collective identity?
I want to go further. If the hon member for Mossel Bay says that there should not be free association in politics in South Africa …
I did not say that.
Oh. Then I want to refer to the other alternative: If I say that voluntary association must be the basis of political participation the hon member says: “No, it must be race.”
The hon member says no.
I said that you mentioned various races, and I want to know from you which one is the correct norm …
No, the reason why I say that voluntary association is a better basis on which to conduct political negotiation is that voluntary association quite simply reflects the true political division in the country. For example, it enables one to find out how many people there are who believe in the principles of the NP—whether they be White, Black, Yellow or Brown.
Yes, that is why John Wiley …
For example, one could find out how many people believe in the free-market system—whether they be White, Yellow, Black or Brown.
I see that the hon the Minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism has also woken up now and wants to take part in the debate. [Interjections.]
The point I am trying to make is that once one introduces the principle of race into our constitutional dispensation, one deprives people of the possibility of determining how they are going to agree with you on the basis of policy and political conviction. Then, for example, one says that a specific person cannot become a member of that particular party. Why not? Because he is White or because he is Yellow or Brown or Black. This is what I am trying to say to the Minister.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon Leader a question?
I have very little time.
It is a very short question.
Very well, but then it must be very short.
Would the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition concede that members of the White race in this country have freely identified specific interests which they want to promote as a race group—not an ethnic group?
That is precisely where we have the dilemma of racism and race discrimination. Let me put it like this: I do not seek to deny that the Whites in South Africa have a specific way of life that differs from that of the Coloureds, the Asians and the Blacks. However, the reason why that way of life differs, is that the Whites used their political power to structure the situation for themselves in such a way that they are more privileged in the economic and social spheres. [Interjections.] Why, then do we have the dilemma of racism? Surely that is what is at issue and that is what we want to move away from. I have no objection to our wanting to move away from it. However, I do not accept what the hon member said, viz that this privilege which has taken place over a period of 32 years—and I concede the point to the hon the Minister that it existed long before the NP came to power—did not take place on the basis of race. This privilege on a racial basis has a long history. However, that is the very dilemma that we must move away from. All that I was arguing with the hon the Minister about was that we would not succeed in moving away from it if the structures we create are based on racial participation. What happens then is that those same structures that we create become platforms upon which the various race groups sum one another up and draw comparisons. They will they say: “Look, how can you say that there is regional representation for Whites, Coloureds, Asians and Blacks who can bargain together and deliberate about their relative degree of hardship.” The Blacks will say: “Our schools are not as good as yours, our residential areas are not as good, we have less land, our city councils do not have the same sources of taxation” etc.
Surely that happens in any system.
The point is that if one incorporates race as a criterion one incorporates a certain inflexibility in that system which accentuates the conflict. If I understood the hon the Minister correctly he specifically said that this was something that we had in common. We want to get away from that relative hardship and we want to get away from the problem of domination.
There are various methods of getting away from it.
Yes, we can debate that. However the hon the Minister goes further and says that the way in which he wants to get away from that is by creating these structures. He says he is going to create these structures and then ask people to negotiate with him so that we can retrieve the situation. Now the people with whom the hon the Minister wants to negotiate say that those structures he has created constitute the very issue about which they want to negotiate. Therefore I ask whether it is essential that we regard those structures as non-negotiable. I do not believe that this is so. I think that we as Whites have the choice of moving in the direction of the restoration of voluntary association. It is going to be difficult. I know there are going to be stumbling blocks. However this is a choice we must exercise. We must move towards the restoration of voluntary association and not exclude it as a possibility in the bargaining that lies ahead.
Several fears are being mentioned such as the fear of domination, Black majority etc. By the way, as regards the issue of Black majority I just wish to come back briefly to the hon member for Helderkruin. He says the following in this booklet of his, and I quote on page 11:
When I consider that statement by the hon member against the background of statements made by the State President and the hon member himself it means that that franchise must be exercised within a joint overall framework at the central, second and local levels. However, if that is so it seems to me that it is correct to say that the majority of the people who participate in those structures, demographically speaking, will be Black. It seems to me that that will be so. However, when I said that in terms of my party’s policy, they said that I was advocating Black majority government. [Interjections.] All I said, however, was that the majority of people who would participate in one joint structure in the future would be Black. That is not a question of policy but a question of demographic reality.
