National Assembly - 08 March 2000



The House met at 14:04.

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


                      INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

                      (Subject for Discussion)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The first item on the Order Paper is a subject for discussion in the name of the hon Lulama Xingwana. Before I call upon her, in response to her own request, I should like to make some remarks from the Chair.

Hon members, today, International Women’s Day, offers an opportunity for us to reflect on the challenges we continue to face in our country’s quest to create a nonsexist society. It is also an occasion on which we should reflect on the even bigger challenge of working with the rest of the continent to improve the lot of the women of Africa.

In section 1 of the Constitution we commit ourselves to building a society founded on human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms. We go further to list nonracialism and nonsexism. In the Bill of Rights, the first right listed is equality. We provide for affirmative action in section 9(2). In section 9(3) the grounds on which discrimination is prohibited include gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status and sexual orientation. Human dignity and life are entrenched in this Bill, yet many women still do not enjoy these rights.

Of particular importance in our society today is the right to freedom and security of the person. This right provides for every citizen to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources; not to be tortured, treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading way. The women of this country struggled over the years to ensure that the country’s Constitution would protect them and lay a basis for the creation of a society that treats them better.

The questions we must ask ourselves are: What progress are we making? What more do we need to do? These questions and their answers must continue to preoccupy us as long as there is even a single woman who complains that she does not enjoy her constitutional rights.

There can be no dawn for the continent while its women wallow at the bottom of the mud and the blood of its present crisis. Taking a lead from our President, we must be introspective regarding our readiness to respond to the continent’s needs, especially the position of its women. As a society, we must acknowledge our ignorance, arrogance and indifference towards our fellow Africans. We can only make a more meaningful contribution towards Africa’s development if we relate more positively and are prepared to learn from the lessons of our history as a continent.

In closing, I wish to quote briefly from the Zanzibar Declaration on the Women of Africa for a Culture of Peace, of May 1999: We, the women of Africa, having suffered massive violations of fundamental human rights and having had to shoulder the burden of sustaining our societies while at the same time handling traumas, miseries, violence, social injustices and poverty, commit ourselves to promote nonviolent means of conflict resolution and African values for a culture of peace.


The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Madam Speaker and hon members, today all over the world, women are commemorating this day. I have little doubt that the events will fall into two categories: celebrations and regrets.

This is understandable, given the fact that women have significant things to celebrate like Cedaw and the Beijing Platform of Action. But there is also much to lament, particularly the appallingly slow delivery on some of the most crucial elements of the Cedaw Convention.

Here in South Africa, we too have things to celebrate and things to regret. Amongst the things that we are celebrating are the coming into force of the new Domestic Violence Act and the open discussion around the differentiation of sexual offences, including rape, that is part of the ongoing investigation by the SA Law Commission. These are or could be significant steps forward for women in South Africa.

But the picture is not all rosy, and I believe very strongly that on a day like today we should take some time to think carefully and constructively about our regrets as well. Two regrets preoccupy me particularly today. Firstly, the ongoing domestic abuse of women and, secondly, the disproportionate effects of HIV/Aids on women. Let us look at the at the issue of domestic abuse. Obviously, this is a complex subject and I cannot hope to do justice to it in the seven minutes allowed me this afternoon.

However, there is something I would like to draw attention to, and that is the definition of domestic violence. Domestic abuse is only one form of abuse, but it is particularly unpallatable and ugly, given the fact that it happens in the one place where women should feel and expect to be safe, viz in their homes. Here, we are looking at four kinds of abuse. I am going to read them quite slowly and I hope that while doing so, members will all think about them and examine their consciousness.

Physical abuse includes actions like punching a woman, slapping a woman, hitting her with one’s hands or fists or any object, pulling her hair, pushing her, tripping her, abandoning her in unsafe places, locking her in the house or out of the house, and keeping her from sleeping.

Emotional abuse includes calling a woman names, insulting her, embarrassing her in front of other people, making her feel small or worthless or stupid, ignoring her when she is speaking to one, intimidating her or threatening her.

Financial abuse includes taking away a woman’s money, not giving her enough money to take care of the children and the home, not paying maintenance, spending all or most of the household money on drinking, gambling, cars, clothes or girlfriends.

Sexual abuse includes making a woman do sexual acts that she does not want to do, calling her bad sexual names, forcing her to have sex, making her wear clothes that make her feel uncomfortable, or making sexual remarks about her in front of other people. I regret, on this International Women’s Day, to have to say that all these forms of women abuse are happening all around us in South Africa - in our own homes or in the homes of our friends or our families. Unless we stand up and speak about them, they will continue. Every act of abuse that is ignored is an act of abuse that is condoned. Let us take our courage in our hands; let us name, blame and shame those who do these things, and let us make them stop.

Turning to the disproportionate effects of HIV/Aids on women, I want to say that it seems to me that as I discuss HIV/Aids with people all around the country, few people realise how much more vulnerable women are in the face of this epidemic. Women are at great risk for three main reasons. Firstly, women are biologically more susceptible to the infection. The structure of their genital organs makes it easy for them to be infected. Secondly, our social structure is such that women are often unable to negotiate safer sexual practices - like using condoms, or abstaining. As the dominant partners in most relationships, particularly in the traditional, conservative or rural homes, men often determine when and how the sexual relationship is conducted. Thirdly, poverty often forces women into practices such as commercial sex work and these expose them disproportionately to the risk of infection.

The key to turning this around lies in the education and empowerment, particularly economic empowerment, of women. As long as women are neither well educated nor trained to earn a living, their position will always be one of social and economic disadvantage, and as long as gender oppression and sexism continue, women will rarely be able to control their lives, especially their sexual lives.

People who are in positions of power - and this obviously includes parliamentarians like hon members and members of the Cabinet like me - must do whatever we can to provide opportunities for women to develop. We must focus on strengthening the position of women in the economy, and in creating income-generating projects for women. We must double and redouble our efforts to provide information for women in an accessible way on a wide variety of topics, and we must ensure that our girl-children receive a high quality education.

In terms of HIV/Aids - and to an extent also in terms of domestic abuse of women - we are running out of time. Women are dying physically of Aids, and emotionally; and sometimes physically of abuse. We must not be cowards. We must look into the abyss, and we must respond in a positive way.

To the men and to the women who seem not to care, I say: Please join us. Join with us in deeds, and not just in words. Let us all involve ourselves in solutions that are mutually satisfying. We can address men’s fears, but only if men themselves take responsibility for their behaviour - sexually and in every other way. Let the year 2000 be the year of our challenge. [Applause.]

Miss N B SIGABI: Madam Speaker, hon members, as we celebrate International Women’s Day I ask hon members to indulge me when I say that there are no ugly women, only bad acts and deeds; no stupid women, only cunning and subtle characters.

As we try to know and establish who we are, we need to establish the paradigms ourselves, not aspire to ascend and acquire standards set by men, because in that quest, we forget the designer and architect, who is God and who has set the standards since time immemorial. We waste a lot of time and thought at self-imaging to fit in. We as mothers and girls must realise that the time we put into technical thought processes lags far behind the time we dedicate to self-imaging.

Again, as we celebrate this day, we as women need to ask ourselves who we are, not in terms of the values and norms established by men, but in terms of who we are in God’s kingdom. Does an impact assessment of the influence we exert wholesale as women on the universe define and re-evaluate our standing in God’s kingdom for wisdom?

We should also, at critical moments such as this day, critically evaluate the present status of women in our societies, using our own Constitution as a benchmark. Again, we should ask: ``Is there meaningful delivery in terms of fair representation of women in all sectors of the economy?’’

We should enjoy being women, love being women and be proud of being women. [Applause.]

Prof H NGUBANE: Madam Speaker, hon colleagues, I am happy to represent the IFP in commemoration of the International Women’s Day of Prayer. I have an extra minute, thanks to the kindness of the hon Mangena of Azapo, who understood that although men and women are equal, they are nevertheless different. [Applause.]

This balanced understanding is very crucial in attaining a correct perspective of the world, whose thought processes tend to be cast into binal oppositions of black and white, left and right, evil and good, bad and good, etc. In this structure of thought, women have often been associated with the negative side. Hence, very often, weather experts have given feminine names to the most violent hurricanes. As hon members know, in medieval Europe, belief in witches cast them as old women riding brooms.

An example that would demonstrate this quite literally before us today in this House is if hon members were to look at the buttons on any jacket or blouse they are wearing. Could hon members touch their buttons? Mine and Madam Speaker’s are on the left-hand side, and men’s would be on the right- hand side.


Prof H NGUBANE: Right, of course, is auspicious and linked with what is good. Left symbolises weakness, danger, vulnerability, etc.

Although we may not take this seriously, it nonetheless represents a way of thinking which is common in world society. This thinking can, at its worst, have harmful consequences. For instance, during the past 10 years here in South Africa, we have experienced a good measure of such harmful consequences. In certain rural areas, there have been sporadic witchcraft accusations levelled especially against elderly women, often leading to summary mob execution. This has often been represented as an African tradition, which, of course, is a gross misrepresentation of African traditions.

In the past, African society had a very clear mechanism for handling antisocial behaviour without leading it to mob executions. Such events constitute a serious breakdown in the traditions of African society, and I call upon women to take the harassment of elderly women in our society seriously.

Ngiyacela ukuthi ke sikufakele izibuko impela lokhu. Ngicela nabaphethe umthetho, abezobulungiswa, ukuthi bayibukisise le ndaba yokuthi abantu besifazane bayahlukumezeka futhi akukho muntu obavikelayo ngoba imvamisa yabo bangabodwa ekuhlaleni kwabo, abekho ezinhlanganweni ezikwazi ukubavikela beyiqembu labesifazane asebekhulile. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[I would like us to take this issue seriously. I appeal to police and people in the justice services to pay special attention to the fact that women are abused and nobody is protecting them because they are living as individuals; they are not in organisations which can protect them as a group of liberated women.]

Apart from that, there is also harassment of elderly women such as pension earners. Callous groups of people take their pension on pension days and they suffer exploitation by their own kinsmen in having to support families with their pension money. These are the issues which need to be highlighted, particularly because in a society such as the one I am talking about, elderly women used to enjoy a high degree of security and a very respectable position.

It is very common for us to concentrate essentially on whether women are gaining employment in high-powered professional positions. It is very common for us to think about what is made visible to us through the press, such as incidents of rape and other incidents of domestic violence, but the elderly women are a hidden factor which we do not talk about in this House very seriously. I am therefore calling on this House to pay special attention to this issue, and I am especially calling upon the women in this House to put this issue on their agenda as one of their priorities.

Mrs S M CAMERER: Madam Speaker, International Women’s Day is an appropriate opportunity to examine where South Africa stands internationally as far as our achievements are concerned in terms of our international commitments.

We have two major international obligations in this field of gender empowerment, both of which were entered into in 1995. They are, firstly, Cedaw, which was ratified without reservation in December 1995 and, secondly, the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action dating from September 1995. Our Government reports back annually to the United Nations on these international commitments.

As far as fulfilling our commitments is concerned, there is good news and there is bad news. Let us hear the good news first. Both international documents require us to ensure the removal of discrimination against women in political life and to ensure women’s entry into and full participation in political decision-making. There is no doubt that South Africa has answered the international call, especially as articulated by the International Parliamentary Union, that women’s participation of this nature is a fundamental right and that for women to make an impact on political decision-making, they must constitute a critical mass of at least 30% of the structure concerned.

According to their report, in our National Assembly we have achieved this critical mass, with 30% of the 400 members of Parliament in this House being women as at 25 January this year, not to mention the 15 female members of Cabinet out of 40 Ministers and Deputy Ministers. This puts us in eighth position around the world, which I believe is a great achievement.

The evidence that this critical mass of women has made a difference is there for all to see, firstly in the legislation aimed at benefiting women that has been passed and the national machinery in place to ensure implementation. So much for the good news, now for the bad news.

Unfortunately, thus far, many of the benefits that we are legislating here have not reached the women we wish to empower. These international commitments also demand, as a high priority, that the participating governments act to eliminate violence against women and the endemic poverty among women.

We, the women in this House, will therefore have to examine our strategies to ensure that we make a difference for South African women on the ground. It is no good just legislating in an ivory tower. For instance, our country is still ravaged by violence against women. We have, by far, the highest rape rate in the world, which is aggravated by an extremely low conviction rate for rape in the courts, since only 8% of reported rapes lead to convictions.

No woman or girl child is safe on our streets. This fact is graphically illustrated in the media every day. No legislation that we have passed has changed this. Part of the reason identified for the high rate of violence against women is their low status, and the national machinery now in place to empower women has managed to do precious little about this so far. To make matters worse, measures introduced by Government to combat the scourge of HIV/Aids have failed to make any impact on the exponential growth of this pandemic among young women of marriageable age, that is women between the ages of fifteen and thirty.

Legislation passed by this House to benefit women nearly two years ago, such as the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and the Maintenance Act, is still not being properly implemented, because of delays by the Justice department and insufficient resources being allocated for this purpose. Nothing that we have done here has made any discernible dent in the very high rate of poverty and illiteracy among women. We have done very little to empower rural women. There is still a long road ahead. [Time expired.]

Adv J H DE LANGE: Madam Speaker, hon members, ladies and gentlemen … [Interjections.]. Mense, moenie nou al skree nie! [People, do not shout just yet!]

May I firstly pay tribute to all the womenfolk in our country: all the women in this House, the ones that have attended this debate today and those outside this House, for the tremendous role that they play in our society against tremendous odds. [Applause.] Secondly, I have a message for the men: Real men do not abuse or violate women or children. [Applause.]

