National Assembly - 14 February 2001



The House met at 14:01.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mrs N B GXOWA: Madam Speaker, I hereby 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 Nkosi Johnson has been readmitted to hospital; (2) sympathises with Nkosi and his family in his hour of crisis;

(3) empathises with all children who are living with HIV/Aids or who have been made Aids orphans;

(4) calls on the nation for prayerful attention to the plight of all children such as Nkosi Johnson;

(5) urges communities, extended families, support networks and health workers to reach out to all such affected children;

(6) salutes all those people, networks and NGOs who are giving selflessly without regard to fame and material gain; and

(7) expresses the hope that a caring ethos will forever shine on all the dark places in the lives of all our people.


Mr G B D McINTOSH: Madam Speaker, 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 President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean government’s increasingly racist and intolerant style of operation …


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please proceed, hon member.


   ... exemplified by -

   (a)  President Mugabe's racial incitement at the most recent Zanu-PF

   (b)  the threatening of white and Indian judges of the Zimbabwean
       High Court with intimidation if they do not resign; and
   (c)  the blowing up of the printing presses of the Daily News

(2) observes that -

   (a)  democracy and human rights are violated;

   (b)  the people of Zimbabwe are suffering economically under this
       oppressive regime; and

   (c)  these actions are a disgrace and a shame to all of us who are
       proud of being Africans and democrats ...

[Time expired.]

Mr J H SLABBERT: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I will move:

That the House -

(1) notes media reports reflecting on the deficiencies of AMC vehicles imported from Indonesia and regards it as a matter of great concern; (2) supports the SABS in ensuring that standards are maintained in the interest of the safety and wellbeing of all the citizens of South Africa; and

(3) calls on the Government to ensure, in no uncertain terms, that suspect products and substandard goods are not imported into our country.

Mrs M M MALUMISE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the ANC:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  that international development agency Oxfam has called on
       pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline to show moral leadership
       in the fight for affordable medicines by withdrawing from the
       court case against the Government; and

   (b)  the hollow remarks by the hon Tony Leon that his party would
       support parallel importing and compulsory licensing, while it
       continues to oppose legislation passed by this House which will
       provide just that;

(2) calls on drug companies to withdraw their morally reprehensible court action which is resulting in daily loss of life; and

(3) urges the DP and the New NP to cease talking with forked tongues and instead support Government initiatives to bring affordable health care to all.


Adv A H GAUM: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I will move:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the resignation of Michael Louis as leader, national chairperson
       and member of the ACDP, because the ACDP did not honour its
       commitment to support the Democratic Alliance in the Boland
       district municipality, but supported the ANC instead; and

   (b)  that this constitutes an enormous credibility crisis for the
       ACDP; and

(2) calls on the ACDP leader, the hon Kenneth Meshoe, to expel the two councillors who voted for the ANC mayoral candidate.


Mr S ABRAM: Madam Speaker, I move:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the statement by the hon the President that 917 220 hectares of
       land has been handed over since 1994 to 37 396 beneficiaries,
       translating to an average of 24,52 hectares per beneficiary;

   (b)  the hon the President's emphasis on rural development and
       identification of agriculture and tourism as amongst the sectors
       with a potential for higher growth rates, job creation and the
       eradication of poverty; and

   (c)  his concern about the ability of small and medium entrepreneurs
       to access capital; and

(2) calls upon the Government to -

   (a)  accelerate the identification and distribution of suitable and
       economically viable state-owned agricultural and pastoral land,
       focusing on the development of a strong commercial sector in
       addition to subsistence farming;

   (b)  research the impact of emerging small commercial farmers' agri-
       villages, agri-industries, tourism and other enterprises on
       rural revitalisation and stability;

   (c)  inject further capital into the Land Bank, which is leading with
       innovative microfinance packages, to pursue subsidised interest
       rates ...

[Time expired.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! When you started, you said: ``I move’’. I assume that you realise that we are now dealing with notices of motion, and you did not really mean that you move the motion now.

Mr S ABRAM: I give notice.

Mr D A A OLIFANT: Madam Speaker, I hereby 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 DA in the Western Cape has gone on a purging spree in the Cape Town unicity;

(2) further notes that the DP accused the ANC government of appointing party loyalists in top jobs in government departments, and is now trying to defend its own appointment of political stooges in top jobs in Cape Town, sacrificing skills and experience for narrow party loyalty;

(3) also notes the unwillingness of the DP and the New NP to escape their respective and collective hypocrisy as a tool of political expediency; and

(4) concurs that this kind of hypocrisy, half-truths and misinformation is what we can expect with the DA in local government, instead of delivery and accountability.


Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the PAC:

That the House -

(1) notes that -

   (a)  globalisation, which is now a drive to homogenise the world at
       all levels - economically, ideologically, politically and, more
       perniciously, culturally - is not a new phenomenon, but may lead
       to the recolonisation of Africa if its leaders are not vigilant;

   (b)  the view of the PAC is that globalisation is widening the gap
       between the developed and developing nations of Africa in
       particular, the example being that 358 billionaires, mainly in
       Western countries, own more than the combined income of 40% of
       the world's population; and

   (c)  the PAC proposes that those who desire a global humanity must
       struggle to humanise the globe by cancelling the African debt
       and responding to Aids, which is ravaging Africa, and engaging
       the rapid economic industrialisation of Africa, especially by
       sharing more modern technology with Africa; and

(2) resolves that for Africa the correct response to globilisation is Pan- African unity and Pan-Africanism, as Africa cannot participate in global affairs without unity, because otherwise it would be part of a partnership where Africans are horses while others are riders.

Dr P W A MULDER: Mevrou die Speaker, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die VF sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis -

(1) sy skok en ernstige afkeur uitspreek oor die aanslag wat tans op lede van die regbank van Zimbabwe gemaak word;

(2) voorts die rassistiese optrede van mnr Chenjerai Hunzvi, wat doodsdreigemente aan blanke regters insluit, ten sterkste veroordeel; en

(3) sy ernstige kommer uitspreek oor die gevolge van hierdie onverantwoordelike optrede vir die demokrasie in Suider-Afrika, en derhalwe ‘n ernstige beroep op president Mbeki doen om môre, tydens sy repliek, sodanige optrede ten sterkste te veroordeel en die Regering se standpunt hieroor duidelik te stel. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Dr P W A Mulder: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day I shall move on behalf of the FF:

That the House -

(1) expresses its shock at and grave disapproval of the onslaught that is currently being made against members of the Zimbabwean judiciary;

(2) furthermore condemns in the strongest possible terms the racist actions by Mr Chenjerai Hunzvi, including death threats against white judges; and

(3) expresses its grave concern about the consequences of these irresponsible actions for democracy in Southern Africa, and therefore earnestly appeals to President Mbeki to condemn such actions in the strongest possible terms in his reply tomorrow, and to state clearly the Government’s position in this regard.]

Mrs Z A KOTA: Madam Speaker, I hereby 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 reluctance of the DA-controlled Cape Town council, otherwise known as the Peter Marais-controlled council, to speed up delivery of free water and electricity to the poor communities of the Cape Flats;

(2) further notes that the DA is cutting down security on Cape Flats trains, exposing their election pledge of safety for all as yet another empty promise;

(3) concurs that the DA does not have a plan that will ensure delivery of even minimum services to all the people; and

(4) agrees that the DA remains a party for the few, not the many, and that the myth of the Western Cape being a model province is exposed for what it is.


Mrs B N SONO: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) notes the planned removal of 3 500 residents of Alexandra by the Gauteng housing department to Braamfischerville in Soweto and Diepsloot;

(2) further notes that these persons live in grossly inadequate and unhealthy circumstances, which make rehousing an imperative;

(3) considers that there are landless people in Braamfischerville as well who feel aggrieved at being placed behind the new arrivals in the housing queue;

(4) requests that the Government give resonance to it’s Batho Pele principle by transferring so-called superfluous state land'', which is also readily disposable anyway, to the homeless free of charge on a plannedone household, one plot’’ approach with security of tenure and rights to land; and

(5) notes the poor services infrastructure in Braamfischerville, and requests that detailed insight be provided to Parliament as to how the Gauteng housing department intends addressing the infrastructure problem with the planned influx.

Dr R RABINOWITZ: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I will move:

That the House -

(1) calls on the Minister of Health to -

   (a)  apply for an urgent licence to import generic versions of patent-
       protected medicines for the treatment of HIV and Aids-related
       illness, in order to make cheaper medicines available for

   (b)  withdraw the clause from the Medicines and Related Substances
       Control Amendment Act dealing with parallel importation of
       drugs; and

   (c)  abandon efforts to acquire cheaper Aids medication by allowing
       third parties to import generic equivalents of patent-protected
       medicines, outside of the normal channels of control; and

(2) notes that the acquisition of such a licence is compliant with the law, is justified by urgent need and would respect patent rights.

Mr T M GONIWE: Madam Speaker, I hereby 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 opportunistic visits by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Marthinus van Schalkwyk to the graves of our struggle heroes;

(2) believes that these heroes fought for the rights of all South Africans, and that all South Africans should honour these heroes of our liberation;

(3) urges Mr Van Schalkwyk, in future, to show more respect and sensitivity for the memories of our heroes by conducting his visits with humility and without the attendant glare of publicity; and

(4) calls on Mr Van Schalkwyk to show his true remorse at the behaviour of his political forebears by signing the ``Declaration of Commitment by White South Africans’’.


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

That the House -

(1) notes that -

   (a)  40% of businesses canvassed in a survey by the British Chamber
       of Business in South Africa are leaving their options open as
       regards leaving South Africa for personal reasons;

   (b)  16% have indicated that their business could disinvest; and

   (c)  the participants were particularly concerned about the inability
       of the SA Government to combat crime, violence and corruption;

(2) urges the Government to reassess its priorities and admit that crime is hurting our economy and harming our people; and

(3) further urges the Minister of Safety and Security to focus his energy on curbing crime in South Africa, and not to make irresponsible statements to victims of crime.

Mr M E MABETA: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the UDM: That the House, in keeping with accepted international norms in all democracies in which the independence of the judiciary is recognised and respected, and in keeping with our own constitutional principles on the separation of powers and the recognition of the role and integrity of the judiciary; urges our Government to avoid a situation such as the one in Zimbabwe where judges are forced to resign from the High Court if they disagree with the executive.

Mr R K SEPTEMBER: Madam Speaker, I hereby 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 racist stand taken by DA councillor Ian Iverson in the city of Cape Town to restrict the use of the Newlands rugby and cricket grounds to exclude soccer matches;

(2) also notes that soccer is a well-loved sport among the Cape Flats communities, and that the PSL also needs proper facilities and solid revenue; (3) concurs that the DA’s inherent racism, incompatible alliance and unfair historical bias to minority privileges rob the people of Cape Town and South Africans in general of fairness, equity and a better life for all; and

(4) calls on Tony Leon, or whoever is in control of the misguided missiles of the DA, to expel the racists.


                         GUJARAT EARTHQUAKE

                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the terrible earthquake that occurred in India a few weeks ago,
       destroying lives and property and causing pain to the people of
       India; and

   (b)  that rescue workers from all over the world, including South
       Africa, were dispatched to help those that sustained injury in
       this terrible disaster;

(2) expresses heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones; and

(3) extends its sympathies to the government and people of India.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

That, notwithstanding Rule 298, the House resumes the proceedings on the National Council for Library and Information Services Bill [B 44B - 2000] (National Assembly - sec 75) from the stage reached during the previous session.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

That the Main Appropriation Bill, upon its introduction, be referred to the Portfolio Committee on Finance, the Committee, notwithstanding Rule 290(3), to report to the House within 17 consecutive working days.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the draft resolution printed in my name on the Order Paper, as follows:

That, notwithstanding the resolution adopted on 1 November 2000, the date by which the Ad Hoc Committee on Filling of Vacancies in Commission for Gender Equality must complete its task be extended from 15 February 2001 to 15 March 2001.

Agreed to.

                         PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS

          (Resumption of Debate on Subject for Discussion)

The MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Deputy President, hon members and all protocol observed, today all of us, by our presence and by our celebration in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory on and give hope to new-born liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud.

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africa must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today.

I wonder how many of us still remember when, where and by whom these words were uttered? I do hope that we all remember. If we do not, let me put hon members out of their misery. These words were uttered by former President Mandela as he ushered in a new South Africa.

How many of us in our daily deeds, as ordinary South Africans and as hon members of this House, are true to those words? We all have to answer this question frankly and honestly. More importantly, we indeed have to act in the way that former President Mandela articulated. If we do not, we are betraying our country and humanity.

This new-born liberty came with expectations, responsibilities and obligations. I will deal with some of them, especially those pertaining to the region, the continent and the world. It is expected, and indeed correct, that we must discharge our responsibilities and participate in the life and development of our regional and continental organisations.

As many hon members are aware, the health of SADC is of critical importance to us as a country, as it has a direct impact on our future, just as it does in regard to all the other member states. It is thus in our collective interest to raise and attempt to answer some pertinent questions on SADC. The past few years have been a difficult and trying time for the organisation. Recognising this, member states have undertaken a comprehensive review of the mandate and operations of the various SADC structures. This review was managed by a review committee which comprised Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. The review committee is all the more critical, given that other regional organisations such as ECOWAS have overtaken us in terms of the rationalisation and integration process.

To this end, the review committee has come up with recommendations for reforming the organisation. Early in March, there will be an extraordinary summit of heads of state and governments to look at the recommendations, so as to conclude the discussion phase and start the actual implementation of the reforms. SADC has to be geared for the new challenges and the fast- changing world.

With regard to the OAU, we have already made significant progress towards the reform of the organisation. This reform was necessitated by the organisations with institutional resources and capacity, which diminish its ability to execute its various mandates properly. A good example of this is the fact that its response to potential conflicts is hampered by the absence of an early warning system and adequate capacity for peace building and peacekeeping.

To address these and other related issues, it was decided to accelerate the implementation of the Abuja Treaty and the establishment of the African Union. This entails the establishment of institutions such as the African Monetary Union, the African Court of Justice and the Pan-African Parliament. Although the Pan-African Parliament will only initially have advisory powers, it is very important because for the first time in African history it will provide legislative representatives from all member states with a forum in which they can air their views and hold consultations. Additionally, it provides that by consensus in the summit, the African Union can intervene in the internal affairs of member states in respect of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Conversely, it also provides that member states can request the intervention of the African Union to restore peace and stability in their individual states. Flowing from this, it is very clear that the African Union also has to participate in the economic life of the continent. The African Union does provide those structures which will look at development in the various member states.

In addition to that, the OAU mandated Presidents Mbeki and Phuthaflika to deal with the debt burden in Africa, and the South Summit mandated both of them, together with President Obasanjo, to engage the G8 leaders on the eve of their summit in Okinawa, convey the concerns of the South and develop a constructive partnership with the North for the regeneration of the African continent. As a result and in recognition of the fact that it should be the architect of its own regeneration, these African leaders are formulating a strategy programme for the renewal of our continent. A programme which members heard the President refer to as MARP in his speech.

The Millennium African Recovery Programme is a commitment by African leaders, both individually and collectively, to place Africa firmly on the path towards sustainable growth and development. MARP speaks of an Africa which seeks to engage the world at large in a constructive partnership for mutual benefit and not from a position of dependency. It further requires this not just among Africans, but also invites industrialised countries and multilateral institutions to join the initiative. This must be based on a binding commitment to an agreed set of obligations with accompanying milestones and timeframes.

As Africans we are already reaping some of the benefits of structured relationships with other organisations and institutions such as the European Union, the Nordic countries, China, Japan, the USA, France and others. In this regard, the Summit of the South was an important event in preparing for the Millennium Summit. Important decisions were made at the South Summit which were carried to the Millennium Summit. The outcome of that Millennium Summit - in the form of the millennium declaration - offers further opportunities to advance and solutions for creating better wealth for all humanity. But it also recognises that Africa is a special challenge for the rest of the world.

Another important obligation is our participation in the United Nations and all related structures. We all know that the UN was established when its membership was very small and in a different environment. The present realities, however, are not reflected in the structures and the decision- making processes. In this regard it is important to call for and support the reform of the United Nations Security Council and Bretton Woods institutions, including the World Trade Organisation.

Similarly, there is an urgent need to reform the international financial architect. Bodies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are undemocratic and not responsive to the needs of the developing world. However, the restructuring process is hampered not only by technical and conceptual problems, but by political constraints and conflicts of interest.

South Africa is an important player in the reform of all these organisations. Different Ministers are members of different committees and participate in reforming these organisations. But South Africa is also recognised as an important player and, therefore, has been asked to host a number of conferences between now and next year. One of those conferences is the Un Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. It is indeed appropriate that this conference is to be held on the African continent, because it was on this continent that major struggles against racism were waged and won, even though not completely. Therefore, it will be necessary for us as South Africans to reflect on what we want the outcome of this conference to be.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development and the Johannesburg Earth Summit in the Year 2002, will provide an important opportunity for the entire world to review and assess progress achieved to date in the implementation of the outcome of the Rio Summit. It will also commit us to explore and find a balance between economic and social development, and environmental protection. As one can see, these issues are especially relevant to South Africa, Africa and the entire developing world.

In June next year South Africa will also host the Organisation of African Unity Summit and from June this year we will be part of a troika of the OAU. South Africa also plays a major role in the Nonaligned Movement, the G77 and the Commonwealth. Our President, as we know, has been tasked with dealing with the reforms of the Commonwealth. It is therefore evident that South Africa is seen as a major player in the international arena. The high regard in which we are held internationally is appropriate recognition of our people’s achievements.

As recently as 10 years ago South Africa was regarded as a pariah state. Today we are a vibrant player in the region, in the continent and in the world, holding and exercising a number of critical obligations and responsibilities. Given this, I find it extremely puzzling that there have been complaints from some quarters at home that the President spends too much time travelling abroad.

It is difficult to imagine how we can discharge these responsibilities and obligations without him ever leaving the country. The President of a liberated South Africa has to fulfil his international obligations. He cannot stay at home and marginalise our country in a world which is so integrated. In a century of globalisation, who wants a President who does not command respect in the global village? [Interjections.] The previous presidents did not travel, because no one wanted their participation. Apartheid South Africa had nothing to offer to the region except misery, death and destruction.

The President does us proud as a South African head of state. His commitment, not only to the people of South Africa and the African continent, but to humanity is commendable. I can assure him that ordinary South African citizens who love humanity, both black and white, support him. Let me also say that in all his travels he must please be assured that my department and our diplomatic missions abroad stand ready to receive him and to provide him with all the support and assistance he requires. I therefore invite him to consider us his home away from home. [Applause.]

Gen C L VILJOEN: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Mr Deputy President and members, I would like to react to the previous speaker by saying that we all agree that Africa is a challenge. But I do not think that it is a challenge for the rest of the world. Africa is, firstly, our challenge and also that of the President of our Republic.

Die algemene reaksie op die openingsrede van die President behoort vir hom ‘n aanduiding te wees van hoe die mense van hierdie land na positiewe leiding en toekomsgerigtheid smag. Almal is moeg om van die retoriek van die verlede te hoor. Die eerste paar minute van die toespraak was vir my neerdrukkend toe woorde soos fateful past'' en 'n konferensie oor rassisme weer geopper is. Aan die einde van die toespraak het ek my die vraag afgevra of dieunity in action for change’’ van die President die regte oproep was. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[The general reaction to the opening address of the President should be an indication to him of how much the people of this country are yearning for positive guidance and looking towards the future. Everyone is tired of hearing the rhetoric of the past. The first few minutes of the speech I found depressing, when words such as fateful past'' and a conference on racism were mentioned again. At the end of the speech I asked myself whether the President'sunity in action for change’’ was the right call.]

Instead, the President should have called for ``unity in action for development’’. That is what we all should unite for: peace, prosperity and happiness for all. The negativity of a mood of uncertainty will be addressed by the President once he shows the way for the country as a whole, and not for a section only.

There is no doubt that the view of the President on the importance of the microeconomy, particularly, is correct. There is no doubt that the creation of jobs, liberating the economy, investment in infrastructure, integrated rural development, urban renewal as well as incentives for export are priorities.

However, I want to send a warning on two issues. Firstly, available investment should be directed at the productive sectors, and not at social spending. Even the infrastructure improvement should be prioritised to ensure maximum job creation and growth. Secondly, when the President speaks of Government intervention or regulatory actions in the economy, we need to be careful. The FF favours the concept of free enterprise and as little intervention as possible by the Government.

It is the primary function of a government in any country to foster the right climate for growth. This can be done by creating confidence for development and investment, ensuring stability, caring for infrastructure, providing incentives, lowering input costs, which impacts on the labour laws, training and developing human resources, and creating a culture of saving and work, instead of the weekly madness of spending food money on lotto tickets. No matter in how detailed a manner the Government plans, regulates or intervenes, if the climate is not suitable economic growth will evade us.

In all humility I wish to point out certain factors affecting the climate for growth in our country. Firstly, with regard to the President’s management style, he should, in my opinion, spend more time internally and visit the priority departments which are vital to the achievement of the broad outline of his policy speech. The hopes created in his speech can only be achieved by a style of decentralised management, and objectives which have been jointly decided upon by the President and his senior Ministers.

Secondly, we have to deal with the very important objective of the African Renaissance. This task, which we all accept to be a high priority to the President, is of far greater magnitude than is generally admitted. The President, together with his colleagues in Africa, could have created the best broad plan, but should have delegated the more detailed work of that plan to special envoys, working as teams, to interact as widely as necessary in Africa.

Thirdly, there is the question of crime. Apart from mentioning the commitment to pay attention to crime, the President does not seem, to me, to be particularly concerned about this situation. He has not even mentioned the farm murderers, and has not indicated any special effort to deal with this cancer. Now that the country has the new powerful local government structures, a possible way of dealing with this ever-increasing problem is to decentralise those functions, which can best be dealt with at a decentralised level involving the whole community in combating crime.

