House of Assembly: Vol9 - FRIDAY 23 MAY 1986
as Chairman, presented the First Report of the Standing Select Committee on Law and Order, dated 23 May 1986, as follows:
Since consensus on the motions of desirability could not be reached, the Standing Committee did not proceed to the formal consideration of the Clauses of the Bills in question, and your Committee accordingly reports the Bills without amendment.
Bills to be read a second time.
Mr Chairman, I move the motion as printed on the Order Paper in my name, as follows:
14h15 to 18h45;
20h00 to 22h30.
Mr Chairman, at first sight this proposal by the hon the Leader of the House appears to be quite innocuous. [Interjections.] After all, it merely seeks to extend the sitting hours of the House on four Monday evenings and so to permit us in fact to sit an extra 10 hours before we adjourn next month. When, however, one looks at it a little more closely, one sees that the Government has, in fact, lost control of its legislative programme. [Interjections.] That is the fact of the matter. [Interjections.]
I have been in this House since 1978 and have served as Chief Whip of the Official Opposition under four Leaders of the House; and every single year that I have been here, the Government, towards the end of the session, has had to press some or other panic button. I have experienced a situation in which during the last week of the session we have sat on a Monday night, a Tuesday morning and a Thursday morning. I have experienced an occasion when we sat right through the last Friday night until 9 o’clock on the next Saturday morning. I ask, therefore: Cannot the Government learn? Is it beyond their ingenuity to work out a legislative programme that can be accommodated within the well-known rules of the House? After all, these rules have been worked out over 76 years and have stood the test of time.
We have all worked fairly hard, and these rules are meant to accommodate a working parliament. We digress from them at our peril.
Wherein, then, does this peril lie? The fact is that it is not only the members of Parliament who are affected. The Press, the secretariat, the translators and a whole host of other people are affected. As you will know, Mr Chairman, there is a strong tradition in this House that every single person employed by Parliament stays here until the members go home. That is the tradition of Parliament. So we are talking about several hundred people who are being put out by the fact that the hon the Leader of the House cannot control his own domestic affairs properly.
This matter goes even further than that, however, for we now have a situation where we are going to have another session of Parliament. So far has the legislative programme gone out of control that we are even going to come back here later on this year for what looks like two months at the very least. The whole situation is compounded by the fact—I do not know whether the hon the Leader of the House knows this as he does not serve on the standing committees dealing with legislation—that the hon members of this House are not only required to sit on a Wednesday night, and now on a Monday night as well, but that there are 25 standing committee meetings scheduled on the Order Paper at the moment; and there will be more to come. So there will be more than 25. I do not have to speak for the other parties; they have spokesmen of their own, but in my party the burden of the standing committees is getting heavier and heavier because the Bills are coming through in a rush now.
I must warn the hon the Leader of the House that something is going to give. We cannot go on like this. If he cannot assure this House that in the future he can programme his colleagues in the Cabinet and their pipelines of legislation properly, something is going to break and something is going to give.
Co-operation among the Whips has always been excellent. I have no complaint about the Whips. The problem has not stemmed from the Whips. The problem stems from the hon the Leader of the House representing the Cabinet.
We have been entirely consistent on this side of the House. We have a legislative programme to finish. Parliament should sit throughout the year. Let us have more recesses. We can sit right through until November if we have to, with decent recesses. The Government must, however, not pretend that we have a set of rules and then come along at a later stage and press a panic button. That is not the way to run Parliament. We shall oppose this measure.
Mr Chairman, I want to support the hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition.
*I want to begin by saying I have great appreciation for the work done by the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament. I think I have told him personally in the past that if he and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning were to disappear, this Parliament would collapse. I think if there is one man in this Parliament who works very hard, it is the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament, and I say this sincerely. I have great appreciation for that because he works very hard. It is not easy to keep this Parliament going in its present format. I also have appreciation for the hon the Leader of the House; I think he is a pawn in the hands of some of his hon Cabinet colleagues. I think to a certain extent he has to take the blame today for …
What about the AWB?
Why does the hon member not rather stay in Pietersburg? [Interjections.]
I also have a little sympathy with the hon the Leader of the House since he has to contend with a few hon Ministers in the Cabinet who do not always take him into consideration.
I want to associate myself with the hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition by saying an enormous additional burden is being placed on our officials. Since the new structure of Parliament with its three Houses came into operation, the burden on the officials has simply been very great. This also applies to the dining-room staff. I do not always have much sympathy with the Press, but in this case I have symphathy with some of them. I therefore think the hours the officials have to work are unreasonable.
The hon the Chief Whip of Parliament cannot always be here because of the nature of his activities. If I am correct, the bells have had to ring four times this year because there was no quorum in the House. It is not the opposition parties’ responsibility to ensure the presence of a quorum. [Interjections.] If one adds all the members of the opposition parties, there are scarcely 50 of us, if I counted correctly. We do our bit to ensure that there is a quorum. When one compares the number of opposition members and the number of Government members who are absent—hon members of the Cabinet in particular—we find a glaring contrast concerning absence from the House while debates are in progress. I have been in the House for years, and I want to say there is a lack of discipline in the NP to a certain extent, particularly when the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament is not here. [Interjections.] The hon members of the opposition— I am also thinking of the hon members of the NRP next to me who are among the most conscientious members when it comes to attending debates—do their bit to ensure a quorum. The responsibility for a quorum is not only that of the opposition, but also of the Government.
It is the extra-parliamentary activities of the Government. [Interjections.]
In analysing the situation, I want to say the hon members of the Government may have too much work, so that they cannot be here—I try to make excuses for hon members and to give a reason as to why they cannot be here. I do not want to say it is simply too little interest, but as someone who sat on that side of the House himself for many years, I wonder …
Yes, perhaps it was too long. I should have made things even more difficult for the NP. [Interjections.]
I do not think the NP’s study group can still function as well as in the days before the new dispensation. With the activities of the standing committee and the study groups, I do not think the NP can do its work as well as it did before.
I am speaking as someone who sat on that side of the House for 16 years and on this side for a few years, and I think I can speak about both sides of the House from experience. I think the hon members of the Government party have the advantage that the hon the Ministers prepare their work with a full complement of Government officials. As I have got to know the NP recently, the members of the study groups merely repeat what the hon the Ministers and the Government say.
I think the NP members have the opportunity to do much better preparation than hon members of the opposition parties. We often get reports and legislation at very short notice and then, within a short period of time have to take a stand on Bills which hon NP members have had a lote of time to study. The preparation of hon members of an opposition party is much more difficult than that of hon members of the Government Party. It has to be done in a situation in which one has the activities of standing committees and the House to attend, as well as doing one’s own research. We do not have officials to do this for us; we have to do it ourselves. Nor do we have newspapers and a television service which cammouflage the Government’s mistakes for overseas consumption. [Interjections.] We have to go to our voters ourselves and inform the public on what takes place in this House. [Interjections.]
Order! NP speakers will still have an opportunity to take part in the debate! The hon member for Rissik may proceed.
In addition, the NP members are better able to ensure the flow of a debate because of their number.
As far as the standing committees are concerned, we take part in them as well as we can. During the 1985 recess, many of these standing committees did their work. I am thinking of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs and the Standing Committee on National Education in which I was involved. I think we worked hard. There are certain standing committees, however, which did not receive the legislation from the resepctive hon Ministers, and the biggest culprit in this connection is the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. Not only does he want to change within a few years, everything the NP has built up from 1948 to 1982, but for some or other reason we simply do not get this hon Minister’s legislation. Extremely important legislation has to be discussed by the standing committees towards the end of a session.
According to the CP system it is not only the individual in the standing committee who deals with the legislation. All legislation has to be discussed by our caucus so that we can account for it in principle.
The House knows our standpoint about the present constitutional dispensation. The Government is making fundamental social and political changes, and the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning is simply not doing his work. I am not accusing his officials, but the hon the Minister simply does not do this work.
He is a very busy man.
That hon Minister involves himself in even more activities. If a voter asks for a photograph, he sends not only one, but a group photograph, because he wants to do everything himself.
It would be a very good thing if the hon the Leader of the House told the Cabinet that the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning either does not do his work or has too much work to do. That hon Minister is the big culprit.
I want to conclude by saying the Whips on this side do their best to make Parliament’s activities run smoothly, but an injustice is done to the great principles upon which democracy is built if the hon members who have been elected to sit in Parliament do not get sufficient time for the imperative discussion of the proposed legislation.
Recently many academics and other people in the general public have spoken very critically about the quality of the speeches made in the House. In reply I want to say we are merely flesh and blood. If we want to place the quality of the parliamentary debates and the stature of Parliament on a specific high level, hon members must have the opportunity to make their contributions to the best of their ability.
I want to come back to the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. I get the impression that he sometimes really wants to minimise open debate. He wants to rule the Cabinet, in which he can shunt the hon the Ministers around, and rush the Bills through the standing committee, but he does not have the necessary respect either for the institutions of Parliament or for its representatives.
As I have got to know them, the opposition parties are not prepared to become pawns of the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning. We shall make use of our democratic right to make Parliament what it should be for as long as we can. [Interjections.] We are not prolonging debates or speaking unnecessarily. It is really the responsibility of all the opposition parties to formulate alternatives to the important legislation the Government is envisaging.
Mr Chairman, hon members will concede that I do not often speak in the House, and so they will probably allow me a few minutes to exchange a few ideas on this subject of which I also have a little knowledge.
I do not take any particular pleasure in entering into an unnecessary argument with the two hon Whips on the opposite side, but I must point out that it is an archaic custom for the opposition parties to oppose extended hours of sitting. It is a practice which does not keep pace with the times.
To make a big issue now about proposed legislation which is not before the standing committees yet, has no real relevance to the motion of the hon the Leader of the House.
If the hon Whips could confidently state today that we did not have legislation on the Order Paper earlier in this session, that our Order Paper was on the point of falling apart, and that as a result of that, exceptional pressure is now being placed on us, it could have been an argument. But it is not true. One merely has to look at the Order Papers of today and those of earlier in the session. Surely we are all struggling with the parliamentary programme which is making ever increasing demands of parliamentarians.
I regard myself as being reasonably even-tempered, but I have ended up having an unedifying argument with the courteous hon Leader of the House, and I should like to apologise publicly to him today, because he is doing his absolute best. If I now may make a declaration of love, let me say that he knows we all love him. [Interjections.]
One reaches a stage in which this place eats away at one to an extent that is incomprehensible to the public at large.
We started this session off with approximately 30 Bills on the Order Paper. We have never at any stage been in danger of the Order Paper running out, or of having to tread water to keep the debate going.
You have trodden a lot of water!
If there had been more legislation before the standing committees, there would just have been a longer Order Paper today than the one hon members have now.
What does this motion before the hon the Leader of the House involve? I should like to support it. The hon the Leader of the House is asking us to sit for three extra hours per week for the next four weeks. This makes a further 12 hours available up to and including 20 June when we are going to be ending the first part of this session.
Now we should see this against the background of the fiercest attack in history that has ever been made against the parliamentary institution. Hon members of the opposition must not be so naïve to believe that this attack is aimed at the institution but that we as members can remain unscathed in the process. It is a popular slogan amongst members of the public to typify us as “fat cats” who are not really keeping pace and are living off the fat of the land here. Hon members had experience of that recently in the public media, did they not?
Now should we, to score a dubious political point here against each other, also join in in damaging the image of parliamentarians which is under attack today, by waging a tremendous argument about 3 extra sittings hours per week? It may be pleasant politics to run hon Ministers down about legislation which is not available in the standing committees—it may give the hon member for Rissik pleasure to single out a specific hon Minister in this regard—but hon members know as well as I do that those hon Ministers who are being attacked in particular, are overworked and that legislation is being subjected to the test of negotiation. Seeing as the standing committee system we have today is so effective, half-baked legislation can no longer hurriedly be placed before committees. It would be disrespectful towards standing committees.
No one outside this Council Chamber is going to do much to put our image into perspective; on the contrary, hon members should rather expect vitriolic treatment by the public press because it is open season on parliamentarians. Naturally it is asking a great deal for hon members to have to sit for three hours extra per week. No one can doubt that. So far members of Parliament have been subjected to a gruelling programme during this session, and up until today 90 Bills have been published. The standing committees have met on 130 occasions since the beginning of the year and 50 Bills have already been dealt with by committees.
Here the hon member for Rissik is correct when he says all parties still have to hold regular study group meetings. I can add to this by saying that constituencies’ appeals, as a result of the economic circumstances, have increased tremendously in recent times. In the midst of all this, at the very least hon members still have to prepare themselves properly at least for standing committees and the sittings of the House.
The hon member really cannot say that hon members do not have the time to prepare themselves properly because the hon member knows well, does he not, that as a result of the success we have achieved with the standing committee system, when legislation appears on the order paper it should not be at all unfimiliar to any member who serves on the standing committee.
In the meantime the provincial councils system is coming to an end on 30 June. The workload of parliamentarians will of necessity increase considerably, while they are caught up here in the parliamentary session on top of it. And so I do not think I would be exceeding my rights if I make an urgent appeal today to members to stop wasting time with debates of this kind which cannot benefit anyone. Let us rather use these extra 12 hours that we can get for the remainder of this part of the session as productively as possible so that hon members’ abilities, financial and otherwise, will not be placed under great strain by a prolonged session.
For this reason it would be sensible if today already we think about the continuation of the session in August, so that at the start of it we can start sitting on Monday evenings without us also having to debate about it again.
One realises that the motion as proposed by the hon the Leader of the House, that the hours of sitting will be from 14h15 to 18h45 and after that from 20h00 until later, allows for a very short evening break and has a detrimental effect on the parties’ discipline in that hon members are not back in the Chamber at the resumption of the debate.
To now say that we have not had a quorum on four occasions this year, is unfair, because it is not only the responsibility of the governing party, but also that of the opposition parties to maintain the image of Parliament.
I do not want to be accusatory, but on various occasions this year it was obvious that opposition members, particularly from the ranks of the CP, from time to time counted how many members there were in the Council Chamber and would then purposely leave so that there would not be a quorum. [Interjections.] During the discussion of the Agricultural Vote a conscious effort was made to convey to the public at large that the Government did not care for the agriculturists. To come along and say that this is what Parliament is like, is unacceptable because it is an image of Parliament which those hon members created. [Interjections.]
To overcome this discipline problem resulting from having a very short supper break time, I feel we should be a little more adaptable, we should increase that break by 15 minutes and we should consider making the same arrangement in connection with Wednesday evenings. I therefore move the following amendment for the consideration of the hon the Leader of the House:
14h15 to 18h30;
20h00 to 22h30.”
Mr Chairman, the amendment moved by the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament is certainly an improvement on the motion before us, but nonetheless we will not be supporting either the motion or the amendment.
I listened with great interest to what the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament had to say. I always respect his viewpoint. I can differ with him on one point only, namely where he suggested that this debate is possibly time-wasting. I do not agree with that. I think this debate is very necessary. It is time that all of us re-examined and came to appreciate what exactly is happening in this Parliament.
The hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition made some very valid points. He stressed the fact that he believed that there was a lack of control in respect of the preparation of legislation, and I have no argument with him. There could obviously be a tightening up in this regard. The hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition also spoke of two sessions of Parliament in one year. I want to submit to this House that this year we have already started having a system of two sessions of parliament per year. I do not think that we will ever again have a single session of Parliament per year. I do not think it is possible under the present dispensation ever to get back to the old formal session lasting from January through to mid June. We are locked into a new system and that is the end of the story. I believe that every single member of this House had better come to grips with the fact that we are all full-time parliamentarians now.
To substantiate what I am saying, I suggest that we look at the workings of Parliament from this morning to the close of business next Thursday. This morning two standing committees sat at 08h30 in this place. They started their work at 08h30 and I was on one of them. The hon member for Durban Point, another member of this small party, was on the other.
On Monday there will be three standing committee meetings. On Tuesday there are two standing committee meetings. On Wednesday there are four scheduled on the Order Paper, and I can tell hon members that due to the good offices of one gentleman— the chairman of one of those standing committees—the times have been changed and a fifth meeting is going to be slotted in on Wednesday. That means there will be five standing committee meetings on that day. On Thursday next, there will be only one standing committee meeting, but remember that Thursday is traditionally caucus day in this establishment.
That, is what we have to do from today, Friday until close of business next Thursday. In addition to that, we shall be sitting next Monday night and next Wednesday night. We are sitting all day today and we shall be sitting the normal hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There is going to be a Cabinet meeting next week as well as caucus meetings. Each party will have its caucus meeting next week.
This party consists of five members. One of those hon members sits on three standing committees. Two of them serve on five standing committees and two others serve on seven standing committees. [Interjections.] We do not mind; we are able to cope. I do not know who has just interjected but please do not tempt me because, whoever he is, I may just open this book and highlight how many standing committees he is serving on in comparison to the workload that we have! That might just hurt him. We do not mind. What we do object to, however, is that we have insufficient time to attend to those matters to which we should be attending. We should be attending to the mail of our constituents and we need time to attend to the work that we have to do in order to prepare ourselves for the debates that take place in this House. Next week a lot of the time is going to be allocated to legislation and I quite honestly believe that it is unreasonable to expect members of Parliament to be able to do justice to all that and this as well.
I am pleased that the hon member for Rissik said what he said. I am pleased because that hon member together with his colleagues once sat in the benches on the other side of the House and muttered away. Saying much the same sort of thing as some of the gentlemen in those benches are saying this morning. They sat there with a splendid feeling of comfort, knowing that they were on the Standing Committee on Defence, for example, and that that was the sum total of their responsibility as far as standing committees were concerned. These gentlemen have come to realise what it is like, firstly, to be in opposition; and secondly, to be a member of a party comprising under 20 members. They now know what a workload is all about. [Interjections.] We are only asking that some consideration be given to that fact.
Just as a matter of interest, I want to tell hon members that the meeting I attended this morning was the 22nd meeting of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs. The chairman volunteered that information this morning. I did not ask him; he volunteered it. That is the hon member for Innesdal who, I am sure, is not here because he is attending to the affairs of that standing committee.
He has flaked out!
We have meetings scheduled for the Standing Committee on Home Affairs on three occasions next week in an effort to cope with the workload. I am merely saying that it is unreasonable to expect us to sit longer hours. It is because we would like a little time to ourselves and because we would like a little time to prepare ourselves properly in order to do our jobs properly, that we shall be opposing even this small extension of three hours. We need that time too desperately for these other purposes.
Mr Chairman, I shall not take up much of the House’s time. I merely wish to pose the question as to whether it is necessary to impose this intolerable burden upon members of Parliament in the present circumstances, and upon the staff, upon Hansard and everybody involved in Parliament. If it were necessary, then one could understand it. However, I should like to submit with great respect that it is in fact not necessary.
The hon the Chief Whip of Parliament has today directly referred to the fact that the amount of extra time that the hon the Leader of the House is asking for, will amount to 12 hours. Is it really necessary to impose the burden of these additional 12 hours on all the people whom I have just mentioned? This session of Parliament does not finish on 20 June; it will continue on 18 August 1986. There are no restrictions as to how long we may sit them. Twelve additional hours of sitting merely add another three days to this session. Therefore, if we start three days earlier in August or sit three days later in the August session, we can avoid having to include the proposed additional sitting hours now.
If there are priorities with regard to the passing of certain legislation before we adjourn on 20 June, surely the hon the Leader of the House should be able to tell us what those priorities are so that they can be dealt with. None of us wishes to shirk his duties in Parliament. We are all keen; we have come here to do a job of work. If legislation has to be passed which will bring about reform and which will be to the advantage of South Africa, we shall deal with such legislation. However, with great respect, the motion moved by the hon the Leader of the House is not necessary.
Furthermore, insofar as the continuation of the session in August is concerned, the hon the Leader’s motion and the amendment moved by the Chief Whip of Parliament will apply in the August session as well. I accept that that is the intention because it will simply be a continuation of this session. We have the position now whereby old rules are being applied to the new tricameral system of Parliament before things have been able to adjust properly.
The amended sitting hours as moved by the Chief Whip of Parliament are well taken because the sitting hours until 18h45 on Wednesdays—which, according to the motion, would now also apply to Monday nights—were merely introduced in the old system because the Cabinet met on Wednesdays and we therefore only started at 15h30. Now, although we start at 14h15, we have retained the previous arrangement. Therefore, the amendment which the hon Chief Whip of Parliament has moved will bring some relief.
However, I think the time has come—I believe the Committees on Standing Rules and Orders are going to reconsider the sitting hours—for us to take a new look at Parliament. This new look should be of such a nature that, during the first half of the year, we will deal with all the financial measures and get them finished—I refer to all the appropriations, including the main Budget, the Post Office Appropriation and the Transport Services Appropriation. We can then have a recess, and come back to have a legislative session in which we can deal with all the necessary legislation.
Under these circumstances, we really cannot support the motion as moved by the hon the Leader of the House. Neither can we support the amendment moved by the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament although the small adjustment in it does relieve the burden slightly.
Mr Chairman, you will recall that when the hon the Leader of the House came here, the House sat until 19h00. To be quite honest the clock up there was set 10 minutes ahead of time, as a result of which we actually adjourned at 18h50 because it was the custom for hon members to catch the train which left at 19h00.
At one stage we started discussing the rationalisation of the House of Assembly. We discussed this a great deal. I presented certain memorandums on this to the then Leader of the House in which, for example, I emphasised the idea that a Bill should be referred to a select committee before a Second Reading. We then started with rationalisation. We had convenient hours of sitting. During the first half of the session we sat until 18h30, and during the second until 18h00.
The promise was that the House would do its work in the time available to it. When that rationalisation was functioning at its best, we had an Easter recess one year lasting for a fortnight, and we still did not have problems with the date of adjournment. What is the position now?
The problem now is that the hon the Leader of the House and the Government no longer have any discipline in their own ranks. The hon members of the governing party said that we sometimes try to arrange matters so that there is not a quorum in the Chamber.
When we sat on that side of the House—I sat with the hon Whips—they kept an eye on proceedings.
The hon Whips of the NP sat there like hawks, and they saw to it that they always had a quorum in the Chamber. Sometimes years went by without a quorum having to be asked for, but this is all proof of one thing, and that is that the hon Chief Whip, his Whips and the hon the Leader of the House no longer have control over the Cabinet and their people. They now come along and say that we are responsible for there not being a quorum, but that is not so. [Interjections.] They should see to it that there is a quorum. [Interjections.]
I want to agree wholeheartedly with the hon member of Umhlanga that the workload, the responsibility to make a meaningful contribution to the parliamentary debate and to the image of Parliament are all aspects which are very adversely affected by this flurry of activity at the end of the session, merely to get to the hunting grounds. On top of this it reflects very adversely on the image of Parliament.
A day should be set aside for this Parliament on which it adjourns, for example at the end of May or towards the end of May. The hon the Minister of National Education, the Leader of the NP in the Transvaal must not leave now, because I now have something to say to him. I want to tell him and the hon the Leader of the House that they are allowing the Transvaal or Pretoria, as the administrative capital of this country, to be razed to the ground by the hon the Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning and the State President. They are allowing this, because they cannot stand up to the two bullies of the Cape Province. Where is the administrative capital? Is it here or is it in Pretoria?
Of course it is in Pretoria!
The hon the Minister says it is in Pretoria. Why can he not see to it that Parliament adjourns in such a way that the country can be administered from Pretoria. That is what I want to know from the hon the Minister.
Ask what is in the interests of the country.
Partly this country is in such a mess because we have to sit here for months every year and make laws, while the administration of the country is left to lower ranking individuals than the Director-General. [Interjections.]
Which private company’s director or chairman of its board of directors can be away from their office for seven, eight months of the year and leave things just take their own course? [Interjections.] It is a good thing that the hon member has said that we are now adopting the position of the Official Opposition. [Interjections.] When the hon the Minister of National Education and the hon Leader of the House and their party sit on this side of the House one of these days, they must not cry about it.
Hendrik will not lose his seat.
This party will create order to such an extent when it governs, that the Parliamentary session would adjourn on a specific date and the legislation which has not been dealt with, would then be left over until the next session. [Interjections.] But they now want to finish off, and when they return they want to continue selling out the Whites of South Africa. [Interjections.]
I want to make a further point. We oppose the increasing of the times of sitting because the Government cannot convince us that they have adequately utilised their time during this session. If we come to Parliament at the beginning of the year, and the hon the Ministers have their legislation ready …
It was ready.
It was not ready.
Of course, yes.
Now why are there still 28 Bills to be dealt with, and then we still have to come back to deal with a further 20 or 30? [Interjections.]
The Governing party’s planning and everything else is in a mess and they do not come here prepared because they are too busy seeing to their own interests. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, in all the years that I have been sitting in this Parliament, this was the first time that the House did not adjourn at 16h00 or 17h00 as in the past because there was no work on the Order Paper. It has never happened in the past that a programme was drawn up in such a way that it was not necessary to adjourn early.