I am, of course, always mindful of the fact that whenever one discusses the marginalised and disadvantaged position in which women find themselves in our society and in all societies, that such position derives from the unequal, institutionalised and structured power relations in which women find themselves vis-à-vis men. Therefore, it is these unequal power relationships that we need to address in a holistic, integrated and comprehensive manner, through a progressive programme, if we want to really level the playing field as far as women are concerned and, secondly, if we want to remove those factors and circumstances which place women in vulnerable positions and therefore make them the targets of violence and abuse. Therefore, we should not singularly look at the legislative and administrative steps that we take to change these power relations, but look holistically at how we do so and if we are doing so quickly enough. Since April 1994, the Justice department has submitted 70 Bills to this Parliament for passing. One of the areas which received a great deal of attention and focus in terms of legislation was particularly the marginalised and disadvantaged position women and children find themselves in, with specific emphasis on their protection from all forms of abuse and violence.

Let us analyse these Bills. Firstly, the Commission on Gender Equality Act has now established a commission that has the power to investigate gender- related matters and that, through mediation, conciliation and negotiation, can deal with and try to resolve problems in those areas. Similar to the Human Rights Commission, in certain circumstances, it has the power to institute proceedings in court on behalf of others. Then there is the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act that has just been passed recently to give effect to section 9 of the Constitution. It is obviously not yet operational. It prohibits three forms of discriminatory activity which affect women. These are the prevention, prohibition and elimination of unfair discrimination, hate speech and harassment. As far as discrimination is concerned, there is a general prohibition of unfair discrimination on grounds entrenched in the Constitution, and there are 17 such grounds.

Then there is the special prohibition of unfair discrimination on the grounds of race, gender and disability. Hate speech, any form of hate speech, particularly that which is directed at women, placing them in a vulnerable position, and also the dissemination or publication of information that unfairly discriminates, is also of course, except in certain circumstances, prohibited.

Lastly, any form of harassment is also prohibited in this Act. Harassment - this is important - is defined as serious, persistent and unwanted conduct which demeans, humiliates or creates a hostile environment or is calculated to induce submission, and which is related to sex, gender, sexual orientation or a person’s membership of a group identified by one or more persons. There is no defence in the Act in the case of hate speech or harassment, but there is, of course, the defence that it must be unfair in terms of discrimination.

As far as the Domestic Violence Act is concerned, it is one of the most important pieces of legislation that has been passed particularly to help fight abuse and violence against women and children. This Act has now been promulgated and the national instructions of the police are in operation. The Act is in the process of unfolding in our society. This Act allows, of course, for many things. But, particularly, it deals with the domestic violence situation itself. It places certain duties on the police and Government at the scene of domestic violence incidents.

There are now special regulations that have been passed for the police to make sure that, firstly, they arrest the perpetrator of violence at a domestic violence scene; and, secondly, that they assist the person against whom it has been perpetrated. The Act allows, without one informing the perpetrator thereof, to seek an interim order of protection in a court. That order then gets served on the perpetrator and, if the court is satisfied that the person perpetrated the domestic violence, then the court must issue a final order. This final order prohibits the respondent - who is usually a man - from committing any act of domestic violence, from enlisting the help of another person to commit an act of domestic violence, entering a residence shared by the complainant and respondent, entering a specific part of the shared residence, entering the complainant’s workplace and many other prohibitions.

There are many other issues that the Act is dealing with. I am not going to deal with all of them. Of course, when one has such an order, a warrant of arrest must also be served on the perpetrator. If he does not comply, then that perpetrator must be arrested. Lastly, the Act also allows for the court to order the seizure of arms and dangerous weapons which are in the possession or under the control of the perpetrator in appropriate circumstances.

The Maintenance Act has changed at least five major areas of maintenance as far as women are concerned. It now provides that garnishee orders are obligatory. This means one is given a garnishee order against the salary of one’s husband unless it is impractical. [Applause.] Secondly, it is no longer necessary in law that the respondent should be present in court when a maintenance order is being granted. In the past, they just did not arrive at court, and they got away with it. Now, an order can be given in their absence and they then have to justify why that order does not have to be put into effect. [Applause.] Lastly, when one obtains a maintenance order against one’s husband or whoever does not pay their maintenance, one can now get an execution order against their property. In the past one could not do so. [Applause.]

My time is running out. The legislation has also been changed in terms of bail and minimum sentences, particularly focused on violence against women and children. There have been Acts passed in terms of the recognition of customary law marriages. The black divorce courts have been done away with. There are at least five other pieces of legislation that I can mention, but will not deal with now.

In the pipeline, we are looking at a Sexual Offences Act which should be passed, hopefully, during this year or early next year. We are also looking at the amendment of the customary law on succession, to change the succession laws pertaining to customary marriages. [Applause.]

Ms O N MNDENDE: Madam Speaker, today is International Women’s Day, a day that should awaken the consciences of those suffering from delusions of grandeur to come to their senses and realise that men and women were created equal but differently. Strangely, this day leads to concerns from many males who ask why women are having a special day, yet males do not. They never ask why we have a Freedom Day to celebrate the eradication of institutionalised racial oppression in our country.

This day serves to remind all men that male chauvinism is gender oppression and a social sin in a democratic society. Oppression, whether racial or sexual, is a crime against humanity and needs to be eradicated. Therefore, no one should feel guilty about this day if he lives a responsible life at his home and work. Thanks to hon Mangena for giving me one minute to talk more. [Laughter.]

Even the one who perhaps thinks that he has a liberated mind, should listen to women today because no one is perfect. It may well be that there are flaws in his liberal life at home. Men must wait for us to say that they are not oppressive, but female oppression is something that is only felt by women and is experienced by women. Men are just sympathisers and not victims.

Since South Africa’s democratisation in 1994, many institutions have been put in place and legislation enacted to address the plight of women. The Domestic Violence Act, the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act and others have been passed by this Parliament. These laws show our Parliament’s commitment to fight against any form of violence against women. But there is still one institution, that is lacking. It is a treatment centre to help those suffering from the effects of male delusions of grandeur in differing degrees.

Most males, even today, even here, still impose the assumption that these laws have been implemented as lip service to gender equality, yet decision- making remains patriarchal. These men think that women are still male appendages that are catered for or sympathised with by males. The time is, however, long overdue to realise these good intentions on paper and bring them into reality. Government must make a difference in the lives of the millions of women in South Africa.

The significance of this day should be meaningful to the following men, and I hope they are listening even outside this House. I refer to those husbands, brothers and sons, who cannot resolve their own frustrations of inefficiency and failure and then resort to using guns and other means to terminate the lives of their wives and children who still wish to enjoy their lives in this world. [Applause.]

Also, I refer to those men who because of their selfish and cruel interests do not feel that rape on its own is a sin, but go to an extent of raping infants who cannot even recognise what dad or uncle is doing until the poor child dies, and the psychopath does not even care about the suffering cries and the suffering eyes looking at him, as long as he satisfies himself. Unemployment does not frustrate men only. It frustrates the whole family, more especially the mother who cannot provide food for her family. It is never an excuse that when a man is jobless, his frustration drives him to rape.

The Government should not only legislate gender equality to improve the lives of women and children. It must also bring to life these very good intentions. Until we have brought the message to the mothers, daughters and all the women in this country, and it is implemented, we cannot claim that the lives of the women have improved, and all these laws and this afternoon’s debate will be mere window-dressing. [Applause.]

Ms C DUDLEY: Madam Speaker, the ACDP joins this House in saying no to violence against women and children, no to family slaying, no to women - and child-bashing, no to the cutting open with a knife and scissors of a 16- year-old girl by a 26-year-old woman. No! No to violence in any shape or form by anyone against anyone. Violence against women and children takes many forms. I think of my sister whose 18-year-old son was murdered in Johannesburg, knifed in the neck by another 18-year-old boy. Two mothers devastated by violence.

Our sons and daughters are abused, raped, stabbed and gunned down right in our homes, on our streets and in our classrooms. Who or what is to blame? Anger, jealousy, pornography, alcohol, drugs, greed? Absolutely, but the Bible says the reason people commit crime so easily is because crime is not punished quickly enough. Even when perpetrators are convicted, inadequate sentences erode confidence in the criminal justice system, and lead to anger and despair.

The ACDP believes the increase in violence against women and children has been as a result of the breakdown of family values. Today the ACDP adds its voice to those of the marching women who call for an end to gun violence. The ACDP is in favour of the confiscation of firearms from criminals, perpetrators of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abusers and those who are irresponsible. Yes, police should have stronger powers to deal with illegal guns, and yes, we would like to see gun-free zones created in schools, crèches and clinics. However, the ACDP supports the right of law- abiding citizens to own and use firearms for self-defence.

A gun-free society is not necessarily a crime-free society. In fact, more South Africans are murdered by knives, sharp objects and clubs than by firearms, and more people are killed in vehicle accidents and more children drown in pools than are shot each year.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I regret your time has expired, hon member.

Ms C DUDLEY: The death penalty would be the deterrent we need. The ACDP says no to violence against women and children. [Applause.]

Dr P W A MULDER: Madam Speaker, I have recently read the book Wild Swans by Jung Chang. It is an epic account of the lives of three generations of Chinese women in China in the 20th century. As a true story it makes one aware of the plight and the suffering of women in other countries all over the world.

After the floods in Southern Africa we see and hear of the suffering of women in the Northern Province, losing their houses, their crops and their farms. In Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and in Mozambique the same has happened. On behalf of the FF we want to thank the SA Air Force for its efforts over there. [Interjections.]

Dit is vanjaar ook die honderdjarige herdenking van die Engelse Oorlog, oftewel die Anglo-Boereoorlog, in Suid-Afrika. Ek wil van hierdie geleentheid gebruik maak om ook hulde te bring aan die vroue en die kinders wat tydens daardie oorlog gely het. Die totale Boerebevolking in 1900 was ongeveer 300 000. Hiervan is 110 000 vroue en kinders in 35 Britse gevangeniskampe, oftewel konsentrasiekampe, geplaas. Een uit elke drie het in daardie kampe gesterf.

Vir elke man wat op die slagveld gesterf het, het bykans sewe vroue en kinders in die konsentrasiekampe gesterf. Volgens sekere syfers was daar 115 000 swartmense ook in sulke kampe, van wie 14 000 gesterf het. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[This year is also the one hundredth anniversary of the English War, or the Anglo-Boer War, in South Africa. I want to take this opportunity also to pay tribute to the women and children who suffered during that war. The total Boer population in 1900 was approximately 300 000. Of these, 110 000 women and children were detained in 35 British prison camps, or concentration camps. One out of every three died in those camps.

For every man who died on the battlefield, almost seven women and children died in the concentration camps. According to certain figures there were also 115 000 black people in such camps, of whom 14 000 died.]

Emily Hobhouse wrote a book after the Anglo-Boer War, and dedicated the book in the following way:

To the women of South Africa, whose endurance of hardship, resignation in loss, independence under coercion, dignity in humiliation, patience through pain, and tranquility amidst death kindled the appreciation of the writer and the sympathy of the world.

In die wêreld is baie monumente opgerig vir mans wat in oorloë gesterf het. Die Vrouemonument wat aan die begin van die vorige eeu in Bloemfontein opgerig is, was egter die wêreld se heel eerste monument wat vir vroue opgerig is wat in oorlog gely het. Dit is ‘n gepaste manier om hulde aan vroue te bring, en ook aan hulle lyding.

Die VF verwelkom hierdie geleentheid om op hierdie wyse dan ook vandag hulde te kan bring aan die vroue van Suid-Afrika. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Throughout the world many monuments have been erected for men who died in wars. The Vrouemonument that was erected in Bloemfontein at the beginning of the previous century was, however, the very first monument in the world to be erected for women who had suffered in war. This is an appropriate way of paying tribute to women, and also to their suffering.

The FF welcomes this opportunity to pay tribute in this way to the women of South Africa.]

Mr G E BALOI: Madam Speaker, International Women’s Day has its roots in the labour movement of the late 19th and 20th centuries, when workers protested against the working conditions and low wages in textile industries, which employed many women. On 8 March, the same day as today, in 1857, hundreds of women workers in the garment and textile factories in New York staged a strike against low wages, long working hours and inhuman working conditions.

In 1909, women working in the same textile factories rose up in a strike that eventually led to shorter working hours, better wages and the right to unionise.

In 1909 the strike also began on 8 March, just like today.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated on 8 March 1911 and had universal female suffrage as its theme. In 1977 the UN officially called on all countries to set aside a date to recognise women’s advancement. This day is now celebrated throughout the world. Its symbols were adopted by labour movements and, at the turn of the century, bred the present struggle for economic equality and rose to present continued efforts for better quality.

Letsatsi la Boditšhabatšhaba la bomme ke motlha o ka one bomme ba gakologelwang kgaratlho ya bone ya diphetogo. Ke letsatsi le ba ketekang tshwelelopele mo togamaanong ya go bona tekatekano ya bong, ebile ke letsatsi la go tlhomamisa gore tshiamo ya bong e matshwanedi.

Fa go ketekwa Letsatsi la Boditšhabatšhaba la Bomme, go botlhokwa go dira jalo ka kitso e e tletseng ya gore Ditšhaba-Kopano e goeleditse ngwagasome ya boditšhabatšhaba ya 1997 go fitlha ka 2006, gore e nne ngwaga wa go fedisa lehuma. [Legofi.] (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows).

[International Women’s Day is a day on which women remember the struggle for change. It is a day on which women celebrate progress in their quest for gender equality and ensuring that this equality is necessary.

When International Women’s Day is celebrated, it is important to do so with the full knowledge that the United Nations has declared the decade from 1997 to 2006 as the decade to end poverty. [Applause.]]

Mrs P DE LILLE: Madam Speaker, I have just returned from a march with all the women whom you see in the gallery, and I must say that it was really a show of solidarity between the women and other members of Parliament to show the women of South Africa that we care, and that we are there to march with them whenever we are called upon to do so.

There was one woman with a T-shirt on saying: ``There is no excuse for women abuse’’. I want to fully agree with her, because although we have the best Constitution in the world, although we have the Domestic Violence Act, although we have ratified all the conventions, women and children abuse is on the increase.

We need to ask ourselves today: Why? Who is responsible for this? Why do we as women allow this to happen to us? We must then begin to say: What must be done? Do we need more marches or speeches? What do we need? What we need is the kind of unity and solidarity that we saw today, cutting across party- political differences and marching together to say that, as women, we have had enough.

