House of Assembly: Vol7 - TUESDAY 18 FEBRUARY 1986
laid upon the Table—
- (1) Transport Services Appropriation Bill [B 52—86 (GA)]—(Minister of Transport Affairs).
- (2) Additional Post Office Appropriation Bill [B 53—86 (GA)]—(Minister of Communications).
- (3) Temporary Removal of Restrictions on Economic Activities Bill [B 54—86 (GA)]—(Standing Committee on Home Affairs).
- (4) Additional Appropriation Bill [B 55—86 (GA)]—(Minister of Finance).
- (a) Part Appropriation Bill (House of Assembly) [No 56—86 (HA)]—(Minister of the Budget).
- (b) Certificate by the State President in terms of section 31 of the Constitution, 1983, that the Bill deals with matters which are own affairs of the House of Assembly.
Mr Speaker, I move without notice:
That means that after the Joint Sitting and the delivery of the Budget speeches tomorrow, we shall not have a normal sitting but proceed to deal with Second Reading speeches instead.
Question agreed to.
Mr Speaker, I move:
Mr Speaker, I am indebted to the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs for his presence. I want to use this opportunity to welcome him back to South Africa. When I spoke in this House on the Second Reading of the Part Appropriation Bill on 12 February, I understood that he was in Switzerland. I assume I am right in that respect?
I find that remarkable, because on 12 February, when he was in Switzerland, he actually found the time to write a letter which said that he was still in Cape Town. I should like him to tell us who was authorised to write a letter for him on 12 February to voters in my constituency when he himself was actually in Switzerland. [Interjections.] I should like to know the answer to that. I understand—and I say this to him in all friendliness—that, after having visited Switzerland, he is now coming to Yeoville. [Interjections.] Well, I find that quite amazing. Is the hon the Minister not coming to Yeoville.
He does not know whether he is coming or going. [Interjections.]
I understand, Sir, that the hon the Minister is coming to my constituency—and I am flattered by that—in order to address a meeting in a municipal by-election. I am very flattered that he is coming there. In fact, one of the purposes of my addressing him through you today, Sir, is to invite him to Yeoville. He can share a platform with me there instead of our having separate platforms. [Interjections.] We can debate what is going on in South Africa so that we can all hear where we all stand. [Interjections.] On Thursday night in Yeoville, there will be a platform for him, there will be a chair for him, and there will be a microphone for him. I invite him to come and share a platform with me there.
Hold your own meeting and I will hold mine. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister did not even know whether or not he was going to Yeoville. [Interjections.]
Thursday is inconvenient because I am going to Transkei.
Well, Sir, if it is inconvenient for the hon the Minister to come to me on Thursday, then I am quite happy to go to his meeting on Monday and to debate with him there—if he is aware of the meeting! [Interjections.]
If you are an ordinary member of the public, you are welcome.
No, I want to debate with the hon the Minister—in front of the voters of that constituency—the question of what is going on in South Africa, because a municipal election has been elevated by the presence of the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and I am greatly flattered by that. In fact, all the voters are flattered that the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs is coming and that the NP attaches this much importance to it. I thought it would actually be a great opportunity for us to debate, as civilised people, what is going on in South Africa, [Interjections.] I make that appeal to the hon the Minister.
Firstly, there is a letter written in the hon the Minister’s name bearing a date on which he was not even here.
I authorised that letter and told them to mail it shortly before the election in that ward.
In other words, the date on that letter is a falsity.
You are trying to make a fuss out of nothing.
It is a falsity, that is all. You see, that is not the end of it.
I told you, I authorised the letter and told our people to mail it shortly before the election.
Does the hon the Minister know what is in it?
Of course I know.
What is in it? [Interjections.] He does not know what is in it, and that is what is serious about the matter.
On what basis do you make allegations like this? I object to them. I do not have an opportunity to speak in this debate, and yet I have to put up with these insulting remarks. [Interjections.]
The hon the Minister is welcome to enter this debate. The Whips can give him plenty of time. I shall tell this House why I consider the matter serious.
You got hurt because of a letter.
No, I did not get hurt because of a letter.
You are running away.
I shall tell you, Sir, why it is serious. The hon the Minister may protest about this as much as he likes, but I regard him as a person who is opposed to the use of smear tactics and unfair, unjust racial tactics in an election.
What is happening in this election is that the hon the Minister’s name is being used, and he is appearing on a platform, while the tactics are those of the hon the Minister of National Education. That is the tragedy. [Interjections.] These are tactics which the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs himself will not use. He may be cross with me because I asked about the letter, but the reality is that I object—and I want the hon the Minister of National Education to know this—to my constituency’s being used for racist propaganda from the NP.
What are you talking about?
If the NP wants to put its case fairly, it should not send its canvassers out to protest about mixed parks when it is, in fact, its own policy to allow mixed parks. I ask the NP not to come forward with such stories, and not to use somebody wrongly, as I feel they are doing. So I want to tell the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs not to get cross with me. We are prepared to fight that election on the basis of policy against policy. The CP has not put up a candidate and so the NP is using the CP’s policy in order to try to scare voters. That tactic does not pay, and neither does it redound to the credit of the man who is being used by being put on the platform. [Interjections.]
I want to make one more point on this matter before I move on to finance.
You are going to lose, Harry.
Does the hon the Minister have some money to bet with? Then why does he not put it on the table? Come on! [Interjections.]
How about R20?
Someone with such a big jaw should put his money where his mouth is.
Come on. Lapa, you can afford R20.
The hon the Minister should not talk so big.
I wish to return to more serious matters. The hon member for Houghton today raised the issue of Alexandra. Alexandra is situated in that area of the Transvaal which is of particular concern to the hon members for Sandton, Houghton and myself. The people in that area are, to put it mildly, extremely concerned about what is happening in Alexandra. I commend this matter to the attention of the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs. When he comes to that area, he should reassure the residents that we are, in fact, doing something about the situation.
Let me now turn, if I may, to the hon the Minister of Finance. There is currently, of course, great speculation as to the content of the Budget. I should like to put to the hon the Minister something said by the Governor of the Reserve Bank a little while ago. He said: “The time for another ‘prepare to meet thy boom’ statement may not be far off’. That was the statement he made. If the hon the Minister wants to read it I will give him the source of the quotation. It is from a speech that the Governor of the Reserve Bank made on 4 February this year. The hon the Minister can feel free to borrow the speech because it is not out of context in any way if that is suggested.
What I want to ask the hon the Minister is what exactly he has in mind should happen in South Africa in this forthcoming fiscal year. Are we going to stimulate a boom artificially for which we will have to pay a tremendous price in the future? Are we rather going to try to create a situation where there is solid growth, a situation where the priorities that are needed for the economy of South Africa are attended in the first instance and where we logically and reasonably assess what those priorities are?
I want to say to the hon the Minister that one of the major priorities that need to be looked at is the question of unemployment. To my mind unemployment is the spectre that hangs over the whole of the South African economy. If we do not deal with that problem we will not be able to solve not only the economic problems but also the political problems of South Africa.
I do not want to burden my speech with long statistics but let me quote only a few to illustrate my point. In 1983 there were 4 955 000 people in employment. In 1984 there were 5 016 000 in employment and in 1985 there were 4 941 000. These figures represent the total number of employed people of all races excluding those in agriculture and domestic service. When we look at the number of economically active persons—I particularly want to draw attention to the number of economically active Blacks—we find that there were 5 655 000 in 1983, 6 087 000 in 1984 and 6 308 000 in 1985. These are all Government statistics. That means that there were 653 000 more Black persons economically active in South Africa in June 1985 than in June 1983. I am using the figures for those years.
Let us look at the figures of employment. In the total population there are 14 000 fewer persons employed in June 1985 than in June 1983.
Let us take it a little further and look at the statistics in regard to Black unemployment. The Government statistics show that there were only 12 000 more Black people unemployed in June 1985 than in June 1983. This is an absolute impossibility. Even in the White, Coloured and Indian communities the unemployment figure increased by 25 000. However, it is alleged that over a period of three years the number of unemployed Black persons increased by only 12 000!
I want to ask the hon the Minister: Where have all these people gone? Where are they? One should look at the figures of the number of people employed. Our population is increasing at a tremendous rate, the number of economically active people in all communities is increasing—particularly in the Black community—and the number of people actually employed is decreasing. That simple fact is the foreboding of a major disaster for South Africa.
We have heard of the priorities of the Budget and of all that will be done. However, we have heard nothing of how savings will be encouraged to deal with new capital investment because of the problems with overseas capital. We have heard nothing of the plans of the State President in regard to the equalisation of education and what will be spent in that field. We have heard nothing in regard to these plans.
I have a relatively short time left to speak today but I want to make the appeal that if nothing else is done in the forthcoming Budget, South Africa’s attention has above all to be drawn to this major problem in regard to which action has to be taken. It may turn out to be a major catastrophe for South Africa if we do not deal with the unemployment problem in this country.
Mr Speaker, I always listen to the hon member for Yeoville with great interest, but I must say his outburst here this afternoon made me think of a baboon that had seen a snake—and all that because of a municipal election in one of the areas in his constituency. [Interjections.] The way in which the hon member for Yeoville reacted to that makes it sound as if he is extremely worried about the result there.
The hon member for Yeoville referred in particular to the question of unemployment, and I want to put it to him immediately that I believe the investment made by the State during the past year—an investment of R600 million—to give people work and appease their hunger, is probably one of the best investments of the past year. If one can express one wish, I believe it is that the Government make provision again in the new year, in the new budget, for financing of this nature.
Mr Speaker, I should like to point out, however, that one thing emerged very clearly during the debate on this Bill and also during the Second Reading. That is that we bear the stamp of reform and that the Government is irrevocably on the road of reform—reform to make South Africa a better and happier place for all its people, while democracy in South Africa is being extended in the process. In the process, people will try—and we have already seen this, particularly during the past two weeks—to ascribe wrong motives to the Government’s efforts. The intention is very clear, however, to everyone who is prepared to look objectively and realistically at the Government’s reform efforts. That is how simple it is, Mr Speaker. What is wrong in South Africa must be rectified, but with this distinct qualification—the maintenance of civilized and Christian norms in a country which is unique on the one hand, but on the other has the same communal enemy to keep from its threshold as the rest of the Western World has.
One thing is very certain, Sir. That is the topic on which I should like to exchange an idea or two with the hon the Minister of Finance. Reform costs money—a lot of money. Reform can only take place against the background of peace and order. Ironically enough, it is also accompanied by unrest. It is so interesting, however, Mr Speaker, that when one speaks to our colleagues in the other two Houses on their priorities for South Africa and for their own people, it is clear that constitutional reform is important to them, those things which involve the daily realities make up their highest priority in their constituencies; those things that involve the human dignity of the man in the street—a roof over his head, a school for his child and work for him so that he can keep his family going.
Reform in the broad sense will undoubtedly augment the demand and the requirements of people in respect of these things, and if we in South Africa want a peaceful and happy society, we shall have to make these aspects our priority. I should therefore like to put it to the hon the Minister of Finance that if, because of these things, the Government’s share in the gross domestic product in South Africa does not decrease in the short term, but increases instead, that is the best investment we can make in the future of South Africa. [Interjections.]
Reform cannot take place only against the background of peace and order, however. It must take place in particular against the background of a strong economy. During the Second Reading stage we heard that there are positive signs of an improvement in the economy—a very sound maize harvest, a good platinum price, positive signs concerning a lower oil price, and so forth. All that will help.
I believe, however, there are seven prerequisites for a stronger economy against which this reform can take place. I should very much like to name the seven points to hon members: Firstly, a clear indication from the Government—as is evident—of reform, but reform which is attainable, which is adaptable and affordable; secondly, willingness on the side of the South African community to make sacrifices in the interests of its own future in this lovely country—I am afraid we have no option but to be prepared to make further and great sacrifices; thirdly a greater positive attitude and less criticism and negativeness. I wish we could all stop trying to steal marches on one another and that all moderates in this country will be able to co-operate to make this country a better one, because the past two years have been difficult as a result of a variety of circumstances. There is one factor, however, which must never be underestimated, and that is peoples’ attitude. How easily we can talk each other into a depression and into absolute disappointment!
In the fourth instance we shall have to decrease our dependence on foreign capital by encouraging domestic economy. In this connection we shall simply have to reverse the tendency of the past two and a half decades in which economy in the country was simply not enough. In the fifth instance, we shall have to see urbanisation as a positive development and utilise it as a source of economic growth. In the sixth place, the export drive which has attained immense momentum during the past year, will in future—even if the rand is stronger—have to be a joint effort by everyone. In the seventh place—this is a semi-abstract—there is the question of economic patriotism. We speak so easily of disinvestment by overseas countries, but I think we can all mention cases of internal disinvestment, people who have exported capital goods to overseas countries during the past year in order to make capital profit. We shall have to have the will to work harder; we shall have to have the will to win.
I also think it is imperative that we in South Africa enlarge our economic basis by encouraging and expanding the informal sector and continuing on the course of deregulation. I must sound a note of warning, however—that is the point I want to make in particular—about the euphoria induced in people in this country at present by the term “free-market system”. I simply have the feeling that we have got hold of a principle or a term here and that in future we shall ascribe everything that is favourable to this term. I must say immediately I am completely in favour of the principle, but I am just afraid that we exaggerate it sometimes. It is easy to break down any form of control to nothing if the disadvantages of control are compared with the advantages of the freemarket system. I think the time has come for one to point out the advantages of control in comparison with the disadvantages of the free-market system as well.