†The hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition said that he had worked with four Leaders of the House and that because it was customary at the end of the session to have to deal with legislation, the sitting hours of the session were extended. Now, what has happened during this session?
We are going to have two and a half months later this year.
Just you keep quiet!
We have a full Order Paper owing to the programming done by the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament. However, what is happening? Let me make this point by means of an example. I shall present only one example, the Broadcasting Amendment Bill. Consensus was reached on this matter in the standing committee, but then we come to this House and debate the Bill for 270 minutes.
It has not been disposed of yet. [Interjections.]
There we have it; it has not been disposed of yet.
Hon members can search throughout the world for a leader of this House, but no such a leader will be able to programme all these matters—and for the same reason we cannot expect the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament to keep to his programme—if a matter about which consensus has been reached is debated for 270 minutes and so help me has still not been disposed of! Who would be able to draw up a programme on that basis? [Interjections.]
We could also argue about quorums and similar matters, but today I want to say that every hon member of this House of Assembly—I am not just speaking about the NP—is working harder than in the past. [Interjections.] For example, he serves on the standing committee, he is busy during the recess and now he is going to become a member of the provincial council. During the recess he has to attend meetings of the standing committees.
Which committees? The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs?
Let us take as an example the Ministers alone. A Minister who has introduced a budget here, must also introduce that budget in the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates. Then he must also deliver the third reading speech which he made here in the other two Houses as well. [Interjections.]
Whose fault is that?
I say that is the way it should be, but believe me, members of the Cabinet are working much harder than in the past. [Interjections.]
You cannot blame us for that.
I am not blaming anyone. [Interjections.] I am not quarrelling with the hon members. I am saying they are, in fact, working harder.
But there are so many of you!
There are so many of us!
†The hon member for Umhlanga pointed out that the NRP has only five members here. How can they blame us because there are only five of them here? [Interjections.] Why are there not 25 of them here?
Now you are being pathetic!
What should “Stoffies”, the hon member for Sasolburg, say? [Interjections.] If the hon member for Umhlanga feels so bad about the fact that there are only five of them here, what should the hon member for Sasolburg say? [Interjections.] How can he serve on 20 committees when he is the sole representative of his party! [Interjections.]
Sir, I accept the amendment submitted by the hon the Chief Whip of Parliament. I am perfectly happy with his proposal. We have spent almost an hour on this matter, and futhermore the hon members on that side of the House are going to request a division.
All that I am asking, is that when we have reached consensus on a Bill we should in heaven’s name not prolong the debate here.
†I want to ask my friend, the hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition, whether, in all the years he has been in Parliament, he has ever had a leader who went to him and said that Parliament is going to adjourn on, for example, 20 June at 12h45? Has any other Leader of this House done that in the hon member’s time as Chief Whip of the Official Opposition? [Interjections.]
That is because we have never had this kind of second session.
I gave the hon the Chief Whip of the Official Opposition a specific date so that bookings could be made, but here the hon member for Hillbrow stood and said: “Why do we not sit for another two or three days?”, while I have been requested in the Whips meeting to specify a date. [Interjections.]
I did not say that. I said we must sit an extra two or three days in August, not now. [Interjections.]
He said it in the very first Whips’ meeting.
I said in August, not now.
The hon member asked when we would adjourn this session. [Interjections.]
*Sir, we shall keep on reasoning in this manner, but I say it cannot be done any other way.
Amendment put and agreed to.
Main Question, as amended, put,
Upon which the House divided:
Ayes—76: Alant, T G; Ballot, G C; Botha, C J van R; Botma, M C; Breytenbach, W N; Clase, P J; Coetzer, P W; Conradie, F D; Cunningham, J H; De Beer, S J; De Jager, A M v A; De Klerk, F W; De Pontes, P; Farrell, P G; Fouché, A F; Geldenhuys, B L; Hugo, P B B; Kleynhans, J W; Kotzé, G J; Kriel, H J; Landman, W J; Lemmer, W A; Le Roux, D E T; Ligthelm, C J; Ligthelm, N W; Lloyd, J J; Louw, M H; Marais, P G; Maré, P L; Maree, M D; Meiring, J W H; Meyer, W D; Morrison, G de V; Niemann, J J; Nothnagel, A E; Odendaal, W A; Poggenpoel, D J; Pretorius, N J; Pretorius, P H; Rabie, J; Rencken, C R E; Scheepers, J H L; Schoeman, H; Schoeman, R S; Schoeman, S J; Schoeman, W J; Scott, D B; Simkin, C H W; Swanepoel, K D; Terblanche, G P D; Van Breda, A; Van den Berg, J C; Van der Linde, G J; Van der Merwe, C J; Van Niekerk, A I; Van Niekerk, W A; Van Rensburg, H M J (Mossel Bay); Van Rensburg, H M J (Rosettenville); Van Staden, J W; Van Vuuren, L M J; Van Wyk, J A; Van Zyl, J G; Veldman, M H; Venter, E H; Vermeulen, J A J; Vilonel, J J; Weeber, A; Wentzel, J J G; Wessels, L; Wright, A P.
Tellers: J P I Blanché, W J Cuyler, A Geldenhuys, W T Kritzinger, R P Meyer and L van der Watt.
Noes—28: Andrew, K M; Bamford, B R; Barnard, M S; Barnard, S P; Burrows, R; Eglin, C W; Goodall, B B; Langley, T; Olivier, N J J; Page, B W B; Raw, W V; Rogers, P R C; Schoeman, J C B; Scholtz, E M; Sive, R; Snyman, W J; Soal, P G; Stofberg, L F; Suzman, H; Tarr, M A; Van der Merwe, H D K; Van der Merwe, W L; Van Heerden, R F; Van Rensburg, H E J; Van Staden, F A H; Visagie, J H.
Tellers: G B D McIntosh and A B Widman.
Main Question agreed to, viz: That notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order No 18 the hours of sitting on Mondays and Wednesdays on and after Monday, 26 May, and Wednesday, 28 May, shall be:
Vote No 3—“Education and Culture” (contd):
Mr Chairman, when my speech was interrupted last night, I was dealing with the question of empty places in White schools. As I said there were 205 000 empty places in White schools. I mentioned that the De Lange Report had someting to say about this. This report was signed inter alia by Prof Jooste, Mr Steyn, Prof Van Loggerenberg and Prof Van der Stoep. What do they say? I quote from page 193 of the Report:
Later in its report, this educational working group said the following on the matter:
However, what does the Government say in the White Paper on the provision of education in the Republic of South Africa? I quote from page 46:
That is what the White Paper says.
That was yesterday. They have changed.
The educators call for the abolition of this Bill and the directors asked that this matter should be looked at again, but what does the Government say? They are the people who deal with this matter in a clumsy political way.
†It is particularly clear that the Group Areas Act is under scrutiny. We know that and the Government knows that. Because of the 205 000 empty places in schools, it is most urgent that this whole matter of the underutilisation of school space and buildings be placed high on the agenda for reconsideration. I want to make it clear that this is a political matter on which the educators have already expressed their views. The continued existence of 200 000 empty school places is a national scandal.
I would like to turn my attention to the takeover of provincial education by the hon the Minister on 1 April this year which revealed a wealth of inconsistencies and inequalities.
I must stress that it is not my purpose to bring about a bland uniformity in education, but rather to ensure that the principle of the most equitable use of Government funds is followed.
Let us look at preprimary schools and their funding. In the Transvaal there are 710 preprimary schools of which 18% are fully funded provincial schools. In the Cape, on the other hand, none of the 200 preprimary schools is fully funded, although at 78% of them the teachers’ salaries are paid. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, allow me first of all, on what is almost an historical occasion, to extend a sincere welcome to the four Directors of Education who are sitting in the official’s bay. On behalf of the chairman of the NP study group, the hon member for Gezina, and of the hon member for Pinetown I want to welcome these four gentlemen very sincerely to the precinct and atmosphere of the highest political Council Chamber in the country.
I have the utmost confidence in each of these gentlemen, based on their deeds and the work they have done during so many years in the provinces. I think each individual province is right to be proud of the standard of education which is being presented … [Interjections.] … in accordance with an historic course of events in which each of those provinces also developed its own character and identity. I am looking forward very much indeed to working very closely with those directors in future. The education departments of the provinces are very cordially welcome in this new system.
I should like to reply briefly to two or three of the hon members who have already participated, and also make a statement in regard to private schools. I shall also touch on a few other matters.
I should like to begin with the hon member for Bryanston, the main speaker of the Official Opposition. I can agree with a great deal the hon member said about education, but there is something I have to tell him with reference to the speech he made yesterday. There is one thing which I do not think will bring us any further in this education debate. In fact this applies to all sides of the Committee and all speakers who participated. If we become sharply derogatory about educational matters, we are not serving the cause of education. That is my honest conviction. I agree with the hon member’s plea for sufficient time in which to discuss education, because it is indeed important. Over the years, too, we have not had sufficient time to do so. However, by saying derogatory things, which are unworthy of the hon member as a front-bencher of the Official Opposition, he is also impairing the standard and quality of the arguments we have to conduct here.
I want to refer to something else the hon member said. The hon member saw fit, in support of his argument for open schools, to quote from an opinion poll which was carried out by the Natal Teachers’ Association and published in the Press. I think the hon member should at least have sufficient insight and knowledge not to believe any report he reads. Very clearly he did not analyse what was stated in that report. Let us examine it for a while.
The hon member stated with great fanfare that the poll had indicated that seven out of every ten teachers in Natal wanted open schools. What are the facts? According to the Sunday Times of 18 May, which the hon member quoted, seven out of every ten teachers in Natal support integrated schools under one Department of Education. What else does the report state? Two thousand teachers reacted to this opinion poll, and 91% of them were in favour of one department. If we therefore make a calculation, 1 820 teachers support one department. In addition it was said that 84% of the 2 000 teachers believed that integrated schools are inevitable. That means that 1 680 teachers …
That is how I quoted it.
Very well, the hon member is quite correct, but he did not make the necessary calculations and he did not go any further. My objection to the hon member as chief speaker of the Official Opposition is that he allows himself to be caught out by simple things like this. [Interjections.] According to my information there are 7 151 White teachers in Natal, who are registered with the SA Teachers’ Council. Surely we must then set off these figures, the 1 820 and the 1 680, against the total number of White teachers registered in Natal. What do we find then? Only 25,4% of the 7 151 teachers are represented by the 1 820. In the same way 23,5% of the total are represented by the 1 680. Briefly that means that only 25%, or 2,5 out of every 10 teachers, support integrated schools, and not 7 out of 10. [Interjections.]
That is nonsense and you know it.
No, it is absolutely correct. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Pinetown must contain himself.
The fact of the matter is that perhaps not all of the 7 151 teachers are employed at the moment—I concede that at once—but I am at least honest and I am saying precisely what the figures are. The hon member for Pinetown who lives in Natal, knows precisely what the position is. Why did he not warn his hon chief speaker against this? It is just not good enough to mislead this Committee further on the basis of a report which appeared in the Sunday Times, [interjections.]
†The hon member for Bryanston as well as the hon member for Pinetown stated that the separation of the youth of South Africa into separate departments and schools lays the foundation for conflict in the future. The hon member for Bryanston went on to use the term “an isolated form of education in a racial cocoon.” He is also of the opinion that ethnic realities should be negated in education. I have a four-fold problem with the statements made by the hon members in this regard. In the first place, there is a total negation of the educational necessity of the bond between culture, language and school education. The American experience in this regard is an example to us. The melting-pot idea did not work, precisely because the bond between culture and education was dissolved. The hon members will agree with this.
Secondly, the hon members accept the fact that own schools necessarily will result in the absolute isolation of the youth of the various groups. They try to create the impression that the Government is using the concept of own schools as a mechanism in order to separate people, but this is not the reason for separate schools. I tried to make that clear yesterday. It is because a bond between the education in the home and in the school is educationally necessary. In the light of rendering service to other groups and the possibilities of informal contact between the youth of different groups, it is unwise and unnecessary to dissolve the healthy bond between school and home, just in order to force our youth to come together.
*I would be able to continue to quote examples from Belgium and various other countries to support this standpoint.
They do so on the basis of the freedom of the choice of the individual!
I shall come back to that.
The fact of the matter is those hon members do not accept the reality, namely that we in this country are dealing with four different population groups, quite apart from the fact that the Blacks are divided up into further ethnic groups. This is a reality, and we must manage education in accordance with realities.
I said I have four problems. My third problem is the following: It seems to me there is an inexplicable contradiction in that hon member’s arguments. I believe that they have had the same experience I have had, of English-speaking parents who frequently say that they want to send their children to an English-language school.
That is their choice!
Correct! For a specific reason they want their children in those schools. At the same time the hon members of the PFP are asking for pupils from different language and cultural groups to be admitted to the same schools!
If it is their choice!
No, that is not the point. If we are now discussing their choice, we must decide for ourselves …
You choose for everyone!
On the one hand the department is being asked to introduce own schools, but on the other hand the hon members of the PFP are trying to make out a case for doing away with own schools. That is how simple it is.
The hon members of the PFP are having a problem with the reality of the heterogeneous society of the RSA and it is no use negating that heterogeneity in education. Therefore I want to state categorically that the problem we are experiencing in education is to a great extent political. I make no apology for that, because this was elucidated in the White Paper in which the standpoints of the Government were explained and which was tabled after the report of the De Lange Committee inquiry was tabled. The Government’s standpoint was that education would be managed within the specific standpoints as contained in the Constitution. [Interjections.] We make no apology for that.
Order! The hon the Minister is not making his final reply to the debate. The debate will continue, and hon members of all the parties are still going to have an opportunity to react to what the hon the Minister is now saying. Consequently it is not necessary to interrupt the hon the Minister.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
The hon members advance freedom of parental choice on education of their children as an argument, and then they quote from the De Lange report. That is correct, but the point of departure of the Government, as stated categorically in the White Paper, is that parental choice is accepted, but within the framework of separate schools for the various population groups. [Interjections.] For that reason hon members must not expect me to manage education outside the specific framework of the Constitution. Then hon members must try to change the Constitution. They have every right to do so. We shall manage education in accordance with the spirit and character of the Constitution. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Bryanston spoke about corporal punishment. I am going to say very little about it. The hon member asked us to appoint a commission to investigate the whole issue of corporal punishment. It astonishes me that that hon member, as an expert on education—he must be one, because he is a front-bencher and the chief spokesman of the Official Opposition on education—should ask me something like that, while he made the ridiculous statement that he thought corporal punishment was the cause of the unrest situation! How absurd!
I did not say that. [Interjections.]
I shall quote to the hon member what he said.
He said the following:
I want to say that I think that is a ridiculous, irresponsible statement which is completely unfounded in pedagogical terms. [Interjections.]
Order! I am not prepared to allow the debate to be conducted in this fashion. I do not want to prohibit interjections altogether, but if hon members continue in this way, they will leave me no choice. The hon the Minister may proceed.
I want to make the statement that the hon member definitely does not base his statements on factual data or on scientific research carried out in this connection. In my opinion there are no pedagogical grounds whatsoever for saying that corporal punishment as it is imposed at schools within the policy and within certain limits—I want to repeat that it must be done in accordance with the policy—will give rise to violence. It cannot.
If it is properly applied, corporal punishment forms part of discipline. I would rather say that the total negation of corporal punishment could be conducive to our achieving precisely the opposite effect to the one the hon member wants. I want to say with all due respect that if I think of what is happening in certain schools overseas, where corporal punishment is not imposed, and I take a look at the position in those schools, I say thank heavens that we are still able to apply corporal punishment in our schools within certain specific pedagogical limits. [Interjections.] What I want to say, therefore, is that I shall not comply with the request that I appoint a commission to investigate this entire matter.
I want to say something about the question of under-utilised accommodation in White colleges of education and schools. The policy cannot be adapted to the accommodation that is available. We cannot adapt the policy solely for that reason, because the principle of education as an own affair, as stated in the Constitution, and as I have already said, is being impaired. Hon members must accept that.
However, if any schools or other educational facilities can be evacuated by means of effective planning, my department will consider every case on its merits and if it is in any way possible, accommodate other population groups.
I want to say across the floor of this House that it is of course absurd simply to go on allowing buildings which are only a quarter or half occupied to remain that way while there is a great need in respect of the school accommodation of the various population groups. But it cannot simply be said in general that we should admit members of other population groups to those schools, because we are then invalidating another specific principle. What we must consider is whether we cannot utilise and rationalise this available accommodation meaningfully. If we are then able to make accommodation available to other population groups, we shall gladly do so. [Interjections.] We shall look into this matter, and we shall treat every case on its merits. [Interjections.]
I should like to make a statement in connection with the whole question of private schools.
†Following further in-depth discussions with the parties concerned, such as the Association of Private Schools, the South African Board of Jewish Education and the Roman Catholic private schools, the regulations governing their future registration and financial wants to private schools have been finalised. I wish to express my appreciation of the frank and constructive contributions made by these parties which enabled us to reach consensus.
The admission of pupils to private schools is done in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. As Minister of Education and Culture, I am responsible for the education of the White population group as an own affair. However, the Constitution also makes provision for the rendering of service to persons who are not members of the relevant race groups for which an institution was primarily founded. Over the years, private schools have provided for needs of a particular nature. For that very reason the Government is determined to afford private schools their rightful place. This sector satisfies certain educational and cultural needs for which public education does not cater sufficiently. That is a fact.
It therefore gives me pleasure to announce that, in consultation with the parties concerned, criteria have been formulated for the future registration of and financial grants to private schools which will satisfy the needs of the parties concerned within the limits of the laws of this country.
The policy for the registration of private schools is as follows: A private school already registered under any law as a private school for White children will be deemed to be registered under these regulations. For purposes of future registration, private schools will have to meet, inter alia, the following requirements: The Head of Education must be satisfied that the private school will make a contribution to the provision of education for a specific area or a specific purpose; the school buildings and grounds must comply with requirements in respect of space, design and facilities; the school calendar must satisfy requirements in respect of the average duration of a school day and the minimum number of school days per calendar year; the curriculum for pupils must satisfy minimum requirements; specified registers and records must be kept and inspections may be held; no person who does not meet the minimum requirements for registration as a teacher will be employed as a teacher at a private school, unless the Head of Education approves his appointment. The latter provision will not apply in respect of anybody who is employed as a teacher at a private school at the date of the coming into operation of these regulations.
The minimum number of pupils of school-going age in primary and secondary private schools is 20. The provision relating to compulsory education applicable to pupils attending public schools also applies to pupils attending a private school. The admission of pupils to a private school is subject to items 2 and 4 of Schedule 1 to the Constitution Act of the Republic of South Africa, No 110 of 1983. The private schools themselves will decide on the admission of pupils and, if necessary, the Minister or his delegate will negotiate with private schools individually.
I come now to the policy for financial grants to private schools. A private school may apply to be considered for one or two categories of financial grants, namely either 15% or 45% of an amount calculated in accordance with the standard formula of the department. In order to qualify for a grant of 15%, a school must, in addition to requirements of an administrative nature, meet, inter alia, the following requirements, namely: Firstly, that a school maintains satisfactory scholastic standards; secondly, that it meets the educational and cultural needs of the cultural or religious group which cannot be met adequately by public schools; thirdly, that it accommodates the pupils in school buildings and on grounds in a manner which, in the opinion of the Head of Education, is satisfactory; and fourthly that the medium of instruction complies with the provision regarding the medium of instruction applicable to public schools.
Private schools which satisfy additional educational requirements regarding, inter alia, scholastic standards such as a higher pass rate and a greater proportion of pupils who reach standard 10, and which meet the educational needs of a cultural or religious group, will be considered for the higher financial grant of 45%.
A private school which, prior to the coming into operation of these regulations, received a financial grant higher than 45% of an amount calculated in accordance with the standard formula of the department, will retain the higher financial grant until the financial grant which is paid to other private schools has reached the same level, after which the grant may be increased or decreased. These regulations shall be deemed to have come into operation on 1 April 1986.
*I should like to refer to the hon member for Gezina and tell him that I have great appreciation for the matters he raised. I would be able to discuss them at length, and I want to thank him sincerely for the way in which he dealt with education and its general problems.
In particular I want to thank him for his positive contribution on the principle of the rendering of assistance to other population groups on an agency basis. My department would very much like to continue sharing its expertise with the other education departments, and assisting them wherever possible. I also agree with him about the need for calculating the costs of the service that has to be rendered, so that the body rendering the services can be compensated for its services, since funds are being made available to all education departments on a subsidy basis.
I am also in full agreement with him that informal liaison should be established between school groups, which does not necessarily mean that such people should be in the same schools. I agree that we should bring about that informal liaison, and I thank the hon member for his contribution.
I now want to come back to the hon member for Rissik. He saw fit, when I glanced at the newspaper reports, to address the Committee in more or less the same vein in which certain leaders of other groups are addressing the general public. I want to tell him that it will avail him nothing to shout at me. It will avail him nothing to shout at this side of the Committee, nor will it avail him to be insulting and derogatory. It will avail him nothing. All the hon member is doing is to tarnish his own image, his own image as a Christian. [Interjections.] There is no need for him to act in that way, and I shall come back to the subject of the monument.
The hon member saw fit to quote from my Hansard, but he did not have the decency to reply to me when I asked him across the floor of this House from what year that quotation dated. Instead, he snarled something at me! I shall leave it at that however. I looked it up myself, and I want to tell him that I read through the entire speech. I stand by it, and I am not apologising to anyone for it. However I want to level an accusation at the hon member across the floor of this House. Why was he so dishonest, and why did he not read out the full truth of the speech I made at the time?
Worry about your own speech.
The hon member quoted from a section in which I dealt with liberalism. I stand by every word I said about liberalism. I stand by it; I find no fault with it. [Interjections.]
I am now quoting from Hansard, 1978, col 2749, in which I said the following:
The system we have here today already cries out against that statement of the liberals that everyone is equal, for in our system there is already no such thing.
Confine yourself to your stupid voters in Virginia!
Furthermore I want to say …
Order! The hon member for Rissik will receive another turn to speak. The hon the Minister may proceed.
If the hon member wishes to display his ignorance here, he must not accuse the voters of Virginia—there are more or less 18 000 of them, quite a number of whom are CP and HNP members—of being stupid, because that is precisely what the hon member has just done. That is precisely what he did here. [Interjections.] He must look in the mirror if he wants to make remarks like that. [Interjections.]
I am quoting further from column 2750:
But this the hon member did not quote.
I quote further:
Was I implying here that we are liberals?
I quote further:
I continued—and the hon member did not mention this
Yes, but that was earlier.
I can go even further, Sir. After all, the hon member alleged that at the time I was verkramp, and that I had attacked liberalism, but that I was now singing a different tune. [Interjections.]
Why does the hon member not read those things I said in 1978? I had this to say about indoctrination (col 2752):
[Interjections.] I want to go even further. I had this to say about the national character of education:
I said: “Love for this country and its people,” and I still stand by that today. [Interjections.] Who are these people? Are the people just simply CPs? [Interjections.] Consequently the hon member cannot use that argument against me now, because I was saying those things at that time already. [Interjections.]
I want to go even further. I had the following to say about politics (col 2753):
I went on to say:
Then follows the most important part, which the hon member did not mention:
Subsequently I elaborated on that and said (col 2755):
What I said then, I still say today.
But what are the facts of the matter? That hon member boasts of their having hijacked school committees. I want to tell those hon members that by doing so they are not serving education.
They were not hijacked, they were elected.
We must make education free of party-politics. We cannot separate education from politics in general. That we cannot do. Nor may we do so, because both form part of a people’s outlook on life and the world. We may not bring these party-political matters into our schools.
Consequently I want to state categorically today that if a school principal, a teacher or, in the same argument, a lecturer at a university abuses the institution for party-political purposes, and I have positive proof that this is being done, I shall use the powers I possess to take action against any such teacher, whether he is a member of the NP, the CP, the HNP or any other political party. [Interjections.]
I should now like to deal with this, I could almost call it, arrogant demand which the hon member for Rissik made concerning the resolution of his caucus to request the State President to grant the hon members for Lichtenburg and Noordrand an interview in connection with a request which was made to use the amphitheatre at the Voortrekker Monument. Then the hon member for Rissik read out that request from a letter. He said—in a rather mumbling way: I think he was ashamed of himself—that I should do so straight away. [Interjections.] I want to tell the hon member that I am not going to pay any attention to that. I am not going to allow myself to be told by the hon member when I should do that. [Interjections.] What is true is that it is fair to the hon members to expect us to clear up this matter. That is in fact what I now want to do.
What are the facts of the matter? The facts of the matter are that we have a Voortrekker Monument Control Board. This control board, within specific rules and regulations according to which they operate, takes certain independent decisions. Some decisions, if they think fit, are made after the approval of or after consultation with the Minister concerned, in this case of the Minister of Education and Culture. They do so in accordance with certain guidelines laid down by the Cabinet in this connection in 1983. Now the hon members are implying that we suddenly wish to impose a restriction on them. I am now referring to a statement which was issued by the control board as long ago as 12 September 1983. This was an official statement. In it it was stated:
The Statement goes on to say:
Die verklaring gaan voort:
That statement concludes, with reference to the guidelines of the Cabinet:
This is now the Minister of Education and Culture—
That is the background. What are the facts?