We will protect other women within our communities, and we call on all the men, fathers and sons in our communities also to isolate those who are responsible for the abuse of women and children. It is only through unity that we will be able to isolate the criminals and those responsible for women and child abuse, and that we can move forward together.

Nksz L M T XINGWANA: Somlomo, ndiyabulisa koomama abaze kuhlonela olu suku namhlanje. Malibongwe!

AMALUNGU AHLONIPHEKILEYO: Igama lamakhosikazi! (Translation of Zulu sentences follows.)

[Ms L M T XINGWANA: Madam Speaker, I salute the women who have come to show deference to this day. Let their name be praised!

HON MEMBERS: The name of the women!]

First of all I would like to start off by pledging support for the flood victims, especially women and children in our rural provinces in the north and in Mozambique. I would like to mention Sophia Pedro and her baby, who were rescued by the SA National Defence Force after she had given birth to the baby in a tree.

Ndiphinde ndibalule omnye umama ofunyenwe ephethe abantwana bakhe bobabini ngezandla sele etshonile emanzini engakhange abalahle abantwana bakhe. Wafunyanwa phantsi kwamanzi esababambile abantwana bakhe bephila. [Kwaqhwatywa.]

Lo ke ngumzekelo omkhulu obonisa ubukhalipha nokuzinikela kwamakhosikazi ekulweleni ubomi nokhuseleko, ngakumbi ukulwela abantwana be-Afrika. (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Again I wish to mention and honour another woman, who was found holding onto her two children when she had already drowned in the water, but never let go of her children. She was still holding onto her two children, who were alive, when she was found. [Applause.]

This is a great example that shows bravery and commitment on the part of women to fight for life and the protection of especially the children of Africa.]

This, indeed, demonstrated the immense commitment of the women of Africa not only to give life, but also to nurture, preserve and defend that life.

We also salute the heroic contribution of members of the SA National Defence Force, both black and white, in our provinces and in Mozambique. The role that they have played in the flood-stricken areas has demonstrated the important role that the army has to play in humanitarian work and in nation-building.

International Women’s Day originated from a protest march in New York in 1857 organised by women workers protesting against inhuman working conditions in their factory. They demanded bread and roses, a living wage and fair working conditions in the workplace. From that day onwards, women the world over have used this day to campaign for their rights, including suffragettes who were fighting for the right of women to vote in Europe. Today this day is celebrated by women’s organisations in many countries and is recognised as International Women’s Day on all our continents, from east to west, north to south.

In South Africa this day has been celebrated in all our provinces and regions. In Cape Town various women’s organisations marched to Parliament today in support of the Firearms Control Bill and to recommit themselves to supporting the campaign calling for no violence against women. We are saying that these guns are being used to kill innocent women and children and that enough is enough. Women handed memorandums to the Minister of Safety and Security and the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, urging them to speed up the passing of this Bill.

Today we also want to highlight the situation of women with disabilities, including mentally retarded women and children. We call for an end to their abuse in all institutions, in their homes and in our communities. We applaud the ANC Government for the policies and programmes that they have introduced to empower people with disabilities, including women and children.

The women of South Africa commend both our founding President, Nelson Mandela, and President Thabo Mbeki for introducing progressive legislation and programmes that have transformed the lives of women in the past five years. To date the ANC Government has delivered free medical health care for pregnant women and children under the age of six, feeding schemes for our children, especially in rural areas, telephones, water and electricity, and, through the rural public works programme, created a number of jobs for people in the rural areas, the majority of whom are women. All these programmes, including the equalisation and considerable increase of old age pensions and grants for children of single parents, have had a positive impact on the lives of the women and children of South Africa.

Yesterday we held a seminar here in Parliament which was historic because it was the first International Women’s Day on which women from outside and inside Parliament came together to celebrate this day. Women from various countries participated in the seminar, including women from the Sudan, Malaysia, Germany and many other countries. [Applause.]

The message that we received from the women from Sudan was to request our Government to continue to support the peace process in their country and in all other African countries affected by conflict and war, and to continue to work for unity and sustainable peace and development in a manner that unites the people of our countries and does not further divide them. [Applause.]

We wish to pledge solidarity on this important day with the women who live in war-torn regions in Africa, including the women of the DRC, Angola, Sudan, Burundi and Eritrea. We further pledge our support for the women of Palestine and Kosovo.

In solidarity with the women of Cuba, we also call on President Bill Clinton of the United States, that bastion of human rights and democracy, to expedite the release and return of Elian Gonzalez to his grandparents and father and to his motherland. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

In conclusion, I would like to call on African leaders to recommit themselves to ending all wars that have ravished Africa for decades and threatened the lives and safety of women and children, who are always the greatest victims of war and conflicts, and call on them to work for peace and democracy in Africa.

We salute our Government for the role that it has played in conflict resolution in Africa. We salute, in particular, our Minister of Foreign Affairs, who has led in this regard and who is a woman. [Applause.]

Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Madam Speaker, on this International Women’s Day, I would like to pay tribute to women in South Africa.

Ek wil dit graag doen in die kort tyd tot my beskikking aan die hand van ‘n stukkie poësie. [In the short time at my disposal I would like to do so by way of a short poem.]

As ek aan die vroue in my lewe dink dan dink ek dadelik aan iets sag ook iemand baie mooi met stille inherente krag wat almal om hul inspireer.

Soveel goeie skuil in hul en deur hul eenvoud en hul onskuld is hul vir my amper ‘n god godinne van temperament en grasie wat konstant bewondering ontlok.

Sag soos sy is elke vrou trots hou hul dit in stand maar laat dit niemand ooit mislei oor beginsels is ‘n rots nie eens so vas soos hul. Die manne om hul raas gereeld verstaan nie altyd alles reg met dowe oor word die teenpraat verdra maar in besluit se binnekring is hul die baas wys hul aanvoeling die regte weg.

‘n Eie kenmerk is elke vrou se huis warm knoesig modern oud en mooi alles saam in goeie smaak getooi in eie aard vermeng almal voel altyd tuis.

Wie die vrou in die ware lewe - almal raai maar niemand weet ooit werklik wat die waarheid is Daar is musiek in elke vrou se praat en veel mistiek in elke glimlag se aard Ja, op elke vlak is elke vrou ‘n eie mens.

Hulle roem hulself op deeglik doen alles reg en met liefde ‘n klapsoen op die wang beloon ‘n bossie blomme orals vriendskapsmelodieë uit die hart gee blinkoog om vir ander mens se smart is lojaal en boonop altyd baie mooi.

Dit is die vroue in my lewe van wie ek praat my Ma my eggenoot my vriendin en elke ander vrou wat ek ken Dankbaar is ek vir al die veel van hul in my lewe kon leer.


Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, may I at this point in time salute the women who are sitting in the gallery?

Amandla! [Power!]

HON MEMBERS: Awethu! [Is ours!]

Miss RAJBALLY: Malibongwe! [Praise them!]

HON MEMBERS: Igama lamakhosikazi! [The name of the women!]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Wathinta omama! [You strike the woman!]

HON MEMBERS: Wathinta imbokodo! [You strike the rock!]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Viva, amakhosikazi, viva! [Viva, women, Viva!]

HON MEMBERS: Viva! [Ihlombe.] [Viva! [Applause.]]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, all women, irrespective of race or sexual orientation, have the right to pursue both material well-being and spiritual development in conditions of liberation and dignity, economic empowerment and equal opportunities. It is an indisputable fact that women throughout the world are the pillars and sustainers of economic, social and political systems, especially the women in South Africa, who championed the cause of the freedom struggle.

The development of gender equality efforts must be constantly executed, analysed and evaluated to ensure that private apartheid amongst and against women is eliminated in society. Although South Africa has thousands of intelligent and productive women, there are millions who are still economically suppressed and who are victims of violence and patriarchal systems.

Initiatives are in progress to eliminate violence and all forms of discrimination against women. Sadly, these initiatives are not enough. Women abuse must stop, stop, stop. [Applause.] It is therefore necessary for us to work with community organisations, business, educational institutions, religious groups and the legal, health care and social services systems so that we can achieve our long-term goal, which is to transform prejudiced attitudes against and norms for women.

Successful planning and progress in South Africa requires the input of women’s perspective in all areas, such as in energy and water resource development, environmental protection, health, education, human rights, peace institutions and capacity-building.

To all the women in South Africa and throughout the world, we wish them well on this International Women’s Day. They must know their rights, they own these rights and they must exercise their rights. Malibongwe! [Praise it.] [Applause.]

Mr C AUCAMP: Madam Speaker, may I use the opportunity of this debate today to pay tribute to a woman who has been, throughout her life, the personification of the noblest of values associated with the pearl in the crown of God’s creation, women. I want this House to join me in this small tribute to the late Mrs Betsie Verwoerd, who died a week ago at the blessed age of 98 in Orania.

Betsie Schoombie was iemand wat in eie reg gepresteer het. Die MA-graad in Afrikaans wat sy behaal het, was ‘n uitsondering vir vroue in daardie tyd. Tog het sy haar grootste vervulling gevind in die edel rol van eggenote van wyle dr Verwoerd, in haar rol as moeder van haar sewe kinders en ouma van haar kleinkinders.

Hoewel sy haar hart en siel gegee het vir die saak van haar mense, het sy nooit self ‘n politieke profiel van haar eie ontwikkel nie, maar het sy haar rol vervul as stylvolle premiersvrou, en die ware hulp wat by hom pas. In die teenwoordigheid van hoës en vernames was sy vriendelik, selfversekerd en met stille grasie op haar pos. By die geringstes en die kleinstes was sy tuis, ontspanne en simpatiek.

Sy was iemand wat intens moes ly op die lang pad van ons verlede toe sy moes aanskou hoe haar eggenoot in die ou Volksraadsaal vermoor word. Tog het sy nooit toegelaat dat haat en wrok haar lewe oorheers nie, en was sy in eie persoon die toonbeeld van wat ons in Efesiërs 4 lees: ``Vergeef mekaar soos God in Christus julle vergeef het’’. Sy het regdeur haar lewe ‘n besondere liefde vir haar eie geopenbaar, tog het sy dit op só ‘n wyse gedoen dat sy ‘n simbool geword het van Afrikaners wat die openbare en politieke wêreld met grasie, integriteit, waardigheid en respek vir ander wil dien. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Betsie Schoombie was someone who excelled in her own right. The MA degree in Afrikaans which she attained was an exception for women in those days. Yet she found her greatest fulfilment in the noble role of spouse to the late Dr Verwoerd, in her role as the mother of her seven children and grandmother to her grand-children.

Although she gave her heart and soul for the cause of her people she never developed a political profile of her own, but fulfilled her role as a stylish first lady, and the true help that suited him. In the presence of dignitaries and prominent people, she was friendly, self-assured and quietly graceful at her post. Among the less fortunate and the poor she was comfortable, relaxed and sympathetic.

She was someone who had to suffer intensely on the long road of our past when she had to witness her spouse being murdered in the Old Assembly Chamber. Yet she never allowed hatred and revenge to dominate her life, and she was the epitome of what we read in Ephesians 4: ``Forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’’. Throughout her life she exhibited a particular love for her own, yet she did it in such a manner that she became a symbol of Afrikaners who want to serve the public and political world with grace, integrity, dignity and respect for others.]

I ask this House today to honour with me not the politics, but the person, the gentle nobility and the way of being a wife of a widely respected person, who acquired in her personal way a place in the history of South Africa throughout her life, a life that lasted for nearly the whole of the 20th century - Betsie Verwoerd. [Interjections.]

The MINISTER IN THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order! Could we have some order, please?

The MINISTER: Madam Speaker, today marks another milestone in the world effort to accord women the dignity and respect denied them for far too long. It is an opportunity for us to ponder the issues and to rededicate ourselves to putting right one of the greatest wrongs in history, the systematic discrimination against women.

Today we want to pay some special attention to the issue of violence against women. This debate in Parliament provides us with an opportunity to reach consensus on taking immediate, effective and efficient steps to ensure the continuing empowerment of women. There are, however, numerous areas in which women still face extraordinary hardships. There is domestic violence which disempowers and injures women in body and soul, there is default in child support by men, there is insensitive handling of police investigations into cases involving women victims, and there is a judicial system that still remains insensitive to victims of rape. Above all, we need to change the mindset which says that women are powerless. Women are not powerless. It is in our interest that all of us should be part of the struggle to help to empower women, so that they can better survive the trauma of rape and violence.

The statistics for rape show worrying trends, but it is even more worrying when they are exaggerated to such an extent that a debate moves from the need to do something about rape, to whether one can rely on the figures. For instance, the allegations that only one in 36 rapes was reported and the associated figure of one rape taking place every 17 seconds, were so grossly exaggerated that they led to a diversion of public time and energy to get the record straight. It is incumbent on us all to ensure that there is unanimity about statistics such as these, so that we can concentrate our energies on ending scourges like this.

I may also add that it is only in the last few years that we have become more open and transparent on these issues, and for the first time in the history of this country, women and children are feeling more confident about reporting violence against them.

The Government has introduced numerous measures to deal with the disabilities and dangers encountered by women in society. The Constitution is explicit about nonsexism and human rights. Government is now developing a major communication strategy in conjunction with the GCIS on how to address the problem of rape in an integrated way across the various departments of Government. There has been legislation and policy formulation, for instance, leading to the tightening of bail requirements in cases, including gender-based violence; the setting up of the Gender Commission; minimum sentences for murder and rape; special legislation on domestic violence; arrangements for victim empowerment and support, including pretrial services which offer counselling and legal advice; the use of separate waiting rooms and closed-circuit television in courts; and South Africa’s enthusiastic association with SADC efforts to deal with increasing levels of violence against women and children.

However, it must be emphasised that this is not a matter for Parliament and Government alone. It is a matter for the whole of society to deal with. It is a matter for the spiritual leaders, for business, for industry, for the professions and most of all, for the communities. It is an all-round battle that can be won only if we all stand united.