Die vierde saak wat die klimaat om groei te bevorder nadelig beïnvloed, is die persepsie by minderheidsgroepe dat die meerderheid die politieke mag bekom het en dit net tot voordeel van die meerderheid aanwend, soos ook die Portugese gemeenskap tans ervaar. Dit ondermyn die lojaliteit en die patriotisme van die minderheidsgroepe teenoor die groter geheel van ons staat. Dit lei tot polarisasie.

Vyf jaar lank is die kommissie belas met die regte van minderheidsgroepe jaar ná jaar uitgestel. Die President het dit nie eens nodig geag om vanjaar in sy openingsrede te verwys na hierdie belangrike uitstaande aangeleentheid nie, en hy verseg verder om met die VF te onderhandel oor die billike, internasionaal aanvaarde toepassing van selfbeskikking soos dit in ons Grondwet vervat is.

Die Regering se onlangse weiering om die gemeenskap van Orania se eenparige versoek vir billike gemeenskapselfbeskikking op die vlak van plaaslike regering te handhaaf is ‘n verdere aanduiding dat die President en sy Regering die rug gedraai het op minderheidsgroepe se regte, en verwag dat minderheidsgroepe vrywillig sal saamsmelt met die meerderheid. Dit is die pad van konflik en vervreemding. Dieselfde geld vir behoeftes om ons tradisionele leiers van etnokulturele gemeenskappe ‘n waardige plek in die son van ons demokrasie te gee.

Die nalating om te verwys na die uiters ernstige toestand van die kommersiële landbousektor bevestig vir my die persepsie dat die Regering landbou-onvriendelik is. As boerderywins in vyf jaar met 44% daal, brutowins in een boekjaar - 1998-99 - met 43% daal en grondwaardes sedert die boekjaar 1996-97 met 40% afgeneem het, sou ‘n mens verwag dat hierdie strategiese bedryf in die openingsrede genoem sal word. Laastens raak die Heath-sage die klimaat in ons land negatief. My nederige advies sou wees dat dit nie te laat is om die fout reg te stel nie. Die regter kan uitgelaat word as hy die probleem is, maar sy eenheid behoort toegelaat te word om die saak saam met die ander liggame te ondersoek. Dit sal die regte klimaat vir ‘n anti-korrupsiegevoel in die land skep.

Die President het hoop geskep met ‘n nuwe gees in sy toespraak, maar die klimaat in die land is nog droog. Ons kort reën. Groei is afhanklik van die regte grond en klimaat. Suid-Afrika is ‘n land van diversiteit. Dit is soos die President gesê het, daar is miljoene sigbare en onsigbare bande wat die dele aan mekaar vasbind, maar patriotisme en nasionale eenheid sal net in die regte klimaat van verdraagsaamheid blom om die vrugte vir veral ekonomiese groei te lewer. Dit is ons almal se uitdaging. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The fourth issue that is detrimentally affecting the climate for growth is the perception among minority groups that the majority gained political power and is using it to the benefit of the majority only, as the Portugese community is at present experiencing. This undermines the loyalty and patriotism of the minority groups towards the greater whole of our state. This leads to polarisation.

For five years the commission entrusted with the rights of minority groups has been postponed year after year. The President did not even deem it necessary to make reference to this important outstanding issue in his opening address this year, and he also flatly refuses to negotiate with the FF in respect of the fair, internationally accepted implementation of self- determination as contained in our Constitution.

The Government’s recent refusal to uphold the unanimous request by the community of Orania for community self-determination at the local government level is a further indication that the President and his Government have turned their back on the rights of minority groups, and expect minority groups to merge with the majority voluntarily. This is the path to conflict and alienation. The same applies to the need to afford our traditional leaders of ethno-cultural communities a worthy place in the sun of our democracy.

The failure to mention the extremely serious state of the commercial agricultural sector confirms to me the perception that the Government is agriculture unfriendly. If farming profits decline by 44% in the space of five years, gross profits decline by 43% in one financial year - 1998-99 - and land values have declined by 40% since the 1996-97 financial year, one would expect this strategic industry to be mentioned in the opening address.

Lastly the Heath saga is having a negative effect on the climate in our country. My humble advice would be that it is not yet too late to rectify the error. The judge may be left out if he is the problem, but his unit should be allowed to investigate the matter together with the other bodies. This will create the right climate for an anti-corruption feeling in the country.

The President gave hope with a new spirit in his address, but the climate in the country is still dry. We need rain. Growth depends on the right soil and climate. South Africa is a country of diversity. It is as the President said, there are millions of visible and invisible ties that bind the parts to one another, but patriotism and national unity will only flourish in the right climate of tolerance in order for us to reap the fruits of economic growth in particular. This is the challenge facing all of us.]

Dr Z P JORDAN: Madam Speaker, Comrade President, Deputy President, hon members, comrades and colleagues, ``I was merely following orders.’’ That was the gravamen of the defence Adolph Eichman proffered to an Israeli court, to explain the despicable acts of genocide he, his political masters and his underlings had perpetrated throughout occupied Europe. The coin of this terrifyingly banal excuse has been repeatedly cast before the jury of world opinion as if the plea of obedience, in itself, should be sufficient to justify acts of torture, rape, mayhem and mass killings.

Is it presumptuous to assume that, when a South African politician honours the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, Chief Albert Luthuli and the Cradock Four, by token of such actions, he is also denouncing those who threw Gandhi off a train, persecuted and proscribed Chief Albert Luthuli, and ordered the murder of Matthew Goniwe and his three comrades? Each one of the people involved in these oppressive acts, which range from the detestable to the outrageous, was indeed carrying out orders. Regarded in that light, it is eminently comprehensible why the people who have made a difference in human affairs have invariably been those who were prepared to be disobedient. According to the ancient Greeks, it was an act of gross disobedience, but it was Prometheus’s theft that emancipated humanity from the darkness and cold by bringing us fire.

During the 20th century, Gandhi evolved the tactic of mass civil disobedience as the instrument with which to free India from colonial bondage. Under the leadership of Luthuli, Dadoo and the personal command of Nelson Mandela, 8 000 disciplined volunteers spurred on the movement for change by deliberately defying a number of unjust apartheid laws after 26 June 1952. The Cradock Four, too, had mobilised their communities to break the unjust apartheid laws so as to make that system unworkable.

I must confess to having some sympathy for the hon Marthinus van Schalkwyk. It would be mean-spirited and petty to mock and dismiss highly symbolic acts of reconciliation. Who could reasonably oppose the leader of the New NP embracing and honouring the heroes and martyrs of the struggle for liberation? I will wager, though I am not a betting man, that all the persons implicated in and responsible for the vile actions which the hon Van Schalkwyk, by his symbolic actions, was repudiating and castigating, would also have pleaded that they were merely following orders.

After our national conference on racism last year, the authoress, Antjie Krog, initiated the ``Home for All’’ campaign. That initiative is but a moment in a powerful but little recognised tradition of antiracism and democratic striving amongst our white compatriots. For too long, white antiracists have numbered a small, often isolated, minority among the white community. For their convictions, many suffered opprobrium and ostracism, even from their own families. These, too, were men and women who refused to be compliant. They would not go along with, let alone support, a racist system. It is a matter of profound regret that the attitude adopted by the leading figures in the Official Opposition has, once again, conspired to reduce these courageous whites to a tiny minority.

During the second half of this year, South Africa will be hosting the UN Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Given South Africa’s recent history and the relatively peaceful transfer of power from a racial oligarchy to a democratic majority, the participants, drawn from every quarter of the world, will arrive here with great expectations of South Africa. Amongst these is the expectation that here in our country, they will be able to witness a shared national commitment to ending racism and its legacy.

Though many a bitter truth will be pronounced during the course of this conference, it is not a conference intended to target any particular race, group of nations, religious community or region of the world. This will be a conference inspired by the recognition that the machete-wielding mass killer in central Africa is as reprehensible as the nightriding Ku Klux Klansman who kills in a pack and shoots in the back. It will pillory the Brooklyn-bred West Bank settler who crushes a Palestinian boy’s ribcage with a rifle butt with the same vigour that it denounces the National Front yobbo who bombs the homes of his neighbours merely because they come from the Indian subcontinent.

This is a conference that should cast an unsparing light also on the demons that drive a Sudanese of Arabic descent to employ chemical agents against his Nubian compatriot. It must also assist us to grasp the full extent of the racist terror unleashed on Amerindian communities in the rain forests of South America by those who hope to profit from their misery. It will demonstrate, unfortunately, that racism is an international phenomenon, but a phenomenon which is no less shameful because of its universality. We should all emerge from that conference with a new determination to finally close this gruesome chapter in the history of humanity.

Xenophobia is sometimes lightly dismissed as excessive ethnocentricism. This intolerance of perceived outsiders is neither negligible nor benign. We should congratulate our Government on its decision to revisit our own immigration laws, both as a means of combating xenophobia and to enhance South Africa’s capacity to attract and retain the skills and services of talented people from every part of the world. I am persuaded that nationalism in every country requires a strong admixture of internationalism to prevent it from becoming a stupefying drug.

Africa and its wellbeing remains the central thrust of South African foreign policy. Those whose ill-concealed racial angst persuade them to advocate South Africa distancing itself from the rest of the continent would do well to recognise the degree to which the success of many of our local industries and South African commerce is dependent on Africa.

South African self-interest dictates that we make Africa a success story. That must translate into continued efforts to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development on our continent. The sine qua non for that is peace. Regrettably, peace can sometimes only be achieved by the judicious application of force. Three years ago that was the situation in Lesotho. Perhaps before recklessly denouncing strategic arms procurements as wasteful, critics should ponder what the outcome would have been had the SADC countries not been in a position to intervene in that Lesotho crisis.

The states of Africa and the rest of the world have thrust upon South Africa the responsibility of taking the lead in a number of thorny regional, continental and international problems. That alone testifies to the under-acknowledged achievements of South African diplomacy since 1994. In order to successfully pursue that role, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has wisely chosen the path of engagement, persuasion and measured encouragement, rather than the presumptuous hectoring, finger-wagging and bullying advocated by some.

Here at home our obligations to our country and our people demand that we make a national commitment to eradicate the degrading poverty that afflicts far too many of our people. We invite the opposition to join us in that endeavour, something we embraced a long time ago. [Applause.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Madam Speaker, President, Deputy President and hon members, let me congratulate His Excellency the President on a pithy and down-to-earth state of the nation address last week.

The address has reassured the nation on some issues while, on the other hand, it has brought to light that much still has to be done in order to make South Africa in which all have a place in the sun. We welcome the fact that outgoing office-bearers of the defunct municipalities have to be investigated, so that the innocent are not lumped with the wrongdoers. The latter should face the music for their misdeeds. On this score, however, the UCDP would like to see this happening even with regard to outgoing provincial governments. Each premier who steps down must have his or her administration investigated, to enable the new head to start with a clean slate.

The often reported infighting amongst members of the SA Police Service is a cause for concern. The matter is exacerbated by the latest racist reports on the VIP unit. This situation cannot be allowed to recur, as these officers are charged with providing safety and security to Government leaders. Whatever discontent exists or is perceived amongst security officers has to be addressed without delay.

We are aware that the Department of Correctional Services will take a long time to rid itself of the ugly image of the past, and we welcome the envisaged revamping of the department as announced by the President. In fact, we look forward to the purge on all stalkborers in Government departments.

The state of the nation address is meant to give direction to the nation. If the President sets the pace by leaping forward, no one should be seen to be walking sideways like a crab, as often happens. The President takes out the olive branch and becomes conciliatory in his presentation, and then some members of the majority party display how unforgiving they are.

The recent local government elections have been declared free and fair by the IEC. The freeness and fairness are based on probabilities and balances. There have been instances of serious breaches of the electoral code elsewhere. Charges were laid against two ANC premiers in the run-up to the election, and to us the outcome is immaterial. All we say is that leaders in such offices must be beyond reproach in such matters.

If a provincial premier causes a commotion at the voting station on election day - as was the case in Dinokana, Zeerust, where he tampered with the lights, resulting in the polling station being thrown into darkness for a while - it can hardly be said that the elections were free and fair. [Interjections.] This may sound like water under the bridge, but there are indications that elsewhere in this country some people in authority will have nothing to do with the President’s plea that the nation should unite in action. In an effort to reduce the abject poverty of our people living on the periphery of the cities, labour-intensive jobs have to be created by the community-based employment programmes through the Department of Public Works. Local people could be tasked with repairing the roads and be remunerated. This will, on the one hand, create jobs, albeit temporarily, and will, on the other, bring relief to the destitute by allowing them to earn a living. Petty crimes such as theft and burglary could be reduced in this way.

Since steps have been taken to increase the number of flights into and out of South Africa, as reported by the President, to assist with the promotion of tourism, we trust that this exercise will help increase domestic flights too. Assistance has to be given to the Northern Province to ensure that the Gateway Airport, which has been dogged by administrative and, reportedly, financial problems, is developed and completed. Flights between Mmabatho Airport and other parts of the country, particularly those to and from Johannesburg, should be reinstated. Tourism will be greatly enhanced with the upgrading of domestic flights.

While the cumulative figure for the supply of clean water provided through the community supply programme has increased, the initial 200 metre distance per stand pipe, as promised, has still to be realised. As a result of the Government’s failure to live up to expectations, people resort to making illegal connections to their homes. This results in those who had water being left high and dry. However, on this score we need to thank hon Minister Kasrils, who is attending to this issue quite well. We maintain that the nation has to be imbued with a spirit of taking pride in what they have.

The intended facelift of Alexandra township is welcome. This is one of the pilot projects which are being launched. The renewal of the place has to be carried out, however, in a dignified and humane manner, as opposed to what we saw on national TV last night. One would be forgiven for thinking that the days of Sophiatown and Lady Selbourne had returned. We hope that in the next turn Winterveldt, which is also one of the high crime areas, will, as the President promised, also be given the nod for upgrading.

The review of immigration laws and procedures is long overdue. We hope that the exercise will be attended to urgently and will not be allowed to degenerate into a protracted exchange of communications between the Ministry and the portfolio committee chair, as has been the case so far. Let us lower the flag, yet retain and maintain standards, and thus make room for investors, which will have sound economic spin-offs for our people.

Finally, the time has come for all of us in this country to unite around issues that will make our country prosper. Differences in political outlook should not result in some people being perceived as less patriotic. We should, as our national anthem states, answer the call to come together and stand united as we strive for freedom in South Africa, our land.

The MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Madam Speaker, Zizi, Jama-Sijadu, Nxamalala, Msholozi, colleagues, hon members, in his state of the nation speech last Friday and in many other speeches before that, the President of the Republic committed himself and his government to the further intensification of the fight against the scourge of corruption that confronts our nascent democracy.

As a country, we have adopted a number of legislative measures and embarked upon a series of activities to address the problem of corruption, particularly in the Public Service, and to ensure that integrity, good governance and transparency are promoted in the public sector as well as in civil society in general. We have, for example, held several high-profile domestic seminars and workshops. In October 1999 we even co-hosted an international conference on corruption which the President was kind enough to open for us. Of even greater significance is the fact that we now have a whole panoply of pieces of legislation aimed at reducing fraud and particular forms of misconduct relating to bribery and corruption.

These include the Corruption Act of 1992; the Public Protector Act; the Public Service Act and regulations made thereunder and promulgated in January this year; the South African Police Service Act; the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act; the Executive Members’ Ethics Act; the National Prosecuting Authority Act; the Prevention of Organised Crime Act; the Public Finance Management Act; the Promotion of Access to Information Act; and the Protected Disclosures Act of 2000, which, I would like to say to the President, is coming into effect this coming Friday and which, once in force, will protect bona fide whistle- blowers in both the public and the private sectors.

These laws are complemented and implemented by many official state-funded anticorruption structures, such as the Public Service Commission, the Auditor-General, the Public Protector, the SA Police Service, the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, the Assets Forfeiture Unit, the Independent Complaints Directorate and, in certain circumstances, such special investigating units as the President may establish under the law. In addition to these laws, in 1995 we amended the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 so that today, in terms of section 60(11) of the Act, a bail applicant charged with corruption involving an amount in excess of R500 000 bears the onus to establish that the interests of justice do not require his or her detention.

Many other structures exist within various government departments and institutions to deal with the problem of corruption. Moreover, partnerships are being established with various segments of society to deal with this problem. For instance, business has already joined the Public Service and NGOs in implementing a code of conduct to promote a culture of integrity in the business sector, and the banking sector has adopted a code of good practice.

All this certainly goes a long way towards showing the seriousness with which we approach this problem, notwithstanding the exclusion from the investigation of the so-called arms acquisition scandal of the Special Investigating Unit headed by Judge Willem Heath. I want to state categorically that as Government we have nothing to hide in this regard. We have given a public undertaking that we shall co-operate fully in any investigation conducted by any person under the law. In keeping with our undertaking, we are already making all relevant documentation available to the investigation, which I understand is being co-ordinated by the Auditor- General.

I also want to state that the exclusion of the so-called Heath Unit was not politically motivated at all. On the contrary, it was based on sound legal and practical considerations, some of which I will soon outline. We are a law-governed, constitutional state and, as such, we are at all times guided by the law and the basic principle of legality in doing whatever we have to do in the execution of our arduous tasks as part of the national executive. Our zeal in the fight against corruption can be no substitute for this basic principle.

As a matter of law, the President may establish a special investigating unit under the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act of 1996, solely for the purpose of investigating serious malpractices or maladministration in connection with the administration of state institutions, state assets and public money, as well as any conduct which may seriously harm the interests of the public.

As the President of the Constitutional Court pointed out last year in November, the President cannot establish such a unit solely ``to undertake a fishing expedition to establish whether there may have been malpractices’’. Nor does the law sanction the launching of witch-hunts. The Act requires a good level of specificity to justify the launching of an investigation envisaged in section 2(2) thereof.

After all the commotion and vituperation emanating from our detractors, we have yet to come across anyone who can tell us exactly what serious malpractice, maladministration or conduct is to be investigated in connection with the armaments acquisition programme. We have yet to be told who bribed whom, what to do or to refrain from doing. Who received what reward from whom, when, for doing or refraining from doing what?

The most we have been told by the most knowledgeable amongst us here, including the hon the Leader of the Opposition, is that the press has demonstrated who is related to whom amongst the people who had anything to do with the armaments acquisition programme. In other words, in the minds of our detractors, some people may already be guilty of the crime of being related to others. Not even Rev Meshoe’s jealous God, who punishes the children for the sins of their fathers to the third and fourth generation, will accept this crass nonsense.

What is even more flabbergasting is the answer the hon Dr Gavin Woods gave in an interview with The Sunday Independent on Sunday. When asked how much evidence he thought there was of corruption in this arms deal, the hon member is on record as having said:

Well, I cannot give you a final verdict. That is precisely why we wanted a professional investigation by a team including the Heath Unit. Of the material I have seen, I would say much of it is highly speculative, while some of it is more plausible. One theory is that immediately large public contracts are put to tender, there is the emergence of new black empowerment companies around each project. This theory goes on to suggest that the Government quietly manipulates the process to make sure that these companies are awarded business. This would have to be very secretive as it would have a very negative bearing on business sentiment in this country.

Essentially the hon member admits in the interview that there is no evidence of corruption in this regard, but a lot of spurious information the provenance of which is not entirely unknown in intelligence circles, and much of which is highly speculative. In other words, there is no probable cause warranting the launch of any investigation.

Nonetheless, because black economic empowerment entities suddenly spring up and mushroom as large public contracts emerge - previously a preserve of whites, may I say - and because one has in place this untrustworthy black- led Government with a capacity or propensity to manipulate tender processes, one has to unleash one’s hounds and let them sniff around, in the vain hope that they might find evidence of corruption. We surely need to know, as this House, what sort of person in this day and age would espouse such a palpably racist policy or theory in the nonracial one-nation society that we are all presumably constructing on the ruins of our colonial and apartheid past.

This House needs to know that my office literally begged Judge Heath to let me have access to the information at his disposal, in order to assist the President in making his decision. In a letter dated 19 January the learned judge said the following:

Following your telephone call this morning I have considered your request for information in the possession of the unit relating to the arms procurement package. As you will understand, the information that the unit has is extremely sensitive and any disclosure of this information could jeopardise the investigation, lead to victimisation of whistle- blowers and place potential witnesses at risk. As a result of the possible consequences, the unit is not in a position to disclose its information to your office.

In other words, in the logic of the author of this palpably insulting missive, the President was supposed to put on a blindfold and issue a proclamation allowing Judge Heath to embark upon yet another fishing expedition, so soon after the Constitutional Court judgment in which the court, quite rightly so, cautioned against that. The House further needs to know that in any event, for some unfathomable reason, the unit had chosen not to use this so-called extremely sensitive information when it requested the President to issue a proclamation to enable it to investigate God knows what.

According to the learned judges’ letter of 22 January, they had relied on the Auditor-General’s report to Scopa, the Scopa hearings and the Scopa report only. Much earlier in the process, the Public Protector, in a letter dated 22 November last year, had already advised me that he was of the opinion that it was not necessary for the President to issue a proclamation to the Heath unit as, I quote:

There is no evidence of any unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money and, accordingly, no need for the SIU to recover any state assets or public money.

The application by the SIU is based primarily on the special review by the Auditor-General and does not raise any new evidence.

I believe that the Auditor-General, IDSEO and my office can adequately deal with the present issues.

Advocates Jannie Lubbe and Frank Kahn independently came to the same conclusion afterwards.

Yesterday the hon Ken Andrew quoted selectively from certain correspondence in his utter desperation to prove that the President of the country had lied to the public on 19 January. The one letter which the hon member thought the President ought to have quoted in full, too, states the following:

In the brief time available to us, we looked at the available information and we also consulted certain interested parties to obtain further information, including Ms De Lille.