There are two basic argument in favour of the free-market system. It leads to effective utilisation of resources and it provides the opportunity of personal freedom of choice. That is true, but features in South Africa which are typical characteristics of South Africa, often force the authorities to intervene and give direction to the economy which, under free market conditions, would have been worse off. I want to give a few examples in this connection.
One of the most important things we are dealing with in this country, is our policy of decentralisation—to decentralise from the overconcentration on the Witwatersrand and our coastal cities to other areas. If one analyses this closely, in reality it contrasts with the free-market system as we know it.
A second example is that in many cases a free import system offers a greater choice and also greater price advantages to the consumer. There are other factors which have to be taken into account too. We have to look at domestic growth. We have to look at employment and everything associated with it. That is why this is also a factor that has to be taken into account when we look at the euphoria of the free-market system.
The third point is that if the authorities themselves had not created the infrastructure in South Africa with its immense surface, no one else would have done so. In reality this is also in contrast with the freemarket system of absolute free choice as we know it.
The fourth point is that we—I myself too—often want to avoid monopolies in this country, but if we in this country want to compete with foreign countries as far as export is concerned, we have no choice but to allow organisations and companies in this country to become big in order to compete in that way on a price basis.
I therefore say one should listen sceptically when control is attacked as if it is evil and the free-market system is extolled as if it will be the solution to all our problems.
Abolition of control measures cannot be advocated in isolation without taking the associated factors into account. I often ask myself whether we go to enough trouble to put price movements of essential non-controlled products and inputs under the microscope too and to look at them very carefully. That is all I want to say about control in general.
In the last few minutes I want to dwell on something else. Recently there has been a lot of talk—and it worries me a great deal—about the lifting of control in agriculture. I think a very serious word of warning should be sounded here in particular. The fact is that South Africa with its varying climate, its comparatively poor soil conditions and its immensely great distances, is one of a handful of countries in the world which is self-sufficient as far as food is concerned and in addition is a net exporting country. In reality we are still a net exporting country. Naturally we also have the years in which things do not go as well, but in net figures we are still a food exporting country.
The fact that this is true is an absolute feather in the cap of control in agriculture. I want to concede immediately that control can often be wrested out of context. I think the hon member for Barberton will agree with this. If control is applied correctly, however, it cannot improved upon.
I want to dare to say the elimination of control will result in considerable consumer price rises. Indeed, I think we have examples of that already. We need only look at the milk industry. The problem is that once one has lifted control over a product, it is very difficult to reimpose control on that product.
I want so say immediately it must be awkward for the Government to have to accept responsibility for sensitive fixing of prices. Let me take the example of bread. It is a very sensitive matter. One can be crucified for any increase in the price of bread, whether it amounts to one cent or five. For that reason the temptation must be very great to let supply and demand take its course. I want to plead for us not to allow ourselves that luxury in the interests of the consumer in South Africa.
A last question which is relevant to this, is whether we can continue to subsidise food on the level and to the extent in which we have done so in the past. Personally I think there are probably better ways of giving assistance where assistance is really necessary.
Subsidies and control—this is my last point—are not absolutely interdependent. I want to warn that the elimination of the one must not automatically eliminate control.
Mr Speaker, the comments of the hon member for Paarl on reform very clearly illustrated one point, as has the entire session to date, which is that the NP has more internal problems than the PFP.
South African history has shown that all White parties in this country which accepted integration as a policy developed a split personality. The old United Party died of this disease, the PFP is ailing from it at the moment and the NP every now and then suffers acute attacks of it.
In this session we have progressed to the point where, as we heard yesterday, a Black man may become the chairman of a regional services council. This council deals with general affairs at the third tier of government. All population groups share in decision-making power there; all have the right of inclusion in the council and all who have a seat on it may qualify for the chairmanship.
Power-sharing is present at the first level of government too. By way of their participation in government, all population groups will have a share of power. Consequently, at the first level of government, anyone who has a seat in that highest tier may become the State President; only a Black man may not.
I now wish to ask the hon the Minister of National Education—his colleague is not present at the moment—where the logic of this lies? At the third tier of government, in the case of own affairs, a Black man may be the presiding officer but this is denied him at the first tier of government. I also wish to say to the hon the Minister he has achieved great success. He has brought the State President to the point of repudiating the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs when he was speaking the truth. Does he not feel the time is ripe to approach the State President to repudiate the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning as well, who did exactly the same as the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs? Yesterday the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning repeated as regards third-tier government what the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs said with reference to the first tier of government.
That hon leader of the right wing cannot collapse now; he should show what stuff he is made of; now he should rise and pursue this matter consistently. He should persuade the State President to act consistently, to say that Black people may not qualify as presiding officers and presidents although they may have seats on the councils. If the hon the Minister fails to do this, I wish to say what we have here is simply another example of the Government’s obfuscating methods of placating the voters. The poor hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke the truth but, when members of the governing party despatched telegrams and objected, when the State President put his foot into the Rubicon for the second time, the hon the Minister of National Education snatched him from the Rubicon again. Now he will have to make yet a third attempt. He is going to try a third time; he will repeat it.
I wish to say to the hon Minister that he will now have to be consistent and act, otherwise I want to ask him whether his benchmate also has a personal view on the state presidency. Does he also hold a personal opinion like the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs? I suspect this. I suspect he holds the same personal opinion as that of the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs has suffered humiliation through this, however, and that hon Minister has been able to place a telling little blow against that hon Minister over which he is chuckling in secret.
The State President said: “I say you are now speaking with two voices.” Never in history has a political party revealed such a split personality as the NP. On the one hand the State President says he stands by his Opening Address. On the other hand he says a Black man cannot become the state president; this is contradictory. Nevertheless he invites Chief Buthelezi to his office where they can discuss this—out of the public eye he can tell Chief Buthelezi what he really means.
I wish to say the people of South Africa are not stupid politically. Here we have two learned people, two lecturers in political science, stating their opinions in Die Vaderland. With reference to the fact that the State President had supported the hon the Minister of National Education, Prof Hennie Kotzé and Prof Deon Geldenhuys said the following:
With reference to government, from the first to the third tier, I now wish to tell the hon the Minister of National Education he is speaking with different voices because he is prepared to act at the first but not the third tier. Now I ask the Government how it is going to prevent this occurring at the highest level if it is to permit this at the third tier of government. [Interjections.]
I now wish to turn to the hon the Minister of National Education. The Ministers’ Council of the House of Representatives has decided to throw open its schools. Surely this is obviously and directly in contravention of the policy explained by the hon the Minister here in the House. The hon the Minister of National Education holds the overall position; he prescribes policy for all and all have to carry it out. The question of where a child may attend school is one of the most important matters concerning policy; even in White education itself a child may not attend just any school—there are specific conditions. Now the House of Representatives states its schools are open to all.
The State President said the interests of minority groups would be protected but he has never said how this would take place. In his Opening Address the State President gave some indication in this respect when he said he was offering moderates the law and the courts as instruments to protect the interests of minority groups.
The hon the Minister of National Education has now indicated that he is to talk to those two hon Ministers—the hon the Minister of Education and Culture in the House of Representatives as well as his opposite number in the House of Delegates. He will most probably talk to them in person separately or jointly or he will be accompanied by his colleagues dealing with Black and White education respectively. I now state this will be the first really great test to which politics of negotiation will be subjected. The hon the Minister should now negotiate with those people; he should persuade them to accept his standpoint. They are moderate people and he is a moderate person. If the hon the Minister does not succeed in his negotiation with them, it means failure for politics of negotation at the first try. In that case negotiation and the role of moderates are out of the question as regards the protection of the interests of minority groups.
The hon the Minister also said there should be a definition of minority groups and that measures should be instituted to enforce provisions concerning the protection of their interests. I am unsure of this but I have a suspicion there is a possibility that existing laws may be contravened if the hon the Minister does not succeed in the negotiation he is to conduct. I wish to ask him whether in such a case he will then apply the provisions in those laws for the protection of the interests of minority groups as he mentioned this matter as one of those which were not negotiable. Will he then use those laws? If the laws do not specifically empower him to do so, will he then be prepared to come here and see to it that existing laws are amended in such a way that they enable him to protect minority groups by way of the law and the courts? Is he prepared to do this? Today I want to say to the hon the Minister that, if he does not do this, it will also mean the protective measures the State President offered in the form of the law and the courts are of no value whatsoever. The history of the world has actually taught us this as well—the courts and the law offer no protection to minority groups.
Consequently I wish to tell the hon the Minister the time has now come for him to show the stuff he is made of and that he really is going to do something in the interest of minority groups because he is truly concerned.
Nevertheless there is another instrument in Government hands. Before getting to it, I wish to say that, although the Government is now going to pursue politics of negotiation, it should have done this before adopting the Constitution. When these people and we ourselves were forced into this constitutional dispensation, they said they were going to throw open their schools and the Government said it would not do so regarding its own. There was no negotiation beforehand; there was simply an agreement to meet and to differ on matters! Now different groups who in no way hold the same point of view as regards this matter are seated in the same Government.
Further, the hon the Minister sits in the same Cabinet with the Chairman of those Ministers’ Councils. Do they not even discuss these matters in the Cabinet? Did he see in the newspaper that the House of Representatives was throwing open its schools? What manner of co-operation and politics of negotiation does this represent? Where is South Africa headed if there is a coalition government and one of the partners does not even know what the others are going to plan against him? Or is that consensus?
I wish to ask the hon the Minister of Finance …
Mr Speaker, firstly may I ask the hon member whether he recalls what Dr Connie Mulder said on this matter when he explained the new dispensation in 1977 and secondly whether he is informed on the admission policy applied over the years at Coloured schools?
I am informed on all those matters and I wish to say to the hon Minister that Dr Connie Mulder is not at present the responsible Minister who has made promises. The Coloureds say they are going to throw open their schools entirely; this is not in accordance with the current admission policy—the hon the Minister is as well aware of that as I am. The hon the Minister is once again seeking an excuse to extricate himself from this. I can already foresee the hon the Minister’s surrender; he is looking for an excuse. The hon the Minister is going to say, “Throw those schools open,” and now he is looking for an excuse for this. He does not have the courage to carry out his promise.
This is proof of how malicious the argument is.
The hon the Minister is already seeking an excuse; I know him well.
I wish to ask the hon the Minister of Finance whether he will continue allocating the normal budget to this House of Representatives if it continues drawing children from other population groups into its schools or whether he will vote it additional funds.
To open schools?
Is the hon the Minister going to vote additional funds to open schools in a subsequent budget when Black, White and Indian children go to Coloured schools? Is the hon the Minister making provision for that? The hon the Minister does not even know how to reply to the question, which is why we will not get anything out of him.
Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of personal explanation. During the speech which I made earlier I referred to a letter …
Order! I shall give the hon member an opportunity to explain later.
Mr Speaker, I should like to thank my hon colleague for Pretoria East for the few minutes of the valuable time allotted to him which he gave up for me. The hon member for Yeoville invited me to reply to him and I do so with pleasure. I have here in my hand a copy of the letter to which he referred. I thank him for it. He gave me the copy because I did not have a copy at hand. The letter is brief but it says a great deal.
†It is addressed to the voters in ward 30 in Johannesburg where a by-election will be held on 26 February 1986. In it I say to the voters:
I am chairman of the Regional Council of the National Party for Johannesburg and I was fully entitled to do this. My address was given as Parliament, Cape Town. That remained my address and it was my address on 12 February. I do not know whether the hon member thought it was not my address any longer but it happened to be my address and I returned to that address. I want to thank the hon member for Yeoville for drawing attention in this House to my letter. I would like to thank him for drawing the attention of the voters of ward 30 to my letter. I would also like to thank the media in advance for publishing what the hon member for Yeoville did in this House. [Interjections.] Finally I want to say to the hon member that he will be invited when we celebrate the victory of the National Party candidate in ward 30 on 26 February. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I would like to thank the hon the Minister of Finance for responding to my Second Reading debate comments but I am afraid I cannot accept his explanation, particularly in respect of the $25 or 24 billion that we have in the way of short-term loans. It is an amount of $24 billion which we cannot pay.
It is short-term loans.
Yes, that is as I understand the situation. Anyway, it is a very large sum of money that we cannot pay and we had to apply unilaterally for a rescheduling of one sort or another. I believe this is the first time in the history of South Africa that we have had to resort unilaterally to such a measure. No matter whether they are debts incurred by the State or parastatal departments or whatever, the Department of Finance is responsible for seeing to it that those debts are met. Therefore, no amount of rationalization on the issue can change the fact that that department must carry the can. I believe that the Minister of Finance at that time—not this hon Minister but his predecessor—took a gamble on these short-term loans for the benefit of interest, gold etc. Unfortunately it was a gamble that did not come off. If it had come off he may have been considered a financial genius. However, as it did not come off, he obviously has to carry the can for it. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the answers given were very unsatisfactory.
The next point that the hon the Minister tried to rationalise was the price of petrol. I do accept that in respect of the rand’s position improving in relation to the dollar it is a little too soon to expect it to have any effect. However, for some considerable time now the oil price has been dropping and dropping until at the present moment it is somewhere around $15 or $16 per barrel. That is as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Naturally, of course, because of the South African internal policy and the general hypocrisy of many other countries we have to pay considerably more than that. Nonetheless, bearing all that in mind, I still believe that as a consequence of the substantial drop in the price of oil, we could have had a drop in the fuel price as far as the public is concerned. This is a very important aspect when it comes to reducing inflation, because almost every one of our products is produced by a process requiring one form of energy or another, and must be transported to various outlets. All these fuel costs are a prime source of inflation and, as a consequence, are multiplied by the time they reach the consumer. So the cost of fuel, as a matter of fact, contributes a great deal towards boosting inflation.
