National Assembly - 16 February 2000



The House met at 15:05.

The Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.



                          NOTICES OF MOTION

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

That the House -

(1) notes that Parliament has instituted disciplinary procedures against a parliamentary official who has allegedly abused and sexually harassed women employees in Parliament;

(2) expresses absolute support to the victims of sexual abuse, be it in Parliament or anywhere else, and calls on them to report the perpetrators; and

(3) calls on the authorities investigating the matter to treat it as a matter of urgency so that the alleged perpetrator can be dealt with firmly in terms of the law.


Mrs P W CUPIDO: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I will move on behalf of the DP:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the excellent standard of services delivered by the provincial
       government to all the people of the Western Cape, especially the
       poor; and

   (b)  the stark contrast between the quality of provincial services in
       the Western Cape and those delivered in ANC-controlled
       provinces; and

(2) rejects the attempt by the ANC in the Western Cape to introduce a motion of no confidence in the provincial government as opportunistic and lacking in substance.


Prof L B G NDABANDABA: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

That the House -

(1) notes that -

   (a)  South Africa has turned its back on discrimination and apartheid
       and has, in fact, enshrined in the Constitution and created
       legislation that racial discrimination is unacceptable,
       offensive and illegal; and

   (b)  the apartheid era signs which had such a brutal and negative
       impact on the dignity and humanity of the majority of our people
       have long been consigned to the dustbin of history;

(2) is nevertheless gravely saddened and incredulous that the Kimberley Hotel in Roeland Street still has signage proclaiming Non- Europeans'' andNie-blankes’’; and

(3) calls on the Minister of Safety and Security to do something about this and to deal with the operators and owners of the above institution accordingly.

Mr J D ARENDSE: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

That the House -

(1) notes the sacking of Mr Peter Marais from the Western Cape executive; (2) believes that by supporting this action Mr Van Schalkwyk lacks the courage to stand by his professed commitment to transformation and co- operation, values espoused by Mr Marais;

(3) notes that the comments of the hon Tony Leon after the defection of the Centurion councillors to the DP that there is a ``major civil war brewing in the Western Cape’’ indicate that DP co-operation with the New NP in the Western Cape is based solely on opportunism;

(4) warns Mr Van Schalkwyk that the DP is using the New NP to advance its own interests at the expense of the New NP; and

(5) supports the vote of no confidence in the government of the Western Cape.

[Interjections.] [Applause.]

Dr P J RABIE: Mr Chairman, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) notes with alarm the escalation in the price of crude Brent oil, which traded at $28 per barrel yesterday;

(2) notes that the sharp escalation in the price of crude oil is the result of an agreement between a number of oil-producing countries to cut back on their volume of exports in order to manipulate the price of crude oil;

(3) recognises that the increase in the price of crude oil may result in an increase of between 10c to 11c per litre in the price of fuel, which can further increase to R3 per litre in April;

(4) notes that it appears that the increase in the price of crude oil, plus the weakening of the rand, may have a negative effect on the cost of living index and the official inflation rate;

(5) notes that according to the figures issued by Statistics South Africa our present inflation rate of 5,2% is the lowest in 30 years, compared to 6,9% in 1998 and 8,6% in 1997; and

(6) appeals to all concerned, on behalf of the New NP, to encourage fiscal discipline and keep the inflation rate at the present acceptable level.

Mr M N RAMODIKE: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:

That the House -

(1) notes that -

   (a)  most of the proclaimed townships in rural areas, in particular
       those in the Northern Province, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal,
       were established by the former apartheid government for the
       purpose of the implementation of the notorious Group Areas Act;

   (b)  these proclaimed rural township areas were historically,
       traditionally and demographically part of the land placed under
       the jurisdiction of traditional authorities;

   (c)  these rural townships are now land-locked and surrounded by land
       placed under the jurisdiction of traditional leaders;

   (d)  these rural townships have no area for expansion and have
       consequently suffered serious restraints in terms of their
       socioeconomic needs and development;

   (e)  traditional authorities were deprived and dispossessed of the
       land on which these rural townships were established and no
       compensatory arrangement was made for the loss of their land;

   (f)  the vast majority of traditional authorities are not prepared

[Time expired.]

Mr S M RASMENI: Chair, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC: That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the devastating floods that have taken place across the country
       in various provinces;

   (b)  that the Chief Whip of the ANC, the hon Tony Yengeni, has
       released members of this House who are from the affected
       provinces to go to those provinces to assist flood victims; and

   (c)  that those members will report back to the ANC in Parliament on
       the state of affairs in the affected communities; and

(2) commends the ANC for its exemplary and sincere effort to assist the victims in dealing with the effects of the floods and starting to normalise their lives sooner rather than later.


Dr S E PHEKO: Chair, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the PAC:

That the House notes that -

(1) the Freedom of Expression Institute has taken up Dr Costa Gazi’s case and will defend him in his appeal against the disciplinary action brought against him by the Eastern Cape health department;

(2) Dr Costa Gazi, head of Makiwane Hospital in East London and also PAC secretary for health, has advocated that the Government make available the AZT drug to expectant mothers suffering from HIV/Aids in order to reduce the risk of the disease spreading to their babies;

(3) the PAC holds that sections 15(1) and 16(1) of the Constitution give Dr Costa Gazi the right of freedom of opinion and expression; and

(4) the PAC will support Dr Costa Gazi right up to the Constitutional Court, if necessary, and applauds the involvement of the Freedom of Expression Institute in the defence of Dr Costa Gazi. Mr M A MANGENA: Chair, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of Azapo:

That the House, noting -

(1) the continued inequalities among tertiary institutions as decreed by apartheid;

(2) the decline in student enrolment at the so-called ``bush universities’’ as students stampede in search of better facilities at the better-resourced universities; and

(3) the threat of a collapse of some of these institutions due to poor student numbers and therefore fewer subsidies from the state;

calls upon the Ministry of Education to prevent the closure of these institutions by implementing urgent and sustainable remedies.

Ms M SMUTS: Chair, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) notes with extreme concern that new subpoenas are being served daily on editors to appear before the SA Human Rights Commission as part of its enquiry into racism in the media; and

(2) urges the SAHRC to furnish clarity on -

   (a)  the reasons for so summoning the media; and

   (b)  its intentions with the investigation, which must necessarily,
       as currently conducted, threaten to intrude on the media freedom
       enshrined in section 16 of the Bill of Rights.

Mr M A MZIZI: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

That, whereas -

(1) the new democratic Government undertook to help the previously disadvantaged people of our land to own their own houses through RDP projects and fixed subsidies given to households; and

(2) there is no doubt that in solving one part of the problem, by putting many families into formal houses, we have inadvertently made other problems more serious;

the House therefore recommends that the President appoint a small short- term commission to ascertain whether the joy of the opportunity to own a house has been followed by the grief of sudden cracks appearing, the space being totally inadequate and maintenance becoming as burdensome as paying for accommodation.

Mnu M MPEHLE: Somlomo, apha ndenza isaziso sokuba xa iphinda ihlala le Ndlu ndiza kwenza isiphakamiso egameni le-ANC:

Sokuba le Ndlu -

(1) iwuqaphele umsebenzi nendima edlalwa nguMnumzana Nelson Mandela ekugayeni inkxaso yokwakhiwa kwezikolo neekliniki kwiindawo zabantu abahluphekileyo; (2) iwuncome iwubuke umsebenzi awenzileyo uMadiba ekwakhiweni kwesikolo semfundo ephakamileyo iDumalisile eMpuma Koloni, neminye imisebenzi emihle elolu hlobo ayenzileyo;

(3) imxhase ngokupheleleyo kumalinge akhe, ivuya ngokuzimisela kwakhe ekuqhubeni ngalo msebenzi mhle kangaka wokugaya uncedo lokuphucula umgangatho wokuphila wabantu abahlelekileyo abahlala emaphandleni kweli lizwe; kwaye

(4) ibulele bonke oosomashishini abalisabeleyo ikhwelo likaMadiba ikhuthaza nabanye ukuba benze njalo. Aa Dalibhunga! Ukwanda kwaliwa ngumthakathi.

[Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of Xhosa notice of motion follows.)

[Mr M MPEHLE: I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of this House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

That the House -

(1) recognises the role played by Mr Nelson Mandela in canvassing financial support for the building of schools and clinics in poor communities;

(2) applauds the work that Madiba did in the building of Dumalisile Secondary School in the Eastern Cape as well as all the other good work he has done;

(3) unreservedly supports him in his efforts in appreciation of his determination to continue doing the work he has been doing towards the improvement of the quality of the life of the poor communities, especially in the rural areas; and

(4) thanks all the people in the business sector who responded to Madiba’s call for help, because this will encourage others to follow suit.


Dr E A SCHOEMAN: Mnr die Voorsitter, ek gee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die Nuwe NP sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis - (1) met skok en afgryse kennis neem van die onlangse vlaag moorde en geweld op plase;

(2) sy meegevoel uitspreek teenoor die naasbestaandes;

(3) terdeë daarvan bewus is dat werkgewers, werknemers en gewone plaasbewoners en hul families daardeur beïnvloed word;

(4) vra dat die reg sy volle gang moet gaan sodat diegene wat verantwoordelik is vir hierdie wandade toepaslike strawwe sal ontvang; en

 5) 'n beroep op die landelike inwoners doen om so 'n samelewing te skep
    dat elkeen veilig, menswaardig en gelukkig kan leef. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Dr E A SCHOEMAN: Mr Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day I shall move on behalf of the New NP:

That the House -

(1) notes with shock and horror the recent spate of murders and violence on farms;

(2) expresses its sympathy with the next of kin;

(3) is thoroughly aware that employers, employees and ordinary farm dwellers and their families have been affected;

(4) asks that justice should take its course so that those responsible for these atrocities will receive appropriate punishment; and

(5) appeals to the rural population to create a society in which everyone can live a safe, decent and happy life.]

Mr S ABRAM: Chair, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:

That the House -

(1) condemns the partisan stance of the Government and the well- documented military, intelligence and political support they lend to the war effort of the rebel alliance fighting the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo …


(2) calls upon Government to explain to the South African public …

[Interjections.] Ag, bly stil man! [Oh, keep quiet, man!]

… and SADC the reasons for their unacceptable conduct given their public undertakings in the past that they are impartial mediators who are brokering peace in the DRC conflict.


The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, on a point of order: Is in order for the hon member to mislead the House without furnishing any details of the allegations he is making?

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! That is not a point of order, but we shall look at the Hansard and ask the questions we need to.

Mr N B FIHLA: Chair, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

That the House -

(1) notes that about 4 000 people will be given plots in the centre of Port Elizabeth as restitution for the land from which they were evicted 30 years ago in terms of the inhumane Group Areas Act;

(2) recognises that this agreement was reached after an agreement to relinquish individual claims and all claimants to negotiate as a group;

(3) notes that the development of this land will contribute to the reintegration of Port Elizabeth, breaking down apartheid racial borders; and

(4) congratulates the Port Elizabeth Land Restitution Association, the Minister of Land Affairs, the hon Thoko Didiza, the City of Port Elizabeth and all officials of the Land Affairs department for the conclusion of this ground-breaking agreement.


Mr C W EGLIN: Mr Chairman, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DP:

That the House -

(1) expresses its dissatisfaction at the failure of President Mbeki to give Parliament and the South African tax-paying public a full account of the decisions taken at the recent presidential and ministerial meeting with President Mugabe in Harare;

(2) asks the Government: Why the silence? Why the secrecy? What does the Government have to hide? What about accountability; and

(3) calls on the Government to give -

   (a)  a detailed account to Parliament without delay; and

   (b)  a categoric assurance that no assistance by South Africa to
       Zimbabwe will be used in any way to support or prolong President
       Mugabe's ill-conceived participation in the war in the DRC.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the House -

(1) notes the devastating floods that have taken place during the last few days, both in the provinces of the country and in the Southern African region;

(2) extends its sincere sympathy, and pledges its support, to all the affected families and communities who were victims of great loss of life and property, across provincial and national borders; and

(3) calls on all sectors of society to make a positive contribution to alleviating the hardship of those affected by the floods.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Dr S E MZIMELA: Mr Chairperson, on behalf of the UDM, I hereby move without notice:

That the House -

(1) congratulates the South African cricket team on comprehensively beating England in the final of the One Day International Triangular Competition, played at the Wanderers Cricket Ground;

(2) acknowledges that this victory confirms South Africa’s status as a dominant force in limited-overs and test cricket; and

(3) wishes the Proteas a successful tour to India and Sharjah.

