National Assembly - 22 February 2000

                      TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2000


The House met at 14:00.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! A lot of members are still coming through the doors and they are causing a lot of interference in the House. In the future, can we always try to be on time, please.

Dr B G MBULAWA: Chairperson, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC: That the House -

(1) notes that STDs are a major determinant of HIV transmission, with 11 million STD episodes treated annually in South Africa;

(2) further notes that South Africa has recognised the STD success stories in other countries such as Tanzania, which has managed to reduce HIV transmission by 40% by improving the quality of STD services, using a system that is called the syndromic approach;

(3) commends the Department of Health for initiating STD Awareness Week and training hundreds of nurses in the syndromic approach, so that each clinic now has at least one nurse trained in this approach;

(4) further commends the department for the impressive results it has achieved with the Lesedi Project in Welkom in the Free State and the Mothusimpilo Project in Carletonville, reducing the number of new infections by 46%, amounting to a saving in medical costs of R2,34 million … [Time expired.]

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

That the House -

(1) notes that the SA Human Rights Commission has conditionally offered to withdraw the summonses issued to editors and broadcasters as part of its enquiry into racism in the media;

(2) nevertheless remains concerned about the jurisdictional problems relating to actions of the commission, such as -

   (a)  summonsing foreign editors;

   (b)  summonsing broadcasters who are governed by the provisions of
       broadcasting legislation and whose sector is regulated by the

   (c)  failing to recognise that the content of print media cannot be
       regulated in the same way as that of broadcasters and is
       protected by the free-speech provisions of the Constitution;

   (d)  failing to respect the decision of Parliament to exclude
       newspapers from the provisions of the Films and Publications Act
       of 1996, leaving them to regulate themselves; and

   (e)  failing to note that the publication of unfairly discriminatory
       matters and hate speech is now governed by the Promotion of
       Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act and will be
       adjudicated by the courts; and

(3 resolves to review the Human Rights Commission Act in order to give the SAHRC clarity on its role, powers and functions.


Mr V B NDLOVU: Chairperson, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I will move:

That the House - (1) welcomes the appointment of Moses Khanyile as the Provincial Commissioner of the Kingdom of KwaZulu;

(2) notes with grave concern the anonymous letters circulating about him in certain police stations, calling him a ``bobbejaan’’;

(3) calls on all Afrikaans speakers and writers to denounce such action and to distance themselves from the author of such a despicable letter; and

(4) appeals to all Afrikaans speakers and writers, and all people in the Kingdom of KwaZulu, to work together with Commissioner Khanyile to improve the safety and security of the Kingdom.

Mr A MLANGENI: 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 today marks the 129th anniversary of the birth of John Langalibalele Dube, first president of the ANC; (2) believes that he paved the way for the ANC to transform millions of lives of the marginalised people of South Africa and our continent; and

(3) salutes the contribution made by President Langalibalele Dube in building a better life for all South Africans.


Mnr J J DOWRY: Mnr die Voorsitter, ek gee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die Nuwe NP sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis -

(1) sy innige meegevoel betuig oor die gewelddadige en tragiese dood van sewe mense die naweek op die plaas Ou Muur in die Koue Bokkeveld;

(2) daarvan kennis neem dat ‘n mens met hartseer en afgryse vervul was met ‘n besoek aan die moordtoneel, wat soos ‘n slagveld voorgekom het;

(3) die sowat 30 polisiebeamptes wat aan die soektog na die moordenaar deelgeneem het, gelukwens met hul vinnige en doeltreffende spanwerk om die moordenaar vas te trek; en

 4) dié soort lafhartige moorde ten sterkste veroordeel en die Regering
    versoek om die herinstelling van die doodstraf ernstig te oorweeg. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Mr J J DOWRY: Mr Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day I shall move on behalf of the New NP:

That the House -

(1) expresses its sincere sympathy at the violent and tragic death of seven people over the weekend on the farm Ou Muur in the Koue Bokkeveld;

(2) notes that one was filled with grief and horror during a visit to the scene of the murder, which took on the appearance of a battlefield;

(3) congratulates the 30-odd police officials who participated in the search for the murderer on their fast and effective teamwork in apprehending him; and

(4) condemns this type of cowardly murder in the strongest possible terms and requests the Government to give serious consideration to the reinstatement of the death penalty.]

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

That the House -

(1) notes the arrival of Cyclone Eline in Mozambique, and the possibility of further flooding across the northern and north eastern regions of South Africa;

(2) notes the special Cabinet meeting that was held recently to discuss these floods;

(3) calls on the Government to present to the House the decisions taken at that meeting, specifically outlining -

   (a)  the proposed plan of action;

   (b)  the overall cost;

   (c)  the exact amount affecting the budgets of individual Government
       departments and provincial governments; and

   (d)  the time-scales involved before all disrupted services will be
       restored to these areas; and

(4) calls on the Government to indicate whether contingency plans exist in the event of further flooding.

Mrs F MAHOMED: 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 illness of the hon Chief Justice, Ismail Mohamed;

(2) recognises the invaluable contribution made by the hon Chief Justice to nation-building, justice and hope;

(3) wishes the Chief Justice a full and speedy recovery; and

(4) looks forward to his resumption of duties so that we are once again blessed with his wisdom, leadership and courage.


Mrs R M SOUTHGATE: Mr Chair, I hereby give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) expresses shock and horror at how the senior citizens of South Africa are being physically, emotionally and mentally abused by members of their families in their homes and by nursing staff at institutions;

(2) notes that this is an indictment against the Government as the Constitution guarantees each citizen, old and young, the right to protection, respect and dignity;

(3) calls on the Department of Welfare and the Human Rights Commission fully to investigate and act on any complaints of gross violations perpetrated against defenceless senior citizens and not to turn a blind eye or shirk their responsibilities; and

(4) calls on the Government to practise what they preach and to show our senior citizens that they are of great value to the heritage of our nation.

Mr E K MOORCROFT: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the DP:

That the House -

(1) notes that the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998 was meant ``to provide for the exercise of control over marine living resources in a fair and equitable manner to the benefit of all the citizens of South Africa’’; (2) further notes that -

   (a)  the allocation of fishing quotas has been delayed for the third
       year in a row;

   (b)  more than 300 people have lost their jobs due to the delays;

   (c)  many fishermen and their families have been left without income
       during a crucial part of the fishing season;

   (d)  the relevant authority is riddled by chaos and corruption; and

   (e)  new entrants into the fishing industry who have benefited from
       the allocation of quotas read like a Who's Who of the ANC elite;

(3) calls for -

   (a)  the immediate allocation of quotas to the fishing communities
       who have lived off the sea for generations; and
   (b)  an independent inquiry into the marine and coastal management


Dr R RABINOWITZ: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) in view of three children’s deaths allegedly related to the administration of diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus inoculation, calls on the Minister of Health to make widely known the results of her inquiry as to -

   (a)  whether the vaccines were linked to a particular batch or

   (b)  whether the deaths were linked to the immunisation;

   (c)  if other similar related incidents have occurred; and
   (d)  who first drew attention to these cases; and

(2) recognises that this should be done in order to reassure the public about the safety of DWT inoculation or to alert them to possible dangers.

Mr P J A GERBER: Chairperson, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

That the House -

(1) notes reports that a group of prominent Afrikaner business people have issued a declaration to our President in which they pledge their support for the economic management of the country;

(2) daaraan erkenning gee dat hierdie steun vir ons Regering se beleidsrigtings ‘n toename in direkte buitelandse beleggings sal meebring;

(3) hierdie dapper sakelui salueer vir hul dapper en progressiewe houding teenoor die nuwe politieke en ekonomiese bestel in Suid-Afrika; en (4) president Mbeki en sy Regering, en spesifiek die Minister van Finansies, gelukwens met hul uitstaande bestuur van die Suid- Afrikaanse ekonomie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

(2) recognises that this support for the policies of our Government will bring about an increase in direct foreign investment;

(3) salutes these brave businesspeople for their courageous and progressive attitude towards the new political and economic dispensation in South Africa; and

(4) congratulates President Mbeki and his Government, and specifically the Minister of Finance, on their outstanding management of the South African economy.


Dr P J RABIE: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the New NP:

That the House -

(1) notes the urgent need for tax reform;

(2) appeals to the hon the Minister to -   (a) reduce the tax burden in general and the net tax burden in particular;

   (b)  reduce the tax rate on individuals in all income brackets; and

   (c)  increase tax thresholds - the bottom threshold to R26 000 per
       annum and the top threshold to R150 000 per annum;

(3) believes that the Government should immediately cut the maximum marginal tax rate from 45% to 40%, with the long-term target of bringing it down to between 23% and 28%, and that this 5% cut should immediately be applied across the board in all tax brackets;

(4) requests the Government to eliminate the effect of inflation on personal income tax, or fiscal drag, as a matter of routine, which also implies that inflation should not be used as an undisclosed source of Government revenue;

(5) asks the Government to reduce the effect of corporate tax, inter alia through the abolition of secondary tax on companies and reducing the tax rate from 30% to 25% with immediate effect …

[Time expired.]

Dr G W KOORNHOF: Chairperson, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM:

That the House -

(1) notes with dismay Cosatu’s intent to embark upon nation-wide strike action;

(2) condemns this action by Cosatu to hijack, on the eve of the Budget, economic reforms by Government when it has not yet exhausted all avenues of negotiation at Nedlac; (3) encourages the Minister of Finance to continue with economic reform and transformation that will create an attractive climate for investment and savings, and to ensure a stable economic environment; and

(4) calls on Cosatu to abandon its intended strike action, starting on 6 March 2000, and to assist with job creation initiatives rather than flexing its muscles within the governing alliance.

Ms B O DLAMINI: 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 since last year the United States government has continued to deny the request by the father of the little Cuban boy, Elian Gonzales, that Elian be returned to him in Cuba;

(2) expresses serious reservations about the attempts by the US government to block the latest requests by the father, Juan Miguel Gonzales, for his son to be transferred to his nephew, Manuel Gonzales; and (3) calls on the US government to return Elian to his father, where he belongs, as soon as possible, to avoid further compounding his traumatic experiences of the past three months.


Mr C AUCAMP: Mr Chairman, my apologies for not being here earlier, but I was busy finalising my third speech of the day. [Interjections.]

Mnr die Voorsitter, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die AEB sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis -

(1) met sorg kennis neem -

   (a)  van die drastiese toename in plaasmoorde, wyd verspreid oor die
       land, en dat net in KwaZulu-Natal die afgelope ses weke nege
       boere vermoor is;

   (b)  dat daar groeiende ontevredenheid bestaan oor die Regering se
       klaarblyklike onvermoë om hierdie saak op te los;

   (c)  dat die persepsie begin posvat dat 'n proses van etniese
       suiwering sodoende aan die gang is; en

   (d)  dat dikwels ongegronde negatiewe publisiteit oor sogenaamde
       vergrype deur blanke boere bydra tot hierdie situasie; en

(2) van mening is dat -

   (a)  die aandag van die internasionale gemeenskap toenemend op
       hierdie onverkwiklike situasie gevestig moet word; en

     b) maatreëls in die voorgestelde wapenwetgewing, wat die
        selfverdedigingskapasiteit van boere op plase aan bande sal lê,
        dringend hersien moet word. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Mr Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day I will move on behalf of the AEB: That the House -

(1) notes with concern -

   (a)  the drastic increase in farm murders, widely distributed across
       the country, and that in KwaZulu-Natal alone nine farmers have
       been murdered during the past six weeks;

   (b)  that growing dissatisfaction exists about the Government's
       apparent inability to solve this matter;

   (c)  that the perception is beginning to take root that a process of
       ethnic cleansing is in this way under way; and

   (d)  that frequently unsubstantiated negative publicity about so-
       called misdeeds by white farmers is contributing to this
       situation; and

(2) is of the opinion that -

   (a)  the attention of the international community should increasingly
       be drawn to this unpleasant situation; and

   (b)  measures in the proposed firearms legislation, which will
       restrict the self-defence capacity of farmers on farms, should
       urgently be reviewed.]

                        MOTION OF CONDOLENCE

                     (The late Mr M I Vilakazi)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I am about to move a very sad motion. I would like you to ask hon members to listen to the motion, because there is a lot of talking in the House.

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon members, could we please give the hon member time to be heard.

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

That the House -

(1) notes the premature death of the hon Mthunzi Vilakazi on Wednesday, 16 February 2000;

(2) recognises the valuable contribution that the hon Vilakazi made to our first democratic Parliament, where he was a dedicated member of the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security, which committee he also chaired for a time;

(3) believes that the hon Vilakazi served the people of South Africa with selfless dedication;

(4) mourns the passing of our fellow member, Mthunzi Vilakazi;

(5) expresses our sincerest condolences to the wife, children, family, friends and constituency of the deceased; and

(6) wishes that they be filled with strength and fortitude in their time of sadness.

Hamba kahle, Comrade Vilakazi, qhawe lamaqhawe! [Go well, Comrade Vilakazi, hero of heroes!] Mr S P MAKWETLA: Chairperson, hon members, it is with profound sadness and shock that the ANC learned of the premature departure of Comrade Mthunzi Vilakazi. Comrade Mthunzi will be fondly missed by all of us in the ANC caucus and, indeed, in Parliament at large.

He was a quiet giant who inspired everyone by his humility, loyalty and commitment to the ideas of liberation, democracy and equality. In him the ANC has lost a dedicated cadre who was always ready to learn, listen and work hard for a better life for all.

As we mourn his passing away, we extend heartfelt condolences to his wife, Gloria, family members and relatives. May his soul rest in peace.

Mr D H M GIBSON: Is the microphone working?

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! It is working now.

Mr D H M GIBSON: Chairperson, the DP wishes to be associated with this motion of condolence, and I particularly want to be associated with it personally because Mthunzi Vilakazi was somebody I came to know quite well. We served on the same portfolio committee throughout the first term of our democratic Parliament, and I had the great privilege of travelling abroad with him and getting to know him very well.

I am sure all of the things which the hon the Chief Whip has said about him are true. I simply knew him as a friend, and he was a quiet gentleman and a very nice person. I was extremely distressed to hear of his passing at a very young age. We associate ourselves with the condolences to his widow, his family, his friends, his constituency and his party.

Mnuz V B NDLOVU: Sihlalo, egameni leNkatha yeNkululeko yeSizwe, ngiphakamisa ukuzwelana kakhulu nomndeni wasemaPhephetheni ngokuhanjelwa umfowethu uVilakazi. Sikhala kanye nezihlobo, nenkosikazi, nezingane, nemindeni, nabafowabo nodadewabo ngesehlo esivelile. Sikhala kanye neqembu lakhe akade elisebenzela nalabo bantu akade ehlala nabo ngaso sonke isikhathi, ebacabanga ngaso sonke isikhathi futhi ebasebenzela.

Ngisebenzile kakhulu nomfowethu uVilakazi sisebenza ngaphansi kwemiNyango emibili, owezemiSebenzi nowezokuPhepha nokuVikeleka. Ubengumuntu olunge ngendlela eyisimangaliso. Njengoba esedlulile emhlabeni, siyethemba ukuthi nezingane ezikhulayo zisibonile isibonelo esihle kuyena.

Sithi abomndeni balale ngenxeba, abeqembu balale ngenxeba nabaholi bakhe balale ngenxeba ngokwedlula kwakhe emhlabeni. Inkosi ize imsize kukho konke okubi akwenza ikubuyisele eceleni, akwazi ukuba abone oyisemkhulu. (Translation of Zulu speech follows.)