The hon the Minister also made comment on the question of inflation and tried to reaffirm his statement that inflation had been contained. I am sorry. It may well be contained in the not too distant future as a consequence of actions being taken now, but it has not as yet been contained. This can only be damaging to the situation if we do not get it under control, because it seriously affects interest rates. It also affects investments because no investment can yield a real return. If one has financial investments it does not help to get a high rate of interest on them, because once the Receiver of Revenue has his claws on what he considers to be his fair share of it—which we do not!—one actually suffers a net loss on every financial investment one has, unless one has been able to get 40% or 50% interest. I do not think there are many of those investments about.
The hon the Minister did not respond, however, to the point I made about the lavish expenditure particularly in respect of ministerial homes in Durban. Now, I understand that the Ministers concerned have in fact rejected those homes. I wonder if the hon the Minister could tell me whether as a consequence of that rejection, the decision has been taken to rescind the order for those homes. It would be very interesting to know.
I would, however, like to draw the hon the Minister’s attention to the fact that these homes are scheduled to cost approximately R2½ million. I can quote from the same source concerning a hall costing more than R5 million being built for a school. This is not a special school but rather an ordinary school for the Coloured community, and the hall is costing R5 million. For every R1 million one can build 100 very simple homes for very ordinary people. When we speak of the hall and the Ministers’ houses, we are speaking of R7½ million; in other words we are speaking of 750 homes that could be built. Cannot we get our priorities right? We are in a desperate plight for homes. During every budget debate the argument arises and in every sphere we hear of the desperate shortage of houses. Yet we are still spending money on these massive luxuries. I accept that man cannot live by bread alone. We have to have certain other structures to accommodate the arts and the like. However, they must come in at the appropriate time, not at a time when we are in desperate financial circumstances and during a period of a desperate housing shortage. I would plead with the hon the Minister to give serious consideration, when these departments come forward for money for their elaborate structures, to saying “no”. When the hon the Minister for Local Government and Housing as well as his counterparts in the other two Houses come forward for money for housing for their communities, they should receive top priority over all other structural needs.
I hope the hon member for Umbilo will pardon me for not responding to his speech as my time has been curtailed today.
I should like to request the attention of the House for certain thoughts surrounding the resignation of Dr van Zyl Slabbert and Dr Boraine. I also wish to direct attention to aspects of the new PFP political strategy which is emerging before us.
There was a shift in Dr van Zyl Slabbert’s approach from the beginning of the 1985 no-confidence debate to the beginning of 1986 and the past no-confidence debate. In February 1985 Dr van Zyl Slabbert welcomed the State President’s political initiatives; one could quote a great deal in support of this. I am referring to his Hansard of Friday, 1 February 1985 (col 410) in which he said:
It runs further (col 410):
In general he was positive and said it was a speech inspiring hope.
Briefly, in 1986 his view was totally different. He attempted saying that the action of the Government in the no-confidence debate had made Parliament irrelevant to the voters. He added that the internal ANC had radicalised its external wing. He said the action of the internal ANC was nothing more than rebellion against a tyrant.
He said the State President was the first to start talking to the ANC and not he. He added that we would shortly be redivided across language, colour and cultural boundaries so that those who truly shared one belief and could agree and co-operate would not remain entangled in the outdated political residue of the past. He therefore maintained Parliament was an outdated political residue of the past.
In addition he attempted to blame the State President for his resignation. Shortly afterwards it appeared from newspaper reports, however, that he had previously attempted to persuade the PFP caucus to resign, to participate in by-elections and, if they were elected, not to take their places in this House unless the Government revoked the Population Registration Act.
Dr van Zyl Slabbert’s characteristics as Leader of the Official Opposition were more or less the following: Firstly, he persistently succeeded in taking the wrong political decisions. In 1980 he boycotted the President’s Council. He advocated the No-vote in the referendum. During the referendum campaign he co-operated with an extra-parliamentary body, Inkatha, to promote the Novote. He applauded the establishment of the UDF. In 1985 he went to talk to the ANC and was rejected. He assisted in establishing the Convention Alliance but then had to resign from that because he had become an embarrassment to it. He attempted unsuccessfully to canvass members from other population groups for the PFP.
In the second place his career was characterised by the fact that he was humiliated at the polls time and again. One need only refer to the humiliating defeats in Stellenbosch and Springs; in Port Natal he was truly unable to raise any support. Further, there was his defeat in a recent municipal by-election.
The PFP really showed no progress under his leadership which lasted for seven years so one can say there were sufficient personal failures which could have served as adequate cause for his resignation.
I wish to argue, however, that Dr van Zyl Slabbert’s resignation from Parliament actually forms part of the new PFP political strategy. Since 1979 the leftist power clique has gradually been taking over the PFP. Firstly they ousted the hon member for Yeoville from a chairmanship. Last Saturday’s election of the new Leader of the Official Opposition was announced in the Press under the headline: “Enter the PFP Young Lions”.
There are fundamental differences between the so-called rightist group and the leftist power clique in the PFP which I wish to indicate.
According to the new hon Leader of the Official Opposition the rightist group wants to use Parliament as a base. We shall do the same. They believe any part in Parliament should also be relevant outside of Parliament. In addition they believe the ANC should be included in constitutional negotiations provided it renounces violence; they therefore support the State President in this respect.
The leftist power clique, namely Dr Slabbert, Dr Boraine, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens, the hon member for Durban Central and others want their party to move out of Parliament. In this respect one may quote Dr Boraine’s last speech in Parliament in which he said the following:
Consequently it is clear he intends carrying on extra-parliamentary politics which forms the reason for his resignation. Mrs Di Bishop has also said she will abandon parliamentary politics and act outside that body.
Yet another feature of their policy is that they offer unqualified co-operation to the ANC and the UDF. Dr Van Zyl Slabbert’s resignation should be seen as part of the PFP Young Lions’ political strategy.
Now we have a new Leader of the Official Opposition in the hon member for Sea Point. I wish to congratulate him and wish him everything of the best as he is going to require a great deal of grace. I believe he is sincere and means what he says—contrary to Dr Van Zyl Slabbert. If Dr Van Zyl Slabbert bids one good morning, from a political point of view one should first ascertain whether the sun has risen.
Dr Malan once told Dr Verwoerd something at Stellenbosch which is often quoted, namely: “Suid-Afrika verwag baie van sy Eerste Ministers.” I believe I may tell the hon Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Assembly that South Africa expects a great deal of its Leader of the Official Opposition. I also wish to advise him to look round. Brutus, in the person of the hon member for Durban Central, is standing behind him with the knife.
Mr Speaker, as my time is extremely limited I wish to refer immediately to the hon the Minister of Finance’s allegations last week that a pamphlet disseminated by the HNP contained lies. He said it was a lie that the Government favoured big business. In this respect he referred to Pick ’n Pay and I wish to respond immediately to what he said.
In a front-page report of the Sunday Times Business Times of 22 January 1984 the following appeared:
The Government and the hon the Minister created these supposed “development” write-offs against tax but then big business abuses them on an enormous scale and the Government permits this because in this way it wishes them to be favoured to such a marked degree.
The HNP received further support for its standpoints in this pamphlet from the International Currency Review, one of the most authoritative magazines in the financial sphere in the world. In volume 16 No 5 one finds:
Business interrupted in accordance with Rule 45(1).
Mr Speaker, I would like first of all to refer to the speech by the hon member for Yeoville. I would like to say to him that despite instructions that we received via the media on the occasion of my introductory speech in this particular debate, we did not use that occasion to announce certain other stimulation measures in the economy. If therefore he argues today that we should be careful about any further stimulation, we are in full agreement, because what we foresee is certainly not a boom. I think the quotation the hon member used was typical Gerard de Kock humour. Seen in its context, nobody can speak of a boom if the growth rate that we foresee for this calendar year is only 3%. I do not think in any terminology that can be regarded as a boom. We think that that can at best be described as reasonable growth under difficult circumstances, but still inadequate measured in terms of what is a dire necessity in respect of a growth rate for the South African population. [Interjections.] I do not think that we should ascribe an expectation of a boom to the Governor of the Reserve Bank because, as I have said, a growth rate of 3% certainly cannot be described as a boom.
Already, over the past few months, the Government has seen fit after thorough consultation with its advisers to release some expansionary forces into the economy. The downward pattern followed by interest rates is a stimulatory factor. The depreciation of the rand, secondly, stimulated exports which also made a contribution towards the stimulation of the particular sector in the economy.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, Sir. If the hon member wants to ask a question, he can wait a little while. I want first of all to deal with the points raised by hon members.
In September last year, we already saw that we had in fact achieved our main goals and that the tendencies in the economy were satisfactory. We saw no sense whatsoever in continuing with the policy we had then. So, at that time, we gently stimulated the economy further by, I believe, addressing the vital shortcomings in our economy, namely unemployment, lack of training and even food where this was necessary. It was for that reason that we pumped another R500 million into the economy.
I fully agree with the hon member that if we do not adequately address the whole question of unemployment we will face disaster in this country. It is for that very reason that we need a comprehensive policy to address that question. We cannot only create jobs on a temporary basis as we have been doing over the past few months, thus addressing the ad hoc urgent aspect of the problem. We also need structural changes in our economy in order to accommodate growing numbers of workseekers over a number of years. At the same time, however, we must also accept the basic fact, inter alia, that our population growth is too high considering the bottlenecks that we are experiencing in our economy.
We have a lot going for us at the moment if our economy is viewed on the basis of its potential for sound economic growth. We do have a substantial surplus on our balance of payments account. In referring to that, I obviously accept that we shall be able adequately to address the other leg of our balance of payments account, namely the capital account. This will materialise in the very near future—in fact, after the meeting in London the day after tomorrow.
We have surplus industrial capacity which can be taken up. I daresay that even today we have a surplus in some respects of semi-skilled labour, and we certainly have a surplus of unskilled labour. Strangely enough, however, according to some investigations and surveys, unskilled people find it easier to obtain employment, even if the employment enables them merely to survive during these difficult times, than semi-skilled people do. This is a strange phenomenon that has become evident from various surveys.
On account of the programmes we have implemented, we have the capacity for more retraining, and that can also make a contribution towards sound growth. We have a higher level of savings than we had just over a year ago, although I am not for one moment arguing that it is adequate. I also agree with the hon member when he says that we shall certainly need a higher percentage of savings in order to supplement, if I may put it that way, the lack of funds from normal overseas channels and also in order to maintain a reasonable rate of growth in South Africa.
What are you going to do in order to stimulate it?
Mr Speaker, if the hon member wants to ask a question he may do so now.
Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon the Minister what he intends to do in order to stimulate savings in South Africa? After all, he has already indicated that he is in favour of stimulating savings.
I was coming to that point, Mr Speaker, although I am not committing myself to anything as far as the Budget is concerned. The hon member said earlier that he had heard nothing about our plans. Well, I do not think he was meant to hear anything about our plans. [Interjections.] With due respect, Sir, it is not consistent with the style of budgeting to divulge in the Part Appropriation Bill what is going to happen in the main Budget.
As far as savings are concerned, however, we indicated our approach last year by allowing a modestly larger amount to be deducted by way of interest earned. That is certainly still inadequate. A very interesting phenomenon in other countries of the world was that a tax advantage attached to savings produced much higher savings than high real interest rates.
In any case, if I may make a general statement on the stimulation of savings internally, I do not think we will be able to carry on adding further tax incentives onto the total package of tax incentives as far as savings are concerned. In other words, there will come a time when we will have to decide, if we want further to stimulate individual savings, whether or not to redistribute, if I may put it that way, the advantage attached to savings more towards the saver and away from the institution which is today virtually the sole recipient of the advantage. That is a major policy decision that will have to be made some time in the future.
The demand pressures, if any, in our economy at the moment, are very low, so we are moving up from a very low demand level. This also relates to the observation of the hon member for Umbilo that I did not adequately address the question of inflation, and that we did not contain it. We certainly did. The current absence of demand inflation is, in fact, an aspect of containment by which the inflation rate has been prevented from exceeding its admittedly uncomfortably high level.
I have another point to make concerning inflation. The hon member was not present when I mentioned an authoritative opinion earlier. An economist has made a comparative study of similar devaluations in comparable countries. He found that, where the same scale of currency depreciation had been experienced, the ensuing inflation was much higher than it is here. It was not physically possible for us to contain inflation more than we did; this is unquestionable. There is no way one can stop the ravaging effects of the depreciation of one’s currency in respect of the cost of imports. If we properly analyse all the various factors playing a role in inflation, we can claim to have done reasonably well.
The hon member for Yeoville also referred to education. I share his sentiments as far as the priority of expenditure on education is concerned. We shall have to wait for the Budget to see to what extent it is possible for us to respond to this need in the South African economy. The hon member asked for action, so let us wait for that action to materialise, to whatever extent is possible for us, in the main Budget.
*I should like to refer to the speech made by the hon member for Paarl. He uttered a great truth, namely that reform costs money. There is no doubt that the highest priority for successful reform is a prospect that participation in that specific constitutional and economic system will bring about an improvement in the basic quality of life.