Agreed to.


                      (Subject for Discussion)

Rev K R J MESHOE: Mr Chairperson, hon members, we all agree that our people need safe and efficient transportation. We agree that the carnage on our roads must be stopped. It is regrettable that the taxi industry, which has provided reliable and available mobility for our people, has contributed to the loss of lives that has almost become a daily occurrence. The Government decided to introduce what they call the transformation and recapitalisation of the taxi industry to try and stop this carnage.

I am sure that we will all agree that for the Government to be successful in its endeavours, it needs the support of all commuters, taxi drivers’ organisations and taxi owners’ associations. However, unfortunately, some stakeholders complained that they were not consulted and are therefore being left out of the process.

The recent protest by some taxi drivers, who fear losing their jobs, is a clear indication that many people are unhappy about the Government’s recapitalisation project. Instead of Government listening sympathetically to those opposing its plans and doing all it can to bring them on board, it chose to take a high-handed threatening approach, thereby intimidating its opposition into submission.

Nobody denies that there are serious problems in the taxi industry and that something has to be done about it urgently. What we argue for is the inclusion of all stakeholders in the transformation of an industry that was established and managed without Government’s help.

I now want to highlight some problems in the taxi industry and then propose solutions. The main problem in this industry is the result of Government’s failure to enforce the rules that must govern this industry. Many taxi drivers have no regard for traffic rules and signs. They believe that they have the right to stop at any time, anywhere and without due regard for other road users. Some are disrespectful, aggressive, intolerant and a law unto themselves. Replacing the 15-seater minibuses with 18- or 35-seater minibuses will not change the arrogance and lawlessness of the unruly drivers, but enforcing the law will.

Secondly, some taxi drivers are incompetent, unqualified and, sometimes, even unlicensed. Such drivers are a constant danger on our roads. Giving them bigger buses will make them even more dangerous, not only to their passengers, but to all road users. If the Government says that drivers of the 18-seater and 35-seater buses will be properly trained, why does it not give the same training to the drivers of the present 15-seater taxis?

Thirdly, just as there are many unroadworthy vehicles on our roads, there are also fairly new minibus taxis on the road. It is therefore not fair to scrap all the existing minibus taxis, regardless of their condition. If Government is concerned about the ageing vehicles, then let them target those and leave the new vehicles on the road. Replacing a one-year old or even two-year old 15-seater minibus with a brand-new 18-seater bus does not make economic sense. Is the Government focusing on the size or the condition of the vehicles? The ACDP says that the old, dilapidated vehicles should be scrapped, but that the relatively new ones should be left alone.

The fourth problem in the industry is speeding. It is possible to install electronic devices in the existing vehicles to limit their speed. Companies such as Intercape have already done that with their fleet of vehicles. Why does Government not issue a directive that all 15-seater taxis not older than three years, for example, be fitted with such devices in order to reduce speed, and then allow those taxi drivers to carry on with their jobs?

The fifth problem is overloading. A driver who overloads a 15-seater minibus will find a way of overloading the 18-seater and 35-seater buses, just as thieves find ways of stealing cars even if they are fitted with the most sophisticated and expensive immobilisers. If drivers do not fear punishment by Government officials, then they will continue overloading, thus endangering the lives of more people.

The Minister of Transport must tell this House why Government does not compile a list of specifications that will ensure high safety standards and greater comfort and then give such specifications to any car or bus manufacturer in this country who is interested in making the new safer vehicles. Why subject this process to tender, which may lead to a monopoly?

To enhance competition, the ACDP calls on Government to allow taxi owners to have a wider choice of where to buy their vehicles, instead of being restricted to those manufacturers who shall have won the tender. We say the Government should give Delta Motor Corporation, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and other interested groups its specific requirements, and then allow them to build the 18-seater or 35-seater vehicles if they so wish. It should give the people a greater choice of where to buy. It should not kill competition, but should rather allow and encourage it. It should let different manufacturers compete with their prices. I appeal to Government not to scrap all 15-seater vehicles, but only the old, dilapidated ones.

There are people who have invested in the new 15-seater vehicles, and who will suffer a great loss if their vehicles are also scrapped. Compensation of between R30 000 and R40 000 will not cover the cost of these new vehicles. The problem we must face is not the size of the vehicle, but its condition. It is the attitude and the poor qualifications of the drivers that must be changed. Changing from 15-seater to 18-seater or 35-seater vehicles is irrelevant at the moment. An unqualified driver behind the wheel of a 35-seater vehicle is as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than an unqualified driver behind the wheel of a 15-seater vehicle.

Too many jobs have been lost since 1994. We do not want to see people in the taxi industry losing their jobs because of the Government’s recapitalisation project. Those who say that manufacturing these new buses will create new jobs must be reminded that the scrapping of the present taxis will cause more job losses than will be created.

People who use taxis on a daily basis need safe and efficient transportation. Allowing new 15-seater vehicles with specified high safety standards - fitted with all other Government safety requirements - alongside the new 18-seater and 35-seater buses, will bring unity in the taxi industry. Scrapping and disallowing all new 15-seater vehicles in the industry is going to create unnecessary tensions and bring division, which may lead to renewed violence that our country does not need at the moment. Government must listen to the concerns of all protesters and bring them on board.

For the sake of peace and stability, the ACDP says we should let all stakeholders be part of the transformation and recapitalisation process. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chair, hon members, there are three things wrong with the input which we have just heard.

The first one is that it is based on ignorance. The hon Meshoe would have been better served had he known all the facts or ascertained them first. The second one is that he confuses the issue of recapitalisation with issues of road safety. There are a number of road safety and law- enforcement issues which are obviously very important, but he must not confuse them. So, it seems to me that I should spend a bit of my time explaining what the process is all about. [Interjections.] The third one is that that confusion is shared by some on my left. [Laughter.]

The taxi recapitalisation project is one element of a multifaceted plan - and I think they should listen, for a change - to transform the minibus- taxi industry from one which is often cursed and despised, into one which is respected and can become the pride of the nation. The multifaceted programme involves a number of related processes. There is within Government total clarity about the objectives sought to be achieved. At the same time, in adopting strategies to achieve those objectives there must be room for a degree of flexibility in order to correct mistakes, do things better, incorporate new and better ideas which may come up from time to time and allow for provincial variations, if necessary.

It is also important to note that the recapitalisation project and other processes are not being imposed from above. It has been driven and continues to be driven and implemented in partnership with the core of the minibus taxi industry as represented by the South African Taxi Council, Sataco, which incidentally represents 90% of the industry.

We also consider consultations and close co-operation with trade unions and organisations which represent drivers and other workers in the industry to be absolutely essential. These workers have a stake in the processes. Their livelihood, remuneration, driving conditions, conditions of service, and opportunities for them within the transformation processes must be and are being discussed with the elected leaderships.

The legitimate grievances of workers will be addressed. The protection which workers in other sectors enjoy must be extended to workers in the taxi industry as well; and we will interact with all stakeholders to ensure that this happens. But I want to stress once again, especially in response to the hon Meshoe, that we are very firm in our view that we will not allow anyone to take the law into his or her own hands. We are determined to stamp out all forms of violence associated with the industry and are determined to ensure that tough law-enforcement measures will prevail. Members might have seen some examples of that already. But legitimate grievances we will certainly address.

The minibus taxi industry is an extremely important one. It is indispensable in the lives of more than 65% of our country’s daily commuters. Our strategy is aimed at providing vehicles which simultaneously provide safe and affordable transport to commuters, creating opportunity for jobs in manufacturing and downstream industries, promoting the use of diesel fuel as a more cost-effective and efficient fuel, and broadening the tax base. The strategy is also aimed at providing significant empowerment opportunities through the taxi industry in support of the objective to formalise the taxi industry.

Let me give members an idea of all the processes which are involved. First, it involves the registration and legalisation of all minibus taxis. Members know the history of our country that this industry arose essentially as part of the informal sector, unregulated, often operating in anarchy. Therefore, registration and legalisation of all minibus taxi industries is a very important process. Already, as we stand here, many thousands of the taxi operators have registered. There are still approximately 5 000 throughout the country who have to register. So the legalisation process is well on the way.

Secondly, we aim at the conversion of the industry from one essentially associated with the informal sector and making it part of the formal sector, in other words the formalisation of the industry. That is the second important element of the processes. The third important process is the democratisation of the industry itself, as an important and determined way to provide an alternative to anarchy, mafia-type activities, rule by force and violence which have been besetting the industry for such a long time, and giving the operators the opportunity to participate in decision- making in appropriate matters. The creation of provincial and national taxi councils are designed to achieve this objective. This process is also well advanced.

Then there is the effective regulation of the industry in place of the current anarchy with regard to routes, unlawful control over routes, with threats of violence and actual violence, which is one of the results of the absence of regulation. Therefore one of the important processes under way is the implementation of regulation over the taxi industry.

The next process coupled with regulation is effective law enforcement, to which we are paying very serious attention. Then there is a further process: training, capacity building and empowerment programmes for everyone in the industry. These programmes will be in management, business methods, driver training, road safety, training as mechanics or entrepreneurs, and so on.

Then we come to the recapitalisation process. This involves replacing the current minibus taxi fleet, which at present are on average almost 10 years old, perhaps a little more, with a purpose-built taxi fleet, especially designed to provide an efficient and safe mode of transport. In addition to that, we are introducing the use of technology, for example the smart-card system, to facilitate matters for everyone and to eliminate fraud, robbery and theft. Lastly, as one of the processes, we will introduce community education programmes so that there will be total co-operation between taxi operators, the industry, and drivers, as well as local communities, to make the process work and to transform the industry, as I have indicated, into one of which the nation can be proud.

The recapitalisation project is headed by a steering committee of relevant directors-general. So there is a high-level interdepartmental structure which oversees the process, and those directors-general are of course accountable to the relevant Ministers. The specifications and tender processes, which were made public, were prepared by a project committee on which Sataco itself is represented, and on which there are experts and representatives of various departments as well. These processes were made public many, many months ago, and what we saw at the exhibition hall a month ago is actually the result of a very long process which is continuing and which will ultimately result in tenders being awarded. Currently the situation is that a short list has been drawn up, and a number of potential manufacturers have their names appearing on the short list. The next phase of the process will hopefully end by April, when the successful tenderers will be announced.

I would like to conclude by saying that the recapitalisation process is part of a large and ambitious programme of economic empowerment, especially black economic empowerment. It involves the opening of service stations, repair shops and retail outlets selling tyres and spare parts, as well as cafés where taximen and taxiwomen can stop, in many parts of our country. In other words, there are many, many opportunities being opened up at many local levels throughout the country.

It is not an instant solution. It is a process which will unfold over the next 10 years, but hopefully, as I say, our taxi industry will become the pride of our nation. [Applause.] Mr S B FARROW: Mr Chairperson, the taxi industry in South Africa bears witness to the power of private enterprise in adverse circumstances such as those created by the apartheid government. It has established itself despite the severe restrictions imposed on black would-be entrepreneurs and the absence of finance.

This is what we in the DP would describe as one of the better examples of privatisation in Africa. Yet, once again, we see coming before us a proposal from the ANC which in theory is nice and appeasing to certain sectors of the community, but, in reality, is not feasible to the broader sector of the community.

Since its birth the taxi industry has provided employment for hundreds of thousands of people, and it has given freedom of movement to millions. The automobile and tyre manufacturing industries, as well as the petrol companies, and other vehicle-related enterprises, have all benefited enormously from this industry. The relaxing and final scrapping of taxi licences about 10 years ago had the predictable result of increasing overtrading in the industry.

The consequences of this overtrading are well documented. It resulted in competition and rivalry over lucrative routes, taxi violence, unroadworthy conditions of vehicles, drivers disregarding traffic regulations, excessive speeding resulting in fatal accidents, incompetence of drivers, unlicensed drivers, etc. The list can go on.

Much of the problem that we see and read about daily in the media, relates to the lack of law enforcement. If lawmakers would only grasp the nettle, then those affected taxis which are no longer roadworthy would have automatically been taken off the road, upgraded or repaired, meaning that the recapitalisation scheme that the hon the Minister talks about would not be so extensively required.