I would like to associate myself with what the hon member Adv De Lange said earlier, and that is that the issue of rape and violence against women is not a women’s issue. It is fundamentally a men’s issue. [Applause.] Therefore, if we are to be serious in dealing with this issue, we have got to deal with men. We have got to deal with that macho mindset which still makes too many men believe that, somehow or the other, their gender gives them some right over women. [Applause.]

Therefore my appeal today is that we should not ask the women to deal with violence against them. Let the men deal with violence against women. [Applause.] As we pause on this tough road to take stock, let us redouble our efforts. Let us redouble our efforts, and let me end with what President Mbeki said in the NCOP, and I think this is what should guide us: ``One rape is one rape too many.’’ [Applause.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I would now like to recognise the many women who are sitting in the public gallery. [Applause.]

Bomama, namkelekile. Nokuba sele iphelile ingxoxo engamakhosikazi, sicela ukunikhumbuza ukuba le Palamente yeyenu, nayilwela. [Kwaqhwatywa.]

Abaqalayo ukuza apha namhlanje ze bahlale bekhumbula ukuba ikhona indawo enjengale. Namkelekile yonke imihla ukuba nize kumamela ukuba sithini na. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Ladies, you are welcome here. Although the debate on women has been completed, we would like to remind you that this Parliament belongs to you; you fought for it. [Applause.]

Those who are coming here for the first time should always remember that there is a place like this. You are welcome to come every day and listen to our debates. [Applause.]]

Debate concluded.

                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Sister B NCUBE: 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 announcement by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Jackie Selebi, of comprehensive plans aimed at -

   (a)  the restructuring of the SA Police Service;

   (b)  the redistribution of both human and material resources to
       police stations that are faced with the highest levels of crime
       in their areas; and

   (c)  the reduction of levels of crime within three years on the basis
       of a well-considered and effective crime combating strategy,
       targeting organised crime syndicates;

(2) believes that these initiatives will accelerate the growing confidence in the ability of this Government to fight crime, as evidenced by the recent HSRC report; and

(3) pledges its full support to Minister Tshwete, Commissioner Selebi and all members of the SAPS committed …

[Time expired.] [Applause.]

Adv P S SWART: Mnr die Voorsitter, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die DP sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis -

(1) daarvan kennis neem dat die meerderheid Suid-Afrikaners, volgens die jongste opname van die Raad vir Geesteswetenskaplike Navorsing, in November 1999 van mening was dat die Regering wel ‘n mate van beheer het oor die golf van misdaad wat Suid-Afrika teister;

(2) die hoop uitspreek dat dit sal voortduur en geregverdig is; en

(3) waarsku dat dit die publiek se vertroue onherstelbaar sal skaad indien ons strafregstelsel nie daarin slaag om ‘n verbetering te toon nie en onsuksesvol is om die wetteloosheid te keer en te verminder wat daagliks as die spreekwoordelike swaard oor die hoofde van alle Suid-Afrikaners hang. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Adv P S SWART: Mr Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day I shall move on behalf of the DP:

That the House -

(1) notes that, according to the most recent survey by the Human Sciences Research Council, in November 1999 the majority of South Africans were of the opinion that the Government did indeed have a degree of control over the wave of crime ravaging South Africa;

(2) expresses the hope that this will continue and that it is justified; and

(3) warns that the public’s confidence will be irrevocably harmed if our penal system does not succeed in showing an improvement and is unsuccessful in preventing and reducing the lawlessness hanging like the proverbial sword over the heads of all South Africans.]

Mrs S A SEATON: Mr Chairman, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  certain media allegations regarding a massive jobs-for-pals
       racket involving friends and family members, perpetrated by
       former Commissioner of Correctional Services Mr Sitole and an
       inner clique;

   (b)  that this racket subverted the normal procedures for appointment
       to the service and disregarded qualifications, experience and
       suitability; and

   (c)  that as a result thereof the personnel within Correctional
       Services were intimidated, discouraged and demoralised;

(2) therefore congratulates and supports Minister Skosana for having taken the initiative to call for the investigations that have already taken place to date; and

(3) fully supports the Minister of Correctional Services, Mr Ben Skosana, and the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Mrs Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, in respect of their intention to thoroughly and immediately investigate these most alarming allegations in order take the necessary and appropriate measures.

Ms N M TWALA: 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 women across all the divides of race, class and faith march in support of more stringent control of firearms in our country;

(2) further notes that firearm victims are often women and that women, in most instances, end up having to care for most victims of firearm violence; (3) urges the Minister of Safety and Security and the National Commissioner of the SA Police Service to pull out all the stops to rid our society and communities of the perpetrators of this evil; and

(4) expresses its appreciation to all policewomen and policemen who daily put their lives on the line to protect all South Africans.

[Applause.] Mev A VAN WYK: Mnr die Voorsitter, ek gee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis -

(1) die Nuwe NP-taalombudsman se inisiatief steun om veeltaligheid ‘n prioriteit van die Parlement te maak;

(2) met goedkeuring die Minister van Kuns, Kultuur, Wetenskap en Tegnologie se positiewe reaksie op die voorstel van die Nuwe NP waarneem en waardering uitspreek dat na taalwetgewing beweeg sal word en dat hy ‘n taaltaakspan aangestel het; en (3) ‘n beroep op alle partye en belanghebbendes doen om vasberade mede- eienaarskap te neem van die poging om veeltaligheid te bevorder ter opheffing van die ganse Suid-Afrika. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Mrs A VAN WYK: Mr Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day I shall move:

That the House -

(1) supports the initiative by the New NP’s linguistic ombudsman to make multilingualism a priority of Parliament;

(2) notes with approval the positive reaction by the Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology to the proposal of the New NP, and expresses appreciation for the fact that there will be a move towards legislation on languages and that he has appointed a linguistic task team; and

(3) appeals to all parties and interested persons to accept determined co- ownership of the attempt to promote multilingualism so as to uplift the whole of South Africa.]

Mrs B M NTULI: 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 the majority of women in South Africa still live in the poverty-stricken rural areas;

(2) further notes that Government has embarked on an integrated rural development programme;

(3) commits itself to ensuring that women take part in these economic empowerment programmes; and

(4) calls on Government to ensure that more information regarding these programmes is made available to women.


Dr M S MOGOBA: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) expresses concern at the appalling condition of the roads in Malebitsa village in Mpumalanga, a fairly large village with a substantial number of houses;

(2) finds it difficult to imagine driving to this village or in this village, as the condition of its roads is clearly a form of torture or oppression, which our fledgling democracy must reject outright;

(3) notes that residents of Malebitsa village have no water and are forced to buy water from neighbouring white farmers at a cost of R12 a drum; and

(4) further notes that this community needs potable water, as is their democratic right, but should this not be possible at present, the Government should supply water to this community free of charge or at an affordable cost.

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the UCDP:

That the House notes -

(1) with appreciation the efforts mounted by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to plead for the downlisting of the African elephant in the Kruger National Park;

(2) that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Cites, appreciates the concerns of the South African Government in this matter;

(3) that the International Fund for Animal Welfare appreciates that the proceeds of the sale will be ploughed back into the antipoaching programme, which is suffering from a lack of funds at present; and

(4) that this exercise will boost tourism and ensure that the big five are conserved in the Kruger National Park.

Mrs P W CUPIDO: Mr Chair, 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 with dismay that the HIV/Aids directorate in the Department of Health was unable to spend 40% of its budget allocation and that at a time when the Government was telling us that it had too little money to administer AZT treatment to pregnant mothers with HIV/Aids; and

(2) therefore requests the Minister of Health to accept responsibility for the incapacity of her department and to undertake to rectify the situation immediately.


Mrs L R MBUYAZI: Chair, I give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP: That the House -

(1) takes note of a young Mozambican women who gave birth to her baby while clinging to a tree above the swirling and rising waters, alone, without a doctor or a nurse, hungry and thirsty, cold and in imminent danger of death, showing how the human spirit triumphs in adversity;

(2) pays tribute to this mother and to all other mothers who, in spite of all trials and tribulations, show courage, strength and hope when bringing a child into this world; and

(3) calls on all South Africans to remember Mother’s Day and to honour and cherish our mothers.


Ms P K MOTHOAGAE: 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 announcement that domestic workers and seasonal workers will, in future, be able to join the Unemployment Insurance Fund;

(2) further notes that most domestic workers and many seasonal workers are women;

(3) recognises that until this country was governed by the ANC, the rights of domestic and seasonal workers were without protection; and

(4) commends the ANC Government for its protection of those who have always been marginalised and exploited and for reaffirming its commitment to governing for the many, not just the few.


Dr P J RABIE: Mr Chairman, 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 report drawn up by David Solomon, an economist at Wits University, and published yesterday by the American Chamber of Commerce;

(2) notes that it warned that South Africa has yet to attract serious levels of investment from the US or any other country;

(3) notes that it refers to an overregulation of the labour market, a competition policy that is too all-inclusive and generates automatic internal inconsistencies and that according to Solomon this leads international investors to view the Government as a net source of uncertainty rather than a mechanism to reduce it;

(4) notes that a major requirement of an effective foreign direct investment policy is a degree of clarity and simplicity pervading all government policies, which indicates that the Government does not have a deep-seated understanding of the process of international business;

(5) calls on the Government to attract and encourage new foreign direct investment, a prerequisite for sustainable future economic growth. Mna M N RAMODIKE: Modulesetulo, ke rata go tsebiša legatong la UDM gore ke tla tliša tšhišinyo tulong yeo e tlago ya Ngwako wo o hlomphegago:

Ya gore Ngwako wo -

(1) o ele hloko manyofonyofo a tshepedišo ya ditšhelete kua Probenseng ya Leboa;

 2) go a hlobaetša gore tshepedišo ye e mpe ya taolo ya ditšhelete e tla
    leboelela go thoma selemong sa 1995 go fihla lehono; gape ... (Translation of Sepedi paragraphs follows.)

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

That the House:

(1) notes a damning report on the accounts of the Northern Province Government;

(2) notes with dismay that there has been ongoing mismanagement of funds from 1995 up to now; and

(3) calls on the Government to take appropriate steps to normalise the situation.]

Mrs Z A KOTA: 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 the recent floods in Mozambique have had very adverse effects, especially on women and children, as is evident in the reported cases of malaria, diarrhoea and eye infections;

(2) also notes the serious problems arising from the shortage of fresh water;

(3) expresses its appreciation and gratitude to those countries that have been helping the people of Mozambique and calls on more countries to become involved in the flood relief programmes; and

(4) applauds the SANDF for its sterling work and the selfless heroism of members of the Air Force, who saved Ms Pedro and her new-born baby from a tree in a rescue moment that brought tears to the eyes of the world.


Adv H C SCHMIDT: Chairperson, I 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 annual Argus/Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour will take place in Cape Town on Sunday, 12 March 2000;

(2) welcomes cyclists from around South Africa and abroad to this fairest Cape;

(3) expresses the hope that Mother Nature will bring perfect cycling weather for the event;

(4) wishes all competitors happy cycling; and (5) gives its full support to the DP parliamentary team and wishes them success.


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

That the House -

(1) notes that interracial relationships are cemented where there is mutual respect;

(2) further notes that the decorum of the House will be maintained if there is respect for our executive; and

(3) therefore calls on all members to desist from being deliberately disrespectful.

Mr M A MAPHALALA: 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 HIV/Aids is a deadly reality that kills South Africans and people across the globe on a daily basis;

(2) also notes that Aids is an indiscriminate disease that affects everybody in our society - young and old, black and white, men and women;

(3) echoes the call today, 8 March 2000, which is International Women’s Day, to our young people to abstain from unprotected sex, to be faithful or to condomise in order to help combat the spread of this dreaded disease;

(4) also calls on all sectors of our society to put more emphasis, energy and effort into Aids public awareness programmes; and

(5) appeals to all South Africans to volunteer to undergo the HIV/Aids test, which is free of charge, to curb the rapid spread of the disease.


                        GENDER DISCRIMINATION

                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, in honour of International Women’s Day, I move without notice:

That the House -

(1) notes that today, 8 March 2000, is International Women’s Day;

(2) recognises the age-old discrimination that faces women all over the world in all spheres of life;

(3) acknowledges that violence against women and children is of particular concern in our country and continent;

(4) endorses the values of gender equality enshrined in our Constitution; and

(5) applauds the efforts of women all over the world to put an end to gender discrimination and pledges its support to this noble cause.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That -

(1) Orders of the Day Nos 1 and 2 not be dealt with today; and

(2) the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Amendment Bill [B 11B - 2000] be referred back to the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government to consider further the date on which the legislation is to come into operation.

Agreed to.


                       (Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, the old Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Science Professions Council was amended and replaced by the Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Science Professions Interim Council, which was established in February 1996. The main objective of the interim council is to make recommendations to the Minister of Health on the constitution of a new and permanent council which is still to be established.

One of the main functions of the council is to protect the public by making sure that health professionals registered with their council are safe practitioners, and that they update their skills continually. In South Africa it is mandatory that all health professionals be registered with the relevant council. Our responsibility is to see to it that councils carry out their functions effectively and efficiently. The interim council consists of 16 members. As hon members are well aware, our previous councils were established along racial divides, with the characteristic total exclusion of blacks as members of those councils. The interim council has pledged its commitment to transformation, and will do everything in its power to ensure that the new and permanent council, when it is ultimately established, is a transformed council.

I indicated earlier that the main objective of the interim council is to make recommendations to the Minister of Health on the constitution of a new, permanent council still to be established. The draft Bill seeks to extend the term of office of the interim council retrospectively, with effect from 13 February 1999, so that the interim council can finalise the discharge of its mandate and prepare for the elections of the permanent council.

Clause 1 amends the timeframe within which the interim council has to decide its mandate referred to above. The current framework within which the mandate has to be discharged is 36 months. Clause 1 seeks to amend the timeframe from 36 to 60 months.