If the goal of this reform process is a democratic system with proper norms, if this is the system that has to succeed, it must hold out those prospects. The alternative is the system of chaos and socialism emanating from completely different sources, specifically the Soviet Union. After all, those are the alternatives between which we have to choose. We must make certain that the distribution of resources in South Africa, and what we are able to do in regard to the basic quality of life—namely home, school and work—is adequate at this particular stage to give us a boost in the reform process; otherwise we are not in the end going to establish the reforms which are so essential for a longterm peaceful situation in South Africa. The hon member was quite correct; this can only happen successfully against a background of a strong economy.
The hon member put forward seven requirements, to which I do not want to refer because they will make sense to anyone that was listening to them. I want to refer to his statements in regard to the system we have to use in South Africa.
The hon member tried to strike a balance between the free market system and systems of control. If it was his object to support them, we are in complete agreement with one another.
The solution to South Africa’s economic problems does not lie in an ideological approach—not at all—for on no side of the scale are we able to derive adequate benefit from such an approach. On the one hand our country is not so constituted that the free market system, in its totally free context, can provide all the answers. It is true that it entails free choice and a natural allocation of the resources, but we do not have such a typical country. If even highly sophisticated, developed countries cannot allow this system, how much more cannot we. I honestly think that the debate which is frequently conducted on this subject outside this House is completely exaggerated. There is also a tendency to categorise this debate into two completely oppositing standpoints. I think it is inaccurate, unscientific and impractical to seek a solution in that way.
On the other hand a completely controlled economy is certainly not the answer for South Africa either. I do not, in this open House, wish to refer to all the particulars in this connection, but there is a lesson to learn for people who are under the impression that South Africa is obsessed with the free market and as a result of that does not apply sufficient control measures.
As far as our imports are concerned, I can make certain figures available which prove beyond all doubt that we do not have much margin, if any, for applying further control without getting ourselves into real difficulties. I shall make the figures available to the hon member with pleasure.
There are, after all, more sophisticated ways of approaching the question of imports. It is true that we must protect our employment opportunities. During the next year or two it is going to be an unbelievably difficult task to protect the current account of our balance of payments. If we are going to have the typical pattern of an extraordinary increase in imports as a result of the growth phase which we are now moving into, we are going to experience problems. We are then going to have a very short growth cycle, with all the negative consequences flowing from that.
The hon member for Paarl was quite correct when he said that we already had a large measure of control. I think we should adopt the golden mean of properly analysing the problems of the day and formulating a plan for dealing with those problems in such a way that expression can be given to the longer term needs.
In this respect there is confusion among many people. I think that in particular one should have a trading strategy and then adhere to it, come what may. We should not allow any confusion to prevail between strategies and objectives. Our objective is an economy which can grow in such a way on the basis of price stability—that is to say, a low inflation rate—that it is going to offer people employment opportunities so there is going to be room for us to improve our quality of life. That is the fundamental demand of our economy and that is our ultimate objective. If one clings stubbornly to a specific economy strategy, on the basis of ideological or other considerations, however, the same strategy which initially helped one, within certain circumstances, is going to destroy one if those circumstances change beyond one’s control.
In one’s economic strategy and one’s policies, one must therefore effect adjustments to one’s course from time to time, but one must bear in mind that one’s ultimate objective should be to promote something.
Naturally there are fluctuations in one’s priorities from time to time. Last year we made the choice of preferable addressing the unemployment problem and the emergency situation of people who were really going hungry, rather than to consider the combating of inflation to be an overwhelming priority. We did that, but this does not mean that we have filed away the question of inflation and say that we should from now on have to learn to live with a galloping inflation rate. That is not the case at all. We have devised other plans as well, and we shall devise even further plans as it becomes possible to address those problems. I thank the hon member for Paarl for his contribution.
As far as the hon member for Lichtenburg is concerned, I do not want to become involved in his theoretical speculations on what budgeting is.
You did not understand what he said!
I understood precisely what the hon member said, but I am not prepared to become involved in such a fictitious and simple little debate as his. We have better things to discuss in this House.
†That brings me then to the hon member for Umbilo. I should like to point out to the hon member that we do not as a country have a short-term debt of $24 billion. That is not correct. We have a total debt of $24 billion. A portion of that was entered into by the State and the parastatals. I stated on a previous occasion that the distribution of maturity dates and the conditions of these loans were all open to scrutiny. Foreign debts, however, having been channelled through the banking sector in South Africa and through the private sector in South Africa, led to a bunching of short-term debts, which, upon the withdrawal …
But whoever controls it is responsible for it.
The overall debt position in South Africa, the overall foreign exchange position in South Africa, is obviously the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance has enlisted the services of the Reserve Bank to control the foreign exchange part of it. The banking sector is controlled in terms of its internal operations—let us be absolutely clear in this regard by the Registrar of Financial Institutions. The banking sector, in terms of its foreign exchange dealings, is controlled by the Reserve Bank on the basis of delegated authority.
Now, Sir, I must tell this House that it is physically impossible in South Africa—as is also the case in other countries of a comparable size—to monitor this on a day-to-day basis. It is absolutely impossible. Usually it was done by way of a survey once a year but as the result of a complete explosion—if I may put it in that way—of international banking transactions in recent years drastic amendments have had to be effected worldwide to existing banking legislation in order to address all the new problems and challenges stemming from this internationalisation of banking. Let me give the hon member an example, Sir. Suppose, for instance, a South African bank has a subsidiary in London. Whose responsibility is the innate soundness of the capital structure and the business dealings of that branch? Is it the responsibility of the Bank of England or is it our responsibility? There must at least be some kind of a liaison between the two countries because there is ultimately also not only the moral responsibility but quite often a material responsibility too, carried by the reserve bank in the mother country of the subsidiary bank abroad in terms of the actions of subsidiaries of banks operating in a given country.
Now, Sir, all these intricate aspects are in the process of being sorted out. One thing I may venture to add is that considering the sophistication of the South African economy, considering too our open economy and the massive percentage of our gross domestic product generated by imports and exports, I maintain that despite all the shortcomings that were identified in the process we were still reasonably accurate in our estimate not only of the total debt but also of its composition. I believe it is unfair of the hon member for Umbilo to make the inference that that total amount represents short-term debts. That is indeed not so.
Furthermore, Sir, the hon member made the inference that my predecessor took a gamble with short-term debts.
He did indeed!
That is absolutely untrue, Sir, and I respectfully submit…
I have had finance people tell me that that is absolutely true.
Well, finance people may say that but that statement is definitely not substantiated by the facts. A Minister of Finance signs the guarantees for the foreign loans of the State and of the parastatals, and the Ministry of Finance has a special section looking after these foreign exchange loans. The Ministry of Finance is not in a position, however, to be even remotely aware, on a day-to-day basis, of the transactions taking place between Joe Soap around the corner and his supplies in the USA—and foreign exchange is also involved there.
When it comes to short-term debts, Sir, I submit that it is unfair to say that my predecessor took a gamble.
Do you want to say that we are not in trouble then?
I said that South Africa’s short-term debt became too large a portion of its total debt.
That is what I have been saying.
Yes, certainly. That happened. We conceded that and we addressed the problem. Dr Leutwiler made a public statement to the effect that there was no way that South Africa could be regarded as a bankrupt country. However, I shall leave the matter at that.
You just had a cash flow problem.
Yes, we had a cash flow problem. I thank the hon member for assisting me with the correct term in this regard. [Interjections.]
As far as the petrol price is concerned, I want to tell the hon member that this is the responsibility of my hon colleague. However, we must also be mindful of the fact not only that we have to replenish our completely depleted reserves but also that we must be aware of the implications of longer-term contracts. Our international crude oil position, Sir, is still a sensitive one, a very sensitive one. I think my hon colleague and his advisers are doing a very good job of work as far as the handling of this particular issue is concerned.
Finally, on this point, I do not think that the Government or my colleague for that matter has a vested interest in delaying passing on to the consumer any benefit that may be forthcoming as a result of our improved position as far as the exchange rate pattern is concerned. That money does not go to the Treasury; it is earmarked to be used for the benefit of the motorist. Therefore, there is no way in which there can be an inordinate accumulation of funds for any purpose other than to have strong backing in order to stabilise future fuel prices.
I should like the hon member to debate the question of the ministerial houses with my colleague who has the line function in that regard and who will be able to produce plans in that regard if necessary. My responsibility is simply to provide funds for the houses. Without wishing to make it a point of debate, I want simply to ask the hon member to consider in regard to a house today what the security measures will be that need to be taken in relation to the specific position in which we find ourselves. I shall leave the matter at that.
As far as fancy school halls are concerned, in terms of our longer-term objectives—and my hon colleague here can testify to this if he has the opportunity to do so in another debate—we have reached the stage where we shall have to trim very drastically as far as the luxury aspect in regard to certain facilities is concerned. There is no question about that.
*Owing to a lack of time I am not going to refer to the speech made by the hon member for Pretoria East, except to say that I listened with interest to his viewpoint and that I think there is a great deal of truth in his analysis of why we had two departures from this House.
I come finally to the hon member for Sasolburg. That issue concerning the tax bases was dealt with long ago. He quoted from a newspaper which said “nothing was done”, but once again the hon member is two years behind the times. As the hon member for Innesdal said, those parties are in all respects travelling full steam ahead into the past. That matter was rectified long ago. Why did he quote, as an argument, from the Sunday Times of 1984? Shame, if that is all the hon member could produce to rectify that matter, it is pathetic.
As regards the question of the tax base which can be shifted, I want to tell him that the system did not fulfil its purpose. Inter alia it was not only the so-called moneyed interests that derived advantage from it, or does he number Atlantis Diesel Engines among the moneyed interests? [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, would the hon the Minister give me an opportunity to reply to that now?
No, the hon member can reply on another occasion. I shall first give him a chance to look for it in the Sunday Times of 1980.
You will not say that we are lying again.
I shall say over and over again that that pamphlet is full of lies. That thing is absolutely teeming with lies. The hon member must not forget that he owes this House an explanation as to how one can sit happily over there and be a member while one came here, inter alia, on the basis of a false pamphlet. [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
I just want to make a second point.
Order! Will the hon the Minister reply to a question?
When I have finished making my second point, I shall see whether I have enough time left to reply to a question. I want to remind the hon member that he must rise to his feet in this House and tell us how, morally speaking, he can reconcile with his conscience being a member of a pension fund, which he used as part of the argument he advanced in this House in order to attack the State President. He must tell us that, and we shall not forgive him for doing so. We shall not forgive him for the lies he told and the immorality he displayed. [Interjections.] Mr Speaker, the hon member may now put a question.
The hon member for Sasolburg may now put his question.
I should like to know whether the hon the Minister is aware of the opinion the International Currency Review has of him personally. May I quote it to him, Mr Speaker? [Interjections.]
Order! No, that is not a question.
May I ask, Mr Speaker, whether the hon the Minister would give me a moment of his time so that I could just… [Interjections.]
Mr Speaker, it is quite a revelation to us that that hon member has a publication which he wants to use against me, but does not have sufficient knowledge of it to formulate his standpoint into a short question. [Interjections.] He does not know enough about it. What he wants to do, is to quote a passage to me. I want to tell the hon member that we are not going to let go of that hon member’s pamphlet before he has apologised in this House for the lies contained in it. [Interjections.]
Question agreed to.
Order! I just want to explain to the hon member for Kuruman that I asked very courteously whether there were any objections. No one objected, however, and only when I said: “And so they do”, did the hon member rise to his feet.
Bill read a third time.
Mr Speaker, when the debate was adjourned yesterday, I was dealing with the suggestion made here, namely that the Voortrekker Monument was allegedly not being dealt with as an own affair by the Administration of the House of Assembly.
I should like to quote on the hon member for Rissik from a Ministers’ Council Resolution that was adopted as long ago as 13 June 1985. That was almost eight months ago. The Ministers’ Council of the House of Assembly decided, firstly, that the responsibility for the appointment of the boards of control in respect of the Voortrekker Monument, the Huguenot Monument, the Louis Trichardtgenootskap and the 1820 Settlers’ Association would be transferred to the Department of Education and Culture. Secondly, it was resolved that contributions to these four institutions would, with effect from the 1986-1987 financial year, be provided from the budget of the Department of Education and Culture. Thirdly, it was provided that the Department of Local Government, Housing and Works would continue, on the same basis as in the past, to be involved in the restoration and maintenance of, and new works for, these institutions, and that a member of the department would be appointed as member of the control boards in order to ensure that these aspects receive proper attention. The facts as quoted by the hon member for Rissik were therefore wrong.
I should like to say that in the further enquiry concerning this legislation—to which I have already referred in my Second Reading speech—these matters will be examined with great care in order to ensure that justice is done to the spirit of the Constitution in respect of the cultural assets of specific population groups, as far as this facet of conservation is concerned as well. We shall see whether there are matters which historically fall under the National Monuments Council and which should preferably, for some reason or another, be dealt with in a different way, or in respect of which a particular role should be given to any of the own affairs departments. If it is necessary, and if it requires a statutory amendment, we shall effect such an amendment. The intention is after all to give expression to the provisions of the Constitution.
†I want to quote it because I also want to come back to the hon member for Pinetown who tried to make fun of this. Let us have a look at what the Constitution, in Schedule 1, says with regard to culture:
It is quite true—and the legislature recognised it when it framed Schedule 1—that one cannot categorise everything in absolute terms. Therefore, it is conceded that one does in fact find situations where things “mainly” affect one group but where they may also be of interest to the other group. In this regard, in Schedule 1, it is a question of where the control lies. It should not be confused with the question as to whether it is also accessible to other groups. Many of the things which do fall under the control of, for example, the Ministers’ Council in the House of Assembly are accessible to members of the general public where there is a need for them.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, please, we have had a long discussion on the matter.