Man, just say “yes” or “no”.
The hon member will have to swallow his medicine now.
And now he is shouting. [Interjections.]
What are the facts in regard to this matter?
Our money is in that monument! [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Langlaagte must give the hon the Minister an opportunity to complete the statement he is making. If the hon member wishes to comment on it, he can do so later during a turn to speak, and then I shall protect him again. At the moment, however, the hon the Minister is speaking. The hon the Minister may proceed.
A letter, signed by Mr Tjaart Venter, was addressed applying for permission to use the amphitheatre or some other suitable open-air venue at the Voortrekker Monument on 31 May 1986, for the purpose of the Afrikaners meeting together to hold a day of ceremony. It is stated in that letter that this meeting of Afrikaners will be arranged by a “spesiale komitee van volksgenote”. The writer goes on to say that he accepts that there must be a responsible person at whose disposal this site is to be placed, if the board should so decide. His letter continues that this application may be regarded “as om amptelik te geskied namens die Afrikaner-Weerstandbeweging van Averto House, First Floor, c/o Esselen and Cilliers Streets, Sunnyside, Pretoria”.
Those hon members are their spokesmen.
The writer of this letter therefore states that in spite of the fact that this is being arranged by the special committee of national compatriots, the people responsible are acting on behalf of the AWB. The author also says that Dr A P Treurnicht, Mr Jaap Marais, Dr Carel Boshoff and Mr Eugène Terre’Blanche will participate as speakers. [Interjections.] What happened next was that the board was convened in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Voortrekker Monument Control Board. They discussed the entire matter, and after a discussion took place and a decision was taken by the board, the secretary of that board wrote a letter to Mr Venter.
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon the Minister?
No, Sir, I do not have the time now. The hon member may ask me later.
In the letter the secretary wrote inter alia:
Over the years applications of this nature have consistently been refused. This is consequently in accordance with the statement of September 1983, which I quoted here.
The control board also respects the Cabinet resolution which provides that with a view to the possibility of the Voortrekker Monument being misused for political purposes, the Voortrekker Monument and surrounding area will be reserved for State festivities.
This control board therefore acted in accordance with its rules and regulations, as it has done over the years. The standpoint of this control board is that it does not want to allow a terrain such as that to be used when politics or a semblance of politics is associated with the occasion. I agree with other hon members like the hon member for North Rand who said, when he discussed the matter with me, that he considered this area to be a national heritage. That is of course the case, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.
We may not use such a cultural terrain for political purposes. [Interjections.] That is the crux of my objection to this whole matter. I want to state categorically that this board took a decision within its right. In accordance with the practice they have maintained in the past, the answer is no, and I content myself with that decision of the board.
May I now put my question to the hon the Minister? Can he tell us what persons make up that committee, when notice of that meeting was given, when the committee sat and who was present at that meeting.
That is no problem. Last year we began with the process of changing the rules and regulations on the basis of the fact that the board itself took a decision concerning the composition of the rules and regulations. Certain other things in these rules and regulations were also rewritten and accepted.
The period of service of the members of that board was extended until 31 March 1986. In the meantime we have in accordance with the new rules and regulations appointed the new persons who are to serve on this board. For the cognisance of the hon member I shall quote the names of the former members. Does he want to hear them?
Very well. The former members of the board were Mr Willem Cruywagen, the Administrator of the Transvaal, as chairman, Prof D W de Vos, Mr C du P Kuhn, Mrs M Swanepoel, Mr W A Pauw, Mrs W Kruger, Mrs W van Vuuren, Prof C H W Boshoff, Dr O J O Ferreira, and then the representatives of the FAK and the Department of National Education. There were also representatives of the old Department of Public Works, which, according to the rules and regulations, is no longer represented.
The new rules and regulations provide that there shall be a chairman, representatives of the FAK and the Department of Education and Culture, plus a further three persons. These three persons must, if possible, have special knowledge of finances, architecture, women’s activities, youth matters and cultural historical matters. The people appointed to the new board are the Administrator of the Transvaal, Mr Willem Cruywagen, as chairman, Mr C du P Kuhn, Prof C H W Boshoff, Dr B Cronjé—the Secretary to the FAK—Mrs S J van Graan and Mr D H J Weideman, an official of my department. Those are the people who constitute that board. They were accordingly notified in letters sent out to them last week.
Precisely when were those letters set out? [Interjections.] The hon Minister’s facts are incorrect.
If that hon member wishes to level the accusation at me that my facts are incorrect, I expect him at least to have the decency to prove to me in this Committee where my facts are wrong. [Interjections.] The chairman of this committee contacted these persons to inform them of the letter with the request to use the area. For the sake of interest I can just mention to this Committee that this application for the use of the area was dated 21 May. [Interjections.] The board informed me, after everyone had received notice …
When and how did they receive notice? [Interjections.]
I am not going to lapse into giving the hon member the dates for every little matter.
This is important!
The fact of the matter is that they all received notice and all who could be present were present. There was a quorum, and the two persons who could not be present apologised because other circumstances prevented them from being there. The resolution was therefore adopted in accordance with the rules and regulations, and I am satisfied with that.
Mr Chairman, may I put a further question to the hon the Minister?
No, Sir, I have said everything I want to say. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, we on this side of the Committee have great appreciation for the hon the Minister of Education and Culture.
I should like to react briefly to something the hon member for Bryanston, as the main speaker of the PFP, said yesterday about the content of NP speakers’ speeches on education matters. He was disparaging towards us. He has much more reason to be modest about his knowledge of education than the average hon members on this side has. He has made speeches here on more than one occasion during the past year—we have observed him—which he had not prepared himself. That was clear to everyone.
That is a lie!
Order! Did the hon member for Bryanston say it was a lie?
I did, Mr Chairman, because it is a lie.
Order! The hon member must withdraw that word.
I withdraw it, Sir, but it was a blatant untruth.
Order! The hon member must withdraw it unconditionally.
It was a blatant untruth, Mr Chairman.
Order! The hon member must withdraw the word “lie” unconditionally.
I withdrew the word “lie”, Sir, and I say it is a blatant untruth.
Order! If the hon member is withdrawing the word “lie” unconditionally, he may add nothing to it.
Mr Chairman, I have the right to say I withdraw the word “lie” and am replacing it with the words “a blatant untruth”.
Order! Once again I ask the hon member for Bryanston to withdraw the word “lie” unconditionally.
I withdrew the word “lie” unconditionally and …
Order! The hon member for Bryanston must resume his seat!
It is a blatant untruth.
Order! The hon member for Pretoria East may proceed.
Hon members on this side of the Committee talk about education because we love our children, our culture and our language, and because we have appreciation …
Order! Did the hon member for Bryanston say someone was lying?
The hon member was lying, Mr Chairman, but I withdraw it.
Order! The hon member will not only withdraw it, but will also apologise for his conduct.
I apologise to you, Mr Chairman, but not to the hon member.
Order! The hon member for Bryanston is skating on very thin ice. He must apologise for his use of the word “lie” and that is all!
I apologised to you, Mr Chairman.
Order! The hon member for Bryanston must apologise to the Committee for the use of word “lie”.
To the Committee, yes, Sir.
The hon member for Pretoria East may proceed.
We also talk about education because we have great appreciation for the teaching staff and for what they do for our children.
I want to express a few thoughts about the use of electronic aids in education. The potential use of these aids is different for each of the representive population groups in South Africa. In the case of Whites, the greatest potential probably resides in the aids’ being able to contribute to improving the quality of education in cases in which teachers are not sufficiently qualified.
According to a recent HSRC report, only between 54,1% and 56,2% of the Biology, Mathematics and Science teachers are qualified in those spheres according to educational norms.
It is undoubtedly true that the question today is no longer whether computers and television should be used in education, but how they should be used. Nor is the purpose to replace teachers with technological aids, since that cannot happen. The real purpose is to use the money available for White education in such a way that the quality of the education the child eventually receives will be as high as possible. I am convinced that the judicious integration of electronic aids can contribute a great deal to this.
One gets the impression that the educational authorities in South Africa have been rather loath thus far accepting the concept of the large-scale utilisation of electronic aids in education. There is a variety of possible explanations for this. One that is often mentioned, is that perhaps there is not always sufficient understanding among educationists of the potential of these new technologies. A further possible explanation is that our educational system in its present form is the result of centuries of development, and that one would not like to deviate from a well-proved system with its relatively fixed procedures,
The sluggish pace in the utilisation of electronic media in education can, of course, also be explained against the background of the fact that neither standardised equipment, the so-called hardware, or the so-called software was available.
Our children have probably contributed to the progress that has been made, since hon members know that our children grasp the new technologies eagerly and quickly and are often more computer-literate than their parents. Commercial institutions and in many cases the agents of foreign firms, have also contributed to the progress. There are many agents from foreign firms who go around and see what our local requirements are. Often they identify and evaluate our needs better than we ourselves do, and then they try to sell their foreign products, hardware as well as software, to us.
The new information technologies can be applied in education in many possible ways, and to begin with I want to refer to the use of TV screens and video machines in the classroom. We must begin with the subjects in which the average qualifications of our teachers are most sadly lacking.
Since I myself have been trained as a mathematician, in the short time at my disposal I want to refer briefly to the potential the use of TV screens and video machines has for the teaching of mathematics. Naturally this applies to every other subject as well.
It would be a very small task for a few capable subject teachers of mathematics to make a set of video recordings containing the senior secondary syllabus, for example. Perhaps it could be divided into course modules. A project of this kind would take a few capable people who know their syllabuses no longer than a few weeks. A period at school is approximately 30 minutes long, and what I have in mind is to make a video recording available to be used for the first 10 or 15 minutes of a period where necessary. The teacher can then play the recording in a classroom in which two or more TV sets have been placed or hung from the ceiling. A geometry theorem can be explained on the video, for example, and the teacher can then take the class for the rest of the period. In this way we can in effect have the best mathematics subject teachers in every class in the country for a short period of each day. This is high quality education and also provides an opportunity of in-service training for teachers who do not have sufficient qualifications.
I am convinced that utilising information technology in the shape of TV sets and video recordings in the classroom to improve the quality of education, would be the most cost-effective utilisation of information media in the schools. In relation to other costs, the annual salary of a teacher for example, the cost of a few TV sets is minimal. A video machine is relatively cheap and making the recordings and duplicating and distributing them on a large scale would be only a small expense. The parent community can contribute a great deal to help cover such expenses. A further advantage of this approach is that it requires only elementary technological skill from the teacher.
A second possible application of information technologies to improve the quality of education, is to equip a classroom with a system of interactive computer terminals. The potential advantage this has is well-known. A child can receive individual tuition, for example, and progress according to his individual ability. This also makes constant evaluation possible. Such a system is expensive, however, it costs approximately R100 000 to equip a classroom. Generally the software is unavailable, except in the case of mathematics, and it would be very expensive to prepare it.
I also want to refer to the radio and TV. In South Africa we have one of the world’s most modern radio and TV networks. Concerning the technical quality of our TV networks, there are few developing countries which can compare with our system. More beneficial use of our TV network can be made for educational purposes at times when normal programmes are not being televised.
I was pleased to hear that the four departments of education and the SABC had concluded an agreement in terms of which radio and TV services would be provided for educational purposes. I understand the agreement came into force on 1 April and 0,2% of the budget of the four education departments, excluding the budget for technikons and universities, will be chanelled into this during the present tax year. A committee representative of the four education departments and the SABC will serve as an advisory body.
During the discussion of the Vote of the hon the Minister of Trade and Industry this year, I pointed out that our local and national requirements provide many opportunities for South African industry. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, at the outset I should just like to turn to Mr Jooste who is now retiring as Chief Director. We have come a long way together. In the provincial council too, I often had to participate in education debates and I made use of Mr Jooste’s assistance. We are sorry that he, a giant in education, has to leave the department. We want to thank him heartily for the services he rendered to education over the years. We wish him everything of the best on the road ahead. We trust that his career will be very successful and that he will rise to even greater heights as is the case today. Thank you very much for everything and everything of the best for the future.
We appreciate it that the four directors of education, and of course the Director of Education of the Transvaal, the gentleman Mr Terblanche, are here in our midst. We want to express our confidence that the takeover of the provincial education departments by this department will in future be to the great good of the White children of the country.
Having said this, I want to return to the subject of culture. I want to point out to the hon the Minister that he is adopting a completely incorrect standpoint towards the hon member for Rissik when he says that the hon member addressed the hon the Minister arrogantly. That was not arrogance, but certainly a feeling of urgency. I want to point out to the hon the Minister that the people who applied to use the area around the monument, are not party-politicians and nor is there about their activities any semblance of party-politics. [Interjections.] The mere fact that members of the AWB, AV, CP or HNP are present at a meeting, does not mean that when one wants to commemorate or celebrate a cultural occasion, that party-political activities will necessarily take place.
When Dr Malan as Prime Minister inaugurated the Voortrekker Monument in 1949, that surely was not a party-political occasion merely because the leader of the NP did it! [Interjections.] It is completely nonsensical to say that it is party-politics or that it even has the semblance of party-politics. There is absolutely no trace of it and it is entirely a cultural occasion.
Nowhere on the doors, gates or plaques is it indicated that right of admission is reserved for certain people. The only right of admission that is reserved, is that of Whites. Nationalists, Progs, HNP members and CP members and the whole bunch who want to attend the function, are welcome. Admission is not restricted. There is no sign on the door saying that right of admission is reserved, excepting that Whites in any case in the nature of things will be allowed there.
I was involved in this, and I am not ashamed about it. To me it is an honour to be involved in the advancement of Afrikaner culture. We have decided to do the honourable thing by submitting in a legal application to use the area to the control board and to lay our cards on the table and not to hide anything. They would have known exactly who all would be there, who would take part as speakers, and they were given the assurance that the area would be left as clean and undamaged as it was before we occupied it.
We did the honourable thing by asking whether we could use the amphitheatre or any other open-air area. We did not make this application before we specifically established that the area would not be used that day by the State, the control board or anyone else. After we were given the assurance that the area would not be used, we went ahead with our application.
Now that the control board has decided that we may not use the area, I want to ask the hon the Minister something in all honesty and decency. When notice of this meeting was given to the new members of the control board, how was that done and what was the agenda? Let me say today that we know of one of the members who was notified telephonically and was not informed on what was on the agenda. And on top of it, this also happened at a very late stage. But this is not what the argument is about. It is about the reason why we cannot get the area. I do not think it is a sound reason because we are not going to deal with party politics. We are going to be concerned with cultural matters exclusively. [Interjections.] Let people who are nonsensical and frivolous laugh. The fact is, we know what we are going to be doing there. We use other areas to deal with politics; not the Voortrekkers Monument because we have too much respect for it to use it as a political arena. [Interjections.]
I also want to say that after the control board blocked our application, we took the honourable course once more. We asked if we could speak with the State President, who has the highest authority. Within a few hours after the request was put to him, the State President let us know, in my opinion in a courteous manner, that he had no involvement in the matter, and referred us to the hon the Minister of Education and Culture.
We once again followed the decent, honourable course and one of the delegates who had approached the State President, then went and told the hon the Minister what we wanted to do. And so up until now we have done nothing illegal or improper.
Since the State President has referred us to him, why can the hon the Minister, who has control over White culture and its advancement, not get up and say he understands our situation, that he understands that we will not deal with politics and that he is therefore prepared to talk to the control board or to tell us on his own authority that we may after all go there?
I now want to refer to what the late Dr Malan said at the Voortrekker Monument on 16 December 1949, and while I am referred to him, I just want to say that we commemorated the date of his birth yesterday. I think it was 112th date of his birth.
What did you people do in Pietersburg last night? [Interjections.]
If that hon member would only shut his mouth, he would utter less intellectual drivel. [Interjections.]
Dr Malan said—and I want to ask the hon the Minister to listen very carefully to this:
He was referring to the Afrikaners who were sitting there.
He went on to say:
It is the Afrikaner’s Quo Vadis shrine. It is his property. It belongs to no one else; it belongs to the Afrikaner people. He brought this about. I remember as a child how many rows of pennies we collected in the Voortrekker movement and at school to collect money for this monument. I repeat what Dr Malan said:
He adds this word Afrikaner. There is no doubt about whose shrine he meant. He goes on to say:
That is why this shrine belongs to the Afrikaner. It does not belong to the State or to anyone else. [Interjections.] Therefore the hon Minister may not keep the Afrikaner away from it.
Dr Malan said something else which I think the hon the Minister should also take into account when I ask him please to review his decision and to give us the opportunity to go to the Voortrekker monument. He said:
He did not mean anyone else—
That is all we want to do! We just want to involve the people, or at least that part of the people who are interested in joining us. We want to speak to them there, and give consideration to the preservation of the shrines of their own people. This is neither a crime nor a sin! Dr Malan said we should do this.
We are not trying to insinuate ourselves into something else; we are not planning to hold a gathering after another one. No one has organised something for this occasion, not the Voortrekkers either. Neither the State, nor the control board has arranged anything. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, if the hon member for Koedoespoort really wants us to believe that it is a national celebration when a group of people such as Dr Treurnicht, Mr Jaap Marais, Mr Eugène Terre’Blanche and Prof Carel Boshoff are going to participate, let me tell him that it honestly does not amaze me that he can believe in a Coloured homeland. [Interjections.] That is no logical argument. The hon member must please not underestimate our intelligence in this way. It surely is not the kind of meeting the hon member pretends it will be!
It is only being held because you people did not organise more. [Interjections.]
Oh no, the hon member for Sasolburg must give me a chance now. He cannot think further than that, because the man who thought for him, Dr Verwoerd, died 20 years ago. That is when the hon member for Sasolburg stopped thinking! [Interjections.] Since then he has never been able to think any further. Dr Verwoerd did that hon member’s thinking for him. [Interjections.]
Let me tell the hon members of the CP today that this request of theirs is nothing other than a transparent attempt to equate the cultural assets of the Afrikaner with the policies of the right-wing Afrikaners. That is the only aim they have. They are trying to usurp the spirit of the Afrikaner by saying that these aspects which are sacred to us Afrikaner, belong to the CP, the AWB and the HNP. [Interjections.] They want to hold this meeting there to use the emotions which the Afrikaner feels for things such as the Voortrekker Monument, for their own transparent political game. [Interjections.]
I want to thank the hon Minister for not allowing them to hijack the Afrikaners’ cultural assets, because they belong to all of us. They belong to all the Afrikaners.
Who is going to attend the meeting? Do you people know?
The people in the right-wing groups are not super-Afrikaners! They may perhaps think so. [Interjections.] The fact is that they claim the right to be super Afrikaners. In the process they are telling our people certain things which will destroy our cultural assets in this country.
We do not even belong to the Broederbond! [Interjections.]
Order! I understand the hon member for Sasolburg is still going to participate in the debate as well. The hon member will therefore have the opportunity to say what he wants to say. The hon member for Parow may proceed.
The Voortrekker Monument does not belong to the CP or the AWB. Neither do the Vrouemonument nor our other cultural assets belong to them.
Neither do they belong to Rajbansi. [Interjections.]
I think we have now made it clear that we shall not allow the CP to arrogate to themselves the things which are indeed also precious to those of us on this side of the committee. [Interjections.] We shall not allow that! Neither shall we allow organisations such as the AWB with their Hitler salute, leggings and revolvers at their sides to make a travesty of that which is sacred to the Afrikaner. We shall not allow that. [Interjections.]
I want to discuss one matter during this education debate, ie a group of children who are very close to the heart of us all, and that is the group of children who have to receive their education in special schools. I am not discussing this matter because I am an expert in this area, but I do so because a large number of voters in my constituency, who are concerned about their children’s future, came to see me about this matter, and I share this concern with them.
My introductory remarks and my motivation of this unfortunately has to be very brief due to the time I gave up for the hon member of Koedoespoort. The actual situation is that children with an IQ of between 65 and 100 are admitted to the special classes from 14 years of age. In our country there are 45 schools who give this kind of education, and I think it is necessary that we take note that a whole lot of subjects are offered in such schools. But time does not allow me to list these subjects, but the hon the Minister will know about them. We should also note that it is one of the most expensive forms of education in our education department. It is one of the most expensive forms of education due to the machinery that has to be provided to such schools as well as the special teachers required to establish the particular teacher-pupil relationship required.
This system, however, has raised certain problems, and I want to refer very briefly to three of these problems. The first is that a pupil is only 16 or 17 years old by the time he has completed his course at such a school. He is therefore first of all too young to really enter into the labour market, or secondly, to be able to compete in the labour market adequately, particularly if we remember that he has started off with a handicap. A second problem is, if a child were to leave the special school and wanted to go to a technikon, the gap between the school and a technikon is too great for further training and we find that, particularly in the academic field, they do not always manage, but they fare very well with practical work. The result is that many of them cannot succeed as artisans at the technikon.
The third problem is that such children, when they have completed their studies at these special schools, have a certificate which is known as a fifth year certificate. I am sorry to say that this certificate is not really recognised by the private sector and to my dismay I had to establish that it is also not recognised by the Public Service. After three years therefore such a child has a certificate which really is of no value to him. The result is that these people who receive the most expensive education in our country are not always able to find work. This causes anti-social problems, which I do not want to go into now, because the frustration which stems from it is obvious.
I am aware of the unemployment problem in our country, but this is not only a recent problem. It has existed before. At present it is merely worse than in the good old days. We are also aware of the demand for higher productivity. But we cannot argue that we have done with these children once we have put them through school. We cannot do this. We must arrange matters so that he can be absorbed into society in a productive way; if not, we have to write them off as uneducable, and I do not think that any member would have the heart to do something like that. I think both the State and the private sector has a job in connection with this to see to it that these children be placed in such a way that they can make a meaningful contribution to the community after they have completed their training.
I want to ask the hon the Minister three things today. The first is whether we cannot investigate teaching other subjects at these schools. What can one do if one leaves that school as a signwriter? What is the demand for it? Could we not introduce other subjects, such as boilermaking, joinery, tiling, security officers, lorry drivers, waitresses, crèche superintendents—young ladies who can work at crèches—and caretakers.
The second thing I want to ask, Mr Chairman, is the following. I want to ask that a fourth year course—an enrichment year—be offered to this little group of people who do in fact go to the technikon. I think that this could contribute to narrowing the gap between the school and the technikon.
In conclusion, I want to ask that the hon the Minister appoints a committee, comprised of representatives from his department, from the Department of Manpower, from the Commission for Administration and from the Department of Commerce and Industry, so that a plan of action may be drawn up on how we can accommodate these children by identifying fields of employment for them. I ask the hon the Minister to please see to this as a matter of urgency so that we can help these people. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I should like to associate myself with the thoughts expressed here by the hon member for Koedoespoort. I should also like to present the matter from another angle to the hon the Minister which is that it was, in fact, Afrikaners who requested permission to hold a festival there on 31 May. If they are to be excluded now—whether the hon the Minister and the Government like it or not—it will create the impression that they have actually been told: “As Afrikaners you are not good enough in our eyes and in the eyes of the House of Assembly. You are in reality fanatics. You are the lunatic right. There is something wrong with you. You are not good enough. This Afrikaner shrine is reserved for those of us remaining in the Broederbond. We are the elite. We are the super Afrikaners. You are the rejects. You are the desert locusts.” [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I wish to warn the hon the Minister that the Government will create that impression. That is the very reason I wish to put it to the Government that it would be wise, especially after Pietersburg and Brits, to say to these people: “Have your festival. We shall not have one. We have not planned a festival. You waited until it was finally clear that we were not organising a festival there. You carry one. You say it will not be a political gathering. Have your festival. Have it on 31 May.” Then, Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister can send his representatives there to make tape recordings of the speeches. If the hon the Minister can subsequently allege that in the light of these speeches those people broke their pledged word and desecrated the sanctity of that monument, he has a case. [Interjections.] Then, Mr Chairman, the hon the Minister has a case which no one will be able to contest. The hon the Minister is therefore—pardon this word—reacting stupidly. Someone said here earlier that I had stopped thinking years ago so please pardon the use of the word “stupid”. I believe, however, that what the hon the Minister is doing now is really not wise.
Were you ever able to think?
The hon the Minister is making a mistake here, Mr Chairman. He knows the Afrikaner well. I am not arguing on the hon the Minister’s behalf; I am arguing on behalf of 31 May. Nevertheless I do not believe it necessary for the hon the Minister to aggravate the emotions flaring among the Afrikaners by saying to this mass of Afrikaners from a variety of organisations: “You are not allowed to go. If anyone goes, it is a matter which affects only us—we who are of the elite.” I believe the hon the Minister should erase that impression; he is able to do so, Mr Chairman. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, if this hon Minister wishes to create a name for himself, if he wishes to distinguish himself as someone able to rise above politics, he will act magnanimously in this situation and permit that festival in spite of decisions already taken. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I also wish to take up the cudgels—and this does not come easily—on behalf of the State President. The State President acted in a way which made it clear to all that in any case he had not said they could not attend that festival.