Taxis which disregard the traffic laws of our country should be brought to book. Innovative ideas like the fitting of governors to all new fleet taxis to control speed should be a consideration, as was suggested by my hon colleague Rev Meshoe of the ACDP. Disparate taxi owners and unions which are constantly killing and maiming each other should be nailed and jailed. Only then will the innocent commuters who rely on these services be safeguarded from death and injury caused by accidents and violent conflicts of interest.

Recapitalising the taxi fleet by exchanging the current dilapidated minibus taxi fleet for 18-seaters and 35-seaters will help to reduce traffic and accidents on many of our overcrowded routes. But what will the cost to the taxpayer be? And what about the approximately 40 000 potential job losses that have been indicated?

When Minister Omar replied to the taxi drivers’ concern about these job losses, he said, and I quote:

Surplus drivers will be retrained for employment in the manufacturing and servicing of new vehicles and other auxiliary services.

What Mr Omar does not take into account are the people who build and service the present fleets. Where do they fit into his thinking? [Interjections.]

Coupled to this is the backlog of over R9,5 billion in the maintenance of national roads, which also contributes to the enormous loss of life and property due to accidents on our roads. I want to ask the hon the Minister where all this money is coming from. The Government cannot simply solve problems by throwing nonexistent money at the problem. [Interjections.]

Hon President Mbeki, in his state of the nation address, stressed Government’s determination to carry out its programme to renew the minibus taxi fleet and to introduce other measures to ensure that this sector provides a safe, dependable and disciplined service to the public.

Our proposal is that, as a first, the hon the Minister should look no further than getting the unruly taxi unions disciplined within the confines of the law and the regulations that govern them, before offering them exchanges for ageing fleets. Otherwise the very same renewed fleet will condemn paying passengers to risk their lives by travelling the even bigger ``mobile coffins’’, as the hon the President called them so derogatively in his speech.

It is a well-known fact that Sataco alone does not provide the necessary cohesive representation in the taxi industry in South Africa. In this regard the number of passengers or movements daily, weekly and monthly versus the number of taxis available should be established first in order to determine whether and to what extent the taxi routes are overtraded and with whom they are affiliated.

The power and influence of the taxi lords must be curbed, and the system of taxi hiring which we are told is also practised by police officer taxi owners, and which is obviously responsible for the majority of problems in the industry, such as excessive speed, disregard for traffic rules, etc, must be properly controlled. Our second proposal would be to ensure that corrupt and colluding members of the SA Police Force involved in the taxi industry be identified, brought to book and dismissed. The DP has access to a copy of a report indicating that officers of police stations such as Rietgat, Soshanguve and Putalong are intimately involved in taxi violence and that R5s and Government property were apparently hired out, and I would be very happy to share this with both the respective Ministers who could act on it.

Our third proposal is that a specific investigation be undertaken to determine the precise shortfall of traffic police in posts around South Africa, estimated to be 8 000, and to identify means of funding them. Fourthly, we propose the introduction of regular medical and safety checks on drivers and their vehicles before permits are issued. Fifthly, proof of prior bona fides should be required in respect of those taxi owners requiring to exit the recapitalisation scheme. To this end, Government must look at unroadworthy taxis and allow these to exit the system. One can compare this to other unsuccessful private businesses; it will undoubtedly set a precedent. Sixthly, the DP proposes that the Government looks at means of investigating safer travel within the big cities such as rail transport. It is commendable to know that Gauteng is doing this.

The present taxi industry has been self-financing from its inception and does not need the Government to waste R3,5 billion to R5 billion of taxpayers’ money on recapitalising the taxi industry. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Before I call on the next speaker, I would like to recognise the Rev Jesse Jackson from the USA. [Applause.] He is here to look at business proposals and investments in the whole of Africa. We wish him well. Welcome to South Africa, sir. [Applause.] Mr J H SLABBERT: Chairperson, the IFP supports every move aimed at improving the safety of commuters that are transported daily by the taxi fleet in our country. We, therefore, agree that the taxi fleet must be upgraded and properly regulated. The necessity for an upgrading programme is, therefore, essential for the ageing part of the taxi fleet.

However, the IFP is concerned that certain taxi organisations - with a substantial representative base - allege that Government did not consult with them in regard to the taxi recapitalisation project. The IFP, therefore, urges Government to urgently undertake an information and consultation programme with these taxi organisations. Alternatively, Government, via the portfolio committee of either transport or trade and industry, should engage in a programme of public hearings.

The IFP, in the interest of the public, the passengers and the taxi industry, will engage in discussions and consultations with the Government, role-players in the taxi industry, the existing vehicle manufacturers and the public, in order to consider suitable standards for an acceptable taxi transport system for the affected community. In this regard the IFP will consult, facilitate and negotiate with the stakeholders in order to achieve a more satisfactory position. The IFP is embarking, with immediate effect, on a consultation programme with the different taxi associations, and has set up nine teams of IFP parliamentarians that will negotiate with associations in the nine provinces of South Africa.

As a strong proponent of private enterprise, the IFP has great appreciation for the role that is being played by the South African taxi industry, which has developed into a mega industry by sheer determination and without Government subsidies. Future taxi recapitalisation programmes must ensure that the basic ownership of taxis remain with small enterprises and individuals, whilst caution must be exercised that newly established groups and big business do not take over or compete with this multifaceted small business enterprise.

Substantial industrial development and job creation may occur with an acceptable recapitalisation programme, with the many benefits that such an upgrading programme will have for the South African economy. It is, therefore, important that South Africa must create such an acceptable recapitalisation programme.

Consideration should also be given to legislate mini-vehicle specifications, in order to compel existing South African vehicle manufacturers to comply with such minimum, prescribed specifications, instead of sidelining them. Surely, the existing vehicle manufacturers in South Africa can play an important role in producing suitable transport vehicles that will be safe, durable and affordable, according to prescribed specifications. The IFP, however, realises that any scheme introduced without proper and appropriate law enforcement, as is the case now, will never be successful.

In the long-term interest of the transport industry, it is imperative that the concerns of taxi stakeholders, and particularly the safety of the commuters, should be taken into consideration. Obviously, Government should give greater attention and consideration to the concerns of the relevant stakeholders. The IFP, therefore, welcomes the announcement made by the hon the Minister of Transport that the ``bolts and nuts of the taxi programme’’ could be reviewed.

In terms of the Constitution there is a right of demonstration and mass action, but the IFP would be against any violent or disruptive demonstrations. Demonstrations at and threats of possible disruptions to visits by overseas delegations such as the 2006 Soccer World Cup Inspection Committee must be condemned and all responsible bodies and parties should distance themselves from such action. [Applause.]

Mnr J J NIEMANN: Mnr die Voorsitter, laat ek dadelik sê die Nuwe NP steun die Regering 100% wat die regulering van hierdie belangrike bedryf betref. Ongelukkig is dit waar dat die beeld van die hele taxi-bedryf uiters swak is, soos saamgevat in ‘n hoofartikel in die Sunday Times van 30 Januarie 2000: (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Mr J J NIEMANN: Mr Chairperson let me say at the outset that the New NP supports the Government 100% as regards the regulation of this important industry. Unfortunately the fact is that the image of the entire taxi industry is very poor, as was summarised in an editorial in the Sunday Times of 30 January 2000:]

Minibus taximen have a thoroughly detestable reputation for which they have themselves to blame. Their appalling road etiquette aside, they have long adopted violence as a means of solving disputes among themselves - including fatally shooting one another and assaulting and sometimes killing passengers. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be stamped out.

We all agree about that.

Die President van Suid-Afrika sê passasiers ``risk their lives by travelling in mobile coffins’’, maar gaan dan verder en sê ‘n baie belangrike ding. Hy sê:

… it is a mistake to think that the Government can be intimidated into taking wrong decisions.

Ek steun hierdie punt 110%, maar dit sou eweneens ‘n fout wees as ons oorhaastige besluite neem.

Natuurlik sal daar groei- en oorgangspyne wees. Daarvoor is ons nie blind nie. Die sogenaamde verlies aan werk vir sowat 41 000 bestuurders is natuurlik nie heeltemal korrek nie. Dit is hoegenaamd nie korrek nie. Die Minister het oor en oor die versekering gegee dat diegene wat hul werk verloor, in ander sektore van die bedryf heropgelei sal word. Ons is bereid om sy woord daarvoor te aanvaar.

Die tweede aspek waaroor daar groot ontevredenheid is, is dat die SA Taxiraad of Sataco, wat in die plek van die SA Swart Taxi- eienaarsvereniging gekom het, tans onwettig saamgestel is. Met die stigting van Sataco ongeveer 18 maande gelede is ‘n onderneming deur die tydelike leierskap gegee dat ‘n grondwet opgestel sal word en ‘n vrye en demokratiese verkiesing sal plaasvind. Na my wete is daardie demokratiese verkiesing tot vandag toe nog nie gehou nie. Daardie onderneming is nie nagekom nie, en die Regering was ‘n stigterslid. Geen wonder nie dat die Regering nou afgedreig word. Vir ‘n vreedsame reguleringsproses sal dié saak dringend aandag moet kry.

Soos die Minister en ‘n paar ander sprekers hier, wil ek ook op ‘n paar pluspunte wys. Een daarvan is dat die pendelaars met slimkaarte hul reisgeld sal kan betaal. Die nuwe voertuie se deure sal ook elektronies beheer word. Satellietopsporingstelsels sal verseker dat hul op die toegelate roetes bly. Taxi-eienaars sal ‘n afskrywingstoelae van tot 45% van die koste van hul huidige voertuie ontvang. Dié voertuie sal nie weer op die Suid-Afrikaanse paaie gebruik word nie. Elektroniese meganismes sal ingebou word wat sal verhoed dat die voertuig beweeg indien dit oorlaai word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The President of South Africa says that passengers ``risk their lives by travelling in mobile coffins’’, and then he goes further and says something very important. He says:

… it is a mistake to think that the Government can be intimidated into taking wrong decisions.

I support this point wholeheartedly, but we would likewise be making a mistake if we were to take rash decisions.

Naturally there will be growing and transitional pains. We are not unaware of this. The so-called loss of jobs for approximately 41 000 drivers is of course not quite correct. It is by no means correct. The Minister has given the assurance time and time again that those people who lose their jobs will be retrained in other sectors of the industry. We are prepared to take his word for that.

The second aspect about which there is a great deal of dissatisfaction is the fact that the SA Taxi Council or Sataco, which has replaced the SA Black Taxi Owners’ Association, is at present illegal. When Sataco was established approximately 18 months ago, the temporary leaders gave an undertaking that a constitution would be drafted and that a free and democratic election would take place. To the best of my knowledge that democratic election has not yet been held. That undertaking was not honoured, and the Government was a founder member. It is not surprising that the Government is now being threatened. If we want a peaceful regulatory process, we shall have to pay urgent attention to this matter.

As the Minister and a few other speakers here did, I also want to point out a few advantages. One of these is that commuters will be able to pay their fares with a smart card. The doors of the new vehicles will also be operated electronically. Satellite tracing systems will ensure that they travel only along the permissible routes. Taxi owners will receive a write- off allowance of up to 45% of the cost of their present vehicles. These vehicles will not be used on South African roads again. Electronic mechanisms will be built in to prevent vehicles from moving if they are overloaded.]

Other hi-tech mechanisms are that it will record when it is due for inspection and maintenance, administer the automatic cashless collection of fares and transmit that information to a central database. By automatically registering the new taxis, the Department of Transport hopes to create a complete register of South African taxis that will make law enforcement much easier. The new owners will also be registered taxpayers. Minibus taxis carry about 65% of South Africa’s commuters, but because the industry is unregulated the fiscus receives very little of that in the form of tax.

Die nuwe voertuie sal hier gebou word. Hulle sal ‘n plaaslike inhoud van 80% hê en swart bemagtiging is ‘n absolute voorwaarde vir hul vervaardiging. [Tyd verstreke.] [The new vehicles will be built here. They will have a local content of 80% and black empowerment is a prerequisite for their manufacture. [Time expired.]]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Before I call the next speaker, I would like to point out that the hon Ms Mnumzana is making her maiden speech. Please afford her the courteously and dignity she deserves. [Applause.]

Ms S K MNUMZANA: Chairperson, Deputy Speaker, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, today we meet to discuss the recapitalisation project of the taxi industry. My role is to discuss the issue of consultation and job creation.