[Mr V B NDLOVU: Chairperson, on behalf of the IFP I wish to convey my deepest condolences to the Mphephethe family on the death of our brother, Mr Vilakazi. We sympathise with the relatives, his wife, his children, the family, his brothers and sisters, for what has happened. We also convey our condolences to the political party in which he was serving, to those with whom he was staying all the time and who were always in his mind as he was always working for them.

Vilakazi and I have been together for a long time, serving in two departments, namely the Department of Defence and the Department of Labour. He was an incredibly kind man. As he has passed away now, we hope that young people have seen his exemplary personality.

To the family, his political party and his leaders we say that they must be consoled and we wish them a quick recovery from this sadness. We hope that God will overlook all his sins so that he will be able to meet his forebears.]

Adv A H GAUM: Mnr die Voorsitter, die Nuwe NP steun the mosie heelhartig en vereenselwig ons graag met die sentimente daarin uitgespreek. Ons wil ook ons diepe meegevoel betuig teenoor die agb Vilakazi se gesin en familie. Ons bid hulle Gods rykste seën en sterkte toe in hierdie baie moeilike tyd.

Ons het groot waardering vir mnr Vilakazi se bydrae as lid en voorsitter van die Portefeuljekomitee oor Veiligheid en Sekuriteit, waar hy n belangrike rol in n kritieke tydperk in ons land se geskiedenis gespeel het. Mag die voorbeeld wat hy gestel het ons bybly. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Adv A H GAUM: Mr Chairperson, the New NP wholeheartedly supports the motion and we would like to associate ourselves with the sentiments expressed in it. We also want to express our deepest sympathy to the family and relatives of the hon Vilakazi. We wish them strength and God’s richest blessings in this very difficult time.

We have great appreciation for the contributions made by Mr Vilakazi as a member and as the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security, where he played an important role in a critical period in the history of our country. May the example he set remain with us.]

Dr S E MZIMELA: Chairperson, the UDM wishes to associate itself with the sympathies expressed in this House, and we also wish to express our condolences to the widow and family of our late comrade. To him we say: Requiescat in pace.

Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, the ACDP supports this motion, and we take this opportunity, in this moment of silence, to express our condolences to the Vilakazi family.

We note that Mr Vilakazi chaired the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security and served this Parliament and the nation with dignity and diligence. The ACDP also recognises his valuable contribution to South Africa as a nation for change, for freedom and for democracy.

We sincerely express our condolences to his wife, his children, his family members and his friends, as well as the ANC. We know that he will be missed by all of us in this House. May the spirit of God console his loved ones during their time of mourning and grief.

Dr C P MULDER: Mnr die Voorsitter, dit is gebruik in hierdie Huis om hulde te bring aan lede van hierdie Huis wanneer hulle tot sterwe kom, en dit is ook gepas dat dit gedoen word. So `n lid van die Huis wat ons wel ontval het, is mnr Vilakazi. Ek het hom nie persoonlik geken nie, maar aan sy optrede in die Huis was dit duidelik dat hy baie toegewyd was aan sy ideale. Dit het veral geblyk uit sy toesprake, en veral die entoesiasme waarmee hy altyd sy taak aangepak het, ook in hierdie Huis waar hy sy standpunte onbevreesd gestel het.

Sy onverwagte afsterwe is sekerlik vir die ANC, en ook vir sy familie, ‘n baie groot verlies, en ek wil graag namens die VF ons medelye en simpatie met hulle uitspreek en hulle baie sterkte toewens. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Dr C P MULDER: Mr Chairperson, it is customary in this House to pay tribute to members of the House upon their passing away, and it is also proper to do so. One such member of the House to have left us is Mr Vilakazi. I did not know him personally, but it was clear from his conduct in the House that he was very dedicated to his ideals. This was particularly evident from his speeches and particularly the enthusiasm with which he always approached his task, also in this House where he fearlessly stated his point of view.

His unexpected passing away must surely be a very great loss to the ANC, as well as to his family, and on behalf of the FF I would like to convey our commiseration and sympathy to them and wish them well.]

Mr P H K DITSHETELO: Chairperson, the UCDP wants to convey its deepest sympathy to the late Mr M Vilakazi’s family. Mr Vilakazi was a dedicated and committed member of this Chamber. He was selfless, unassuming and a loyal South African. He contributed as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security. Hence he will be remembered by all for a long time. Let his soul rest in peace.

Dr S E PHEKO: Chair, on behalf of the PAC and Azapo I rise to associate myself with what has been said with regard to this comrade. I cannot claim that I knew him, but we value all those who have served us. We know that the family has suffered a loss and we would like to send our sympathies to them and to the ANC. May his soul rest in peace.

Dr L LUYT: Mr Chairman, we support this motion, of course. Words cannot bring anyone back, but one only has to listen to know how much he meant to this House. We offer our condolences to his family and also to the ANC.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Chair, I would like to thank Mr M I Vilakazi for serving South Africa. He has departed from us as a servant of the people. His contribution to democracy and the upliftment of society will always be cherished fondly.

The MF expresses its condolences to Mr Vilakazi’s family and friends and we hope that he will continue living in them in brave spirit.

Mnr C AUCAMP: Mnr die Voorsitter, ek het mnr Vilakazi nie persoonlik geken nie en daarom kan ek nie uit eie ervaring praat oor sy persoon en sy werk nie. Tog aanvaar ek heelhartig die opregtheid van die mooi getuienis wat vandag oor hom uitgegaan het van agb lede van alle partye van hierdie Huis. Die AEB vereenselwig hom dus met hierdie mosie.

Vir ons as mense lyk die dood van ‘n geliefde in die fleur van sy lewe dikwels prematuur, soos die mosie ook sê. Mag sy naasbestaandes egter troos vind daarin dat in die alwyse plan van die Here God, wat ons dae getel het, geen dood ooit prematuur is nie. Mag Hy hulle ryklik vertroos deur Sy gees en woord. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr C AUCAMP: Mr Chairperson, I did not know Mr Vilakazi personally and I cannot therefore speak from personal experience about him as a person and his work. Yet I accept wholeheartedly the sincerity of the wonderful testimony expressed with regard to him today by hon members of all parties in this House. The AEB therefore associates itself with this motion. To us as human beings the death of a loved one in the prime of his life often seems premature, as the motion also states. However, may his next of kin find comfort in the fact that in the all-wise plan of the Lord God, who has counted our days, no death is ever premature. May He comfort them abundantly through His spirit and word.]

Motion agreed to, all members standing.


                       (Second Reading debate)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, members of the House, I think the first thing I have to say is that the Minister of Finance is not present today because he has a rare fever called ``budget blues’’. [Laughter.]

The South Arican Airways Unallocatable Debt Bill seeks to allow the Minister of Finance to borrow R1,3 billion in order to enable the Government to take over a portion of the R3 billion debt of SA Airways that was not allocated to the company when it was corporatised. It was crucial that SA Airways should not be corporatised with an albatross of debt that arose as a result of imprudent management of state-owned assets in the previous era, in particular the plundering of the SA Transport Services pension fund, which was funded by only 10% in 1990.

The corporatisation and subsequent successful sale of 20% of SAA to the strategic equity partner, Swissair, should not be viewed as isolated coincidental events that are not located in a particular policy framework. These are deliberate actions by the Government to ensure that the South African economy works, is competitive, attracts direct foreign investment, becomes a prime tourist location and, most importantly, that creates jobs. These are the policies and actions that are intended to haul us from the darkness of underdevelopment to a reconstructed and developed South Africa.

We must therefore view this Bill as part of the broader policies of the restructuring of state assets that seek to build the portfolio of state- owned assets reflecting the reconstruction and development priorities of the Government. In doing so, it becomes necessary to review the relevance of the ownership by the state of certain assets and the depth of ownership and control of others. We seek to introduce partners in strategic areas in order to inject fresh expertise and alternative thinking in certain areas and to reallocate and share risks with the private sector and others. What this means, therefore, is that our approach to the restructuring of state assets is a comprehensive one and is not simply looking at one track of how to restructure state assets.

SA Airways is a strategic asset of the Republic. It is a crucial cog in the economy and it facilitates business, investment and the creation of jobs. I certainly would not share the view which I believe was expressed in the hearings of the portfolio committee that it is an asset that exists for the indulgence of the elite, because I have seen all kinds of people benefiting from the use of an efficient airline.

Before corporatisation and the introduction of the strategic equity partner, the net asset value of the airline was R0, and that means that the assets of the airline were almost equal to its liabilities. At corporatisation, the gearing ratio was reduced to 25% by allocating only R1 billion of the Transnet debt attributable to SA Airways to its balance sheets. This permitted us to raise sufficient interest in the airline from potential strategic equity partners which culminated in the choice of Swissair as the preferred bidder. The successful sale of 20% of SAA for R1,4 billion means that the implied enterprise value of SAA is now R7 billion from R0.

Government’s interest in the SAA through the 80% shareholding of Transnet in SAA has therefore increased to R5,6 billion. In addition, the airline’s strategy for winning has turned it around to profitability. A loss of R280 million as at 31 March 1998 was reversed to a profit of R9 million as at 31 March 1999. The projected profit of SAA for 31 March 2000 is R460 million. This ensures that we as South Africa have a globally competitive and profitable airline at our disposal in the pursuit of a vibrant economy which will lead to a better life for all South Africans. I move for the adoption of this Bill. [Applause.]

Mr S J LEEUW: Chairperson, hon members, when this Government came into power in 1994, it was faced with a lot of challenges, and it still is. The issues that it faced then still prevail now, and they are the restructuring of the economy, job creation, education and the eradication of poverty.

To address some of the above issues, Government had to restructure some of the parastatals in such a way that they operate on business principles hence SA Airways was corporatised, that is, it was operated as a commercial entity. But these measures are not without their own complexities. A debt accumulated by SA Airways amounted to approximately R4,057 billion. This debt was caused, among other things, by the previous regime plundering the pension fund of the then SA Transport Services and which is now Transnet. The Bill seeks to address some of these inherited dilemmas.

It was agreed then that for SAA to be competitive and attractive, some measures had to be taken to lighten their balance sheet. Out of the R4,057 billion, R1 billion was allocated to SAA, Transnet was allocated R1,724 and the Government was allocated R1,33 billion, including the service costs. The Bill seeks to enable the Minister of Finance to borrow and make trade- offs with a suitable financial instrument. The Department of Finance has indicated that this transaction will be done within the parameters set out in the Budget ending March 1999-2000. This is encouraging.

The above transaction or agreement has borne fruits. Members may remember that in June 1999 the President announced in this Parliament a deal concluded between SAA and Swissair amounting to R1,4 billion, that is, a 20% stake of SAA equity. While acknowledging the success and complexities of this transaction, we want to appeal to the Ministries that the process was not quite the way we wanted it to be. Because of that oversight in the Ministries, extra expenses could not be avoided.

I would like to refer to the submission made by Cosatu on opting for alternatives to the approach used currently. This call is made in the light of us not knowing whether in future this type of transaction will arise or not. Seeing that the process of restructuring involves a lot of complicated issues, it will be necessary that we start now to investigate various options of dealing with similar issues of acquiring debt.

May I take this opportunity to wish the Deputy Minister, the Minister and their team well at this interesting time of the year of presenting the Budget tomorrow. The ANC will support this Bill. [Applause.]

Ms R TALJAARD: Chairperson, hon members, we heard during the committee deliberations on this Bill that Transnet was hovering close to a very high gearing level. Indeed, it was hovering on the precipice of potential debt default. This process must be stopped, and this Bill is an important building block in that process.

The DP supports this Bill in the hope that it will give a clear and unambiguous signal that a new commitment to privatisation has been forged. In this vein, I can assure the Deputy Minister of our support in all measures aimed at smoothing the path for the privatisation process.

Our support to this Bill is subject to a number of provisos related to SA Airways, however. Firstly, we will continue to seek answers to the untimely death of Sun Air and SA Airways’ role in this event. [Interjections.] Secondly, we will continue to strive for competitive skies and not allow SA Airways to exploit South African consumers by exploiting its monopoly conditions. [Interjections.]

It is further worth reminding ourselves that every wish list for the Budget day tomorrow, including the recent one released by Sacob, included a specific desirability item that there should be more commitment and detail on the Government’s privatisation programme. I would like to tell the Minister and the Deputy Minister to let this unwavering commitment to clarity on detail be the guiding light in their Budget tomorrow.

Indeed, this sentiment underscores the key question that the Minister and the Deputy Minister will be asked tomorrow, which is: Is it good enough to have earned a mere R10,3 billion thus far from the privatisation process? The DP believes that we can set our target much, much higher than this and that we will be able to actually extract revenue to the tune of R20 billion per annum over the next five years.

One of the major obstacles to accelerated economic growth that holds South Africa in its grip and holds us back is the high cost of servicing debt. This cripples our ability to produce a budget which reflects our real priorities of economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation. A key and immediate consequence of such a bold step of releasing R20 billion per annum is that debt-servicing costs would decrease by about R2,5 billion each year, amounting to a reduction of about R10 billion by the year 2000.

Half-hearted attempts at privatisation are costing our country dear as we forego the enormous benefits associated with such a project. We need real privatisation, not a drip-feed of strategic equity and foreign earnings through strategic equity partnerships. Only a bold leap forward will take our country forward on this path. The DP would like the Minister of Finance to be bold tomorrow. His boldness on the privatisation score will send a clear-cut signal to investors and also to rating agencies hovering over a rating for this country, that we are serious about creating a thriving market economy in South Africa. [Applause.]

Dr G G WOODS: Chairperson, because of particular actions and decisions already taken which relate to the intentions of this Bill, we find ourselves feeling obliged to support the Bill, not so much for what it sets out to do, but to avoid the possible problems that would arise if it were not passed today. What also makes this an uncomfortable situation is that the claimed merits of the Bill and its underlying rationale remain partially unclear, even after two meetings by the Portfolio Committee on Finance with the Asset and Liability Management Division of the Department of Finance.

The actual transactions - burden-sharing transactions - are understood, as is the broad motivation for such transactions. However, what is less understood is the overall financial viability of these transactions. In the committee, I requested a copy of the department’s cost-benefit analysis, the study upon which the debt-shifting decisions were based. This was promised, but only a brief document, which did little to explain the underlying economic and financial assumptions and calculations, was sent. I do trust that a full study was in fact undertaken prior to the formulation of this Bill, a study that included all the assumptions, the projections and the rates used.

So for us the central question regarding eventual benefit from the future sell-off of parts of SA Airways versus the cost to the fiscus from the additional debt, and the financial impact on Transnet and its customers, has not been met with substantive answers by the department. In fact, an even less clear commitment on the future privatisation of SAA has been spelt out. This has left us trying to make some sense of the limited information at our disposal. However, based on the assumption that the privatisation of SAA will be ongoing and that such proceeds from that privatisation, together with an equitable share of the future SAA profits, are to be distributed to the fiscus and to Transnet, we do see the possibility that this Bill would produce its intended outcomes, and this would further influence our decision to support this Bill.

Dr P J RABIE: Chairperson, the South African Airways Unallocatable Debt Bill authorises the Minister to borrow money during the financial year ending March 2000 for the specific purpose of discharging a portion of the debt of Transnet attributable to SA Airways at its incorporation, and to provide for the settlement of outstanding debts, which relate to a pension fund, of R1,33 billion.