I also want to come back to the hon member for Bryanston who is interested in becoming involved in the drafting of legislation. In terms of our system, legislation is introduced by the executive and not by the legislator himself, apart from the special case for which provision is made in the rules in the form of private members’ legislation. All other legislation is initiated by the executive and, if one belongs to an opposition party, one cannot be part of the executive. It is as simple as that.
But one can still initiate it and request it.
One can request it and do all kinds of other things. [Interjections.] However, the hon member for Bryanston’s plea is that our system should be changed to such an extent that the standing committees should also initiate legislation. That is a major departure from the philosophy which is written into our Constitution and I do not know whether he really has the support of his own party in this regard. [Interjections.]
The hon member also made specific constructive suggestions and I want to give him the assurance that they will receive due consideration in the investigation which we plan to conduct.
*I reacted yesterday, and today, too, by way of introduction, to the speeches made by the hon members for Rissik and Koedoespoort, and to the one made by the hon member for Sasolburg. I do not feel like playing petty politics with the hon member for Rissik over an important matter such as this. I could go to town on his references to his new Caucasian policy and so on, but I am not going to make a frivolous and petty political game out of this issue. The hon member quoted what President Paul Kruger said, namely that one should take from the past what is good, and build the future on it. What I want to point out to the hon member now is that he did not say that one should cling to the past and turn one’s back on the future. The CP must take a careful look at Paul Kruger’s words, and take his real message from those words, instead of clinging to concepts and plans which cannot be implemented in practice. They must meet the challenges which South Africa is facing. [Interjections.]
On this important matter of conservation I want to say in conclusion that it is imperative that equilibrium be maintained. I am grateful that the question of conservation has not yet become a political football in South Africa, and that we are still able—which is not the case in Europe—to discuss the question of conservation on a high level here, whether it is nature conservation or the conservation of cultural heritages, and do so in the spirit of mutual acceptance that the matter is genuinely a matter of concern to all of us. I wish to express the hope that this important facet of our society will never become a political football which will be misused for the sake of petty politics.
I want to thank the hon members who support the Bill, and say one thing only to the CP. If there is one Bill which they should support, and which they are in fact supporting in their participation here, it is this one. How far can one take petty politics by arguing that one supports a Bill entirely, but that one cannot vote in favour of it because one does not like the general system under which it functions?
It is because we have no confidence in you!
Then the hon members must also stop eating. How can they afford to eat in this system? How can they afford to participate in the system? How can they afford to do everything they do, merely within the limits of the activities of this Parliament, if it is so revolting, so unacceptable and so objectionable to them? [Interjections.]
Do you want us to begin making use of extra-parliamentary methods?
They are lowering the standard of Parliament and they are making a mockery of true democracy and debate in this Parliament.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is it permissible for an hon Minister to say of a political party that it is lowering the standard of this Parliament? [Interjections.]
It is not unparliamentary to say that.
Sir, I want to address you further on this point and say that it is an insult to the Chair. It is also an insult to this Parliament that the hon the Chairman is allowing the Conservative Party to participate in the lowering of the standard of this Parliament. [Interjections.] My submission is that it is inadmissible to say something like that.
Mr Chairman—if I may address you on this point—I have never regarded it as the task of Mr Speaker or the Chairman to assess or to improve the contents of speeches, but only to ensure that the rules of the House are complied with. [Interjections.] One can also make a mockery of democracy and of debate in this parliament within the rules of the House. That is what that party is doing. They are doing it within the rules of the House and frequently outside as well, and then Mr Speaker calls them to order. Within the rules, too, they are making a mockery of real debate, of what the electorate expects of us—we who are sitting here in the highest council chamber of this country. We take it seriously amiss of them. The voters take it seriously amiss of them, and it will also be reflected in the voters’ reaction to this. [Interjections.]
Order! I do not consider the comment of the hon the Minister on this matter to be unparliamentary, and the hon the Minister may proceed, unless he has finished speaking.
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—115: Alant, T G; Badenhorst, P J; Ballot, G C; Bamford, B R; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Burrows, R; Clase, P J; Coetzer, H S; Coetzer, P W; Conradie, F D; Cunningham, J H; Dalling, D J; De Jager, A M v A; de Klerk, F W; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, B J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Gastrow, P H P; Geldenhuys, B L; Goodall, B B; Grobler, J P; Hardingham R W; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Hugo, P B B; Hulley, R R; Jordaan, A L; Kleynhans, J W; Kotzé, G J; Kritzinger, W T; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Malcomess, D J N; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maree, M D; McIntosh, G B D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W; Meyer, W D; Morrison, G de V; Munnik, L A P A; Myburgh, P A; Odendaal, W A; Olivier, N J J; Olivier, P J S; Page, B W B; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Raw, W V; Renchek, C R E; Rogers, P R C; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Schutte, D P A; Schwarz, H H; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Sive, R; Smit, H A; Soal, P G; Streicher, D M; Suzman, H; Swanepeol, K D; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, S S; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Niekerk, W A; Van Rensburg, H E J; Van Rensburg, H M J (Mossel Bay); Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Staden, J W; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Viljoen, G v N; Watterson, D W; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Widman, A B; Wiley, J W E; Wilkens B H.
Tellers: J P I Blanché, W J Cuyler, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, J J Niemann and A T van der Walt.
Noes—16: Hartzenberg, F; Le Roux, F J; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Snyman, W J; Stofberg, L F; Theunissen, L M; Treurnicht, A P; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, F A H; Van Zyl, J J B; Visagie, J H.
Tellers: J H Hoon and H D K van der Merwe.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is the hon member for Rissik entitled to say that I am lying? [Interjections.] You see, Mr Chairman, that is the standard.
That is the standard which you are creating.
Order! No hon member is allowed to say that another hon member is lying in this House—not even during a division. The same rules which normally apply during debates in this House, also apply when a division is in progress. [Interjections.] Order! I direct the hon member for Rissik to withdraw that remark.
I withdraw it, Sir. It was, however, an atrocious untruth the hon the Minister told. [Interjections.]
The hon member must withdraw the remark unconditionally.
I withdraw it, Sir.
Mr Chairman, when last this debate came up I attempted to make the point that in the new development of our parliamentary system we were gaining the opportunity of gauging the specific contributions made by the different Houses of Parliament as well as their positive effect. In discussing this legislation I think we have an example of how we are moving to a free market-orientated system.
Order! Hon members are talking too loudly.
I am trying to unburden myself but the rest are still winning at this stage.
The principle applied here is that we are moving to a free-market-orientated marketing system which I can only recommend. Nevertheless it should be borne in mind that by way of this system we wish to handle a product which is inherently dangerous unless it is the Government’s point of departure that the product be used in conjunction with food. If this is the case, I believe it to be a very good situation. One finds, however, as provided in clause 22 that, although we are dealing with a free-market system, strict control may be exercised by the Minister. When complaints are received, he may act immediately and with great power and authority. I believe this is good and should like to support it.
Although we are now instituting a freemarket situation, unfortunately all forms of discrimination are not being removed from the legislation.
In the first case we had the hon member for Houghton’s question last week. She enquired into the situation as regards women. If she meant it personally, I wish to recommend that special legislation be introduced to place her personally on an equal with all men as regards this legislation. I am saying this because over the years she has stood her ground “manfully” against the giants of this Parliament. I wish to reserve my arguments as regards the other ladies and choose that the protection accorded women be retained in the Act.
Unfortunately discrimination does not end here, however. If one looks as clause 7, in terms of which a new section is substituted for section 23 of the principal Act and the definition of “local authorities”, one realises there is now, in fact, an extension of circumstances under which the sale of liquor at retail outlets may be authorised and that other areas are also included in this. The comprehensive new section 23 enables the Minister to authorise the sale of liquor with due cognisance of unusual circumstances. Nevertheless a difference is drawn among provinces. Apparently the definition of “local authority”, as included in the Bill, has been extended to enable the granting of wider authority in the Transvaal. In so-called “local areas” falling under the Cape divisional council structure, however, liquor licences may not yet be granted. In this case one should differentiate between the new section 23 and section 34(2) in terms of which no liquor or grocers’ wine licence will be granted in rural districts.
In the case of country districts in the Cape Province, divisional councils no longer cover only rural areas. In the case of some large rural divisional councils, for example Cape Peninsula and Dias, one actually finds larger towns than in the case of some existing smaller rural divisional councils. Although I therefore welcome this legislation, I believe—the hon the Minister will concede this to me—that it is an interim ad hoc measure being inserted in the Statute Book to obviate priority problems we are currently experiencing. Nevertheless I also believe this legislation cannot be permanent; therefore, although I support the legislation before us, I should like to request the hon the Minister if possible to amend the Liquor Act comprehensively and to furnish us with a magnum opus next year.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Vasco argued that he supported this amending Bill because it promoted the free-market-orientated system but, whereas we are dealing with a dangerous product here, he also mentioned we should be cautious in ensuring that licence holders did not abuse rights granted them under this. In this respect he referred to clause 22 in terms of which the Minister is empowered to control an undesirable situation.
This measure is precisely one on which the CP differs with the Government. We are of the opinion that the old measure is preferable, namely that the licence holder should convince the authority that the granting of a certain right will not create undesirable conditions. In such circumstances the onus rests on the licence holder. In terms of clause 22 the reverse will take place.
This brings me to the actual objection we hold against this amending Bill on this side of the House, which is that it is a typical measure of a government en route to integration. While opportunities are being created in certain parts of South Africa for people to make more money, principles to promote a sound ethnic policy are being flung out at the window. I wish to quote that what was said in 1968 by the then Minister of Justice, Mr Pelser, (Hansard, 7 June 1968, vol 24, col 6769):
Subsequently, as is understandable, problems arose among the travelling public of other population groups; this led to the appointment of the Select Committee on the Liquor Act. The NP members on that select committee approached the Government with certain proposals. Problems arising in consequence of the increasing number of applications from other population groups to be admitted to institutions reserved for Whites had to be solved. The solution put forward was the institution of international hotels. The licence holder who wishes to serve other population groups may therefore apply in respect of every type of hotel licence in order to provide benefits to members of other population groups; that avenue has always been open to him.
The NP members of that select committee put forward a very important recommendation to the Government in 1974, however. I quote from their recommendation:
The 1974 NP standpoint as regards separate population groups is still maintained by the CP. Consequently we believe in the encouragement of these types of facilities in the residential areas of separate population groups for the benefit of the members of the various groups. One should therefore not permit integration as regards the consumption of a commodity like liquor for the sake of temporary financial benefit or to make money. The hon member for Vasco actually acknowledged that liquor was a most sensitive commodity.
I shall quote further from the recommendation of the NP members of the committee:
Now, however, that right is granted to each licence holder—whether it be in border areas or in central urban areas of South Africa; the discretion is now granted to the hotel proprietor himself. The hon the Minister must be aware of what happened in Rhodesia and later in Zimbabwe. Whites visited hotels but these were later swamped by other population groups. Whites then segregated themselves in their clubs but these were also opened to other population groups so the Whites had to return to their farms and no longer visited public places.
In South Africa there are approximately 5 million Whites as against 25 million of those of colour. The hon the Minister can imagine how these sensitive places such as hotels and on-consumption liquor premises in South Africa will be swamped by other population groups now that they have been thrown open and admission left to the discretion of the hotel proprietor—perhaps not today or tomorrow or the day after but definitely in time to come—and how those very incentive measures which the Government ought to apply to enable those people to erect such places in their own areas for themselves will be neglected. What is worse is that it is being done purely for the benefit of big business in the White area and to hell with the ethnic policy which should be applied in South Africa!
In addition, whereas it was the case in the past that, when a licence holder turned away a person and did not permit consumption of liquor on certain premises, the incident was reported that Sunday in the papers and the story was spread throughout the world that this Government acted in a discriminatory way toward different population groups in South Africa, that onus is now placed on licence holders in border areas. The licence holder is therefore placed in a very difficult position because, if he should refuse a man the use of a certain facility at his hotel and his action be trumpeted forth in the next Sunday’s Rapport, the Government will be able to say it is not its concern but the concern of the licence holder himself. That is the sign of a weak government no longer prepared to govern this country with enthusiasm and daring as was the case in 1974 and subsequent years. It now places the responsibility on the licence holder because this is a responsibility it is no longer prepared to bear.
For these reasons, Sir, and also because it intrudes drastically upon the ethnic policy we thought certain of the hon members of that party still believed in, we cannot support this Bill under any circumstances and shall vote against it.
Mr Chairman, I think there is not a member in this House who suffers from a dearth of words. Nevertheless I have to admit I am slightly dumbfounded by the spirit of unreality prevailing in this debate especially as far as the hon member for Brakpan is concerned. We have now heard arguments dating from 18, 20 and 12 years ago just as if South Africa had not developed, just as if no changes had taken place. [Interjections.] Mr Chairman, may I say to the hon member that all my life until today I have always understood that separate development means that whatever one feels entitled to, one does not begrudge the other man. Now I ask the hon member: Is that correct?
The hon member was still a member of this party when we threw open the Nico Malan Theatre to all races. Why did we do this? We did this because we could not grant other groups the facility we demanded for ourselves. I now ask whether this is correct. [Interjections.] All right, may I then ask the hon member whether he still regards separate development as such, namely that he does not begrudge other people what he demands for himself.