The process of consultation started in 1994 when the democratic forum known as the National Transport Task Team was established by the national Government to lay the foundation for the sustainable and violence-free development of the industry. What emerged after three years of intense and extremely difficult consensus-building work, involving exhaustive consultation with the industry, was a set of recommendations which was finally agreed to by Government and industry in the National Transport Task Team final report. These recommendations can be summarised as follows.

Firstly, there is a need for formalisation. In terms of this process, all taxi associations were formally required to register with the taxi registrars, upon which members became legal operators with permits and associations were allowed to operate. Secondly, the industry has to manage its affairs in terms of the Constitution and comply with the requirements as agreed to in different provincial Acts. Thirdly, Government initiated a regulation and control process, through a programme to assist the industry to establish itself on a firm and sustainable business footing. The special legalisation procedure initiated in 1995 legalised illegal operators. Ke tla rata ho di beha mohatl’a kgwiti mona hobane nako ha e yo. [I would like to stop here because my time is up.]

In 1995, the National Transport Task Team was dissolved. At the summit held at Volkswagen Centre, where all stakeholders from the regions were represented, a new mandate was given to a newly formed structure known as the South African Taxi Council. Its recognition by Government is premised on the fact that it represents nine provincial councils and 12 recognised mother bodies. The process of formalisation, regulation and control was reinforced. Local taxi councils and local transport forums were established to ensure smooth communication and consultation between Government and stakeholders.

A programme of economic assistance was also initiated by Government to assist the industry to establish itself on a firm and sustainable business footing. The core element consisted of the national co-operative pilot programmes, in terms of which five provincial pilot co-operative projects have been established with the assistance of the national department.

On the issue of job creation, we agree that there might be some initial job losses due to the reduction of the total number of minibus taxis when there are replaced by 18-seater and 35-seater buses. However, this Government, which is the first to put in place policies and programmes, has ensured that opportunities are there to address the backlog of issues that affect the majority of the people of this country negatively. For example, there are co-operatives that will address the issue of joblessness through the creation of new jobs and the redeployment of those who will lose their jobs. There will be training which will create a career path for employees. Criteria for training will be skills, experience and level of education. This will ensure the correct placement of staff in this new co-operative project.

Ke kopa ho hopotsa ntlo ena hore tsena tsohle tse ileng tsa etshala ka hare ho indasteri ena ya ditekesi e bile ka lebaka la hobane indasteri ena e ile ya ntshuwa taolong ya Mmuso. E mong le mong e ne e le ``baas’’ [mohiri]. O ne a hira hoseng, a leleka bosiu. Ha ho le jwalo, Mmuso ona wa rona o ile wa bona hore ho bohlokwa hore o nke kgatelo pele ho bona hore o kenya taolo indastering ena. (Translation of Sotho paragraph follows.)

[I would like to remind this House that everything that has happened in the taxi industry was caused by the deregulation of the industry by the Government. Each operator became his own master. He could hire people and dismiss them at will. Therefore, our Government felt it was important to restore order in the industry.]

In summarising, I would like to take this opportunity to thank this Government for the huge stride that it has taken towards a better life for all by delivering safe, decent taxi transport to our people, which will alleviate the suffering of the poor.

Ho na le bahanyetsi kahare ho projeke ena. Empa re hopole hore batho bana ba tsamaya ka majaba-jaba a dikoloi kapa, ba tsamaya ka dipalangwang kapa dibese tse tsheheditsweng ka ditjhelete ka molao ke Mmuso. Empa ena indasteri ha eso ka e thuswa ka ditjhelete ka molao ho hang. (Translation of Sotho paragraph follows.)

[There is opposition to this project. But, we must remember that those who are opposed to it drive flashy cars or use public transport that is subsidised by the Government. However, the taxi industry has never been subsidised.]

I say the time has come for this Government to subsidise this industry to enable it to be affordable, safe, user-friendly and sustainable, and to save thousands of lives.

Ledumme, mme ke qetella ka hore dikgomo tseo le manamane a tsona. [Ditlatse.] [In conclusion, let me wish everybody peace. [Applause.]]

Mr T ABRAHAMS: Madam Speaker, I would like to make it clear that the UDM sees the need for the rationalisation of the taxi industry and also for its formalisation. What we do have reservations about is the method chosen for the recapitalisation of the industry. We believe that the decision by the Cabinet to accept the proposal to discontinue the use of 16-seater minibus- taxis in favour of 18-seater and 35-seater minibuses is inexplicably hasty and devoid of legitimacy in the absence of broad and satisfactory prior consultation with all stakeholders.

The reasons advanced to justify this change are both unconvincing and uncertain. It is argued that the frequency of fatal accidents is attributable to the size and peculiar specifications of the present minibus- taxis and therefore that the logical thing to do would be to minimise road accidents by using larger 18-seater and 35-seater minibuses. Taxi operators and the public at large are not aware of any scientific studies having been conducted before arriving at this conclusion. What one is persuaded to conclude is that it is a decision taken with scant regard for the dire consequences of a wholesale disqualification of minibuses from operating as taxis on our roads.

Job losses which will directly result from the scrapping of the existing minibuses on our roads have been estimated at 41 000 taxi drivers. These are breadwinners from a social background of large extended families. We are talking of hundreds of thousands of workers and their dependants who will be left without an immediate means of livelihood at the stroke of a pen. A decision of this magnitude cannot be justified by the consent of a few bureaucrats of organisations who may claim to represent the industry as a whole without first verifying whether there has been proper consultation with all the people affected by this decision. Both the previous and current incumbent Ministers have not satisfied the industry and the public that they have adequately consulted all stakeholders.

Taxi operators have offered some plausible solutions, suggesting better training of drivers and the deployment of more disciplined and incorruptible law enforcement officers on the roads. They believe that there is a need for a radical change of attitude among all people involved in the industry and in fact all road users, including those entrusted with enforcing law and order.

They further argue that the reasoning that there is a large incidence of accidents among … [Time expired.]

Genl C L VILJOEN: Mevrou die Speaker, die minibus-taxibedryf, ongeag die ernstige probleme wat hy het, is gevestig in die kultuur van die stedelike en plattelandse gemeenskappe, wat nie ryk gemeenskappe is nie en afhanklik is van goedkoop vervoer. Dit is ‘n voorbeeld van private ondernemingsvernuf, van entrepreneurskap wat volgens vraag- en aanbodsituasies ontstaan het. Verder is dit ‘n diens wat aan ‘n spesifieke behoefte in die arm gebiede voldoen; dit gee werk aan duisende mense en dit vervoer die massas. Dit is ‘n goeie voorbeeld van die klein en mediumgrootte ondernemings waaroor ons so baie praat.

Die probleme wat in hierdie bedryf bestaan, het eintlik eerstens betrekking op die wetstoepassing deur die Regering op ons paaie wat betref voertuigstandaarde, padveiligheid en spoed, standaarde van die paaie self en dan die misdaad en beheer op die paaie. Ek het geluister na die agb Minister se verduideliking van die prosesse, en ek stem op drie na met almal saam. Ek stem nie saam wanneer die agb Minister eerstens praat van informeel'' wat nouformeel’’ moet word nie. As die agb Minister praat van doeltreffende regulering, is ek bang hy bedoel oorregulering. Saamgevat in hierdie twee aspekte wat die minister genoem het, is daar ‘n spesifieke gevaar dat die Regering te veel in die privaatsektor sal inmeng en dat die Regering sal inmeng met die markkragte wat, onder omstandighede, nie goed is nie.

Ek het onlangs gelees dat tot ‘n derde van die bestuurders hulle werk kan verloor as hierdie opgradering en planne van die Regering deurgevoer word. As boer weet ek ons moenie oorkapitaliseer nie. Dit is nooit ‘n wyse stap nie. Hierdie opgradering kan die arm mense nóg armer maak en die gegoede deel van die swart bevolking bevoordeel ten koste van die arm mense.

Diegene wat opgradering kan bekostig; en die Regering moet dít aanvaar, moet toegelaat word om dit te doen, maar dit kan nie op almal afgedwing word nie. Die enkel-eienaars van die ou minibusse moet ook nie in hierdie proses uitgeskakel word nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Gen C L VILJOEN: Madam Speaker, the minibus-taxi industry, irrespective of its serious problems, is established in the culture of the urban and rural communities, which are not wealthy communities and are dependent on cheap transport.

This is an example of private business acumen, of entrepreneurship that arose out of supply and demand situations. It is furthermore a service that meets a specific requirement in the poor areas; it provides jobs to thousands of people and transports the masses. This is a good example of the small and medium-sized enterprises about which we talk so much.

The problems that exist in this industry in fact firstly relate to law enforcement on our roads by the Government, in respect of vehicle standards, road safety and speed, the condition of the roads themselves and crime and control on the roads. I listened to the hon the Minister’s explanation of the processes, and I agree with all of them, except three. I do not agree when the hon the Minister, in the first instance, talks about informal'' that must now becomeformal’’. If the Minister is talking about effective regulating, I am afraid that he means overregulating. Contained in these two aspects that the Minister mentioned, there is the specific danger that the Government will intervene too much in the private sector and that the Government will intervene in market forces which, under the circumstances, is not good.

I read recently that up to a third of the drivers could lose their jobs if this upgrading and these plans of the Government are implemented. As a farmer I know that we should not overcapitalise. That is never a wise step. This upgrading can leave the poor even poorer and it will benefit the affluent section of the black population at the expense of the poor.

Those who can afford the upgrading, and the Government must accept this, should be allowed to do so, but this should not be forced on anyone. Nor should the single owners of the old minibuses be eliminated in this process.]

The FF feels that we should go back to the drawing board and have more consultation on this important subject. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Madam Speaker, colleagues, as my colleague the hon Minister of Transport said, it would seem quite clear that there is a considerable lack of information or ignorance around this matter. Firstly, with regard to consultation, we have been consulting now for well over four years in one or other way throughout this industry. For those who are booing and do not know what is happening, I have personally been responsible for the consultation for many of these years. Secondly, what is the problem? Many speakers have quite correctly highlighted aspects of this problem, but the central problem - and it is common to a number of industries - is this: There is a fleet of 132 000 taxis, with an average age of 10 years. For vehicles of this type and for this use, the safe user-period is something in the region of four years. Manifestly, the industry has failed to recapitalise itself. New purchases last year were less than 3 000 units. Accordingly, the fleet will get older and older. It has no prospect under the present structure of recapitalising itself.

Now, anyone who says that that is a situation which we can tolerate is playing with people’s lives. In the first place, these vehicles were built as light utility passenger vehicles, not as heavy-duty taxis. None of them have been modified to meet the needs. All of them are potentially dangerous, no matter how new they are. So we have a structural problem here. We have had similar problems, and no one got so excited, in the clothing and textile industry. When this Government pumped nearly R1 billion into the clothing and textile industry through the IDC and others to recapitalise its equipment, no one complained, because we had to recapitalise it. The same applies to the taxi industry.

Now what was the other alternative? The other alternative, put forward by many operators, was that we should buy second-hand vehicles. Let me tell hon members that that is suicide. Second-hand vehicles in Europe may cost one $3 000 to $5 000 to scrap because of environmental reasons. So, it is a well-known fact to anyone that knows anything about the automobile industry that a second-hand vehicle has no price. In fact, people pay to get it taken away from them. So we cannot support any programme with second-hand vehicles, because we will be giving away money to people without knowing exactly what we are paying for and why we are paying for it.

Secondly, the second-hand vehicles - even with the modifications we have had in one of the operations in Lesotho - are still totally inadequate for the operation. They were not built for this purpose. Thirdly, we would have had to monitor the second-hand vehicles very closely indeed, because if they have tires that come from Japan, they are not built for these temperatures. If they have tires that come from Europe, they are not built for these temperatures. We have no knowledge about the homologation systems that come in. We will have to check whether they are, in fact, credited here according to homologation practice here in South Africa. So we would have ended up with an administration just as big as the one we have to do now. Therefore we need to recapitalise the industry.

Someone told me that we should wait for all the producers to do it. What have we been doing? We have been talking to them for four years, and they have done nothing. Why? Because it is not profitable. What we have done is come forward with a subvention so that we can recapitalise this industry. The subvention is approximately equal to the deposit that would be paid.