If, then, it is true that the majority of people in that common structure will be Black then the question is how we are going to deal with the problem of domination. That is the central political issue. Then, however, the NP must not do what it did at Newton Park and say that the PFP advocates one man, one vote and Black majority government; but it must explain how one establishes one common constitutional structure in which the demographic majority will be Black without political domination taking place.
I shall reply to that.
I am pleased that the hon the Minister is going to reply.
Finally I wish to come back to the original problem. I believe that we can deal with that problem by way of a negotiating process as long as we do not make race the basis for participation in politics, because then we shall be introducing the principle of non-voluntary association into politics. If we are going to do that I reiterate that the non-voluntary political movements will gain the upper hand and enjoy the most support among the Blacks, Whites, Coloureds and Asians. I am now referring to the kind of politics practised by the ANC and the UDF. What do they say? They say: Avoid all those race-structured institutions, because if you participate in them they are going to use them to entrench the racial set-up in South Africa. I, on the other hand, say that they must participate in them and use those institutions to move towards a situation of voluntary association. If we say that the possibility of voluntary association is excluded then I can say now to this hon House that in our efforts to negotiate we are going to be outbid by those radical movements who say that they base the future dispensation of South Africa on voluntary association and that those who practise constitutional and evolutionary politics, do so on the basis of compulsory participation as groups. I reiterate that if we do that, we can write finis to the politics of negotiation.
Mr Chairman, the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition will excuse me for not reacting to this speech. I understand that the debate is now turning more in the direction of planning.
Personally I have no problems with the question of what the Coloureds are. One had better ask them themselves whether they are Afrikaners; if they feel they are, I have no objection to their calling themselves that.
I do appreciate the fact that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning has a very difficult overall co-ordinating function. When a matter affects various State departments we are inclined to confront this hon Minister with it and ask him to help us with it. I was personally involved in overall planning with the Uranium Enrichment Corporation and I know only too well from my own experience that one needs a special grace in the handling of matters that affect various disciplines and various Government departments.
I should like to request the hon the Minister today to devote his attention to such a matter, viz the issue of the conditions of service of semi-State bodies.
We all know that the Commission for Administration has been given the responsibility of making recommendations to the Government with regard to the conditions of service of the Public Service, viz officers and employees in the employ of the central State.
Outside the central Public Service there are several institutions the employees of which are paid either wholly or partly from monies appropriated by this Parliament. I have in mind, firstly, institutions that exist in terms of a statute, eg the statutory boards and State corporations, or the so-called semi-Public Service. Secondly I have in mind private institutions to which transfer payments are made out of monies appropriated by Parliament.
All the institutions outside the central Public Service to which I have referred have a very striking common denominator: Each has its own conditions of service. Moreover, the financial statements of some of these semi-State institutions are not audited by the Auditor-General and he cannot therefore report to Parliament on them. The audit takes place in terms of the Companies Act, and private auditors are appointed. As a result the audit is not automatically referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
I raise the matter with reference to paragraphs 218-220 of the annual report of the Department of Constitutional Development and Planning. Reference is made there to the Committee for Conditions of Service of Scientific Councils, a new committee of which I have become aware. This committee, on a directive from the Cabinet—that is how it is put—gave consideration to the provision of posts in the top structure of the five scientific councils. This resulted in recommendations on uniform specifications for grading or norms for the provision of posts in regard to the creation of such posts.
It is also stated that the Committee has been enlarged to include representatives from the Commission for Administration, the Treasury and the relevant liaison departments of the five scientific councils. By the end of last year they made recommendations on facets of the conditions of service of the five scientific councils.