Exactly. That is why I want their areas to be developed.
Thank you very much.
The hon member for Brakpan spoke of the encouragement we should offer to enable the establishment of these facilities in Brown and Black neighbourhoods. He is quite right and we are attempting to do so. I wish to ask him, however, where the money is to come from. Who is going to pay for these facilities? Who is going to make finance available for them?
That is why you are simply integrating?
This hon member should put his money where his mouth is and take the lead. He should encourage monied people on their side to make funds available because, as long as he cannot erect a three or a five-star hotel in a Black area, these facilities will have to be used. Or the hon member Mr Theunissen should tell me whether he considers it possible to erect a three of five-star hotel there to be used as an alternative to these facilities. [Interjections.]
It is very clear that those hon members understand by separate development that one should not begrudge other people what one demands for oneself. Nevertheless they object to a Black man’s visiting a good restaurant in a three or five-star hotel. Consequently I state they are racialistic because, if one even begrudges a chap a drink, one is terribly racialistic.
And now you are even permitting him into my schools.
The factual situation is that the Bill provides for what is already happening; hon members of the CP know this as well as I do. The black or the Brown man arrives at the hotel or restaurant. The manager or proprietor decides whether he is to be admitted and, if he is served, he phones Pretoria the following morning to request condonation for this. The only difference made by the Bill is that we are eliminating a ludicrous situation and a telephone call to boot. Does the hon member for Brakpan, who is of the legal fraternity, not agree with me that it is ridiculous if one phones the following morning to request condonation for what one does that night? That is certainly the case; this Bill eliminates that.
I wish to illustrate further how racialistic the hon members of the CP actually are. The present Act provides that a Black or Brown man may not transport more than 9l of alcoholic liquor. Should he do this, the police may seize his vehicle and its contents. The CP begrudges him the abolition of that prohibitive measure. If that is not pure racialism, if that does not cause friction, hate and enmity toward the White, then I ask what will? [Interjections.] If hon members believe it right that we may transport two cases of Simonsvlei, but the Brown man may not, they are racialistic. I have noticed that, when the hon member Mr Theunissen becomes more verbose, it means he is being backed increasingly into a corner. He does not always hear what one says.
What are you worried about—your money bags or the Brown man?
We actually wish to change three aspects. Restrictions concerning the sale and provision of liquor—of whatever kind—to only certain race groups at certain venues should be removed. We want all these differential measures deleted and all such discriminatory provisions removed from our Statute Books; those matters which are causing the Black man to hate us increasingly. If a policeman should seize my car and my two cases of liquor—because one case contains 9l—I am going to hate him.
Will you share schools?
Old Stoffie, you are 50 years behind the times.
Secondly, we wish to normalise the distribution of liquor as behoves a civilised country. The hon members of the CP do not agree, however, because a neatly dressed Brown or Black man is obviously not worthy to enter certain places or to transport more than 9l of liquor.
Thirdly, we want the courts to decide on what the police have simply confiscated up to the present. I take great pleasure in supporting this Bill.
Mr Chairman, we in these benches have no difficulty in supporting this Bill, the main purpose of which, as far as we are concerned, is the removal of discrimination in respect of race, sex and social class. It also has the effect of removing unnecessary economic restrictions thereby benefiting the trade and the liquor purveyor. The racially discriminatory aspect of the Liquor Act is something the NRP has disliked for some time and which we have endeavoured to get removed. It has also been an embarrassment to the restaurant and hotel trade. The system of international status, which has been in operation for some time, and permit systems have, in fact, only embarrassed people, in some instances beyond endurance. These systems have created considerable trouble for this country with visiting sportsmen and people from overseas. We are very happy that these restrictions are being done away with.
The hon members of the CP may feel that, because this system has been in operation for many years, it should be retained. I can assure them, however, that in Durban where for a long time we have had quite a number of so-called international hotels where people of different colour have been able to associate, even drinking together, to the best of my knowledge, there have been no particilar problems.
I do concede that when one comes to the less affluent areas the potential for trouble is a little greater but in these circumstances the right of admission is still reserved. If a proprietor feels that he may have a problem, he has within his hands the means of resolving that problem.
The amendment in clause 7 whereby a new section is substituted for section 23 of the principal Act is also very happily accepted by us. Far less stringent standards are demanded and, as a consequence, the communities concerned who can only afford or who only have the need or desire for lower standards can also be served. An added consideration here is that people of the other groups will to a greater extent be able to involve themselves on a legal basis in the liquor industry. Many of them are in the liquor business but on a very illegal basis. Now one will be able to bring them in on a legal basis and let them enjoy the fruits of our capitalist system while driving them away from marxism and communism.
The substitution of section 177 of the principal Act by clause 24 of the Bill and various other amendments make the work of the Police less autocratic and more humane. It will certainly cut down on doubtful arrests and the unfair treatment of purveyors of goods where considerable hardship has been suffered in the past.
I only have one query in respect of this Bill which was in fact raised in the standing committee. It concerns the retention of the definition of “class” in clause 1. However, I do not propose to try to do anything about it—not that one could in any case at this stage—but I hope that further consideration will perhaps be given to this clause and the need for its retention when the Bill is put forward in the new format that is proposed.
With those few words we will be supporting this Bill.
Mr Chairman, unless one can see that the Government’s actual concern is the promotion of the interests of big money, one will not be able to understand the Government’s passion concerning the abolition of racial separation in South Africa. [Interjections.] This is the Government’s motive behind almost every measure that is taken. If the Government wants to benefit the interests of a sector of the community at all costs, it is the interests of those who already have. Even more must be given to them. That is the motive for this Bill, for how else can one explain it?
The hon member for Wellington told us here this afternoon how the Blacks, the Coloureds and the Indians are going to hate us if we do not remove all measures for racial separation from the legislation. He said they are going to hate us. How does the hon member explain then that he still wants to keep schools separate? Are they not going to hate us as much because of the fact that we want to keep the schools to ourselves? One can enumerate one case after another.
The NP is totally illogical; there is no logic in their approach in this connection. One has only to look at what has been said in the debates thus far in this House. The hon the Minister of Finance said the HNP does not know what it is talking about and that we are propounding lies. The hon the Minister asked whether he knows anything about the application of tax rebates as practised in the past. When I quoted to the hon the Minister today what exactly the practice was in the past, he jumped around and said this was no longer the case. That is not true. In his passion to promote the interests of big money, the National Party jumps back into the past, and when one takes hold of them there, they jump right back into the present. If one takes hold of them in the present again and puts it that their schools are not yet open, the National Party says again: “No, the Blacks will not hate us there; they will only hate us if we do not remove the measures for racial separation from the Bill under discussion.”
The abolition of measures for racial separation are in question here, Mr Chairman. We do not object to the selling of liquor to Coloureds, Indians and Blacks. We passed that step in the days of the National Party of yore. To sell liquor on the same premises, however, to market it in a way that promotes racial mixing, means that liquor is being used to promote racial mixing. [Interjections.] That is it exactly, Sir! [Interjection.]
Do you object to mixed cocktails then, Louis? [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, liquor in itself is already a substance one must respect in order to be able to handle it correctly. It is not something one should treat lightly. [Interjections.] We in the HNP therefore do not see our way clear to this, we cannot share in the illogicalness of the hon members of the governing party who say the Blacks will hate us if we do not remove measures for racial separation, whereas at the same time they are still, for the time-being, clinging desperately to separate schools.
That is why we cannot endorse this legislation in principle, and therefore we shall vote against it.
Mr Chairman, as always the hon member for Sasolburg again remained true to his own nature and that of his party. He came up with vague accusations that simply could not stand the test of truth—accusations that the interests of Big Business were ostensibly lurking behind this legislation. In this way he is, of course, making precisely the same insinuation as the hon member for Brakpan, to wit that not enough is being done to give Black people and Coloureds the opportunity to consume and enjoy liquor in their own residential areas. This simply does not accord with the facts.
What are the facts? The fact is that the Government recently went out of its way to give those people the opportunity to consume and enjoy their liquor in their own areas. In the very recent past between 150 and 200 licences were issued to Black people, allowing them to provide liquor in their so-called shebeens. Numerous other off-consumption and on-consumption licences were issued as well. I know that in Natal alone approximately 100 applications will shortly be considered by the Liquor Board.
The hon member for Brakpan also pointed out that people could make a nuisance of themselves in residential areas.
This happens virtually every day.
If this is the case—and I concede it may be so—steps must be taken to counteract that. And I shall also be pointing out what steps are possible in terms of this measure. But why should reference be made to the racial aspect? It is not only Black people who could make a nuisance of themselves. There are also many Whites—and the hon member knows this—who make a nuisance of themselves in residential areas. [Interjections.] This being so, the necessary steps should be taken to control it. I shall incidentally prove to the hon member that in terms of the legislation under discussion such measures do exist. [Interjections.]
As I was saying, Sir, the fact that liquor holds certain dangers cannot be denied. I think the hon member for Brakpan referred to the hon member for Vasco who had said that liquor was dangerous. It is a fact that when liquor is consumed, the possibility of friction arising between people does exist—friction between races too. The same possibility exists, however, with regard to sports teams, separate tribes and so forth. Because the issue of race relations has been a thorny one in the past, however, provision has specifically been made for it. The fact remains, however, that these measures were applied with much greater flexibility as the years went by. Administrative steps were introduced, and the necessary action to be taken was increasingly left to the discretion of the licences—and with very good results. Very few, if any, problems resulted from this.
My argument is that when someone wants to oppose this legislation they should not make references to all the things that could possibly happen in the future, but should rather refer to what has taken place in the recent past. Does the measure under discussion not simply legalise what would previously have been the effect of administrative action?
As I have said, adequate safeguards to combat these problems exist in terms of this legislation—measures which do not have a racial basis but which can definitely prevent friction. Firstly there is the discretion of the licensee. Secondly, there is the new section 23 in terms of which the hon the Minister may, by special authorisation, attach specific conditions and provisions to the licence. There is also section 160, in terms of which the hon the Minister may issue a notice prohibiting someone from selling liquor to a particular group after he has investigated and found undesirable conditions to exist.
I welcome this measure because it does away with gratuitous references to race. The fact is that such a measure no longer serves any purpose.
A further major improvement is the fact that disposal of seized goods has been transferred to the courts. This, too, is a very sound principle. This is quite obvious, because the criminal proceedings—which are also subject to appeal—are tried there and the court would be very well-informed on the situation.
The hon member for Vasco has referred to the fact that a thorough investigation into the Liquor Act is being carried out. As this statutory amendment is introducing a move towards normal business practices, let me make a request that procedures be examined as well. One shortcoming in the present system, in my view, is the fact that excepting under exceptional circumstances, a person may only submit an application once a year. I want to assert that this is unrealistic. When the need arises, an applicant should have the opportunity to submit his application within a reasonable period.
Mr Chairman, for South Africa this Bill, of course, brings to a close a very hurtful piece of history, a dealing with the use and indeed the abuse of such a strange measure for enforcing apartheid. Whether we label it apartheid or separate development makes no fundamental difference. It is an end to a fragment of history which has caused South Africa endless enbarrassment internationally. This puts an end to a fragment of history marked by having sections in the Liquor Act that were racist in nature. This cannot be denied. Most important, it means an end to sections which did tremendous harm to race relations in this country.
Various hon members have indicated—amongst them the hon member Mr D P A Schutte—that over the years greater flexibility has been built into this measure. One could very well describe it positively as flexibility. I prefer to describe it as a kind of piecemeal and unconvincing change.
Originally sport was the factor giving rise to pressure on the Government to start making concessions. It was in this area that impossible situations were created, situations that cause embarrassment and clearly brought to the fore how ridiculous the concept of apartheid was. This so-called flexibility was eventually forced on to the Government. It therefore all started with sport.
The so-called flexibility later developed further into accommodation because it was a simple reality—for economic or whatever other reasons—that there were inadequate facilities in out of the way towns and cities to accommodate travellers of other races. This is a reality which, in my view will, continue to exists for a long time yet, regardless of the degree of stimulation, mentioned by the CP, which one applies. It is simply unrealistic to think that one could ever reach a stage where one could really create completely equal facilities for people of all races in all the centres in this country. Such ideas are mere castles in the air, dreams that could never be realised.
In the process of this piecemeal change—almost creeping change—the Government brought tremendous embarrassment upon itself and this country by making certain concessions and then attaching certain qualifications to them. Things took place that must have been quite agonizing for anyone who valued consistency or the logical application of a particular policy.
I am thinking particularly in this regard of the situation that arose when people were allowed to reside in so-called international hotels but were not allowed to use the hotel’s swimming-pool.
Or the dance floor.
Yes, they could not use the dance floor.
No decent person could justify such a qualification being attached to a measure. It is simply indefensible for someone to be allowed accommodation, but then to be told that on the ground of his race he may not swim or dance on the property. It is this kind of embarrassment the Government created for itself and for the country. For the country this embarrassment was more along the lines of damage to race relations and international relations—but in the case of the Government itself, it was because the impression was created that it was illogical and inconsistent in the implementation of its own policy. This made the Government extremely vulnerable to the attacks it had to endure from the CP on the one hand, and on the other hand perhaps from the PFP as well. There is no doubt that hon members of the NP find themselves in an embarrassing situation after this kind of change, and they are probably aware of it too.