If hon members read the study very carefully they will see that it is an integrated package, designed to maintain the vehicles for a safe period, and ensure that there is financing, and that proper depreciation allowances are kept. It is a comprehensive programme that is being put forward. We cannot just sit and wait, because it will never recapitalise itself.

There are two other complete and absolute misconceptions in this thing. The first is that we are halving the fleet. That is nonsense. The economics of the routes differ. Everybody knows that on some routes a 35-seater is the only economically viable proposition, and on other routes an 18-seater is the only economically viable proposition. That will be left to individual operators. No one is being forced to scrap all their vehicles. That is complete nonsense.

What will happen is that, with the new support for this industry, sensible operators will realise that somewhere around the fourth year they should trade in their vehicles. And that is why we have planned the programme over four years, so that people who have bought their vehicles recently will still qualify by the fourth year. Anyone who acts sensible will trade in the vehicle as the vehicle comes up for trading in. No one is being forced to do anything.

But, what we are doing is addressing all the problems that the more sensible speakers have put forward, problems such as management; financing; safer vehicles, including environmental aspects; vehicles that accommodate disabled persons better than they did; and vehicles that are safer and more comfortable. This what we are trying to do. It is a major and innovative approach to this problem. The alternatives do not exist. Everything else that has been put forward is not an alternative, because it has not answered the fundamental question of how we would recapitalise the fleet and still provide an affordable and safe service to commuters. That is the fundamental objective.

People can shout, scream, jump on the roof and threaten violence - then we will put them in jail … [Laughter] … but we are not going to back off from providing a safe, affordable service to our people. That is the responsibility of Government, no one else. We will provide that service and that is what this scheme is going to do. [Applause.]

Deputy Speaker, can I abuse the debate? I am afraid we have had an interesting day on another matter. It has nothing to do with taxis, but it may have one day. It concerns grappa and ouzo. [Interjections.] If I could

  • out of courtesy and respect to the House - I would have liked to have made a statement, but I am afraid there was no time for us to do that.

I would like just to state briefly that this morning we received a letter from the president of the European Commission, President Prody, putting forward a proposal on this agreement. It contains three elements: firstly, that the provisional application will be implemented; secondly, that we will set up a joint commission in terms of the agreement; and thirdly, that at the end of a five-year period we will phase the five names only out, if there has been agreement in the WTO that these names will be protected.

This is a compromise. We still have to argue it out. There is going to be quite an argument on this. It is a compromise, but the main purpose of this compromise is to ensure that the main agreement goes forward. I think we as South Africa have remained true to our principles that we would not agree to something that is incompatible with the World Trade Organisation. [Applause.]

Mr G E BALOI: Madam Speaker, the transformation of the taxi industry is aimed at the integration of the taxi industry into the mainstream public transport system of our country. It seeks to put in place a sustainable platform in order to level the playing field and to increase the competitive environment for all road-based passenger transport modes.

The Government is spending millions of rands as a result of accidental deaths that are caused by minibus taxis that are not roadworthy and are worn out. We as legislators of the day should support the transformation of the taxi industry into a modern one. The new taxi will relieve the burden carried by the Government in spending millions, if not billions, of rands, caused by uninsured taxis, worn-out tyres and inexperienced taxi drivers.

South Africa is a beautiful country whose sons and daughters should be living their lives until old age. Untimely deaths, as caused by the taxis, are unacceptable. Every year, statistics show an increase in deaths caused by minibus taxis. New taxis will be equipped with a tracking system to ensure that they travel according to their allocated routes. This will ensure that taxis do not operate on routes other than theirs. These measures will also enhance the safety of all concerned - drivers and passengers alike - as it will be easy to detect what went wrong and where. South Africans make 2,5 billion passenger trips per year, 66% of which are by taxis. Concerns were raised about the current monopoly in the market, which - according to the SA Taxi Council, Sataco - has led to a situation where profits have become more important than the safety of passengers. [Time expired.] Mrs P DE LILLE: Madam Speaker, hon Deputy President, the PAC supports the introduction of a new purpose-built vehicle for the taxi industry and the scrapping of the old fleet. However, the process must be reviewed, and in terms of that process the PAC feels that there is no distinction between the regulatory body and the representative body, leading to conflict and confusion in the industry.

The Government-appointed SA Taxi Council is both a regulatory and representative body. We are convinced that Government must divide the two functions, and allow the SA Taxi Council to form a regulatory body that is independent of the representative body. The taxi industry in South Africa has shown itself to be incapable of sorting out the issue of representation. This is illustrated by the protest action in Johannesburg a few weeks ago. Taxi drivers are saying that they have not had a proper input into the process and that this has largely been confined to the taxi owners. Once again we have seen no sensitivity or sympathy shown for some very important stakeholders in the process. The PAC wants to appeal to Government to begin a proper and inclusive information and education process for all drivers and owners on the recapitalisation process. Thereafter, it should set manufacturing standards for the production of the new 18-seater and 35-seater buses, and leave the manufacture and sale to the market. Ultimately, both commuter and operator will, through the usage patterns, decide whether the product in its current format is suitable for our conditions.

Mrs N D MBOMBO: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, hon comrades and hon members, today we are here to discuss the recapitalisation project of the taxi industry. There is going to be a roadshow where members of the SA Taxi Council will be leading the process. Government has opted for this kind of vehicle because the old ones were not sustainable and were not build to carry such workloads. With this new mode each seat has a safety belt, and there is enough space when alighting or getting off. The height is acceptable, and the seats are removable and comfortable, even for larger commuters.

The long-distance ones have trailers for luggage, so commuters will be comfortable, without lots of luggage on their sides. The chassis are purpose-built for passenger transport, making them much safer. This mode also has a lower floor, and the concerns of the people with disabilities are being looked into. The new taxis will have speed-control gauges, so that the safety of the commuters should be a proper priority at all times.

With regard to tendering, tenders must comply with technical specifications as laid down by the department. The operators will be empowered through co- operatives which will assist by creating jobs, also leading to a greater understanding of democracy and the democrative process. The role of transforming economic and social conditions builds unity and trust amongst members, which leads to the empowerment of the community as well. Other people just keep saying: ``Taxis, taxis’’ when they had never been inside those taxis. [Applause.]

Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Madam Speaker, the FA will always laud any move to curb the carnage on our roads and which will also bring the much-desired law and order to the taxi industry. However, with the announcement that minibus taxis will be replaced by the much bigger, specially built, newly designed taxis, one wonders if enough research and indeed enough thought have gone into this drastic measure. I heard what the hon the Minister said, but I still want to ask: Have enough consultations been conducted with the current producers of minibus taxis? [Interjections.] Has the effect of the scaling down or closure of the production lines, with the concomitant job losses, been fully established and the consequences entirely understood? [Interjections.]

Some other questions which arise are the following. Will the new taxis be constrained to only transport the number of passengers they are designed for? [Interjections.] Will they not be overloaded? Will these new taxis leave at fixed times or will they wait until they are full? [Interjections.]


Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: I hear that. Will new areas for parking for these vehicles be provided, or will they still, as the case is now, be allowed to park or stop wherever they choose? [Interjections.] Yes. No. There is a difference then in opinion. Will the taxis be allowed to summarily stop in the middle of the street, even during peak hours, to load or offload passengers? [Interjections.] These are questions I think which one has to look at. Will these taxis have speed governors that cannot be removed or changed?

If answers to the above questions are in the affirmative, the question is simply: Why could the present taxis not be curbed? The announcement of the maximum speed of 100 km/h over the festive season was all but ignored. If not controlled, we will merely turn moving coffins into moving hearses.

In lighter vein, one good thing that will come out of the change is that we will … [Time expired.]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, hon Ministers and members, I must firstly congratulate the hon Mnumzana on her maiden speech. Well done. [Applause.]

In the taxi industry the passengers’ comfort and needs are very seldom taken into consideration. Emphasis is placed on a minimum profit per day. This means that the taxi driver must make sufficient money to earn his salary and maintain a roadworthy vehicle. These two reasons encourage the overloading of taxis, fast driving in order to make more than one trip, and making commuters wait until taxis are filled to capacity. Undoubtedly, competition in the industry is fierce, which leads to unnecessary violence and road accidents. The recapitalisation of the taxi industry has focused on specially building taxis for the purpose of passengers, which in turn means safer passenger transport. The vehicles will be equipped with tracking systems and a reliable national database of permits will be established. The recapitalisation of the taxi industry also provides potential opportunities to promote black empowerment.

When promoting the use of smart cards, a reasonable price must be set, as one must take into consideration that the majority of commuters hail from the lower economic sectors. Diesel minibuses will be more cost-effective and cheaper to run. The introduction of the 18-seater and 35-seater minibuses will decrease traffic congestion, which will hopefully mean a reduction in road accidents.

For too long priority was given to profits and not the safety of the passengers. The compelling reasons for restructuring include the need to eliminate violence, the need to improve on the levels of safety and a desire for quality service in the transport industry. The greatest challenge is to discover a way to implement these important objectives. The MF supports all measures to curb the loss of life and limb among our people. [Applause.][Time expired.]

Mnr C AUCAMP: Mevrou die Speaker, die taxibedryf is een van daardie grensgevalle; dit is ‘n private bedryf, maar tog ‘n bedryf wat in die openbare sfeer optree, op so ‘n wyse dat dit regstreekse openbare implikasies het. Anders as met vele ander sektore van die sakewêreld is dit dus noodsaaklik dat die Regering orde moet skep in hierdie omgewing.

Die sleutelwoord hier is orde skep'' en nieoorneem’’ nie. Dit sou ‘n anomalie wees indien Eskom, Telkom, Vodacom, Dotcom'' enAntikom’’ geprivatiseer word, en ``Taxicom’’ word genasionaliseer. Hierteen moet ten alle koste gewaak word. Die geheim is regulering en nie sentralisering nie, en dit klink vir my asof die Regering dit ook so insien.

Die vraag kan ontstaan of hierdie nie ‘n ingryp is in die private ondernemingskap wat in hierdie bedryf ontstaan het nie. Ja, sekerlik, maar tog moet in gedagte gehou word dat hierdie private bedryf meestal krygsgevange gehou word deur konsortiums en gesigloses agter die skerms, dikwels tot nadeel van taxi-eienaars en -operateurs, in so ‘n mate dat taxioorloë soms skrikwekkende afmetings aangeneem het.

Ander negatiewe elemente verbonde aan die bedryf is bekend. Statistiek wys dat die ongeluksyfer van taxis veel hoër is as dié van ander voertuie. Oorlading is algemeen en die mate van padwaardigheid laat veel te wense oor. Enkele jare gelede is op die Pietersburg-pad ‘n taxi voorgekeer met 20 insittendes en ‘n vice-grip'' vir 'n stuurwiel. Verkeersreëls word dikwels veronagsaam en menige grafsteen kan die inskripsie kry:Hier lê Meraai; links gewys en regs gedraai’’!

Daarom moet opleiding, wetstoepassing en deeglike gereelde toetsing van bestuursvaardighede prioriteit geniet. Om die ingrype te minimaliseer moet bestaande kontrakteurs voorkeur kry by die toekenning van kontrakte. Deeglike beplanning moet gedoen word in verband met die talle huidige minibusse, wat soos blanke staatsamptenare oortollig verklaar sál word. Ons vertrou dat hierdie proses ordelik sal geskied met die minste moontlike ontwrigting vir almal. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr C AUCAMP: Madam Speaker, the taxi industry is a borderline case; it is a private industry, but nevertheless an industry that operates in the public sphere, in such a way that it has direct public implications. Contrary to the case in many other sectors of the business world, it is therefore essential that the Government should bring order in this environment.

The key word here is bring order'' and nottake over’’. It would be an anomaly if Eskom, Telkom, Vodacom, Dotcom'' andAntikom’’ were privatised and ``Taxicom’’ nationalised. This should be avoided at all costs. The secret is regulation and not centralisation, and it sounds to me as if the Government is of the same opinion.

The question may arise whether this is not an intervention in the private entrepreneurship that has developed in this industry. Yes, certainly, but one should nevertheless keep in mind that this private industry is mostly being held to ransom by consortiums and faceless people behind the scenes, often to the disadvantage of taxi owners and operators, to such an extent that taxi wars have sometimes reached alarming proportions.