In wese beteken dit dat daar ‘n skuldverdeling tussen Transnet en die Regering moet wees. Dit is ‘n positiewe stap hierdie wat die proses van privatisering sal verhaas. Die Nuwe NP is ten gunste van hierdie wetgewing en ons steun dit derhalwe. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Essentially this means that there should be a division of debt between Transnet and the Government. This is a positive step which will expedite the process of privatisation. The New NP is in favour of this legislation, and accordingly we support it.]

It is the opinion of my party that the Government will be able to accommodate the interest cost of R1,33 billion within the 1999-2000 budget for debt services and costs.

Vergun my ook die geleentheid om ‘n beroep te doen op alle rolspelers dat die SA Lugdiens, wat reeds 20% geprivatiseer is, volkome privatiseer sal word, en dat Transnet ook die proses sal volg. Indien hierdie proses nie verhaas word nie, sal dit tot die nadeel van die verbruiker wees en toon dat die Regering nie ernstig is met die privatisering van die sogenaamde ``parastatals’’ nie, soos byvoorbeeld Eskom, Denel, Transnet en Telkom. Ek doen ‘n beroep dat hierdie proses onverwyld sal voortgaan.

My party steun hierdie wetsontwerp. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.) [Also allow me the opportunity to appeal to all role-players that the SA Airways, which is already 20% privatised, will be wholly privatised, and that Transnet will also follow this process. If this process is not expedited, it will be to the detriment of the consumer and show that the Government is not serious about the privatisation of the so-called parastatals, for example, Eskom, Denel, Transnet and Telkom. I make an appeal for this process to continue without delay.

My party supports this Bill.]

Dr G W KOORNHOF: Chairperson, a serious concern about this Bill is the process it has followed. Nine months ago, in May 1999, it missed the opportunity to be included in the legislative programme of Parliament and again six months ago, in August 1999. It also failed to be included in the adjustments estimate for 1999-2000 in November last year.

It is a pity that the approval of such a substantial amount by Parliament, namely R1,33 billion plus interest payable, has been delayed for such a long period of time. This delay cost the state probably in the region of R200 million in interest for the past 11 months, which is quite an expensive process that was followed. A core issue in approving that Government takes over a portion of the debt is Government policy on the restructuring of state assets.

We will support privatisation programmes that will accelerate the creation and delivery of infrastructure to disadvantaged people. Whilst it attracts investments, provides jobs and enhances local ownership, the retention of Eskom, Denel, Transnet and Telkom, with a combined value of R150 billion, in the public sector is holding back the South African economy. This position must be changed as soon as possible and with urgency. It is important that such institutions must generate jobs and income for our population.

The UDM supports the Bill and encourages Cabinet to fast-track the restructuring of state assets in such a way that we can expand service delivery to disadvantaged communities and create new jobs in the process. [Applause.]

Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, Ministers and members, SA Airways projects that it will make a profit of R500 million this year. The Government is of the opinion that the benefits of taking over R1,3 billion of the debt of SAA will improve the revenue to the state over time. It is estimated that clearing up SAA’s debt will increase its net asset value to about R7 billion. The other side of this equation must, however, not elude our focus.

The CEO of SAA, Mr Coleman Andrews, intimated that for SAA to be competitive and generate a surplus it is important that the labour legislation be revamped. It stands to reason, therefore, that current labour legislation will face major challenges from business’ restructuring requirements.

The ACDP support this Bill. We believe that the Government is correct to address the debt relief problems of this industry in the manner outlined in this Bill. [Time expired.]

Mr G E BALOI: Chairperson, this Bill authorises the Minister of Finance to borrow a certain amount of money during the financial year ending 31 March 2000, for the purpose of discharging a portion of the debt of the Transnet Group of Companies attributable to SA Airways at its incorporation, and to provide for matters in connection therewith. The Ministry may borrow an amount of R1,33 billion plus such amount as may be necessary to cover the costs of servicing the debt during the financial year ending on 31 March 2000. From the money borrowed, the Minister must transfer to Transnet a sum of money sufficient to discharge the portion of allocatable debt which was assumed by Government.

The UCDP supports the passage of the Bill.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, Deputy President, Ministers and members, the avoidance of serious fiscal imbalance and unstable debt conditions is a key responsibility of the Government. In South Africa this task is difficult, as the Government is subject to strong political, economic and social pressure to increase spending and keep taxes down.

Nevertheless, to accommodate the reforms introduced by the SA Revenue Service and the sale of state-owned assets, the South African Airways Unallocatable Debt Bill addresses the legitimate duty of the Government to share the burden of the debt allocated to Transnet, so that the purpose of discharging the debt must be executed according to section 213 (2) of the Constitution. The MF supports the South African Airways Unallocatable Debt Bill and wishes the Minister the richest blessing in his Budget Speech. [Applause.]

Ms B A HOGAN: Mr Chairman, I went on a voyage of discovery on this Bill and discovered quite a few things.

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Voyager miles or Voyager Discovery? [Laughter.]

Ms B A HOGAN: I wish I could get some more Voyager Miles. If the hon member knows how, he should tell me! When this Bill first came before us, the question that was raised was: Is this an Appropriation Bill? Government is asking us to approve a loan and so we went scouring around and sort of saying: Is this now an Appropriation Bill, because Parliament is not allowed to amend Appropriation Bills, as hon members know. That started the voyage of discovery, because I then went to look at the actual Appropriation Bill that we passed in 1999, only to discover that we did not vote on any borrowing whatsoever: we just voted on what Government departments were going to spend.

I then looked at the Budget Review and discovered that there is an amount which is allocated for servicing debt cost and for Government debt. However, that was not reflected in what we voted on in 1999. I then looked at the Division of Revenue Bill to see maybe if it was not included there, because debt is the first charge in the National Revenue Fund. I looked in the National Revenue Fund and there was no mention of Government debt - we did not vote on Government debt. I then phoned the Ministry of Finance and asked: Is it true, does Parliament not vote on borrowing? They said: No, it is true, Parliament does not vote on what Government borrows.

There are pros and cons in this debate, but it brings to the fore the issue of what oversight role Parliament wants to exercise over the Budget. If we are not exercising oversight over borrowing, then do we need a Bill of this kind to come before us? Obviously the Ministry has been extremely courteous by producing this Bill, because it is actually asking Parliament to approve of such a Bill. However, it brings into focus the broader debates underlying the privatisation process.

Now we know that Government is committed to the restructuring process, but we also know, as parliamentarians, that we are not fully on board on the restructuring process. Many of the speakers who have spoken now have showed and confirmed that we are not clear on what the actual figures are underlying this process. Our committee was faced with an invidious position, where we got the end result of what, I am sure, was a very thorough process. I am informed that the Ministry of Finance spent a year and a half looking at the figures. We were given the end process, but we were not given the insights into the thinking around this particular privatisation initiative. This brings to the fore that maybe we as portfolio committees need to be networking more with each other, because, certainly, I am sure the committee that is looking at these issues has followed it. But our committees are ignorant. Therefore, I want to make an appeal that these are some of the issues that we should engage in in more detail in the coming issues around restructuring.

Finally, I would like to say that there is also a legal confusion. Mr Chair, I beg your indulgence on this. If Parliament could just investigate the status of such a Bill. When we finally had to make a decision, we were more or less of the opinion that this was not an Appropriation Bill, although Parliament’s joint tagging mechanism did indicate that they thought that it was an Appropriation Bill. In order to avoid this kind of confusion in the future, I think we do need to have some kind of legal opinion from our parliamentary legal advisers to advise us on the exact status of such a Bill.

Finally, we had a fairly fruitful series of interchanges from various people on this Bill. Cosatu, as the House knows, came out with what was described in one newspaper as a blistering attack'' on the Ministry. When I looked at the submission that Cosatu actually made, I could not say that it wasa blistering attack’’, but there were certain issues that were raised that I think, for the comfort of all MPs, do need to be addressed, looked at and considered by us in order for us to be on board with what the Ministry is proposing.

Having said that, I would like to congratulate the Ministry on a fairly lengthy process of negotiating the complexities of the financing of this transaction, because it has been a major process that they have undergone, and to call upon them, if we are going to be looking at Bills of this kind in future, to make available more detailed figures - the kind of figures that Dr Woods was asking for - so that we are in a better position to make a more informed decision.

The ANC supports this Bill.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, I would like to thank all members for their support for this Bill.

There are a few issues that I would just like to say something on. The first is that, in relation to the issue that Ms Hogan was raising just now, we have to understand that this has been a very complex process. First and foremost, this work is located in the Department of Public Enterprises. In addition to that, we have the various enterprises regulated by different pieces of legislation located in different Ministries within Government. These are some of the complexities.

I certainly think the hon Hogan is right when she says that perhaps what Parliament needs to look at is how to interact within the committees themselves, because, if that is not the case, information will be located in a whole number of different places. I think that that is something that we may want to look at in time.

Secondly, there is the question of the pace of the restructuring of state assets. I think we have to state quite openly that the question of public policy with regard to public enterprises is an important one to us, because the positions that we take must, of course, be rooted in the conditions that we are trying to deal with. Therefore, anybody who wants the wholesale privatisation of all these things misses a very important point, and that is that there are important public policy objectives that we have as a Government and as a country.

We thus have to deal with all of these problems and find ways in a constrained environment of getting the maximum resources that we can use in order to meet those public policy aims. I think we also have to address the question of the process that we have taken to improve the performance, the efficiency and the sustainability of these assets.

This makes a fundamental point about our attitude towards public funds, because these assets were bought, in the first place, with public funds. If I said a moment ago that the value of the SAA was zero rand, because the assets and liabilities were almost the same, we could have sold SAA for R1,00. What attitude is that towards public funds? These are important issues that people need to take into account when we question the pace and the process of restructuring of state assets. [Applause.]

Finally, I would like to say to Dr Woods, that it is a pity that he was not able to benefit from the different studies that were done. However, I would want to assure him that there is a lot of work that went into this and a number of options were looked at. In the final analysis it was felt that this was the best option for Government to pursue. Besides these points, I would like to thank everybody for supporting the Bill. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.


                       (Second Reading debate)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE: Chairperson, the Financial Services Board is an independent statutory institution which was established under the Financial Services Board Act of 1990, to supervise the nonbanking financial services industry. Its mission is to promote sound and efficient financial institutions and services, together with mechanisms for investor protection in the markets it supervises. Its regulatory functions are entrusted to different registrars: insurance, friendly societies, pensions funds, unit trust companies, stock exchanges and financial markets.

The amendments provided for in this particular Bill are not of major consequence, and are mainly directed at clarifying uncertain aspects of the principal Acts or at legislating on matters which have thus far have been practised by the FSB in its daily operations. One of the issues that is being dealt with is to settle the relationship between the executive officer of the FSB and the board. It provides for three tiers or categories of functions and the degree of supervision prescribed in each case.

The first relates to functions that may not be performed without prior approval of the board. Secondly, those which must be performed in accordance with guidelines issued by the board. Thirdly, those functions which the executive officer may perform in his or her discretion.

Another amendment in the Bill relates to functions of the board described more clearly than before in clause 2 of the Bill. The functions are to supervise compliance with laws regulating financial institutions and the provision of financial services. We also introduce a new function in this Bill for the FSB, which is to promote programmes and initiatives by financial institutions directed at consumer education. This is an important issue, because the majority of consumers in our country are not enlightened on matters that relate to investments, financial products and others. So, this is a new function that we are introducing.

Fourthly, we relieve the President of the functions hitherto assigned to him in relation to the selection and appointment of members of the FSB itself. This function will now vest in the Minister of Finance, under whose auspices the FSB operates, and who has a variety of other functions under the Act, such as the appointment of the executive of the FSB and of members of the Financial Services Board of Appeal.

We also expand, through this Bill, the number of members of the executive and the activities of the FSB which are funded by the financial services industry. What we do in this Bill is to introduce a process of consultation with the industry before levies are proclaimed in the Gazette.

On the question of consultation between the FSB and the Minister of Finance, we streamline this procedure so that the board and the executive can consult with the Minister on any other matter relating to the exercise of the board’s powers, should the Minister call for such a consultation. We also extend a little bit the ability of the FSB to exchange information with other regulators - local, self-regulatory bodies - and render assistance to foreign regulatory or supervisory authorities, subject to such exchange or assistance not being against the public interest.

These are the major amendments that we effect in this particular Bill. The final one, of course, clarifies the question of negligence. One finds that in a number of pieces of legislation in South Africa the question of negligence is not dealt with properly. In this Bill, we make it quite clear that gross negligence will not be excused. With those words, I would like to introduce this Bill. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.


                      (Subject for Discussion)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Mr Chairperson, hon Deputy President, dear members, the ANC has called for a snap debate to honour and celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. We do so because we acknowledge the sterling leadership Madiba has demonstrated in his capacity as the leader of the ANC and as the president of the first democratic Government in South Africa.

Eighty years ago, a legend was born in the village of Qunu - a humble person who displayed qualities of a leader at a very early stage of his life. That legend is Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. A number of authors have reflected on the early life of Madiba. We are always tempted to examine his public political life, justifiably so, for his life serves as an inspiration to the people of South Africa, both black and white, to the people of the African continent and the international community.

As the scion of the Thembu Royal House in the then Transkei, there lay before Comrade Mandela the prospect of comfort and ease. He could have taken the easy walk, accepted the alienation of the land of his forefathers, a fragmentation of his country and the loss of his birthright as a South African - a path which would have led to a position of empty authority and status, created and buttressed by the conquerors of his country, an administration of apartheid laws, and one which would mould his people’s future and destiny at the behest of apartheid rule. Comrade Mandela rejected this path. He refused to sacrifice his dignity as an African, and as a free person.

The former president of the ANC, the late Oliver Reginald Tambo remarked:

Comrade Mandela is perhaps the fastest to get to grips with the harsh realities of the African struggle against the most powerful adversary in Africa.

Mr P V Narashima Rao, the Minister of External Affairs and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, on the presentation of the Jawaharal Nehru Award for International Understanding to Nelson Mandela in 1980 made the following points:

We regard Nelson Mandela as a front-ranking leader of the oppressed people of South Africa. We have admired his unfailing courage in waging a relentless struggle against social injustice and racial discrimination.

The ideas of liberty, equality and justice were cherished by the man in whose memory this award has been instituted and, even earlier, by his sage and mentor, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

With Jawaharlal Nehru, Nelson Mandela is a man of peace who fought against oppression.

By dedicating himself to constructing a society in which all people may live in harmony, he has recognised the supremacy of moral law that underlies national and international relations without which there cannot be enduring peace.

Comrade Mandela has left a legacy of upholding noble human values like freedom, equality and democracy, which serves as inspiration to generations to come. Comrade Mandela stood firm in pursuing these noble goals. He is the founding father of our rainbow nation, and through his term of office, managed to foster our national unity.

Whilst Comrade Mandela is known for being firm in his principles, he is also a flexible leader. He has taught us the importance of listening to the other person, even if there is a divergence of opinions. He always reminded his comrades that compromises are not equivalent to selling out, and that we are sometimes forced to compromises with a view to pursuing strategic objectives.

Madiba is well known as an ardent supporter of the rights of youth, women, children and the disabled. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Trust continues to provide assistance to children who are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. The Office of the Status of Women, the Gender Commission and the National Youth Commission were established during his term as the President of the Republic of South Africa. He believes that investment in the younger generation is an important ingredient for the moral renewal of our society.

One of the most important leadership qualities that Comrade Madiba displayed during his term of office was that he did not cling to power. He served his country for one term of office as the leader of government and allowed the younger generation to lead the next term. [Applause.] This will continue to serve as an inspiration, not only amongst South Africans, but to Southern African countries and the rest of the African continent.