There was also some hypocrisy behind all this. I shall never forget how an erstwhile Minister, Mr Punt Janson, shed crocodile tears over the incident of a Western Province cricket player, Mr Omar Henry, being refused service here in an hotel in Cape Town. He then tried to explain that all that was necessary was for the hotel owner to have picked up the telephone and dialled a number in Pretoria to receive special permission for Mr Henry to have a couple of beers in that hotel. Surely this is political hypocrisy at its worst.
It also indicates that an entirely impractical approach is required from management of an hotel or restaurant. If people go to an hotel on a Saturday afternoon after a sports meeting and they want something to drink, surely it is illogical, first of all, to expect them to wait and to expect the hotel owner, who is likely to be very busy serving his customers, to then make a phone call to get hold of someone in Pretoria, who possibly also participates in sport or is having a drink somewhere, to get permission to serve a person of colour. Does this not conjure up a ridiculous scene one could hardly take seriously?
Further hypocrisy is evidenced by the fact that Government spokesmen have regularly suggested in the past that in reality it merely depended on the owners of hotels or restaurants whether they would be allowed to serve people of all races. Hypocritically they were therefore implying that the onus to decide who could be served rested entirely on the owners of those hotels and restaurants. The impression was created, as it were, that the Government had no hand in those racist restrictions being imposed on those places to start off with. It smacks of hypocrisy to imply that it depended entirely on the owner of such an institution whether he applied for exemption from the restrictive measures and whether such exemption was granted to him.
A further example of hypocrisy is evident in the recent telephone applications I mentioned. This was not so long ago. I think it was at the same time last year that the Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Representatives came a cropper in Plettenberg Bay after arriving at an hotel where he would very much have liked accommodation but was turned away. Once again it was a case of some or the other Government official or Government spokesman implying that the problem really lay with the hotel owner and that he should just have phoned a number in Pretoria to request special permission to accommodate the hon member in his hotel. Surely it is hypocritical in the extreme to imply that someone has to go about things in such a way so as to avoid that kind of incident and to manage his hotel in such a way so that incidents so damaging to him and to his reputation can be avoided.
Against the background of these events it is, of course, to be welcomed that with this legislation we are now moving away from this whole unsavoury, ridiculous and illogical scrap of history involving the enforcement of the Liquor Act. It is to be welcomed that we are moving away from it, and one appreciates it for what it is worth.
Let me state immediately that this can only be part of a process, and here the hon members of the CP are, of course, right. The repeal of these unsavoury sections from the Liquor Act must lead to further pressure, perhaps on the Group Areas Act. [Interjections.] It must lead to further pressure on measures such as the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act and on various other measures aimed at separating people. [Interjections.]
Hon members will have to accept that this is going to be the case. They may just as well try to come to terms with the consequences of the new course they are trying to set. As long as the hon members do not do so, they will consistently find themselves in an impossible political situation in which they find it impossible to behave with any political consistency and defend themselves at all sensibly. The hon members will not only regularly find themselves being an embarrassment to the country, South Africa, but they will also create political embarrassment for themselves whenever they try to introduce one kind of change or another.
The PFP will therefore support this Bill with the greatest of pleasure.
Mr Chairman, having just listened to the hon members for Green Point and Wellington I have finally come to only one conclusion, and that is that when an hon member of the PFP and an hon member of the NP speak in this House, they say the same thing, which is six of one and half a dozen of the other. [Interjections.] They advocate the same policy and believe the same things. I now want to link up with that by substantiating some of this. The hon member for Green Point and the hon member for Wellington speak about the same issues, for example racism, discrimination and that sort of thing. They refer to the same things and it is all a matter of those things that belong to the Whites and now have to apply to everyone.
I associate myself with what the hon member for Brakpan said. The hon member said that the Government, because it no longer had the courage to govern, to accept the responsibility and to be answerable and accountable, has placed the onus on the licensee. The hon member for Wellington associated himself with that and said we had consequently made a farce of this because the licensee could now simply admit the person and request condonation by means of a telephone call. This is so terribly ridiculous. It is precise confirmation of what the hon member for Brakpan has said, that this is a government which no longer has the courage to bear the responsibility and is now placing it on someone else, then makes it so ridiculous that they can say it is ridiculous and that such a ridiculous state of affairs should be done away with. In the process, however, it is a commodity of the Whites which is being affected.
As far as the responsibility now being placed on the licensee is concerned, let me say that if such a licensee decides that he is not prepared to admit such a person he is intimidated by the fact that Rapport, and all the other newspapers will announce, on Sunday or during the week, what an awful thing the man has done He is then denounced as a tremendous racist because people of colour are not allowed into his establishment. He and his business undertaking suffer, while the spineless, weak-willed Government, which is not prepared to accept responsibility, gets away scot-free.
The time has now came for this Government, if it does not want to govern, to make room for people who do want to govern. [Interjections.] They can shout and kick up a fuss, but it is precisely those whose constituents have let them know that their position is at stake who are making such a noise. When matters come to this, one Minister tends to contradict another until the State President has to intervene by repudiating a Minister. It is the unfavourable reaction of their constituents that gives rise to this, and I welcome the fact that they rant when one tells them the truth in this House.
If one says: “Do not begrudge the Whites something of their own, and every other population group the same, too, in separate facilities”, it suddenly becomes racism. One then suddenly becomes the big racist who discriminates. Let me ask how far we eventually want to take this opening up of everything, this taking away of the exclusive rights of the Whites. If an hon member, like the hon member for Wellington, thinks this legislation is concerned with racism, I want to ask whether it is a question of racism when one says one wants to preserve something for oneself too? Is it then not also racism if the NP refuses to open schools? and is it not racism when the NP says: “We want to keep our residential areas closed” or when they say: “We demand a community life of our own”? It is a great big deceitful bluff that is being acted out for the rest of the world. If it is applicable some of the time it should be applicable all of the time. [Interjections.] When it concerns the sanctity of own schools, own residential areas and an own community life, it is not regarded as racism, but when this legislation is concerned with opening things up, all of a sudden it is racism if one opposes it.
The hon member for Wellington said that if one did not open these facilities to everyone, one was sowing hate against the White man. I want to ask him when people of colour will no longer hate the White man? The day he has opened up everything, his schools, his residential areas and his own community life. When he has given everything away, has relinguished everything and has nothing more to give up because he has lost everything, then the people of colour will no longer need to hate him because then he has become a nonentity who no longer exists in this country and no longer has any rights. [Interjections.]
Let me tell the hon member for Wellington this today: The Whites came to this country; they have a right to be here and a right to be able to live as they choose. If the NP begrudges the Whites that right, the Whites will show the NP that they will take that right by getting rid of the NP and by putting a government into office in this country that will also preserve something for the Whites and not give everything to people of colour. The CP will then come into power in this country because we would be prepared to give Whites as well as to every other people their own rights, but separately. Then it will not be discrimination; it will not be racism; it will be justice, with freedom for everyone in his own proper place.
How? I wish the hon member had rather asked where, because then I would have told him where.
I shall tell him where. It is where the corpse of the White man lies, placed there by this power-sharing policy of the NP. That is where the vultures gather! [Interjections.]
The hon member Mr Schutte said the NP had made many facilities available recently—150 or 200 licences were issued. Now I want to know how it is that the facilities of the Whites have to be opened up to everyone, whilst the people of colour may have their own facilities? What kind of argument is that? We allow them their own facilities. Do not give them a mere 150 or 200, but 300 to 400 licences in their own areas. However, also give the Whites the right to have what is exclusively their own. The Whites should also have a refuge where they will not be overwhelmed, and where they can accordingly live their lives in the community. They should have their own community life, of which the hon the Minister of National Education is so fiercely proud.
I want to ask the governing party if the time has not come for them to finally choose in which direction they want to move in the future. They must not continue with this creeping reform, this little-by-little approach by which they condition their own people to surrender. They must state succinctly, openly and honestly that they have finished with apartheid and with separate development. They must be prepared to state that they are relinguishing everything, that they accept power-sharing and integration in all areas so that the White voter may know who he is dealing with and what direction this Government is taking him in; so that the White voter may know what decision to make. In regard to these things I want to ask the National Party—just as Dr Malan asked in the past—Quo Vadis? Where is the NP heading with the privileges, facilities and rights of the Whites in this country? [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, we have listened to the hon member for Koedoespoort who, as far as this Bill is concerned, became very worked up about matters affecting the broad spectrum of politics. I do not want to respond in detail to that, but I do just want to say something to him. He asked the NP to make a choice. The NP has made a choice. The NP has chosen the road of peaceful coexistence and not that of isolationism which would compartmentalise us. We do not choose the path of confrontation. If we were to choose the road which the hon members of Koedoespoort and Brakpan referred to, it would be a road of confrontation which this country could not afford.
To return to the Bill, I should like to address the hon members who assert that this amounts to a one-sided phasing out of discrimination. They are therefore asserting that only the Blacks and people of colour gain any benefit from this. I want to refer them to clause 7 which deals with section 23. In this clause the reference to colour is removed. This is to the advantage of the Whites. This section, as it reads at present, benefited people of colour in that they could receive permission more easily, more simply, as far as certain matters and arrangements were concerned. This clause therefore removes the connotation of colour and consequently benefits the Whites. If the HNP and the CP therefore voted against this Bill today, they would also be voting against the removal of the measure which seriously discriminated against Whites.
I would also like to associate myself with hon members who referred to the same fact as the hon the Minister did in his second reading speech. He said this was an interim measure, which indicates that the principal Act as a whole is going to be revised in the future. This is good news because this has, in fact, frequently been requested. We are, of course, not opposed to measures concerning liquor. It is essential that liquor be marketed in a responsible and orderly way. In my view, it is also a fact, however, that when it is overregulated, this leads to malpractices.
Other matters were dealt with in detail by other hon members. I am pleased to support this Bill as I think, first of all, that it is fair and secondly that it is effective.
Mr Chairman, the hon member Mr Fanus Schoeman said that the NP has made its choice: They have chosen the road of peaceful co-existence, he said. To me it seems they have, with this measure, chosen the path of liquorful co-existence. To the old NP, with which I was familiar and of which I was a member, peaceful co-existence meant that the population groups each had their own residential areas with their own sports and recreational facilities, hotels and other facilities. This was a policy that brought peace to this country for 34 years. In those 34 years fewer schools were burned down that during the two years since the new constitutional dispensation of the NP has been in effect and which brought about this policy of peaceful drinking together and joint decisionmaking. The hon member Mr Schoeman said that if we voted against this measure we would be voting against a measure that discriminated against Whites. If that measure discriminated against Whites, however, I am thankful for that form of discrimination against Whites. The NP would do well to return that because we would not be ashamed of it.
The hon member for Green Point said that today we were ridding ourselves of a hurtful fragment of history which the NP, with the assistance of the PFP, helped to put an end to. He said we were slated internationally because we drank separately. [Interjections.] He said it damaged race relations because we had drunk separately over the years.
I want to bring to the attention of the National Party, however, that this measure is going to put further pressure on them to wipe out other separating measures as well. This measure is going to destroy the NP. Allow me to mention an example. It may happen that a local authority decides that its beach area should be reserved for Whites only.
Here we go swimming again! [Interjections.]
That hon member cannot even swim across the Rubicon yet.
It could happen that a beach area is reserved for Whites by a local authority, while the owner of a beachfront hotel could decide that people of colour are welcome to come and imbibe liquor there. There is, for example, the Santos Hotel in Mossel Bay. The beautiful beach in front of the hotel is reserved for Whites only. I do not know for how long the hon member for Mossel Bay is still going to permit that state of affairs to continue, but until he intervenes that beach is reserved for Whites. The hon the Minister, however, is now giving the owner of the Santos Hotel permission to serve people of colour. It is now possible for the Santos Hotel to become a great attraction for the people of colour in Mossel Bay. The situation that now arises is that Coloureds and Black will be allowed to come and do their drinking on the beachfront but not to swim there. [Interjections.] But the NP calls it racial hatred and the hon member for Wellington would say it is discrimination against the Blacks because they are not allowed to swim there.
A large number of hotels in South Africa are situated on beachfront areas. Think, for example, of the hotels on the beachfront in Port Elizabeth where hon members are still trying to keep the beach areas reserved for Whites. The hon member for Addo, Mr Peter Hendrickse, went and swam there, however, and I have not heard the hon member for Algoa object to that.
The Whites of South Africa are being crowded out from beaches and virtually every other place. This amending Bill is going to increase the crowding out of the Whites. The CP has made it clear that we shall be resisting all legislation that increases the crowding out of the Whites in South Africa. This is exactly what this amending Bill is going to do and we shall therefore vote against it.
Mr Chairman, before I reply to a few arguments raised here this afternoon, I should like to point out to the House once again that the present Liquor Act is under revision as a whole. I instructed the Liquor Board last year to revise the Liquor Act as a whole, as various adjustments have been made through the years and it has become necessary to revise this Act as a whole at this stage. Times change, circumstances change and a general revision of the liquor Act has become imperative. As soon as the Liquor Board has completed this task, the draft Bill will be referred to the standing committee and the standing committee will have the opportunity to give proper attention to all the proposals contained in it. I can therefore tell the hon member for Vasco and other members who made representations here about certain amendments that must receive attention, that attention will be given to those matters as soon as possible and that the standing committee, and eventually Parliament too, will have the opportunity to reflect fully on the Liquor Act as a whole.