Clause 2 seeks to amend the term of office of the interim council from 36 to 60 months. The current term of office of the interim council is 36 months. The rationale for extending the term of office of the interim council from 36 to 60 months is to enable the interim council to finalise its discharge of its mandate, including the electoral process for the permanent council, and also to enable the department to finalise the general amendments to the principal Act.

Clause 3 seeks to extend retrospectively the term of office of the interim council from 36 to 60 months. The retrospective application of the Bill is necessary because the term of office of the interim council expired in February 1999. The delay in extending the term of office of the interim council, before the term of office expired, was occasioned by an oversight on the part of the department. The department omitted to amend the principal Act before the expiry of the term of office of the interim council; and, since the beginning of 1999, immediately after receiving the report of the Portfolio Committee on Health on the proposed permanent council structure, the department has been busy drafting a general amendment to the principal Act on the basis of the recommendations submitted. It was not envisaged that the process would take such a long time to finalise.

In conclusion, I hope the hon members will support this Bill in order for the council to carry out its functions. [Applause.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, I want to say that what the hon the Minister has had to say this afternoon is absolutely accurate, and I also want to say that I am sorry for her because she is having to clear up the mess that was probably left by the previous Minister of Health. [Interjections.] I also want to say that the DP has little option but to support this Bill and we will be doing so because this piece of legislation is clearly very urgently required. It is also for this reason that we agreed to have it fast- tracked.

However, I do want to say that our support for this Bill in no way means that we condone in any way the shocking fact that what we are really doing today is passing legislation that should have been passed more than a year ago. We must know and accept that by not having this legislation before Parliament at the beginning of last year, we have allowed a statutory body

  • a council that exists as a result of an Act of Parliament - to continue functioning despite the fact that its lifespan ended on 12 February 1999. We are today having to pass retrospective legislation in an attempt to blow new life into a body that died a year ago. It is rather ironic that it is the Ministry of Health that is trying to raise this corpse.

But the truth of the matter is that this corpse, in some way or another, has continued to live for the past 12 months, despite its death. It has continued to make decisions and register new members despite the fact that it is, as I say, legally dead. So what Parliament has to do now, is to declare that it did not die on 12 February last year, and that all its actions carried out while it was dead are binding and taken as though it had not died. Now, really and truly, this is most confusing indeed. It is really and truly a huge mess.

However, I want to say that I can well recall the urgent debate in this House in 1995 to establish a series of interim councils because of the apartheid nature of the then existing health-related councils. We all agreed that this was very important. We also agreed that it was time that the chiropractors, homeopaths and other allied health service professions had a new deal. An interim council with a lifespan of 36 months was established in order to advise the Minister on the appointment of a new council. Not only was this not achieved in 36 months, but neither has it been achieved in 48 months. We are now asked to give this body life for a further 12 months in the hope that it will now be done. We have to wonder whether, in actual fact, this will be achieved.

However, the point is that this is just not good enough. The Ministry and the department must accept the criticism due to them for not having done their job. In fact, they deserve to be severely reprimanded by Parliament for allowing the time of the interim council to run up by one year before even bringing this matter to Parliament. It is no way whatsoever to run a Health department, and certainly no way to run the country. [Time expired.]

Dr R RABINOWITZ: Mr Chairperson, we all want better health at a lower cost and in a way that treats us as people, not as machines.

The Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Professions Interim Council was established in February 1996. In three years it was meant to make recommendations to the Minister on establishing a new council. Not only has it failed to do so, but it has continued to operate illegally for one year beyond its statutory lifespan. This in itself is a sign of an ailing council. It should have applied its mind to regulating, monitoring and upgrading the recognised allied health professions, of which there are, registered with the council, about 600 homeopaths, 200 chiropractors, 12 osteopaths, 7 herbalists, 14 naturopaths and 20 Ayurvedic practitioners.

It should have provided scopes of practice, educational criteria and codes of ethical practice. Instead, it has been crusading to incorporate complementary therapists like those for aromatherapy, reflexology and massage onto the council. There is a place for such therapies, but clearly differentiated from health professionals.

Prospective scientists are highlighting dangers with the direction that medicine is taking by creating super bugs which are resistant to antibiotics. They attribute the dramatic rise in allergies and asthma to the overuse of antibiotics and immunisation. The modern world must find alternatives, and is turning to more natural methods of healing that stimulates the body’s own immunity, rather than suppressing the immune system. Aids is an extreme form of such suppression. Homeopathy is the kind of alternative that we are looking for. In fact, it has moved from alternative to mainstream. There are two technical colleges offering five-year courses, and a new faculty is to be established.

The window of opportunity has now opened to us to regulate the practice of this and other recognised health paradigms, but criteria for registration are not standardised. In fact, they have been virtually arbitrary. They have been inadequate in disciplining bogus practitioners and those registered on condition that they did training, which they had not done. There is inadequate progress in the mechanism for regulating alternative health products.

In view of the media attention afforded to holistic therapy and the huge appetite of the public for alternatives to conventional medicine, there must be a clear distinction in the public’s mind between the various kinds of health professionals and complementary therapists - who can order X-rays or send one for blood test, who knows about diseases and diagnostics, who can undress and examine one, and who will be held responsible if one’s treatment goes horribly wrong.

We must support, retrospectively, the legalisation of the interim council. Not to do so would create issues so complex that they could never be resolved, but we do so with misgivings, and with the proviso that the Minister, the department and the portfolio committee keep a watchful eye on the interim council’s proceedings in future, and that we ensure a transparent process that will get us a sound alternative health professions council operational by 2001. It must advance the health of the nation, and not cater for personal agendas.

Dr S J GOUS: Mnr die Voorsitter, hierdie Wysigingswetsontwerp op Chiropraktisyns, Homeopate en Verwante Gesondsheidsdiensberoepe het ten doel om die ampstermyn van die lede van die interimraad terugwerkend te verleng. Die ampstermyn van die vorige raad het reeds op 12 Februarie 1999 verstryk, wat beteken dat enige besluite en optrede sedert 12 Februarie 1999 deur genoemde interimraad onwettig en ongeldig was.

Die eerste vraag wat ontstaan is hoe dit kon gebeur dat so ‘n situasie ontstaan het? Die Departement van Gesondheid het verduidelik dat dit ‘n fout aan hulle kant is, waarvoor hulle volle verantwoordelikheid aanvaar, en hulle het ook onvoorwaardelik verskoning aangebied. Nou, ons is maar almal net mense, en daarom aanvaar die Nuwe NP die verduideliking en verskoning van die Departement van Gesondheid in die lig waarin dit aangebied is.

Die tweede vraag wat ontstaan, is of die wetgewing wel terugwerkend van krag kan wees. Die staatsregsadviseur, mnr Daniels, het ‘n skriftelike versekering tot dien effek gelewer, maar tog toegegee dat dit uiteindelik die hof sal wees wat so ‘n besluit sal moet takseer. Alhoewel die Nuwe NP aanvaar dat die interimraad in goeder trou opgetree het en hulle bona fides bo verdenking behoort te wees, kan ons maar net hoop en glo dat geen van hul besluite in ‘n hof getoets gaan word nie.

Die laaste vraag wat ontstaan, is hoekom die interimraad nie in die drie jaar sedert 1996 daarin kon slaag om ‘n permanente raad ingestel te kry nie. Die antwoord en verskoning op hierdie vraag was nie baie bevredigend nie, en ons kan ook maar weer net hoop dat ‘n permanente raad voor Februarie 2001 aangestel kan word, anders gaan die aangeleentheid weer in ‘n verleentheid ontaard.

Die Nuwe NP steun hierdie wetgewing met die hoop dat ‘n onhoudbare situasie daarmee so spoedig moontlik reggestel sal word. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Dr S J GOUS: Mr Chairman, the aim of the Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Professions Amendment Bill is to extend the term of office of the members of the interim council with retrospective effect. The term of office of the members of the previous council expired as long ago as 12 February 1999, which means that any decisions and actions taken by the aforementioned interim council since 12 February 1999 were illegal and invalid.

The first question that arises is how such a situation could have arisen. The Department of Health has explained that it was a mistake on their part, for which they accepted full responsibility, and they also apologised unconditionally. Now, we are all merely people, and that is why the New NP accepts the explanation and apology of the Department of Health in the spirit in which it was made.

The second question that arises is whether the legislation can in fact be of retrospective effect. The state legal adviser, Mr Daniels, has given a written assurance to this effect, but nevertheless conceded that it would eventually be the court that would have to evaluate such a decision. Although the New NP accepts that the interim council acted in good faith and that their bona fides should be above suspicion, we can only hope and believe that none of their decisions are going to be tested in a court of law.

The last question that arises is why the interim council, in the three years since 1996, has been unable to succeed in establishing a permanent council. The reply to and excuse for this question was not very satisfactory, and we can only hope that a permanent council can be appointed before February 2001, otherwise the matter will once again turn into an embarrassment.

The New NP supports this legislation in the hope that an untenable situation will in this way be rectified as soon as possible.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon members, the next member will be delivering his maiden speech. Mr S NAIDOO: Mr Chairperson, hon members, this Bill seeks to correct an anomaly. There have been problems in the chiropractors, homeopaths and allied health services professions which failed to resolve many issues over a lengthy period of time. The interim council has been hard at work trying to resolve many of the problems, and make recommendations to the Minister to pave the way for constituting a new council.

However, the term of office of the current council expired in February

  1. Recommendations made by the council since then, therefore, lack a statutory basis, and hence the enabling legislation to rectify this anomaly.

The amendments are merely technical and noncontroversial. The main Act to regulate the chiropractors and homeopaths was enacted in 1974. The Act was improved in the 1980s, and provided for regulation of allied health services professions, as well.

In our society there is a growing support for the services provided by the practitioners of these professions. Along with scientific medicine, there is a place in society for these professions, and it is necessary to have order. The recommendations of the interim council in achieving this are therefore paramount.

The interim council needs to have a strong statutory basis, and the UDM, in keeping with its policy of a healthy and a world-class nation, supports this measure. [Applause.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Mr Chairperson, it is regrettable that the interim council that was established in February 1996 was unable to make recommendations to the Minister of Health, as was expected. In the three years in which it should have done this, it was unable to do so, with the result that the whole thing expired.

But, having said that, the UCDP supports the Bill, whose intention is to extend the term of office of the interim council. We hope that this time it will live up to expectations.

Dr M S MOGOBA: Chairperson, the PAC supports this amendment which will help to regularise a situation which developed because of an oversight in the legislative programme. In our view it is necessary to have an interim council so that there is some administrative authority in place before the permanent council is established.

Matters of health are of importance to the nation, and the maintenance of standards and constant supervision are necessary at all times, particularly in the unusual spheres of medicine involving chiropractors, homeopaths and allied professions.

The standard of health in our nation must be raised at all times. Our nation is First and Third World all in one. Some parts of our country are quite primitive, with no facilities whatsoever. It is urgent that we extend facilities to people in all areas, particularly in the rural areas. Of particular concern is the plight of children, women and the aged.

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon member, your speaking time has expired.

Dr M S MOGOBA: Thank you, I did well in one minute.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, health is always a sensitive issue which must receive priority every single day. We have advanced tremendously in medical science, and consequently we have made intelligent discoveries to cure or relieve many illnesses. However, in order to ensure the development and successful implementation of these plans, legislation must be put in place in order to guide and co-ordinate the various medical science disciplines, such as chiropractice and homeopathy.

Furthermore, the promotion of effective service delivery must be regulated. Therefore the MF supports the Chiropractors, Homeopaths and Allied Health Service Professions Amendment Bill, which extends the term of office of the interim council so that a recommendation to the Minister on the constitution of a new council can be made. Simultaneously, the interim council will have sufficient time to prepare for the election of members to the new council. [Applause.]

Dkt S C CWELE: Sihlalo ohloniphekileyo, siyabonga nathi ukuthola ithuba lokuthi siphefumule ngalo mThethosivivinywa. Ngizoqala ngokuzama ukuphendula uzakwethu ohloniphekile uMike Ellis. Ukhulume ngokuthi uNgqongqoshe nomnyango wakhe abawenzanga umsebenzi. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[Dr S C CWELE: Hon Chairperson, we are grateful for the opportunity to speak on this Bill. I will start by answering my hon colleague Mike Ellis. He has spoken about the fact that the Minister and his department did not do the work.]

He actually said they left a mess.

Ngicabanga ukuthi kuye kusize ukuthi ngaphambi kokuba umuntu ajikijele amatshe, azibheke yena. [I think that at times it helps to check on oneself before one throws stones at others.]

Mike Ellis should remember very well that it is not only the responsibility of the department or Ministry, but also that of members of Parliament to monitor these institutions and ensure that they function appropriately and within a legal mandate. If Mr Ellis had attended the committee meetings he would not be wasting our time saying all the things he is saying, because those matters were raised at committee level.

Uma sengidlula-ke ngiya kozakwethu laba be-New NP, bona bayawugxeka lo mkhandlu wesikhashana ngokuthi yini ungawuqedanga umsebenzi wawo njengoba wawunikezwe iminyaka emithathu. Ngizoke ngithi qaphu-qaphu nje ukuze sicacisele iNdlu ukuthi yini ngempela eyenzekile. [I want to go on to what my colleagues in the New NP say. They criticise this interim council, asking why it did not finish its work within the three years which it was given. I will mention a few points to clarify to the House as to what exactly had happened.]

In 1995 our Government and this Parliament recognised the problems which were faced by the alternative health practitioners in our country. These professionals included chiropractors, homeopaths and allied health service professionals. The core of the problem lay in the way the previous apartheid government regulated these practitioners.

Historically speaking, there was no training of these professionals within the Republic. Most of them were trained in America, Europe and, in other instances, Asia. The problem was further complicated by the fact that the first group of those who came back into the country lobbied the NP government, which led to the compilation of the list which was kept in the department and subsequently the legislation which was passed in 1982.