Or did he perhaps say so?
He placed the responsibility on someone else and so left the door open to our still attending the festival. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I wish to request the hon the Minister to reconsider the decision and to permit the festival on 31 May. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I wish to revert briefly to educational matters. As someone who from both sides … [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Smithfield and the hon member for De Aar do not have turns to speak now. The hon member for Sasolburg may proceed.
From both my father’s side and that of my mother I am descended from families which have been in education for generations. I was attached to the Institute for the Deaf and the Blind at Worcester for many years—and I regard it as a great privilege. At that institution we especially encountered the terrible problem that it was blind children and deaf children, little ones in particular—they were two and a half years old—who arrived at the hostels. My wife saw this in front of our house for many years. That has been the great problem, the great struggle over all the years— and the hon the Minister knows this. Over many years the Transvaal made representations that the school should be moved to the north because the largest number of children attending the school came from there. This was not done because the school had become such a deep-rooted tradition.
I wish to support my hon benchmate regarding Kapenhof so I am making the same appeal to the hon the Minister on behalf of my party. I have taken note of the institution; it is a beautiful one and I have no fault to find with it. I actually think it remarkable that such a foundation and such a tradition could have been established within seven years in this difficult facet of education and training. A foundation has already been laid here which will be destroyed if the school is moved and the children are removed from their parents and their own immediate environment. I therefore appeal to the hon the Minister as well not to move Kapenhof to George.
As regards the Government itself, its educational policy—the framework is laid down in the Act—was that Coloured schools, Indian schools and White schools be separate. Then the hon the Chairman of the Ministers’ Council of the House of Representatives came and said he wanted to throw Coloured schools open and the Chairman of the Ministers’ Council of the House of Delegates followed him so the two of them combined. This was reported in The Citizen of 17 February 1986. It was expressly stated in that report:
It was also remarked that the hon the Minister’s policy was that schools should remain separate but within five days the hon the Minister and the other hon Ministers had capitulated and therefore the Government. This took place within five days and within the framework of the Act to boot! The Act provides:
That is the Minister of National Education—
One principle is that—
I can therefore understand that within the framework of the Act …
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, Sir, I cannot reply to a question now; I have only a few minutes at my disposal. I shall reply to a question if the hon the Minister will sacrifice some of his time.
I said I could understand that within the framework of the Act the Government could give an individual and parents or organisations permission by way of a permit or whatever to make a school mixed. Nevertheless I can trace nothing in the Act which permits this Government, within the framework stated here, to do the same as regards these two components of Parliament, two entire population groups. There is no mention in the Act of this action in respect of population groups. The hon the Chairman of the Ministers’ Councils in the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates respectively did not request that one to five schools be thrown open but requested that a policy be instituted for two population groups in direct contradiction of that regarding the other population group.
Yes, and they are a coalition government.
Even if they are a coalition government, even if they are only acquaintances, this action is not in line with the framework of the Constitution. I cannot understand it and the hon the Minister will have to explain it. I read and read, last night and early this morning, but I could not find out on what grounds the Government had succeeded in this within the framework of this Act.
Nor is that all. What has the Government done regarding the Medunsa University? There the Blacks make threats, strike, hurl missiles at doors and break bottles but they are succumbed to. They say frankly at Medunsa they are doing this for political reasons. So the Government succumbs to the violence of a number of Black medical students who—I wish hon members of the PFP would take note of this—do not want White people at the university for purely Black racist considerations. I now wish to ask the hon the Minister what would happen if we organised our students in Pretoria and Stellenbosch to evict all the Coloureds and Indians there.
Do you want to act like them?
No, I do not want to act as they do.
I am asking the hon the Minister because he is relying on our decency and on the civilised norms of the White man not to do so. If we were to act as the Medunsa Black students do, would the hon the Minister also succumb to us? Hon members should remember we are now living in a world of equality; one person is no longer better than another here. Is that not so? That is the hon the Minister’s approach. If we tackle him on that approach now, is he going to permit us to evict the non-Whites from Pretoria and the 400 non-Whites from Stellenbosch by striking and breaking the place up? I hope the hon the Minister will reply to us on this. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Sasolburg said, especially after Brits and Pietersburg, we should permit the AWB to hold the so-called national festival at the Voortrekker Monument. One is known and judged by one’s conduct. If we gauge the conduct of the AWB at Pietersburg and Brits and we consider what those people could also do to a place like the Voortrekker Monument, I think you will realise he has no right to say we should give consent to the AWB precisely because of their actions.
I do not wish to respond to the other point he stated, because he addressed only the hon the Minister of National Education and we are not discussing that Vote now.
Pik will not be at the Monument. The prima donna will not be there. [Interjections.]
Order! I recognised only the hon member Mr S J Schoeman.
Order! I did not recognise the hon member Dr Vilonel!
When one listens to the utterances of the HNP and the CP, they seem to have claimed the monopoly to speak on behalf of the Whites and the Afrikaner in this Committee. I think that is not only presumptuous but arrogant as well because we on this side of the Commitee are the elected representatives of the Whites. I am participating in this debate on Education and Culture as a Christian Afrikaner parent and as a Christian Afrikaner representative of the White. Consequently when they claim that they are speaking on behalf of the Afrikaner and the White, I do not accept that.
You were not even elected; you were nominated.
I was elected—my electors are sitting in this committee. Unlike the hon member Mr Theunissen, I say that the day I no longer agree, I shall not let my voters down as shamelessly as he has done.
You came in by even fewer votes than the …
Incidentally, I want to ask the hon member for Sasolburg whether it is true that the people in Sasolburg have stickers on their cars reading “Ons werk net hier”. [Interjections.]
There is nothing more future-orientated than education because in five, twenty and thirty years’ time the pupils of today will be the adults who will have to take their places in this country. Whatever we therefore use today in equipping them will be definitive in the way they face the future. A large part of South African youth will still have to fill their places as Christian Afrikaners in the South Africa of tomorrow.
The question now is what type of Afrikaners we wish to prepare to take their places in the world and in society. Do we want to prepare Afrikaners who can maintain their identity and take their places dynamically in the world or do we want them to withdraw to a laager in fear that others will influence them? Do we want to raise isolationist Afrikaner children or frank, extrovert, dynamic youth?
I am convinced that Afrikaner youth are strong enough and well enough equipped to take their places as fully fledged South Africans and exploit their potential to the full in South African society. I am convinced that the majority of the youth do not want to be associated with the caricature the HNP and the CP make of the Afrikaner character which is that of superiority, discrimination, self-righteousness, bossdom, arrogance and suppression.
We do not have one elite organisation as you do! No one! [Interjections.]
School plays an important part in the preparation of the complete Afrikaner but education and upbringing are far wider than mere scholastic education. Such education is only one facet of the educational process; home, church and community also play an important part. The school can therefore never be separated from the community but should bear the impression of the cultural world in which it functions. The school should therefore link up to the community it serves.
In a paper called Opvoeding, Samelewing, Jeug, Dr J W M Pretorius has written an interesting article in which society is explained according to the structure of Gurvitch. It is said that it consists of a complex comprising the following layers:
Laag 2. Die laag van die sosiale organisasie: Sosiale organisasie en menslike kontak. Organisasies van werkers, werkgewers, maatskaplike werk, ontspanning, onderwys, kuns, reg, politiek, kerk …
Laag 3. Die laag van die norme (leef-reëls): Woon-, kleding-en voedingstradisies; sosiale, kulturele, morele, godsdienstige patrone …
Laag 4. Die laag van die waardes: Die innerlikheid van die samelewing word beheers deur hoër kategorieë—die ware, die skone, die goeie, die heilige, deur die drang na suiwerheid van wete, deur estetiese belewinge en waardes, deur regsopvattinge, deur liefde tussen ouer en kind, deur: Jy moet jou naaste liefhê soos jouself. Dus: Deur die totaal van ons sedelike en godsdienstige oortuiginge.
The hon member for Gezina stated very clearly yesterday that the solutions presented for education by the CP and the PFP were a very simplistic view of the matter. As the hon member for Gezina said, the CP inclines simplistically to one side and the PFP simplistically to the opposite. The actual solution lies somewhere between these extreme simplistic poles.
I said the school formed an inextricable part of the society in which it functioned. In consequence, it is right on the one hand that education should be an own affair, as the Government sees it, but, as I also indicated, the child cannot be raised in isolation so that he is ignorant of the outside world and is therefore brought up as a stranger to reality.
In the few minutes remaining, I should like to pay tribute to the teacher who has to play an increasing role in the preparation of the child who has to be able to take his place as a full and complete person in the South Africa of tomorrow. Aristotle realised the entire value of the teacher in saying:
We all know that, as a result of the ever-in-creasing demand society makes of people, it often happens that both parents are absent and the burden on the teacher therefore becomes heavier. The community expects the teacher to fill this void and it is also essential to prepare the teacher for this. Consequently it is wonderfully reassuring to know that the institutions which have to prepare teachers for this also view the matter very positively. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member Mr S J Schoeman will not hold it against me if I do not reply directly to his interesting speech as there are various matters I wish to touch upon with the hon the Minister. I want to add that my hon colleagues will reply in the course of the day to the hon the Minister’s speech which he made earlier.
One of the matters I wish to raise with the hon the Minister comprises details on universities in the Appropriation. I note the total amount has been increased from approximately R656,5 million to R705,39 million, which represents an increase of about 7,4%. Recurring expenses have risen from R573,34 million to R612,21 million which is an increase in the region of R38 million, that is 7,8%.
It is interesting that this increase of 7,8% is appreciably less than the total increase in the main appropriation of expenditure. From the nature of the case it is understandable that increasing demands made on service furnished to the less favoured elements of our population in particular will certainly require that a larger part of our annual budget be allocated to those aspects.
I wish to say—I know the hon the Minister will not differ with me—that universities are the one institution on which savings should be effected with the greatest caution. It has become a cliché to say that universities are the nurseries for our future leaders. Here the reference is not only to the sphere of human sciences, but also to those of natural sciences and technology. If we consider the increasing demands high technology will make of us, it seems absolutely inexorable to me that we should take care that universities are properly financed in this respect and therefore enabled to carry out their work effectively.
It is also mentioned in the annual report in this connection that the so-called refined formula according to which universities were supposed to have been subsidised in 1984 could not be completely carried out in 1985 owing to a shortage of funds. I should like to hear from the hon the Minister how the latest appropriation compares with that of last year in this respect and to what degree it satisfies requirements in the light of the refined subsidisation formula. Is the amount currently provided actually in accordance with that refined formula? If not, what is the shortfall and when can the refined formula be applied in toto?
Regarding this I should also like to know of the hon the Minister whether enough time has elapsed to be able to determine whether the formula is actually such that it completely fulfils the needs of universities.
I should like to know something about the authority for loans too. It appears from last year’s annual report that Treasury approval was granted for an amount of R48½ million which was about R47 million less than the amount actually requested by universities themselves. It was also R7 million less than the Universities and Technikons Advisory Board recommended. In the light of financial circumstances it is clear why this happened but I should like to ask what the current position is here regarding this year’s appropriation.
I was also very interested to note the appropriation for the various universities in the latest appropriation of this department. I note that the University of South Africa actually obtains a large increase, approximately R13 million. I do not wish to go into details but the University of the Witwatersrand receives in the region of R15 million and the University of Pretoria about R30 million. I now see the University of Pretoria receives the largest amount. All I wish to say is that, in spite of all my appreciation of the work of the University of South Africa, we should bear in mind that residential universities actually shoulder a greater burden than a correspondence university like Unisa.
It has also become extremely difficult for parents—hon members are aware of this themselves—to meet the costs of university attendance at a residential university. Apart from bursaries which have to be provided, the burden placed on parents sending their children to a residential university should certainly be a telling consideration in future budgets. The situation cannot continue in which universities have to use increases in tuition and accommodation fees in an attempt to compensate for the lack of the necessary State subsidisation.
Incidentally, there is an amount here for a supplementary subsidy, according to the formula, of approximately R2 million and I should like an explanation of it as well as of those other amounts which are included as additional assistance to put these universities on a par with the average obligations of older residential universities etc.
In this regard I also wish to refer to details on pages 48 and 49 of the annual report on the subsidisation of universities and technikons. I should like to express my concern at the large amount, no less than R79,5 million, appropriated for interest on and capital redemption of private and State loans. I do not want us to land in the situation in which the country finds itself in the sense that the payment of interest ultimately rests increasingly heavily on the economy. I do not know what the solution is to this but wish to suggest that there be serious consideration of this problem of the increasing amount which is required for interest and capital redemption.
As regards the quota system, this leads me to section 25 of the Universities Act of 1955 as well as section 25 of the Technikons (National Education) Act of 1967. We debated this matter when these Acts were amended here a few years ago and I wish to tell the hon the Minister that the retention of those quota provisions in the legislation is actually a blot on the entire reform movement. Surely there should be sufficient confidence that universities will act with responsibility in admitting students.
I wish to tell the hon the Minister, in conjunction with all the other arguments we used at the time, that the quota provision in these two Acts should disappear as soon as possible. It appears to me to be really difficult to convince people of the bona fides of the Government while fear of these coercive provisions still exist in reality. I wish to request the hon the Minister to pay urgent attention to the possible repeal of these provisions in the two sections of this legislation.
There is also mention in the annual report of various research projects which the department undertook and I have an urgent request that, when the results of those research projects are available, they also be released to wider circles. I am referring to the research project on educational law and the one on human relations which is an investigation into the promotion of sound human, popular and race relations by means of education. This is fundamental research work undertaken here and from the nature of the case this elicits interest in far wider circles—not only in the department—on the results of the research. I should very much like to know when we may expect the results.
The project included the question of pupil density, educational structures and a feasibility study related to a network for the use of computer-assisted education in the light of the fact that we are aware that education will have to make increasing use of new developments in the computer field.
Order! I regret to inform the hon member that his time has expired.
Mr Chairman, I rise merely to afford the hon member the opportunity of completing his speech.
Order! The hon member Prof Olivier may proceed after 14h15.
Business suspended at 12h45 and resumed at 14h15.
Mr Chairman, I wish to express my thanks to the hon Whip of the Government party for the opportunity of proceeding with my speech.
On this occasion I should like to draw the hon the Minister’s attention to two matters which I regard as important educational aspects. I do not wish to go into the division between own and general affairs or that separate ministries and education departments exist. The Minister indicated with justification that that was a matter laid down by the Constitution and my colleague the hon member for Bryanston clearly and repeatedly stated our standpoint in this regard. What I wish to discuss with the hon the Minister, however, is an important educational aspect which is the way in which one can overcome the possible adverse consequences arising from that isolation. This is certainly a problem which concerns me a great deal. The hon member Mr S J Schoeman said this morning that the task of education was inter alia to make the child aware of the community in which he lived and in which he would ultimately have to take his place. In South Africa that community consists of society in general and not merely the narrower community or group to which he belongs in the narrower cultural milieu which he occupies as such. He should realise his place and his duty in society at large. Education has an enormously important role to play in his conception of his place and role, not only within his own school, but also to face up to the challenge presented to him in the broader society of which he forms a part. I really experience difficulties in this respect because, in consequence of the isolation which may arise from the various educational systems and ministries, there is a possibility that the child may not be fully prepared to take his place in a broader society in which he will ultimately have to operate. Consequently I wish to tell the hon the Minister that, if we wish to improve human relations in a broader sense, as envisaged by the research project to which I referred this morning, I wish to inquire whether that research project will also be concentrated on determining what ways and means may be found, in spite of isolation, to bring about a degreee of togetherness and communality in the education of our children.
There are many steps which may be taken but I wish to request the hon the Minister to have his department take the initiative in this regard. We cannot expect other departments to take this initiative. I want to tell the hon the Minister immediately that he is just as well aware as I am that a considerable amount of suspicion, aggression and hatred exist between the various population groups and that this is a result in considerable measure of the degree of division and isolation in which we live. It now appears to me that education could be an important instrument in eliminating that very suspicion and hatred but this can be accomplished only if we deliberately take the trouble to do so. The hon the Minister and his department are in a key position to accomplish this. I request that specific attention be paid to the possibility of promoting closer contact between teachers not only at national but also regional and local level—granted the sensitivity of the situation. I do not wish to deny that sensitivity may exist on this but closer contact between teachers themselves may be of assitance. The same applies to closer contact among scholars, for instance through liaison between pupil and student councils. There should also be closer contact in the sphere of parent-teacher associations. Personal contact is the only effective way in which suspicion may be eliminated. I wish to request the hon the Minister to give this matter his particular attention.
A second matter related to this is the danger of duplication. I read about the activities of the Advancement of Sciences Subdirectorate with great interest. I do not have time to enlarge on this as I have only half a minute left but it appears to me that there would be unnecessary duplication if other education departments carried out the same project as this one and that the fruits and results achieved by the hon the Minister’s department would harm the country if they were limited to White education. I therefore request that what is accomplished by this department be made available to the other departments and that this be done in consultation, conjunction and co-operation with the other education departments. If nothing is done in this sphere, we shall be guilty of an offence against the future of our country and of its people.
Mr Chairman, the hon member Prof Olivier put a whole series of questions to the hon the Minister on certain aspects of the Appropriation. He also stated certain views on it which are not exactly controversial. He appealed for a better subsidisation system for universities and made certain comments on improved research facilities which I cannot fault. I assume the hon the Minister will reply to him comprehensively in any case on the more technical questions on the appropriation for education.
The hon member also expressed his criticism of the quota system by which those of colour are admitted to universities. That system is calculated to deal with a situation which takes cognisance of South African realities and I wish to tell the hon member that this is obviously not a static situation. To my mind it is not only possible but predictable that certain needs will arise in the light of ever-changing circumstances and that the system may have to be reviewed. Obviously no system of permits or quotas is ever ideal but, as circumstances change, the Government will certainly also make the necessary adjustments here.
I should like to raise a matter with the hon the Minister related to one of the lesser-known functions of this department which is the education of mentally retarded children. These are children incapable of making any progress in ordinary or special schools and I think it is particularly suitable this year— after all, 1986 is the Year of the Disabled— that we emphasise this particular function and I even want to say, laudable task of the department.
It is said that methodical care of the disabled is an indication of a people’s cultural maturity and, measured against that yardstick, South Africa as a reasonably young country can definitely lay claim to a very good record. We have undoubtedly already proved our cultural coming of age, if one may call it that.
There is provision in our system for two categories or age groups among the mentally retarded—mentally retarded children and mentally retarded adults—of which only the former are actually the responsibility of this department. Provision is made for their care and training in so-called day centres whereas retarded adults are accommodated in institutions known as aftercare centres.
At present the requirements for admission to these day centres—these are laid down by Act 63 of 1974—apply to children in the six to 18 age group who are excused normal school attendance on the basis of their ineducability but who may still benefit from specialised training because of their trainability.
Children under six and above 18 may also be admitted by way of special departmental approval. In practice it happens that children are admitted from the age of three and in exceptional cases age limits may also be increased from 18 to 21.
It obviously creates a great problem for the parents of such children in particular when their connection with day centres has to be ended in this way at a certain stage.
Although the State provides for the care of adults, that is those over 21, it is a fact that there are often no suitable aftercare centres for a child who has to leave the day centre. In most cases children still require care after they have turned 18—although cases obviously vary. This is the one unfortunate aspect of the otherwise laudable service of the department that children’s connection with such centres where they are cared for usually has to end at 18 and in exceptional cases at 21.
It is understandable that a mentally retarded child becomes far more emotionally attached to and dependent upon such an institution than is the case in the relationship of a normal child with his ordinary school. To the retarded child the termination of that connection is very much more traumatic. He finds difficulty in coping with it and this often results in derangement and maladjustment. One may say that the vital core disappears from his life when he is cut off from that institution.
This brings me to a need which exists in this regard and which I should like to bring to the hon the Minister’s attention on this occasion. There is an urgent need for a State-aided aftercare centre in my part of the world—the Eastern Cape. Of course, I am aware that this is a matter which is not the exclusive responsibility of this hon Minister and his department. Nevertheless I wish to appeal earnestly today that the hon the Minister intercede for us in the Ministers’ Council in order to assist us in this way to obtain such a facility in that part of the world.
Once again I wish to link this request to the fact that 1986 is the Year of the Disabled. In addition I shall put forward the following reasons: I can picture no finer or better achievement in the sphere of welfare than that the foundation be laid for the establishment of such a facility in the Eastern Cape this year—the Year of the Disabled. A great deal is already being done for mentally retarded adults in other parts of the country. More could and should definitely be done in the Eastern Cape to provide for their care and training.
There are two institutions in and around Port Elizabeth; I am referring to Lake Farm and to Rainbow Workshop. The problem is that both these institutions have long waiting lists; according to the latest information at my disposal, Lake Farm has a waiting list of approximately 200. In consequence, parents and welfare organisations have perpetual problems in placing retarded adults somewhere. It may be appreciated that parents are reluctant to send such children away for admission to this type of institution. They prefer placing the children in institutions as close as possible to their homes. Currently this is almost impossible.
It so happens that there is a golden opportunity at present to establish such an institution with the necessary financial assistance— this will probably have to come from the State—in the little town of Riebeeck East where there is a suitable site and buildings. The buildings will have to be renovated and the necessary personnel provided to care for the retarded there.
It would obviously be preferable for such an institution to be established in the metropolitan area of Port Elizabeth-Despatch-Uitenhage. If finance is no problem, we should prefer to have the State assist us in establishing it in the metropolis. We are only too aware that finance remains a problem so Riebeeck East becomes a totally acceptable proposition; nor is the distance to Reibeeck East too great.
Such a step could also include other benefits. Firstly, it would mean that an existing capital asset would be put to very good use. Further, it would provide an appreciable economic injection into a country town like Riebeeck East. I am thinking in particular of the body ROEP—“Red Ons Eensame Platteland”—in the Eastern Cape and I can imagine how much it would mean to that organisation if such facilities could be created by which at least one small town would become more viable again. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I wish to associate myself with the hon member for Sundays River as regards the portion of his speech on retarded children and I want to say we greatly appreciate what is being done today in many educational spheres for our retarded children. I think it is necessary, we are in agreement on this and we shall always support it.
Our life style is determined by a Christiannational concept. To the Afrikaner, religion and culture are the deepest motivating forces which determine the acts of a person or a people. One’s faith and one’s religion should also leave their stamp on one’s education. This implies that ethnic identity is essential to every people. A people should live according to God’s law because each particular ethnic group has a particular calling. The Creator’s plan for this world laid down that there should be various peoples. The Christian and ethnic character of educational teaching should be maintained as a first principle and to our minds it should be superimposed on other principles. Educational training should therefore correspond with Biblical norms. One should carry out one’s formative labour in obedience to God’s law, in execution of His cultural instruction to us, according to Genesis 1:28 which is the first cultural instruction ever issued.
In our times materialism has unfortunately exercised too great an influence on our Christian culture because prosperity—in which the amount of profit made is dominant—and all other matters are subordinated to this. Culturally active fulfilment, like a distinctive language, religion, life style, history and own traditions, should be represented in education and in consequence we say own schools, own departments and own educators are very important.
We should strike a good balance between the attachment to eternal and enduring values on the one hand and the openness of a productive future on the other. Being anchored to what is one’s own, causes people to live outwards successfully without fear of oppression. Once the child has learnt that his firm foundation lies in his heritage, he can live outwards without fear and then he will already have a love for his heritage and be able to contribute outwards as a successful and culturally mature person.
What one is to be one day when one is mature already lies locked in the small child and this has to be discovered and exploited; it has to be expanded. Who are the people responsible for this successful humanising of the child? They are firstly the parents, the people at home—and in particular the mother—who have to lead and develop the child by way of example because he will remember what he sees as early as that. After his sixth birthday this task is taken further with the co-operation of the teacher. Even the Church has to contribute to the child’s attainment or maturity which is a long and arduous road. Those who know will agree with me on this.
In the first instance this takes place through education and in the second through the assimilation of knowledge. The child has to be taught how to apply his knowledge because knowledge is power. Knowledge is knowing in that to believe, what to desire and what to do. The ability to acquire and to use knowledge should be developed in the child—within the cultural context—so the teacher fulfils a very great need here. Every generation over the centuries must have had reasons to regard their problems as unique but I wish to state without fear of contradiction that the child of our times is being challenged to adapt himself to circumstances which are changing at an accelerating pace. Urbanisation, housing density, overpopulated residential areas, leisure resorts and places of amusement—all these aspects make an enormous onslaught on the child’s privacy and his time. The child no longer has room or time to play or actually still to be a child. Only too soon he has to observe and start experiencing adult life with all its consequences.