The Auditor-General has pointed out irregularities which merit further investigation, and it is too early to conclude whether criminal offences will be revealed.

Subsequently, the authors of that letter clarified this and stated that there was no prima facie evidence on the basis of which any action could be taken against any person under our criminal law in this regard. The two senior advocates, who must surely have been embarrassed by the dastardly political abuse of their advice, stated the following in a subsequent letter to me dated 30 January:

The opinions should be read together and, as far as we are concerned, there is no conflict between the views we expressed therein.

There is a dispute as to what the true wishes of this House might have been when it adopted the Scopa report in November. But whatever the wishes of this House might have been, this House cannot, by resolution, make the executive act illegally. No person or institution, including Parliament, is above the Constitution and the law. Gone are the days of white supremacy and parliamentary sovereignty when Parliament could make any law affecting the life, limb or property of anyone under its sway. Today the executive operates solely under the Constitution and the law, and this House cannot empower it by resolution to issue any proclamation under the law in order to enable Judge Heath to embark upon any fishing expedition or conduct any witch-hunt.

One of the reasons I gave in my advice to the President in this regard was that the Heath unit had a lot of work to conclude and should thus not be given another proclamation. In a letter dated 12 February, in other words, this past Monday, the unit admits that out of 67 proclamations it was given from the time it was established, it has, for all manner of reasons, only concluded 10 … [Interjections] … and 57 are still outstanding. Thus, if the President had given it the requested proclamation, he would have added more work which it could not complete within the one-year period of grace given us by the Constitutional Court to regularise the position of the head of the unit.

Last but not least, I have been accused personally of seeking to subvert the existing Special Investigating Unit by daring to suggest that once its heavy workload had been finalised, the unit would disband. I wish to appeal to my accusers to read the law in this regard before they make fools of themselves. As can be gleaned from section 3(4) of the Act, it was never the intention of Parliament to create permanent Public Service jobs by stealth.

The Act provides explicitly that a member of a special investigating unit shall hold office for the duration of the existence of such special investigating unit. The members of the unit were all appointed by Judge Heath in terms of section 3(2) of the Act as and when he thought it was necessary for him to do so for the effective functioning thereof. They did not thereby become permanent employees of the state.

To those among us, to those among our detractors who are genuinely concerned about corruption and who would want to do something about it, I can only advise them that sanctimony, hand-wringing, hand-on-heart and deep- felt concern are not enough. They have to join us in the law-based struggle, expose and fight corruption wherever it occurs, even in small smoke-filled boardrooms.

I want to say to those hon members who are howling that I can only hold my nose like this to them. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

Dr M S MOGOBA: Madam Speaker, President, Deputy President and honourable House, local elections have come and gone, leaving behind them no major changes in the political landscape.

The Government’s massive machinery, with consummate adroitness, is able to convert the voice of a clear no'' into an electoralyes’’. The electoral system must be reformed. We who suffer under it understand where it pinches and where it crushes. The result of this obvious one-sidedness, particularly among people who are illiterate or barely literate, or who are unaccustomed to the intricacies and vagaries of a democratic system, is a massive distortion of democracy. What this country needs is a democracy and not a plutocracy - the rule by the rich, or by the adroit, or by those who clearly represent themselves instead of the majority who are poor. Unemployment is this nation’s Achilles heel. The Gear policy, which has been roundly condemned by us and all who care about the poor, is directly responsible for this national calamity. Healthy and honest people want to work for themselves and for their families. Promises do not convert into food for hungry stomachs, clothes for naked people, land for the landless, homes for the unhoused. It is now very urgent that unemployment benefits be given to those who are not lazy, but suffer nonetheless and who are reduced to a pitiable mass of humanity.

No one can enjoy a scrumptious meal or sleep in comfort in a luxurious home, or drive a big new car in comfort, unless he or she can suppress and silence the audible groans of the poor and the poorest of the poor. The success of our economic power cannot be measured from the rooftops of our exclusive suburbs, but only from the mats and cardboard boxes on which our poor sleep in our streets and informal settlements, summer and winter, in wet and dry weather.

Poverty is a time bomb which is ticking away and which might blow up in our faces sooner rather than later. The call to eradicate this systemic and racist pattern of poverty is made not on behalf of the poor but, in fact, to protect the rich of this land. To repeat: the rich should heed the clarion call, should wake up, and by making some little sacrifice like paying a poverty eradication tax, an employment tax or a water tax, they can ensure that all can be comfortable and enjoy the bare necessities of this life in our so-called rich country.

Crime, we have long said, is like a cancer in our nation. A government that wants to take firm measures to root out crime has our support. The withholding of crime statistics from the nation, however, baffles us. The moratorium on the statistics should be lifted soon - before June - because we all know that crime has increased and that we are at the mercy of criminals. This is a national challenge which demands that the whole nation should stand together across the political divide.

Land is the primary national resource to satisfy the basic needs of the people. As Tessa Marcus, author of Class and Gender Issues in Land and Reform said, and I quote:

Land is a fundamental component of property relations in every society since it is one of the natural resources essential for social existence. Its distribution is of vital concern to every citizen as it affects basic human rights.

Whoever owns land controls access to it, determines the use to which it is put, decides the economic and political beneficiaries of production on it, and decides how the world below it is to be exploited.

Pan-Africanism remains the only beacon of hope, stability and prosperity for our continent of Africa. Problems remaining in countries like the DRC, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea demonstrate that the forces of anti-Pan-Africanism can no longer slander Pan-Africanism in the face of the profound distress that Africa continues to suffer.

The invisibility of Pan-Africanism is shown by the fact that this past year the PAC took part in the celebration of one hundred years of Pan-Africanism at the centenary Pan-African Congress, attended by delegates from 126 countries in Africa and the diaspora.

Our country is beleaguered once more. The apartheid trap door which the liberation forces closed, has been brought back by the arms deal. Why, one asks, is it so difficult to use all the investigation tools at our disposal

  • and here I mean all four commissions - to clean up this mess. To allege corruption is not a crime, but to duck and dive is suspicious in the extreme. There is absolutely no wisdom in avoiding the inevitable.

What is critical is not the personality or the colour of Judge Heath. People need to be reminded that it was a black President of this country who appointed him to this important task. For a long time, he was supported and hailed by all and sundry. The issue here is greater than Judge Heath. We have to fight corruption in a transparent and convincing way. Our courts and history will deliver the final verdict.

The tragic HIV/Aids debate is another enigma which cannot be wished away. Statistics state that about 4 million people are HIV-positive. On the ground, particularly in black African areas, the shocking number of young people who are dying and the funerals which thousands and thousands take part in, demonstrate that this is not some hidden secret, but a gruesome national experience and disaster.

The PAC welcomes the very belated introduction of the anti-HIV programme, including Nevirapine for pregnant mothers, in 18 state hospitals. This is, however, still inadequate. Only about 5% of pregnant mothers will be covered by this scheme. Two hospitals have been chosen in each province to provide counselling and HIV-testing and to supply Nevirapine as needed.

In spite of the grand economic system presented by the President, it is possible that we may be short-sighted and actually counterproductive by allowing the decimation of the flower of our youth, our main labour force and human resource, by the killer disease Aids.

We must throw in every piece of gold, silver, platinum etc, and invest it in Aids research. We must get our priorities right. To become an atomic power, to fly to the moon or outer space, to travel in luxury cars, to live in houses worth half a million and above with swimming pools all over, is perhaps tolerable in a normal country and world, but most obscene and revolting in a world facing a pandemic such as Aids.

An HON MEMBER: What about your car? Dr M S MOGOBA: Give me more time and I will tell members. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Deputy President and colleagues, it is a considerable achievement that we continue to make progress in the fundamental restructuring of our economy. Those with experience of this know that it is no easy task. Fundamental restructuring requires consistency of policy and determination in the implementation of that policy. We were clear on our strategies at the outset and we have been prepared to accept good advice and ignore the bad.

The President laid great emphasis on the economy in his opening address on Friday. The action plan he set out is the culmination of many years of work and is made possible by the basic changes in fiscal and governmental structures that have now been introduced.

As in all structures, there is little wisdom in building on a weak and flawed foundation. Our first task was to design a new structure, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, and then build a new foundation for the economy. In the Gear programme we effectively put reinforcing steel within that structure, and this reinforcing steel will remain to provide continued strength to that structure.

The objective of the Gear was a macro-balance that was stable and robust in the stormy seas of globalisation. But in doing this we had to ensure that there was no negative fiscal impact on social expenditure. This is a very considerable achievement if it is compared to the structural adjustment programmes that have effectively been imposed on many countries.

However, we make no claim that we have overcome the massive challenges of poverty, unemployment and uneven development, essentially the legacies of our past. What we have done is to lay the foundation for a new high-growth path for the economy which will increase its competitiveness and efficiency, raise employment levels and reduce the poverty and persistent inequality in our society. This is the thrust and the words of the President’s address to this House.

The action plan is an integrated set of interventions, precise interventions, by the public sector that will be made in this fiscal year. The essence of what is to be done can be stated simply. We are addressing the basic cost and efficiency platform of the energy, transportation and telecommunications systems. On this enhanced production platform we are paying particular attention to the potential growth sectors and ensuring that the cross-cutting support of infrastructure, human resource development and technology keeps pace with the needs that are generated.

What we want to impact on is the growth rate, employment, small and medium enterprises, black economic empowerment and the competitiveness of this economy. We are confident that through Nedlac and the various working groups with business, labour, black business and organised agriculture, we will achieve unity in action towards these programmes.

As the Minister of Labour announced yesterday, we have also made progress in agreeing on changes in the labour market dispensation. The integrated rural development strategy and urban upgrading projects will be co- ordinated programmes to ensure that there is fundamental socioeconomic change in specific geographical areas as announced. So the basic principles of the RDP remain and, in fact, are enhanced.

The actions planned had to be achievable, budgeted for and consistent with the impact that we want to make. This action plan does not, obviously, constitute everything that the Government will undertake during the coming year. It does not mean that there are no other important sectors. If I could give an example from my own department, the export sectors of the capital goods, fabricated steel and flowers are growing rapidly and the intense work that we do in these sectors will continue. But our objective in the sectors identified is to carry out a series of actions that will make a real difference to the level of growth and exports.

Globalisation presents many challenges as we try to define the role of the state. In the pursuit of growth and development it is quite clear that the role of the state is changing, but it does have to play a leading role. The dogmatic, almost theocratic, calls for a smaller state do not address the fundamental issues.

The actions we are taking reflect these complexities as we continue to manage liberalisation in the provision of basic infrastructure. I noted that the Leader of the Opposition welcomed managed liberalisation provided we concentrated on liberalisation, as opposed to managing.


The MINISTER: Since we are mainly dealing with natural monopolies, this comment shows very little understanding of the economics of these sectors. If the process is not managed, then our objectives of more efficient cost- competitive services for business and for all our consumers will not be achieved.

I want to deal briefly with this managed liberalisation process in each of the sectors, because it will have a major economic impact. In energy the introduction of independent power producers will broaden the variety of energy sources and, in particular, open the way for an extensive gas network to be constructed. Whilst our electricity prices are extremely competitive this more extensive and varied energy system both introduces an element of competition and opens a range of new production technologies. The gas grid brings into being an economic integration process with our neighbours in Mozambique and Namibia. In transportation, the opening of private sector involvement in port operations will certainly attract investments and will have major efficiency effects. The greater use of rail will lower the cost of transport to the economy, since the externalities of road transport are in fact high. The extension and improvement of roads in the various growth areas open the possibilities, not only for more social upliftment, but also for economic development.

In a global economy where knowledge and information are increasingly critical, we have to ensure the efficiency and low-cost provision of basic telecommunications services. This requires a marriage system of competition. What we are dealing with in this sector is a limited capacity which can expand at predictable rates, so we have to ensure that we neither overload it by too many providers nor have too few, to allow them to seek rent on the system.

We do have a dynamic and competitive IT sector in South Africa, and we are now working with this sector to strengthen the capability. I am particularly pleased, and the President mentioned this, that all major companies operating in South Africa have committed themselves in writing to work with Government to fast-track the skills development in this vital sector.

Our ability to take the steps that the President and I have outlined does not come from some last-minute clever thinking at a Cabinet lekgotla. It comes from the fact that basic groundwork has been done and it comes from the determination of Government led by the President to ensure co- ordination in governance. We have in addition created the structures in Government to ensure that we monitor and oversee the progress of the action plan.

I wish to address a challenge that the President has put before us. He called on us to unite in action to make one nation out of the two that exist, and to build an economy that provides a better life for all our people. Without the latter the former will be difficult, but without the former the challenge of achieving the latter is going to be immeasurably more difficult.

What, therefore, does the concept of uniting in action mean for the political parties in this House? Does it mean uniformity or that we have to disregard our political differences? Will it in some way prevent the opposition in this Parliament from being an effective opposition? I do not believe that either of these will have to apply. What is required is a fundamental commitment to the success of our democracy and confidence in the capacity of our economy.

The argument put forward by the hon the Leader of the Opposition and Mr Van Schalkwyk was in essence that the ANC was responding to criticism merely by vilifying its critics and accusing them of being unpatriotic. To us on the ANC side our frustration arises from the perception that the opposition is not fully committed to the two factors I have just mentioned.

Our basis for this arises from a particular type of conduct, and I am going to use, once again, the arms issue to illustrate what I am talking about, not to address in detail a host of accusations, but to illustrate how we could perhaps correct our conduct to bring about unity in action. Both Mr Ken Andrew and Mr Bantu Holomisa, two amongst many speakers, have, I must say, made outrageous comments and accusations on the arms deal. These were merely a concatenation of inaccuracies that they would not dare make under the glare of the libel law. [Interjections.] They paint a picture on their canvas of some kind of real banana republic and then they say that the ANC is scaring away investment. I want to argue that this conduct is entirely unjustified, since the very constitutional and legal processes that constitute our new democracy are there to test accusations made. [Interjections.] If I do not use the processes that strengthen confidence in our democratic order, but merely call their capacity into question, then I must not be surprised when my understanding of patriotism is questioned. [Interjections.]

Investigations are in progress by the constitutional and legal structures of this country. Minister Maduna has outlined this in some detail, and let me repeat: Investigations are in progress by the constitutional and legal structures of the country. The Government and the Ministers most concerned are offering their fullest possible co-operation. [Interjections.] No investigation has been completed, and both the Auditor-General’s special review and the report of the Special Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, are initial reports.

The executive made a very simple point. [Interjections.] We made the decisions, but we were never asked how or why we did that. Accordingly, in our view, we have argued that not all relevant information was at the disposal of either the Auditor-General or Scopa. In the case of Scopa, the report states quite clearly that such deals are prone to corruption.

No adjudicating body can make an assumption of general guilt when judging a specific case. [Interjections.] Our point is simple, and that is that such a predisposition will encourage a fishing expedition, and such inquisitorial processes are fundamentally at odds with good law and democracy. [Interjections.]

When the executive objects to this approach, and other matters it considers to be errors, we are not blocking the processes, we are exercising absolutely essential rights to be heard on the constitutional requirements of our state. [Interjections.] Let me deal with the Auditor-General as well. The executive made perfectly simple propositions. We said that in regard to not following the tender procedures, we believe they have not taken information into account. With regard to the deal on the Hawk, they do not know what the decision-makers decided. In regard to the national participation programme, they are making a judgment which we disagree with. [Interjections.]

This is not blocking any investigation, and we have indicated quite clearly the conflict of interest we had dealt with in the statement, if hon members read it. [Interjections.] We took specific steps to deal with conflict of interest. So, there is no blocking whatsoever. One cannot require that we respect the Constitution, and then because we think, as has happened - mistakenly, as my colleague Minister Maduna has set out - that a particular judge will do most damage to Government, insist that he be involved despite a Constitutional Court ruling.

The damage being done to the task of building a nation and an economy is the view that there are significant elements of our society who have no confidence in new structures of the state, not the Government, the state. Hysteria and assertions that in effect call into question the constitutional efficacy of our state do no one any good. We know, I hope, that we have judicial and constitutional processes that have the capacity and the integrity to ascertain whether there was indeed wrongdoing. It may suit our political agenda to promote an aura of corruption, but does it build our democracy or confidence in the economy? [Interjections.] The investigation is being done, and it will have an outcome. [Interjections.]

I wish to contrast this approach with something that was very different. Recently South Africa sent a large delegation of business people, scientists, Ministers and government officials with the President to Davos. We began to see what one nation can look like. The delegation was mixed as regards race, language and capacity, but it was confident, fully aware of the global developments and confident in the future of South Africa.

The individuals had different political allegiances, but the delegation was confidently South African. It did not hesitate to raise criticism in an informed manner, but it made it clear that this was a society that did and could resolve its differences. Let us build this approach everywhere, including in this Parliament. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Mr D H M GIBSON: Madam Speaker, although this year’s presidential speech was a welcome improvement over that of last year, I hope the President will forgive me if I say that the advice he has been getting from some of his closest advisers is wrong, and out of touch with what is happening in South Africa. [Interjections.]

Since coming to power, many ANC representatives have lost touch with their communities, if they ever were in touch with them at all. [Interjections.] Too many ANC MPs are not seen in their constituencies, too many MPs live permanently in Cape Town and pretend to represent constituencies in Gauteng, the Northern Province and the Free State. [Interjections.] The people see us, and they do not see them. [Interjections.]

The problem is compounded by many who were in exile for long years. I am not stating that people in exile had a wonderful time, or that they did not make many sacrifices. I am aware of the personal stories of some, and no one can take away from them the contributions which they made towards liberating our country. The difficulty is that they were not part of daily life in South Africa, and for decades some had little or no contact with ordinary people. [Interjections.] The circles in which exiles moved in foreign countries had a hothouse atmosphere in which the gossip was similar to cocktail- party talk about who was in and who was out, who had the favour of the President and who the next leader would be. These concerns were far removed from those of ordinary people in South Africa who had to live in poverty and deprivation.

This has led to a situation in which we find some politicians who love humanity in general and the cause in particular, but have very little regard for individual men and women. Intellectual remoteness like this has led to some members of the Government having priorities far removed from those of our people. There is a big difference between walking the streets of Johannesburg, Soweto and Alexandra, and sitting in the delegates’ lounge at the United Nations. The elite who move in rarefied circles, palaces and council chambers of the world, minimise in their own minds the matters which are of concern to real and ordinary people. They tend to overemphasise ideological and political matters that rank far down the list of things which are important to our people.

This remoteness between the governors and governed is starting to impact on the ANC Government. Instead of showing concern and doing something constructive, positive and visible about jobs, crime, Aids and corruption, the Government has begun stumbling from crisis to crisis.

The President will not enjoy me saying it, but I think it is incumbent on me to tell him the truth. His advisers do not tell him what he needs to hear, and that is the biggest failing of this Government. He is surrounded by a small coterie of elite advisers who do not give him the broad range of advice which a leader needs before deciding on his course.

Some of those who advise him are far from expert, and they need to be replaced with others who will give him advice that will keep him out of trouble and prevent the sort of gross embarrassment that he suffered recently when he addressed the nation on television. A legal adviser who allows her President to go on camera with an organogram drawn up by the editor of Noseweek and compounds it by permitting the President to misquote senior legal people, thereby placing a cloud over the President’s own probity, deserves to be fired. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The next election, just like the past four, will be fought on the question of delivery to our people. Some of his advisers want to fight on the question of race and demonise the opposition. I want to tell him that that is not what interests our people. Unless progress is made in tackling unemployment, crime, Aids and corruption, the mild setback which the ANC received in 2000 will snowball and the DA, as the alternative, will strengthen. [Interjections.]

His Government is being sidetracked by race issues instead of focusing on delivery. Some of the President’s people are letting him down. People like Minister Tshwete attack and vilify a whole community on a racist basis. Minister Maduna who is seating there and looking so pleased with himself stated: ``I do not socialise with whites.’’ [Interjections.] Does it not occur to that hon Minister that such language is offensive, not least to white people in his own party and organisation. [Interjections.] That same Minister said that he could not understand the reaction of the Portuguese. He said that our Government refers to Chinese triads, Nigerian drug lords and the Italian Mafia without any complaint from the governments involved. He does not even understand that equating the Portuguese community in South Africa with gangster organisations is a gross racist insult. He does not even understand that. [Interjections.] Last night we heard the hon Vincent Smith presenting the Scopa controversy as a racial matter. I would like to tell the hon member that that is not a racial matter, that it is not a black and white matter, but that it is a matter of right and wrong, a matter of good governance, openness and accountability. [Interjections.] That hon member is finished anyway because the hon Tony Yengeni knows he cannot rely on him any longer. He has had to be pulled back out of the clutches of his other colleagues. Anyway, before that hon member goes on retirement, I want to quote what Cyril Madlala of the Sunday Independent had to say: He said:

But this Government does seem to relish wallowing from one crisis to another. Because it has all the answers, it would defy counsel by those outside the inner circle and blame the media, counter-revolutionaries, conspirators and opposition parties for all their troubles.

What really saddens me about the President is that almost all of the white people that I have talked to think that he hates white people, or at least dislike them. [Interjections.] I am telling the truth. That is what white voters think of the Presidency. Coloured and Asian voters think that he is indifferent to them and black voters think he does not care about them.

That perception is the one that should be destroyed, as the President has to be seen as the President of all the people, the President of the whole of South Africa; and then he will have the backing of people like me and many others in this Assembly and outside of it. [Interjections.]

It rests with the ANC to decide whether they are going to move away from the sickness of this concentration on race all the time and whether they will get back to doing something about the real concerns of our people - jobs, crime, corruption and HIV/Aids. The choice is theirs. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, before calling on the next speaker, I wish to rule on the matter that was raised yesterday. During that debate, the hon Mr De Lange raised a point of order in which he objected to the hon Ken Andrew having accused the President of basing or saying things on the basis of false evidence.