Those who were registered complicated the matter by closing the doors on those who were still outside. They refused them registration, and this forced a large number of these professionals to go underground in order to practise their profession. In line with the grand apartheid policy, some people were discriminated against because of the shape of their noses or the colour of their skins.

In short, we had a profession which was immensely divided and very poorly regulated in 1995. When we passed the law in 1995 we were fully aware of the challenges which we were going to face in the interim council. It was for this reason that, in addition to these professionals, we also adopted measures to bring other people referred to in the Bill as community representatives into the council.

The functions of the council are also mentioned. To us there is absolutely no doubt that the interim council has gone a long way in meeting these tasks, despite the difficulties they were facing. In line with our policy of accelerating transformation, we in the ANC were also concerned about the delays in the finalisation of the work of the council.

The DP has asked whether the council will be able to finalise its work within the next 12 months. I repeat, if Mr Ellis had attended the committee meetings he would have been aware that the committee was assured that the work of the council would be finalised, and we are hoping that the new Bill which establishes the democratic council will be tabled before the end of this year.

The ANC was under no illusion that we were going to eliminate all the evil institutional effects of apartheid within just two or three years, but we shall spare no effort in accelerating the democratic transformation of our institutions and statutory bodies.

NjengoKhongolose, siyawuxhasa lo mThetho-sivivinywa. [Ihlombe.] [We, as the ANC, support this Bill. [Applause.]]

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMPILO: Sihlalo, ngicela ukubonga uDkt Cwele ngokusinikeza umlando esingeke sisabuye siwuphinde futhi - umlando wokubandlulula ngokubeka abanye ozakwethu abaphatha amakhambi ngokusemthethweni. Ngiyabonga kuDkt Cwele. Ngifuna ukusho ukuthi lo mkhandlu unezincomo ezibalulekile esethembayo ukuthi zizosisiza ukuthi singabuye siphinde sibe sesimweni esasikusona ngaphambi kokhetho luka-1994. (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER OF HEALTH: Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Cwele for giving us the history, which we cannot repeat, the history of discriminating through legally appointing some of our colleagues who are herbalists. Thank you very much, Dr Cwele.

I want to say that this interim council has important recommendations. We hope they will help us not to return to the situation in which we found ourselves before the 1994 elections.]

The interim council, indeed, has done a sterling job and I have no doubt in my mind that this council, whose term of office will be respectively extended, will conclude its job on time. Indeed, it has stacks and stacks of good recommendations. If Mr Mike Ellis says it is dead, all we will need to do will be to resuscitate those recommendations. [Applause.] Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                (Resumption of First Reading debate)

Mr N M NENE: Mr Chairperson, hon members, today we continue with the debate on the Budget of 2000-01. I am going to deal with rural development and the impact of this Budget thereon.

High levels of rural dependence and marginalisation can be attributed to the well-documented legacy of rural and economic subjugation, which has created one of the greatest challenges of the postapartheid era. It is little wonder that 68% of people living in rural households live in poverty, and that more than 75% of South Africa’s poor can be found in rural areas. It has been argued that there is therefore a greater case for a policy that improves rural employment opportunities. Economic progress in rural areas is necessary and urgent if South Africa is to obtain lasting social stability. Economically, poverty is perceived in terms of lack of resources such as land, infrastructure and productive resources. The rural poor are deprived of most of the basic resources such as housing, employment, health facilities and recreational facilities.

Research shows that during 1995 the situation was as follows. Forty-five per cent of the rural poor lived in mud houses. That is the reason why these areas are the hardest hit when the floods actually strike. Only 55% of the families possessed toilet facilities of some kind at that time, hence the diseases. Most residents used paraffin and candles for lighting. There was no electricity or running water in most villages. Levels of unemployment were very high. There was no reliable transport between a village and the nearest town, and the nearest clinic was approximately 7,5 km away.

Communication infrastructure never existed or was very poor. More than 60% of the African population in rural areas were women who were undermined by the gendered nature of the migrant labour system. In some provinces the picture was even gloomier than the national one. In KwaZulu-Natal approximately 50% of Africans had not received education by that time. Only one third of the population was within 10 km of the permanent health clinic, and many rural communities were essentially and economically isolated owing to poor roads. So that was the plight of the people.

Now I want to look at what this Budget does to try to address the situation. The impact of this Budget on rural development is as follows. The Budget places great emphasis on poverty alleviation. There are increases in social security allocations, there is a lowering of the tax burden on the lower-income groups, and the poor receive special attention.

The ANC Government, through this Budget, is meeting the challenge of access to land in financial terms. There are large increases in the provision for land transfers, land reform and restitution costs which will almost double in the next three years from R149,5 million in the current financial year to R287,8 million for the period 2000 to 2003. For the period 2000 to 2003 land transfer payments for land reform and restitution will cost Government R549,9 million, compared to R333,2 million last year. Land reform received a total allocation of R837,4 million, which will rise to R952,2 million over the three years in anticipation of accelerated land transfers to beneficiaries.

The Budget shifts the focus in Government spending away from personnel towards infrastructural spending, with the latter set to increase by no less than 16%. There is a dire need for infrastructural development in the rural areas. The increase will therefore definitely lead to adequate infrastructure which will serve as entrepreneurial support. Moreover, the infrastructural development through Public Works programmes will result in the improvement of wage income opportunities. This is in line with the International Labour Organisation’s call for job creation programmes that benefit the poorest group in South Africa.

Gaining access to the primary wage market appears to be a critical factor in improving household living standards and per capita income, as well as growing a vibrant and flexible economy that is able to take advantage of the resources of South Africa’s people and the opportunities offered by the global economy in a sustainable way. Expenditures grow markedly in real terms and remain strongly distributive in favour of the poor. This indicates the extension of social services to the poor and most vulnerable which will reduce inequality and overcome poverty.

The Budget has done this through the following. It has done it through the increase in the Health budget, which moves away from the Health department to clinic-based primary health care, and by the increase in the Education budget. The rural poor consistently see education as their highest priority and as the most effective way out of poverty. Spending on programmes targeted at the poor such as housing subsidies, poverty relief and child support grants will ensure a broad social security net for the rural poor. It also does that by promoting the SMMEs and rewarding the development efforts of the nonprofit sector.

Given the magnitude of the poverty challenge, policy emphasis directed towards SMMEs is more than welcome as these provide the best opportunity for economic and income growth. It also does that by inflation targeting which will ensure the protection of the weak in the economy and lift the heavy burden that is always placed by hyperinflation on poor families and small businesses. We must remember that hyperinflation erodes the income of the low-earners and the most vulnerable in a society. The Budget focuses on increases in training and skills development. Rural South African citizens are in desperate need of, and deserve, training if they are to succeed in highly productive and profitable SMMEs. Well-trained and highly skilled new job seekers will definitely be absorbed into the labour market as well.

I also want to touch slightly on the integrated rural development strategy which seeks to address the lack of co-ordination which resulted in nonsustainable development. It essentially means that, firstly, Government departments emerge with an integrated approach to delivery of services, and also that pilot projects are being put together in identified areas in provinces which were targeted in the President’s state of the nation address. It also means ensuring that we deliver sustainable development in rural areas and that we also give effect to the Development Facilitation Act of 1995.

The fact that two out of five South Africans still live in poverty is morally repugnant and a profoundly destabilising force in society. This staggering 2,4 million figure of rural people, which is based on the 1995 statistics, deserves to have a special attention through progressive budget allocations like the Budget we have here in 2000-2001.

Amaqembu aphikisayo, ikakhulukazi i-DP, anomkhuba wokugiya ngethambo labantu abamnyama abahluphekayo. Ngonyaka odlule umholi we-DP, umhlonishwa uTony Leon, wavakashela eKeate’s Drift ngaseMsinga lapho kunefemu yezicathulo eyavalwayo. Wayephelezelwa ngabezindaba ukuze ahlekise ngabantu bakithi labo asebaxhashazwa bekhanda izicathulo beholelwa utiki ngesicathulo sisinye. Kwathi uma sebedelile, babalahla okwenyongo yenyathi. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[Opposition parties, especially the DP, tend to mock the situation of poor black people. Last year the DP leader, the hon Tony Leon, visited Keate’s Drift near Msinga where there was a factory making shoes, which then closed down. He was accompanied by the media in his campaign to mock our people, who were exploited in the factory where they made shoes and just received a meagre salary. When their employers were satisfied, they dumped them as if they were rubbish.]

He conveniently did not proceed to Muden where people have been awarded thousands of acres of land through the land reform process, just 10 km away from where he was. Further, he could have gone to Msinga where more than 14 clinics were built by this ANC Government in the period between 1994 and

  1. [Applause.]

Mr I O DAVIDSON: Mr Chairman, I would like to start off by quoting the hon the Minister for Welfare and Population Development in a recent advert called: Mobilising for a caring society. He said in that advert:

Let me begin by saying that I have one overriding impression after six months in the Ministry which is that the welfare system in this country is failing those people who most need support.

As far as the DP is concerned, we agree with the Minister. He then went on to say that South Africa has been and is experiencing a deep social crisis, the nature of which is persistent, and increasing levels of poverty and low economic growth. Here, once again, the DP agrees with the Minister.

It is primarily against these criteria that the Budget has to be judged - judged from a perspective of whether a systematic framework for poverty reduction exists in our country. Now, we know that to achieve real poverty reduction, we have to achieve real rapid economic growth. Yet, we budget for real growth of only 3,4% over the next three years instead of the required 6%. What does that mean? It means more unemployment. That is the primary aspect in which this Budget fails.

Out there is an important secondary aspect. This Budget witnesses, I believe, the ANC’s final spectacular desertion of the poor, the pensioners and the unemployed. [Interjections.] Well, hon members can say that, but let us go through a laundry list of exactly how they have deserted these people.

In respect of grants, let us look at old age pensions. Since the ANC took power, pension increases have not kept pace with inflation. In fact, the real value of pensions has declined 11% over the past six years. An increase of R87,50 should have been given by the Minister in order for pensions just to have kept pace with inflation over the past six years. Indeed, the Minister seems to have earned himself the very dubious title of the ``Lapa Munnik of the new millennium’’. Child support grants have not changed since their introduction in 1998, effectively a real decrease of 10%. The integrated nutritional programme is set to decrease in real terms by 10% over the MTEF period. The real tragedy though is that even money that is voted in the form of grants is often not spent. The Auditor-General’s report that has recently been reported on, said that R1,4 million of the R204 million set aside for poverty relief was actually not spent, and that has to be put on the table and debated. It is a scandal - 78,5% or R353 million of the Welfare department’s R415 million budget was not spent.

In the light of the Minister’s own assessment of poverty in South Africa, it is a national disgrace. It is bordering on the criminal and speaks volumes about the ANC’s priorities and its capacity to govern. What is also interesting is the 40% of money allocated on the Aids’ budget which was also not spent. What about the unemployed? Once again, the unemployed seem to have been ignored. Even the national public works programme is set to decline by 14% in real terms over the MTEF period.

Now, I am reminded of our members’ wise observation that about a quarter of our population, honest-to-goodness South Africans, have not had a meal in the past 48 hours. A society which is going to prosper needs to be compassionate to those who suffer hardships through no fault of their own. We cannot and should not turn our backs on these people. Yes, we have limited resources, but we must do something; and it is in that context that the DP puts on the table a basic subsistence grant of up to a maximum of R400 per month payable to any one family.

The grant of R100 per person, we believe, should be payable to every person with an annual income of R7 000. An income tax system should be used to make it uneconomic for people who do not qualify to apply. This is not a big handout. It is essentially survival assistance, but it will help people on the poverty datum line. All these indeed are palliatives giving but faint hope to the poor. To give real hope, we need to have real growth, we need to achieve 6% growth. If we unshackle the economy, we believe that we can do it and give real hope. [Applause.]

Chief M W HLENGWA: Mr Chairperson, may I invite members to take heed of the words by Wendell L Wilkie when he said:

Whenever we take away the liberty of those whom we hate, we are opening the way to loss of liberty for those we love.

I rise again to participate in this debate knowing pretty well that there are hon members in this Chamber who feel the same way as I do on the question of indigenous rulers of our country. On the contrary, there are those who are hellbent against them and who tend to scream and shout whenever a question of traditional leaders is raised. I can only say that if they are real Africans, God help them; and if they are not, they must know where the African leadership’s roots are.

For the benefit of those who were brought up in urban areas, I have this to say: If a hunter goes to hunt, he takes his dogs with him. Together with his dogs, he looks for the game, and if found, it is chased. In most cases the dogs catch the buck, and it is taken home for skinning. When the whole thing is done the buck is taken into the house, and the skin put safely out to dry. Then the poor dogs are given the intestines as their share, irrespective of their contribution towards catching the buck.

This is the sixth year of freedom for many in South Africa, but traditional leaders are still not part of those who are enjoying freedom. The game that was chased, together with traditional leaders, is in fact freedom. Traditional leaders were present in Bloemfontein. They fought the invaders long before the launch of the liberation movement in Bloemfontein. They did not wait for the formation of liberation movements and political parties in order to start defending the rights of their people and their land. Traditional leaders have a history of leading liberation movements, but today they are left with the intestines of that buck, which is freedom. I am sure they are forced to regard themselves as the victims of liberation.

Today we are debating how the cake is sliced for the different departments of Government. The hon the Minister of Finance could not allocate a slice to that which is nonexistent. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa bars the Minister of Finance from allocating directly to the Department of Traditional Affairs, because it does not exist.

When Parliament officially opens here in Cape Town, heads of state institutions are announced as they enter this Chamber. I am waiting for the day when I will hear the chairpersons of houses of traditional leaders also being announced when Parliament officially opens. If this has been an oversight, may I plead with the powers that be that it be remedied.

Traditional communities, no matter who says what, are facing the biggest challenge and the burden of having to pay rates, instead of being reimbursed for having suffered after being pushed into the deep rural areas when towns were established. In The Natal Mercury of 28 February 2000, the following is reported:

Responding to concerns raised by some amakhosi that their people were too poor to pay rates, Dr Sutcliffe said the national Government had made financial provision for municipalities to cover the cost of rates for people who could not afford to pay.