Because the future will make even more demands of the child, and of the leaders of tomorrow, it is important to equip the child very well. Communication media result in the world and its influences being felt in every home; the child no longer wants to think—he only wants to watch. Other people now think for him and this is reflected to him “on the box”—as it is commonly referred to. The quality of what he sees and experiences is not always conducive to the child’s education. Many examples could be cited in this regard but unfortunately there is no time for this today.
Images are disseminated rapidly and opportunities for steering people’s thoughts in certain directions are absolutely unlimited. For the sake of the salvation, the unique quality and independence of each individual child, he should now be taught to recognise this subtle influence and to understand it.
The great communist Marx said that communism would not conquer the world through the barrel of a gun but without having to fire a single shot. He provided the recipe which is very easy too. Today certainly see how it is becoming reality in our modern lives. The first tactic is to destroy ethical norms; to undermine people morally and to dismantle and question their religious standards. Efforts also have to be made to undermine family fife; we see today what broken marriages can do to the fife of our people. People have to be made materialistic so that their priorities may be disturbed.
It is precisely the task of the parent, the teacher and the Church to identify these matters and to make the child aware of the dangers. Consequently the teacher is indispensable and the educationist plays a very important part—actually an enormously important part—because on close examination education is the parent profession to all other professions. All other professions arise from it and can only be attained if the necessary training is supplied. The influence of the teacher runs through all the arteries of the national economy and also through those of the private sector. The fruits of an effective and purposeful corps of teachers is clearly recognisable and indispensable everywhere in our society and to this corps of teachers—from the newest teacher who has entered the profession this year to the one invested with the highest authority—go our heartfelt thanks.
Now, Mr Chairman, I wish to comment briefly on married women in education. Married women have a very, very great share in the education of our children today. It is also right and proper that this should be so because I believe that nobody is better able to understand a child than a mother is. Nevertheless I believe there is one aspect of a married woman’s fife which we could really treat more sympathetically. This is the confinement leave she is granted. After all, the woman is the person capable of building up a good race. If a married woman could therefore be granted confinement leave on full salary when she applies for it, she could hope to be treated with more understanding instead of always having to weigh the pros and cons on exactly how it would suit her.
As regards confinement leave, I should say the position of married women in education should be examined very, very thoroughly. If it is possible, I wish to request that the married woman in education be granted confinement leave of 4½ months on full salary and she will provide the country— we may be all sure of this—with a very good future citizen.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Germiston District always makes serious speeches about matters which she sincerely believes in. I respect that, and that is my attitude in respect of her speech today.
I want to react mainly to a few remarks made by her colleague the hon member for Rissik, however, and also to certain of his actions. [Interjections.] The hon member for Rissik is the CP’s main spokesman on educational matters. As such, one would expect him to listen attentively when the hon the Minister of Education and Culture makes a speech here. I watched the hon member for Rissik here today, however, while the hon the Minister was speaking, and I must say there was scarcely one moment during the speech of the hon the Minister during which the hon member for Rissik paid attention to him. He sat there nattering away to his colleagues around him all the time, and was not interested in what the hon the Minister was saying. That is not the approach one would expect of such an hon member. [Interjections.] It is true that the hon members of the CP are not interested in debating in any case. They are not interested in an interaction of arguments, in weighing up arguments one against the other. They cling for dear life to preconceived ideas. I want to say that politically they are inflexible people with whom one cannot argue.
That is not true!
This is an approach which was manifested by the hon member for Rissik here yesterday. At the end of his speech the hon member said he had heard that Prof Mike De Vries had said the University of Stellenbosch was ready to open its hostels to non-White students. Prof Mike de Vries is, of course, the rector of the University of Stellenbosch.
Let us test the sincerity of the hon member for Rissik; and let us test his willingness and his ability to strive for the bare truth. A few weeks ago, one night when the House had just adjourned, and I was walking into the parking garage across the road, the hon member for Rissik and some of his colleagues walked into the garage as well. We talked to one another. After all, I am not angry with the hon members. I merely feel sorry for them, and regret the damage they are doing to our country. That is why I speak to them. In any case, while we were talking, he said to me: “Yes, and now Mike de Vries wants to throw Stellenbosch wide open to the Coloureds.” When he said that, I immediately said I doubted that statement. I told him I did not believe it. The hon member told me he had proof. Inevitably and immediately I did the obvious thing and told the hon member I would like to see that proof. He promised me I would get it. Then the long wait began. I waited and waited, and got no proof. I went to my post-box regularly to see whether the proof was there, but it remained empty of proof. [Interjections.]
I then did the next thing. I went to the hon member myself on 14 May and asked him whether it was possible for him to give me the proof then. Evasively the hon member told me he would give it to me. I became suspicious and began to think the hon member had no such proof. Yesterday, without my ever having received the proof from the hon member, he made this statement here in the House of Assembly. I then did what the hon member could have done himself. I picked up the telephone and called Prof De Vries and asked him whether that was what he had said. On the other side of the telephone Prof De Vries nearly fell off his chair. He said he had never said any such thing, and that he did not know where the hon member had come by the nonsense he had uttered in this highest Council Chamber in this country. [Interjections.]
I want to tell hon members I believe Prof De Vries. I have known him for 36 years, since that first day when we walked into Dagbreek, our hostel, as first-year students. I speak to him regularly. I know his innermost thoughts. I know what he thinks and I know what he is planning for the future. That is why I knew in the first place that what the hon member had told me in the parking garage that night could not have been true. It was an unchecked piece of gossip which was presented here as fact. I want to say the hon member’s express purpose was to harm Stellenbosch and the Rector of the University of Stellenbosch and to sow suspicion against them. The hon member for Rissik and his hon colleagues are the greatest exponents of the technique of disinformation this country has ever seen.
If that does work, they use apples.
They live on disinformation. For want of workable alternative policy for the problems of this country, they simply follow a strategy of sowing confusion and suspicion. I want to remind the hon member that the technique he is using here is precisely the technique which is used by his greatest enemy. I am talking about the Marxists and the Leninists. Lenin told his people to do the following when they were striving for a specific objective:
I leave it to the hon member and the hon members in this Committee to determine for themselves to what extent the hon member is a perfect follower of Lenin’s dogma. [Interjections.]
The hon member went even further, because the rightists are always very obsessed with Stellenbosch. He said we had begun to get left-wing militant young leaders in Stellenbosch during the past few decades, and he was very worried about that.
What about Van Zyl Slabbert?
I want to reply to the hon member’s arguments. That is why I am quoting only briefly. In addition he said lecturing members of staff were involved in this. He said the CP and other conservative people would take a very careful look at these left-wing lecturers, who have become political activists rather than professional instructors at our tertiary educational institutions. They are big shots now! They want to take a careful look at the lecturers at the University of Stellenbosch. I wonder what they think they are going to do once they have finished doing that. [Interjections.]
I want to admit, however, that it is true, that a very definite left-wing onslaught is being conducted against Stellenbosch at present. I told the hon member that too.
From inside or from outside?
It has been in progress for some time.
Stellenbosch is a very important target for the leftists in South Africa. They are not really making progress, however. They move to a climax, and then to an anticlimax. At present they are exceptionally active, but I think that since we in Stellenbosch have always been prepared for their action, the hon members can leave those people to us. The leftists are very much in the minority in Stellenbosch in any case, as are the right-wingers; indeed, there are even fewer right-wingers than there are leftists.
You would be surprised.
Stellenbosch’s community is predominantly balanced, stable and responsible, and this has always been the case. The hon member must leave Stellenbosch’s lecturers alone, unless he is prepared to mention their names, since I can think of no good reason as to why all lecturers should be placed under suspicion because the hon member does not have the courage of his convictions to give the people’s names to the hon the Minister or to his Committee. [Interjections.] I shall say no more about the hon member.
I have not finished with you yet!
I shall not have the opportunity to make my prepared speech, but I do want to speak to the hon member for Sasolburg as well. He is also obsessed with Stellenbosch.
I have been there!
He asked whether the Government, for example, would give in to the demands of the Stellenbosch students if they were to strike in protest against the presence of 400 non-White students in Stellenbosch. The hon member is dreaming. We shall not strike in Stellenbosch. The Stellenbosch students accept their non-White fellow citizens in a civilized way as fellow students on the campus.
They are allowed to live in the hostels!
I have finished replying on the hostel matter and I want to conclude my speech. Not even the few stray CP and HNP members on our campus would be prepared to strike about this matter.
You practise double standards.
Stellenbosch has embarked on the course of the future unwaveringly and with enthusiasm. It is a course leading to a new, tolerant South Africa in which there will be no room for supporters of the CP, the HNP and the AWB. Stellenbosch left behind—far behind—the right-wingers among our number a long time ago and they will never catch up with us again.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Stellenbosch made some interesting remarks especially about the University of Stellenbosch. I want to tell him that one cannot argue against the existence of a Marxist ideology on campuses throughout South Africa. There are definitely people who put it forward. The dilemma that arises is whether it should be freely and openly taught and debated to enable students to broaden their minds and decide for themselves what the best social system for society is. If one is not armed against the dangers of different social orders, how on earth does one combat them? The fact that it exists on the campuses is an open secret. The question is to what extent is it used to undermine the university and force it in a certain direction?
The hon the Minister’s debate has turned into more than just an educational one and I am sure that he will agree with that.
No, I was referring purely to education. Where culture is concerned, however, one has of course been pitched right into the political arena.
Chickens certainly do come home to roost! It really does not ring true when the hon the Minister of Education and Culture says that members of school committees should not be appointed on a political basis. [Interjections.] For years and years that has been the forté of that very party!
For 50 years!
I think the hon the Minister should just leave that matter alone so that it can follow its own course. The parents themselves will see the danger of electing the wrong people onto the school bodies. However to make an issue of it now will only compound the problem because the source from which it comes is not believed. Nobody believes that sort of statement. People will think that the Government is saying it in order to try to continue with what it has been doing all the time.
I think the hon the Minister is talking from own experience when he broaches this matter.
Of course! One can read it on his face! [Interjections.]
It is clear that the days of the NP are over. [Interjections.] The NP has to decide very clearly where it wants to go with matters concerning culture. It should not keep a foot in both camps as the old United Party did. The only political party in this country that can build a strong moderate centre with which this country can be saved is that very party—the power is in the hands of the NP. If they keep fiddling away in the hope of winning back the CP voters they are merely wasting time.
Order! I trust the hon member for King William’s Town is talking to the Vote. I think he should return to it.
Thank you, Mr Chairman. I though that had a slight touch of culture in it! [Interjections.]
I would like to clarify one or two points concerning the Government’s approach to cultural matters because if affects so drastically their attitude towards educational institutions. We have examples of small subcultures which by virtue of their isolation become a danger to themselves. They are not in sufficient contact with the people around them. Two of these are the SA Police and the SA Defence Force. I am not knocking those organisations but I am saying that by virtue of their functions—particularly those of the SA Police—they have a subculture, and their contacts with the country as a whole are not healthy. It would have been better if their educational process had given them a better understanding in their formative years to enable them to perform their very difficult task.
Like the Cabinet!
The Government is so fond of saying that we have a multicultural country, but it does not take the logical and obvious steps necessary to incoporate that diversity in a structure which has a balanced dynamic so that those cultural entities can interreact positively. The Government deals with this phenomenon in such a way that the intersubjectivity is not there and the conflict potential remains unresolved.
I want to discuss this question in relation to individual communities and their schools. The Government has to acknowledge that, in the multicultural situation in which we live, there are circumstances in which schools should have the right to decide the nature of their service to their respective communities in the best interests of those communities. That is our view.
I cannot remember the word the hon the Minister used, but he suggested in his speech that allowing individual communities this right would result in a mix-up. I do not agree with this. Communities are aware of their responsibilities vis-á-vis their neighbouring communities. They are aware how best to cope with their interaction and interrelationship with other communities around them. They are best able to feel those things and to talk to the other population groups at ground level.
By giving individual communities the right to decide on the nature of their schools, the Government would not be doing away with own affairs. It would be devolving the right of determining own affairs to where it belongs. If the Government goes on using the words “devolution of power” without following that concept through by actually devolving power to the lowest possible community level, the term will become discredited.
So many terms which contain great solutions to the country’s problems have been put into practice ineffectively by the Government. This always makes me think of someone trying to remove a burnt-out bolt from an exhaust manifold. They are very difficult to get off! He uses a metric spanner on a Whitworth or BSF nut. In attempting this he rounds off all the corners, and he then has to take the bolt off with a hacksaw and drill the stud out afterwards. He will probably also have to buy a new block. That illustrates what is happening to the concept of the devolution of power. We have to devolve power to the communities and allow them to make that sort of decision.
During this session three traditional Cape Peninsula schools which by no stretch of the imagination would want to give away their traditions, customs and culture, have opted to admit pupils of other races. They will decide the basis upon which this is to be done and come to terms with the local community.
Unless the hon the Minister is prepared to apply that flexibility of culture within the context of own affairs, own affairs will become discredited.
Mr Chairman, I shall be discussing very much the same topic as the hon member for King William’s Town. In the course of my speech I will be referring to much of what he said, and particularly to the point he made about giving people the right to determine their hown affairs.
I want to discuss the question of enforced segregation in White schools, a subject on which the hon the Minister has issued a statement today as far as it concerns private schools, and about which he made some broader comments as well.
At the outset let me make it quite clear that it is the PFP’s policy not to exclude any pupil on grounds of race from a school funded with public money.
Considering the position we are in today, there are certain questions which have to be addressed. Firstly, we must ask what is in the best interests of White pupils, and here I am speaking in terms of this debate; secondly, we must ask what is in the best interests of South Africa; and thirdly, whether freedom of individual choice should not be provided for.
Let us look firstly at what is in the best interests of White pupils. First of all, as regards educational considerations, one of the main objectives of education is to prepare pupils for life. In South Africa that means preparing pupils for life in a society in which they are going to have to work, live, play and govern with all races. Allowing schools to open their doors to pupils of all races, will promote a greater understanding of a wider diversity of people. It will provide a stimulating school environment and promote an ethos of sharing and caring within those schools and within our communities.
As far as the broader community considerations are concerned the schools as such would be more relevant to the society in which they are functioning. The schools would be able to make a positive contribution towards alleviating the educational crisis in South Africa.
Last year the HSRC published their report on intergroup relations and made a number of observations of great relevance to education. I should like to refer to some of these:
Further on it is stated that:
My last quote from this report is from page 173:
Let us look at the current situation. In terms of section 14 and Schedule 1 of the Republic of South Africa Constitution Act, to which the hon the Minister referred this morning, educational matters are a group’s own affairs. Education, in this context, comprises primary, secondary, tertiary, academic, technical, correspondence and other types of education. So, in fact, it includes all education except, possibly, a bit of technical training which the Department of Manpower handles.
The De Lange report on education sets out 11 principles. Two of these are:
The Government has accepted these principles. In its proposed policy guidelines, the report recommended that—
Arising from the De Lange report we had the Interim Education Working Party which was appointed by the Government. Their recommendations included the following:
Among those who signed that report were Dr P S Meyer, former Director-General of National Education and Director of Education in the Cape Province, and Dr J H Jooste, now Director of Education and Culture for Whites.
In the Government’s 1983 White Paper on the Provision of Education, in its response to these various documents its initial standpoint is reiterated as follows:
That is the basic standpoint of the Government, but in practice there are a number of variations from this principle. Paragraph 14 of Schedule 1 of the Constitution makes provision for the rendering of services to persons who are not members of the population group in question. The hon the Minister referred to that in his speech this morning and he explained the private school situation.
The White Paper also makes the following provision:
On Tuesday of this week, in question No 27, I asked the hon the Minister of Education and Development Aid, among other things, whether permission for Black pupils to enrol at Government schools for Coloureds and Indians has to be obtained from his department, and if not, from whom such permission is to be obtained. The hon the Minister replied that such permission need not be obtained from his department. He added: “Permission is to be obtained from the Ministers concerned”. It is therefore quite clear that the power to make such decisions lies in the hands of this hon the Minister as far as attendance at White schools is concerned.
In practice there are numerous deviations from official policy, even in attitude. At a news conference in January of this year, the hon the Deputy Minister of Constitutional Development and Planning was quoted in The Argus of 23 January 1986. The article reads as follows:
And further on:
Mr Badenhorst said. Questioned about the reasons for this, Mr Badenhorst said:
This article shows that there is a variation in attitude towards this matter, but what is actually happening in practice?
Correspondence colleges are permitted to provide instruction to all population groups. This is not in line with the original own affairs concept of the Constitution. This is only the first example where this hon the Minister—and I am very pleased that he does so— is guilty of aiding and abetting contraventions of the own affairs concept on a grand scale. I think he should be proud of it and I am very pleased about the extent to which it happens. Correspondence colleges are just the first example of what is happening in practice.
Order! I regret to inform the hon member that his time has expired.
Mr Chairman, I rise merely to afford the hon member the opportunity to complete his speech.
Mr Chairman, I would like to thank the hon Whip for giving me the opportunity of completing my speech.
The first example is correspondence colleges. The second example is that, despite the own affairs concept, private schools are permitted to be multiracial and the Government is subsidising them. Moreover, if I interpret correctly the hon the Minister’s announcement made this morning, it seems as if they are to be subsidised on a non-racial basis.
The third example is universities. In terms of the Constitution they also are own affairs. In practice, however, universities and their residences are open to all without any racial quota applying. That is, in other words, another contravention of the own affairs concept.
Coloured schools are admitting Black pupils, which is also a contravention of the own affairs concept.
The last example I want to mention is that White Government schools admit children of Black diplomats and other “special” cases of children who are not White, which is a further contravention of the provision in the Constitution Act.
This means that then the hon the Minister talks about education having to comply with the Constitution, he is quite correct, but he cannot hide behind the Constitution as being a reason for not applying flexibility, because in as number of areas flexibility has already been applied and, I might add, with a great deal of benefit and very few problems.
The hon the Minister will accept that there are considerable differences in the approach of English-and Afrikaans-speaking White parents towards the education of their children. I am not asking the hon the Minister to choose sides. All I am asking is that he allow others to choose for themselves.
The hon the Minister knows that Afrikaners were subjected to cultural arrogance and imperialism in education on occasions in the past. Surely he would prefer not to repeat that in any shape or form. [Interjections.] The evidence is quite clear that many English-speaking parents wish their schools to be open to pupils of all races. Moreover, the number is increasing rapidly.
Do you want it 50/50?
Let us consider the facts. Of all the English medium private schools in South Africa—the ones that actually have a choice at present—84% are already multiracial. Where freedom of choice exists in private schools, 84% of those schools are already multiracial. An independent survey carried out last month found that only 12% of English-speakers want no schools to be open to all races. Of the English-speakers 88% want some schools open and 43% of English-speaking Whites want all schools to be open. What is more, the number of English-speakers favouring the opening of all schools, has doubled over the past five years. [Interjections.]
The third example—and the hon member for King William’s Town referred to it—is that the parent bodies of some English-medium White Government schools have voted overwhelmingly in favour of their schools being open to pupils of all races.
The trend is quite clear. The preferences of the majority of English-speaking parents are also quite clear. Quite simply, they do not believe that Whites-only schools are in the best educational interests of their children in South Africa in 1986.
I ask the hon the Minister to address this issue seriously and urgently, but not in a spirit of confrontation and neither on the basis of capitulation.
Times and circumstances change. The need for tolerance and flexibility is greater than ever before. I appeal to the hon the Minister to allow schools the freedom of choice to admit pupils of all races. He has the power to do it. He should not miss the opportunity to make a significant contribution towards alleviating the educational crises facing South Africa. Such a contribution would be significant not because of the short-term quantitative effect, but because of the impact that such a gesture, sincerely made, would have.
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Cape Town Gardens gave us a long spiel about open schools and group relations, but I believe the hon the Minister gave a clear exposition of his standpoint on private and integrated schools in his introductory speech yesterday.
I just want to tell the hon member that that is also the standpoint of hon members on this side of the Committee. It is endorsed by the Constitution, and I want to associate myself with the standpoints put by the hon the Minister yesterday.
The hon member spoke about group relations, but surely it is not only the task of the school to encourage good group relations—I find nothing wrong with that—but it is also the task of every organisation and every individual to build up good attitudes across group boundaries and to get to know one another. In this connection I want to add that in my opinion we should bring the Black languages into our schools to a greater extent as a medium to encourage good group relations.
I want to talk about a specific matter that affects my constituency. The hon the Minister already knows what this is all about. We who live in vast rural areas, have to contend every day and in every sphere with the struggle for continued existence and the diminishing population figures which affect the rural areas for various reasons which I shall not discuss today.
Because there are fewer and fewer job opportunities in the rural areas, and our country has changed from being primarily an agricultural country to being a mining and industrial country, the young people with higher educational qualifications have moved away from the rural areas in their search for job opportunities. This has brought about an ageing in the rural areas, because as a result of urbanisation, there are better diversions elsewhere, and because people are inclined to flock together, overcrowding has occurred in the urban areas.
It is also true that even distribution cannot normally be effected in a country, especially not in a country like ours. That is a given fact which we have to accept. Certain limitations play a part in this respect, for example the available resources, markets and distances. That is why mankind moves in the direction of the economic forces.
As far as the rural areas are concerned in the given circumstances, what we have there must be developed to the maximum degree, because this affects the fundamental continued existence and the deepest culture of man. If one can single out two primary factors around which culture in the rural areas revolves, they are the church and the school. This is the case in the rural areas as a result of fewer diversions as well as the fact that peole know one another better, that a better spirit prevails among the people. In the concrete jungle one so easily finds that people live next to one another, but do not konw who their neighbours are, what church they belong to or where the children go to school, and so on. There is no question of this in the rural areas. There is a greater involvement. The church and the school are the two factors which unite the rural community. This happens on occasions such as the church and school bazaars, the feast of thanksgiving and athletics meetings.
In 1931, 37% of the White population lived in rural areas. According to the 1980 census survey, the percentage had dropped to 11%. It had dropped from 679 000 to just over 493 000. This is a tendency which is increasing in proportion. Once again I say the church and the school are the conservative elements in the rural communities.
In earlier years we had the opportunity to receive theatrical companies in the rural areas. Such visits have become fewer and fewer as a result of the high costs and long distances, and the fact that the necessary facilities are not always available. Stages are not always suitable for ballet, for example, and so on. In the early days, theatrical companies such as the Hanekom group and the Johan Fourie group visited the rural areas. These days, however, the communities are almost exclusively dependent on themselves to practise their culture.
There is no universal way of practising culture in the country. Each area has something of its own. In the Boland, one talks about “witblits”, and in the Transvaal about “mampoer”. Each region has something peculiar to it.
The influence of urbanised culture has also reached the rural areas today. This can be seen as a supplement, however. The rural areas are doing a great deal today, for example, to promote tourism and so on to make mutual influencing possible. In the Western Cape there are wine routes; in the Southern Cape there is talk of a merino route. Coincidentally we also received brochures about the food and wine festival in Worcester today. This shows that the rural areas want to offer something to their fellow citizens and the urbanites. I should like to quote an extract which appeared in Die Burger recently under the heading, “Die Karoo lok in die Winter”. A person who really loves a braai, would be able to smell the meat cooking as it were! I quote:
[Interjections.] Reference is made to a number of other things as well. An effort is being made to bring something about the farm culture home to the urbanite. There is talk of hunting opportunities, in which one can cut one’s springbok biltong; one can let it dry there, and it can be conveyed to the city later. One can also visit the farm to see where a sheep is shorn or dipped. That is what is being offered to those who are interested and I am aware that some hon members have made use of this. Hon members who are interested can contact me or Mr Hennie Kriel in Fraserburg, who will arrange such visits.
I want to plead for the preservation of our rural schools and churches. We have diminishing numbers in the rural areas. That is true, but if we want to decentralise, we may never allow the rural schools to disappear. We must give enough teachers the opportunity to keep the extramural activities going there, because for every teacher who leaves the rural areas, the workload increases for those who remain. One later has the position that sport, recreation and land service become the responsibility of too few teachers. The first thing a prospective co-operative clerk or doctor does, is to contact the school to find out what subjects are taught at the school. We cannot decentralise if the rural schools collapse, because they keep the community going.
Mr Chairman, I do not want to follow the hon member for Beaufort West in his subject, as I should like to carry on with the point I was making earlier regarding the question of differences between provincial education departments.
I should also like to carry on with the point I was making regarding pre-primary schools. For example, in the Transvaal of the 710 pre-primary schools 52% receive no money whatsoever from the department where they are registered, compared to 8% of Natal’s 100 pre-primary schools. The point I am making is that we do need to look at the overall norms and standards for preprimary and the amount of funding they receive.
The second and far more significant difference emerges when we study the attitude of directors of education to the structural changes coming now in education—the provincial councils, school committees and so forth. I should just like to know how it is possible that in one province, the Transvaal, the parents’ organisations of both language groups were intimately involved in all discussions on education planning, whilst in a second, Natal, the director declined to have full participation of the parent bodies, as was the case in the Transvaal; and in the third, the Cape, the director has indicated that he does not consider fully representative parent organisations as necessary at this stage. We therefore have a difference of opinion.