Comrade Madiba continued being involved, after he served his term as a president. He continues to be involved in a process of finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the Great Lakes Region. Here at home, Comrade Mandela is central in ensuring that schools and clinics are built in rural parts of our country, where they are needed most.

We are blessed to have a leader like Comrade Mandela. As a result, we, from the ANC, believe that it will be important for this House to consider accepting our proposal that a bust of this great man should grace the precincts of this honourable institution.

Long live Comrade Nelson Mandela! [Applause.]

Mr D H M GIBSON: Mr Chairperson, the DP is very happy to be associated with this call, and the interesting suggestion Mr Yengeni has made about erecting a bust of the former president, where more appropriate than the grounds of Parliament or, indeed, in the Parliament building, to honour a great South African in this way. [Applause.]

On a hot Sunday afternoon, ten years ago, Nelson Mandela walked away from prison, at last a free man. As President Mandela’s days behind bars ended, so our country began its own journey away from the prisons of the past - racial division, the repression of authoritarian government and the unjustifiable denial of the rights and freedoms of our people.

We are here today, to honour the man who helped show South Africa a better way. His achievements have been many, but the essential heart of his legacy, his greatest gift to his people, is the spirit of reconciliation that guided him as he guided us across the often perilous terrain of our transition to democracy.

In doing this, Mr Mandela did so in a uniquely warm and personal way. I can only say that he treated me with fatherly kindness. I want to disclose to the House just one conversation which I had with him, and I am sure he will forgive me for it. I was at lunch in Johannesburg, just over a year ago, when the telephone rang and a woman’s voice said: Please hold on for the President.'' I asked:The president of what?’’ I was not expecting a call from Mr Mandela. So that well-known voice said: ``Of South Africa, Douglas.’’ He then proceeded to ask me how things were going with the Mickey Mouse party, and I was able to ask him how things were going with the Goofy Government. The House might remember that my hon leader coined that phrase.

We then discussed Christmas and how it had been, and the New Year and how it had been, and he said that he remembered my wife and he had liked her, but he could not remember how many children I had. I told him I had only one son who was 22 years old at the time. ``Oh shame, why?’’ So I had to explain why. [Laughter.]

Then he wanted to know from me: But haven't you got any daughters?'' So I said:No, I haven’t’’, and he said: ``Well, you must talk to your wife and do something about it!’’ [Laughter.]

So I explained to Mr Mandela that we were in our late fifties, and that the baby factory had closed down. [Laughter.] He then said: ``But you can adopt one. Tell your wife that girls are wonderful. You must adopt a daughter.’’ Only then, after we had talked about all of this, did he say that he could not get hold of my leader that afternoon, and that he had something important that he wanted to discuss with us and where he wanted our help and support.

That was the sort of relationship that political opponents were able to have with him, and I might say that it continues today. Last weekend - I do not want to breach confidences - President Mandela talked to people on our side of the divide, and we appreciate it very much.

For President Mandela, reconciliation has always been the key to future success in South Africa. He knew intuitively, when those with less insight and no foresight remained entrenched in antagonism and suspicion, that our country’s future depended on a coming together of all the people of our land. He knew from the beginning, that the futures of all South Africans were linked inexorably, and that only together would there be any future for us.

I want to remind everybody of the words which he used at Rivonia, where he said that he had fought against white domination, that he had fought against black domination, and that he cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people lived together in harmony and with equal opportunities. He said that he hoped to achieve that and that he wanted to live for it, but if need be, it was an ideal for which he was prepared to die.

I do not think anybody will ever forget those words, because they are such a lesson to us, and, whatever the divide is, whatever the differences across politics and parties, we must never forget our essential humanity - the fact that we are really, all together, South Africans. President Mandela knew that, and knows that today. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Madam Speaker, I think most Ministers will concur with the hon Mr Gibson that they have also experienced, in some form or other, hearing Dr Mandela’s voice in telephone calls early in the morning, after which one would really not know what to do - whether to respond, to have tea or to go to the bathroom. One would not know, really.

I must also complain a little bit here to the hon the Chief Whip of the Majority Party that, at this important tenth anniversary of Mr Mandela’s release, he gives himself 10 minutes and us four minutes of speaking time. We would have liked to have 10 minutes, I think. It is important that we should have had 10 minutes.

Mr Mandela said of Mohandas K Gandhi:

He was no ordinary leader. There are those who believe that he was divinely inspired and it is difficult not to believe with them.

There exist, in the life and history of every nation, mysteries which have spawned leaders of great charisma and honour. Because the realm of the divine is often beyond human comprehension and description, we find it more comfortable to simply lay our individual and party claims to the noble deeds and charismatic leadership before us, and rightly so, because our association with a figure over a period of time demands we do so. Such are some of the historical circumstances and perceptions surrounding the era and leadership of Dr Nelson Mandela.

In an extract from a letter written underground, which was published in London in 1965 and reprinted in the African writers’ series in 1973, Dr Mandela hinted briefly, and I quote him:

Any serious politicians will realise that under the present-day conditions in this country, to seek a cheap martyrdom by handing myself over to the police is naive and criminal. We have an important programme before us and it is important to carry it out very seriously and without delay. I have chosen this latter course which is more difficult and which entails more risk and hardship than sitting in jail. I have had to separate myself from my dear wife and children, from my mother and sisters, to live as an outlaw in my own land. I have had to close my business, to abandon my profession, and live in poverty and misery, as many of my people are doing. Today, as we speak, South Africa shares the fruits of this sacrifice with Africa and the rest of the world. It must be true that the experience of the past 10 years was rich and fulfilling for Dr Mandela, for it must be this experience also, from which he has drawn the extraordinary courage and vision to embark on what is noble for Africa.

Some may say he was one of us, and now he belongs to the world. [Applause.]

Mr R S SCHOEMAN: Madam Speaker, hon Deputy President, colleagues, at the outset I would like to say that the New NP fully supports the proposal by the Chief Whip that there should be recognition of former President Mandela here in the parliamentary precints. We think it is an excellent idea.

It was my privilege to have been a member of Parliament, sitting in this very Chamber - in fact, I think I sat in the seat currently occupied by the hon the Minister Joe Nhlanhla - when the then President F W De Klerk made the momentous announcement on 2 February 1990 that Mr Nelson Mandela was to be released from prison and that all political movements were to be unbanned. Four years later I had the privilege to serve in President Mandela’s administration as Deputy Minister of Education for two years, and I could experience from close proximity the qualities which have resulted in him being acknowledged as one of Africa’s greatest sons of all time.

I will refer to just a few qualities, but for me as an Afrikaner it was the fact that Mr Mandela unfailingly spoke to me in Afrikaans that underlined his recognition that our diversity can be used to strengthen our respect for one another and our common nationhood, and not harm it.

Mnr Mandela se voorbeeld van groothartigheid teenoor almal en die erkenning van ons land se taal- en kultuurverskeidenheid demonstreer vir my dat sy verbintenis tot nasiebou en versoening nie net lippediens is nie, maar ‘n diepgewortelde oortuiging en ‘n ingesteldheid van leef en laat leef. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[The example Mr Mandela sets of magnanimity towards everyone and the recognition of the linguistic and cultural diversity of our country demonstrates to me that his commitment to nation-building and reconciliation is not mere lip-service, but a deep-rooted conviction and an attitude of live and let live.]

It is therefore a privilege for me to be able to participate in this debate today on behalf of the New NP as a party committed to the recognition of diversity, to reconciliation and to seeking a broad national consensus on important issues where sufficient commonality exists.

As we look back over the past 10 years, and specifically at the role of Mr Nelson Mandela, there are many images which come to mind, but for me four qualities of many more stand out. They are his humility, his courage, his integrity and his perseverance. None of these qualities need to be elaborated on today, but the last one, perseverance, is best illustrated if one realises that as long ago as 1956 in an article entitled ``In our lifetime’’ written for the publication Liberation, Mr Mandela refers to the 1955 adoption of the Freedom Charter as follows, and I quote:

For the first time in the history of our country, the democratic forces, irrespective of race, ideological conviction, party affiliation or religious belief, have renounced and discarded racialism and its ramifications.

To this unshakeable belief in nonracialism Mr Mandela has held firm for the 45 years that have elapsed since he spoke these words. I would submit that his rejection of racialism, in any form, in our new democratic South Africa is as important and relevant today as ever it was in 1956, because we must still turn our dream of a truly nonracial South Africa into an enduring reality. This is our common challenge.

If we achieve that vision of sustaining a truly democratic, nonsexist, nonracial South Africa, it would be the most meaningful tribute we can pay to Nelson Mandela and it would be a legacy which, like Mr Mandela’s life and his example, gives hope to future generations. Let us all be part of that endeavour. [Applause.]

Dr S E MZIMELA: Madam Speaker, as one listens to the eulogies this afternoon, one is reminded of a funeral service at which much is said and very little is meant. However, we are not at a funeral this afternoon. We are here to honour Nelson Mandela and to pay tribute to him for what he has done for this country and, if I may add, for what he continues to do.

For our purposes there are two ways of looking at Mr Mandela. Firstly, we can look at him through the eyes of the international community where he is an icon, a living legend, where he is idealised, immortalised and, indeed, he is at a stage at which nothing that we do can belittle his achievements, nothing that we do can add to what he has already achieved, and nothing that we do not do can diminish his stature.

However, when one looks at him through the eyes of the South African public, one immediately must concede that he is, after all, a human being like all of us, and that any attempt to deify him does him an injustice and, in fact, destroys all the good he has done. The international community would in fact rewrite Shakespeare, because Shakespeare said:

The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.

Future generations on the international scene will say that the evil he did was interred with his bones, and that the good lives after him.

His policy of reconciliation, which was the cornerstone of his time in office, did indeed save South Africa from impending doom. It has also reaped some valuable benefits for the party in power. After all, they have netted such fish as Pik Botha and a long list of born-again Afrikaner businessmen who have suddenly discovered that this Government is on the right track.

The same policy of reconciliation, of course, had its downside. It prevented him from seeing the emergence of a manipulative force within his own ranks. It is this force which has prevented the evolution and consolidation of democracy. We must remember that despite all the talk of democracy in South Africa, we still have no democracy. Less than one year after Mandela’s departure from the South African political helm, we are beginning to see and experience the emergence of this authoritarianism, clear evidence that this manipulative force was at work, even while he was in power.

Were it not for this manipulative force, some of South Africa’s most competent, intelligent and skilled citizens would be occupying some of the front benches on this side of the House, giving this House the benefit of their wisdom, insight and talent. The failure to prevent this manipulative force from spreading its tentacles now means that the Mandela legacy has shifted to the South African people as a whole, who must re-lay the foundations of democracy and prevent South Africa from becoming the final African disaster. [Interjections.] Emerge as a leader!

The SPEAKER: Order! Order!

Rev K R J MESHOE: Madam Speaker, it is a great honour for me to take part in the debate on the tenth anniversary of the release of our former President, Mr Nelson Mandela. This debate was called to give tribute to a man whose leadership is exemplary and whose commitment to peace and reconciliation is unquestionable. His contribution to this country and the world is both legendary and inspirational.

Mr Mandela’s passion for reconciliation and his desire to see South Africa emerge as a peaceful nation never allowed him to live in the past. He constantly still reaches out a hand of friendship to friend and foe alike. In Parliament, he reached out to all political parties irrespective of their size and respected their opinions. He successfully made us all feel important in the building of the new democratic South Africa.

He personally called me a few times, as he did others, to inform me about issues others would not have wanted me to know about, and then also asked for my opinion. His style of leadership has definitely made an impact on my life. I remember getting a phone call from him the Saturday evening after the 1999 election results were made known. I marvelled as I listened to this great statesman, that always behaved like the President of all South Africans, congratulating the ACDP on its performance.

Mr Mandela, as the President of South Africa, knew how to rise above party politics. We will always honour him for that. It is my prayer that Almighty God will keep him strong and healthy as he stretches himself to the limit while trying to broker peace in Burundi. He is doing a great job and has the support of all peace-loving citizens of this country and the rest of the world.

The ACDP salutes this great son of Africa. We will support any measure to honour Dr Nelson Mandela within the precincts of this Parliament. [Applause.]

Genl C L VILJOEN: Mevrou die Speaker, soos tevore sê ek dat mnr Mandela se vrylating ‘n simfonie was, maar ‘n halfvoltooide simfonie. As dit nie voltooi word nie, dink ek, gaan daar nog baie wanklanke oor kom. Hierdie vrylating was korrek, noodsaaklik en tydig, veral aangesien die kommunistiese bedreiging in die wêreld in daardie stadium ineengestort het.

Verder was die tyd reg in Suid-Afrika vir die uitbreiding van volle demokratiese regte aan al die mense van Suid-Afrika. Dit was ook billik teenoor mnr Mandela as persoon. Hy was ‘n besondere mens, en ondanks sy baie jare in die gevangenis het hy steeds daarin geslaag om ‘n ware swart aristokraat te bly. Hy ken sy mense, hulle ken hom en hy is wyd aanvaarbaar. Ek dink erkenning aan hom is sekerlik gepas. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Gen C L Viljoen: Madam Speaker, as before, I say that Mr Mandela’s release was a symphony, but a half completed one. If it is not completed, I think there will still be many discordant notes. This release was correct, necessary and timely, especially since at that stage the worldwide communist threat had collapsed.

Furthermore the time was right in South Africa for the extension of full democratic rights to all the people of South Africa. It was also fair to Mr Mandela as a person. He was an exceptional man, and despite his many years in prison, he still managed to remain a true black aristocrat. He knows his people, they know him and he is widely accepted. I certainly think it is appropriate to pay homage to him.]

But the crux of the macropolitics about releasing Mr Mandela was to create enough harmony and reconciliation between the clashing interests and emotions of many racial groups, the dividing line of that time, so that democracy could be extended to the masses in a way that would not jeopardised stability.

That was the first part of the symphony. What needs to be done now is to address the deeper intrinsic diversity of the kind which Mr Mandela is experiencing at the moment in Africa between the Hutus and Tutsis, as we have between the Afrikaners, the Zulus and other peoples here. To do so in South Africa, we must stop homogenising South Africa. We must accept minority rights as a fundamental freedom as part of human rights and included in the Bill of Rights. We must honour the accord of Afrikaner self- determination to which Mr Mandela agreed. We must honour the role of traditional authorities and communities, and we must honour the African Charter of Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights.

We need it. Africa needs it. Let us complete this symphony by allowing this release anniversary occasion really to achieve its full potential here and in Africa.

Mr P H K DITSHETELO: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, Nelson Mandela is a son of South African soil, a family man, a statesman, a compatriot, freedom fighter, and the first South African democratically elected president accepted by all across colour divides.

What has he achieved as a president of South Africa since 1994? He has steered the country in the direction of peace and stability - what international observers would like to term ``the miracle transition to democracy.’’ He is well known for his unapologetic stance on reconciliation even though his approach earned him criticism, especially from those who felt that he was giving too much without the other group reciprocating on his gestures.

Despite all this, he continued and urged South Africans to forge ahead in building a nonracial and a united, democratic society based on the principles of equality and advancement of human rights and freedom. This path has earned him a natural role of being an international mediator and peace-broker in Burundi and other countries seeking his services.

What can we learn from Madiba? What we know is that he served his former enemies in the Government of National Unity without being bitter about his incarceration for 27 years which robbed South Africa of a visionary leader during the said period.