True or misleading? That is the question. I really wonder what is going to happen to these communities. The Government must intervene and stop the demarcation process so as to allow negotiations until amicable solutions are found.

Traditional leaders have never regarded themselves as decorations. Why should they be marginalised and disregarded when it comes to matters of development affecting their communities? Traditional leaders have nowhere to go. They cannot even emigrate to Europe, because if they should attempt that, Europe will send them where they belong. So, let us restore their status by addressing the flaws of Chapter 12 of the Constitution.

I end with the words of Jean-Paul Marat:

Of what use is political liberty to those who have no bread? It is of value only to ambitious theorists and policitians.

Mnr F BEUKMAN: Mnr die Voorsitter, die agb Minister het sy toespraak begin met ‘n aanhaling van Ben Okri. Ek wil graag my toespraak begin met ‘n aanhaling van nog ‘n groot Afrikaan, C J Langenhoven. Hy het gesê:

Met spaarsaamheid sal jy uit die kleinste inkomste iets oorhou, met verkwisting sal die grootste vir jou te min wees.

Met hierdie Begroting is dit ook die les wat na vore kom uit die finansiële prestasies van die provinsies.

Provinsies kry R106 miljard in die volgende boekjaar. Hiervan word R94,4 miljard versprei tussen provinsies, gegrond op die gelyke-aandeelformule. Wat ons sê, is dat provinsies wat bespaar, wat hulle rande die verste rek met goeie dienslewering en wat goeie bestuur toepas, beloon moet word. Onteenseglik is die Wes-Kaap, wat die boekjaar ‘n tweede agtereenvolgende keer met ‘n surplus afgesluit het, ‘n goeie voorbeeld. Die besnoeiing van ongeveer 20 000 poste in die openbare sektor die afgelope paar jaar het ook tot die besparing bygedra. Ander provinsies wat wil presteer en die waarde vir hulle belastingrand aan die belastingbetalers wil deurgee, sal móét sny aan personeelkoste. Dit is die realiteit as ons Gear op koers wil hou.

Die Nuwe NP is van mening dat die bepaling van die formule in die toedeling van fondse aan provinsies opnuut bekyk moet word. Die horisontale verdeling van nasionale inkomste, wat hoofsaaklik op bevolkingsgetalle as deel van die formule gegrond is, moet op geloofwaardig en wetenskaplik gefundeerde data berus. Die 1996-sensusbevinding wat aandui dat die Wes-Kaap se bevolking gekrimp het en die ander provinsies meer inwoners bygekry het, is `n goeie voorbeeld van bevindings wat nie vertroue inboesem nie. Goeie beplanning is slegs moontlik as betroubare data beskikbaar is, en daarom moet die metodiek van instansies soos Statistiek SA deurlopend aan monitering, internasionale evaluering en prestasieoudit onderhewig wees.

n Provinsie soos die Wes-Kaap ontvang ongeveer 4,6% van sy inkomste op grond van die gelyke-aandeelformule van nasionale inkomste. Die oplossing om provinsies finansieel meer selfstandig te maak is om na nuwe bronne van inkomste binne die nasionale raamwerk van wetgewing te kyk. Motorvoertuiglisensies, hospitaaltariewe en perdewedrenne is nie n realistiese vertrekpunt om provinsies finansieel meer selfstandig te maak nie. Ook het die nuwe bron van dobbelinkomste nie die finale antwoord nie. n Voorbeeld sou wees om as mikpunt eerder die heffing van lughawevertrekbelasting n inkomstestroom van provinsies te maak. Dit sal provinsies aanmoedig om meer toeristevriendelik te wees en sal as aanmoediging dien om proaktiewe beleggersinisiatief aan die dag te lê.

Die debat oor die identifisering van nuwe inkomstebronne vir provinsies moet op die tafel geplaas word. Ons stem saam met die Minister dat dit in samewerking en in konsultasie met die Minister se departement moet geskied. Daar is nie n plaasvervanger vir samewerkende regering, oftewel co- operative governance'' wanneer die funksies oor die drie vlakke van regering loop nie. Die mediumtermyn-uitgaweraamwerk, wat n driejaarsiklus het, noodsaak dat daar nou reeds gekyk word na die moontlike opsies om provinsies minder afhanklik van die sentrale Regering te maak.

Die post-begrotingsdebat wat die Nuwe NP bepleit, moet inklusief wees en die volgende vyf agendapunte insluit: eerstens, die doelgerigte ontwikkeling van `n nasionale konsensus dat provinsies wel nuwe inkomstebronne moet kry; tweedens, die herevaluering van meetinstrumente soos toegepas deur die Finansiële en Fiskale Kommissie in die toedeling van die gelyke-aandeelkonsep; derdens, die ondersoek van wyses waarop bestaande bronne van inkomste verbeter kan word; vierdens - en dit is baie belangrik

  • die versnelling of ``fast-tracking’’ van Gear ten einde die implementering daarvan suksesvol te maak; en vyfdens, die onderneem van verdere navorsing om die hele konsep van fiskale federalisme te bevorder en toegepas te kry op die drie regeringsvlakke.

Ons moet nou reeds na 2006 en 2008 kyk. Die Nuwe NP wil graag nou die nasionale debat hieroor open. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr F BEUKMAN: Mr Chairperson, the hon the Minister started his speech with a quote from Ben Okri. I would like to start my speech with a quote from another great African, C J Langenhoven. He said:

Met spaarsaamheid sal jy uit die kleinste inkomste iets oorhou, met verkwisting sal die grootste vir jou te min wees.

In this Budget this is also the lesson to be learnt from the financial achievements of the provinces.

Provinces will be getting R106 billion in the next financial year. Of this amount R94,4 billion will be allocated to the provinces according to the equal share formula. We submit that provinces that save, that stretch their rand the furthest with good service delivery and that practise good management, should be rewarded. Undoubtedly the Western Cape, which for the second time running has finished the financial year with a surplus, is a good example. The reduction of approximately 20 000 posts in the public sector during the past few years has also contributed to the saving. Other provinces which want to do well and pass on value for their tax rand to taxpayers will have to cut down on staff costs. This is the reality if we want to keep Gear on track.

The New NP is of the opinion that the determining of the formula for the allocation of funds to provinces should be re-examined. The horizontal division of national revenue, which has been based mainly on population numbers as part of the formula, must be based on data which is credible and scientifically sound. The 1996 census finding that the population of the Western Cape has declined while the other provinces have more inhabitants, is a good example of findings which do not inspire confidence. Good planning is only possible if reliable date is available, and for that reason the modus operandi of organisations such as Statistics South Africa must be subjected on an ongoing basis to monitoring, international evaluation and performance auditing. A province such as the Western Cape receives approximately 4,6% of its revenue on the basis of the equal share formula of national revenue. The solution to make provinces financially more independent is to examine new sources of revenue within the national framework of legislation. Motor vehicle licences, hospital tariffs and horse racing are not realistic points of departure to make provinces financially more independent. The new source of revenue, gambling, is not the ultimate solution either. An example would be to aim rather to make the levying of airport departure tax a source of revenue for provinces. This would encourage provinces to be more tourist friendly and would serve as an incentive to display proactive investor initiative.

The debate on the identification of new sources of revenue for provinces must take place. We agree with the Minister that this must be in co- operation and in consultation with the Minister’s department. There is no substitute for co-operative governance, when the functions pertain to all three tiers of government. The medium-term expenditure framework, which has a three-year cycle, necessitates our already examining the possible options to make provinces less dependent on central Government.

The post Budget debate which the New NP is advocating, must be inclusive and must include the following five points: Firstly, the purposeful development of a national consensus that provinces must get new sources of revenue; secondly, the re-evaluation of measuring instruments as utilised by the Financial and Fiscal Commission in the allocation of the equal share concept; thirdly, the investigation of ways in which existing sources of revenue can be improved; fourthly - and this is very important - the fast- tracking of Gear in order to implement it successfully; and, fifthly, the undertaking of further research to promote the entire concept of fiscal federalism and get it implemented at the three tiers of government.

We must already start looking at 2006 and 2008. The New NP would like to open the national debate on this now.]

Mr L M GREEN: Chairperson, hon Minister and members, the budget is aggressive in its policy initiatives and confident in its outlook that South Africa will sustain its growth potential. South Africa weathered the storm of the global financial crisis just over a year ago, and for the nations’ resilience, the Budget rewards it with tax benefits. The budgetary governance is good, as it makes predictions and projections more certain and manageable. However, what is more advantageous about the Budget is that it attempts to make South Africa an attractive investment destination. Our Budget deficit has steadied to 2,4% of GDP instead of the predicted 3,4%. There is greater commitment to fiscal discipline and delivery objectives.

However, if we can manage to get our nation to work, the prospect for the future will be much brighter. The Minister said in his speech that the nation, especially the less privileged, must be patient as this country is on the road to a more humane, more caring society. If the rhetoric is good, the reality speaks of a different set of expectations. People want jobs and they want these jobs soon. Their basic needs in respect of security, food and shelter are expectations that cannot wait.

If we say that the Budget is good, we say it is good because those who are employed are the major beneficiaries. It is, of course, right that those who work, save and make a contribution to the nation’s economy, must reap certain benefits. It is also true that social spending has increased and, as the Budget Review states, an estimated 57% now goes to the poorest 40% of our nation. This is commendable.

The ACDP welcomes the increase of R20 per month for pensioners and the disabled. However, if Government can succeed in reducing the ghost pensioners and other forms of corruption in this department, there would be more money available to give to pensioners and the disabled.

With regard to capital gains tax, I think that the Department of Finance has thrown a curve ball at Sars through the introduction of capital gains tax. The reason why I am saying this, is that I question whether Sars can afford the cost and time to administer the complexity of this new tax system, which may prove a burden to an already overstressed institution. Should capital gains tax prove to generate the tax benefit Government hopes to reap, and investment and capital formation show positive signs, then the country must become a competent global competitor to be reckoned with. We hope that Sars will continue to run its business efficiently and especially improve its capability in the field of customer relations and effective service delivery.

If we should look at the Budget from another angle, however, the uncomfortable question is whether the Budget is good enough to stem job losses affecting the lives of thousands, nay, millions of South Africans. It is true that R1,2 billion is earmarked for a jobs summit and poverty relief initiatives and this we also commend.

The real politics we are faced with at grass-roots level, however, is that nearly a million people have lost their jobs since 1994. In this respect the Budget is not positively balanced to ensure the sustaining and creation of jobs. Although small business will benefit as a result of the graduated company tax structure, with the aim that it will encourage those entrepreneurs to flourish, the role of SMMEs as job creation parties remains ill defined.

Access to jobs must become South Africa’s number one priority. Tax reform and economic growth are great testimonies of a country’s management skills. The GDP is expected to grow at about 3,5% for the next few years. It is estimated that at this rate, South Africa should be able to create an additional 75 000 jobs annually. It is therefore ironic that South Africa sheds more jobs than what it creates, in spite of the growth in GDP. It is therefore not the number of policy initiatives we can develop, nor the amount of money we pump into our jobs summit machines, but the number of jobs we have successfully created that determines real economic growth. Economic growth is worthless if it cannot provide employment for our nation. The ACDP believes, however, that South Africa is well poised to attract greater international attention. In this regard we do not mean only the ability to compete on a global scale.

We believe that a greater resurgence of pride to be a South African is possible, and is probably on the rise. As we continue to manage the affairs of the nation with accountability and integrity, wipe out corruption and stamp out crime, as well as encourage respect for civil liberties and diversity, South Africans both at home and abroad will become determined to invest their resources in the development and growth of this country. To achieve this end, we must not be hasty to isolate ourselves from South Africans abroad. Let us establish partnerships with them so that they can share their knowledge and expertise with their country of origin. In other words, since the Budget paints a picture of a growing and successful future South Africa, we believe that great acceleration of our goals will be achieved if we can encourage those abroad with positive incentives to bring their skills back home to our country.

In conclusion, allow me to commend the Minister, the director-general, Ms Maria Ramos, and the department on a job well done. Although we may not support all the Budget Votes, we think that this is a good Budget, and it therefore deserves our support.

Mr C AUCAMP: Chair, may I, in the first instance, congratulate Minister Manuel, not on his Budget - I am supposed to criticise that - but on the excellent Afrikaans he spoke on about one half of the programme Fokus on SABC the day after the Budget Speech. I can assure him that in doing that, he has done more to improve good relations between people than what 100 subpoenas from the HRC can achieve. [Laughter.]

In the press I called this Budget a Robin Hood Budget - taking from the haves to give to the have-nots. In a sense, this can also be called a William Tell Budget. The Minister will have to shoot very accurately to hit the apple and not the head of the South African economy. Belasting op inkomste is wel oor die hele spektrum verlig, maar steeds met die klem op die laer inkomstegroepe. Die verlaging by die hoër en middelinkomstegroepe is eintlik maar net ‘n klein duikie daar bo in ‘n grafiek wat al lank reeds te hoog is.

Ten spyte van die toenemende aanwending van die Begroting as instrument om rykdom te versprei, toon selfstandige studies dat die armste 30% van die bevolking in reële terme steeds armer is as byvoorbeeld in 1992. Waarom? Omdat ekonomiese groei en werkskepping die enigste werklike oplossing is om armoede te verlig. Dit help nie om die koek alewig anders te sny nie. Die koek moet groter gemaak word. Dít kan alleen deur ekonomiese groei gebeur.

Is hierdie Begroting werklik in staat om ekonomiese groei te stimuleer? Dit is ‘n geval van te min, te laat. Besparing, ‘n voorvereiste vir ekonomiese groei, sal nie oor die langtermyn bevorder word nie, aangesien die laer inkomstegroepe wat meestal bevoordeel word ‘n veel groter bestedingsgeneigdheid het.

Ook die aanwending van staatsinkomste is nie positief vir ekonomiese groei nie. Relatief min word geoormerk vir die verbetering van infrastruktuur. Kapitale besteding as persentasie van die bruto binnelandse produk het van 1,6% in 1995 na 0,8% vanjaar afgeneem.