Hon members, the President, while not a member of the National Assembly, is subject to the Rules while he is in the House, and he is also entitled to the same respect and protection as hon members. Yesterday I responded to Mr De Lange by saying that I had heard the word false'' attached to information’’ and not ``evidence’’. This was indeed correct, since the unrevised Hansard of Mr Andrew’s speech reads as follows:

By using selective quotes and false information, the President made a fool of himself and embarrassed South Africa in the process.

It is not unparliamentary to allege that incorrect information has been conveyed, provided there is no suggestion that it is deliberately done. In this instance, however, the meaning of the word false'' is significant. The Oxford Dictionary gives it two meanings. It may mean wrong or incorrect. But it also means lying, deceitful or spurious. The context of the rest of the speech, in particular the reference in the same sentence to selective quotes’’ indicates that it is the second meaning of the word that was intended. That meaning could signify dishonest intent on the part of the President. In the circumstances, I call upon Mr Andrew to withdraw the allegation that he used false'' information. It is specifically to the use of the word false’’ when it is coupled in that sentence as false information. Mr Andrew, I would ask you to withdraw that, please.

Mr K M ANDREW: Madam Speaker, it was not my intention that the second interpretation from the dictionary was … [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr K M ANDREW: What was intended may be incorrect or erroneous information, and I have no hesitation in withdrawing in terms of the interpretation that you have placed on the words.

Adv J H DE LANGE: Madam Speaker, arising out of the point of order and the ruling you have made, I would like to place on record that the ANC will be investigating this matter further. We feel … [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order!

Adv J H DE LANGE: We want to place it on record that, firstly, we will investigate whether there should be a committee to investigate the statement he has made. Secondly, we want to investigate the possibility that there has been a transgression of the resolution passed by this House that when the dignity of a member is attacked that should be done by way of resolutions and, thirdly, whether the matter should be struck from the record.

We will accordingly investigate this matter and obviously approach the correct authorities before steps are taken.

The SPEAKER: Order! Mr De Lange, you indicated that intention yesterday. When it is raised I will respond on the substance. [Interjections.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a separate point of order: During the debate by the hon Mr Gibson, the hon Mr Momberg said to him that he was a liar, which I believe is unparliamentary and I ask that you ask him to withdraw.

The SPEAKER: It is unparliamentary, Mr Momberg.

Mr M J MOMBERG: Madam Speaker, I withdraw. [Laughter.] Mr K M ANDREW: Madam Speaker, arising from my point of order: I want to say that the DP will be looking into whether Mr Momberg has frequently been using that kind of behaviour and whether we should have a committee of Parliament to look into that … [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Order! When the DP raises that point, I will also respond to it. We will now proceed with the debate.

Ms T MODISE: Madam Speaker, the President of South Africa Mr Thabo Mbeki, Deputy President, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, I do not understand why the hon Gibson was going around trying to get TV time. It was really to make a fool of himself by trying to tell us how we should relate with the people he has just discovered. [Laughter.]

We all need jobs for our people, Gibson. We all agree that we need peace and confess our desperate love for democracy. We are simply confounded by the meaning of these concepts. We need to agree that democracy comes with a responsibility and a price. South Africa needs to continue moving away from the narrow reductionist dichotomy between war and peace, guns or houses, and move towards a global conceptualisation of collective security, regional and international peace, and peacekeeping.

We have no choice. South Africa has a constitutional obligation to maintain a credible Defence Force. Archbishop Ndungane tells South Africa that instead of refurbishing the SANDF, we must pour all our resources into the fight against Aids. Although this sounds good, it is unreasonable. It is only the naivé and the amazingly innocent who will continue to delude themselves and the people of this country that reducing defence expenditure necessarily translates into more money for Aids, jobs, poverty alleviation and houses.

If there is no such innocence, then we conclude that there is mischief on the part of the archbishop. There are issues that he must work on. The rains have stayed away and the farmers are worried. The good archbishop must go up the mountain and pray. [Laughter.] Domestic violence is rife amongst and against his congregants. He must do social ministry. The bombs have been falling on his doorstep. We need his fervent prayers and ministry to the warlords of Cape Town. He could join other men and women of the cloth in the moral regeneration that is taking place here and stay out of what is obviously out of his scope of things. Of course, the PAC could make him president and bring him to Parliament, and then he can play politics to his heart’s content. [Laughter.]

It is not a question of having the one thing called peace or a programme on Aids to the exclusion of the other thing called defence or houses, but rather the balancing of the needs and priorities of the nations. We have recently lived through the anger and civil unrest of the people of Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We know of the desperation of the people of Sudan, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and others. Throughout all these conflicts of class and ideology, race, ethnic cleansing and democratisation, South Africa has played the role of a mediator.

Sometimes a patient sister country lends a hand or advises, as was the case in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sometimes the neighbour bears the brunt of illegal immigration, joblessness, crime and poverty that knows no boundaries, always ready to talk, to rescue bombed Americans and new-born Mozambicans out of trees, reconciliatory and giving compensation for the sins not all of us committed.

We do this mediation because we recognise that a better life for all will remain an ideal on paper unless we help secure law and order, political stability and peace amongst our neighbours. For as long as the Zimbabwean dollar is worth nothing, for as long as Angola knows no stability and peace, for as long as Swazi workers are unable to freely bargain on the shop floor, South Africa will know no stability, no peace, no development and no true democracy. For as long as the democratic initiative in Nigeria remains uncertain and ethnic cleansing remains a threat in Burundi and Rwanda, a better life for all remains an almost unattainable dream because unrest next door means possible cross-border arms smuggling and crime that would mean a departure from our national focus and interest.

The United Nations, in the words of its charter was founded to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The role of South Africa as a member of the UN becomes important in fulfilling the peacekeeping role in this region. Once called upon, our forces are deployed and they must be able to defend themselves, mission components and mission mandates. This means that they need to be equipped accordingly to carry out the mandate professionally.

Mr Kofi Annan observes that until member states renew their commitments to this institution by increasing financial support, the United Nations will fail to meet its challenges. We need to relook the practice that Africa can only be represented by one country on the UN Security Council. Therefore we must encourage the Nigeria and South Africa initiative in this regard.

On a very recent trip to Nigeria members of the Portfolio Committee on Defence could not stop the flow of questions from politicians and soldiers alike on the question of why South Africa was not taking the lead in peacekeeping. South Africa can no longer run away from this responsibility. How can we continue to dream of a better life for all when our neighbours outside our borders ask for help and we resist the courage to comply? How can we be part of the African solution to African problems if the only reason we have for not participating in peacekeeping is a sense of wrangling on whether or not to buy weapons and equipment to which we have already agreed to in the Defence Review, which was endorsed by this Parliament? We must ensure that the South African National Defence Force is well equipped and well trained for this task. What gives the factors of geography, natural resources and industrial capacity their actual importance for the power of a nation, is the state of military preparedness. South Africa needs to spend to reach these levels. South African borders need to be properly secured until there is no longer a need. South African marine resources, land, skies and people must be well protected. Good wishes just do not quite do this job. We need that modern navy, air force and army to patrol our seas and defend the integrity, people and interests of South Africa.

The Constitution of South Africa in Chapter 11, section 198 (a) prescribes that national security must reflect the resolve of South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, to live as equals, to live in peace and harmony, to be free from fear and want and to seek a better life. The White Paper entitled Defence in a democracy process states amongst others that South Africa shall pursue peaceful relations with other states. The SANDF shall have a primarily defensive orientation and posture. Force levels, equipment and armament, as well as military expenditure, shall be determined by the defence policy. That defence policy and military activity shall be sufficiently transparent to enable meaningful parliamentary and public scrutiny and debate. The SA National Defence Force shall be a balanced, modern, technologically advanced military force which is capable of executing its tasks efficiently and effectively.

It would seem to me that defence is only good when it does not cost us money. It is good when it can perform to make us proud without regard to the safety and the morale of the members of the Defence Force, as well as the welfare of their families. When we want to scream about the constitutional rights to housing, we must also remember the provisions of section 198(a).

When Parliament questioned the acquisition of the Spanish ship a broad consultative programme began. The Defence Review, which removed the matters of defence from the realm of secrecy and placed them in public and popular debate, was a national consultative process that included national and provincial stakeholders. A broad cross-section of the South African population attended these workshops and conferences.

This Parliament adopted that Defence Review with all its provisions on force, design, armaments and weaponry, therefore the budgetary implications should be known to this Parliament. We need to take a decision soon on the maritime helicopters. We cannot afford a delay. We cannot afford not to refurbish, otherwise we will not be making sure that we provide, as the Constitution obliges us to do. [Applause.]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Deputy President, Ministers and hon members, South Africa is not a normal democratic country. We are still undergoing a major political transformation. However, beyond political transformation our pledged responsibility is to develop consistent economic activity, capacity building and to make a crucial assessment as to whether the lives of the masses have been improved.

The President must be complimented on the opening address he has made in Parliament last week. Throughout the country the media was kind and citizens comforted themselves in the great message of hope. The MF has been jubilant and feels that very strong emphasis was on unity, reconciliation and the development of the long-suffering masses. My leader, Mr A Rajbansi, has requested me to convey the party’s good wishes to the President. [Applause.] Certain cynics, as usual, rejoice in what they have described as omissions in the President’s speech. However, we also rejoice in the excellent response given by the Deputy President on the same day.

We have just emerged from a hectic local government election where the DA in Durban did its best to destroy the MF, using the filthiest tactics ever used in an election campaign. I am pleased to announce that the MF’s 10 seats have sunk the DA for the next five years. After all, the MF holds a balance of the power. Reconciling the minority with the majority is not a political crime. Instead, it is an investment in developing South Africa.

The President announced relief measures for the prioritised areas, especially KwaZulu-Natal. I am advocating a strong case for KwaZulu-Natal, which has the largest population and has suffered immense poverty during the apartheid era. We also require assistance in respect of the points development, the upgrading of the harbour and the development of the Tugela basin, not forgetting the King Shaka Airport, a historical accolade in South Africa. Matters relating to our traditional leaders are being addressed and the MF has confidence that our President and the president of the IFP, Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi, will together resolve this outstanding issue.

The MF is concerned about the booming rate of unemployment which puts our people, especially those who are unskilled and semi-skilled, under pressure to compete for the unevenly distributed economic opportunities basically to survive.

Informal street trade has become the only practical alternative for millions of unemployed people. Unfortunately, the frequent change in street trade bye-laws at local government level has resulted in the criminalisation of ordinary street vendors through conviction and the confiscation of goods. This actually negates job creation opportunities and has a booming effect on the increase in crime.

As long as poverty exists, street trading throughout the country will be inevitable. Therefore, the MF advocates that the current effective application of street trade bye-laws should be replaced by separate, unified national legislation. After all, this should be one of the ideal choices to practically promote microbusiness to accommodate the poorest of the poor.

Implementing a set of national guidelines will automatically result in the establishment of a negotiation framework for the street traders and local authorities in order to formalise a relationship and to understand the true economic purpose of street trading.

In order to govern our people to meet their full human potential, it is the state’s duty to scrutinise constantly the social and economic crisis at grass-roots level. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr C AUCAMP: Madam Speaker, hon President, as it now seems to be the President’s policy to promote leaders of small opposition parties to the post of Deputy Minister, I suppose it would be wise for me to choose my words carefully today! [Laughter.]

On the whole, I felt better, on leaving the House on Friday, than I did a year ago. The emphasis on microeconomics and specific plans in that regard was necessary. As one of my professors at the theological seminary always said:``Jy kan nie op die aarde bly en in die hemel loseer nie!’’ [You cannot live on earth and lodge in heaven!]

In what the President announced, I sensed something more of a realistic, pragmatic and managerial approach than a mere socialist one. The conciliatory trend, especially at the end, also did not go unnoticed. It was a huge improvement on the two-nation theory of the past.

It is a pity, therefore, that the contributions of some of the President’s party members in this debate reflected the opposite. When will they stop desperately playing the race card in order to demonise the sound democratic practice of positive criticism? One day they will find out that the race card is no longer a trump card, but rather the two of clubs.

The next step must be the recognition of this one nation as a pluralistic one, a nation of nations. The golden recipe for nation-building is not to weld together 40 or 50 million individuals into some kind of amorphous unity, but rather to place a healthy emphasis on and recognise the principle and fact of diversity. A mere change from minority domination to majority domination still reflects an outdated and impractical dispensation.

Die regte van minderhede, naamlik die artikel 185-kommissie vir die regte van taal-, kultuur- en godsdiensgemeenskappe wat reeds sewe jaar lank uitstaande is, moet vanjaar van die grond af kom. Ek sou graag die President se standpunt in dié verband wou verneem.

Die beloofde lessenaar vir Afrikaans in die agb President se kantoor is nog so leeg soos ‘n Parlementslid se beursie. Wanneer gaan dit konkrete gestalte kry? Die plek van tradisionele leiers hang nog in die lug nadat hulle die fopspeen gevat het wat tydens die verkiesing aan hulle aangebied is.

Die belangrikste is egter wat nié gesê is nie. Die President het vyf terreine van misdaad uitgewys waarop die Regering hom spesifiek gaan toespits. Geen enkele woord is gesê nie oor een van die kritiekste en plofbaarste misdaadsituasies in die land, naamlik plaasaanvalle.

‘n Petisie met bykans 400 000 handtekeninge is deur Aksie Stop Plaasaanvalle namens die totale spektrum van georganiseerde landbou aan die President oorhandig - die grootste petisie in die geskiedenis van ons land. Daar was 400 handtekeninge vir elke een wat mnr Karl Niehaus op sy lys kon bymekaar skraap. Altesame 253 boere per 100 000 word per jaar vermoor, 20 keer meer as die gemiddeld.

Hierdie situasie het ‘n kruitvat geword. Ek het met dank kennis geneem van die stappe wat minister Tshwete gister in dié verband aangekondig het. Ek wil pleit vir nog nouer skakeling met die boere en alle boerderystrukture, nie net die geselekteerdes nie. Praat met die mak boere én die kwaai boere, want almal het ‘n grondwetlike reg op die beskerming van hul lewe en eiendom. In die werksaamhede van Aksie Stop Plaasaanvalle het die TLU, LWO en Agri SA saamgestaan om hierdie saak aan te pak. Ek pleit by die agb President: as hy ernstig is oor hierdie saak, moet hy hul volle afvaardiging persoonlik te woord staan. Hy weet nie wat dit sal beteken nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[As regards the rights of minorities, the section 185 commission for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities, which has been outstanding for seven years now, must be established this year. I would like to know the standpoint of the President in this regard.

The promised desk for Afrikaans in the hon the President’s office is still as empty as the purse of a member of Parliament. When will this become a reality? The position of traditional leaders is still hanging in the balance after they accepted the pacifier they were offered during the elections.

Most important, however, is what was not said. The President pointed out five areas of crime that the Government would specifically focus on. Not one word was said about one of the most critical and explosive crime situations in the country, namely farm attacks.

A petition containing nearly 400 000 signatures was handed to the President by Action: Stop Farm Attacks on behalf of the total spectrum of organised agriculture - the largest petition in the history of the country. There were 400 signatures for every one that Karl Niehaus scraped together for his list. Altogether 253 farmers per 100 000 are murdered every year, 20 times more than the average.

This situation has become a powder keg. I took note with gratitude of the steps Minister Tshwete announced in this regard yesterday. I want to plead for even closer liaison with the farmers and all farming structures, not only the selected few. Talk to both the tame farmers and the angry farmers, because everyone has a constitutional right to the protection of their life and property. In the activities of Action: Stop Farm Attacks the TAU, AEO and Agri SA co-operated to address this issue. I am pleading with the hon the President: if he is serious about this issue, he should meet their entire delegation. He does not know what that would mean.]

He has a crucial responsibility to create an environment that will be conducive to stopping farm attacks. This includes condemning farm attacks unconditionally. I repeat: unconditionally. He must condemn hate speech against farmers unconditionally, especially the way in which isolated incidents of deplorable acts by white farmers are represented as the rule and not the exception. He must condemn and change the unfortunate adapt-or- die approach to that of a co-operative and inclusive approach with all, and not a few selected stakeholders only. He must condemn and stop the unjustified criminalisation and prosecution of law-abiding farmers who merely try to protect their life and property. I would like to tell the President that his personal role in this crucial matter cannot be overemphasised. [Interjections.]

The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Madam Speaker, Comrade President and hon members,

… gradually, step by step, our country proceeds further away from its painful past. We, its citizens, who are very close to the coalface of change, may not easily see the steady transformation that informs all aspects of our national life.

Thus began President Mbeki’s address to this House last Friday.

In paying tribute to all our people, the members of the opposition should really pay attention to all our people. This is what the ANC has constantly and always said and what our President says. In paying tribute to all our people, black and white, who have contributed to this progress, the President has called to all across the colour line to dedicate this year to building unity in action for change.

I would like to address some aspects of this change and of the remarkable level of delivery that goes with it. Yes, sometimes we at the coalface do not easily see the progress although, too often, some are transfixed by the problems and the obstacles and perhaps do not see further than their noses. I am very impressed that, after all these years, the hon Douglas Gibson has at last discovered the African townships and the coalface. I would like to say: ``Well done’’ to the hon Douglas Gibson. It is about time too! [Interjections.]

The changes in our country in under seven years are impressive. The President has referred to the figures in housing, electricity, clean water delivery, land redistribution, the economic indices and so on. He has also referred to the daunting backlog of poverty. He has referred to the cholera outbreak and the need for a more vigorous extension of the sanitation system.

One is reminded of the long road of development in Europe and of the struggle of those countries to eliminate cholera and other diseases. In 1850, the cholera epidemic in London wiped out thousands, and it led to the realisation by the Victorian authorities of the need for water and sanitation services to eradicate this disease. It took them decades and decades, as it did the other European countries, before they had established the basic services for their people and the necessary local government structures to ensure the sustainable maintenance and management of the system. Even 50 years later, on the eve of what was called the Anglo- Boer War, the British military authorities expressed their grave alarm at the stunted, ill-nourished recruits they were depending on. It took another 50 years, to post-war Europe, for the modern basic services to emerge in most parts of that continent.

We are not going to take that long. The President’s speech shows that his Government is committed to speeding up delivery. What I am alluding to is that by comparison with, say Britain in the mid-nineteenth century - and that was the richest, most powerful imperial power of the day - our rate of progress is, quite frankly, phenomenal. I am referring to the roads, the clinics, the schools, the hospitals, the education, the classrooms and all the very impressive developments.

Our community water service programme began post-1994, and we have delivered, in that time, to 7 million people in this country, who were without clean safe water in 1994. We know that there are another 7 million people that we must reach. When one looks at the extent of poverty and under-development in the rural areas and, indeed, our urban townships and informal settlements, the vast differences in wealth in this country clearly demonstrate that we are a country of rich and poor.

The President’s speech illustrated Government’s offensive against rural and urban poverty, through its integrated rural development strategy and our urban renewal programme. In practice, this means, as the President once stated, that when a clinic or a school is built roads, water and electricity will simultaneously be provided.

The socioeconomic benefits of providing affordable basic services are well recognised. The provision of water supply and sanitation in particular makes a clear contribution to the health and wellbeing of all our people, particularly the poor. It has a direct impact on women who remain mainly responsible for carrying water and using it to try to maintain a clean and healthy home.

We have seen that the introduction of charges for pure water at even a low rate has resulted in communities resorting to unsafe sources. For these reasons, the Government has decided to ensure that poor households are given a basic supply of water free of charge. This is not an empty or hollow election promise.

Based on the policy framework for delivery, last month the Cabinet approved a programme of implementation of 6 000 litres of safe water per household per month. The date set for implementing the free minimum basic water policy by local government structures is 1 July 2001. Free basic water is to be funded using a combination of the equitable share of revenue of local government and internal cross-subsidies from appropriately structured water tariffs in a manner which best reflects the specific situation in a local government area.

The implementation programme has three components: the preparation of detailed guidelines for local government, the establishment of dedicated support teams for local government and the establishment of mechanisms to finance and implement the required metering and billing of water supplies. This is not an empty election promise but a pledge that this Government is living up to.

The President indicated in his speech that this year will see an unprecedented acceleration of the delivery of water and sanitation. In a clear vote of confidence in our Government, the European Union has contributed a R500 million grant over the next three years for the water and sanitation services.

Part of the problem in delivering sanitation has been the current demand- led approach which was dependent on individual households requesting a R600 grant to build pit latrines. Although based on an international best- practice approach, we have found that the going is far too slow, and that since the cholera outbreak, it is clear that we must accelerate the building of these latrines. It is for this reason that an urgent review of the Government’s sanitation policy is underway and we are committed to focusing far more resources to accelerate the delivery of sanitation.

Against this background, it is essential to understand that the Government has mobilised our full resources to contain the cholera epidemic in KwaZulu- Natal. I wish to congratulate the Minister of Health and the Department on the handling of the epidemic. It is largely due to their efforts that the fatality rate in South Africa, as pointed out by the World Health Organisation, is well below the international fatality rate in cholera epidemics. With the assistance of the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs, and the hon member Gen Constand Viljoen here, we have approached the cholera problem through our unity in action. And with the general’s assistance and that of the Ministries, we have held discussions with Agri SA to ask them for assistance. They are ready to help the Government combat this epidemic with the distribution of bleach and educational health material, the setting up of water tanks and the provision of emergency water.

Also in the spirit of unity, I would like to pay tribute to a farmer from Mkhuze, in KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Charl Senekal, who has spent R20 million to provide not only irrigation for his sugar estate, but also life-giving water to almost 200 000 people living in Mkhuze and Bethesda hospital at Umbombo. [Applause.] I believe that Mr and Mrs Senekal are in the gallery.

The ANC appreciates the farming community of this country, and members will hear that not simply from this speaker, but from the countless members of the ANC, including our President, Ministers and members of this House. During the local elections campaign I was, frankly, extremely impressed to find so many mense van die platteland; die boere was ook daar [people from the rural areas; the farmers were also there]. They came to the fore and had discussions, not only with me, but everybody from the ANC whom I was travelling with.