The challenges that lie ahead for South Africa, and in particular for President Thabo Mbeki, is to consolidate and break down Dr Mandela’s vision into a concrete reality for every South African. The UCDP would like to say: Siyabonga Madiba. We thank you very much, Madiba. Today Africa, and South Africa in particular, is a shining star because of your deeds and sacrifices. [Applause.]

Dr M S MOGOBA: Madam Speaker, 10 years is a short time when one is in the business of nation-building, but it is a long time when one is incarcerated in a colonial, fascist prison. Mr Mandela spent nearly 10 times three, which is 30 years, in prison. We salute him.

Some comrades who were with him like Mangaliso Sobukwe, Zephania Mothopeng, Jafta Masemola, Elias Motsoaledi were not so lucky. On 15 January this year, in pouring rain, we buried Dimake Malepe, one of the young boys who were sentenced to life imprisonment and almost forgotten by the world.

I have had a very unusual privilege of having known Mr Mandela as a lawyer in Johannesburg. He adjudicated in a school debate between Jan Hofmeyr School of Social Work and the Pretoria Bantu Normal College, to which I belonged, and he caused our team to lose. Then, after that, we were prisoners together on Robben Island. Later I became his pastor in the church. One of the memorable moments was sharing Holy Communion with him at Pollsmoor prison. That was followed by a visit at Victor Verster where we shared deeply about problems facing our country.

In the drama of transition to democratic South Africa, I recall being part of a team trying to bring reconciliation between Madiba and Shenge, between IFP and ANC. At Tuynhuys he always introduced me to visiting leaders as his bishop and his opponent. He has done so much, although much still remains to be done, particularly in the area of reconciling and reuniting fellow comrades in the liberation struggle.

I was sent by the World Methodist Council to invite him, a fellow Methodist, to address a world conference of about 5 000 methodists representing 54 million people from 93 countries. Although he declined this invitation, it is still a reliable measure of his greatness. Judged by all standards, he is a world figure who towers above his contemporaries like a colossus. May the coming decades bring us more justice, tolerance, peace and development. His greatness deserves nothing less. I want to associate myself with the suggestion that he be honoured in the precincts of this very Parliament. [Applause.]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, when God chooses his messengers to save humanity, he chooses only the best, like our former president, Nelson Mandela.

In 1979 Nelson Mandela was chosen as the recipient of India’s prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. In response to the honour, he wrote a letter to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, expressing his sincere thanks and appreciation. In the introduction of the letter, he made a selfless statement, and I quote:

Although I have been singled out for this award, I am mindful that I am the mere medium for an honour that rightly belongs to the people of our country.

[Applause.] The honourable Nelson Mandela experienced the joy and hardship of the freedom struggle with the people of South Africa. On 11 February 1990, following his release, he gave a speech in which he stated that his friends and comrades, his fellow South Africans, and all people throughout the world who fought against the apartheid regime, were the heroes of the freedom achieved by the struggle.

The honourable Nelson Mandela was entrusted with a demanding and unique duty, to reconcile and unite the people with their diverse differences, to lay the foundation for social, economic and political development, and to place South Africa on the international map. Most importantly, he taught us how to forgive.

Madiba played the dual role of father and mother to the nation. Siyabonga Baba, buesa South Africa. We salute him. We bring to him best wishes for a long life from the leader of the MF, Mr Amichand Rajbansi. [Applause.]

Mr C AUCAMP: Madam Speaker, Rev Meshoe’s speech made me a little jealous, because Mr Mandela did not phone me to congratulate me on the success of the AEB in the election. I suppose at that time he did not have my phone number. [Laughter.]

The image of Nelson Mandela, inside and outside South Africa, is the outcome of internal and external political factors combined with very personal gifts bestowed upon him by God. In the person of Nelson Mandela, the attributes of charisma and a kind of traditional aristocracy are combined with humility, and the spice of a very personal sense of humour. His devotion to the cause in which he believes is respected even by those who differ with him. His love for children and, recently, Bonsmara cattle, is well known and admired.

During his years in prison he was the personification of the entire struggle movement in South Africa. Since his release he has played a constructive role to accomplish a soft and peaceful transition. His person and his sense for politics helped to create a political climate of negotiation.

As this is not an obituary but an evaluation, it would be dishonest not to mention the disappointment that as leader of the ANC he did not give effect to the agreements prior to the 1994 election with regard to the question of self-determination for the Afrikaner.

In hierdie verband is dit veelseggend om daarop te let dat hy sopas voorgestel het dat die etniese konflik tussen die Hutu’s en die Tutsi’s opgelos moet word deur die proses van minderheidsregte. As internasionale bemiddelaar geniet hy hoë aansien. Dit is daarom ook ironies dat juis die belofte van internasionale bemiddeling oor federalisme voor die 1994- verkiesing nie nagekom is nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[In this regard it is significant to note that he has just suggested that the ethnic conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis should be resolved by way of the process of minority rights. As an international mediator he is held in high esteem. It is therefore ironic that it is in fact the promise of international mediation on federalism that was made before 1994 that has not been kept.]

Nelson Mandela will at the end of the century go down in history as the man of the moment. His influence will transcend his relatively short term of office. I would also be dishonest if I did not state that, whether one agrees with his viewpoints or not, it is impossible not to have respect for him and for what he achieved for his people. [Applause.]

Mr M A MANGENA: Madam Speaker, one does not have to agree with Mr Mandela in order to embrace him. One does not have to agree with him to want to co- operate with him or to want to elevate him to the position where he belongs. Because of this attribute, he has been able to play a crucial and unifying role, especially during the transition in our country. All of us, people of different political, social, religious and linguistic backgrounds, were able to coalesce around him.

In the Black Consciousness Movement, we would call him a tower. A tower is tall, a tower is prominent, a tower is strong, a tower is rare and special. One does not find towers everywhere. Madiba literally and figuratively is tall, because he is a tower. He is prominent and known to all of us, even small children all over our country, because he is a tower. He is strong. He wakes up in the morning, jumps from one car to the other, from one village to the other, from one plane to the other and does all sorts of things. As we are speaking here, he is in Arusha, helping to bring about peace in Burundi. He is a tower: He is rare and he is special.

I am also a tower. [Laughter.] But I am a smallernyana [small] tower! [Laughter.] All of us who are here are towers in our own right, but Madiba is a tower amongst towers. A bust of this tower around Parliament - that is a good idea! [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

                           POINT OF ORDER

                              (Ruling) The SPEAKER: Order! Before we move on to the next matter on the Order Paper, I want to give a ruling on some points of order that were raised on 8 February.

Mr Ellis, on that day, raised a point of order that the Deputy Minister of Education, Father Mkhatshwa, had deliberately misled the House as to what the Leader of the Opposition had said. I undertook to look at the Hansard to follow the matter up, which I have done. The Deputy Minister said that Mr Leon had gleefully criticised the Government for producing only 3 000 African students in maths, science and technology since 1994. According to the record, Mr Leon said that the Government, and I quote:

… after six years of ANC rule, has managed to provide matric passes with exemption in maths and science for only 3 000 Africans this year.

It is clear that Father Mkhatshwa was not quoting Mr Leon, but rather gave his interpretation of what was said. It would be inappropriate for the Speaker, at any time, to monitor and evaluate how members understand and interpret one another’s statements, and the way in which each one of you conducts the debate. Accordingly, I cannot find anything objectionable in what the Deputy Minister said.

On the same day, Mr De Lange raised a point of order that Mr Ellis, in raising the point of order against the Deputy Minister of Education, had said that the Deputy Minister was deliberately misleading the House. I have ruled on several occasions previously that it would not be unparliamentary to claim that a member is misleading the House. In fact, this is a charge that is often levelled across the floor.

It is, however, unacceptable to say that a member is deliberately misleading the House. It does not matter if the member does so in the form of a question. This Mr Ellis did. If the member is of the view that another is deliberately misleading the House, that member should table a substantive motion for consideration. Accordingly, Mr Ellis’s remark was unparliamentary, and I must therefore request him to withdraw it.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, I must say that I find myself in an unexpected situation, because I still believe that the hon the Leader of the Opposition was misquoted. Nevertheless, if that is your ruling, I do withdraw it. The SPEAKER: I thank you. I would suggest, incidentally, that you look at the actual quote, because my point is really the distinction, which I think all hon members ought to understand, between how you interpret what somebody has said, and the quotation from what they said. This is really the point I was making. I thank you very much, however.


                      (Subject for Discussion)

Prof S S RIPINGA: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, Ministers, hon members, comrades, it is an honour for me to participate in this debate, which the ANC considers to be of national importance.

The devastating floods in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Northern Province, KwaZulu-Natal, the North West and the Eastern Cape constitute yet another disaster that has plunged these areas into abject poverty and sorrow. We mourn those who have died tragically. We wish to send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families in these areas and to our neighbours in Botswana and Mozambique. We wish to thank those who worked vigorously to stabilise the situation in these areas. We further wish to thank the ANC for deploying some of us to the ravaged areas to assess the damage and assist victims of the floods residing in our constituencies and the areas at large.

I wish to highlight the devastating floods in these areas. The first flood came in 1986 when cyclone Demoina struck. Heavy rain fell during a three- day period. Damage was not caused by the flooding, but by the gale-force winds which pounded the area. During February 1996, the rain came down in torrents again. This time it fell over a few days, from 6 February 2000, and only subsided on 18 February 2000. All records set during the Demoina disaster were shattered.

I further wish to highlight the areas affected by the floods. Many areas in the Lowveld, Mpumalanga, the Northern Province, Alexandra in Gauteng, the North West, KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape have been severely ravaged by the floods. Some areas have, for the first time, recorded more than the average annual rainfall in a period of 24 hours. For instance, Graskop received 800 mm, White River 840 mm, and Skukuza 500 mm. Many areas affected by the devastating floods in the aforesaid provinces are predominantly rural and peri-urban. The poorest of the poor reside in these areas. Why?

This is part of the legacy of colonial and apartheid planning which destined people to these areas. The ANC, through its integrated development programmes, will rectify this. Some areas are completely isolated, for instance 12 villages in the Nsikazi area are isolated. The south of the Kruger National Park has been ravaged by the worst floods since the 1930s. The entire southern part of the park, south of Satara, has been cut off from the world. In the Northern Province, Tshino and Ramakhuba have been isolated because the Levubu Bridge that separate the two areas is damaged. Vuwani is also isolated from Thohoyandou.

Further I would like to highlight the nature of the damage. The heavy rain has left a trail of destruction. Comrade Samson Ndou who visited these areas graphically describes the aftermath of the flood disaster as being like the aftermath of a conventional war. This is the seriousness and nature of the damage in these areas. Bridges were damaged and washed away, and dams and houses were flooded and some crumbled before the onslaught of flooded rivers. Pump stations and roads disappeared, and electricity, sewerage, water and telephone infrastructure was damaged. Animals, domestic and wild, have drowned in droves. Fertile and arable agricultural land have been washed away. Agricultural crops have been flooded. Human beings have been injured, some have disappeared, and the saddest of all was the loss of human lives in the rural areas.

I would further like to highlight the management of the disaster in this area. In a disastrous situation, as experienced in these areas, human life is paramount. The search for and rescue of stranded people were priorities. Managing a disaster is a matter of managing life and death. Decision- making, communication, the availability of seed funding for disasters and willing people are cardinal ingredients for the successful management of disasters. Various disaster structures such as provincial disaster committees and JOCs, or joint operation committees, did just this. Various structures and individuals worked jointly with these designated disaster bodies to ensure that the disaster did not become too catastrophic.

The SA National Defence Force has played a major role in searching for and rescuing people who were trapped by water or washed away by flooded rivers. In our interaction with Col Hein Visser, commander of Group 33, Nelspruit, he informed us that helicopters were also sent into Mozambique to rescue 15 stranded South African contractors who were working at the Coromane Dam there. They were trapped by water and were left without food. He also confirmed that the SANDF saved the lives of inhabitants of a village about 35 kilometres inside Mozambique. Numerous mercy flights have also been undertaken to Botswana since the floods invaded and ravaged a part of that country. Such actions auger well for the African renaissance which is, in essence, about the reconstruction and development of Africa.

I briefly want to highlight flood relief. The challenges confronting the various disaster structures, Government, the private sector, NGOs, individuals and the community at large, are to ensure that victims of the flooded areas are fed, drinking water is provided, bleach is distributed to purify contaminated water, the sick can reach health centres, roads and bridges are temporarily repaired and to guard against the outbreak of diseases.

We also learned from our visitors that the Health Department has distributed medicine to health centres. We have further noted that bridges are being repaired, that Government has declared some areas disaster areas and that Government has pledged millions and has made an amount available as a first step to get the lives of people in ravaged areas back to normal.

We were also informed that the national Government has made huge sums available to start reviving life in the disaster areas. What we wish to do, is to call upon the private sector, NGOs, individuals and communities to contribute materially to the reconstruction and development of these areas. We wish to thank those structures and individuals who empathise, are compassionate and understand the plight of the poor.

Lastly, we also wish to highlight the effects of the floods on constituencies. Communication by road is impossible, normal day-to-day activities have been disrupted, telecommunication to a certain extent is disrupted, delivery of basic food and water is impossible and schooling has been disrupted.

We also want to recommend, on the basis of our interaction, that participation in disaster structures should be at the highest level, adequate resources should be voted annually to disaster structures, planning for such an eventuality should be a continuous exercise, training in disaster management is crucial, the media should be collaborative and not adversarial, people need to learn from past experiences, the Government should minimise red tape, the co-ordination of disaster management should be centralised and there should be a review of residential settlements.

In conclusion, we wish to thank the hon the Chief Whip of the ANC for the opportunity to explore the impact of the floods, the chairpersons of the disaster structures, various communities, individuals and the SANDF. We are convinced that the victims will rise above all odds and re-establish their lives. The generous support of individuals, the private sector and Government will ensure that the victims of the floods will succeed in their search for new lives. [Applause.]

Mr E K MOORCROFT: Madam Speaker, the recent floods which followed a devastating drought in certain parts of our country serve to bring home to us, once again, the harsh nature of our climate.

In South Africa we experience very often either a feast or a famine. Seven lean years will be followed by seven fat years. However, unfortunately these climatic swings also bring with them much damage. Up until now we have not been very good at controlling that damage and the present floods have been no exception. Great destruction has been wreaked while we have had to stand by helplessly and watch.

My appeal to the hon the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and his colleague the hon the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs, neither of whom unfortunately are in the House this afternoon, would be that they consider ways of initiating an entirely new approach to the problem of flooding. We need to be proactive rather than reactive. As things stand at the moment, our approach has almost entirely been reactive. We wait until the danger is upon us then we rush around madly trying to stem the damage. This is the least effective way of setting about solving a recurring problem. We should address the cause rather than the effects of flooding.

What is the cause of flooding? The easy answer is, of course, that it is simply a matter of too much rain falling in too short a period of time on too small an area of ground. But that is only half the answer. We should rather answer the question: Why is it that floods appear to be more ferocious and do more damage with each succeeding flood? The answer is simple, though it is not always perceived. It is because our management of the land has been such that rain falling on it is more likely to run off rather than to sink in to replenish soil moisture and underground aquifers. Consequently, the increased run-off leads to increased flooding that has become a feature of of our times.

Perhaps the best known example of this was the great Laingsburg flood of

  1. Heavy rains falling on overgrazed and denuded land in the Great Karoo caused a wall of water to hit the town of Laingsburg with such ferocity that there was great loss of life and much damage to property. Until and unless vegetation is restored to the Karoo, water will continue to run off the land like water off a corrugated-iron roof, damaging all in its path.