Die instelling van belasting op kapitaalwins mag algemene praktyk in ander lande wees. Die vraag is of dit raadsaam is in ‘n ontwikkelende land waar groei die prioriteit moet wees. In dié verband doen ek ‘n ernstige beroep op die Minister - ek hoop hy luister - dat die toegewing wat op ‘n private woonhuis van toepassing is, uitgebrei sal word na plaaseiendom. Die belasting op kapitaalwins sal gewoon toegevoeg word tot die prys van plaaseiendom, met ‘n gevolglike verhoging in die koste van voedselproduksie, wat weer die armste deel van die bevolking negatief sal raak.

Die dieselkorting vir ‘n man wat sy lewe uit visse maak maar nie vir ‘n man wat sy lewe uit beeste of mielies maak nie, kan ek nie verstaan nie. Dit is op die minste diskriminerend. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Income tax has been alleviated across the entire spectrum, but with the emphasis still on the lower income groups. The reduction for the higher and middle income groups is actually only but a small dent up there in a graph which has been too high for far too long.

Despite the increasing application of the Budget as an instrument for distributing wealth, independent studies indicate that the poorest 30% of the population are, in real terms, still poorer than they were, for example, in 1992. Why? Because economic growth and job creation are the only real solution to alleviate poverty. It does not help to cut the cake differently every time. The cake should be made bigger. This can only happen through economic growth.

Is this Budget really able to stimulate economic growth? It is a question of too little too late. Saving, a prerequisite for economic growth, will not be promoted over the long term, because the lower income groups, that are benefiting most, have a greater tendency towards spending.

The application of state income is also not positive for economic growth. Relatively little is being earmarked for the improvement of infrastructure. Capital expenditure as a percentage of the gross domestic product has decreased from 1,6% in 1995 to 0,8% this year.

The introduction of tax on capital gain might be common practice in other countries. The question is whether this is advisable in a developing country where growth should be the priority. In this regard I am making an earnest appeal on the Minister - I hope that he is listening - that the concession which is applicable on a private dwelling, should be extended to farming property. The tax on capital gain will simply be added to the price of farm property, with a consequent increase in the cost of food production, which in turn will again negatively affect the poorest part of the population.

The diesel rebate for a man who makes his living from fishes, but not for a man who makes his living from cattle or mealies, I cannot understand. This is discrimination in the least.]

May I conclude with an important remark by the Union Bank of Switzerland on the role of government expenditure. I quote:

As a political and bureaucratic decision-making mechanism is less efficient than that of the market, each shift in economic activity should be to the private sector. [Time expired.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! The next hon member is going to make her maiden speech. [Applause.]

Mrs R R JOEMAT: Chairperson and hon members, I am going to speak about what the Budget means to women. I am honoured to give this input on the day on which we had a debate on International Women’s Day.

The hon the Minister, Trevor Manuel, started his speech by quoting from a book by Ben Okri, A Way of Being Free. He referred to the theory of the scientist Darwin, namely the survival of the fittest. He also referred to various animal species. I was not sure where to place the woman. Are we the gold fishes or are we the sharks? Are we the birds that have mastered the art of flying without perching? I must proclaim that women have mastered the art of survival, because we are wise, the most adaptive and the most aware. We are the rock of the nation.

A budget is commonly known as an estimate or plan of expenditure in relation to income. Many women tell me that they do not need to put their budget on paper, because they know exactly where the income will go to, that is to feed and clothe the family. Our grandmothers and mothers used an innovative money purse. My mother would tie the money in a handkerchief and keep it safely in the brassier. From that knot of the handkerchief the family would be managed financially. She would know exactly how much unspent funds there were left.

Now that the economy is left in the hands of our ANC-led Government, the poorest of the poor must benefit. In a Business Report article of the Cape Times of Tuesday, 22 February, Zurinah Maharaj speculated before the Budget was made known. She raised the concern that the Budget must tackle the gender inequality, and mentioned various areas that had to be addressed. Let me tell Zurinah that we are on course, as the President said.

As our Minister stated, and I quote:

This House has had many a member emphasise that our success as a nation depends on our ability to reduce inequality and overcome poverty.

Changes impacting on the poorest of those who are mostly bearing the brunt of caring - that is the women, who care for their children, the young, the old, the disabled, the ill and those who are themselves at the bottom of each of these groups - have been favoured and targeted by the Minister.

The Budget Review and the expenditure survey in different areas of Government are diverse. We are under no illusion as to how far we have yet to go, but the foundation has been laid. In my constituency - which is in the area of Athlone in the Western Cape, including Surrey Estate, Manenberg and Heideveld - we as a group of women, went through the Budget and this is what we say: We should not just look at this Budget, but must also look at the changes effected by the Bills passed by this House since 1994, and how this has improved the lives of women.

This Budget makes the most far-reaching tax reform. Previously, married women were unfairly discriminated against. We had to pay more tax than men. Thanks to our ANC-led Government, equality is restored in our tax structure. Research has shown that the majority of women fall within the earning band of middle income and lower income, and more women are over the age of 65. We do outlive the men, generally. [Interjections.]

The tax relief will be a benefit to these women. It is common knowledge that small to medium enterprises hold great potential for employment, and that large numbers of women can realise income-generating activities in such businesses. Now, qualifying small corporates will only pay 15% on the first R100 000 of taxable income, and 30% thereafter. This is surely an incentive for more women to enter and stay in this area of employment, especially rural women.

The access to financial support must not be divorced from the tax relief that has been given to small businesses. Women should not only aspire to SMEs. The significant absence of women in big corporate worlds must be addressed. Women’s wages have grown and the economic gender gaps seem to be closing, yet women’s wages in both developed and developing countries lag behind, at about two thirds of those of men. The challenge is to determine how to facilitate, encourage and support young women in early participation on the positive track in the workforce. Women must support each other and form a network linked to other substructures globally. Nonprofit organisations play an important role in our society. It is here where large numbers of women are employed. They assist development by extending social services to our communities. Now that tax deductability for donations has been extended, we want to make a call on individuals in this House and others, especially businesses, to donate generously to the institutions as outlined by the Minister.

Significant amounts of funds have been allocated to upgrading systems and to improving performance within the integrated justice sector, and must contribute to a safer and crime-free society. Criminals continue to prey on our communities, raping women, amongst other things, and abusing the aged and children. Our communities are constantly living in fear. These criminals are no role models for our children and they must be dealt with by our justice system.

Spending on social services such as Education, Health and Welfare takes up the bulk of the Budget. The social safety net has been widened with more relief to the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed, as well as to poor families with children. The increase in the number of child support grants is an encouraging sign. This proves that we are a caring nation, especially for the poorest children and the aged in our country.

A special allocation of R1,2 billion has been made for poverty relief, infrastructure investment and Jobs Summit projects. As women we must assert ourselves to ensure that women benefit. The fact that there is now more money in the pockets of women, mothers, single mothers and grandmothers means that the children will benefit, and therefore the nation will benefit. If the income is left in women’s hands, the children tend to benefit more than when it is in the hands of men. [Interjections.] I say again: We are under no illusion as to how far we have yet to go, but we are on course.

I would like to conclude with a quote from one of our greatest leaders, Comrade Oliver Tambo:

A nation can never be completely free unless the women are free.

Malibongwe! [Let us praise the power of women!] [Interjections.] [Applause.] Mr J DURAND: Chairperson, hon members, the Budget deals with revenue and expenditure. Our income is derived from taxes that we take from those who earn and loans that we must pay back at a price. Expenditure is the cost to run the country. The Budget is thus the structure through which Government implements its vision for the country.

The President has promised South Africans a better life for all. To some a better life might mean a second car, an overseas holiday, investments hedged against inflation and a comfortable retirement. To the people where I live, a better life means a job, affordable housing, access to clean water, basic education and health care. The latter is very basic and should be possible for a country such as ours to achieve, but the facts and their implications are startling. Fifty per cent of African women between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed. A small number of school-leavers will find jobs this year.

Now, governments have tried to take from those who have, and give to those who need, in the hope that some force would create sustainable equity. Experiences in the past century have indicated that this route leads to economic collapse and social disorder. What do we need to do? Suid-Afrika het nou ‘n geleentheid wat net een keer in ‘n leeftyd voorkom. Ons sal uit hierdie nou band van ekonomiese groei moet beweeg na die vlakke van 5% en 6% ekonomiese groei. Sekere ekonome voel dat hierdie vlakke van groei nie volgehou sal kan word nie as gevolg van strukturele probleme in die ekonomie, soos die swak vaardighede van werkers, die skoolkrisis en misdaad. Die Regering sal dus hierdie probleme so gou as moontlik moet oplos.

Sedert 1994 het die Regering net die minimum gedoen om ‘n klimaat te skep wat bevorderlik is vir beleggings. Die Regering sal moed en dapperheid aan die dag moet lê. Buitelandse beleggings en versnelde ekonomiese groei sal nou hoog op die Regering se agenda moet wees. Die G7-lande het wegbeweeg van hulp aan ontwikkelende lande, en die klem na handel en belegging verskuif. Internasionale ondervinding het getoon dat buitelandse belegging ‘n kragtige stimulus is vir ‘n land se ekonomiese mededingendheid en dat dit tot hoër en meer volhoubare ekonomiese groei lei. Sonder buitelandse beleggings sal dit onmoontlik wees om sukses in die internasionale wêreld te behaal. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[South Africa now has an opportunity which only comes around once in a lifetime. We will have to move out of this narrow band of economic growth to economic growth rates of 5% and 6%. Certain economists are of the opinion that these rates of growth cannot be sustained because of structural problems in the economy, such as the poor skills of workers, the school crisis and crime. Therefore, the Government will have to solve these problems as soon as possible.

Since 1994 the Government has done the bare minimum to create a climate which is conducive to investment. The Government will have to display courage and fortitude. Foreign investments and accelerated economic growth will now have to be high on the agenda of the Government. The G7 countries have moved away from providing aid to developing countries, and have shifted the emphasis to trade and investment. International experience has shown that foreign investment is a powerful stimulus to a country’s economic competitiveness and that this leads to higher and more sustainable economic growth. Without foreign investment it will be impossible to attain success in the international world.]

A very important role-player for growth in world trade is multinational companies. MNCs have the capacity to generate funding from own resources or from commercial banks; they can contribute to job creation and the transfer of important technological and managerial skills; they bring with them foreign exchange, high levels of economic growth and access for the host country to international markets, BMW and Volkswagen being good examples of this; they are a very stable form of investment; and they invest in infrastructure, which creates economic confidence.

We must publicly, as Government. acknowledge the importance of the private sector in economic growth. Our labour legislation and tax laws must support such sentiments. The privatisation of state assets has already attracted British and Malaysian investors. State assets become more productive and profitable once they are managed by the private sector. This will increase revenue for social services, create jobs and decrease Government spending.

We need to look at investment incentives to improve the investment climate, such as tax holidays, subsidised loans, loan guarantees and lower import and export duties. The world markets are very competitive, and we must use this window of opportunity to promote international trade and investment. We should act with speed. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Debate interrupted.

The House adjourned at 18:03. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 (1)    On 2 March 2000 the National Council of Provinces agreed to the
     Land Affairs General Amendment Bill [B 64B - 99] (National
     Assembly - sec 75), subject to proposed amendments. (See also
     Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports, p 140.) The Bill
     and proposed amendments were thereupon, in terms of Rule 270 of
     the National Assembly, referred to the Portfolio Committee on
     Agriculture and Land Affairs for consideration and report.

 (2)    The following paper was tabled on 6 March 2000 and is now
     referred to the Joint Monitoring Committee on Improvement of Life
     and Status of Children, Youth and Disabled Persons:

     Youth Manifesto for the Twenty-First Century adopted by the World
     Parliament of Children on 24 October 1999.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces: Bills:

  1. The Minister for Provincial and Local Government:
 Wysigingswetsontwerp op die Besoldiging van Openbare Ampsbekleërs [W 11
 - 2000]

 The Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Bill [B 11 - 2000] (National
 Assembly - sec 76(1)) was introduced by the Minister for Provincial and
 Local Government on 6 March 2000 and referred to the Portfolio
 Committee on Provincial and Local Government.


  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry:
 (1)    Reports of the Board of Tariffs and Trade on the -

     (a)     Reinstatement of the duty on engine valves, Report No

     (b)     Reduction in the rate of duty on vitamins used in animal
          feed, Report No 3868;

     (c)     Withdrawal of provisions under rebate items
          313.01.39.16/01.00, 313.01/39.17/01.00 and
          313.01/5906.99/01.01.06, Report No 3869;

     (d)     Reduction in the rate of duty on various rubber chemicals,
          Report No 3871;

     (e)     Withdrawal of the provisions under certain rebate items,
          Report No 3872.

 Referred to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and the
 Select Committee on Economic Affairs.
  1. The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
 Proclamation No R.2 published in the Government Gazette No 20826 dated
 21 January 2000, Commencement of sections 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 of the Debt
 Collectors Act, 1998 (Act No 114 of 1998).

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


National Assembly:

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Welfare and Population Development on the Nonprofit Organisations Amendment Bill [B 9 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 8 March 2000:

    The Portfolio Committee on Welfare and Population Development, having considered the subject of the Nonprofit Organisations Amendment Bill [B 9 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75), referred to it and classified by the JTM as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill without amendment.

  2. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the Lotteries Amendment Bill [B 13 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75), dated 8 March 2000:

    The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, having considered the subject of the Lotteries Amendment Bill [B 13 - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75), referred to it and classified by the JTM as a section 75 Bill, reports the Bill with amendments [B 13A

    • 2000].
  3. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government on the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Amendment Bill [B 11B - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 76), dated 8 March 2000: The Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government, having considered the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Amendment Bill [B 11B - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 76), recommitted to it, reports the Bill with amendments [B 11C - 2000].

 Report to be considered.