We thank the heroic doctors and health workers for their selfless work around the clock on the cholera victims. We are encouraged by the many people in KwaZulu-Natal who are working with my department in erecting those pit latrines. I am talking about the ordinary rural people living in those homesteads who have responded magnificently by fetching the river sand and performing the labour, together with the contractors. In approximately nine weeks, as a result of the R35 million which my department made available in the two key cholera-stricken areas of KwaZulu- Natal, 9 000 pit latrines will have been or are being erected. These will serve 100 000 people, as well as 200 schools where latrine blocks are being built. Those schools will serve another 100 000 learners. This is how this Government intends to deal with the sanitation backlog in the same way that we have energetically been dealing with bringing clean and safe water to 7 million rural people so far. [Applause.]

As our President has pointed out, the success of the Government’s plan of action will also depend on the extent to which people can be mobilised so that they become active participants in the upliftment of themselves and their own communities. Let us reiterate our President’s call for all South Africans to dedicate this year to building unity in action for change. That is the way to bridge the rural divide between the rich and the poor and forge the unity of all our people. [Applause.]

Dr A I VAN NIEKERK: Madam Speaker, hon President, I would like to react briefly to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and thank him for what he said about the farmers. They are in desperate need of attention from the Government and I am glad that he recognised their contribution. I fully agree with the suggestion in the President’s state of the nation speech that within the ordinary, loyal South African lives the will and desire for our country to be successful. Although we share a diverse and complicated legacy which we do not fully understand at all times, we are also compelled to share a common future, if we want the success we so desperately desire.

The important question is how to unleash the potential and talents within our people to work together as one nation. There is no simple answer to this daunting question, but I firmly believe that the key to the delivery of these better conditions which the people of South Africa so anxiously seek, will eventually be found within the greater tolerance among our people for each other’s views and in a growing, well-managed economy.

In his speech the President mentioned some of the prerequisites for a peaceful and prosperous South Africa. He placed major emphasis on the need to develop the disadvantaged section of our population, especially those in rural areas. We must, however, move away from the two nation concept in this regard and bridge the rich-poor divide or else the mistakes made in our past will only repeat themselves.

Tolerance of each other’s views and greater understanding of each other’s background, our dreams, our ideals and also our fears, are essential in understanding each other with empathy. This could become the mortar to cement the bricks of a greater trust between individuals into a monument of achievement and create victory over poverty and shelter us against the aggression and crime which are so rampant at present.

In his address the President spoke of what people should do to facilitate and help guide the future. I would like to suggest some actions that the Government could take in this regard. In the limited time at my disposal, I can only concentrate on two aspects. A tremendous potential exists within human and natural resources in our rural areas. Up to now our Government has not succeeded in fully unleashing this potential. In fact, the intentions of Government in this regard are treated with mistrust in some circles and therefore are not supported by all the necessary role-players.

Binne die landbousektor, veral die kommersiële been daarvan, is daar baie kundigheid en vermoë. Die gereelde vergaderings van die President, Agri SA en ander organisasies, getuig hiervan. Die saamwerkideaal kry egter nie in die praktyk werklik beslag en rigting nie en word deur ‘n hele reeks faktore versteur. Ek wil klem lê op een of twee.

Die eerste is ondeurdagte uitsprake van leiers aan albei kante, en die ander is die bestaan en proklamasie van ‘n aantal wette wat in die breë nie onaanvaarbaar is nie, maar elemente bevat wat krapperigheid by kommersiële boere veroorsaak. Die aanbieding daarvan deur regeringswoordvoerders dra ook by tot baie misverstande. Dit word deur die meeste wit boere as ‘n vorm van gesofistikeerde wraak teen hulle vertolk, wat moet dien as ‘n middel om boerderyomstandighede verder te bemoeilik en om hulle uiteindelik van die grond af weg te kry.

Hulle verkeer verder onder die indruk dat die regering nie veel omgee vir kommersiële boere en hul probleme nie. Op hul beurt maak boere weer kras uitsprake sonder om ook die sin te sien in vele van die nuwe voorskrifte van die regering. Dit ontlok weer ‘n teenreaksie van regeringskant. Só broei die misverstand voort en verval ons al meer in die moeras van wantroue.

Wanneer die Minister van Arbeid tot die debat toetree, soos tydens sy onlangse besoek aan die Noord-Kaap en uitsprake maak soos byvoorbeeld dat as boere nie wil saamwerk of gehoor gee aan wette nie, hulle gepenaliseer sal word; en boonop byvoeg dat as hulle hul nie aanpas by die nuwe Suid- Afrika nie, hulle sal sterf, skep dit nie vertroue vir samewerking nie.

In dieselfde asem wil ek ook die Minister van Arbeid bedank vir die feit dat hy die opmerking teruggetrek en verskoning daarvoor gevra het. Hierdie optrede gee my en andere hoop dat daar aan beide kante van die Raad tog die begrip en wil is om groter sensitiwiteit en verdraagsaamheid in ons optrede te weerspieël. Daarsonder kan ons Ikabod skryf oor die toekoms.

‘n Beter lewe vir al die inwoners sal nie verkry word deur bloot wette te maak nie. Dit sal deur die werking van ekonomiese kragte en deur samewerking verkry word.

Ek wil vir die agb President sê daar bestaan ‘n ernstige behoefte dat hy na baie van hierdie wette moet kyk. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Within the agricultural sector, especially the commercial branch thereof, there is a lot of expertise and ability. The regular meetings of the President, Agri SA and other organisations, attest to this. However, the ideal of working together is not really gaining substance and direction in practice and is being impeded by a whole range of factors. I want to emphasise one or two of these factors.

The first is thoughtless remarks from leaders of both sides and the other is the existence and proclamation of a number of laws which generally are not unacceptable, but contain elements which cause uneasiness amongst commercial farmers. The presentation thereof by Government spokespeople also contributes to many misunderstandings. It is seen by many white farmers as a form of sophisticated revenge against them, which should serve as a means to make farming conditions even more difficult and eventually to drive them from their land.

They are also under the impression that the Government does not care much about commercial farmers and their problems. For their part farmers are making extreme remarks without also seeing the sense in many of the new regulations of the Government. This evokes a counter-reaction from the Government. In this manner the misunderstandings incubates and we start degenerating into the swamp of suspicion.

When the Minister of Labour joins the debate and makes remarks, as he did during his recent visit to the Northern Cape, for example that if farmers do not want to co-operate or obey the laws, they will be penalised for that; and goes on to say that if they do not adapt to the new South Africa, they will die, this does not create confidence for co-operation.

In the same breath I would also like to thank the Minister of Labour for the fact that he retracted the remark and apologised. This action gives me and others hope that there is indeed understanding and the will on both sides of the House to reflect greater sensitivity and tolerance in our actions. Without that we can write nothing good about the future.

A better life for all the inhabitants will not be achieved by merely making laws. It will be achieved through the working of economic forces and through co-operation.

I want to tell the hon the President that there is a serious need for him to examine many of these laws.]

As the President himself suggested, there is an urgent need to revisit some of the Acts on the Statute Book.

My time has expired, and I can only end by saying that the farmers are singing a revolutionary song that is known to the President, only with different words, namely ``Give us hope, Joanna.’’ [Applause.]

Mr J H JEFFERY: Madam Speaker, hon President, hon members of this House, in his address last Friday the President made a call to all of us to dedicate this year to building unity in action for change, in order to build a new society.

In the course of this debate a number of assertions have been made, in particular by some members of the opposition, on the issue of patriotism and the relationship between Parliament and the executive, and I want to deal with these issues in my contribution to this debate.

In his speech, the President stated of our country, and I quote:

We its citizens, who are very close to the coalface of change, may not easily see the steady transformation that informs all aspects of our national life.

It seems that it is foreigners who have to point out to us that we are our own worst enemies, that the image we project here and abroad is one of negativism and pessimism whilst we ignore the real progress that has been made in transforming our society for the better. This syndrome is, unfortunately, particularly prevalent amongst white citizens.

We only need to look at our history for some explanation as to where this negative attitude comes from. Apartheid separated whites from blacks and prevented whites from regarding their black compatriots as fellow human beings. Black South Africans were portrayed as subhumans who had to be feared. At the same time white South Africans were subjected to a barrage of propaganda on the dangers of the ANC and its allies and what terrible things would happen to them and their families if the ANC were to come to power. Young white males were conscripted into the SA Defence Force to protect their women and children by going and fighting this enemy in Angola, Namibia and Mozambique.

Suddenly, in 1990, negotiations with this enemy began which resulted in the nonracial elections of 1994. Within the space of a few years white South Africans found themselves led by the man denounced by the hon Mr Van Schalkwyk’s predecessors as a terrorist. The old flag was gone. Even Die Stem was now joined in a new national anthem with Nkosi Sikelela.

As a result of this culture shock, this fundamental change of values, it is not surprising that many white South Africans find it difficult to accept the black President. This may be either consciously or subconsciously. [Interjections.]

Although it is now difficult to find anyone who actually supported apartheid or who admits to being racist, the evidence of this is not hard to find. [Interjections.] We hear it on the radio during phone-in comments, we read it in the newspapers in the letters columns …

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: You should see the racists in your party.

Mr J H JEFFERY: As a white South African I have experienced it as well during many routine daily activities, going into a shop where only whites are present and hearing racist jokes being told; standing in a queue at the autobank where a black grandmother is battling to use the machine and one white person in the queue looks at another, assuming that one is as frustrated as he or she is at having to queue with black people. [Interjections.]

If we are to build unity in action for change it is the duty of all of us here, particularly those parties representing those in our society who find it difficult to accept this change, to take active steps to help them into the new South Africa. [Interjections.]

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: You should start in your own backyard.

Mr J H JEFFERY: The recent report of the public accounts committee on the Auditor-General’s report on arms procurement has focused attention on Parliament’s oversight role and the relationship between Parliament and the executive.

The Constitution is clear on this matter. Parliament has the power to pass legislation in terms of section 44 of the Constitution. In terms of section 55, the National Assembly must provide mechanisms to ensure that the executive is accountable to it and that it performs oversight over the executive. [Interjections.] This accountability - to the members in the DP

  • which is performed by members of the executive reporting to Parliament and answering questions does not mean that Parliament can instruct the executive to do certain things.

This can only be done through legislation. The relationship between Parliament and the executive - the DP should perhaps read the Constitution

  • is a persuasive one, not a directive one. While the exact relationship will be fleshed out in the course of debate and over time, the broad parameters are clear. My colleague the hon Ms Chohan-Kota will speak more on this later in the debate. It is also not the opposition that holds the executive accountable; it is Parliament itself. The hon Mr Leon referred in his speech to the contract entered into between the ANC and the people of South Africa in the elections of 1994. In doing so, he seems to have forgotten the increased support from the people of South Africa for that contract that was given to the ANC in the 1999 elections. [Interjections.]

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Think about December 2000!

Mr J H JEFFERY: Nevertheless, the ANC’s election manifesto was to root out, without fear or favour, corruption in the public and private sectors, in our own organisation and in society as a whole. This is part of the mandate on which members of the ANC were elected to this House, and this is something which they will obviously uphold. As part of this commitment to rooting out corruption, and going back to the 1994 mandate, the ANC with its then 62,6% majority led a constitution-making process that resulted in a constitution with checks and balances, to facilitate exposing corruption. We have a Bill of Rights, with the right to information. We have independent institutions such as the Public Protector and the Auditor- General, designed to deal with this as well.

I have not read any accounts of the self-appointed lone fighters against corruption in this House, the hon Leon, Van Schalkwyk or Andrew, attempting to introduce amendments to this effect to the 1983 constitution, which was the constitution before 1994. In spite of this, members of the opposition have spread a number of misconceptions. We have had the hon De Lille threatening in a SAPA report on 26 December to take the President to court for violating ``a unanimous parliamentary decision that Heath be part of the investigation’’. She goes on to say that she called on parliamentary Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala immediately to intervene to inform Mbeki and Maduna that they were violating a parliamentary resolution.

We have had similar assertions in this debate by the hon Holomisa, including one to the effect that the executive was reneging on a decision to have the four units involved. He went on to say that the executive could not investigate itself.

Madam Speaker, the facts in this matter are clear. As you yourself stated in a letter to the Deputy President on 29 January, printed in the ATCs of 31 January 2001, and I quote:

The Report …

That is, the report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts -

… does not recommend that any or all of these bodies must be included, nor does it refer to the procedural and constitutional issues that would arise should Parliament wish to involve or instruct either independent or executive agencies or organisations in its enquiries.

As I said before, should Parliament have passed such a resolution, it would have been a persuasive one, not a directive one. The executive runs the executive, Parliament runs the legislature; there is a separation of powers.

We know of an investigation conducted by the Auditor-General, the Public Protector and the Director of Public Prosecutions. Hon Holomisa was present at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts last week when the Auditor-General’s Office gave its report on the progress of the investigation. It is baffling to comprehend how this amounts to the executive investigating itself, as the prosecuting authority, in terms of the Constitution, exercises its functions without fear, favour or prejudice, and the other two bodies are independent institutions in terms of Chapter 9 of our Constitution.

For the sake of our country, the opposition parties have a duty to play a constructive role. This includes constructive criticism and not fabricating or distorting the facts, as appears to be the case in the two examples I have mentioned. Hon Seremane spoke about the fact that the DP, too, is a legitimate voice of the voters. That is accepted, but equally it must be accepted that in terms of the election that brought us to this Parliament, they represent 9,55% of the voters and the ANC 66,4%. [Interjections.] The voters of this country gave the ANC an overwhelming mandate to govern: govern the ANC must, and govern the ANC will.

It is accepted that the DP and the New NP predominantly represent white voters, the people who supported the apartheid policies over the years by overwhelmingly voting for the NP. [Interjections.] It is crucial that, if this country is to unite and move forward, the leaders of these sections of our community must … [Interjections.]

HON MEMBERS: Must what?

Mr J H JEFFERY: They must assist these sections of our community to join, as the President has said, in a campaign to become activists in a historic process to transform ours into a truly nonracial country. The leaders of these people should not feed the people’s fears with ``swart gevaar’’ tactics. They should not encourage their feelings of negativity and racism, as the very grey hon Mr Afro-pessimism Andrew has done, by perpetually attacking anything the ANC Government does or by fabricating facts. They need to engage the Government constructively on matters that will make South Africa a better place for all. They need to heed the President’s call for unity and action for change. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr D H M GIBSON: Madam Speaker, I am not sure whether the Chair heard the remark by the hon member who has just spoken. He accused Mr Andrew of ``fabricating facts’’. [Interjections.] That, I submit, is unparliamentary. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! I do not recall it. If you have it in your written speech and it has been said, would you withdraw it? If not, I will be consulting Hansard.

Mr J H JEFFERY: Madam Speaker, I will withdraw it.

The SPEAKER: Thank you. [Interjections.] Order!

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker, Mr President, hon members, when during a weekend one walks deeper among the mkhukhu of Lwandle, just outside Cape Town, one’s hair occasionally stands on end. One feels like turning and running. Every other mkhukhu is a shebeen from which competing music blasts at full throttle. Every other adult moves or dances in a daze from all the noise and the obvious abuse of substances. One sees in motion, massive attempts at escapism.

One sees the toddlers in Lwandle playing in the filth and squalor they cannot escape from. These are our people. The speech by the President and the optimistic figures and statistics contained therein ought to have meaning to them as well. He is their President. But did it have meaning to them? Did it have meaning that the economy gathered momentum in the third quarter of 2000, and that the consumer inflation rate was 5,3% last year, as compared to 15,3% in 1991?

Probably not. That is not because it is high-flown erudite stuff, but because the divisions in our society are still such that a boon for one section is at best a nonevent for the other. It is because those optimistic figures and statistics had no tangible, visible and obvious impact on their immediate and material condition.

This, once more, emphasises the enormous amount of work we face in this country. It is a hard enough challenge to grow the economy, but in our case one still has to ensure that the fruits of that economic growth are distributed in a manner that benefits the people of Lwandle, as well as those of Sea Point and Constantia.

Also, the fact that the street kids one finds everywhere in the cities of our country are of one colour, that the images of cholera on our television screens are black, and that all the people of Lwandle and other places of a similar description are black, means that our quest for an equal and integrated society, as envisaged by the Constitution, does not yet exist. But because we do not want integration in the gutter, equality in diarrhoea, dehydration and cholera, or solidarity in the squalor of Lwandle, we should devote special attention to the eradication of the legacy of centuries of oppression, which is so manifest in the black community.

The line in the speech of the President, which talks about moving the economy onto a high-growth path, raising employment levels and reducing poverty and persistent inequalities needs to inform and drive almost everything we do. That high growth path of economic growth must go through Lwandle, Nongoma, Nzhele, Dinokana, Mankurwane and Botshabelo, so that the economic figures and statistics of the future can increasingly begin to talk to us as well.

The MINISTER OF MINERALS AND ENERGY: Madam Speaker, hon President, comrades and Director-General Nogxina, our Government’s macroeconomic balance has paid off. It has created the space and possibility for Government and other stakeholders to focus on micro socioeconomic challenges, while continuing to focus on macroeconomic stability which we have to maintain.

Last year the President committed the Government to an initiative that would seek to address systematically, and in a sustainable way, rural poverty and underdevelopment. This was to build on the initiatives already started by this Government since 1994, and on the work of other social partners who have dedicated time and resources to this course.

The Presidency, through the Office of the Deputy President, has dedicated time to and has focused on the Integrated Rural Development Strategy, which will pool us all together in Government and enable us to focus on the task of improving the quality of life of our rural people, mobilising other stakeholders and doing so in partnership.

During this process the Presidency worked through Government clusters, and right from the start the process sought to deepen integration as an important prerequisite for effective rural delivery. The process of arriving at a set of measures now adopted by national Government started by evaluating the progress and limitations of the initiatives undertaken since

  1. From that exercise we concluded that of the initiatives undertaken to date, the critical success factors included were specifically the following. Firstly, integration and co-ordination; secondly, decentralisation and involvement of communities and local government; and thirdly, demand-driven initiatives.

Out of the ongoing work that Government is doing we also learnt that the single most important service Government provides to the rural poor is welfare services and that there is a need not only to prioritise the outreach of welfare services and its efficient delivery, but also to dramatically change the opportunities in rural areas so that many more people will not need to depend on welfare services. We need to systematically revise the impact of more than 100 years of migrant labour, which was deliberately and ruthlessly enforced amongst our people. It destroyed the African peasant and took away the land - a story told very vividly by Sol Plaatje - thanks to the hon members on this side of the House. What we are therefore doing in the implementation of the Integrated Rural Development Strategy is to reverse this legacy.

We also looked further afield and learnt from international experience. Rural development, even without the complexities that we have in South Africa, is a complex undertaking. It must be built on well-throughout interlocking initiatives, a combination of bottom-up and centrally driven initiatives aimed at supporting and enhancing local demand-driven initiatives.

The vision that has been outlined for rural areas of South Africa is that of socially cohesive, resilient and stable rural communities that are economically empowered, productive and contributing sustainably to South Africa’s growth and global competitiveness. This is the call we are making at the beginning of the African Century. This vision gives us the agenda.

This is also a microspatial strategy which will target defined nodes of underdevelopment, using district councils as entry points. It recognises the general problems of underdevelopment and seeks to build on unique strengths of different local communities.

Furthermore, most rural problems present themselves as social ones, but sustainable solutions are socioeconomic, hence the strategy places great emphasis on building diverse rural economies with a mixture of private and public sector solutions, the creation of productive infrastructure and remunerative programmes within a macroeconomic framework.

The pillars of the strategy are integration, co-ordination, decentralisation, demand-driven partnerships, diversified economies and enhanced social infrastructure and institutions. Cross-cutting high impact programmes have also been identified from existing programmes of Government and those outside Government, as well as new programmes that need to be developed.

In order to hit the ground running, we have isolated those cross-cutting programmes which can be rolled out without delay. These are the settlement of our people on productive land and agricultural support; broad-based income generating initiatives and small, macro and medium enterprise development; co-ordinated access to affordable finance from public and private sources, as well as the enhancement of personal finance; the basic roll-out, in particular roads, water, shelter, energy and telecoms; social assistance and security, in order to ensure that what we have achieved in welfare services can be improved; affirmative procurement which can contribute to high quality rural productive capacity, as well as ensuring that rural economies have market access; human resource development which will build on and enhance local capacity, and a policy that will facilitate secondment, mentorship and volunteer schemes with incentives where necessary; and lastly, capacity-building for local government and local institutions and the building of dynamic traditional leadership institutions.

These are the programmes that will be targeting rural communities across the country. Relevant departments with appropriate mandates from the national and local departments will be mobilised for effective implementation. In many cases, these programmes are in place and need greater focus and integration.

In addition to this cross-cutting high impact programme, additional Government services and products that can be branded have also been identified for inclusion in the rural basket of services. Most of these are products which have been tested by departments and are now being reviewed and adjusted to work in the identified nodes. Through cluster co- ordination, synergies between the products would be enhanced such that they are delivered as a comprehensive service that is responsive and demand driven.

The following are examples of such products: Abet, the rural housing programme, agricultural support centres, women in construction, working for water, the land care programme, Phambili Nombane, technology centres, local tourism information centres, community production centres and mini grids, to mention but a few. This also implies that departments will budget as clusters rather than individually in many cases. To deliver these services, the Government has also identified the nodes that it will initially begin with, and these were announced by the President.

The identification of the nodes was based on the degree of poverty in those areas, lack of basic services, institutional capacity, skills, limited local government capacity and opportunities that can be identified in those areas for building and stimulating growth and development. The strategy advocates diversified rural economies as against agrarian development. In his speech, the President indicated priority industries for our country, namely, agriculture, tourism, information and communication and cultural industries. What makes these industries a priority includes the fact that they are also relevant to job creation, facilitation of entry points into the mainstream economy by rural areas and the fact that they are wealth creators in general.