I now want to refer to the remark the hon member for Houghton made by means of a question. She asked whether there is still discrimination against ladies in the existing Liquor Act. Obviously she was referring to the existence of ladies’ bars. I replied to the hon member’s question, but I want to repeat the reply for the sake of the cognisance of the whole House. The distinction made in respect of ladies is still part of the Act. Originally it was instituted as a protective measure to give hotels the opportunity to furnish bars to which ladies could be admitted without being exposed to some of the sordid places visited only by men.
Times and circumstances have changed, however, and I think that problem has also been identified. When the Liquor Act is revised, one can consider whether or not it is still necessary to maintain the distinction between the two sexes.
†The hon member for Umbilo also referred to classes in the existing legislation and asked the question whether we could not remove even that definition from the existing legislation. The reason for not removing this is quite obvious. It may be necessary from time to time to identify a group of people—whether they are members of a club, or people working at a particular mine, institution or something like that. One must therefore have the ability to identify groups in terms of licences issued.
*All these aspects in addition to other aspects referred to by hon members will be debated fully when the proposed Liquor Amendment Bill is discussed by the standing committee and comes up for discussion later in Parliament.
Before I turn to the hon members of the CP and the hon member for Sasolburg, who have fundamental objections to the legislation, I merely want to point out that the Liquor Act has gone through a process of change through the years. It is true that various amendments have been introduced through the years. The changes were connected inter alia with the hot potato of admission to licenced premises. The hon member for Vasco did not mince matters in putting that very clearly. Of course the Act has gone through a development process. This process was necessary. Evolution and reform are part of a process, after all, and are not a one-time action. In this connection it was necessary to introduce the necessary adjustments as circumstances changed and as the situation justified this. I therefore do not apologise for changes being made to this Act through the years and for submitting this amendment in its final stage before the House today.
This brings me immediately to the hon member for Brakpan who pointed out that the first amendment of this Act as far as the admission to licensed premises is concerned, was introduced even in the days of Minister Pelser.
No, that is not true; not in his time.
Yes, the hon member pointed out that certain problems arose. The hon member is correct; certain problems did arise concerning admission to licensed premises.
The hon member is correct that this did not take place in his time, but even in 1974, because of problems that had developed, a need to adapt the legislation so that people of colour could also be admitted to liquor-licensed premises came to the fore. That was how the old “international status” hotels originated. The commission to which the hon member referred and which published a report even in 1974, recommended that a system be designed according to which people could be admitted—even if it was by means of a permit. This permit later became the “international hotel”.
Even in the ’seventies legislation was submitted to address the problem of admission to licensed premises. Certain legislation and the development of policy were therefore aimed at addressing the problem of admission. It was not the admission of people which caused the problem, but rather the non-admission of people. The hon member for Green Point—I shall come to him later—referred to this. The problem was that situations arose on various levels, causing the country embarrassment which had to be dealt with by legislation. That is why the first legislation was submitted in the ’seventies to make provision for the admission of people of colour to hotels. I can expand upon this. Further amendments then followed.
I did not interrupt the hon member. I shall come to him later and then he can respond.
As I said, other amendments were introduced as well. A few years ago an amendment was approved in this House which not only brought about the “international status”, but also amended section 72 of the Liquor Act to make it possible for a licensee to submit an application on the grounds of which he himself could decide whom to admit to his premises. There was a second category therefore.
There was also a third category, however, in terms of which a licensee who did not have “international status”, and who had not taken the other step, viz to ask for permission to decide himself about admission to his premises, could still admit people to his premises and then ask the Liquor Board for such permission afterwards. He would inform the Liquor Board of such action after it had taken place, as it were. This measure could therefore be applied ex post facto, as the lawyers say. The licensee could even inform the Liquor Board after he had admitted people to his premises.
What we are really doing here, therefore, is to give legal substance to a practical measure which has been tested in practice. The important aspect in this connection is that we have not had a single problem or incident since these measures were implemented in this way recently. [Interjections.] There is no problem, therefore, as far as the practice of this measure is concerned; and all we are doing now, is to give it legal substance.
The hon member for Brakpan referred to undesirable circumstances. He knows everyone in this House agrees with him that any undesirable circumstances which arise must be addressed, of whatever nature they may be.
The hon member Adv Schutte pointed out that there are various measures in the Act according to which the Minister can take action—drastic action! The most important sanction the Minister has in the case of liquor-licensed premises, is the suspension of the licence of the licensee involved. Everyone who has licensed premises knows that if he cannot maintain order on those premises or if he arouses resentment in the community, he is in danger of losing his licence. His business undertaking will then be a thing of the past. Can one place any stronger sanction on the head of someone who manages liquor-licensed premises or business undertakings? The Act therefore gives authority for action, but there is also discretion.
If the licensee does not like a certain person’s appearance or clothing, he may turn him away. He may, for example, decide only to admit people with jackets and ties. That is the right of admission. If the hon member for Sasolburg or one of his colleagues in the CP would like to have a licence approved in Morgenzon, according to which the licensee can decide who his clients must be, we can consider such a licence. It rests with the licensee to decide who his clients are and how he is going to serve their best interests. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Brakpan, just like the hon member for Sasolburg whom I want to get round to presently, sees the own residential areas as the places where these premises must be provided. The hon member for Sasolburg insisted that facilities be created in own residential areas, and the hon member for Brakpan referred to that as well.
There is a large world, however, in which people move and have contact, in which there are points of contact and communal territories. This is where people meet to share facilities. This logic is taken further by the CP and they contend that if premises selling liquor are opened now, integration has been carried into effect, as it were.
Except in the schools.
We must accept in this country that we have own communities, the maintenance of which is important, but also that those communities will not be protected by endless measures which isolate them from other communities. Indeed, the communities will be strengthened in their community life if their exposure to other groups increases. [Interjections.] We have endless points of contact in this country. We cannot live isolated lives, after all.
Order! The hon members are talking too loudly.
I now want to deal with the argument of the hon member for Sasolburg, and if I have written his words down incorrectly, he must tell me.
He says: “The selling of liquor on the same premises will promote racial mixing.” What about shops and trade centres? Must all shops, such as sports shops, vegetable shops and grocery shops be separate? This will have to be the case if we want to apply this philosophy of “raak nie, smaak nie, roer nie aan nie”, as if we in this country can live and survive in our heavenly isolation.
We are a community within other communities which have endless points of contact, and we shall simply have to give people the responsibility of exerting their own choices, for the sake of the maintenance of community life, so that as groups they can develop the contacts necessary for communal interests. The very danger lies in isolation. There is more danger in absolute isolation than in the development of healthy points of contact.
South Africa’s enemy is not contact, but lack of contact. If we have sufficient contact and liaison in a responsible way, comprehension and confidence grow. In that way we shall develop the ability to solve problems more easily, not with more difficulty. If absolute separation is enforced in every sphere, however, and if contact is avoided, suspicion, fear, lack of confidence and prejudice grow. It becomes infinitely more difficult to find solutions in this country which can secure our continued existence.
I want to stress that the Whites in this country and the Afrikaners, on whose behalf I speak as well, can hold their own. They do not need the fear of the hon member for Koedoespoort who thinks that if he makes contact, he will be contaminated. The Whites are strong enough in character to be able to hold their own. [Interjections.] They do not need their community life to be protected by legislation at every turn. This legislation is therefore not introducing a totally new practice. It is legalising an existing practice. It removes unnecessary red tape, it facilitates the administration and I think it contributes to better relations in South Africa.
The hon member for Sasolburg spoke about “big money”. The hon member did not read the Bill well. It is not the big money which is being served here; it is the small businessman whose interests are being promoted because the infinite obstructions in his way are being removed. In particular, the interests of the informal sector and the small businessman are being promoted. [Interjections.] My time is limited. I now come to the hon member for Green Point.
After the speech of the hon member for Pietermaritzburg South, who introduced the discussion last week, I really found that contribution of the hon member for Green Point this afternoon rather unpleasant to put it mildly. At the end of his speech the hon member said we should be grateful for the legislation, but first he scratched around in matters which were abolished three, four years ago, for example the question of swimming pools and dances. He dragged out old examples to explain why he is unhappy now. If he wanted to quote incidents from the past, he fared badly, for he could have quoted better incidents.
The NP lives for the future. There is no point in harping on things that happened three, four years ago. Our challenges lie ahead of us. I am grateful that the hon member eventually said he welcomes and appreciates this legislation. It deals with the situation as it is today. If additional amendments become necessary to deal with situations in future, we shall make the changes.
All we ask the hon member for Green Point is to be a little grateful and excited now and again. He must not always be so sour and stuffy, as if nothing good can come from this side of the House.
You are the only people who want appreciation when you correct your own mistakes.
I listened to the hon member for Koedoespoort. The vision he sees is far removed from the reality in which we are moving. [Interjections.] He is chasing a dream. I feel sorry for him.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
My time is very limited and the hon member had the opportunity to put questions. [Interjections.] I merely want to tell the hon member for Koedoespoort that where people in South Africa come together in an orderly and responsible way, he has nothing to fear. He need to fear that those people are incapable of holding their own. If he could get away from his dream, he would realise that we as communities in South Africa are dependent on each other and need each other. We must develop the spheres of collectivity and confidence. Then we in this country will have a chance to build a safe future, because where people come together, whether on the sports field or elsewhere, they have something in common.
This brings me to the hon member for Kuruman. He said that when he was in the NP, there was nothing of this. I heard him speak here as secretary of the NP’s sports group.
I never advocated integration.
I should like to refresh the hon member’s memory a bit. As secretary of the NP’s sports group he justified open clubs.
That is not true. You are propounding an untruth. [Interjections.]
I want to ask the hon member whether they will introduce separation in sport if they come to power. Would they bar people from taking part in athletics together on Saturdays? I put these questions to the hon member and he need only give an indication. Would the hon member take a step backwards in the sports sphere and reintroduce separate clubs and sports meetings? [Interjections.] This proves again that they live in the past more and more. If that is the case, unfortunately I have nothing more to say to that hon member. [Interjections.]
Order! I do not think the hon the Minister can speak any louder. Hon members must give him the opportunity to make his speech. The hon the Minister may proceed.
I think hon members on the opposite side of the House must once again take stock of their own points of view on sport and on a whole lot of other affairs. Then at least I shall be able to tell the hon member for Sasolburg he has never taken that course. To go along half of the way and then turn around and point the finger at us, achieves absolutely nothing. [Interjections.]
You say I never took that course. Did you take it? [Interjections.]
Unlike my hon friends in the CP, at least I stay on the course I have chosen. There they sit, Sir—the hon member for Rissk and the hon member for Kuruman. Some time ago they had me right in the office of the Prime Minister about the question of sports teams according to merit. [Interjections.] What would these hon members say about that today?
Yes, and what was your point of view about it?
What was the outcome of that whole affair, Sir? Those hon members got left behind in the process of development in South Africa. They lost touch with the realities of South Africa. [Interjections.] They are a party that can shout. They are not a party, however, which can supply answers to keep track with the times in which we are living. [Interjections.]
I do not need to comment any further on the approach and the philosophy of that party. I thank the hon members of the Official Opposition for their support.
You have not replied to my question yet.
I have replied to your question. Unfortunately, Sir, the hon member for Houghton was not here when I replied to her question.
*I want to thank the hon members of the Official Opposition, as well as the hon members of the National Party, for their support of the legislation under discussion and for the solid contribution they made in explaining the divergent aspects of the legislation.
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—109: Alant, T G; Ballot, G C; Bamford, B R; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Burrows, R; Clase, P J; Coetzer, H S; Coetzer, P W; Conradie, F D; Cronjé, P C; Cunningham, J H; Dalling, D J; De Jager, A M v A; De Pontes, P; De Villiers, D J; Du Plessis, G C; Durr, K D S; Fick, L H; Fouché, A F; Fourie, A; Gastrow, P H P; Geldenhuys, B L; Goodall, B B; Grobler, J P; Hardingham, R W; Hayward, S A S; Hefer, W J; Heine, W J; Heyns, J H; Hugo, P B B; Jordaan, A L; Kleynhans, J W; Kotzé, G J; Kritzinger, W T; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, E v d M; Louw, M H; Malherbe, G J; Marais, G; Marais, P G; Maree, M D; McIntosh, G B D; Meiring, J W H; Mentz, J H W; Meyer, W D; Miller, R B; Morrison, G de V; Munnik, L A P A; Niemann, J J; Odendaal, W A; Olivier, N J J; Olivier, P J S; Page, B W B; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Raw, W V; Rencken, C R E; Rogers, P R C; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Schwarz, H H; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Sive, R; Smit, H A; Soal, P G; Streicher, D M; Suzman, H; Swart, R A F; Swanepoel, K D; Tempel, H J; Terblanche, A J W P S; Terblanche, G P D; Thompson, A G; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van der Merwe, S S; Van Eeden, D S; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Rensburg, H M J (Mossel Bay); Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, A A; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Volker, V A; Watterson, D W; Weeber, A; Welgemoed, P J; Widman, A B; Wiley, J W E.
Tellers: J P I Blanché, W J Cuyler, C J Ligthelm, R P Meyer, D P A Schutte and L van der Watt.
Noes—16: Hartzenberg, F; Le Roux, F J; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Snyman, W J; Stofberg, L F; Theunissen, L M; Treurnicht, A P; Uys, C; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Staden, F A H; Van Zyl, J J B; Visagie, J H.
Tellers: J H Hoon and H D K v d Merwe.
Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
In accordance with Standing Order No 19, the House adjourned at