Other negative elements relating to the industry are known. Statistics show that the accident figure for taxis is significantly higher than that for other vehicles. Overloading is common and the degree of roadworthiness leaves much to be desired. A few years ago a taxi was stopped on the Pietersburg road, which was carrying 20 passengers and had a vice-grip for a steering wheel. Traffic rules are often ignored and many a gravestone could carry the epitaph: ``Hier lê Meraai; links gewys en regs gedraai’’! [Here lies Meraai, she indicated she was going to turn left and then turned right!]

For this reason training, law enforcement and thorough regular testing of driving skills should receive priority. To minimise intervention, existing contractors should receive preference when contracts are allocated. Thorough planning will have to take place in respect of the many minibuses now in existence that, like white public servants, will be declared redundant. We trust that this process will take place in an orderly manner, with the least possible disruption for everybody.]

Mr M A MANGENA: Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that the taxi industry has some problems. It is plagued by endemic violence. A large percentage of taxis are too old and the owners are unable to replace them due to falling revenue. For the same reason, those operators who acquire new vehicles have problems with their instalments, more often than not leading to repossession. Taxis contribute significantly to the road carnage.

The proposal to recapitalise the industry and introduce the 18-seater and 35-seater buses will attend to some of these problems, but by no means all of them. The old fleet will be removed from our roads and the public will have a more comfortable and dignified form of transport. But the carnage on our roads will not be reduced by the mere introduction of new buses. Just as the bigger buses kill people at present, there is no reason why the new taxis will not do so if conditions on the roads remain the same.

The accident rate will only come down if there is a visible, thorough and vigorous enforcement of the law. Corrupt officials who unleash unfit drivers on to our roads by issuing fake drivers’ licences must be rooted out. The same fate must befall corrupt traffic officers who routinely take bribes in order to turn a blind eye to defective vehicles.

The recapitalisation of the taxi industry is certainly a worthwhile proposal. We welcome the assurance that no one is going to be compelled by law to buy the new 18-seater and 35-seaters. We hope that just as the Pontiac Parisienne, Valiant and ``Six Mabone’’ were forced out of the market by the imperatives of the business in which they operated, the same route will be followed here. In particular, it must be remembered that … [Time expired.]

Mr J P CRONIN: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, the taxi recapitalisation project, which we have been debating and discussing this afternoon, is a very bold, imaginative and far-reaching programme. In fact, it is one of the major social delivery programmes that we have seen unfolding over the past five years. It is an area where - if we are as honest as we must be, as the ANC - we have battled to deliver to our people. We have done well in water; we have done well in housing, and I think this really gives us the opportunity to make a difference to people’s ordinary day-to-day lives by providing them with decent, affordable, accessible and safe public transport. That has to be the priority.

But, it is a programme that will benefit all South Africans. Those of us who do not rely on minibuses, on a daily basis, will also benefit from a better-regulated, legal and better-maintained taxi fleet. We all have an interest in seeing this happening. For operators, including those who were complaining that they were left out of the process and so on, hundreds of thousands, probably some billions, of rands will be flowing into this industry.

The message given to them this afternoon, particularly by the DP, was: ``You pulled yourself up by your bootstraps during the apartheid years; continue to pull yourself up by your bootstraps now in the liberated South Africa.’’ That is not the message we want to give them. We say that we want to help them to recapitalise their industry, and that it is in our collective interest that they do so.

For drivers also there are important benefits. The slogan of: Let us maintain the status quo, simply does not make sense. Some alleged driver organisations were hoisting the flag of status quo. For drivers there is every interest in having a safer industry and a better-regulated set of working conditions. For our entire economy it would indeed make sense to recapitalise this very important sector. The fiscus … [Interjections.] I take that as a very high compliment coming from him. The taxi industry is estimated to have an annual turnover of about R40 billion, and yet very little of this comes into the fiscus. By formalising, legalising and recapitalising we actually stand to benefit in the medium to longer term rather than simply spending taxpayers’ money. Our entire economy would indeed benefit from having a safe and efficient public transport system of which this will be an important component.

We concede, however, as the ANC, that precisely because it is a bold and far-reaching initiative, there are uncertainties. There are problems and possible difficulties. The way to approach these is with a clear head, with consultation and with an open mind.

Let me list just some of the issues. One of them is the diesel issue, which none of the parties here has raised this afternoon, but which has been raised outside of this House by environmental groups. They are not wrong in raising this issue. As the ANC, we salute them for raising the concern about diesel. Diesel is a polluting form of fuel. This is a serious concern.

The reason we are nudging in the direction of diesel is that South Africa, in the refining process, produces a surplus of diesel which we cannot use locally and we are actually currently exporting it at a loss to our economy. Therefore, it is obviously attractive to use diesel in this taxi fleet, but we need to weigh that up intelligently, and with farsightedness, against environmental sustainability.

Then there is the issue of jobs. Somewhere out of the air has come a figure of 40 000 or 41 000 job losses. I am not sure what the scientific basis of this figure is. Currently, we estimate some 130 000 minibuses on the roads. Nobody is quite sure how many, exactly. The assumption is that suddenly, and out of the blue, they will go down to 80 000. That is an assumption. There are no scientific grounds that I am aware of for making that assumption.

The assumption is also based on the idea that one taxi equals one driver. That is the case now, all too often, one vehicle circulates around the streets for 17 hours a day, and one poor driver is driving that taxi for 17 hours. That cannot be the case in future. As we recapitalise, the operators must understand that the quid pro quo for the benefits that they will get from this major injection of public money is that the working conditions in the taxi industry must improve and must become regular. If a taxi vehicle should be on the road for 17 hours, then there should be two or three drivers working in shifts. So, as we capitalise, there may well be more drivers rather than fewer.

There are also many important proposals in terms of downstream job creation with the capitalisation process. But all of these will happen - this is our perspective, as the ANC - only if the trade union movement is an active partner in the process. It cannot simply be left to the owners of taxis. We encourage taxi drivers to be organised, to be articulate and to come up with proactive plans and suggestions so that they become an integral component of the taxi recapitalisation process.

Then there are issues of inclusivity and representivity, and most of them have attached to Sataco. The two Ministers who have spoken before me have explained that Sataco has emerged out of a four-year consultation process. It represents the nine democratically elected provincial taxi councils. It also has, on its steering committee, the 12 recognised mother bodies.

As far as we are concerned, it is a relatively representative body in a very complicated industry. However, we are not attached to the given individuals who are in the leadership at present. They have been elected by the taxi associations. However, if the taxi associations are unhappy with that leadership, then they must insist that the leadership exercises effective mandates and is answerable to those associations, and, as there are re-elections planned in the coming months for Sataco, that will ensure that there is adequate representation.

The hon member from the PAC completely misunderstands the nature of Sataco. It is not a regulatory body. Like other professional bodies, we expect them to have some degree of professional self-regulation. Regulation will be implemented in terms of the new national land transport Bill by provincial authorities and by national Government itself.

In conclusion, I want to use the occasion to appeal, especially to my fellow ANC MPs. We need to understand that this taxi recapitalisation process is a major transformation campaign that all of us must take up. When we go on our weekends and into our constituency weeks in March, we need to go with information. The kind of disinformation or confusion that we are hearing is an enemy of progress and transformation. It is very important that we get the message of transformation across. [Applause.]

However, when we go to our constituencies, we must not only preach but also listen, because we are an organisation which is democratic not only in name but in reality, and it is our job to listen to what commuters have to say, what drivers have to say and what the associations have to say. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Your time has expired.

Mr J P CRONIN: To the other members here I say that they are also invited to come on board, but they can miss the bus if they want to. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Adv Z L MADASA: Madam Speaker, I feel a bit intimidated to challenge my former comrade and mentor, but things have changed. The issue here is not … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, could we listen to the hon member, please. Adv Z L MADASA: The ACDP thanks the House for the discussion. All that we wanted was for the issue to be discussed here openly. I think everybody has done that. That is all that we needed. The ACDP does not challenge the issue of recapitalisation. That is not the issue. What we are doing here is to present the report that we received from the taxi associations. We are presenting it before the Minister so that he should take all the suggestions on board. That is the issue here. [Interjections.]

The Minister has accused the president of the ACDP of ignorance. The truth is really that the taxi associations are ignorant of the process. That is what is coming out from the grass-roots level. [Interjections.]


Adv Z L MADASA: The Minister said that the recapitalisation process is going to provide more jobs. To me, that is illogical. How can one lose more jobs in order to create more jobs? It is alleged that the taxi industry is also going to empower black people. The truth of the matter is that the people are already empowered, even at present.

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: We cannot hear the speaker. It is not possible with … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, could we have some order so that we can hear the hon member.

Adv Z L MADASA: The Minister has said that the process is going to help to curb violence, but I disagree with him, because violence in the taxi industry is not really caused by whether the taxis are old or new. There are other causes of violence. I think that this process is going to create more pirates and, unless the Ministry addresses that, the pirates are going to cause violence because they are going to challenge the present owners.

The hon member Mnumzana said that there has been an exhaustive process since 1994, and the Minister of Trade and Industry has said so as well. However, the evidence that we have of challenges and protests contradicts that allegation.

The Minister also said that the process is going to help to address the issue of structural problems. On that issue, I say that all the car manufacturers must be given an opportunity to come forward with suggestions to address structural problems, because if we give the contract to a preferred bidder, then we will be creating a monopoly and, eventually, the standards will go down. [Interjections.] Yes, standards.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, please, we would like to hear what the hon member is saying. [Interjections.] Even if we disagree with him, we need to hear what he is saying.

Adv Z L MADASA: What I want to emphasise to the Minister is that there is evidence that Sataco co-opts, and taxi councils, as the hon Cronin conceded, are not fully representative, and that is the burning issue. Taxi associations say that these people have not been elected by them, so the Minister cannot deal with people whose mandate is in dispute. The Minister has to deal with that, otherwise the whole process will falter.

The burning issue according to these people is that the taxi associations are not represented in these structures and bodies. That must be addressed so that their concerns can be taken on board. That has to be revisited. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


Order disposed of without debate.

Decision ratified in terms of Joint Rule 216(4).


Order disposed of without debate.

Report adopted.


                       (Second Reading debate)

Order disposed of without debate.

Bill read a second time.


Order disposed of without debate.

Report adopted.


                       (Second Reading debate)

Adv S P HOLOMISA: Madam Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill, as approved by the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, is a piece of legislation that seeks to address certain shortcomings in seven existing Acts. These are the Deeds Registries Act, the KwaZulu Land Affairs Act, the Provision of Land and Assistance Act, the Restitution of Land Rights Act, the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act, the Extension of Security of Tenure Act and the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act.

On account of the fact that the Bill, together with amendments proposed by the Department of Land Affairs and the Ministry, enjoyed the unanimous support of the portfolio committee, the committee mandated me, as chairperson, to report on its behalf, to this Chamber, on the implications of the provisions contained in the Bill. It did turn out, however, some days after the approval of the Bill, that an important stakeholder in the agricultural sector, Agri SA, formerly known as the SA Agricultural Union, had problems with some of the new amendments to the Bill. These amendments related to the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act and the Extension of Security of Tenure Act. I duly advised Agri SA that in view of the fact that the Bill had already been approved by the portfolio committee, we were not in a position to open further discussions on the matters raised, but that the organisation could still make representations to the select committee when the Bill was sent to the National Council of Provinces. This approach, I am happy to say, has been accepted by Agri SA. The Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act provides that labour tenants may apply for land, land rights and servitudes. This right to apply must be exercised before 23 March 2000. It has become evident that, due to their poor social, economic and educational station, a great number of people who are entitled to enjoy these rights are not aware of their availability. The Department of Land Affairs has thus embarked upon a publicity campaign to ensure that information reaches the intended beneficiaries. The final date for the lodgement of the applications is thus being extended by a year to 31 March

  1. As stated earlier, the committee approved of this amendment.

It has come to the attention of the Department of Land Affairs that both the magistrates’ courts and land claims courts have been constrained to grant eviction orders, even in circumstances when the victims of such orders did not have suitable alternative accommodation due to the fact that the Extension of Security of Tenure Act does not specifically require that it first be established that such accommodation is available. This state of affairs has resulted in a situation where undue hardship has befallen innocent family members, including children whose schooling is often disrupted. In order to address this shortcoming and to promote the constitutional rights of all involved, the portfolio committee adopted a clause which provides that the court, before granting an eviction order, must appoint a probation officer in terms of the Probation Services Act of 1991. This officer must, within a reasonable period, submit to the court a report on the availability of suitable alternative accommodation, as well as the effect of the eviction on the constitutional rights of those affected, including the children.