The hon the Minister is well aware that Act 39 of 1967 gives recognised teacher associations a right to have suggestions and recommendations considered when education planning is undertaken. I trust, when the hon the Minister introduces his amendment to that Act shortly, that he amends it to extend that right also to recognised parent bodies.
Similarly I believe the hon the Minister has to address the variation in teacher pupil ratios between provinces. They run, in primary schools, from 1:18 in the Cape; 1:21 in Natal; 1:22 in the Orange Free State and 1:24 in the Transvaal. Again it is an area that we do need to examine fairly carefully. For secondary pupils, I must say, the average of 1:16 applies in all provinces.
I should also like to refer to a point that was brought up in passing by the hon member for Germiston District, regarding maternity leave. There is another one. She referred to allowing married women teachers who are expecting children to have their four and a half month’s leave before and after confinement. That applies only in one province, as the hon the Minister well knows. In Natal they can in fact take six weeks before and 12 months after. There are therefore these vast differences and we have to look at the situation very carefully. I should like to emphasise in this connection that the hon the Minister must please—and he has already indicated that he will do it—co-ordinate the information contained in the provincial directors’ of education reports, but not use the Transvaal report as his model. It simply does not have enough statistics. I’ll just have to ask a lot more questions! I would like to ask that the hon the Minister makes every effort in future to provide full information on the budget proposals for his department as regards the provinces—as much as has been provided in the past, because that is the only way we are going to be able to make valid comparisons.
I should like to turn to cultural matters.
*The Department of Education and Culture is based on the principle of the preservation and promotion of the so-called White culture. I am definitely of the opinion that no such thing exists; that, in fact, there is no place on earth for a thing like that. There is an Afrikaans culture, a Zulu culture, a Hindu culture, a Jewish culture and even an English culture. However, there is certainly no such thing as a white culture.
One of the major problems of this country is the present dispensation in which own affairs falls under the four main race groups. It is my submission that the Government should move away from a racial basis in education to really dealing with it on a cultural basis.
Now that is really interesting!
I want to refer, for example, to a work which deals with this matter. It is the book by Prof H Stone, Gemeenskaplikheid en Diversiteit. The hon the Minister is aware of this publication. Prof Stone makes certain statements regarding a posible way to differentiate in education and deals inter alia with the cultural-historical, the linguistic, the social, the economic, the aesthetic, the judicial, the ethical and the religious aspects. Those are some of the aspects which are of importance among the groups in education. One aspect which is not mentioned at all in the book, however—a very important aspect—that aspect which we discuss continually—is the aspect of race or colour. That is not a cultural aspect.
You know, Sir, in White educational circles it is assumed that there is a real difference between the so-called English and so-called Afrikaans educational philosophies. We may mention for example the fundamental pedagogics which is found at Afrikaans universities but not at English universities. That is true. In the book Kultuurgeskiedenis van die Afrikaner, of which Prof Pienaar is the editor, it is put as follows, and I quote:
So there is is a thing like an ethnic education of the Afrikaner.
You really speak excellent Afrikaans!
Mr Chairman, the point I am trying to make, however, is that the difficulty we have is not in relation to education for the Afrikaner. It is in relation to dividing education on a race and colour basis only. The hon member for Cape Town Gardens has said that in the book The South African Society: Realities and Future Prospects—a book on group relations—the question of ethnicity is carefully examined. It says the following on the question of ethnicity, and I quote:
It then continues in relation to the Afrikaners, and I quote again:
The point I am making, Mr Chairman, is that we in this party, irrespective of whatever arguments the hon the Minister may wish to advance, do not say there are not cultural groups. We have never said so. What we do say is that this Government has, on a political basis, decided to divide education and culture along racial lines, not along cultural lines. If you like, Mr Chairman, what the hon member for Cape Town Gardens is saying in effect is that the hon the Minister is practising imperialism in that he will not allow us—if he likes, as a cultural group—to have our own education system. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
Mr Chairman, I have very little time left. I cannot take any questions now.
*Allow me to quote what one of the hon Ministers—he is sitting immediately in front of the hon the Minister of Education and Culture—said during a debate in the House of Delegates this year (Hansard, 15 April, col 1876). The following question was put to him:
The hon the Minister then replied:
The hon the Minister of Finance. The hon member then asked: “Only your colour?”, to which the hon the Minister replied: “Yes, sure.” There we have it, Sir; there we have it.
†I have gone on at length about this because I earnestly believe that the retention of racial own affairs constitutes a great and impending threat to the Afrikaner as a cultural group. If a group tries to use race to defend its cultural identity, it is going to come to a great fall.
This practice of refusing to allow “English” schools to open themselves to all races—to practise what they preach—can only reflect badly on the hon the Minister and all he represents. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, I am beginning more and more to realise the truth of what the hon member for Bryanston said in the beginning, and for which I reprimanded him afterwards, viz that we have too little time to discuss all these matters in depth. I should like to make use of this opportunity to apologise immediately to all the hon members who have taken part in this debate for not being able to reply to their statements in depth. I want to give the undertaking, however, that I shall personally read through all these speeches in the time I shall have at my disposal later. I shall also ask members of my department to read these speeches and give instructions that if there are questions which require direct replies, this will be attended to by my department. Unfortunately there is no time to discuss this at present, although I regard it as very necessary. I hope hon members will pardon me for not doing that.
I am going to try to reply very briefly to the hon members who have already taken part in the debate.
The hon member in Kimberley North broached a few very important points, especially as far as correspondence teletuition by residential universities for Whites is concerned. I want to tell the hon member that this whole school of thought is experiencing many problems, and is being inquired into scientifically. I also want to tell the hon member that I have already given instructions that this whole matter be inquired into. Concerning the matter broached by the hon member at the end of his speech, viz that consideration should be given to the establishment of a tertiary institution in Kimberley, I want to say the hon member knows that weekly classes are already being taught in Kimberley—mainly in paedogogics—by the University of the Orange Free State. Unfortunately I must also tell the hon member that satellite campuses are not feasible at all as a result of the financial costs involved. I can tell the hon member, however, that to try to satisfy the needs of the residents of Kimberley, I have given the University of the Orange Free State permission to inquire into the possibilities of tuition without having to establish a campus there. I shall wait until I have received the results of the inquiry, and shall then investigate the matter further.
In addition I want to tell the hon member, regarding the question of the Land Service Movement, that I listened very attentively. I think the Land Service Movement is of cardinal importance, and I should like to say the following about it. Constant involvement in the progress and motivation of our youth is one of the department’s primary tasks. The excellent work done by youth organisations—this includes all youth organisations—may never be underestimated. Because of its long and close union with the Land Service Movement, the department is thoroughly aware of the contribution of leaders who devote their free time and energy to encouraging in our youth a love for God, for our environment, and for dedicated labour. I have experience of that—I have attended such camps—and what I am saying here is truly my belief. I sincerely believe this to be the case. At the present time the movement has an exceptional challenge precisely in respect of these ideals. This work must be continued and developed. That is why the department will continue to support the Land Service Movement actively. I have already requested the Committee of Heads of Education to scrutinise the whole matter of pupil involvement in youth organisations, and to encourage education departments, teachers’ training colleges and schools in a positive way to promote pupil involvement in youth organisations, including the Land Service.
†I want to say something to the hon member for King William’s Town in connection with the Kapenhof School. As I have stated before the main reason for the removal of the girls from the Kapenhof School to the new Kruinsig High School at George was that the present buildings could be utilised for the purpose for which they were originally purchased, namely as a functional building for utilisation as a reformatory school for girls, and to give effect to a recommendation in the report of the committee that investigated certain aspects of child care and reformatory schools. It must be remembered that the Van Loggerenberg Committee strongly recommended that there should be spontaneous contact between the girls and boys in these particular schools.
Not at the expense of the other recommendations.
For the same reason the department will move the girls’ reformatory Durbanville to Constantia where the boys’ reformatory school already exists.
They are all locked up.
The hon member now says this recommendation must not be the predominant one. I want to say exactly the same thing to the hon member. The recommendation he quoted from the report may not be predominant either. I quite agree with him. When we decide on these things, we must keep the whole package in mind. More than just one single recommendation is concerned in the decision as to whether or not a certain school should be moved. Once again I want to give the hon member and the Committee the assurance that the whole matter has been inquired into in depth. I also want the Committee to take cognisance that in the coming months, I am probably going to have the unpleasant task of making more rationalisations of this kind. This may also be in respect of ordinary schools, and perhaps teachers’ training colleges. The fact of the matter is that we shall have to consider this whole matter very thoroughly. I know how difficult it is for a community to relinquish a certain institution which has been a historic part of the community for a very long time.
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon the Minister a question?
No, Sir, I do not have the time to reply to a question now. I am sorry, but the hon member is welcome to come and speak to me in my office later.
The fact of the matter is that we shall have to investigate all possible aspects when we are dealing with these matters. If we have to make certain sacrifices for the sake of rationalisation and the better utilisation of places, we shall simply have to do so.
I should like to thank the hon member for Brentwood for the excellent contribution he made concerning networks and the envisaged institutes for the Department of Education and Culture. It is clear that the hon member has a great deal of knowledge on this subject. In my opinion the arguments he submitted were very pure, and I want to thank him for that. I agree with him that these things must of course take place in a co-ordinated way and that this is definitely of the utmost importance for the economic utilisation of the facilities and labour force, to which the hon member referred, in particular. I want to thank the hon member for the interesting contribution he made in this connection, and I want to give him the assurance that I shall ask my department to give more specific consideration to the ideas concerning the matter to which he referred.
I also want to refer to the speech of the hon member for Pretoria East. He spoke about electronic aids. It is very clear that this hon member was also speaking from his academic knowledge of these matters. I do not doubt that the hon member made exceptionally interesting suggestions, especially concerning the possible use of videos in schools. This could be cost-effective, and would quite probably make a very important contribution as far as the effectiveness of tuition is concerned, especially when we eventually contemplate larger classrooms and a greater number of pupils per teacher. What the hon member said also applies particularly to education in the other departments, which are still struggling to get sufficient qualified teachers and where such aids can make an excellent contribution. I want to tell the hon member that we shall give thorough consideration to the suggestions he has made in this connection.
In my opinion the hon member for Stellenbosch dealt very effectively with the hon member for Rissik. He dealt with that hon member so well that this hon member did not dare make interjections later. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I merely want to tell the hon the Minister that when I obey the Chairman’s ruling, hon members must not say I have nothing to say.
Order! The hon the Minister may proceed.
Stom Daan! [Interjections.]
The Stellenbosch constituency, and specifically the University of Stellenbosch, can be proud of the contribution the hon member made here this afternoon. He placed the matter in absolute perspective, and it is not necessary for me to elaborate on it any further, since I think the hon member put the matter very well. [Interjections.]
Naas is still the greatest!
I now very seriously, and with the greatest responsibility, want to try to reply calmly and peacefully for a few minutes to the ideas expressed by the hon members for Koedoespoort, King William’s Town and Sasolburg concerning the whole question of the application for the use of the amphitheatre on 31 May. Once I have expressed these ideas, I will say nothing further about the matter.
I accept that all of us—not only those of us in the Committee, but everyone in the general public—wants to honour and use the monument and the monument site as a cultural heritage of exceptional meaning. We do not want to mar it in any way. I do not think any of us—including the hon member for Koedoespoort—wants to abuse this area for party politics. I accept the hon member for Koedoespoort would not want to either.
For argument’s sake let me accept that it is the applicants’ intention to use this site for a cultural function on 31 May. I accept this for the purposes of the argument. What is the hard, real, naked truth, however? No matter how sad it may be, we cannot reason away the fact that many people in the public at large regard it as a political function.
Is that how you see it? [Interjections.]
I shall come to that now. Just give me a chance.
This will be the case among the speakers who are going to take part there in particular. I praise the Mr Venter who made the application, for saying who the speakers would be. These four speakers are all right in the focus of right-wing politics, however. That is a truth. [Interjections.] Although they quite probably sincerely felt it would be a cultural meeting, a very large percentage of people do not think that is the case at all. The hon member for Sasolburg agreed with me. He said if I wanted to be wise—especially with reference to the events in Pietersburg—I should say the amphitheatre might be used. What has the hon member done now? What happened at Pietersburg? Surely the hon member will not say that what happened at Pietersburg was a cultural meeting.
If the hon member links the meeting of 31 May to Pietersburg, it means it is being experienced politically, no matter how sincere the opinion of the people who made the application. [Interjections.]
I now want to appeal to everyone. The Control Board has taken a decision in accordance with their regulations and their statement, which was made as early as 1983, and on the basis of their policy of the past …
Of a Cabinet decision?
I am not going to repeat it, because I have said it here already. That hon member is not going to mislead me. I dealt with the whole matter. [Interjections.]
In addition I want to assure the hon members that the composition of the board and the way in which notice is given—I have no knowledge of way in which the board meets—has nothing to do with the consideration of the decision, since the decision is considered purely according to the guidelines they have maintained through the years. It concerns only what I have just said in the Committee, and am not going to deal with again. [Interjections.]
The decision concerning this application is primarily that of the board, in accordance with its regulations, in any case. Only if the board wants to deviate from its policy, does it consult me. The board therefore took its decision in accordance with its regulations.
I said just now—and I say it again—I find nothing wrong with the board’s decision. I have no doubt that it was taken in complete accordance with their regulations and their policy.
As far as this matter is concerned, I want to conclude with the following request. Let us honour that site …
… which the hon member who is shouting at me now, extolled as being a cultural centre, which we should dissociate from politics.
Do you think …
Let us honour that site as a cultural centre of exceptional importance, which we are not going to abuse for political purposes, even if that may not be the intention of those hon members.
Why do you say that then?
I say it because the general public regards it as a political meeting. That is simply the case and it is true. [Interjections.]
The hon member for Sasolburg also spoke about the deaf and the blind in Worcester. I have great sympathy for all such institutions in which people have to deal with children who are handicapped in some or other way. In approximately a week’s time I am going to spend a day there to observe matters personally. I praise the fine and good work done there, and also the teachers for what they do there. If I can make some or other contribution to make that institution even more comfortable, within the scope of what is attainable, I shall definitely do so. I agree with and praise the good words expressed by everyone in the interests of these people.
Rationalisation is more important than the success of the therapy.
The hon member also touched on the whole question of the educational policy and the admission of the Coloureds and the Asians. This concerns standpoints and statements of my hon colleagues in the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates. The hon member for Pinetown referred to this as well. It is spelt out very clearly in the Constitution that education on all levels is an own affair. As hon members know, this is contained in item 2 of Schedule 1. That regulation is subject to general legislation in certain cases, however. The latter is not a general exception; there is reference to three specific areas, and the words “in relation to” are used. The rendering of service aspect is specified very clearly in item 14 of Schedule 1, however. In terms of that regulation, a service can be rendered to anyone who is not a member of the group for which an institution has primarily been established. Conditions are given too. The approval of the State President must be obtained, or there must be an agreement between the Ministers involved, also with the permission of the State President. The hon member for Cape Town Gardens referred to that as well. This also answers the question of the hon member for Pinetown. The fact that people from other population groups are being admitted to the universities is accommodated in terms of exactly the same conditions. This is no deviation, therefore. [Interjections.] I understood the hon member to say we had already deviated at the universities, the private schools and so on. [Interjections.] The fact is, we did not. We apply that stipulation of the Constitution Act, and on a prior occasion in the House I said I was quite prepared to render the service as long as it would not affect the nature and the essence of the particular institution, and as long as that institution remained true to the nature and the essence of the community for which it had primarily been established. That will happen in the case of the universities.
One of the hon members also referred to the quota system. I think it was the hon member Prof Olivier who referred to the quota system, and I want to tell the hon member that although we have the authority in terms of the Act to apply the quota system, my predecessor decided not to apply that authority, because he had reached a fair agreement after a discussion with the universities. The hon member knows that. We shall continue to apply it, but I want to add that we are in discussion with the universities to see whether, if necessary, we can determine another policy which will make it easier for the universities, in respect of their planning as well, and which will make it easier for me to administer this policy. The fact remains, the main idea is that we may not permit these institutions, which have been established for a particular population group, to lose their character to such an extent that they no longer serve their purpose.
Even if the population group wants to do so?
I shall come back to that argument later. Possibly I shall also come back to the hon member Prof Olivier later and speak about this in more detail.
I want to tell the hon member for Parow that he replied very effectively to the arguments of the hon member for Koedoespoort. The hon member spoke about special education. I personally have great compassion for all pupils who have some or other handicap. The purpose of special education is to lead the pupil in his development to self-control, self-sufficiency and readiness to serve, so that he can develop—as, in fact, the hon member said—into a useful and dignified person in society, a person with character. I take the ideas expressed by the hon member to heart. We must do everything possible to enable these people to be trained maximally, to become useful and valuable citizens in this way. I also want to say—as the hon member knows—that naturally both basic scholastic examination subjects and formative non-examination subjects are taught to these children. As the hon member pointed out, places of work for these children remain a great problem. I am aware of that. In my opinion one of the solutions to this problem is that all involved departments should have joint discussions to identify suitable posts so that these pupils can develop and utilise their full potential. I shall address a request to all the relevant departments to consult together about putting these children into service. I shall also consider the hon member’s suggestions, and if necessary, we shall appoint a commission to inquire into them.
Mr Chairman, the hon Minister can try as hard as he likes to make out a case for an apartheid system in education, but it will not hold up. The reason why it will not hold up is in the first place because the policy of the Government is directly opposed to the concept of self-determination for all race groups and other groups in the country. If the English-language ethnic group in South Africa says they want to open their schools to all race groups, the Government says no. They insist that these schools be maintained for Whites alone. When the University of Cape Town and the community which is served by that university, decide that they wish to allow other race groups to the university, the Government says that they insist that it must be primarily a university for Whites. When the Coloureds and the Indians and the Blacks and 50% of the Whites in South Africa want open education, the Government insists on apartheid education.
The hon the Minister’s case will not hold up because it is contrary to reality and the wishes of more than 95% of the South African population. [Interjections.] It must always be borne in mind that the Government represents less than 10% of the population of this country. [Interjections.] Mr Chairman, I merely wanted to deal with that matter quickly.
Furthermore I wish to tell the hon the Minister that we welcome the announcement on Government policy for private schools. It is just a great pity that it required so much effort to force the Government to come up with such a reasonable policy, and that so many problems were caused by the initial speculations about this policy in Government circles.
I wish to put two or three quick questions to the hon the Minister, which I hope he will reply to. I want the unequivocal assurance from the hon the Minister that the allocation of subsidies to private schools will not be done on a racial basis. Secondly, when the word “culture” is used, are they in fact referring to culture, or is it some kind of cover for a racial factor?
Thirdly, if there is a school of which the specific racial group is less than 50% of the total pupil number, where will such a school be registered? It could for example happen that the Whites, Coloureds, Indians and Blacks each make up more or less 25% of the number of pupils attending a school. Where would such a school then be registered?
Fourthly, should a private school have to register, would the teachers be obliged to register with the South African Council for White Teachers?
I wish to give a very quick reply to one or two points which the hon the Minister made in reply to what I said earlier. One point was concerned with my very reasonable request that the hon the Minister appoint a commission of inquiry into the whole question of corporal punishment in South African schools. I can assure the hon the Minister that he will have the support of the Coloured, Indian and Black communities, and especially that of the Black community, because corporal punishment is a major grievance mentioned among the members of the Black community. Many of the surveys which have been made, including that of Prof Tjaart van der Walt, disclosed that a large percentage of the Black children mention corporal punishment as one of their main grievances, and that it leads to violence in those communities. If the hon the Minister is correct that corporal punishment is a good thing, surely a commission of inquiry would not show that it is a bad thing. Surely it cannot do any harm. It can only have favourable consequences.
There are only two minor points I still want to mention. The first is that I believe that the time has come for the Government to take steps to appoint an independent commission of historians to do research into and prepare a history syllabus for South African schools, one which will be acceptable to all the communities in South Africa. As hon members know, one of the most oppressive flash-points is the fact that Black, Coloured and Indian children find that they have to study history written from a White point of view. Our history started in 1652. South Africa’s history started centuries before 1652. When one examines White history books, one finds that they refer to the Coloured problem, the Indian problem and the problem of the Black communities in South Africa. Nor is such polite language always used in this regard. It is degrading and humiliating for the other communities to have to study history from a White point of view. It damages sound race relations and is a bone of contention for the other groups, something which impedes the achievement of better race relations in South Africa.
I believe that a country can only have one history. One cannot have in one country a history for Whites, a history for Blacks, a history for Coloureds and a history for Indians. A country can only have one history, and it must be based on the facts and the truth, as determined by scientific research. If that is the case, if it is compiled by a panel of specialists—genuine scientists who are representative of all the groups—then it will be acceptable to everyone. I therefore wish to make a serious appeal to this hon Minister to take the intiative and make an attempt, in consultation with the other departments and the other Ministers, to initiate such a project for South Africa.
Finally I also want to suggest, very quickly, that in future we shall have to look at the planning of schools with a view to their integration with town planning.
When one takes a look at the situation of schools in relation to the situation of parks, community centres, libraries, sports facilities, swimming pools and the like, one sees that there is no co-ordination. This happens because any town or city is planned by its town planners, while schools are planned by another department. There is little or no cooperation between the planners of the various departments.
I should like to put it more radically. I have always believed that the facilities for schools—buildings, sports fields etc—should in fact be provided by local governments. They ought to be an integral part of the facilities which local governments provide and they also ought to be part of an integrated town plan for the city or town.
If this is not acceptable, however, although it would be the best approach, I believe that there should be a better basis of co-operation and joint planning.
There are for example schools in my constituency in which the road that runs past the school, is very narrow and very busy and where, as a result of traffic, it is very dangerous for the children. At the moment a high school is being constructed in Randburg and other training centres will also be erected in the near future near a very narrow and very busy street. Already there is a danger of accidents and the lives of children are therefore in danger. With the construction of the high school and other training institutions these problems will merely be exacerbated and it all arises from the fact that the planning of those institutions does not form an integral part of town planning as a whole.
Consequently I should like to request the hon the Minister to make an attempt to persuade his department and other departments, in some way or another, to produce a better and more effective method for the planning and development of schools in the towns and cities of South Africa. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, the hon member for Bryanston spoke about the feelings of 75% of the population. The hon member is quite vociferous for someone whose party represents only 1% of the voters. He has quite a big mouth.
Hold a general election and then you will see what happens.
I think that hon member would have been much better off if he had also been tickled a bit with a decent cane. [Interjections.]
I did not have much schooling; therefore I am not going to speak about the schools! I want to speak about the culture in the Boland. [Interjections.] I wonder whether all the hon members know where the Boland is. [Interjections.] That is where the right people live. Parliament sits here so that matters can be seen in the right perspective.
The Boland has no specific boundaries. That is why the sportsman’s Boland differs totally from that of the wine connoisseur or from the impression the Transvaler has of it. The wheat farmer from the Swartland or the Rûens has yet another conception of the Boland. I can merely mention, while speaking about sportsmen, inter alia, that the Boland rugby will be just as strong as its culture once again, although there is a slight decline at the moment.
Oh, my goodness! [Interjections.]
As a rule the creative abilities of an individual as a creator of culture are promoted by his involvement in a group or a community. The Boland was and is the cultural basis on which individuals from various countries were bound to close cultural unity through the years. In due course the French Huguenots, as well as German elements, were added to the Dutch nucleus, and more specifically the Afrikaans nucleus of the Cape of Jan van Riebeeck. [Interjections.] Because of the common Western European origin and the Protestant-religious character of these people, the so-called Dutch-Afrikaans culture was quickly established in our country.
As a result of economic necessity, church interests and family ties, the Trekkers to the interior were never quite able to break away from the Boland. That is still the case today; they cannot manage without us! Look how readily the members of Parliament come down to the Cape. It is because the people belong here.
The idea of the French Revolution was to gain acceptance here too, and by the second British occupation of the Cape, the pursuit of a free state was already deeply rooted in the Afrikaner’s being. Greater prosperity in the eighteenth century brought things like an own Cape architecture, furniture, copper and silver work to the fore. In the military sphere a unique institution came about in the form of the so-called commando system. The Boland contributed all this to the country.
The British occupation of the Cape and the conscious Anglicisation policy necessarily led to cultural clashes. Although the Afrikaner did have to suffer certain cultural losses in comparison with his compatriots in the North—hon members must listen carefully—British rule did compensate the Bolander with a greater degree of economic stability, a better intellectual and cultural structure and a pursuit of greater political unity. That is still the case today. It was indeed good breeding, Sir! [Interjections.]
With a Western European history of more than 300 years, it is logical that the Boland can pride itself on a great cultural heritage. We need not even boast about it; it is simply there. According to the National Monuments Council there are approximately 379 national monuments in this region, and in the most recent year under review, a further 50 buildings and other properties were added to this total. These properties include well-known landmarks such as Groote Schuur and Groot Constantia.