All of the priority industries will be key to and have a special role in the rural strategy. The Cabinet has also identified input costs which need to be kept competitive in order to build a robust South African economy, and these are energy, transport and Telkom. All of these are also identified as basic infrastructure support services for a successful rural development strategy. The Minister of Finance has already allocated R6 billion for infrastructure development, out of which rural development will also benefit.

The strategy also argues for taking full advantage of natural resources in rural areas, which in some cases are the only assets that can contribute significantly to the development of these areas. These will be looked into in the context of the integrated development plans which exist in many local authorities, which as of now are also required by regulation. Mining, agriculture and tourism will also be identified as important natural industries which need to be exploited to the full in many of the rural areas.

Political parties are also urged to unite around the implementation of the strategy and mobilise their local leadership. The ANC and IFP, who enjoy the overwhelming support of the rural masses, have already committed themselves to this task. So, I do not know what the hon member Gibson is talking about by giving his imagined support, when he has not won any support in the rural areas. If the rural people wanted him, they would have chosen him - instead, they have chosen us.

Based on the indicated criteria that the Government has identified for the nodes, the following district councils and municipalities have been identified: O R Tambo, Bizana, Tabankulu, Lusikisiki, Flagstaff, Port St Johns, Libode, Ngqeleni, Qumbu, Tsolo, Umtata, Umzinyantsi, Umkhanyakude, Ugku and the district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, which include Dundee, Nqutu, Pomeroy, Greytown, Kranskop, Emanguzi and others. The important message that we need to take with us is that not everybody in these nodes will necessary be poor and therefore targeted. This will facilitate targeting by those district councils.

The role of the Department of Provincial and Local Government cannot be emphasised enough in this initiative, hence it will play a critical co- ordinating and championing role in driving this strategy. A link between urban and rural development is also envisaged in the development and implementation of the strategy. The process of rolling out the key nodes will unfold over the next two years. It is anticipated that we intend to roll out about 30 nodes by the year 2003 and could have the capacity to reach out to more than 7 million people. If one looks at this in conjunction with our intention to also roll out the urban renewal strategy, one can see a very co-ordinated strategy to target all our poor people in the rural and urban areas.

The IDT has been identified as a support institution which will work closely with the relevant department, ensuring that there is enough capacity, especially on the ground, to implement the strategy. The strategy has an accountable approach. All people working in the strategy will be expected to work according to the plan. The Presidency will regularly appraise the strategy, ensuring that the barriers are removed and that best practices are transmitted to other areas. We would like to leave the House with a clear understanding that it is our unshakable commitment that in our lifetime, an African child in Tabankulu, Riviersonderend and Mhlangana will be proud because we have made that possible. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Deputy President and fellow South Africans, I rise to add my voice to the support for the President’s statement of last Friday. I have noted, as I listened to hon members’ positive observations, that it was a well-measured statement in terms of its tone and was acceptable all round. I am happy about that, but I do hope that it does not imply that as we move ahead with the painful task of transforming our society, we will shy away from time to time from telling each other some unpleasant truths.

Ours has been a very unfortunate history. If we are going to proceed to transform it and confront some of the realities that we have inherited, from time to time we need a President who is going to say some very unpleasant things, not in order to destroy, but to raise the level of our vigilance, focusing us on the painful task that still has to be performed to make ours a better society. I therefore hope that the President will not in future shy away from confronting that task when it does arise.

The recent debates - if I may turn a little bit to the strategic arms package - have been a very significant development for our country. I think as a people we ought to congratulate ourselves on the fact that for the first in our history we can engage so robustly in debates on issues which in the past, we would never have had the right to say as much about as we have said this time. [Applause.] I say this because sometimes we forget that even white South Africans have been saying things that they would not have been allowed to say in the old order. So, all of us have been victims of a terrible system. The fact that we have been able to do that recently, is an indication that the words of the President that we are slowly drifting away from an unhappy and unfortunate past, are indeed very true.

This debate has tested our commitment to our Constitution and has compelled us to understand the democratic institutions that were set up in Chapter 9. This has really tested all of us. In doing so it has helped us to understand our Constitution and the work we have done up to now, far better than would otherwise have been the case.

With regard to this matter, I would like to say the following. As we exercise these new freedoms which we did not have in the past, it is not unlikely - and is, in fact, more than probable - that some of us will go to excesses and extremes. Some of us may not be doing this in bad faith, but simply because it is something new and people are therefore learning to exercise that freedom. This is important. However, I think that South Africans must be careful that in exercising these freedoms, we must develop parameters to define how much further we can go than we could in the past.

We cannot possibly set up an institution such as the Presidency of the country and then have citizens who say the things which were said here in this House about that Office. This is not an exercise in democracy, but an abuse of the rights that have been granted. [Applause.] Members of the House are going to play a vital role in assisting our people to come to terms with this newfound freedom. This is because the pronouncements that we all make, tend to be accepted as what is acceptable. To get back to what I was saying, we should be attentive in what we do. We all met in this House and produced a White Paper on Defence policy. We proceeded to the next step, which was the Defence Review, and determined what the country needed. We then proceeded to the acquisition process. However, in debates recently, there have been members of Parliament - and one of them is not here. I had hoped that she would be here. I asked her to return to the House as I was going to speak - who have appeared on television to debate this issue before the nation. This member asks how we arrived at the conclusion that we needed these arms, yet the whole process of review was carried out in this House and the hon member was also in the House. This confuses people abroad and voters. We need to remember these things.

We also need to acquaint ourselves with issues, because this acquisition was dealt with in a very special way. Cabinet was the only body which took decisions with regard to this acquisition. A subcommittee chaired by the Deputy President was set up. This subcommittee was composed of the Ministers of Defence, Trade and Industry, Finance and Public Enterprises. No single member of Cabinet could ever take decisions on this issue. It was always processed by the officials through the subcommittee of Cabinet and the decisions were then taken by the Cabinet. What Mrs De Lille has said in the country about us lying to voters about issues relating to the price of the acquisition relates to decisions that have been taken by the Cabinet.

To suggest that this country has a Cabinet that can sit in session and take a resolution that we are now going to lie to the nation about the prices of these acquisitions, is self-defeating and destructive. It is destructive especially in this period of a globalising world. No government that is corrupt or that is tainted by corruption has a future under globalisation.

Corrupt regimes could survive during the Cold War period. This could happen and it did happen. However, the globalising world in which we find ourselves at this time will not tolerate a corrupt government. South Africans, therefore, must be careful not to suggest that their Government is corrupt, unless they have evidence. If anyone can find some concrete evidence on which to base his or her statement, he or she must do that.

But I do not believe there is a single member in this House who wants to say South Africa’s Government is corrupt purely to discredit it, because investors will go, and so on … [Interjections.]

An HON MEMBER: Who said that?

The MINISTER: Well, members may create that impression intentionally or unintentionally. All I am saying is that members should exercise their new- found freedom in such a way that they do not destroy their own. They do not want to do that.

However, I should also say that corruption is not new in this country. It did not come with this Government. [Interjections.]

An HON MEMBER: The NP invented it.

The MINISTER: The only thing is that there has been more freedom to talk about corruption now and that, in fact, the party in power is leading the discussion and confronting this weakness that we inherited.

Think back to the information scandal and the slush funds. Large amounts of South Africa’s taxpayers’ money were taken here and given away. No South African could say anything. [Interjections.] If there is corruption which supersedes that, I do not know of it. So we have had corruption. One could go on to mention the pass laws, the municipalities in the townships, the Bantustans - I am not going to talk about that - and then, of course, the slush funds I have referred to. We have inherited a huge culture of corruption.

Under the leadership of the President, the Government and this Parliament, we are now on a crusade to arrest this thing and eliminate it. Let us work together. Let us confront those realities. [Interjections.] Let us work together on these issues.

Some of the people who are sitting here were paymasters of the killers. [Interjections.] Therefore, it should be appreciated that we are cleaning up a country that we found in a total mess so, I think, there must be a little bit of humility sometimes.

When one is dealing with former prisoners who were eating izinkobe, [unstamped corn], while those members were sitting in this Parliament writing poetry to its armies, and so on; when one sometimes looks at former victims of that kind, one must also look at himself or herself and say: How can we join hands and take the country forward?

I appealed to the members some time ago when we came here and said that we must always think that we are about to perform a sacred duty. We must speak on behalf of our people and work to take our country forward. We are elected, among other things, to support this President, so that South Africa succeeds under his leadership.

Indeed, where he is wrong objectively, we will say: ``Mr President, we do not think that this is correct.’’ I work with the President daily, and he is open to that. But I do not think that that freedom has been exercised in the responsible manner that it should be. [Applause.]

Inkosi M W HLENGWA: Madam Speaker, Mr President, Mr Deputy President and hon members of the National Assembly, my colleague the hon Mr Musa Zondi, the Deputy Minister of Public Works, spoke passionately about the need to transform crises into opportunities and the role that the IFP intends to play to make this possible, and to enable anyone who wishes to do so to make a contribution towards this goal.

I wish to speak about one such crisis which the President, in his address, touched on. This crisis involves the Presidency and it is for the Presidency to find a solution which may transform it into a real opportunity.

I refer to the crisis which flows from the overlapping of the powers and functions of the municipalities with those of traditional authorities. This issue has been on the table for many years, during which time it was avoided and denied in spite of traditional leaders constantly pointing to it in all stages of the national debates, including those of the Constitutional Assembly and in the process of drafting the White Paper on Local Government and its ensuing legislation.

For many years, it was denied that the establishment of municipalities would take over and obliterate the majority of the powers and functions exercised by traditional authorities. At best, the public documentation issued by the department admitted that there was an overlap of functions which had to be investigated further.

However, after the matter was taken over by the technical committee, on the advice of the President, it emerged that the internal documentation of the department clearly spelt out that, in the absence of a constitutional legislative amendment which directly vests powers and functions in traditional authorities, the establishment of municipalities in rural areas would mark the last and final chapter in the obliteration of all powers and functions of traditional leadership.

A fundamental gap existed between the factual and legal reality on the one hand, and what was publicly professed was represented on the other. In the end, the President sought clarity, and a technical committee was appointed which highlighted the issue. It must be stressed that the crisis arising out of this overlapping of powers and functions is not something that affects the traditional leaders alone, but is a crisis in delivery, development and growth in the rural areas.

Traditional authorities are the cornerstones of the entire system of governance in rural areas, and the obliteration of their powers will spell the demise of the laws, mores and tools of societal organisation which hold traditional communities together, without which economic growth and social upliftment is going to be highly problematic.

Municipalities can only operate in terms of statutory law. What they are going to be doing in rural areas will conflict clash with the laws and customs which govern our people and shape our way of life. It is a crisis which affects the country. It is a crisis which affects the Presidency, which has the final responsibility for its resolution. We look to the Presidency to have the courage to deal with it as effectively as required.

On 16 May, the President wrote to the traditional leaders to commit himself to solving this crisis, indicating his willingness to amend the Constitution and any relevant legislation to protect the powers and functions of the traditional authorities. He even indicated that the establishment of municipalities in rural areas could be delayed pending the finalisation of these amendments. Since then, negotiations and discussions on this issue have been plunged into the quicksands of bureaucratic delays, procrastination, obfuscation, and delaying tactics.

However, on the very same day on which the election date was declared, the President made a further commitment to the traditional leaders. Because of this, he did not object to the proclamation of the election date. The President formally promised that he would apply his mind to design a solution and formulate the required legislation and constitutional amendments to deal with the crisis. He clearly stated that the solution that he would design would protect or restore the local government powers and functions of traditional authorities.

This commitment of his was captured in a contemporaneous letter written by traditional leaders to his director-general, designated by him to take the matter further. The process was again delayed, confused and obfuscated within the meanderings of Government, leading to the production of a Bill which had little to do with the crisis and solved none of the real problems at hand. That called for the intervention of the Presidency once again, this time in the person of the Deputy President who attempted to rectify the shortcomings in the Bill. In the end, it was not possible to do this in the absence of a constitutional amendment.

Simply put, the problem was that without a constitutional amendment, a Bill restoring the local government powers and functions of traditional authorities with the consequent limitation of those of the municipalities would be unconstitutional. A Bill which would not achieve such a purpose would be useless. For this reason, on the eve of the local government elections, the matter could not be taken further and no other course remained open but to once again reach an agreement defining the parameters within which this crisis had to be solved.

On 30 November, the Deputy President, in the committee delegated by Cabinet to deal with this issue, agreed with traditional leaders on a joint document committing the Government to amending both Chapters 7 and 12 of the Constitution, to enable traditional authorities to have local government powers. In order to facilitate the work of the Presidency and to show how simple it would be to accommodate traditional leaders if a genuine political will to do so existed, traditional leaders have taken it upon themselves to seek legal advice and draft the actual text of the required constitutional amendment. This text is available to anyone who is interested in it. It shows that minimal amendments to the Constitution will be required to avoid the unfolding of a major crisis. Once again, I have made my contribution to this issue and my heart is heavy.

Surely, this quotation compels the South African nation to be open-minded. In his book, Africa Betrayed, George B N Ayittey states:

Despite their rhetoric, most African leaders did not value their own heritage and the significance of their indigenous systems. Instead, they copied alien systems to develop their countries. The new leaders stripped the traditional chiefs of their authority and actually set out to destroy indigenous systems through various government policies and civil wars.

These new leaders acted as if Africa had no history, no culture, no native institutions and no indigenous revolutionaries for its people to salute.

I would like to say to the President that the time has come to prove that Chapter 12 of our Constitution was not intended to be rhetoric of the highest order. It is incumbent on this sane Government to amend it.

This Government must avoid portraying the institution of traditional leadership as the victim of liberation. We must avoid another blood bath since this Government is expected to face the challenge of creating and controlling a permanent season of peace and stability for the benefit of our country and its posterity.

We must now take this process forward by recognising that, beneath this crisis, lies a great opportunity. Traditional authorities have an important contribution to make in promoting economic development and social upliftment in rural areas. The legislation which Parliament will need to consider this year will have an enormous impact in charting the way forward towards the establishment, in South Africa, of a genuinely African and yet truly modern state.

Mhlonishwa Mongameli wezwe laseNingizimu Afrika, uma sikhuluma ngezindaba ezinjengalezi kuningi umuntu akucabangayo. Ziningi nezindaba esizikhumbulayo ezenzeka ezingaba wusizo kulesi sikhathi.

Ngifikelwa ukukhumbula umnumzane ongumnikazimuzi onabantu abathandayo emzini wakhe, bese kuba khona oyedwa ogulayo. Ngenhlanhla yakhe lo baba kulo muzi wakhe egcekeni kunezihlahla noma imithi eyazimilela netshaliwe. Kuthi uma esegulelwa kanjena yilungu lomndeni wakhe, bese ephuma abheke khona lapha egcekeni ukuthi yimuphi umuthi ongamsiza. Kuthi uma esewufumene lo muthi ngokucabanga kwakhe ongase umsize, bese ewusebenzisa. Ngesikhathi ewusebenzisa ungaphumeleli ukunqoba isifo lesi esiphethe ilungu lomndeni, bese eze ecabanga nokuthi angaphuma-ke manje aye kwezinye izinkalo kwezinye izindawo lapho angayofuna khona usizo. Uma kukhona abantu abamthandayo, njengoba-ke kwenzeka lapha kwaba khona umuntu ofikayo, wathi: Cha, usuhlupheke kakhulu. Lo muntu wakho usezoze afe. Umuthi ongase welaphe ngawo lesi siguli sakho ukhona lapha egcekeni. Nangempela kwenziwa njalo-ke wase esinda lo muntu walapha ekhaya.

Ngithi kumhlonishwa uMongameli naye-ke ukuleyo nhhlanhla enjengaleyo eqenjini lakhe. Kunenkinga ekhona yokuthi lowo oqokelwe ukuthi alungise lolu daba lwamakhosi ngokomnyango esigungwini sikaHulumeni, kuhamba kuhambe bese esho ethi akasaboni kahle, ulwazi seluyaphela, ngakho akayazi le nto ukuthi angayilungisa kanjani. Mina ngithi kuMhlonishwa uMongameli unenhlanhla-ke ngoba eqenjini lakhe, lapha ngaphakathi emalungwini ePhalamende, kuKhongolose, kukhona abaniniyo le nto. Kukhona amakhosi eqenjini lakhe afunda nomthetho awugogoda, angayilungisa ngemizuzu nje le ndaba. Bekunganani pho-ke umhlonishwa noma oyedwa, ngoba ngeke babe babili, eqenjini lakhe, ayolekelela kulo msebenzi owenziwa yilona othi ubuye angaboni kahle phambili; noma kungihlupha nje mina ukuthi uMAfrika angabuye kanjani athi akazi ngobukhosi edabuka lapha.

Uma ngibeke amazwi angemnandi kuMongameli, kobe ngenziwa yisifiso sokuthi lolu daba lulungiseke. Kodwa-ke nginethemba lokuthi sonke lapha endlini siyafisa ukuthi uMongameli wezwe aphumelele ekuholeni lelizwe. Sifisa aphumelele kuthokoza wonke umuntu kuleli zwe, futhi kuthokoza zonke izinhlaka zokuphatha ezazificwe zikhona yilaba abamhlophe. Asingashaneli ezinye izinto sizibuyisele eceleni. Asakhele phezu kwazo; ubukhosi ngobaleli zwe, akusibo obakwenye indawo. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[Hon President of South Africa, when one talks about such issues, one thinks about lots of things. One remembers many things that happened in the past which might be helpful nowadays.

I remember the story of a head of a certain homestead who liked his family very much. One day a member of his family fell ill. Fortunately, there were trees within range of his homestead. Some had been planted and others grew naturally. Since a member of his family was ill, he examined these trees, searching for the tree that he could use as a herb to treat his ailing relative. Then he saw the tree that he thought would help, cut it down and used it. This herb did not cure the sickness of his ailing relative. The owner of the homestead decided to go and search for herbs in the surrounding hills. His friends used to come and visit him. It so happened that one day a friend came to him and said: “You have been experiencing terrible hardship. This ailing member of your family is about to die. The tree that you can use as a herb, is here among the trees that are within range of your homestead.’’ Of course everything was done as this traveller had advised. Then the ailing relative was cured.

In telling this story, I am trying to say to the President that he is in the same situation with regard to his party. It is possible that the person who has been appointed to solve the issue of traditional leaders might say he does not see clearly, he does not know what to do and he does not know how to rectify the situation. What I am saying is that the hon President is lucky, because within the ANC there are experts on this issue, people who are amakhosi themselves. There are amakhosi who even hold law degrees and are capable of solving this problem within a split second. It will be better if one hon member, because there cannot be two members from the ANC, assists in this task which was assigned to this person who sometimes says that he does not know what to do and he does not see the way forward. However, it dismays me that an African can say he does not know about traditional leadership, while he has his own origin here.

If I have addressed unkind words to the President, that is because of my desire to see this issue resolved. I hope that all of us in this House wish the President success in leading this country. We wish him success that will emerge out of the happiness of every South Africans, including all administrative structures which were there before the arrival of the whites. We should not correct some of the things and leave others aside. We need to build upon the traditional structures. Traditional leadership belongs to this country, it does not belong to other places. [Applause.]]

Mrs W S NEWHOUDT-DRUCHEN: Madam Speaker, Comrade President and hon members, I would like to take this opportunity to mention that Parliament still does not cater completely for the needs of the members of the disabled community, that is those who are deaf.

No interpreter was provided for a deaf visitor in the public gallery during the President’s speech at the opening of Parliament this year. Once again, it has been pointed out that our hon President’s speech was not interpreted in sign language on TV, used by approximately 500 000 deaf South Africans who all waited to know what the hon the President said. However, on the positive side, we take note of the fact that Parliament has put new devices in the elevators to enable and empower our hon members who are blind.

Today we continue to follow what the President said in 1999, that we are a nation at work. As our President mentioned in his speech, slowly we are moving away from the painful past, a painful past that has left the vast majority of our population in poverty. The policies of apartheid has led to a shameful legacy of human underdevelopment which will remain etched in the collective consciousness of the world for a long time.

The level of poverty and inequality in South Africa is one part of that legacy. Severe poverty, especially where there is a lack of access to clean water, electricity, good health, and education, leads to different types of disabilities, for example, a high rate of TB, HIV/Aids, cholera, illiteracy, lack of family planning, child abuse, gangsterism, exclusion, discrimination and negative attitudes.

Poverty is caused not only by a lack of sustainable and sufficient financial income, but also by educational, social, political and economic exclusion in the communities in which we live. Lack of access to proper health care puts many, especially children, at risk of being infected with easily preventable diseases which result in disabilities.

Poor children are often malnourished, which subjects them to increased infection and, once they contract a disease, they will have little resistance and, often, no access to proper treatment. They are more exposed to inadequate sanitation, unsafe water and hazards in their homes, all of which are health and life-threatening. Once a child is disabled, the family sinks deeper into poverty. Poverty is closely linked to disempowerment. If we could look into the causes of the high level of disempowerment found amongst people with disabilities, we would start to understand the close relationship between poverty, disability and exclusion better.

Let me also mention something that I saw on a TV programme for the deaf, Signature, which is shown on Sundays. A mother of a disabled child was interviewed. She started a home for multidisabled children. The home, Tobego, in Orange Farm, in Gauteng, houses more than 30 disabled children who have all been abandoned by families who live in poverty. It is our responsibility as members of Parliament and members of society to make sure that our children, whether disabled or not, have access to decent health, education and good family and community support.