The portfolio committee, in its adoption of this clause, signalled its strong intention to do away with the spectre of the recent past when human beings were dumped by the side of the road with nowhere to go. We would urge that appropriate funds be made available to ensure that the work of these probation officers is done speedily and effectively, so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the landowners.

The Restitution of Land Rights Act is being amended to deal with the imminent expiry of the term of office of the judges of the Land Claims Court. The amendments provide that the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development must, after consultation with the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs, cause judges of the High Court to be seconded to the Land Claims Court. Alternatively, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development may, at the request of the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs, appoint an acting judge to the Land Claims Court for a specified period of time. Cases which have not been finalised at the time of the expiry of the term of office of a judge, be this a sitting judge, an acting judge or a seconded judge, must be completed by that judge.

The amendment relating to the Deeds Registries Act is meant to empower the deeds registries regulation board to make regulations which will force conveyancers and certain attorneys to pay fees owing to the Deeds Offices without the latter having to go the expensive route of litigation in court.

This amending Bill seeks to facilitate rapid delivery of land reform. I commend it to hon members. [Applause.]

Mnr A J BOTHA: Mevrou die Speaker, ons het ‘n jammerlike geskiedenis van die miskenning van menseregte met betrekking tot grondregte en grondbesit in ons land in wat beskryf kan word as ‘n eeu van onreg. Alle redelike mense steun dus die doel van dié wetgewing asook die wysigings. Ek haal met trots aan wat my agb kollega E K Moorcroft gesê het met die inwerkingstelling van die wetgewing in 1996 (Hansard, Senate, 1996: col 126): (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Mr A J BOTHA: Madam Speaker, we have a lamentable history of disregard for human rights with regard to land rights and land tenure in our country, in what may be described as an age of injustice. Therefore, all reasonable people support the aim of this legislation, as well as the amendments. I quote with pride what my hon colleague E K Moorcroft said when the legislation came into operation in 1996 (Hansard, Senate, 1996, col 126):]

I should like to begin by confirming that the DP is fully supportive of the overall objectives of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Bill, which are to protect the labour tenants against summary or unjust evictions, and to protect the rights of labour tenants, particularly in terms of the ownership of land.

In a like-minded manner, we find that Agri SA, the umbrella organisation representing commercial farmers in South Africa, communicates as follows regarding the amendments:

Agri SA recognises that the court needs to verify the information.

Net so het die portefeuljekomitee ook die doel van die wetgewing en die wysigings eenparig gesteun, maar die doel, hoe edel ook al, heilig nie die middele nie. Ek haal weer eens die agb E K Moorcroft aan waar hy sê (Hansard, Senate, 1996, kol 126): (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Similarly, the portfolio committee also unanimously supported the aim of the legislation and the amendments, but no matter how noble the end may be, it does not justify the means. Once again I quote the hon E K Moorcroft, who said (Hansard, Senate, 1996, col 126):]

This Bill, in short, seeks to do the right thing in the wrong way … in what can only be described as a singularly undemocratic and nontransparent way.

The portfolio committee was led to believe that all stakeholders had been consulted. What we find in reality, however, is that Agri SA communicated on 10 February after our meeting, as follows:

We are most concerned with two amendments effected to the abovementioned Bill without prior consultation.

The relationship between the employer and employee is delicate at all times, but all the more so in agriculture in which the additional element of access to land is in the picture. The greatest degree of consultation and co-operation is required, and, in this case, is clearly forthcoming from organised agriculture as demonstrated.

In fact, the empowerment of all those who have been effectively excluded by legislation from farming also depends largely on the input from existing commercial farmers in order to achieve any measure of success. What we do not need is high-handed and undemocratic action by any of the role-players, especially the state. The consequences of such a disservice to the country are aptly illustrated by the appalling situation in which our neighbour Zimbabwe now finds itself, directly as a result of such behaviour. The committee report before Parliament today quite correctly reflects that the portfolio committee voted in favour of the amendment, in fact unanimously so. From the foregoing it will, however, be clear that this was done under a misconception, even to the extent of having been misled, and therefore the DP demands that the Bill stand over or at least go before the portfolio committee again so that the matter may be referred back for consideration. The DP will oppose this Bill and we will definitely address the matter in the NCOP. [Interjections.]

Prof H NGUBANE: Madam Speaker, amakhosi and fellow members of this honourable House, the IFP supports the amendments contained in this Bill, especially as they seek to upgrade the relevant Acts so as to meet most of the needs of the people whom such legislation was supposed to benefit. We are particularly encouraged that some of the amendments expressly address our specifically stated concerns over eviction in the past. Adv Holomisa, the chairman of the portfolio committee, has already expressed the crux of the Bill.

The expressed intention of the Department of Land Affairs is to conduct extensive communication campaigns to inform labour tenants of their new rights during this financial year. One would also wish to see the accompanying activity of monitoring and evaluation of how much people actually benefit from these provisions.

The whole approach embodied in these amendments indicates a move in a very promising direction and therefore we in the IFP duly congratulate the Minister on these efforts.

Dr E A SCHOEMAN: Mevrou die Speaker, kollegas, hierdie betrokke wysigingswetsontwerp het ten doel om sekere beperkende klousules te wysig, ook sekere klousules van wette wat betrekking het op plaaswerkers en huurarbeidersgevolge en om onder meer lewering ten opsigte van grondhervorming ingevolge huidige wetgewing te vergemaklik en/of te bespoedig.

Die Nuwe NP verwelkom die wysigings met betrekking tot die bespoediging van grondhervorming. Sekerheid en stabiliteit in ons plattelandse gemeenskappe sal slegs verkry word wanneer die probleme rondom eienaarskap en herverdeling uitgestryk is.

In klousule 7 word die tydperk vir die indiening van aansoeke as huurarbeiders verleng tot 31 Maart 2001. Alhoewel die Nuwe NP hierdie wysiging in beginsel steun, is ons van mening daar is meer as voldoende tyd verleen vir sodanige registrasie.

Daar is inligting dat individue wat hoegenaamd nie kwalifiseer nie, of net marginaal binne die gees van die wetsontwerp, op groot skaal aangemoedig word om aansoek te doen. Dit perpetueer net die huidige onsekerheid in gebiede waar huurarbeiderpraktyke beoefen word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Dr E A Schoeman: Madam Speaker, colleagues, the aim of this particular amending Bill is to amend certain restrictive clauses, including certain clauses of Acts which pertain to farmworkers and labour tenants, and, inter alia, to facilitate and/or expedite delivery with regard to land reform in terms of present legislation.

The New NP welcomes the amendments with regard to the expediting of land reform. Certainty and stability within the rural communities will only be achieved once the problems surrounding ownership and redistribution have been sorted out. In clause 7 the period for the submission of applications as labour tenants as been extended to 31 March 2001. Although the New NP supports this amendment in principle, we are of the opinion that more than enough time has been allowed for such registration.

There is information that individuals who do not qualify at all, or qualify only marginally within the spirit of this Bill, are being encouraged on a large scale to apply. This only perpetuates the present uncertainty in areas where labour tenant practices are being pursued.]

The only clause which can be viewed as being controversial is clause 10 which amends section 9 of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act. I associate myself with the criticism expressed by the hon member of the DP. There is justified criticism that legislation tends to favour and protect the worker, in this instance the farmworker, leaving the employer, in this instance the farm owner, vulnerable.

Maybe the time has come for all parties, including Government, to convene a forum in which the reasons for the shedding of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the agricultural sector can be discussed and possible solutions proposed. The New NP will vote in favour of this Bill, with the understanding that clause 10 will be amended in the NCOP and referred back to this House.

Ms C DUDLEY: Madam Speaker, the Almighty God is a God of justice. To please him we must do what is right, just and fair, neither showing favouritism nor denying justice to the poor in their law suits.

The Government’s programme of land reform aims at extending security of tenure to all South Africans, which the ACDP supports. However, we are very aware of the fine balance that must be found between the rights of the landless and the landowners. The ACDP recognises the necessity of land reform, but maintains that it should be aimed at retaining and improving the existing standards of utilisation. Training of new landowners therefore is of the utmost importance in order to develop the necessary expertise.

According to international trends, violence is an inevitable result of land invasion, which occurs when the process is caught up in long legal disputes and lacks the necessary momentum. Clause 10, unfortunately, has the potential to create more insecurity and delays. The ACDP will not vote against this Bill, but we appeal to Government to monitor the results and to amend it if found necessary.

Dr S E PHEKO: Madam Speaker, the PAC supports the amending Bill. This is an administrative Bill designed to facilitate and ease a wide variety of administrative Acts.

These amendments underline the fact that the administration of land in South Africa is still a conundrum. Land is the trophy over which the liberation struggle was fought from 1652 to February 1994. The Bill is prolific on land legislation, but it is superficial.

Land dispossession of the poorest of the poor was colonially entrenched through the Native Land Act of 1913, which has been consolidated by section 25(7) of the Constitution. This legislation confines land claims to the arbitrary and illogical date of 1913. It must be amended. The unresolved land issue is a time bomb which will explode and destabilise this country.

Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Madam Speaker, the saying goes: ``It takes two to tango’’, and that is how we started to debate the technical changes to the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill. When some of the hon members went slightly off track or missed the rhythm of the discussion, the chair, the hon Holomisa, brought us skilfully back into step again. The portfolio committee thus functioned well.

Later, as we waltzed through the detail up to a proposal that a probation officer be appointed by the court to submit a report on the effect of the eviction of a person and his family, the music suddenly changed to a fast foxtrot. Again, the chairperson, the hon Holomisa, succeeded in getting all members in tune and paved the way for a small addition to a clause of the Bill to the effect that the probation officer was to submit the report within a reasonable timeframe. All parties then supported the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill.

The problem that I have is that, through the answers to the questions that I put to the officials of the department, we were given the impression that the specific matter of a probation officer had been discussed and approved by other parties, especially Agri SA. Research on this matter showed that it was not the case. That is why I referred to the saying: ``It takes two to tango.’’ If we want to function well in the committee, then we must have this interaction and not wait for inputs coming from outside. So we would object to the procedure but not to the Act as such, because we approve of that.

Let me now say something in general about the Act. I do not want to prolong the discussion, because the objective of the Act is commendable, but if we look at the practical application at ground level and see how it is applied and that the results are negative, then we surely have to revisit the fact that there are fewer job opportunities in South Africa within the agricultural sector than there were some time ago. We must look at the reasons for that.

We must look at the number of houses being built on farms. No new houses are being built. No upgrading is being done. There must be a reason for this and we have to look at it. Even farmers who intend to do the above, and who want to work together to improve the living conditions of farmworkers, find that they are penalised by certain provisions in the Act, and we have to rectify that.

There are a large number of farmers who are willing to assist Government in uplifting the conditions of farmworkers, and if the Act does not help, then we must look at it again. On that basis, we will support this Act.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, the discriminatory policies and laws and the neglect of the majority of the population during the apartheid regime have left many people living in fear of being evicted, of losing their homes or of not having sufficient land for the cattle and sheep to graze. The Land Affairs General Amendment Bill addresses the above problems experienced in South Africa.

Although various pieces of legislation have been implemented by the new democratic Government to redress the inequalities of the past as far as the land issues are concerned, most rural areas’ communication infrastructures are still under development. The MF welcomes the decision taken by the Department of Land Affairs to extend its communication campaign to inform labour tenants of their right to lodge applications in terms of the Land Reform Act, 1996, until the end of March 2001. After all, special attention must be given to the rights of labour tenants and the vulnerable people who occupy rural and peri-urban land. Postmortems and the review of all land legislation assure the people that the Government is transparent and accountable.

The MF supports the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill. [Applause.]

Mrs B M NTULI: Madam Speaker, ladies and gentlemen, more than three years ago we passed a piece of legislation which gave hope to thousands of rural people. Hope was given to those people who were most subjected to harsh and inhumane treatment by those for whom they toiled.

When we debated the Extension of Security of Tenure Bill, the opposition parties opposed it. The DP was not to be outdone in its criticism of the Bill. They joined in and argued why the poorest section of our society should not have the security of knowing that they would not find themselves dumped on a dusty roadside next to a farm, because the farmers do not need their services after 20 years of service.