The same applies to the rest of the country. First of all we have to protect our mountain catchments and wetland areas from unwise land use. They are the sponges which should be holding the flood waters back. But they are not. They have almost without exception been overexploited. Land which should not be ploughed has been ploughed and land which should not have been grazed has been grazed, and trees have been planted where trees should never have been planted. Worst of all, large catchment areas which should serve as a massive water storage reservoir have been burnt and overstocked with the result that heavy rain falls on the land, disgorging water into rivers and streams without hindrance, and the results are before us today.

The message that I would like to convey to the hon the Minister is simply this: Until and unless we improve our land management practices, floods will continue to devastate our land with ever-increasing frequency and intensity. As the old saying has it: Control the mountain, control the river.

Ms S A SEATON: Madam Speaker, one really only understands the devastation of any natural disaster when it hits home, and sadly that it has done.

The torrential rain of past weeks and the resultant flooding in large parts of Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Northern Province, KwaZulu-Natal and our neighbouring country Mozambique have yet again focused the attentions of South Africans on the enormous forces of destruction that nature can unleash on the unexpecting and largely unprepared public.

The facts relating to the disaster that struck our country are well known. At least, fifty people are believed to have been killed, and to their families we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences. Hundreds of homes and thousands of informal dwellings have been destroyed or abandoned. Dozens of roads and bridges were destroyed or have become impassable and hundreds of thousands of people are without clean drinking water and proper shelter.

What is not being determined is a total cost of the disaster to South Africa and our neighbouring countries. It is impossible to calculate the cost of lost lives, but some estimates put the total cost to South Africa at more than R1 billion, and that is probably conservative. The fact is that virtually all economic activities in the affected areas have ground to a halt. The effects of this will only be felt later.

And what about our communities? What has this disaster costs them? Death, fear of the unknown, displacement, destruction and despair of thousands of people who are without clean drinking water and proper shelter. I have personally received telephone calls from my own area where such things have happened. People are left stranded and without accommodation and food and roads are washed away.

The cost cannot be measured in simple rand terms. The effect on people’s lives will be felt for a long time to come, long after the roads have been repaired and the bridges have been rebuilt and the tent cities have been dismantled. Nature is, by definition, unpredictable, but we have to ask ourselves if we could not have done more to warn our communities that danger was approaching and was, in some cases, imminent.

Just today, Parliamentarians were informed that a Bill dealing with the core functions of the SA Weather Bureau was recently tabled in Cabinet. Surely the core function of the SA Weather Bureau should be weather forecasting, and the application of that forecasting should be to assist the relevant authorities in implementing emergency measures to prepare for the worst effects of natural disasters.

Being told that the National Disaster Management Centre in Pretoria is underfunded and understaffed does not assist those in need. Surely the Government must now make it a top priority to fund this body properly and to provide it with all the means necessary to play its proper role in disaster management.

We have heard harrowing tales of communities living in informal settlements on the banks of rivers being swept away by the floods. It is unfortunate that often by laws and regulations of local authorities either do not apply or are not adequately enforced to keep them away from potential disaster. It is perhaps not the most appropriate time while we discuss the suffering of our people, but we acknowledge that Government has a duty to inform all citizens of this country what it plans to do to improve our disaster management abilities.

But more importantly, right now, is the need to provide the affected communities with food, shelter and drinking water, and to protect them from diseases that come from such situations. These are crucial things that we have to do immediately, but we also have to repair and replace the lost and damaged infrastructure so that normality in family life, education and economic activity can be re-established as soon as possible.

There are two further aspects that Government should address as soon as possible. The first one is to address the fragmentary approach to disaster management that has been evident, and the second one is to improve communications at all levels when dealing with disaster relief efforts. Our people simply have to know that there is a possibility of danger before disaster strikes, and they also have to be informed constantly of Government rescue and relief efforts that are designed to assist them.

One cannot then, of course, end this debate without praising the formidable efforts of the SA National Defence Force and other civil and private emergency services in rescuing trapped and endangered people and communities. Without their selfish and heroic deeds, the cost in lives may have been far greater.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the people of South Africa and foreign donors that have opened their hearts and have donated food, clothing and other essentials at this time of the greatest need of our people.

Mrs M E OLCKERS: Madam Speaker, on behalf of the New NP, I would like to express our sincere sympathies and condolences to every person who has been adversely affected by these recent floods. Our hearts go out to them.

It is clear that the magnitude of the climatic changes that are taking shape and taking place across the world makes everybody very aware of the power of nature through God. That necessitates governments to be prepared in all respects for disaster management. I want to quote from what the chief executive officer, Mr Ian McDonald, of the Worldwide Fund for Nature said last week:

Heatwaves, droughts, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes across the globe are happening at frequencies and intensities unprecedented in recorded history.

But now we have a situation in which we appeal to people for donations. We also sincerely thank all organisations and individuals that have already donated food, groceries, clothes, shoes, blankets, etc.

But while people are left homeless, 1 200 people in Alexandra alone, with winter upon us, the Government saw fit - through the Minister of Finance, nogal! - to set alight thousands of rands worth of clothes, tracksuits, etc, albeit counterfeit goods, last weekend. Is this the face of a caring government? Most contributions, as far as clothing is concerned, are second- hand clothes in any case, so who cares if the goods are counterfeit and of a lesser quality? While they lasted, people would at least have clothes and shoes to wear, whereas now they have nothing to wear.

The Counterfeit Goods Act, Act 37 of 1997, states in section 8(1):

Goods that have been seized in terms of section 4(1) must be stored and kept in safe custody at a counterfeit goods depot until the person in charge of the depot -

  (a)   is ordered by a competent court in terms of this Act to return,
       release, destroy or otherwise dispose of those goods as
       specified in the order ...

In other words, the court gave its consent to the goods being destroyed after the state had asked for permission to do so. If the Government were a caring government, especially to the poor, in the way they remind us they are time and time again, why did they burn those clothes, especially at this time of dire need? I suggest that all confiscated nonperishable goods, especially clothing and blankets, should be kept in safe state storage in order to be used during disasters. Nobody would gain financially, therefore the action would be within the confines of the said Act.

The rough estimates are already that infrastructure repairs run to over R800 million. Where are we going to find funds to assist individuals? They, the poor, are the long-suffering people after a disaster, after the fires, and when the water has subsided and life goes on. We need to walk tall on their behalf and be bold.

‘n Grootwildjagtersvereniging se lede het mildelik bygedra tot ‘n fonds om die Nasionale Krugerwildtuin te help met die herstel van die park ná die oorstromings, maar is meegedeel dat hulle geld nie welkom is nie. Dit is mense wat in die verlede groot bydraes gelewer het tot bewaring, wat gehelp het om die witrenoster se voortbestaan te waarborg, maar daar word nou vir hulle gesê dat hulle fondse nie aanvaarbaar is nie. Hoekom nie? Wil sekere instansies nie hê dat al die mense wat kan en wil bydra tot die herstel van ons land se natuurskoon ná die rampe wat ons getref het, saamwerk nie? Ek vra, wat is daardie mense se agendas wat nie die geld wil vat nie?

In ‘n tyd van rampe moet burokratiese oefenings nie in die pad staan van persone wat hulp wil verleen nie. Dit behoort alles deel van die rampbestuursplan te wees. As die wet dan eers verander moet word, moet ons dit dan asseblief so gou as moontlik doen. [Tyd verstreke.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The members of a big game hunters’ association contributed generously towards a fund to help the Kruger National Park with the restoration of the park after the floods, but they were informed that their money was not wanted. These are people who in the past made big contributions to conservation, who helped to guarantee the continued existence of the white rhino, but now they are being told that their funds are unacceptable. Why? Do certain institutions not want all the people who can and want to contribute towards the restoration of our country’s scenic beauty, after the disasters we suffered, to work together? I am asking what the agendas are of those people who do not want to take the money.

In a time of disasters, bureaucratic exercises must not stand in the way of people who want to render assistance. All of this ought to be part of the disaster management plan. If the legislation first has to be changed, then we must please do that as soon as possible. [Time expired.]]

The SPEAKER: Order! I now call upon the hon Mr A G Lyle to make his maiden speech. [Applause.]

Mr A G LYLE: Madam Speaker, the local government area under the jurisdiction of Alldays is one of the areas that have been negatively affected by the heavy rainfall in the Northern Province. The area also happens to be part of my constituency. Eighty homes collapsed completely and 340 partially. In the village of Burgerreg, the Moitse family lost their beloved 13 year old daughter, who was crushed to death by the falling walls of a rondavel, and I wish to dedicate this input to her. The clay- structured house collapsed under the continued battering of the incessant rainfall. In Kramhoek, Mr Sebola, who is currently hospitalised, sustained a broken hip when he, too, was badly injured by the falling walls of his rondavel.

A meeting was in session between the Department of Local Government, the Department of Works and the Department of Social Welfare when I telephoned to ascertain what measures were being taken to address the plight of the affected families. That meeting was all about charting the way forward so as to enable the respective departments to synchronise their activities.

We take note of the wonderful work done by the councillors of all the local governments and the social workers. Their prompt and efficient action resulted in the speedy delivery of food and the necessary medical attention to the affected families. In the interim, arrangements were made for the delivery of tents. This Parliament extends its profound gratitude to those families who had the kindness and compassion to accommodate the affected families whilst tents were in transit to the respective villages.

Much remedial work will have to be carried out in the streets of the villages. Soil erosion is high. What used to be a dent in the earth has now become a donga. Most shopkeepers and some families do their shopping in Pietersburg. The gravel road to Pietersburg was inaccessible for a number of days and families had to make do with the little they had. Extensive repair work will have to be carried out on this important link between Pietersburg and the villages.

Residents in this area practise pastoral, cattle and agricultural farming. There has been no reported loss in this sector. As a matter of fact, most of the crops look good, particularly sorghum, with the exception of being present on a limited scale. However, there are lessons to be learnt from this disaster. We have to keep the nation in full readiness in the event of another disaster occurring. The provinces, together with organised local government, must intensify their disaster management training. This training must be extended to men and women living both in towns and in the rural areas. The focus of the training programme must be on preventative rather than curative measures.

I want to bring to the House’s notice that the White Paper on disaster management has been released, and will soon be followed by a Bill. Those who think that too little was done too late must remember that the past apartheid regime did not think it fit to have the necessary disaster management structures in place in the former black areas, in particular in the rural areas. [Applause.]

Mr M N RAMODIKE: Madam Speaker, the dawn of millennium 2000 has been characterised by a number of natural disasters and eventualities. We witnessed an outburst of tornados in the Western Cape towards the end of last year and now, recently, the torrential rains that have lashed the Northern Province, Mpumalanga, parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the North West.

The infrastructural damage in both the Northern Province and Mpumalanga is conservatively estimated at R3,5 billion, according to Government officials. This amount exceeds capital expenditure on infrastructure delivery by each of the two provinces over the past two years. It is however important to note that both these provinces manage to spend an average of only 10%, or R1,1 billion, of their annual budgets on infrastructure delivery. This means that billions of rands were not utilised during the previous annual budget. The UDM recommends that these unutilised amounts should be carried over to this year’s budget for infrastructure delivery to replace the devastated infrastructure.

As I have already mentioned in my motion this morning, we note with great concern the arrival of cyclone Eline in Mozambique, and the possibility of further flooding in the northern and north eastern regions of South Africa. This may add fuel to the fire. We have, however, noted with appreciation that the Cabinet took a decision recently on the proposed plan of action during the discussion of floods. The UDM calls for the Government to present to this House information on the overall cost, the exact amounts affecting the budgets of each Government department, as well as provincial governments, and the timescales involved before all disrupted services are restored to the affected areas. We further call on the Government to indicate whether contingency plans exist in the event of further flooding.

Komana madula a bapile, mohlang wa mpe ga o tsebje. Mafulameetse a hlokofaditse batho ba gabo rena. Ba bantsi ba setse ba hloname, ba bantsi ba hloka mengwako, ba bantsi ba hloka masemo, ba bantsi ba gabo bona ba ile molete mohlaelathupa. [Legofsi.] [Nako e fedile.] (Translation of Pedi paragraph follows.) [One must be prepared for any eventuality. Floods have killed our people. Many of them are still brooding sullenly as a result of these floods, many people’s houses have been swept away, many do not have ploughing fields any more, and many have died in the floods. [Applause.] [Time expired.]]

Mrs R M SOUTHGATE: Madam Speaker, according to the SA Weather Bureau, the estimated structural damage due to the recent storms will be in the region of R1 billion, and the number of lives lost due to the floods is more than

  1. It is not in our abilities to circumvent the wrath of nature, especially when it comes to structural damage. What is in the range of our limited powers, however, are sound management and decision-making judgments.

What is being done about the fact that almost every year hundreds of people have to be evacuated from their settlements when flooding rivers occur? The ACDP wishes to make the point quite clearly that it is not socially and environmentally justified that people are allowed to settle so close to free-running rivers and canals, where their lives and health are at risk. Some of the bigger threats facing the people in these regions are that water supplies will be polluted, which of course comes with other health hazards such as malaria, cholera and typhoid.

These regions have for decades been ravaged by severe storms and flooding, yet not much, if anything, has been done to control the strain of population density on these surroundings. The people who are mainly affected in the wake of such devastating storms are the people in informal settlements. If Government does not have a policy to protect these people, it is equally embarrassing that when disaster strikes, corrective measures suddenly become imperative. It is not acceptable that a policy vacuum exists, especially in informal areas, as it is always these people who suffer the most, irrespective of what the disaster may be.

The ACDP wishes to suggest that in order to assist in minimising the hazards to our local communities, we look at the possibility of establishing facilities that allow for a water drainage system, such as when rivers threaten to flood their banks. What is ultimately required to avoid major structural collapse in our communities, is for Government to have an overall impact study on whether our informal settlements are governed according to correct Government regulations and standards. This is important. Muf T J TSHIVHASE: Mulangadzulo na miraḓo i huliseaho ya Phalamennde, ndi zwa vhukuma uri musi wa tshiwo a u ḓivhiwi nga muthu. Zwoṱhe ndi mukovhe wa ene Mudzimu we a zwi sika. Ndi zwo bvelelaho fhano shangoni ḽashu kha vhege dzo fhiraho. Tshiwo tshihulwane tsha dzimvula tsho ita uri hu vhe na miḓalo i ofhisaho. Vhathu vho kumbiwa, miḓi na thundu dzavho.

Zwenezwo, muvhuso washu a u ngo zwi dzhiela fhasi ngauri wo mbo ḓi rumela vhaimeleli vho teaho uri vha ye u zwi vhona nga maṱo avho. Kha tshigwada tshashu tsho yaho u zwi vhona nga maṱo, ro wana uri nangoho vhathu vho tshinyalelwa vhukuma. Ro lingedza u thusa nga hune ra kona, nga mihumbulo na zwiṅwe-vho. Zwo ri khaulaho mbilu ndi musi ri tshi vhona vhathu vha tshi khou phalalana. Ro vha ṱuṱuwedza vhukuma samusi roṱhe ri tshi zwi ḓivha uri munwe muthihi a u ṱusi mathuthu. Iṱali i tshone tshifhinga tshine vhadzulapo vha fanela u sumbedza u ḓihumbulela nga u ḓithusa vhunga masunzi a tshi tanga nḓou e manzhi a kona u i kunda.