There are also more than 30 provincial town or home museums, which clearly illustrates the Bolanders’ enthusiasm for conservation and their pride in tradition. Worcester’s beautiful home museum, with its valuable collection of Hugo Naudé paintings—he is a Worcester lad—as well as Franschhoek’s Huguenot Monument and museum are typical examples of this.
Some of the most well-known wine farms boast not only beautiful historical buildings, but often have an own museum to introduce our wine culture to people. That is our pride. Use it with love and respect, as a good man treats a good and beautiful woman. An annual subsidy is paid by the Department of Education and Culture to 32 voluntary cultural organisations in the Boland to enable them to execute their cultural programme more effectively. Some of these organisations represent the human sciences, which indicates that the Bolander has a special interest in his cultural history. This organisation studies inter alia genealogy, heraldry, history and the two heemrade in the district, viz those of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, making an in-depth study of the history of the areas concerned. Every town in the region is served by an effective library, which often forms the cultural centre of the community, and many towns have flourishing amateur dramatic societies. In my day, I did some acting and took part in a debating society which was founded in 1882, and that society was really what led to the theatre complex in Cape Town, the Nico Malan’s becoming the leader in theatre in South Africa. [Interjections.]
The Language Route in Paarl is probably unique in the world. Which other language can indicate the exact place, day and date of its history of origin as accurately as the Afrikaans language can? The Boland can also pride itself on its three wine routes, namely those of Stellenbosch, Paarl and the Breë River—my part of the world. Here the wine lover can be introduced to the secrets of the wine culture in the midst of the most beautiful natural beauty, and sometimes he can taste the choice products of the winelands of the Boland. Hon members will have the opportunity to go there again tomorrow. It is cheap, and it is healthy. Where is the “bugger” who spoke about alcohol? [Interjections.]
The Central Government grants close to R4,5 million per year to Capab, almost R6 million to provincial authorities and R29 000 to local authorities. In addition a considerable amount of money is used by the Cultural Affairs Regional Office for the presentation of projects by many cultural organisations which are active in the Boland. More than R60 000 is paid out in the form of subsidies to these projects on an ad hoc basis. The regional office has such considerable success because the community in the region uses the Government as a good partner in its task of cultural promotion.
I now come to the contribution of the private sector. The private sector in the Boland makes an enormous contribution to the promotion of the arts country-wide. The names of the giants in the wine industry are often linked to grants, for example the Nederburg Prize for opera and ballet. Thousands of rands are spent on the remuneration of judges. Furthermore there is the Golden Cape Prize for prose, one of the biggest prizes for the promotion of literary art. Insurance companies such as Santam also spend vast amounts on this annually.
One evening on a Boland farm, one of the old men prayed during a prayer-meeting, “Here, maak ons so snoep agter die Woord soos ’n vark agter druiwedoppe.” (“Make us as keen to read the Word as a pig is keen to have grape-skins.”) I want to tell hon members that we here in the Boland are very “keen on” our culture. We believe that it is a cradle of culture in the country. Once born in the Boland, one can simply not go wrong. There are deviations here and there. But very few! The furthest they have gone was Sasolburg. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, I request the privilege of the second half-hour.
The hon member for Worcester has a way of speaking which makes listening to him enjoyable, and we wish to tell him that he, Eugene Terre’Blanche and I have one thing in common, namely that all three of us were actors in our young days. [Interjections.]
There is a third thing I wish to mention to the hon member for Worcester. For a long time I have been looking for an opportunity to speak after him. When he was a member of the provincial council, he said the Transvalers were carrying off all the cultural treasures of the Cape. Is that right? I merely wish to say that all we did was to come and fetch all the things we were not able to load onto the wagons in 1836. [Interjections.]
I also wish to put it to the hon the Minister that there is one thing which I appreciate in this debat today. It is that the hon the Minister rose often to put his case. Consequently we were able to conduct a pleasant debate. I thank him very much for that.
I also wish to tell the hon member for King William’s Town that I believe the standpoint which he adopted on the Voortrekker Monument, is a very reasonable and tidy standpoint. I do not think the hon the Minister listened very attentively to the hon member’s arguments in connection with the Kapenhof School. There is one aspect which the hon the Minister appeared to have forgotten. It is clear that especially in education of this very sensitive nature, the so-called rationalisation by the Government is considered to be more important than the success of the therapy which is being applied. The fact remains that the children are separated from their parents regardless of the effect it may have on them. I am convinced that the hon the Minister should pay attention to this again.
I should point out that the hon the Minister made a few personal remarks here—ad hominem remarks. However it is part of the game in a debate of this nature. I enjoy it to the full. The hon member for Stellenbosch also made the same kind of remarks. Of course I believe it gives Freek Swart of Die Burger a few titbits to write about. Freek Swart really does enjoy writing about the Conservative Party. So it doesn’t matter at all. [Interjections.]
There are a few questions to which the hon the Minister will have to pay attention though. He still will have to learn that he must not think that as soon as he has finished speaking, the arguments have been disposed of. They are only just beginning. The debate in Afrikaner society and in White politics has only just begun. In future it is going to be conducted far more strongly and heatedly. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, there is one thing I should like to emphasise here. The hon the Minister still has to tell us today whether separate schools for Whites are still non-negotiable for him and the Government. In this regard the arguments which the hon member for Sasolburg advanced were indeed valid. The principle standpoints on education of the coalition partners of the hon the Minister in the Cabinet—their group standpoint—is completely and utterly at variance with what the National Party is still promising to the voters in general. [Interjections.] Consequently, Mr Chairman, I wish to know from the hon the Minister—we are all aware that mixed marriages have now been legalised— what is going to become of the children who are born of such a mixed marriage. Where will they go to school? [Interjections.]
Another standpoint of my party which I should like to put to the hon the Minister is the following. We in the Conservative Party believe that corporal punishment at school, when applied by responsible teachers, is in fact a good thing. I received my share of it in my day. When necessary, my teachers gave me a thorough caning, and it did me no harm whatsoever. [Interjections.] I believe it made a better person of me. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, there is also another matter to which the hon the Minister will have to pay attention. That is the question of the throwing open of facilities in White education for people of colour. He should also give us an indication of how closely he and the hon the Deputy Minister of Education and Development Aid are co-operating with regard to the so-called informal liaison on primary and secondary school levels among the pupils of the various race groups.
Now I wish to ask the hon the Minister about the Voortrekker Monument. I want to make it clear to the hon the Minister that he has not replied to my questions. He did not react at all to the many serious and material issues which we have raised. The hon the Minister must realise that there is a group of Afrikaners who applied for the use of the terrain of the Voortrekker Monument. The reason they put forward was that they want to hold a day of atonement there—a day of atonement by Afrikaners. The Republic of South Africa is 25 years old this year. The Government has done absolutely nothing about this quarter-century celebration of the Republic, which was brought into existence by our common forebears. This is obviously a matter on which another full political debate can be conducted. The reason why the Government makes such a non-event of the Republic’s quarter-century festival, is because they can no longer celebrate the establishment of the Republic in 1961, because they have rejected its fundamental principles. [Interjections.]
Rubbish! You are talking absolute rubbish!
The theme of the festival envisaged for 31 May this year will be: “As our fathers trusted humbly”. The chief magistrate of Pretoria gave these applicants the right to proceed with their activities on that day. As far as the chief magistrate of Pretoria was concerned there was no problem concerning the question of safety or anything of that nature. I do not think the hon the Minister did his homework properly in this regard. As far as my information goes this meeting was announced by telephone last Friday evening. No agenda was put to those involved—at least not to the person with whom I spoke. Hon members can deduce for themselves with whom I spoke.
Professor Carel Boshoff!
Yes, Professor Carel Boshoff. [Interjections.] He was told that it would only be a so-called introductory meeting.
Then that committee came along, to whom the members of which did not receive an agenda, and they adopted a standpoint— in the light of a Cabinet decision of 1983— that no political statements were to be made there. The important point, however, is that they had recourse to a Cabinet resolution adopted in 1983, according to which it was specified that the Voortrekker Monument could only be used for certain State festivities. I wish to tell the hon the Minister that there is a growing unrest and doubt in the hearts of Afrikaners; and the Afrikaners—I am part of them—are a far bigger proportion than the hon the Minister thinks. Our caucus deliberated on this matter in a very responsible manner. We then decided to request two of our most senior members to consult the State President. But the State President told us to come back to this hon Minister. The hon the Minister comes along today and says that he refuses once again to agree to our request to hold the gathering at that monument.
I wish to tell the hon the Minister that his arguments are very feeble and are going to put him in extremely uncomfortable situations in future. There are a few conclusions one can draw. I wish to tell the hon the Minister that this Cabinet, this Government, this State establishment is mixed. Not only White and Afrikaners that serve in it. Rev Hendrickse serves in that Cabinet; Mr Rajbansi serves in that Cabinet. I can therefore draw no other conclusion than that this mixed, multiracial coalition Cabinet of the Government now also takes decisions in respect of the sanctums of Afrikaners. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member in all fairness whether he has taken cognisance of the fact that the guidelines which are being followed by the Cabinet were laid down in 1983 already? [Interjections.] Did the hon member take cognisance of that?
Yes, I did take cognisance of that. That is in fact the point I am making. When it took this decision the committee again had recourse to the Cabinet again.
Of course, yes. The committee had recourse to the Cabinet decision of that time. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister must not try to get away from it now. The major responsibilities concerning these matters lie with this multiracial coalition Cabinet. [Interjections.]
Perhaps it is an argument for a subsequent occasion, but I am telling the Government now that they are bringing in the Indians and the Coloureds to decide about the sanctums of Afrikaners. [Interjections.] Therefore, I wish to tell the hon the Minister that he is looking for trouble in this country. He is looking for a lot of trouble; he is looking for a great deal of trouble. He must listen to what I am telling him today.
There he is, Daan! Let him have it!
Yes. I wasn’t only an actor in my day, let me tell the hon member. [Interjections.]
I wish to express my thanks to the NRP as far as this matter is concerned.
I tell hon members the NP is repeating every mistake the opponents of the Afrikaners made—I am referring to the liberal opponents the Afrikaners had. The Government has moved away fromt he foundations upon which Afrikanerdom were built. This monument is a national heritage. When I say it is the national heritage of the Afrikaner people, I mean that it also belongs to the hon member for Parktown and to Dr Van Zyl Slabbert. After all, they are also Afrikaners. It does not belong to the NP alone. It belongs to the people. It is also a very delicate matter. The hon the Minister should have realised in what situation we find ourselves in South Africa today, and he and the State President should have thought far more deeply and thoroughly about the decisions which he took.
The dilemma of the hon the Minister is that he has simply moved away from the principles upon which the Voortrekker ideals are based and upon which the Voortrekker Monument was built.
I shall come to the hon member for Stellenbosch in due course. The hon member referred to our informal discussion. He is a friendly hon member. I like him, and we have had many conversations.
This afternoon, however, let me repeat, what the hon member for Stilfontein said in the course of a similar discussion. He was in fact the first hon member that said that he had received calls from people who said that people like the AWB should be shot. The hon member is sitting here.
Order! Is the hon member still discussing the Vote?
Yes, Sir, I am speaking about the question of the Voortrekker Monument and the things that are happening in regard to this matter.
Order! I do not want to call the hon member to order if it is not necessary.
Mr Chairman, I shall leave it at that in order to help you.
This is a very delicate matter. The hon member should know the history of our country—he should not listen to what the hon member for Bryanston said about history—and he should go and read history as it is actually interpreted by Afrikaner nationalists.
Do not utter threats!
I am not uttering threats; I am saying exactly what I feel, and I do not have to utter threats.
And in the Skilpadsaal?
The hon member for Winburg can no longer even dare to go to his constituency. [Interjections.]
I should now like to come to the hon member for Stellenbosch. I made things very clear and the hon member did not contradict the arguments I advanced. I said that over a long period of time certain small nests of liberals had developed in Stellenbosch. It has not happened in Stellenbosch only but at other Afrikaans universities as well.
As president of the ASB I wrote to Prof Thom—I had great respect for him—about my experiences in Stellenbosch towards the end of the ’fifties—and at the beginning of the ’sixties. The hon member for Stellenbosch knows what we spoke about and I put it to the hon members of the Committee: In the same way as all the other universities Stellenbosch is today reaping the fruits of lecturers whom we admitted to those institutions although they were anti-Afrikaans in their sentiments. Hon members and I are reaping the fruits today.
There are UDF members in Stellenbosch.
I now wish to refer to the question of hostel residence. I have in fact read what I said here in the debate, and as soon as I can lay my hands on those documents I shall let the hon member have them. I put a question to the hon the Minister—the hon member must have remembered it—concerning non-Whites in our hostels. I referred him to what Prof Mike de Vries said according to what I had heard. The hon the Minister did not give me an answer. The hon member for Stellenbosch and the hon the Minister could have telephoned the rector of Stellenbosch again on the basis of the questions which I had asked. However I now accept what the hon member told me and I also accept the word of Prof Mike de Vries, that non-Whites are going to be living in the residences. I should now like to put a question to the hon member who is so concerned about morality. He says that a Coloured, Black or Indian student may be a full-fledged student at the University of Stellenbosch or any other university—a Black Matie can carry a White Matie and everything is integrated—but he may not live in a White residence. Is that not the crudest form of discrimination?
I have held many speeches in Stellenbosch. I find the students to be intelligent and alert young men and women. I put it to the Committee today that the Stellenbosch students—like most students in our country—have been misled by an Afrikaner establishment, by people in the establishment who have assumed control of the Afrikaans universities. Arising out of my discussions with young people, at the University of Stellenbosch as well, I want to say that as those students come into contact with the real and correct facts and as they come to know precisely what the standpoint of the CP is—allow me to include my colleague the hon member for Sasolburg among us—our numbers are growing there. (Interjections.) The Conservatives will reconquer Stellenbosch as they will all other universities. (Interjections.) The hon member Prof Olivier is one of the men who towards the end of the ’fifties helped to mislead that small circle of left-wing students in Stellenbosch … [Interjections.]
They are good Afrikaners.
Yes, the hon member helped to mislead the “good Afrikaners”. Poor Dr Van Zyl Slabbert could have been a good Afrikaner (Boer) today, but where is he?
I did not go to Stellenbosch, Daan.
The hon member for Parktown is a good man. (Interjections.)
Let us take the Pukke for example. Their university has now been opened to all undergraduate students. The hon the Minister served with me in the NP’s education committee when we spoke to Dr Piet Koornhof about these matters. We told him he was opening universities by admitting non-Whites to post-graduate studies and syllabi which were not offered at their own universities. We warned him that it would lead to complete integration at our universities and the character of our tertiary institutions would be lost in this way. That is what is happening now.
What the hon the Minister is doing with private schools now, is the start of a process to make integration part of education in South Africa.
For many years I was involved in the youth organisations of our universities. The hon the Minister took cognisance of Jeugkrag SA.
Yes, I hear hon members are now saying “hear, hear”. What does Jeugkrag say? I quote from Die Volksblad of 28 April 1986:
I further quote from Die Vaderland of 30 April:
Furthermore he says:
Who delivered the opening address? None other than Mr Alwyn Schlebusch, a senior member of the NP. Yet the NP is still trying to tell me, with my experiences of the past four years and earlier of the NP, that I should trust them with the bringing up and education of our children! And it does so while it is on the one hand misleading young Afrikaner leaders such as Mr van Schalkwyk to use the ASB as an organisation to keep Afrikaners united and on the other establishing multiracial organisations. [Interjections.] Let us take a look at the junior Rapportryers as a cultural body, the new chairman of it is Rev Nelus Niemandt. What did he say?
That is a flagrant denial of everything for which that hon member stood. [Interjections.] Furthermore he said:
He was also reported as having said:
What a check, coming from this young clergyman! The NP likes to say that we are dragging politics into religion and the church, but here is a clergyman who is blatantly talking and propagating politics within the cultural organisations. [Interjections.]
I wish to tell the hon the Minister that we are living in serious times. The Afrikaners, who put down roots here more than 300 years ago and who brought an independent national organism into existence will not allow a group of leaders—yes, let me put it euphemistically—who have become misleaders, to drag us down this path. [Interjections.] The NP can keep the old Afrikaans cultural organisations who have lost their soul and meaning and which have become empty husks. We shall start from the beginning and establish Afrikaans cultural organisations which are part of us and which stem from the principle from which the Afrikaner has built his national aspirations, his ideals and his outlook on life and the world. [Interjections.] We shall do it, and the hon the Minister must not doubt this.
The hon members should read what the late Dr Verwoerd said. To start with I wish to tell the hon the Minister that I shall explain to him in a subsequent debate why I think White education has no self-determination. I shall speak to the hon the Minister about that at a later stage. I wish to return to Dr Verowerd’s speech upon the occasion of the thanksgiving service for the Republic at Monument Koppie, Pretoria 15 October 1960. I wish to quote the editor’s introduction to this speech from Verwoerd aan die Woord:
The referendum was of course a political matter! We had to vote “yes” or “no”. The FAK organised the thanksgiving celebration and the late Dr Verwoerd spoke there.
I therefore assert that the NP is losing every argument in the political debate hands down in South Africa today.
Mr Chairman, to begin with I wish to react to the arguments of the hon member for Rissik concerning Stellenbosch. He said that the students there, as at all the other universities in South Africa, would also become conservative now. I want to put it to the hon member that there is no university in this country where his party has majority support. [Interjections.]
I hear the hon member is making progress. He is holding meetings at Stellenbosch, and it seems that seven people have already attended a hostel meeting of his. [Interjections.]
I also wish to react to the hon member’s argument concerning the Voortrekker Monument and its use. The hon member himself walked into a trap when he said that it is a day of atonement for the Afrikaners, organised by Afrikaners on 31 May. That is ostensibly the aim. He argued further that the Voortrekker Monument was a national heritage. Why are only four organisations involved in this day of atonement which they want to hold on behalf of Afrikaners? They are the CP, the HNP—as far as I know, they are not Afrikaner cultural organisations— the AWB and the Volkswag. Those are the four organisations that have to represent the Afrikaners on such a day of atonement for the Afrikaner, and they have to do this, according to the hon member, at a monument which is a national heritage.
In other words, he argues that the total national heritage of the Afrikaners is now in the hands of these four organisations, and that they therefore have the right to use the Voortrekker Monument. That is utter rubbish of course. [Interjections.]
I should like to take this matter further with the hon member. If he utters threats here about the sanctums of Afrikanerdom that are being violated, I think such statements are unworthy of him.
Please repeat what you have just said.
The hon member said the sanctums of Afrikanerdom were being violated by this Government. That is what he said.
Yes, that is true.
I say that I think it is unworthy of him to make that kind of statement. He sounds just like Terre’Blanche when he does it.
We are speaking about the Voortrekker Monument and the request from that side to use it for their purposes on 31 May. We should take a closer look at the partners in that application, and I wish to refer specifically to the applicant himself. The AWB, which is one of the CP’s partners is the applicant as far as the request regarding the national gathering on 31 May is concerned. Let us now judge the AWB according to last night’s occurrences. We do not have to go any further than that.
The hon member for Germiston District can find it funny if she wants to—she can do what she likes to—but I want to tell her that I am convinced that if she had been with me in Pietersburg last night she would also have found the behaviour of those people repulsive.
Were you there?
I was there.
Tell us about it!
I wish to say something to hon members about what I experienced there at first hand. In the first place I wish to assess the AWB—the CP’s partner with reference to the gathering on 31 May— on the basis of its message. It presents itself as an Afrikaner organisation, as is apparent from its name.
Ten minutes does not allow me to go into detail about it, but I am afraid to say that the conduct of that organisation as expounded last night, does not tally with the principle of the Afrikaner, viz the Christian national view of life, at all. [Interjections.]
What about the NP? [Interjections.]
As a result of the conduct of the AWB people last night I can say frankly—I am sorry that I have to say it— that people who reconcile themselves with that kind of conduct are not part of the Afrikaner people to which I belong. [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, may I put a question to the hon member?
No, I really do not have time. If perhaps I have time at the end of my speech, I shall give the hon member an opportunity. I wish to tell him, however, that he, the hon member for Meyerton, would not have approved of the kind of behaviour we saw last night. I know that, and I can say it with conviction. It is not the kind of behaviour that is in keeping with him as a person. [Interjections.]
Furthermore I say that the AWB’s message emanating from this is an erroneous one. If those people wish to present themselves as the harbingers of the Afrikaner’s cultural views …
The State President is the biggest disrupter of meetings in South Africa!
Order! The hon member for Rissik has had sufficient opportunity to speak, and must please contain himself.
The AWB are under a delusion if they want to imply that they do in fact speak on behalf of the Afrikaner, or that they project the Afrikaner’s view of life. In that respect they are like a sect, because they present a delusion in using words, but distorting them to suit their own suspicious motives. [Interjections.]
Let us see who the messenger is. I spoke about the message, but let us see who the messenger is. He is one Mr Eugene Terre’ Blanche. I saw and heard him in the flesh for the first time last night. I found it disturbing. The hon member for Rissik said he had been an actor in his younger days, and I want to tell him he is still one. Nothing more and nothing less than that. [Interjections.] With his little old handkerchief in his hand, he is the sect’s preacher. I am sorry to say this, but unfortunately it is tragic … [Interjections.]
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: Is it proper for hon members, under the privilege of the House, to attack people who cannot defend themselves. [Interjections.]
Order! That is not a point of order!
Mr Chairman, that hon member has just made himself guilty of the things he is accusing me of. He accuses the leaders of the Junior Rapportryers and of Jeugkrag, who are not here to defend themselves in the House either. [Interjections.] What kind of rubbish is this? What kind of holier-than-thou attitude is this?
I have spoken about the message and the messenger of the AWB. Let us look at a next point. Does the hon member for Rissik approve of a senior police officer’s having been threatened with a weapon last night? Does he approve of that?
If that is what happened, I do not approve of it.
He does not approve of it. I am telling him it happened and I heard this from a firsthand witness.
Was it not a Nat?
I was there myself, but I did not go into it any further. Nor do I wish to discuss the potential court cases which are going to result from this action. I say, however, that a weapon was aimed at a senior police officer last night, on that stage at the meeting in Pietersburg. [Interjections.]
Stones were also thrown at the Police.
Finally, I wish to ask that we take a look at the characteristics of last night’s behaviour. It was outrageous. We are talking about people who present themselves as being Afrikaners and bearers of the Afrikaner’s culture and philosophy. [Interjections.] Last night they used intimidation—unadulterated intimidation— to intimidate the majority on the same scale as left-wing radicals do. [Interjections.] I say this with conviction. The majority of people who were at the meeting at 7 pm last night, were Nationalists. To tell the truth, there were between 1 500 and 2 000 Nationalists at that stage, and only 800 to a maximum of 1 000 AWB’s. [Interjections.]
Nonsense. You cannot count.
I say that with conviction, because I was there myself and the hon member for De Aar was not. [Interjections.] What does it mean? Those people occupied the stage with unadulterated intimidation. They are the minority and they enforce their will on the majority. The majority came to üsten to the hon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but the minority came to intimidate them. What message is being conveyed by this? What message is being conveyed to the youth of South Africa, the young people of this country? [Interjections.] We shout and scream, and the hon member for Rissik and all of us protest against the way in which the left-wing radicals do this kind of thing. Then our own people come and make themselves guilty of the same kind of deed. It is a pity that we have to speak about it at all, but I should like to know where the CP stands. Where does the CP stand in respect of this matter? One of their foremost leading figures was there prominently, himself. When Mr Terre’Blanche was lifted to people’s shoulders, he was lifted to people’s shoulders as well. It was one Mr Clive Derby-Lewis. He was there in a leading position himself last night. [Interjections.]
And he is an Englishman.
Were the “door kickers” not there? [Interjections.]
If the hon member for Waterberg argued with reference to the occurrences at Brits that there was a reason for that behaviour because there was provocation, I should like to ask him what his argument is now.
What is the hon member for Waterberg’s defence now, because there was no provocation of any kind at last night’s meeting. [Interjections.] The hon member for Waterberg should give us in this House an indication of his justification for the AWB’s conduct last night. After the meeting at Brits he said there had been provocation they had had the right to act in that way. What is his defence now? [Interjections.] What I want to say, therefore is that the AWB is not the cultural wing of the CP, but the military wing. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, there is nothing in this life that surprises me as much as a person who becomes so pious that he almost becomes a saint. [Interjections.] In its day, in the ’thirties and ’forties, and also later, but I shall talk about that later on, the NP were past-masters at breaking up political meetings. That fact appears in black and white in books and even in biographies, and it is also said that the State President was the leader. The other day the hon member for Umhlanga said that this was so well known that in those days when the State President arrived at a political meeting of the old United Party they knew that there would not be a meeting that evening because he would break it up. [Interjections.] Now I want to ask the hon member for Johannesburg West …
Mr Chairman, may I ask the hon member a question?