This criticism was from a party that never joined the deliberation in the committee or any public hearing. I mention this because we find ourselves in a similar position, where the DP and the FA called for a debate on the Bill - the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill - before us today, yet they agreed to the proposed amendments as set out in the Bill in the portfolio committee.

A few questions beg to be asked if the DP and the FA are serious about our land reform programmes. Or are they just opposing this Bill to score some cheap political points? We are dealing with people here, not animals. Children are also involved. Their education is affected during the process of eviction. There is some form of learning breakdown.

The Bill before us contains some amendments to various pieces of legislation, which are necessary to unlock the bottlenecks which seem to prevent implementation of our land reform programmes. In relation to amendments to section 16 of the principal Act, the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill seeks to extend the timeframe stipulated in the principal Act - which is the period in which to make applications for the acquisition of land - which expires in March 2000. The Bill extends that date, and the motivation given is that the department intends to embark on an extensive campaign during this financial year, to inform labour tenants of their rights to make applications in terms of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act of 1996. As such, opposition parties rightly agreed to all the proposed amendments and that there would be no debate, but here we are debating today. It reminds me of one of the disciples of Jesus, who was walking and eating with him, but betrayed him in the end.

Here we have proposed amendments to the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, which envisages plugging loopholes in the Act that were exploited by some farmers. Section 19(3) of the principal Act makes provision for any order of eviction instituted before December 1999 to be reviewed by the Land Claims Court. The amendment seeks to extend this date to a date determined by the Minister.

Abantu bakithi abavikelekanga. Baxoshwa noma nini kungekho ndawo lapho bengaya khona. Lo Mthetho uyababonelela nangokuthi kube nendawo eyanele lapho bezoya khona, hhayi ukuthi bashiywe endleleni njengalokhu kwenzeka eDelmas naseBadplaas eMpumalanga nakwezinye izindawo. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[Our people are not protected. They are always subject to eviction even though there is nowhere they can go. This Bill favours them as it stipulates that there should be a place to which they are evicted; they should not be thrown out into the street as has happened in Delmas and Badplaas in Mpumalanga and in other areas.]

In fact, the new clauses will ensure that orders of eviction given before December 1999 are reviewed.

Okunye ngukuthi kulabo bantu abanikezwe izincwadi zokuthutha abanye kubona sebehambile. [Another thing is that some of those who have been ordered to vacate their dwellings have left already.]

Even though orders are still awaiting review, this is causing instability in the lives of the families.

Ngalokho-ke thina, njenge-ANC, siyawamukela lo Mthetho. Siyabonga kakhulu ukuthi sibe noMthetho onjengalona, singabi njengalabo abathengisa uJesu njengoJudas. [For the above reasons we in the ANC accept this Bill. We are grateful to have a Bill of this nature since it shows that we are unlike those who betrayed Jesus, the Judases.]

We agreed that we were not going to politicise agriculture, but this is happening.

Abanye abakhona la eNdlini bamatasatasa bathatha wona lo Mthetho badlale ngawo ngokwezepolitiki. Lo Mthetho wamukelekile. [Ihlombe.] [Some of us here in this House are abusing this Bill for our own political agendas. This Bill is an acceptable one. [Applause.]]

The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Madam Speaker, hon members of the House, I would like to concur with those members who actually see these amendments as strengthening our objectives of reinforcing the land rights of those who were previously marginalised by the apartheid system.

I will not go into the details of the debate because this is what hon members have already done. But I think it is important to highlight a few issues, firstly, to indicate that there is no difference of opinion among all the hon members of the committee on the content of the amendments, even those amendments in the case of which it was indicated that consultation was not enough.

As a Minister, on behalf of my department, I would like to apologise, obviously, to those stakeholders whom we were not able to consult in time. I do, however, wish to indicate that even after the portfolio committee meetings, we did have a discussion with Agri SA, who indicated to us that they would go along with the approach proposed by the chairperson - that they would persuade the portfolio committee to re-examine these matters. Even Agri SA itself is not opposed to the amendment per se. However there are concerns about the time that the process may take in ensuring that the processes followed are not disadvantaging the landowners.

I must, therefore, say that I am happy to note the constructive participation in this debate of hon members such as Dr E A Schoeman, Mr M Pheko, as well as my ex-Minister, Mr A I van Niekerk. And I think that, in this instance, it is correct to say that even if we have disagreements on some matters, it is proper actually to handle those in a constructive way. But I must indicate that I was disappointed about the way in which hon member A Botha dealt with this matter.

He was part of the discussion in the committee. He was also part of the discussion with the chairperson outside of the committee, where agreements were made on how this matter would be handled in the NCOP. It is very unfortunate that he actually took the stand that he took in this Assembly today. I hope he will reconsider his view and not put the DP in a position that will not go a long way in helping us to advance our democracy. I accept this Bill and I put it forward to members for adoption. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time (Democratic Party dissenting).

The House adjourned at 18:50. ____


                      FRIDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2000


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 1.     The Speaker and the Chairperson directed the Secretary on 3
     February 2000, notwithstanding the provisions of Joint Rule 221,
     to send the official text (English version) of the Promotion of
     Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Bill [B 57B - 99]
     to the President for assent pending finalisation of the official

                      MONDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2000


National Assembly:

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government on the Fire Brigade Services Amendment Bill [B 63 - 99] (National Assembly
    • sec 76), dated 9 February 2000, as follows:

      The Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government, having considered the subject of the Fire Brigade Services Amendment Bill [B 63 - 99] (National Assembly - sec 76), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 76 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 63A - 99].

      The Committee further reports as follows:

      1. In view of the urgent need to restructure the Fire Brigade Board, the Committee focussed on the composition of the Board.

      2. The Committee feels that there are other aspects of the principal Act that should be reconsidered, and therefore recommends a review of the whole Act within a reasonable timeframe.

  2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs on the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill [B 64 - 99] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 9 February 2000, as follows:

    The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, having considered the subject of the Land Affairs General Amendment Bill [B 64 - 99] (National Assembly - sec 75), referred to it and classified by the Joint Tagging Mechanism as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 64A - 99].

    The Committee further requests the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs to furnish it by not later than the end of September 2000 with a detailed progress report by the Department of Land Affairs on the dissemination of information to the public regarding the final date for the lodgement of applications for labour tenancy rights in terms of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act, 1996.

                    TUESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2000


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
The following changes have been made to the membership of Joint
 Committees, viz:
 Constitutional Review:

 Appointed: Bakker, D M; Beukman, F; Camerer, S M; Gaum, A H; Van
 Deventer, F J (Alt).

 Ethics and Members' Interests:

 Appointed: Blaas, A; Pretorius, I J.
 Discharged: Dowry, J J; Greyling, C H F.

 Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Children, Youth and
 Disabled Persons:

 Appointed: Mbuyazi, L R; Witbooi, J.
 Discharged: Ackermann, C; Mars, I.

 Appointed: Olckers, M E.

National Assembly:

  1. The Speaker:
The following changes have been made to the membership of Committees,

 Arts, Culture, Science and Technology:

 Appointed: Pretorius, I J (Alt).
 Discharged: Dowry, J J.

 Correctional Services:

 Appointed: Morkel, C M (Alt).
 Discharged: Pretorius, I J.

 Environmental Affairs and Tourism:

 Appointed: Van Wyk, A (Alt).
 Discharged: Pretorius, I J.


 Appointed: Blaas, A (Alt); Rabie, P J.

 Home Affairs:

 Appointed: Pretorius, I J; Van Jaarsveld, A Z A (Alt).
 Public Accounts:

 Appointed: Blaas, A; Rabie, P J (Alt).

 Report 13 of Public Protector:

 Appointed: Bakker, D M; Beukman, F (Alt).


 Appointed: Bakker, D M; Gaum, A H; Greyling, C H F.

 Safety and Security:

 Appointed: Gaum, A H (Alt); Geldenhuys, B L.
 Discharged: Pretorius, I J.

 Trade and Industry:

 Appointed: Beukman, F; Nel, A H (Alt).
 Discharged: Rabie, P J.

 Welfare and Population Development:

 Appointed: Olckers, M E (Alt); Van Jaarsveld, A Z A.
 Discharged: Pretorius, I J.
  1. Mrs R Z N Capa has been appointed as chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services with effect from 15 February 2000.

  2. Mr D A Mokoena has been appointed as chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs with effect from 15 February 2000.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:


  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 (1)    Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of
     Vote 19 - Improvements of Conditions of Service for 1998-99 [RP

 (2)    Special Report of the Auditor-General on the Investigation into
     the Stockholding of the Department of Defence for 1998-99 [RP 33-
  1. The Minister of Finance:
 (1)    Report and Financial Statements of the Registrar of Unit Trust
     Companies for 1998.

 (2)    First Report of the Registrar of Short-Term Insurance for 1998-

 (3)    First Report of the Registrar of Long-Term Insurance for 1998-

 (4)    Fortieth Report and Financial Statements of the Registrar of
     Pension Funds for 1998.

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Finance and to the Select
 Committee on Finance.
  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry:
 Report of the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme for
 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and to the
 Select Committee on Economic Affairs.

National Assembly:

  1. The Speaker:
 Petition of Mrs H E Liebenberg, widow of the former employee of the
 former South African Railways and Harbours, praying for a pension.

 Referred to the Standing Committee on Private Members' Legislative
 Proposals and Special Petitions.
  1. The Minister of Transport:
 International COSPAS-SARSAT Programme Agreement dealing with provision
 of distress alert and location data in support of search and rescue
 operations, be tabled in terms of section 231(3) of the Constitution,

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Transport.
  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry:
 (1)    State of Small Business in South Africa Review for 1998.

 (2)    Report and Financial Statements of Support Programme for
     Industrial Innovation for 1998-99.

 (3)    Report and Financial Statements of Ntsika Enterprise Promotion
     Agency for 1998-99, including the Report of the Auditor-General on
     the Financial Statements.

 (4)    Report and Financial Statements of the Competition Commission
     for 1998-99, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
     Financial Statements.

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry:
  1. The Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs:
 Report and Financial Statements of the South African Veterinary Council
 for 1998-99.
 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs.


National Assembly:

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on the South African Airways Unallocatable Debt Bill [B 1 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 15 February 2000, as follows:

    The Portfolio Committee on Finance, having considered the subject of the South African Airways Unallocatable Debt Bill [B 1 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75), referred to it and classified by the JTM as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill without amendment.

                   WEDNESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2000


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
The following papers have been tabled and are now referred to the
relevant committees as mentioned below:

 (i)    The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on
          Public Accounts for consideration and report. It is also
          referred to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and the Select
          Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs for

          Special Report of the Auditor-General on the Investigation
          into the Stockholding of the Department of Defence for 1998-99
          [RP 33-2000].

   (ii) The following paper is referred to the Standing Committee on
          Public Accounts for consideration and report. It is also
          referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and
          Administration and Select Committee on Local Government and
          Administration for information:

          Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of
          Vote 19 - Improvements of Conditions of Service for 1998-99
          [RP 143-99].


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:


  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:

    Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 11 - Defence, Trading Account for Medical Stock, Special Defence Account for 1998-99 and the Performance Audit on 1 Military Town Management [RP 134-99].

 Referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration
 and report, and to the Portfolio Committee on Defence and the Select
 Committee on Security and Constitutional Affairs for information.
  1. The Minister of Sport and Recreation:

    Report of the Department of Sport and Recreation for 1998-99 [RP 200-99].

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation and the
 Select Committee on Education and Recreation.


National Assembly:

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Finance on the Financial Services Board Amendment Bill [B 62 - 99] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 15 February 2000, as follows:

    The Portfolio Committee on Finance, having considered the subject of the Financial Services Board Amendment Bill [B 62 - 99] (National Assembly - sec 75), referred to it and classified by the JTM as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 62A

    • 99].
  2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Labour on the Amendment to Schedule to Basic Conditions of Employment Act, dated 15 February 2000, as follows:   The Portfolio Committee on Labour, having considered a proposed amendment to Table One of Schedule Three to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997, referred to it, reports as follows:

        The Committee has taken note that the House, in terms of
        section 95(3) of the Act, may pass a resolution within 14 days
        of the date of tabling of the amendment (7 February 2000) to
        the effect that the amendment shall not be binding.
        The Committee is of the view that the amendment is in order,
        and recommends that the House take no further action.