Ro kakarika na vhathu vho tshinyalelwaho uri vha wane thuso thanzi. Kha iḽo fulo ro sumbedzisa nga hune muvhuso wa ḓo thusa nga hune wa ḓo kona malugana na zwa mutakalo. Zwihulwane vhathu vha fanela u ḓitsireledza kha u nwa na u shumisa maḓi a re na tshikha. Vha ḓitsireledze kha malwadze a no nga malaria, kholera na maṅwe ane a nga bvelela nga nṱhani ha tshiwo itsho tsha miḓalo. Ro sumbedzisa uri zwoṱhe zwi re kha mabunga zwi fanela u vha kule na vhathu khathihi na zwiḽiwa. Tshihulwane ndi u shumisa maḓi ane muvhuso wa ḓo ita uri a ṋewe vhathu na uri vha fanela u vhilisa maḓi musi a sa athu u shumiswa.

Muhasho wa mutakalo wo no thoma u bvisa mishonga na vha dzangano ḽa Red Cross vha khou phalala nga zwiḽiwa na zwifuko. Ri pfa na uri vha SANDF vho thusa vhukuma kha u phalala vhathu vho welwaho. Tshihulwane tshine tsha fanelwa u khoḓiwa ndi u thusana ha vhadzulapo zwo ṱangana na vha dzikereke na zwiṅwe zwifhaṱo zwihulwane zwo shumiswaho kha u ṋea vhukhudo avho vhe miḓi yavho ya kumbiwa na thundu dzavho. Hezwo zwo vhonala ngei Mutale, Vuwani na Sibasa.

Ndi ngazwo ri tshi khou dzinginya ḽa uri hu tea u vha na dzisenthara dza vhadzulapo kha vhupo vhuṅwe na vhuṅwe uri musi wa tshiwo vhathu vha kone u vha na hune vha ḓo shavhela hone. Zwi ḓi nga na kale ho vha na hune vhathu vha swielelwa hone musanda muṅwe na muṅwe.

Iyo miḓalo yo sia vhorabulasi, vhana vha tshikolo, vha shumaho kule na mahaya, vha re zwibadela na dzikiliniki vha tshi ṱoḓa thuso vhukuma. Zwifhaṱo, dzibada, dziburoho na zwiṅwe zwi shumiswaho nga vhadzulapo zwo tea u lugiswa. Huno, muvhuso u na tshikwama tsha ndiliso tshine tsha ḓo thusa nga hune wa ḓo kona. Zwi ḓo ri vhofha uri ri humbele vhoramabindu na maṅwe madzangano a dzitshelede uri vha shele mulenzhe kha thuso heyi khulwane i ṱoḓeaho. Madzangano oṱhe hu si na uri ndi ḽifhio a humbelwa u dzhenisa tshanḓa. Hezwo zwi khou humbelwa nga ANC.

Mihasho yoṱhe ya muvhuso i fanela u thusa kha u lugisa zwoṱhe zwo tshinyalaho. Tshumisano ya vhashumeli vha muvhuso, vhadzulapo vhane vha ḓo shela mulenzhe i a ṱoḓea uri zwithu zwi vhuyelele ngonani, vhathu vha wane vhudzulo, vhana vha vhuyelele zwikoloni, zwibadela zwi shume na uri vhathu vha vhe na vhudzulo zwine zwa ḓo ita uri vhutshilo ha vhadzulapo hu khwinisiwe. Zwoṱhe zwi nga itea arali ra ita khaedu na uri hu vhe na mutingati. Ri dovha hafhu ra lilisa na u pfela vhuṱungu vhoṱhe vho kwameaho. ANC i ri kha ri ite mutingati roṱhe hu sa sedziwi uri ndi ḽihoro ḽifhio. [U vhandelela zwanḓa.] (Translation of Venḓa speech follows.)

[Mrs T J TSHIVHASE: Madam Speaker and hon members of Parliament, it is true that most disasters are unpredictable, especially by an ordinary person. Most of these disasters are indeed, or perhaps, an act of God. This is what happened in our country in the past few weeks. Torrential rainfall resulted in dangerous floods. People drowned, and their houses and property were destroyed.

Our Government did not delay in sending representatives to witness and assess the flood damage. In our group, which also witnessed the recent flooding, we found that there was indeed great destruction. We made an effort to assist victims according to our ability. What impressed us most was observing people on the ground aiding one another in many different ways. We encouraged them to do so, for it is true that one swallow does not make a summer. Indeed, it is high time citizens showed solidarity, for the elephant can only be defeated when all the ants attack at once.

We assisted many homeless people so that they could find help and some form of protection from the rain. We also indicated how the Government would assist affected people, especially in preventing infectious diseases such as malaria and cholera that may be prevalent. We also indicated that people should relieve themselves far away from their places of accommodation and not near water that is flowing. When using water, they should use the water supplied or boil water from springs before usage.

The Department of Health has already embarked on supplying necessary medicines and is being assisted by the Red Cross in providing shelter and food to people. We have also heard that the SANDF is helping trapped victims. Social organisations and churches have to be given credit for also helping the destitute. We witnessed such activities taking place in the districts of Mutale, Vuwani and Sibasa.

Therefore, we propose that local governments establish community centres which will, in future, benefit citizens as shelters in times of disaster, such as this one. May I also remind the House that in the past every locality under a headman had reserved accommodation for those in need.

The floods affected farmers, schoolchildren, and especially those workers from afar, as well as hospitals and clinics. Buildings, bridges and infrastructure now require urgent repairs. However, the Government has established a disaster fund which will assist in the reparation. We will also be forced to request aid from businesspeople and financial institutions. The ANC is also asking all organisations, irrespective of any political affiliations, to get involved in assisting the victims of floods.

We also call on all departments of government to get involved in assisting wherever damage necessitates repairs. The co-operation of government officials, citizens and those who will be involved is important for progress. We would like to see people getting homes, schools reopening and hospitals functioning properly. This will restore life to the victims of the floods and bring about an improvement in their livelihood. All this is possible if we all work together.

Lastly, we sympathise with all victims of the floods. The ANC says let us all pull together, irrespective of party affiliations. [Applause.]]

Genl C L VILJOEN: Mevrou die Speaker, in my twee minute wil ek graag twee sake bespreek. Ek wil egter begin deur te sê die VF wil ook sy simpatie en meegevoel betuig met almal in die land wat groot skade en ook lewensverlies gely het.

Die eerste saak wat ek wil bespreek, is behuising, veral dié van die arm mense. Ek is teleurgesteld om te sien dat nie een van die Ministers vir wie hierdie twee sake raak hier is nie, naamlik dié vir landbou en behuising.

‘n Mens moet uit teenspoed leer. ‘n Mens moet nie foute herhaal nie. Daar is arm mense dood en daar is arm mense wat alles verloor wat hulle gehad het, ook hul huise. ‘n Mens kan sê dat dit ‘n besondere groot vloed was hierdie. Dit ís so. Dit was ‘n besondere groot vloed, maar ek dink daar is twee sake waaraan ons aandag moet gee.

Die eerste is die bouregulasies. Die agb lid mev Seaton het reeds daarna verwys. Die bouregulasies moet op so ‘n manier toegepas word, ook in die informele nedersettings, dat hierdie soort rampe nie weer gebeur nie. In die tweede plek, as daar huise gebou word, moet ‘n mens aan die mense in die informele nedersettings dink en behoorlike dakke gee.

Die tweede saak is die kwessie van landbou, kommersiële landbou sowel as bestaanslandbou. Dié mense het baie groot verliese gely. Hulle het bedryfskapitaal verloor met oeste wat in was en toe vernietig is. Hulle het infrastruktuur verloor, wat duur is om te vervang. Hulle het tyd vir die volgende oes ook verloor. Hulle sal hard moet werk op die plase. Boonop gaan baie van die plaaswerkers hul werk verloor, want daar is nie nou genoegsame werk nie.

In hierdie verband het ek drie spesifieke versoeke. Die eerste gaan oor Landbank-paaiemente. Daar is tot dusver aan my verslag gedoen dat die Landbank, baie onsimpatiek, nie bereid is om uitstel te gee nie. Dit moet gegee word vir die herstel van die infrastruktuur. Ons moet ook vra dat die boere beskerm sal word teen goedkoop invoere sodat die markte nie vir die boere verlore gaan nie.

Ten slotte, ons kort ‘n volledige verslag van die Regering en ‘n besigheidsplan oor hoe ons hierdie ramp gaan hanteer. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Gen C L VILJOEN: Madam Speaker, in the two minutes allocated to me I would like to discuss two matters. However, I want to begin by saying that the FF also wants to express its sympathy to everyone in the country who has suffered serious damage and also loss of life.

The first matter which I want to discuss is housing, especially that of the poor. I am disappointed to see that neither of the Ministers concerned with these two matters is here, namely the Ministers responsible for agriculture and housing.

One should learn from adversity. One should not repeat mistakes. There are poor people who have died and there are poor people who have lost everything they possessed, including their houses. One can say that this was a massive flood. That is a fact. It was a massive flood, but I think there are two matters to which we must pay attention.

Firstly, I want to mention the building regulations. The hon member Mrs Seaton has already referred to them. The building regulations should be applied in such a way, also in the informal settlements, that there is no recurrence of this type of disaster. Secondly, when houses are being built, one must think of the people in the informal settlements and provide such houses with proper roofs.

The second matter is the question of agriculture, commercial agriculture as well as subsistence agriculture. These people have suffered very great losses. They have lost operating capital in that crops that had been harvested were subsequently destroyed. They have lost infrastructure, which is expensive to replace. They have also lost time for the next harvest. They will have to work hard on the farms. In addition, many of the farmworkers are going to lose their jobs, because there is not enough work at present.

I have three specific requests in this regard. The first pertains to Land Bank instalments. I have been informed to date that the Land Bank is being most unsympathetic and is not prepared to grant deferment of payment. This will have to be given so that infrastructure can be repaired. We also have to request that farmers be protected against cheap imports so that the markets are not lost to the farmers.

In conclusion, we need a detailed report from the Government and a business plan on how we are going to deal with this disaster.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Madam Speaker, some months ago the Western Cape was hit by a tornado. Then, a few weeks ago, we saw some parts of the province being reduced to bare veld as a result of fire. Then came the ruins and ravines, the effect of the rain in some of the provinces. One wonders what will happen next. Are more plagues to follow?

The floods ravaged great parts of the North West province, resulting in the loss of life, as was the case at Ikageleng in Zeerust. Bridges have been washed away, making some areas inaccessible and difficult to leave. People who live in villages such as Masibudule are marooned. In the Thohoyandou area in the Northern Province people went for three days without potable water when water pipes were washed away. Even those who have boreholes are having problems, as these are now out of order, either having sunk in, had the pumping system jammed or the engines clogged with mud.

Farmers in the Thabazimbi area have lost most of their crops. Fields have been either flooded or washed away. The implication for such farmers is great loss, since they will have to pay labourers who will not be performing any duties, as the crops are gone as a result of the floods. The flip side of the coin is that the labourers may be sent packing, as it is not economic to keep them on an unproductive farm. The result could be a rise in job losses and an increase in crime, or both.

In some parts of the country - at places around Sun City such as Magong, Mabele-a-pudi and in the Mmabatho-Zeerust area - a number of mud houses have been destroyed by the floods. We are fortunate that no loss of life has been reported. The SANDF has provided tents for temporary shelter at Moshwayaneng, where 60 families have been left without any shelter. At Lobatla, also in the Zeerust area, 56 families saw their houses being washed away. These are houses belonging to the poorest of the poor. They have been affected. It will take quite long for these families to reconstruct their lives and houses to their original standard.

The integrated rural development plan should come into play here, and very soon for that matter. It is not only privately … [Time expired.]

Dr M S MOGOBA: Madam Speaker, in mid-January the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry undertook an extensive visit to the provinces. I was part of the delegation that visited Mpumalanga and the Northern Province. We visited some of the most beautiful areas of our country, from the border of Mozambique and Swaziland through the Lowveld up to the Aravidam and Ekhangala Water Board. We were on the whole impressed by what is being done to bring water to poor communities.

A few weeks later this same area was covered with devastating floods, bringing massive destruction and death. The PAC joins this House in expressing sympathy and solidarity with families and communities affected. We have a relatively dry country with semi-deserts and deserts occupying a sizable area of our land. It is a great pity that we are ill prepared to deal with floods.

Most of our houses and shacks cannot withstand heavy rains, let alone floods, cyclones and hurricanes. Our SABS must prescribe minimum standards and requirements for houses, storm drainage and bridges. We need to build dams according to strict safety specifications with the back-up of catchment dams and overflow reservoir tanks. We cannot allow a scarce commodity like water to wreak havoc, and then after days or weeks be left dry and helpless. The least we can do is to capture as much water as possible to use for irrigation, sanitation and purification. We need all the water technology that is available to help us lay the foundations for a modern state which will bring hope to the majority of our people who are poor and defenceless when natural disasters strike. [Time expired.]

Miss P S SEKGOBELA: Madam Speaker, hon members, I thank you for the opportunity of briefing this House on the catastrophic flooding which befell Mpumalanga, the Lowveld and the Northern Province during the past two weeks. The worst floods since 1984 have hit the area. It is rare for us to experience a tropical cyclone in South Africa. Weather records indicate that the country encounters a tropical cyclone in a cycle of about once in five years, although there has been none for the past eleven years.

The tropical storm Eline has caused estimated damage of R800 million in the Mpumalanga-Lowveld area alone. This damage has set back the area by an estimated 20 years. The floods have been disastrous for the Mpumalanga- Lowveld area. While the urban centres such as Nelspruit, White River and others have been negatively affected, proper drainage systems in such areas have to a large degree saved them.

The worst hit areas, as hon members will suspect, are home to the poorest of the poor of the region. These areas include Nsikazi and Umkomazi, which were previously part of the apartheid bantustan. Approximately 800 000 people live in these areas. It is estimated that at least 25 people lost their lives during the tragic floods. The damage to the infrastructure, which has largely been built during the past five years of the new democratic Government, led by the ANC, is shocking. In the Ntsinghase area at least 20 bridges connecting various village and various urban centres have been washed away.

The water supply system has been completed destroyed. Women and children queue for instance along the Kanyamazane-Kabokweni Road with buckets from early morning to early evening. In the deep rural areas such as Lupisi communities are forced to drink filthy water running down the muddy, dirty roads. The electricity supply to most villages has been cut off.

A number of schools need to be repaired or rebuilt. In the rural areas, there has not been any schooling for the past weeks at almost 80% of the schools. The damage to the road has caused pain to a number of families. On Sunday 13 at about 07:00, a young boy who went to buy bread for his family at the nearest shop was washed away on his way back home at the Gujwa- Khumbula bridge. On the same day, a family from KaBokweni was still searching for the corpses of two people who were washed away when the Elija Mango College bridge collapsed.

The White River-Ligogode road has worsened from potholes to drumholes. The tourism industry has also been severely affected as a number of hiking trails and other facilities have been ruined. The worst hit is the Kruger National Park, which has lost an estimated R2 million in revenue during the last two weeks. The floods at the Kruger National Park have caused damage estimated at about R150 million.

The cause for concern is that relief efforts, food supplies and emergency services cannot reach rural areas because of a lack of bridges and roads which have been swept away. However, repair work to the roads and bridges started on a good note during the weekend of 18 February. The disaster fund set up by the executive will address the damage. A number of contractors were already on site during the past weekend, and started working at a very fast pace. In conclusion, although there were other areas we wanted to visit, we could not do so because of the terrible situation of damaged roads. I also want to extend our condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones. [Applause.]

Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Madam Speaker, the FA would like to associate itself with the condolences expressed by Prof Ripinga to those who suffered losses during the recent floods. We thank him for the subject that we are discussing today.

With the limited time at my disposal, I can only react to a part of the damage, which will be on agriculture. The South African climate is one of extremes, and it is interesting in that the same areas which are now experiencing floods were drought stricken a year ago. The adverse conditions have a big influence on agriculture, and thus on the economy of South Africa.

Long after the water levels of the recent floods have returned to normal in the rivers, the detrimental economical effect which will prevail because of agricultural crop failures will have an influence much greater than the flood waters that we now have over a wider area. The restoration of infrastructure will not be completed overnight. The immediate loss of a bridge always catches the eye and the publicity, while the long-term effect on agriculture gets little attention and is usually shifted to the background. Floods such as we have experienced mean a loss of crops to many farmers. This causes a chain reaction: a loss of income, employment, money in the rural areas and more unemployment, a shift of people from the rural to urban areas and a smaller contribution to the economy.

The FA urgently request the Government to assist the agricultural sector in overcoming this serious setback to the rural economy of South Africa. The assistance to agriculture should centre on helping the farmer to come into production as soon as possible and not on money hand-outs.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, I know it is said that the responsibility of disaster management in South Africa rests with the Government, but this does not prevent the community at large from sharing that responsibility. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I would like to suspend proceedings, for just a few minutes, until the sound system is sorted out.

Business suspended at 16:47 and resumed at 17:32.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Mr Chairperson, my thanks to the technicians who repaired the system. I have just been accused of breaking the sound system of Parliament. [Interjections.] I wanted to ask the Chief Whip for another two minutes speaking time. [Laughter.]

We all know the responsibility of disaster management in South Africa rests with the Government, but this does not prevent the community at large from sharing the responsibility. The responsible authorities, in their handling of the storms and floods that devastated the relevant areas in South Africa, have exposed the weaknesses in the system, and in legislation that deals with disaster.

The key elements of disaster management are prevention, mitigation, preparedness, speedy response, and relief and rehabilitation for the victims after the disaster occurs. Attention must be focused on prevention and risk reduction as this would minimise damages, financial loss and the loss of human lives.

The MF feels for and sympathises with the people that lost property and their loved ones in the recent floods in the various areas, and conveys its sincerest thanks to all who rendered assistance during this devastating time.

Mr C AUCAMP: Mr Chairperson, the topic of discussion is the effect of the floods on constituencies. May I ask for a bit of patience on your part, as you are well aware of the fact that my constituency starts at Table Mountain and ends at Messina! [Laughter.] However, I will only give you a glimpse of the damage, especially in the farming community in the Northern Province, with some attention to my former homebase, Thabazimbi.

Mentioning the farming community reminds me of the teacher who told the little children about the flood in the days of Noah, the 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon member, please put that newspaper away and listen to the debate.

Mr C AUCAMP: Mr Chairperson, when the teacher told them about the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, little Jannie asked:

``Juffrou, was die boere toe tevrede?’’

Enkele flitse van die skade lui soos volg: voorlopige vloed- en reënskade in die Noordelike Provinsie beloop nagenoeg R700 miljoen, 20 000 werkgeleenthede is in gedrang, en oorlaatskuld aan koöperasies wat nie vereffen sal kan word nie, beloop etlike miljoene. In die Moketsi-omgewing alleen het 25 besproeiingsdamme heeltemal weggespoel - ‘n skade van R25 miljoen. In die Thabazimbi-omgewing is daar ‘n gebrek aan krag, kommunikasie en vars drinkwater. Eskom stuur helikopters om kragdrade en -pale te herstel. Ek het ondervinding gehad van die 1996-vloedskade wat ‘n vernietigende uitwerking op boere gehad het, met etlikes wat moes boedel oorgee. Hierdie keer is die honderdjaarvloedlyn van die Krokodilrivier naby Thabazimbi met 2 meter oorskry.

Ek doen ‘n beroep op die Regering dat groot dele van die Noordelike Provinsie tot nasionale rampgebied verklaar word, dat spesifieke aandag aan duisende dakloses gegee word, dat ‘n konkrete plan daargestel word om boere te help om minstens infrastruktuur te herstel, dat die vooruitsig van die moontlike 20 000 nuwe werkloses teëgewerk word deur aandag te skenk aan die bronne waarvan hulle afhanklik is, en dat dit gedoen word met indringende samesprekings met Agri SA, sowel as die Transvaalse Landbou-unie, wat die meeste van die boere in dié gebied verteenwoordig, ten einde die beskikbare hulpbronne ten beste aan te wend. [Tyd verstreke.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[``Miss, were the farmers satisfied?’’

A few flashes regarding the damage are as follows: Preliminary flood and rain damage in the Northern Province amounts to approximately R700 million, 20 000 jobs are in jeopardy, and carry-over debt to co-operatives which it will not be possible to recoup, amounts to several millions. In the Moketsi region alone 25 irrigation dams have been washed away completely - damage amounting to R25 million. In the Thabazimbi region there is no electricity, communication or fresh drinking water. Eskom is sending helicopters to repair power lines and poles. I experienced the 1996 flood damage which had a devastating effect on farmers, with several going bankrupt. This time the 100-year flood line of the Crocodile River near Thabazimbi was exceeded by 2 metres.

I am appealing to the Government to declare large parts of the Northern Province national disaster areas, that specific attention be given to thousands of homeless people, that a concrete plan be established to help farmers at least to repair infrastructure, that the prospect of the possible 20 000 new unemployed be countered by giving attention to the sources on which they are dependent, and that this be done in conjunction with in-depth discussions with Agri SA, as well as the Transvaal Agricultural Union, which represents most of the farmers in this area, in order to best utilise the available resources. [Time expired.]]

Mr M A MANGENA: Mr Chairperson, unlike people living in other parts of the world where the occurrence of natural disasters such as monsoon floods, earthquakes and the eruption of volcanoes is regular and periodic, we are relatively free of such things. Accordingly, when they do happen, they traumatise us more than they do people who are used to them. The damage might be the same, but the psychological impact is different. Also, because of the rarity of these disasters in our part of the world, the houses we build, where we build them, and the kind of bridges we erect across rivers and streams, by and large, do not allow for floods.

The damage caused in the northern parts of our country does not end with collapsed houses and washed away bridges and fields. It has also resulted in waterlogged fields and drowning crops. The harvests of both commercial and subsistence farmers will be reduced drastically. Whereas physical damage caused to infrastructure is already being estimated at around R1 billion, the residual damage to communities owing to poor harvests is likely to be much greater.

It is therefore important that all components of Government, parastatals and other sectors of our country mobilise themselves, not only to repair the damaged infrastructure, but also to attend to the residual effects on a sustained basis long after the media have moved away from these areas. If that is not done, the negative social effects of this calamity will manifest themselves several months and years down the line. [Applause.]

Mr M L DA CAMARA: Mr Chairperson … The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! All members, please allow the hon member to make his speech. It is his maiden speech, so please give him extra care and attention. [Interjections.]

Mr M L DA CAMARA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Hon members, the DP would, once again, like to express its condolences with the families of the victims in the recent floods in Mpumalanga and the Northern Province. The DP would also like to extend its best wishes and sympathies to the people of Mozambique who have also been affected by the recent floods.

If these floods serve any purpose, it is to demonstrate the vulnerability of people in rural areas. With the destruction of 22 major bridges in Mpumalanga and the Northern Province, many people were left stranded, leaving them at the mercy of unscrupulous individuals exacting toll fees of about R2 from each person crossing their dangerous makeshift bridges.

The spectre of devastating epidemics of waterborne diseases looms large over at least a million people in Mpumalanga alone as purification plants and systems collapse. In addition, there are the expected job losses in the agricultural and tourism sectors, not to mention the destruction of social infrastructures, thus placing further strain on provincial budgets which can barely cope as it is. Yet all of this could have been avoided or at least minimised through the proper management of dams and better procurement policies regarding the maintenance and building of infrastructure.

The extent of the damage caused by this latest disaster is, in the words of The Sunday Independent, due to the lack of foresight and planning''. The article goes on to say that theextent of damage may be, at least in part, a symbol of a misguided attempt to cut corners’’. This goes directly to the heart of this Government’s procurement policies. Cheaper roads and bridges have ultimately come at a great price to the people of Mpumalanga and the Northern Province.

In conclusion, the DP calls on this Government to revisit its procurement policies to assist the victims of the floods and, with the greatest of urgency, to institute the disaster management plan it has so long promised. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! [Interjections.] Order! Hon members, please pay attention to the debate. Please continue, sir.

Mr W M SKHOSANA: Chairperson, I think we agree today that all of us are in pain. However, the DP and the ACDP have made certain unacceptable proposals. I wonder what they mean by saying that there is a need to control rivers. How does one control a river which has its banks overflowing some kilometres away? I do not think it is possible. We also hear other people speaking about the drainage system. The flood could not flow under the bridge, which was about four metres high. When one speaks about a drainage system which is about 10 cm in diameter, what does one mean by that? I think we do agree on proper planning, but before one speaks about certain things, one needs to make up one’s mind.

We meet today, 22 February 2000, on the premises of the National Assembly to join fellow South Africans who are victims of the floods in our various provinces, which have been declared disaster areas following last week’s floods. We have lost our beloved friends, relatives and loved ones, and some are left without homes.

Part of our infrastructure in the North West - in areas like Brits and Oukasie - and in Mpumalanga, the Northern Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, has been damaged as a result of the floods. Damage to railway lines in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng affected the operation of Spoornet, and South Africa could not export its coal to Botswana or Maputo because of the floods.

The rain that has fallen over the past week - and is still falling in certain parts of our country - has caused enormous damage. The collapse of bridges in various areas makes it very difficult for people to get to work, clinics, schools and, worst of all, to pension paypoints. We were also unable to bury the dead because of this flood. National roads, such as the N4 from Sun City to Pretoria, were closed. The road from Rustenburg to Thabazimbi was closed for four days.

There was a loss of crops by the farming communities and a loss of livestock, mainly cattle, pigs, goats, sheep etc, as well as important documents such as ID books, birth certificates, policy documents and so on, all because of the floods. Loss of crops in Brits amounts to millions of rands. There is no electricity supply in most parts of the affected areas. There is no telecommunication system, including cellphone communication, in some of the affected areas.

The sewerage system has been flooded and damaged extensively in the townships. High-risk scenarios may develop if the rain continues. Structures which are still standing might be faced with intense pressure and collapse, resulting in more serious damage to the infrastructure. We are concerned about the problems which might develop as a result of the high risk of diseases in our areas. We are making an appeal to all South African to work together in joint operation centres and build the lives of our people. We call upon big businesspeople to help.

We thank the SA National Defence Force, SA Police Service, the agricultural union, Eskom, Telkom and Public Works for working together during the time of the disaster. Due to the inaccessibility of rural areas like the Ramokokastad, Mantsare and Motjateng we are making a call to communities that traditional leaders, church organisations and NGOs should work together. In an area called Modikwe 46 houses collapsed as a result of this. One house collapsed in Winterveld on Sunday when we thought the whole thing had settled down. The damage caused by the floods in the North West amounts to millions of rands. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! By agreement, consideration of the subject for discussion in the name of Mr E I Ebrahim on the Order Paper is deferred for discussion on a later date.

House adjourned at 17:49. ____


                     THURSDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2000


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 In accordance with the Intelligence Services Control Act, 1994 (as
 amended), Ms N M Nqakula has been appointed Chairperson of the Joint
 Standing Committee on Intelligence.
  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 (1)    The following Bill was introduced in the National Assembly on 17
     February 2000 and referred to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM)
     for classification in terms of Joint Rule 160:

     Financial Institutions (Investment of Funds) Bill [B 6 - 2000]
     (National Assembly - sec 75) - (Portfolio Committee on Finance -
     National Assembly) [Explanatory summary of Bill and prior notice
     of its introduction published in Government Gazette No 20801 of 7
     January 2000.]
  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 (1)    The Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) on 16 February 2000 in terms
     of Joint Rule 160(4), classified the following Bill as a section
     76 Bill:

     (i)     Tourism Amendment Bill [B 3 - 2000] (National Assembly -
          sec 76(1)) - (Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and
          Tourism - National Assembly).

 (2)    The Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) on 17 February 2000 in terms
     of Joint Rule 160(3), classified the following Bill as a section
     75 Bill:

     (i)     Cross-Border Insolvency Bill [B 4 - 2000] (National
          Assembly - sec 75) - (Portfolio Committee on Justice and
          Constitutional Development - National Assembly).

 (3)    The Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) on 17 February 2000 in terms
     of Joint Rule 160(4), classified the following Bill as a section
     76 Bill:

     (i)     Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Service
          Professions Amendment Bill [B 2 - 2000] (National Council of
          Provinces - sec 76(2)) - (Select Committee on Social Services
          - National Council of Provinces).

National Assembly:

  1. The Speaker:
 In accordance with the Intelligence Services Control Act, 1994 (as
 amended), the following members of the National Assembly have been
 appointed to serve on the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence:

 Abram, S; Bloem, D V; Cwele, S C; Ebrahim, E I; Goniwe, T M; Green, L
 M; Landers, L T; Makwetla, S P; Ndabandaba, L B G; Olckers, M E; Scott,
 M I; Van der Merwe, S C.


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 3 - Parliament for 1998-99 [RP 128-99].

    To be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration and report and to the Select Committee on Finance for information.

 (2)    Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of
     Vote 37 - Welfare for 1998-99 [RP 161-99].

     To be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for
     consideration and report and to the Portfolio Committee on Welfare
     and Population Development and the Select Committee on Social
     Services for information.
  1. The Minister of Public Works:
 Progress report of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Construction
 Industry Development, November 1999.

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and the Select
 Committee on Public Service.
  1. The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
 Documents, in terms of section 3(11)(a) of the Public Protector Act,
 1994, on remuneration, allowances and other conditions of employment
 determined by the Public Protector for staff in his office.

 Note: Section 3(11)(b) provides that if Parliament disapproves of any
 determination such determination shall cease to be of force to the
 extent to which it is so disapproved.

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional
 Development and the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional

                      TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2000


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces: Papers:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 (1)    Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of
     Vote 24 - Minerals and Energy for 1998-99 [RP 148-99].

     Referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for
     consideration and report, the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and
     Energy and the Select Committee on Economic Affairs for

 (2)    Special Report of the Auditor-General on an investigation at the
     South African Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA)[RP

     Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications.

 (3)    Reports of the Auditor-General on the -

     (a)     Financial Statements of Vote 22 - Labour for 1998-99 [RP

     (b)     Financial Statements of Vote 29 - Government
          Communications and Information System [RP 139-99].

     Referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.


National Assembly:

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism on the Tourism Amendment Bill [B 3 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 76), dated 22 February 2000, as follows:

    The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism, having considered the subject of the Tourism Amendment Bill [B 3 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 76), referred to it and classified by the JTM as a section 76 Bill, reports the Bill without amendment.

    The Committee further recommends that the Minister -

    1. when inviting applications for appointment to the Board, should advertise, in addition to the notice in the Gazette, the vacant positions as broadly as possible in the national and other media; and

    2. when considering appointments to the Board, consult as widely as possible to ensure compliance with section 3 of the Tourism Act, 1993 (Act No. 72 of 1993).

 Report to be considered.