So far, I have seen no proof of the DA’s efforts to help poor people suffering from TB to gain access to the health care system. How can we, as society and Government, contribute? Look at what has been achieved in respect of the eradication of poverty, for example, poverty alleviation programmes, including providing electricity, water, building houses and community health clinics. These projects also include school feeding schemes, land reform, tax reduction for the poor and the middle class, providing monthly grants for poor people, and increasing the monetary value of these grants.

Short-term projects include protecting the rights of farmworkers, children, women and disabled people. Some of the long-term policies include reducing the deficit and inflation. More incentives need to be provided to ensure that local and foreign investors provide the economy with much-needed capital investment. This is necessary to ensure that the economy grows sufficiently to boost job creation and the redistribution of wealth and resources, especially to the poorest of the poor.

With regard to health and crime, long-term programmes include combating drug and alcohol abuse, as well as domestic violence against women, disabled persons and the aged, and child abuse. These should be implemented at schools. In the Western Cape, the DA provincial government prioritises and spends more money on building centres such as the Waterfront and Century City, to the exclusion of the needs of the township areas. [Applause.]

In contrast, our President and the ANC emphasises the needs of the poor as a priority. In fact, the DA mayor for Langeberg has already broken his party’s electoral promises and vowed not to provide free water and electricity, whilst the ANC has already started to deliver. [Applause.] It is clear that whilst the President and the ANC prioritises the needs of the Khayelitshas and the Mitchells Plains, the DA promotes only the needs of the Constantias and the Bishopscourts. [Applause.]

We have a national programme of action for children in South Africa, covering areas such as HIV/Aids, disability, gender, peace and nonviolence. In 1999 the month of October was declared welfare month with the theme ``Fight poverty together’’. The main objective during this month was to build an awareness of welfare services and to foster commitment and unity between communities, NGOs, labour, business, local government and all other sectors of civil society to fight poverty together. Key areas which need more attention, however, are to provide more assistive devices to empower disabled people and to further develop schools in poor areas by providing more resources and better management.

The youth, women and disabled persons also need to be provided with more opportunities. The quotas that are now legislated with regard to affirmative action need to be vigorously applied. We need to empower our people through development, training and employment. We continue to stand behind our President in the continuing fight against poverty. [Applause.]

Adv A H GAUM: Madam Speaker, recently the Leader of the Opposition challenged the President to give more than a cursory glance at education in his opening address and to throw the same enormous energy into education than he has thrown into other dubious issues. Sadly, he missed this opportunity.

While the President plans to bridge the digital divide, the nation is asking what he is planning to do about the fact that, according to the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2000, our education system ranks last among 47 countries. While we celebrate with the President our country’s higher economic ranking, he has withheld from the nation …


The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Is the hon member prepared to take a question?

Adv A H GAUM: No! While we celebrate with the President our country’s higher economic ranking, he withheld from the nation that we ranked second last as far as the adequacy of science education is concerned, second last as regards the interests of the youth in science and technology and last with respect to economic literacy.

Against this background, the fortunate 57% who passed matric last year would like to know what the value of their matric certificate is, if only 14% of candidates received matric exemption and only 45% passed maths. Those who still have to write their matric exams can hardly be inspired without any commitment from the President to address the fact that 30% of our teachers are under or unqualified, as well as the national crisis that one out of five teachers is HIV-positive. [Interjections.] If the President’s Government fails to address and deliver the basics of education, our nation will find it impossible to join him on the information superhighway. In an attempt to convince the nation that the Government is delivering as far as job creation is concerned, the President stated that there was a net gain of 1,1 million jobs between 1996 and 1999. However, he failed to mention that according to the September 2000 survey of total employment and earnings, there was an annual decrease of 126 000 jobs in the formal nonagricultural sector between September 1999 and September 2000.

While we welcome new initiatives announced by the President to create more jobs, one of the most important keys towards job creation remains a fundamental reviewing of our labour laws. It was therefore less encouraging that the President only went so far as to make a second vague promise without any indication of a timeframe for action in this regard. It is also to be regretted that while the President announced the reviewing of immigration laws to attract skills, no mention was made of whether and how the Government intends to stem the tide of highly skilled South Africans leaving the country.

If the President wants to gain credibility, he must practise what he preaches. It is not credible to say that no African child should ever again walk in fear of guns, tyrants and abuse, but then be photographed hand-in- hand with tyrant Robert Mugabe and be silent while he is engaged in a massive onslaught on the judiciary of his country. [Interjections.] And it is not credible to say that the Government will fight corruption, but then get rid of two champions of this cause, Willem Heath and Andrew Feinstein. [Interjections.]

On the positive side, the President’s address was encouraging because he refrained from proceeding to divide the nation in the hope that it will help the ANC to rule forever. We hope that these are the first signs of a President who is willing to build on the foundation of reconciliation that was laid by former Presidents Mandela and De Klerk, and Minister Buthelezi. [Interjections.]

The truth is that many people in our country feel excluded. One such person is Vanshi Moodley, an Indian girl who got six As in matric last year but was denied access to a medical school because of the quotas this Government enforces upon it. If the President wants all South Africans to pull their weight to unite in action to change the future, it is unwise to continue to alienate talented young people because of the past. All our people should rather enter into a social contract that ensures equal opportunity and expects social responsibility. He will be surprised how much goodwill such a contract would instil in all communities.

The President’s reference in his speech to schools that assist one another would become a rule rather than an exception to the rule, and national reconciliation would become the nation’s vision, rather than Government rhetoric. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Mr N N KEKANA: Madam Speaker, if there is one person who the Sunday Times should regard as a mampara, it is certainly Adv Gaum. [Interjections.] What he is not telling us - perhaps he does not know and somebody in the DA should educate him in this regard - is that South Africa spends one fifth of its budget on education, and this is one of the biggest budgets on education in the world. [Interjections.] I think the hon member should educate himself.

To the hon the President, the hon the Deputy President and hon members, there is an upswing in the information and communications industry, greatly encouraged by the state-of-the-nation address. The address by our President will certainly put the sector on a higher growth rate.

We are greatly encouraged that the successful implementation of our policies will stimulate growth and position the information and communications technology sector to be the driver of our economic revival. Information and communications are the crucial determinants of the pace of social and economic change. It is evident that the ICT sector has an important role to play in the development and reconstruction of our country and the African continent as a whole.

In global trade the information and communications technology sector is the fastest growing and is now the third largest after the financial service sector and the health sector. The ICT sector creates opportunities for African countries to leapfrog and integrate into the international markets. The high mobility of capital and international trade requires access to communications tools. Many companies and businesses are borderless and stateless in their operations and require electronic communications services for their global trade and investment.

South Africa is the gateway to the African continent and is one of the leading countries in information and communications technology. After a decade of telecommunications reforms, more people are being connected to basic telephony than ever before in the history of Africa. We should not underestimate the possibilities and potential that satellite and other new wireless technologies can offer the African continent.

Recent major investments by South African communications corporations in other African countries are unprecedented, and signify the globalisation of the African information and communications technology market. South African companies understand the African market place much better than their potential global competitors. These companies are working closely with our Government to create a better environment for their investments and therefore the risk of doing business is greatly reduced. Africans are finding new ways of doing business that is specific to the continent.

The greatest challenge is, however, to introduce innovations and add value to the existing technologies suitable for African conditions and relevant to the people of Africa. There has been big spending on infrastructure by public corporations such as Telkom, Eskom and the special development initiatives. This spending has certainly stimulated the economy, provided services and created jobs. However, we need to merge infrastructure spending with an investment in education and training.

What we need is an industry-specific human resource plan that co-ordinates the various in-house initiatives in the sector. Equipment in information technology systems requires personnel to maintain and operate it. There is a skills shortage in the country.

Recently in our sector of telecommunications, the Minister of Communications and her department hosted an important colloquium to test the views of the industry as we introduce phased and managed competition to Telkom in our country. The industry at the colloquium supported the setting- up of a new information and communications institution or university to train personnel in this fast-growing sector of the industry. We need to utilise the experience and successful approach of the public- private partnerships in capital expenditure Government projects on infrastructure to address this urgent challenge. Government established a telecommunications-dedicated human resource fund that is currently funding a number of exciting initiatives.

A finding by the Human Sciences Research Council that investigated the demand for and supply of high-level human resources in the telecommunications sector is being implemented. There are, and Adv Gaum must listen to this, 60 web laboratories based in previously disadvantaged institutions that offer, for example, A+ and MCSE, and recently also Java courses. There are also courses that are offered in these institutions that include networking and engineering programmes.

One of the most encouraging success stories is the Institute for Satellite Space Application, ISSA, that is based in the Western Cape at Houwteq. Issa has already trained 202 BSc graduates from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, and 50% of them are young rural women. Many of them came from homes without computers or telephones, but are already trained in using Microsoft, Cisco and Unix networking, satellite engineering, remote sensing and related fields.

There is also another initiative at the National Electronic Media Institute for SA, Nemisa, where 40 students are currently receiving high-level skills in media productions and multimedia services. Every industry player in the ICT sector has an in-house facility to train personnel. The challenge now is to bring together these fragmented initiatives under one roof and one institution.

Perhaps the commission that the President intends setting up should closely consider this proposal to establish one ICT institution in the country for high-level skills training. The public and private sectors must invest in high-level education for a better-equipped and better-skilled workforce.

Yesterday the Leader of the Opposition spoke loosely and carelessly about the current process of accelerating change in our country. He used words such as wholesale privatisation, and was advocating the big-bang approach to the opening-up of the telecommunications and other sectors of our economy. The DP like posturing as a party of business. They claim that they represent the interests of capital in South Africa. Well, I am not so sure about this claim.

About 300 participants from the industry attending the colloquium that I have mentioned, reached a consensus view that a managed and phased liberalisation of the telecommunications industry in South Africa is the route to follow. The DP certainly is not speaking on behalf of anybody, and this has been proved time and time again. They have no interest in the country at large.

What they want is to sell the country to foreign companies without any benefit to the vast majority of South Africans. We need affordable, high- quality and sophisticated services for all our people. The DP wants a wholesale selling-off of our country’s treasures. We do not. We want a clear, regulated and predictable process of managed liberalisation. We are restructuring to meet our national objectives, and the objectives of the telecommunications sector tally with our goal of addressing universal savings and access in the country.

The recent double intervention of our President and the presidents of Tanzania and Nigeria on the platform of global capital, signifies the confidence of a continent that has come of age, and is able to make a stand in a globally competitive environment. The dominant forces of peace and development, which for centuries have been kept within the boundaries of colonialism, are rising and competing for acceptance.

African countries such as Senegal, Uganda, Mauritius and Cameroon are projected to be amongst the fastest growing economies in the world. We would like to thank the hon the President for his attention and dedication to the information and communications technology industry. For those who care to follow his work closely, his focus on the ICT and trade is clear for everybody to see.

Ms M SMUTS: Madam Speaker, Mr Kekana speaks loosely and carelessly if he says that we simply say: Sell off the family silver. On the contrary, we say: Give access and interconnection to the family copper in the form of Telkom, so that the sector really can thrive in our country, and stop overmanaging with the purported liberalisation. We do not represent capital. We represent the little people, more and more and more of them, that is why the ANC represents fewer and fewer and fewer of them! [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The hon the President’s acknowledgement on Friday that we have worked together for a decade to make of our country what for 33 years it was not, was a simple statement of fact. However, reconciliation had been thrown so far into reverse by the annus horribilis, the Year of Race, last year, that his speech constituted cause for relief.

Dare we, in fact, hope that the transition is back on track, that we will stop hearing the charge that whites are subliminally racist and that their subjective racism'' perpetuates theobjective racism’’ caused by apartheid privilege, leaving the Government largely unable to deliver, and with no choice but to empower a black elite? Dare we hope? Not quite! [Interjections.]

Not quite, considering the hon the President’s pat on the back for Carl Niehaus and his sad little circle who apologise for being so powerful from a position of discernible racial disempowerment within the Africanising ANC. Dissenters do indeed advance humanity, as the hon Pallo Jordan says. The dissenters of the past were us. He, himself, has a proud track record of dissent within the ANC. He should be praising the hon Andrew Feinstein, of course, not the pale conformists.

We cannot really hope that last year’s hurt and damage will now be allowed to heal, apparently not quite, considering the President is poised to take ``the necessary steps further to develop a national consensus’’ on racism as the September UN Racism Conference in Durban approaches; and wants us also to implement the decisions taken at last year’s Sandton race jamboree. We cannot hope at all really, when hon members see how the hon Minister Tshwete implements this year’s ANC birthday decision to mobilise against colonialism and slavery by attacking Portuguese-speaking South Africans. [Interjections.]

Last year’s 8 January decision gave us the Racism Conference, of course. In other words, the hon the President invites another year of race-dominated discourse. Perhaps he intends to give the local wit gevaar'' a break this year, only to transfer thetotal onslaught’’ to the foreign powers whose ghostly ancestors, long dead and buried, for 300 years did make our country what it was''. This would be a case, I suppose, not of subliminal, but subterranean racism. I doubt if it will do much for foreign direct investment. It seems blame will remain the name of the game, but the game is now global. It is called thenew internationalism’’.

Is the President seriously contemplating support for the fantastical idea of international compensation for slavery and colonialism, notwithstanding Zimbabwe, while his own Government heartlessly avoids paying reparation to our own TRC victims, despite our solemn legal undertaking as a nation? [Interjections.] We seek clarification on this matter, and we remind hon members that Africa itself practised, participated in and profited from slavery. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Ms F I CHOHAN-KOTA: Madam Speaker, by viciously attacking Carl Niehaus and others, I think Dene Smuts exposes a very ugly side of her alliance to this side of the House.

Yesterday, the Chief Whip of the Majority Party predicted a greater oversight role for Parliament as we emerged from our legislative phase to an era of delivery. I have been asked to deal with some of the challenges that face this institution in the light of its constitutional obligations. Perhaps we should begin by asking what oversight is and its purpose. Having heard some of the inputs made here yesterday and today, it is clear that to some, oversight would involve chastising the executive whenever and however the occasion arises, with the objective of every now and then securing the dislodgement of the proverbial ministerial hurt.

This perspective has the drawback of constant standoffs in the style of the American congress. It has the natural consequence of a lack of progress and delivery. Clearly, these are the kinds of things America can stand and withstand, but not a postapartheid South Africa. I want to submit that this extreme approach is not only archaic, but most unproductive. To those proponents of it, let me recommend the book by Peter Riddell entitled Parliament under Pressure, which members will find in the reference section of the library here.

As I said, this is one extreme approach. At the other extreme, there are those parliaments which do act as administrative rubber stamps, for example, the parliament that existed within these precincts during the pre- 1994 period. I am not sure where along the spectrum of these two extremes we will ultimately locate ourselves as Parliament, because this is a matter for intense discussion, debate and evolution. I do have some of my own thoughts on the matter, however, supported by some members of my party who participated in a workshop on the subject recently. No doubt, there will be counter views and options. So I can see that the matter is far from being finalised, but here are some thoughts nonetheless.

The mandate that the ANC received during the 1994 elections was for the institutional, social and economic transformation of our country. This mandate would have remained unfulfilled had Parliament exercised a confrontationist brand of oversight. Clearly, Many of the achievements of the Government would have remained unfulfilled, and disillusionment and discontent would have been the order of the day. As it happened, much of what was achieved during the first parliamentary term was by and large through a process of constructive engagement by Parliament and the executive, and vice versa. In a narrow sense these engagements could be termed checks on the Government, but, in reality, they enriched the processes of policy and lawmaking by allowing the executive to draw on the broader pool of thought that prevails in this institution.

In 1999, the electorate said with a loud voice that they wanted more of the same. One imagines that this would not have been the outcome if the legislature and the executive had constantly thwarted one another and by necessary implication hindered delivery of the electoral mandate. Therefore, our argument is that if the purpose of parliamentary oversight is to be corrective, ensuring effective delivery of identified priorities and the optimum usage of public resources, then there is some measurable purpose to the oversight role of Parliament.

Those of us who are of this view consider that the overall mandate of the ANC backbench is to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of those priorities that the ANC itself has identified. Interestingly, of course, members of the executive, particularly this executive, are not averse to the notion of an efficient and effective government. It is this shared common vision that has led, by and large, to a constructive relationship between the ANC study groups and the executive.

The input by the hon Judy Chalmers yesterday was an exposition on what oversight means in real terms. It is not oversight for the sake of oversight or showing up one or other Minister, but oversight aimed at ensuring that the delivery of national priorities is enhanced where it is lacking in her constituency, it is fine-tuned where it needs to be and the views of the people are given expression. Parliament therefore becomes a barometer measuring implementation and an early warning system.

Clearly, one of our major challenges lies in this approach. We need ultimately to give expression to the aspirations of the people we claim to represent. Portfolio committees will need to more actively undertake provincial visits that were a more prominent feature of our early days in Parliament. Parliament will have to ensure that its programme allows for oversight work to be done by portfolio committees. It would be a good start if there were some attempt to inject certainty into the programme of Parliament. The other major challenge will be to ensure the implementation of the Public Finance Management Act by departments within projected timeframes.

Finally, before I leave the podium, let me just touch on the following issue. One of the issues that consistently rears its head is the issue of resources and capacity for members of Parliament and portfolio committees. This, indeed, poses a very serious challenge to Parliament. However, there exists a concomitant duty on the part of members of Parliament. Yesterday a very prominent member of one of the opposition parties asked: On what basis can the executive not implement a resolution of Parliament? This was clearly a reference to the special investigating units. A cursory reading of the Act which established the special investigating units, which this very House passed, would have been very revealing to the hon member.

I say this not to score political points but to make the point that if members of Parliament display a lack of knowledge and operate in a manner that is frankly unprofessional, then we cannot expect to be taken seriously by the executive, who have become experts in their fields of operation and who have the capacity of entire departments at their disposal. This is, indeed, a challenge to all of us across party lines in this House. [Applause.]

Adv Z L MADASA: Madam Speaker, before I deliberate on this matter, I would like to put something on record. Twice in this House an allegation has been made against the ACDP by the Democratic Alliance that we are ANC lackeys. Today a motion was moved that we are a party of no integrity because we have struck up an association with the ANC somewhere in the rural areas. [Interjections.]

These assertions come from the Democratic Alliance, because the ACDP did not sign an agreement with them. I want to place it on record that the ANC might be their enemy, but they are not our enemy. [Applause.] It is becoming increasingly clear to us that the only thing we have in common is the fact that we are sitting on the same side of the House. [Applause.]

Nonetheless, let me turn to the real issues. There are acts of commission and there are acts of omission. Whilst it is conventional and acceptable that the President makes a general address on such occasions, he opens himself up to criticism when he omits to mention important issues. The arms deal, which is definitely on the national agenda, has been made so by the President who decided to handle the issue himself. As the Minister of Defence said, I would therefore like to have a bite at this new-found freedom. Indeed, the President’s decision to handle the matter personally only helped to obfuscate the issues rather than to clarify them. The impression created, albeit unwittingly, by this show of power is that the President has spoken on the matter and no further discussion ought to ensue thereafter. This view was entrenched by the sudden active participation of high officials in the executive and in Parliament, as well as in committee functions.

The President’s televised assertion that there is no prima facie evidence of wrongdoing, whilst it may be true, unsuccessfully drew the focus away from the real issue. That issue is what was mentioned by both the Directorate of Prosecutions and the Public Protector, namely that even if there is no wrongdoing the allegations need to investigation. I submit that that is the crux of the matter.

The question therefore is not whether there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing but whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a probe into the allegations. Therefore, the President’s remarks that there was no case pre-empted the findings of the probe and were issued by the wrong person. The investigating units must tell the people, after they have completed their probe, whether there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing.

As part of the Defence committee, we were given an explanation, some time last year, by a gentleman from the AACB and by a representative of Armscor, as to how the process of acquisition takes place. It became clear from that explanation that this gentleman from the AACB had a ubiquitous influence throughout the various stages of the acquisition process. And this is the issue that, in my view, needs to be investigated: Why was he so influential in the process?

Indeed, Armscor representatives are of the view that they somehow abdicated their responsibility to drive the process and not to leave it with the DOD. Their view, which is correct, is that the DOD’s function is confined to the question of capability.

With regard to the issues which were raised by the hon Holomisa, the impression was indeed by the exclusion of the Heath Unit that the Government wanted to investigate itself. The hon Mr Jeffrey drew an artificial distinction between the executive and the investigating units. The fact of the matter is that the investigation itself is a political issue at this stage. Therefore we need a unit that is seen to be nonpartisan.

The Government has introduced an amending Bill that removes the word ``judge’’ from the Act. Therefore, I do not see why the unit, without Judge Heath, should not continue with the investigation. There is a cardinal principle in law that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done.

We welcomed the declaration by the President in the statement of 19 January 2001, when he said:

I want to deal with these matters openly and honestly. Let us therefore repeat that we are fully committed to rooting out corruption in our society. The Government fully supports all lawful investigation into the matter pertaining to the acquisition, and we will continue to co-operate with and assist all those charged with the task.

It remains to be seen whether this promise will be carried through in the absence of an investigation which is nonpartisan or perceived to be nonpartisan. [Applause.]

Mr L J MODISENYANE: Madam Speaker, hon President, hon Deputy President, I am not surprised that Adv Madasa has not learned up to now, because he was in Luthuli House where he could not learn and he cannot learn in an institution like this one. That is why he does not listen carefully when the Minister of Defence speaks. I thought he would turn around and not act like a robot after it has been programmed to say something.

It is a great honour that I have also been allowed to participate in this important debate in which I am tasked to reflect on the eradication of poverty and land reform. Hon members will remember that the high level of poverty in this country has always been the concern of our government, otherwise our goal of a better life for all will not be realised. It is therefore imperative that we continue to combat poverty at all times.

Hon members will definitely agree with me that most of us have experienced poverty directly. It is not a mere phenomenon or an academic exercise, let alone mental gymnastics that we engage in when we talk about poverty. When we talk about poverty, we are talking about real life as experienced by the majority of South Africans. Most of our people are still living under conditions of abject poverty. They experience it environmentally, socially and economically.