These recommendations are of importance in the argument I want to develop further, and I should like to quote them. To begin with, the recommendations concern uniform legal provisions for the remuneration and other conditions of service of these councils. Secondly, greater management freedom for the councils in recognition of personal merit is recommended; thirdly, uniform statutory powers concerning control of staffing in the top structure of these councils; fourthly, recommendations were made on the legal position in scientific councils with regard to the introduction of the car financing scheme; and finally, recommendations also concern the efficient co-ordination of conditions of service and staffing at the scientific councils.
These recommendations have been accepted by the Cabinet and it is mentioned that this is now to lead to amendments of the legislation with regard to all five scientific councils, while at the same time an extended committee will be established which will deal with the conditions of service of staff in scientific councils. I hope that the Commission for Administration and Treasury will have a seat on this committee as well. Finally, a committee consisting of the heads of scientific councils is to be established as the co-ordinating mechanism.
I welcome the fact that uniformity is now to be introduced as regards the conditions of service of the scientific councils. I also welcome the fact that the Commission for Administration and the treasury are being involved in the conditions of service of these semi-State bodies. I also welcome the fact that co-ordinating mechanisms are now being created with regard to conditions of service. However we cannot let this suffice. We are living in a period of rationalization in many spheres of State activity and I contend that rationalization and co-ordination with regard to conditions of service for semi-State institutions should be extended to all the other bodies in the semi-Public service. Steps must be taken to ensure that this process is extended. One could also divide the other bodies into categories—just as the scientific bodies have formed a category—and then co-ordinating bodies must be established. I request that the hon the Minister attend to this matter because this is something that concerns the activities of a great many bodies.
In this regard I want to ask whether it would not be possible for auditing by the Auditor-General to be introduced as regards the auditing of the financial statements of all these semi-State bodies so that the Auditor-General may report to Parliament. His report would then be referred automatically to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. This is a very important committee of the new Parliament. I am not a member of that standing committee but I can feel that its importance is increasing. I should like to see Parliament acquiring control of every rand it allocates.
I should also like to ask whether it would not be possible for reports to be submitted to Parliament in the same way in respect of moneys in the form of transfer payments to bodies outside the semi-Public Service that are voted by Parliament, eg certain institutes and the private companies to which I have referred.
Mr Chairman, I take pleasure in speaking after the hon member for Pretoria East. The issue here is a specific aspect of physical planning—an aspect concerning which the thinking and approach have changed radically in recent years. I refer to the planning of land use and to the associated rights of land usage. In fact, one could say that the central philosophy in this regard, which involves aspects such as township establishment and the subdivision and zoning of land, has changed fundamentally in recent times. As far as I know it is only in the Cape that these new principles relating to land usage and planning have thus far been given formal statutory effect at the provincial level, although some aspects of them are in line with ideas which have already begun to take root in other provinces. I must also add that the Cape’s measure, which was only passed by the Provincial Council earlier this year, is not yet in operation. It is still awaiting the necessary approval of the hon the Minister and the State President. Indeed, it is for this very reason that I broach the matter today. I should like to bring this matter pertinently to the hon the Minister’s attention.
In my opinion there is sufficient merit in this new measure to deserve and justify the stamp of approval of the Government and the State President. We in the Cape have always operated in accordance with an ordinance dating from 1934. In the meantime the ordinance has been changed a great deal and it was my privilege to be responsible for the implementation of the ordinance for many years and for the introduction of good and useful improvements to it. Now, however, a new dispensation involving more far-reaching changes is being proposed. The new system is aimed at a more effective administration of land usage and relates in particular to three aspects, viz planning, zoning and subdivision. In order to bring about better administration a number of main objectives have been identified to serve as guidelines. Time does not permit me to deal at all fully with these principles. At most I shall refer briefly to the most important principles, or rather those that depart most drastically from the traditional planning policy and practices as they still apply at present in terms of the existing ordinance. I shall dwell briefly on four of the most important characteristics of the new system. At the same time I shall be spelling out the benefits that this entails.