That hon member must please sit down. He is the last person in the world who should ask me a question.
Who disrupted the HNP meetings in 1969? Who pelted them with eggs inter alia?
Daan van der Merwe!
Koot van Staden! There he sits!
Yes, there he sits! They are the people who broke up the meetings of the HNP. The other day there was a photograph in the newspaper showing Mr Potgieter, a former hon member for Brits, breaking up a political meeting of Mr Jaap Marais in Brits and completely taking over the stage.
Why are they now so sanctimonious and why are they crying? Now that the NP’s meetings are being attacked, it is ostensibly the work of low Afrikaners? Were the old NP members low Afrikaners? Were they a low type of Afrikaner! [Interjections.] Were the members of the NP in those days sects? Were the supporters of the State President a kind of sect which disrupted meetings of the United Party? Did sects disrupt the HNP meetings?
Let us be honest: In politics one must know what one must put up with. You must not wail and cry so quickly when what you did to others is done to you. [Interjections.]
Order! The hon member for Koedoespoort is conducting quite well enough, but that does not mean that everyone has to sing together.
The members of the CP can also be cultural people. Since when can one not be a cultural person when one belongs to a political party, and particularly when one belongs to the so-called right-wing political parties? Under those circumstances one can suddenly only be a political party person and no longer a cultural person.
In the days when I was a member of the old NP, the speakers at the meetings of every cultural organisation were in fact the big political leaders like Malan, Strijdom and Verwoerd. No one said then that it was wrong, because it was fine for the NP. This was, after all the conducting of culture. No one said it was wrong.
I just want to tell the hon member for Johannesburg West, that neither he, nor his entire party, nor anyone else who are new Nats with him, will prevent me, or any other member of the CP or of the HNP from participating in cultural activities! We do not allow ourselves to be prescribed to or stopped by a new Nat liberalist of his calibre. That is a clear and foregone conclusion.
I want to point out to the hon the Minister that he missed a big opportunity in his life. The State President did not tell us that he refused to let us use the monument. He told us that we should speak to this hon Minister who dealt with the matter. Now I want something placed on record. In 1983 the chairman of the control board, Administrator Cruywagen, made the grounds at the Voortrekker Monument available for use by the organisation Afrikaner-Vrouekenkrag for a gathering on 10 October 1983. It had already been given to them. Then the Cabinet intervened. Then the Cabinet gave the control board certain instructions and these compelled Administrator Cruywagen to withdraw that permission. This coupelled us to move to Ellis Park.
Now I just want to tell him, that even if we congregate on the hill behind my house in Pretoria, we will meet on 31 May; we will not allow anyone to stop us. [Interjections.] The hon the Minister had the opportunity to be noble and to do something noble, but he missed that opportunity and thought that he would embarrass us in this way. But he did not do so, and he will not do so either. [Interjections.]
To this minion of Oppenheimer—this hon member for Stilfontein—I just want to say: Let him shout! He knows as much about being an Afrikaner as Mr Oppenheimer does. [Interjections.] That is how much he knows about it. [Interjections.]
I want to tell the hon the Minister that the full responsibility now lies with him. But I have a suspicion that it does not lie with him. It lies with the hon the Minister of National Education, who has influenced him since yesterday to adopt this standpoint regarding this matter.
Now I want to put a question to him. Suppose that we go back to the control board and we convince them that this is not a party-political matter, but a cultural matter and suppose that they approach the hon the Minister, is he going to turn around and give his permission, or is he going to disregard their willingness to reconsider their decision? I am asking him this, and he now has the opportunity to say “yes” or “no”. Is he going to reconsider? [Interjections.] Is he going to reconsider, because we have nowhere near finished with this matter yet.
I suppose you are still going to throw stones!
The only person in this Committee who wants to shoot and throw stones is the hon member for Stilfontein. [Interjections.] That is also being placed on record.
Let me now say that the CP consists of Afrikaners ane English-speaking people. We are prepared to participate in culture, and we shall do so without being obstructed by anyone. We shall participate in culture, and the hon the Minister, who is sitting there and who is entrusted with the promotion of own affairs in regard to culture, is also entrusted with the promotion of the Afrikaner culture. But today he is placing an obstacle in the way of the promotion and conducting of Afrikaner culture, under the pretext that because we belong to a political party that festival of ours will also have a political slant. [Interjections.]
I want to ask him yet again—I did so earlier today too: When Dr Malan opened the Voortrekker Monument on 16 December 1949, as the leader of the NP and as the Prime Minister of the country, did he make a political speech that day or did he make a cultural speech? [Interjections.] Consequently if the leader of the CP and the leader of the HNP stand on the platform at a cultural meeting they can also make cultural speeches. They will also make a better cultural speech than Dr Malan was probably forced to make in those circumstances. [Interjections.]
And the AWB!
Now the hon member here next to me says: “And the AWB! I just want to ask him what crime and what sin the AWB has committed up to today, which the old NP, under the leadership of the State President, did not also commit in its day? Nothing! [Interjections.]
They did not pelt the police with stones!
They beat them to a pulp!
They used chairs; they wrecked halls; they beat each other half to death. [Interjections.]
I want to say this today: When things happen to us—and now I am referring to the hon members of the NP—we must not be so pious that we condemn this kind of thing and allege that because certain people disrupted a meeting we may not associate with them. In that case I want to tell those hon members that none of them must associate further with the State President. [Interjections.] They must summarily leave him alone. They must also leave my old friend, the hon member Mr Van Staden, alone. [Interjections.] They must leave them all alone. They must dissociate themselves from them, and have nothing to do with them!
Mr Chairman, on a point of order: I just want to tell the hon member …
That is not a point of order! [Interjections.]
I only attended one meeting of the HNP at Worcester … [Interjections.]… but I will never listen to a bunch of “nincompoops” again!
Order! No, that is not a point of order. The hon member for Koedoespoort may proceed. [Interjections.]
Sir, you see when one fires a shot into a thicket and the dog yelps, one has hit him! [Interjections.] [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, it gives me pleasure to participate in this debate. I am not yet a father, although I hope to be one some day …
I just want to tell the hon member for Koedoespoort that in the time when the NP did the things to which he has referred, the NP was in the political arena. [Interjections.] The AWB is not in the political arena; it is too afraid to participate in political elections. It must register itself as a political party and participate in the next election.
Where is the election? Why do you not hold one?
They must not hide behind a cultural organisation like cowards. [Interjections.] But I do not want to discuss the AWB culture any further; I do not want to waste my time by pursuing this matter further. I should like to continue with my speech. [Interjections.]
In the first place I want to thank the hon the Minister of Education and Culture most sincerely on my behalf and on behalf of my votes for clearly adopting a standpoint on the matter of White education since he took over this portfolio. I specifically want to thank him for the fact that he did not hesitate to adopt a standpoint when his sphere of activity was interfered in wrongfully. He then announced that education was an own affair in accordance with the spirit and letter of the Constitution Act, and that in accordance with this White education would be determined by White political authoritative structures, and by no one else outside. We thank him for that. This also proves to other people who accuse us of not wanting to maintain own affairs that we want to and can do so. The hon the Minister had the courage to do this.
The Whites are keen to keep their education White. They also want to see to it that its Christian national character is developed. [Interjections.] This does not mean that we as Whites are totally opposed to our children having contact with the young people of other population groups. As a matter of fact I think that ways and means will have to be found to allow contact to take place between young people of the respective population groups in South Africa. I am of the opinion that if the young Afrikaner had started talking to people of colour and people of another opinion in this country at an earlier stage, many of the latter group of people would not have had such a distorted idea of us now.
Responsible young White people, and specifically the Afrikaners, will have to try and make contact with young people of colour. I do not mean that schools must be mixed, but honest, frank discussions will have to take place. It must be pointed out clearly that every group in this country is privileged to live and work here, that we in South Africa cannot work out our salvation by throwing petrol bombs and committing necklace murders. Our future lies in training, hard work, the recognition of human dignity and the maintaining of minority rights in the political sphere.
Next I want to concentrate on child care schools. I am sure we all noticed that last year a great deal of publicity was given to these schools. The hon the Minister appointed two committees, which reported back to him on this matter within three months. I should like to know from the hon the Minister how many of these recommendations he has accepted, and how many he has already implemented in practice.
There is also a child care school in my constituency which I am very proud of, viz the Daeraad School at Wolmaransstad. Today I want to pay tribute to all the staff attached to that school. These people devote their entire lives to the education of children, but specifically to the education of children with behavioural and adjustment problems. Sometimes they are on duty 24 hours a day. Consequently today I want to pay tribute to the people throughout the country, in 17 child care schools and two reform schools, who are giving education to 2 600 pupils. We honour them for the work they do.
In my daily affairs I have also come across certain problems at some of these child care schools. I should like to mention a few of them to the hon the Minister. When these children get to the end of their years of education and training at such a school, they must enter the community and the labour market. Many of them battle to get proper work. I want to ask that the Department of Education and Culture and the Department of Manpower co-ordinate to overcome this problem.
The after-care service which is given to these children after they leave the school must also be developed. I also want to ask specifically that there be renewed liaison with the Defence Force regarding the aftercare and continued counselling of the boys from these schools when they do their national service. It is essential that the good work done at those schools be continued in the Defence Force.
It is not only important for the teaching staff at such schools to be well trained; housekeeping staff, who work with those children for a large part of the day, must be just as well trained. It is essential for there to be selected house-parents at every hostel. They must be well enough trained in education to understand the emotions and meet the reasonable, spiritual and social needs of the inmates.
Urgent attention will also have to be given to the conditions of employment of the housekeeping staff and house parents. Those people work long hours, and it is only fit and proper that they be compensated properly. The accommodation facilities of these people also leave much to be desired. Frequently these hostel staff must live in small rooms which are not well-equipped. I have seen this myself. I should like the department to give specific attention to the living quarters of these people too. It is necessary for these people to walk into decent living quarters when they go off duty. I shall not pursue this subject for the moment, because I still have a few other topics I want to discuss.
In this connection there is a final matter I want to raise, namely that I saw in the annual report that a sum of money had been allocated in this financial year for the renovation of the after-care schools. I should like to ask the hon the Minister whether we can renovate the Daeraad School at Wolmaransstad generally—not only the buildings but also the grounds. If this could be done as soon as possible I would appreciate it tremendously.
I also want to say a few words about farm schools. I believe that the hon the Minister—as did the provinces in the past—will look after farm schools in our country with great sympathy and understanding. These schools are not large. There are not many of them left either, but they render an extremely important service in the rural areas, to the child and that community. Consequently I want to express the hope that the hon the Minister will also adopt the same approach as the provinces, particularly with regard to the pupil—teacher numbers.
We are all grateful for the fact that since 1 April White education only has one political head. I also want to say that I hope and trust that this will lead to greater uniformity between the four provinces with regard to syllabuses and general policy. I also hope that the hon the Minister will be more lenient towards children who want to attend a school on the other side of the provincial border— which is nearer than the school in their own province.
In this regard I can give the example of Bloemhof, regarding which I have had a discussion with the hon the Minister. I want to ask the hon the Minister whether it is possible please to help that specific community. Bloemhof is divided by the Vaal River. There are children from the Free State, for example, who attend school there but who cannot be considered for a school bus subsidy. I want to argue with the hon the Minister that we should be less rigid, and should meet those people half way, by introducing a school bus subsidy so that they can get to the high school and the primary school more cheaply.
There is another matter I also want to touch on, ie the new demarcation of the school board boundaries in the Transvaal. This is a process which began prior to 1 April. I feel there are probably good reasons for this step, but in my part of the world there is great unhappiness because, according to the plans that have been submitted, the Far West school board will disappear entirely and is going to be divided for future grouping with two other school boards. If the continued existence of this school board is not possible, I want to ask that this school board be grouped with Klerksdorp as a combined unit. I do not have sufficient time at my disposal to elaborate on this matter, but I see that the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works—also from Klerksdorp—agrees with me. There is not enough time to elaborate much on this, but I just want to mention that it would be to the benefit of the child, the parent and that specific area if the Far West school board could be grouped with Klerksdorp as a unit.
Mr Chairman, lastly I want to pay tribute to the teachers in our country. Those people are doing a big job, and we want to honour them for the task they are performing. We want to thank them for the time they spend on the future of our children. I also want to express the hope that they will not allow themselves to be misused by other people with political ulterior motives. The hon member for Rissik and the hon member for Soutpansberg once boasted in this House about how many school committees they could take over. I want to ask our teachers urgently to refrain from such activities. [Time expired.]
Mr Chairman, it gives me pleasure to speak after the hon member for Schweizer Reneke. He must please forgive me if I do not react any further to him.
Mr Chairman, nowadays the concept “culture” is interpreted by political parties, organisations and even churches in a way in which a specific ideology or policy must be justified. In the process the concept “culture” is simplified to such an extent that the colour of a person’s skin eventually determines his cultural group.
I do not want to elaborate on what culture actually is. But I want to talk about the role which informal education plays in our education system. Because education and culture are so closely related to one another, and informal education can also have a very strong influence on the culture of a community, you, Mr Chairman, must allow me to say a thing or two about the concept “culture”.
Education is the putting across of culture, and the role which informal education lays in the cultural development of a community, is not always estimated at its true worth. It is said that culture is what remains after one has forgetten what one had deliberately learned. This definition is certainly appropriate. When we watch the behaviour of some people, particularly at political meetings, it would seem as if the culture of those people, when they have forgotten what they had deliberately learned, can be compared with the culture of the revolutionaries in some frontline states. It is interesting to note that the language that a person talks, is usually all that remains after you have forgotten what you had deliberately learned, and that is also frequently the only thing that groups have in common. It is also surprising what great store minority groups in a community set by a language as a cultural medium. If there is nothing else which typifies cultural orientation, but if it is a person from another cultural group who is speaking the language of the group that wants to deny him his right to exist, language as such is not recognised as a cultural characteristic that identifies groups.
The language we speak, and through which our cultural orientation comes so splendidly to the fore, is a good example of the interaction between informal and formal education. Initially language is conveyed by the parents—or traditionally, by the grandparents—in an informal way to the baby, and then to the toddler. After this phase formal education gradually becomes increasingly involved in language training, and the foundation and by informal education is developed further.
The learning of a language is a very good example of the role which informal education plays in the lines of people. On the basis of this the important role which it plays in the cultural forming of the individual can be illustrated. Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to distinguish between the influence of informal education and the influence of formal education, and in practice one also finds that from time to time communities attach less or greater value to the one aspect or the other. Usually virtues like obedience, neatness, honesty, friendliness, helpfulness and hospitality—to mention but a few—are instilled in the child at a youthful age by the parents by means of informal education. Skills are also taught on a continuous basis by means of informal education, in association with formal education, by parents and organisations in the community.
But, Mr Chairman, it still remains the responsibility of the Department of Education and Culture to encourage and monitor informal education, and of course also to channel it to the advantage of the own community which is served by it, but with due regard to the needs and aspirations of the other communities.
A very difficult year lies ahead for the hon the Minister and the staff of the Department of Education and Culture, and I should like to wish them everything of the best. Many new cults will probably still develop in the community—for example the latest cult, the members of which wear khaki shirts and trousers and disrupt meetings with megaphones. This reminds one a great deal of the so-called ducktails of the late fifties. It will in fact also be the task of this department to put matters in perspective again by means of its informal development programmes.
Mr Chairman, on our reaching the end of a relatively long debate, permit me to discuss a few more matters with hon members and also to express my thanks and reply to a few of the hon members’ contributions. Before doing this, however, Sir, although I have already thanked the directors of education, I also wish to thank another group of people for their presence on the gallery throughout this debate. Not only do I want to thank them for their presence here but also for the enormously important role they play in the course of development in education.
The Press! [Interjections.]
it was so quiet and peaceful until that hon member opened his mouth again! [Interjections.]
I am referring to the exceptional contributions of the Federal Council and the SA Teachers’ Council in the establishment of the new White educational structure. I wish to thank them heartily for their presence and for what they contributed in laying the foundations for the development of education strongly and sturdily. Thank you very much.
I take pleasure in referring to the contribution of the hon nominated member Mr Schoeman. He made a very true statement here in saying the school was inextricably bound to the community. He then enlarged on this and said the child could not be raised in isolation.
Various hon members spoke of the idea of contact. Various spokesmen of the Official Opposition including the hon member Prof Olivier asked if we could not take the lead in a situation in which there were separate schools to bring about contact between the separate population groups which were together in the labour market in any case and often in association. I feel strongly about the standpoint in the Constitution that there should be separate schools for separate population groups—including the furnishing of service aspect—but I wish to add immediately that it is necessary for us to effect normal contact so that we may bring about the necessary understanding and recognition of human dignity among the separate population groups.
Let me start with the principals. I see no difficulties in principals’ making contact on a professiona level with their colleagues in the education department of the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates as well as the Department of Education and Development Aid. I see no difficulties in White teachers’ in certain disciplines wishing to talk on a professional level to their colleagues in the same discipline at Black, Coloured and Indian schools. This poses no problems to me; in fact, I think we could help one another in this way.
And the social level?
Do not try putting words in my mouth! Will the hon member please just listen.
I see no difficulties either if the pupils’ council of a White school should feel voluntarily that they wanted to discuss the specific duty of such a council in a school with a pupils’ council of a specific Black, Coloured or Indian school. This does not worry me; as far as I am concerned, this is actually a normal liaison procedure to assist one another. This also links up with what the hon member Prof Olivier said. He asked if we would be prepared to apply the results of investigations to the benefit of other education departments. My reply to this is: “Of course”. Obviously we should like to do this because the entire point of departure must be that we assist the various departments which would like such aid.
My thanks to the hon nominated member Mr Schoeman for his contribution. I should like to tell the hon member Prof Olivier he made an exceptional contribution on the financing of universities. He is the only hon member who took the annual report and really debated with it as a point of departure. I am very pleased that the hon member did this as it is a source of information and he extracted a great deal from it. Thank you for that. I should very much like to see more money made available to universities; we did everything in our power to put the case of the universities to the hon the Minister of Finance. He had his own specific reasons why this was just not financially feasible but it would very definitely be the ideal to see that more money were made available to universities.
I agree with the hon member. It is a pity that universities actually have to omit certain programmes in consequence of the lack of finance. I am thinking for instance of further accessions to libraries. Many universities do not have adequate finance to add more library books and to my mind that is a disaster because how can a university continue if that crucial source cannot be supplemented? It is true and I am aware that universities are struggling to accomplish what they would like to do on the amount at their disposal. I therefore wish to assure hon members that I am sympathetically disposed. The hon the Minister of Finance is also sympathetic but feasibility is the bottom line here. The hon member Prof Olivier broached various matters which really deal with the financial aspect and fall under my colleague the hon the Minister of National Education. In any case, I shall convey specific questions the hon member put and specific ideas he expressed to the hon Minister under whom they actually fall. [Interjections.] I merely want to tell the hon member that I find somewhat of a contradiction in one of his comments. He expressed his justified concern on the size of the amount for the redemption of interest but against this the hon member requested us to authorise loans for still higher capital expenditure. This would of necessity mean that the sum in interest would escalate as well. This is a problem and I know what the hon member intended but it is the very difficulty with which we and obviously the universities are struggling.
I wish to thank the hon member for Sundays River. He spoke on day-care centres and the need of an aftercare centre. He requested specific support for the Eastern Cape and mentioned Riebeeck East. The hon member put his case well and we shall investigate it. The dilemma is obviously—as the hon member indicated—that all would like these institutions to be as close as possible to the parents but this is not practicable because the parents are widely scattered. There is no group of parents large enough within a relatively small geographical area to enable one to allocate a school for those parents only. It is also very expensive education and it is simply not practicable to get it close enough to all the people who would like it. I thank the hon member for his contribution and assure him we shall examine this. If there are specific questions to which I do not reply now, I shall request the department to reply to the hon member.
I wish to tell the hon member for Germiston District that I agree with most of what she said. She made a good contribution and re-emphasized the Christian and the national aspect. I wish to thank her for that as well as for her support of the Government’s policy of own schools, own education departments and an own ministry. It is a fact that the child of today has to deal with incredible challenges in various spheres—something which we did not have to do when we were children. I think the church, education and the parent have a duty to attempt preparing the child for the enormous challenges he has to face in the difficult times in which we live.
I also wish to thank her for the fine words on teachers in general and for her requests concerning the married woman and more specifically confinement leave as well. I was a teacher and a principal for many years and have great appreciation of the services married women furnish as teachers. I think they do brilliant work. We are considering confinement leave sympathetically. As the hon member for Pinetown indicated, there is a discrepancy here and there; we shall examine this. The extent of what I can say is that we shall consider the entire matter sympathetically if it is feasible.
The hon member for Cape Town Gardens is not present at the moment. I wish to point out briefly that I replied to the question of furnishing service when I was addressing other hon members. I think I have also replied on the involvement with and the contact there should be among the various population groups.
The hon member for Beaufort West spoke on a matter which I understand only too well as I also hail from a country district. The experience of depopulation of rural areas and the consequences of such a depopulation in particular are traumatic. It is disturbing to realise that the numbers in a school are falling and that the school which was the centre in many of these areas is now beginning to wane. I am aware that this has a ripple effect on the cultural activities in such a centre. When the hon member for Beaufort West speaks on these matters, he is touching on something which I fully appreciate. The department is doing everything possible in maintaining and expanding culture in an effort to stimulate the cultural promotion action as far as possible in rural areas.
The hon member also spoke on the various problems experienced there. The most I can say is that we regard them in a sympathetic light; we shall take the greatest pleasure in doing what we are capable of.
The hon member for Johannesburg West spoke chiefly on what occurred at Pietersburg. What I am saying is intended without recrimination to anyone. In the 12 years I have been here, this is the first time that a discussion on education has been dominated to such a degree by naked politics here and there. It is a pity this had to happen because in that process we sacrificed the extremely important aspect of education we should have discussed. [Interjections.] I am aware of specific conditions prevailing there. I regret that the last contribution made by the hon member for Koedoespoort had nothing to do with education as such. The hon member was conducting politics throughout a debate which I personally feel was not suited to them.
I wish to thank the hon member for Maraisburg for the contribution he made on culture in particular and on non-formal education. Unfortunately time does not permit me to enlarge on this but we shall pay further attention to it.
A very important matter remains which I should like to deal with and that is one raised by the hon member for Schweizer-Reneke. He spoke on the renovation of the school at Wolmaransstad which we shall investigate. He also referred to specific problems occasioned by school board boundaries. We shall look into this. In addition, he referred to problems with school buses and I shall request my department to examine this. In fact, we are in the process of conducting investigations into various matters.
Next to these aspects, child care schools were the most important subject broached by the hon member. I wish to thank him for the cudgels he took up on behalf of childcare schools and for his appreciation of conditions in those schools. I said on previous occasions that the people for whom I had the greatest regard were the teachers, housemothers, psychologists and all inolved with those children and devoting their lives to them. They all make an incredibly important contribution and I am highly appreciative of them.
In consequence of the report published by the two committees, the hon member asked what we had achieved, etc. I wish to start with brief thanks to the committees for the exceptional way in which they dealt with the matter and for a number of positive contributions their members made. In this regard I shall quote from paragraph 6 on page 9 of the committee report:
In paragraph 43 on page 117 of the report the committees continue:
If I look at this and think of the unfavourable reports and criticism expressed by some newspapers, I am very pleased to be able to say today that this gives the lie to many of the reports appearing in the papers which—I am convinced—have already been to the disadvantage of some of those children. I quote further:
The two committees of inquiry jointly made 58 recommendations. Thirty two of these recommendations have already been implemented or are in the process of being instituted. Unfortunately time does not permit me to go into details on this but regarding the physical condition of schools I merely want to say that the following projects currently appear on the building programme of the department which falls under the hon the Minister of Local Government, Housing and Works. As regards the buildings, R820 000 has been made available for urgent renovation which is already being undertaken at some campuses such as those of Constantia, Kapenhof, etc.
I regret that I am unable to enlarge on this but I should like to close by expressing my thanks to the teachers who perform an exceptionally important task from day to day. I think it was Charles de Gaulle who said that challenges seek people of character. He then added that those people should prepare to assume the bitter joy of responsibility and to attune themselves to it. I thank the teachers for this. It is also true—as I think Aristotle said—that the roots of education are bitter but the fruit sweet. I wish to tell these teachers that they are doing brilliant work. It is frequently not appreciated as it deserves to be but, if so much is expected of the teacher—as communities often do—I say we should be grateful to the Creator that he has placed such an enormously important responsibility on the shoulders of these men and women. Permit me also to pray to God that all the teachers in this country may have the courage and strength for the extremely important work which they carry out from day to day because it is a regal task although not very easy. My thanks to all the hon members who participated in this debate; it was a pleasure
Vote agreed to.
Business interrupted in accordance with Standing Order No 19.
Progress reported and leave granted to sit again.
The House adjourned at