We do not have to go more than 5 km out of Cape Town to realise the effects of poverty, especially in places such as the Nyanga informal settlement and the surrounding areas of Cape Town. This is a reflection of the poverty in all provinces. That is why our provinces have developed their own poverty eradication strategies arising from the integrated rural development and urban renewal strategies at national level.

I would like to reflect briefly on the Free State province, which is the second poorest province after the Eastern Cape. The Free State government tasked the Minister of Social Development to lead the strategy for poverty eradication, and fruitful results are visible. The goal of the strategy is to reduce poverty systematically in a period of ten years. I can, therefore, bravely state that integrated poverty programmes have been developed and they are being implemented. That is why the people continue to have confidence in the ANC Government. The hon Andries Botha and his team are still licking their wounds after their humiliating defeat in the local government elections in the Free State. [Interjections.]

We commend those NGOs and individuals who are assisting in eradicating poverty-related problems everywhere in the country. That is exactly what the Government expects from organs of civil society and individuals, namely to play their part in uplifting our communities. That is what we call unity in action.

Hon members must also note that the Government is doing its best to encourage the bridging of wage gaps. It is the will of our Government to see sustainable livelihood. It is a known fact that communities which are economically better off remain very stable. We are looking forward with confidence to the implementation of the minimum wage, as promised by the Minister of Labour. There will then be a tremendous reduction in poverty levels.

Sometimes I wonder what is meant by job losses, especially to domestic workers and farmworkers who are, in essence, worse off than pensioners. With their heavy workloads, they remain even more indigent than pensioners.

Ha nke ke toboketse hodima leano la ntjhafatso ya merero ya tsa naha le ka moo le phethahatswang ka teng. Melao e teng, e metle, empa bomadimabe ke ho se e phethahatse.

Baahi ba mapolasing ba sa bitswa badudi, ka ha beng ba bona ba ba kuka jwalo. Ka mokgwa o jwalo ba ntse ba hlekefetswa ka ho tejelwa ho sa natswe molao. Ha ditho tse hlomphehang di ka dula di le malala a laotswe ka nako tsohle, ho thibela diketso tsa mofuta o jwalo, mathata ana a jwalo a ka fokotseha ka mokgwa o makatsang. Ha nyane ka ha nyane, temoho e ntse e eba teng hodima molao o disang botsitso ba bodulo mapolasing. Ke tshebedisano- mmoho e labalabelwang ke Mopresidente e ka fedisang ditshotleho tsena.

Baahi ba mapolasing ba sa kang ba etsa dikopo tsa ho busetswa naha ya bona e nkilweng ka mahahapa ba lemohe hore Mmuso o ekeditse nako makgetlo, ho ba neha monyetla wa ho etsa dikopo tse jwalo. Ebang ba sa etsa jwalo ka la 31 Hlakubele 2001, ba lebale, etswe kwekwe ya morao e tloha le sepolo. Ha ho thuse ho aha serobe phiri e se e jele.

Ke taba e kgahlisang ha e le mona leano la kabo ya mobu le tswela pele, etswe le borapolasi ba bang ba ikagetse ka setotswana ho bopa maano a kopanelo ya mobu ho thusa borapolasi ba batjha ho tswa setjhabeng se setsho. Dirapa tsa temo tsa baahi ke mantletse-ntletse ka dithuso tsa lefapha le bommasepala. Ho hlokeha feela dihwai ho atlehisa dirapa tseo.

Batho ba batsho ba a dumellwa le bona ho ka ba le mapolasi ao e leng a bona, ka bonnosi ba bona le ka thuso ya lefapha. E ka kgona ba tsohe molota, ee, ba etse lehlana-hlana la motima hlaha ka ho ithekela mapolasi, ba tlohele ho nna ba ingama-ngama jwalo ka bomphatho ba rona ka ho le letshehadi ka mona.

Tse monate ke hore Agri SA e totobaditse hore e ikemiseditse ho thusana le Mmuso leanong la oona la ntjhafatso ya merero ya tsa naha. Re re re tla boka ha di oroha.

Ha ke dihela dikgala, ke re pele ‘a pele ka morero wa ho hlabolla maphelo, haholo-holo a baahi ba Qwaqwa, e leng moo bofutsana e leng ba ho otla nta ka koto. Re sa lebale Thaba Nchu le Botshabelo. Ho ya re a ya! [Ditlatse.] (Translation of Sesotho paragraphs follows.)

[Let me put emphasis on the restructuring and renewal process in the country and how it is being implemented. There are laws, good laws, but it is a pity that they are not being implemented.

People who live on farms are still being called squatters because their employers see them as such. That is why they are abused and evicted from the farms, in disregard of the law. If hon members could be alert at all times, and stop such actions, there would be far fewer problems of that kind. Bit by bit, people become more aware of the law that ensures the stability of farm life. It is the co-operation that the President wishes for that can end such hardships.

Those people who live on farms, who did not send in their applications to regain possession of the land that was taken from them by force, must realise that the Government gave them several periods of grace to give them the time to lodge such applications. If they have not done so by 31 March 2001, they must forget about it, because he who moves last gets the least. It does not help to build a fort after an attack.

It is gratifying that the land distribution programme is going ahead and some farmers are also involved in programmes to divide the land, to help new farmers from the black community. There are lots of plantations belonging to the people, with the help of the department and municipalities. All that is needed is hardworking people to make a success of those plantations.

Black people are also allowed to have their own farms, through their own efforts and with the help of the department. They must wake up and buy their own farms, and stop complaining like our comrades on the left.

The good news is that Agri SA has made it clear that it intends to work with the Government in its process of renewal and restructuring of the country. We will believe it when it happens.

In conclusion, I say forward with the programme of renewing and restructuring the lives of the people, especially those who live in Qwaqwa, where the poverty is extreme. Not forgetting Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo. We are moving forward! [Applause.]]

Ms N G W BOTHA: Madam Speaker, Comrade President, Deputy President, comrades and hon members, we are indeed blessed in this country to have a leader of the President’s calibre. His address last Friday was well- received by the nation. He articulated the vision of the ANC very clearly. He was able to inspire us and the people of this country into action to get involved in building a better South Africa.

However, there are those such as the hon Tony Leon and his cronies who still question his leadership qualities and leadership style. Of course we are aware of their sinister agenda. They are seeking to discredit him because he dares to challenge the power and authority of their bosses as well as that of the G8. They scorn him because he seeks to change the balance of power in the interest of fundamental transformation in South Africa and Africa as a whole. They see the African Renaissance as a threat to their programme of further exploiting the economic resources of the people of this continent. They still cannot accept the fact that power is no longer in their hands and that they will never taste power again. [Interjections.]

Our Comrade President’s address was like a breath of fresh air for the nation, particularly to the great majority of our people who suffered as a result of the socioeconomic policies of the apartheid government. These are the people who understand the vision of the ANC. These are the people who are prepared to help build a better South Africa. I wish to commend the President for his outstanding leadership both for our country, South Africa, and for our continent, Africa.

We have heard his call to all South Africans across the colour line to dedicate this year to building unity in action for change. We, the ANC, are ready to carry out that mandate given to us by the people of South Africa. However, my concern is that the DP and the New NP do not appear to have understood what he meant when he said we should build unity in action for change, and that all the people of South Africa, black and white, women and men, should unite in action to speed up transformation. They are trying to find any lame excuse to slow down the process of change. I can assure the President that the rest of the people of this country are happy with the way he outlined the principal elements of our Government’s programme of action. Our task now is to implement.

I also wish to commend him for his honesty and openness, when in his address he expressed concern about the slow progress being made with regard to the important issue of achieving gender equality. It is indeed a very important issue. He went on to say that the Government had failed to achieve the necessary progress in respect of gender equity in the area of employment, and he quoted some figures. Yes, this issue is partly about figures, because women constitute more than 50% of the population of this country, but this indicator sometimes fall short of capturing the life experiences of women.

It is also about unequal gender relations, relationships between women and men in which women have less access to resources, opportunities and decision-making. It is about improving the quality of life and the status of women in order to level the playing fields. It is about a better life for all of us, women and men. The slow progress that the President is concerned about also concerns me, and is an indication of the systemic nature of the problem which this Government inherited.

The social and economic inequalities were brought about by the systems of colonialism and apartheid, which by their very nature, were patriarchal. This condition has brought pain and suffering to the majority of our people and, to a great extent, women in particular. The parties who today call themselves the DP and the New NP supported it and were responsible for perpetrating the policies of the apartheid system, which tore our families apart and eroded our human dignity.

Land dispossession, the migrant labour system, anti-urbanisation policies, the colour bar, pass laws, forced removals, bantu education, you name it, we can never forget that. These policies affected women and children to a very great extent, causing them tremendous pain and hardship. This is why today we have this big challenge as this democratic Government to address the issues of crime, violence against women, poverty, malnutrition and other diseases of poverty.

Another setback, of course, is resistance to change on the part of some individuals in the Public Service who are responsible for the implementation of Government policies and programmes. In some instances there appears to be a deliberate attempt by these individuals to undermine the process of transformation, particularly in the area of gender equity and equality.

The Freedom Charter states that the rights of people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or gender. The ANC has since then been very consistent in promoting this ideal and has been the lone voice fighting for gender equity and equality. It is the ANC which ensured that our present Constitution guarantees that every person enjoys full and equal rights and freedoms.

It is this Government which introduced legislation which is intended to promote equality, prevent unfair discrimination and protect human dignity. It is this Government which developed and implemented policies to address the systemic gender inequalities which are still so deeply embedded in social structures and practices. It is this Government that established the national machinery for advancing gender equality. The ANC’s position on this issue is unwavering. The resolution taken at the lekgotla states that the ANC must conduct a sustained campaign for gender equality to raise public awareness of sexism and the empowerment of women and to encourage an atmosphere of zero-tolerance of sexism. It further states that the ANC will conduct a concerted campaign against violence against women and give special priority to the position of the girl child. The needs of the girl child cannot be overemphasised. We need to ensure that the girl child is protected from all forms of sexual and psychological abuse and violence, that she attends school regularly and completes matric as basic education. Educate a woman and one educates a family.

The ANC, as I demonstrated, has an enlightened understanding and a progressive approach to ensuring gender equity and equality within our society. However, this vision is not shared by the DP and the New NP. They are silent on the issue of gender equality and gender equity. [Interjections.] This is highlighted by the fact that they have never once produced a framework which indicates an intention to address these disparities between women and men, which they created. The obvious reason is because their constituency has always enjoyed a high status within society. This is another challenge for us.

The women of this country have also welcomed the announcement by Comrade President to the effect that the Government will pay attention to the critical microeconomic issues. This is an area where most of the poor women are located. This initiative will create an enabling environment for these women, which will ensure their growth and upward mobility, which may eventually lead to their entering the macroeconomic mainstream.

Gender mainstreaming is not an easy task. The transition towards equality is a slow-moving process, steeped in the politics of power and control. However, no matter what the odds are, change has to take place and must take place for the betterment of all South Africans, women and men.

As President Museveni of Uganda once said, the involvement of women in the development process is not just a matter of ethics, but of good economics. The challenge of development urges us to pay more than just lip service to the core issue of unequal relations in our society. Our policy aims at strengthening the position of women in the economy by raising the value and productivity of their labour and by giving them access to and control over productive resources. [Applause.]

Mrs S M CAMERER: Madam Speaker, President and Deputy President, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development is desperately casting around for reasons to justify the exclusion of the Health unit from the investigation into the arms deal. It struck me, listening to him, that Penuell does protest too much.

Contrary to what the Minister tried to claim in this House today, the report by Advocates Kahn and Lubber stated that it was imperative that the special investigating unit be included in the investigation. And the Minister’s version of events has been termed a cynical distortion of the report by the Sunday Independent newspaper.

The unit has unique powers and functions, which make it ideally suited to conducting such an investigation. For example, the President and the Minister of Justice insisted that there was no prima facie case of corruption in the arms deal. But this is not the point. The unit does not need a prima facie case before it can move, as the hon Chohan-Kota would know if she had read the Act.

Its brief, in terms of the law, is to investigate any alleged serious maladministration, improper conduct, etc, in connection with the affairs of the state. Its job is to respond to such allegations and to find out if there is a prima-facie case. It is an incontrovertible fact that such allegations abound. One just has to read the Auditor-General’s report. It is noteworthy that there is also a provision in the law encouraging a symbiotic relationship between the unit and the Public Protector, envisaging that they should work together, as the unit has unique powers to institute civil proceedings and to recover state assets. [Interjections.]

The so-called fishing expeditions by the unit that the Minister has referred to and complained about having actually already recovered over R1 billion worth of state assets. [Interjections.] The Minister persists with quoting selectively from correspondence. We suggest that he make public the letters that he quoted little bits of and make them available to Scopa without delay.

I would like to devote the few minutes at my disposal to the issue of crime. As our leader of the DA said in his speech yesterday, it is one of the great issues on which this Government is judged. Its failure to deliver on its repeated promises to improve the situation is a huge disservice to our country and its international standing. Since June 1999, in his opening speeches in this House, the President has addressed the issue of the failing criminal justice system, but only flirtingly and briefly, and in the vaguest of terms. Surely this should change.

In the spirit of national unity, which is the goal of all of us, and for the purpose of constructive engagement with Government on all our country’s vital interests, I wish to appeal to the Government and to hon Minister Erwin, in particular, to accept that the issues that we raise in this House regarding crime are to get a better deal for our embattled citizens and to improve our rotten international image on this score, which certainly acts as a disincentive to investment and to skills immigration into our country, as he knows very well.

Crime in our country knows no politics and no colour. Last Friday my sister, a newly elected ANC councillor in Johannesburg, was mugged, robbed of her cellphone and injured by flying glass from her shattered car windscreen. Her main functions in politics are in the tourism field, in the tourism committee. She is meant to sell our country.

For the hon Mr Jeffery’s information, the person who stole her cellphone was black and the person who took her to hospital was black as well. Every one of us in this House and our families have been affected by serious violent crime. The public out there does not experience any improvement in the situation - in fact, their experiences are to the contrary.

Banishing the statistics and hiding the high crime figures will not change or disguise one very clear fact. Since this Government took power in 1994 serious violent crime has increased steeply and steadily. The trend is very clearly seen from these now invisible statistics.

During the past six years from 1994 to May 2000, when the statistics stopped, the 20 most serious crimes had increased by 11,3% over the period. Violent crimes increased by 20% over the period; theft was up 27%; robbery was up 133%; burglary was up 20%; assault was up 20%; rape was up 18%; and only murder and attempted murder were down marginally. The steepest increase in serious violent crime since 1994 is reflected in the figures for the first five months of last year up to May when the statistics were muzzled.

Having placed a moratorium on the release of statistics, it is ridiculous for Minister Tshwete to come and claim successes in this House in the fight against crime, as he did yesterday. How can we know if it is true, if we do not have the full picture. It is also inexplicable why the President has publicly claimed that crime has decreased based on these very figures, when even the most cursory reading makes it clear that only murder is down. It raises the question as to how his staff and speech writers can feed him such inaccurate information. [Time expired.]

Mr P R MOKABA: Madam Speaker, President, Deputy President, let me preface my speech, because it has been a very long time since I have been at this podium. Last year this time I fell ill, so I have been away for more than a year and I would like to thank all of you for having wished me well. I am in good health. I would particularly like to thank the President, who intervened directly and refused to let me pass away. [Applause.] I know that the President is embarrassed by what I have just said.

Comrade President has placed an issue before us. He said that the people of our country would like to know what it is that they should do to ensure a better life for all. This is a question that we should have answered, and one that the opposition dismally failed to answer. The PAC simply said that it is too academic. [Laughter.] But it has to be answered.

The President has also asked us to explain to him again, whether our revolution has two tasks. The one is to establish and manage democracy, the other is to build our economy and ensure that poverty is eliminated for all of us.

When in his earlier speeches the President borrowed Benjamin Disraeli’s notion of two nations - one rich, one poor - he was highlighting a painful reality and not prescribing a desirable ideal. His ideal, which is also the ideal the ANC embraced at its birth, is to forge one united, democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous South African nation from the diverse elements that make up our people. It does not, however, assist the project of nation-building to deny the reality that the granite walls of apartheid have, indeed, cloven the people of this country into two separate, highly unequal blocks.

The ideal of a united South Africa can only be realised by these two blocks working jointly together to eliminate poverty and create prosperity for all. They should work together for economic growth, socioeconomic development, political and social stability for an environmentally- sustainable development. By sustainable development we mean putting the means of livelihood before the people in general and the poor in particular.

That is the reason the President also promotes a thesis of a people at work for a better life. He has pointed in the right direction by saying that, indeed, these two nations can become one nation, and that is our objective. The opposition should therefore not be allowed to impose their own deviationist interpretations and thereby corrupt the actual intentions of the President so that they can in future claim that the President is inconsistent.

The question that the President poses to us as a nation and Parliament is: Six years since the advent of democracy, how far are we from the goal of a country and a continent where no child should ever again walk in fear of guns, tyrants and abuse; where no African child should ever again experience hunger, avoidable diseases and ignorance; where no child should ever again feel ashamed to be African? How far are we?

Central to this particular problem in South Africa is the problem of racism. By racism we mean that system of allocation of public and private goods and services and the means of production in a manner that makes the boundaries of access, inclusion, wealth and deprivation, poverty and hunger, coincide with the boundaries of race.

Mr M C J VAN SCHALKWYK: What about ``kill the boer’’?

Mr P R MOKABA: It is rooted in the property rights … [Interjections.] … in the patterns of ownership and income distribution which finally impact on attitudes and ideas, and not in songs as the hon Marthinus van Schalkwyk thinks. [Interjections.] It is a system that Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the hon Tony Leon, the hon Ken Andrew and their white predecessors imposed on and maintained in South Africa in the form of white supremacy and now masquerading as liberal democracy, which remains their ideology to this day, as Mr Tony Leon said yesterday. [Interjections.]

As is now recorded in history, it specialised in allocating hunger, poverty and deprivation to the black people of our country while allocating wealth, access and life to the whites, in the same way that German nazism, Japanese militarism, Italian fascism did in the 1930s and 1940s against the Jews. [Interjections.] It is a system that must be uprooted and smashed because it cannot be reformed, and the President has pointed the way forward in this regard. [Interjections.]

In order to do so, one can never achieve this unless one has plans, and only the ANC has such plans. [Interjections.] [Applause.] The rest are satisfied with only being armchair critics of the ANC’s plans, while others are simply unpatriotic and counterrevolutionary. [Interjections.] We are a movement of plans and implementation of action, and not promises. It is therefore sheer nonsense that the ANC and the Government would seek to hide anything from the people of South Africa or feed them half-truths when we are the ones who believe that our revolution is the festival of our people.

We maintain that no movement or organisation is as honest with the people as the ANC. [Applause.] The ANC’s management of the economy and democracy and its leadership of society are beyond question, except by the charlatans of both the left and the right, who have neither plans of their own nor support for their wayward dreams.

In their comments the opposition have, true to their colours, concentrated on singling out the negative and avoiding the positive, in keeping with their bad-mouthing of our country abroad. [Interjections.] The basic truth is, however, that no other organisation inside or outside Government or Parliament and in the entire history of South Africa has delivered as much in such a short space of time and with so few resources as the ANC has and continues to do. [Applause.]

Under the leadership of the ANC, its former president Nelson Mandela and now Comrade President Thabo Mbeki, South Africa has made good progress in the areas of monetary policy, trade, the budget deficit, the easing of the balance of payments constraints, debt servicing, inflation, reprioritisation of the Budget, restructuring of state assets, reforming the tax system and improving on tax collection, thereby succeeding in securing a long-term growth trend in excess of population growth, securing access to new markets, integrating the Public Service and transforming public sector institutions, and establishing a policy framework for the delivery of social services. [Interjections.]

In this context the Government has delivered beyond expectations, and it is for this reason that I must say it was a shame to hear what we have heard from Marthinus and from Tony Leon. I am not worried about Marthinus, because he is a man who today lives in the belly of the beast. [Interjections.] There he behaves like a butterfly in Tony Leon’s stomach. [Laughter.] [Applause.] The tragedy of our country is, one day Tony Leon will take a purgative, and we will have a problem in respect of waste management, trying to deal with the result of that purgative. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

Debate suspended.

The House adjourned at 18:37. ____



National Assembly:

The Speaker:

  1. Ms L M T Xingwana has been appointed as chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee on Filling of Vacancies in Commission for Gender Equality with effect from 13 February 2001.


National Assembly and National Council of Provincies:


  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson: Reports of the Auditor-General on the -
 (a)    Financial Statements of the High School Vorentoe Disaster Fund
     for 1997-98 and 1998-99 [RP 193-2000].

 (b)    Financial Statements of the Refugee Relief Fund for 1998-99 [RP

 (c)    Social Relief Fund for 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000 [RP 202-
  1. The Minister for Provincial and Local Government:
 Draft Regulations made in terms of section 120 of the Local Government
 Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No 32 of 2000) submitted to Parliament
 in terms of section 120(7)(a) of the Local Government Municipal Systems
 Act, 2000.
  1. The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
 (a)    Report of the South African Law Commission on Juvenile Justice
     [RP 159-2000].
 (b)    Proclamation No R.3 published in the Government Gazette No 21976
     dated 12 January 2001, Commencement of the National Prosecuting
     Authority Amendment Act, 2000 (Act No 61 of 2000) on 12 January
     2001, made in terms of section 26 of the National Prosecuting
     Authority Amendment Act, 2000 (Act No 61 of 2000).

 (c)    Government Notice No R.41 published in the Government Gazette No
     21983 dated 19 January 2001, Amendment of Regulations, made in
     terms of section 81(2) of the Attorneys Act, 1979 (Act No 53 of