In the first place, planning and control of land usage has traditionally been the province of a single mechanism, viz the so-called township establishment scheme. One of the consequences of this has been that rights are allocated to land long before this is required or even justified in practice. Practical experience has shown that advance zoning can very easily lead to over-zoning. The solution of that problem is now being sought in the separation of the two functions, planning and control. As far as planning is concerned, a mechanism will in future be used that does not award or take away rights. As far as the mechanism of control is concerned, rights will only be awarded and recognized in so far as they are being positively utilized.
Structural planning will be effected by way of so-called nonenforceable structure plans. This kind of planning will be utilized in the national hierarchy of guideline planning that is pursued at the highest level of government. It also fits in with the terminology as prescribed in that hierarchy. In other words, it will cause legislation at the lower levels of government to fit in with and link up with the legislation of the central government. Structural plans may serve as the kind of plans for which provision is made in section 6A(13) of the Physical Planning Act. This Act will accordingly be positively supported in that way.
The chief characteristic of the new zoning system is that land usage rights will no longer be approved on a permanent basis, as it were, but will only apply for so long and for so far as they are really used. Another interesting novelty that will be widely welcomed is that it will be compulsory for a structural plan to incorporate a statement on conservation as regards both natural and artifical or developed environment. Moreover, provision is being made for public participation in the drafting of such a structural plan.
The second advantage or characteristic to which I want to refer is that this is an instance of deliberate support of the free market. Advance zoning and the awarding of permanent rights, whether or not the land is utilized, necessarily lead to the authorities having to interfere in the functioning of the free market. This of course creates the problem of unutilized rights because the authorities have to try and determine the future needs in regard to private land usage, whereas it would surely be far better to leave this to market factors. The authorities ought to concentrate on what is really important from a planning point of view, viz desirability factors, eg the correct placement of development, the planning and provision of services and so on. In my opinion it is far better to leave it to the entrepreneurs or developers of the private sector to evaluate the need for themselves on the basis of market factors.
Another characteristic and advantage of the system is that it makes it possible for a very important principle of the new dispensation to be given effect to, viz the devolution of power to lower levels of government. Indeed, we here have ideal circumstances for the implementation of meaningful devolution of power to local authorities. Democratization of the planning process also fits in very well with the central philosophy of the new constitutional dispensation. [Interjections.]
The devolution of power applies to the processes of both planning and control and is geared to pursuing the central objectives.
The last benefit and characteristic of the system that I wish to identify is the promotion of residential development in regard to both township establishment and housing. [Interjections.]
Order! I have already requested hon members not to converse so loudly.
It incorporates all the most important recommendations of the Venter Commission to be implemented by legislation. This applies in particular to a few measures to which I just want to refer briefly. There is the rationalization of procedures and measures which will accommodate developers financially and otherwise. There are many interesting and useful provisions, for example the abolition of enhancement levies and building clauses, which will surely be welcomed by entrepreneurs in the private sector. For the rest there are also clear directives with regard to appeal, to the effect that it is now possible to appeal against the awarding and refusal of applications. The public is involved in this because the public has a very important function to perform in the formulation of plans and in their approval. Provision is also made for a so-called planning advisory council. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I should very much like to reply to the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition with regard to the objections he advanced against me on the basis of the fact that in my booklet, I justified the inclusion of the Indians on the basis of a cultural relationship with the Whites, but denied it in regard to the Black people. Unfortunately the hon the Leader of the Official Opposition is not in the House at present but I take it that his party colleagues will convey the message to him. [Interjections.]
I want to make the point that if one reads this booklet properly one finds that exactly the opposite standpoint is put forward, in the sense that the inclusion of the Indians in this dispensation is justified on a totally different basis than that of cultural affinity. It is said with regard to the Indians that they differ considerably in the cultural sphere from the Whites and the Coloureds. Virtually exactly the same words are used in respect of the Black people, viz: “There are very substantial cultural differences …"
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 19.
Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.
The House adjourned at