National Assembly - 05 April 2001



The House met at 14:02.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr J S MGIDI: 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 opening of the annual conference of the SA Local Government Association (Salga) by the President of the Republic, the hon Thabo Mbeki, in Bloemfontein today;

(2) further notes that the focus of the deliberations in this conference will be the provision of free services to poor communities;

(3) believes that this is a significant conference as it will give direction on how to mobilise civil society to participate in municipal affairs as required by the law; and

(4) wishes Salga good luck in its deliberations.


Mr D H M GIBSON: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House appoints an ad hoc committee representative of all parties in order to

   (1)  investigate whether the Minister of Health, the hon Dr M
       Tshabalala-Msimang, misled the House in respect of offers made
       to her department by pharmaceutical companies with regard to
       assistance, support and the provision of drugs for the treatment
       of HIV/Aids patients, rape survivors and to prevent mother-to-
       child transmission; and

   (b)  determine what steps should be taken by the House in relation to
       the conduct of the Minister.


Mr V B NDLOVU: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I will move on behalf of the IFP:

That the House -

(1) congratulates the SANDF personnel selected to serve under the UN Peace-keeping Force in the DRC;

(2) exhorts these members to uphold the dignity and respect of the South African people and the Government by way of astute behaviour and carrying out their duty with honour; and

(3) will earnestly pray for them and always wish them well on their carrying out of international duty deservedly bestowed on them as loyal soldiers of this country.

Miss J E SOSIBO: 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 for the sixth year running, the SA Revenue Service has exceeded its tax collection target, this year by R4,2 billion;

(2) recognises that the budget deficit for the past fiscal year has come in at below 2% of GDP, which is better than many developed countries;

(3) acknowledges the beneficial effect that this sound financial management will have on our economy; and (4) commends the Minister of Finance, the Department of Finance and the SA Revenue Service for their continued sound management of the South African fiscus.


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

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the release of the long-awaited report of President Thabo
       Mbeki's controversial Aids Advisory Panel which, as predicted by
       the DA for months now, has produced no concrete results to help
       millions of Aids sufferers in South Africa; and

   (b)  with shock that by the Government's own admission, the report
       has no effect on the current Aids policy, and thereby confirms
       the fact that this multimillion rand exercise was put in place
       only to satisfy the intellectual curiosity of our President who
       is now left with even more questions than answers;

(2) acknowledges that the report confirms the ANC’s contradictory stance on the use of antiretrovirals, which differentiates itself from the DA’s policy in which we support antiretroviral use; and

(3) calls on the Government to stop using the report as a cover-up for their feeble fight against the scourge of HIV/Aids.

Mr S ABRAM: 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, on the eve of the Easter weekend -

(1) appeals to all road users during the long weekend to be alert at all times, refrain from drinking and driving, keep to the speed limits and look out for the potential mistakes of other road users; (2) expresses its good wishes to all law enforcement officials who will be tasked with enforcing the law on our roads;

(3) expresses its hope that the ``Arrive Alive’’ Campaign will be effectively implemented this year and wishes the Minister of Transport and his department, and all provinces, good luck in their efforts; and

(4) calls on all South Africans to ensure that serious accidents and deaths on our roads in the coming days are kept to a minimum, in the hope that we can establish a new record for the fewest deaths during this time of celebration and rest.


Ms M M MAUNYE: 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 - (a) the DA’s so-called chief ``spin doctor’’, Ryan Coetzee, has accused the media of running a campaign against him;

   (b)  the DA has always accused the ANC of intolerance of press
       freedom; and

   (c)  the DA is known for its loud and misleading sound-bites and for
       developing policies for the privileged, and not the poor;

(2) reminds Coetzee that -

   (a)  he is paid R420 000 a year for his immature managing of the DA's
       media liaison; and

   (b)  he has single-handedly started and intensified the new Anglo-
       Boer War in the DA caucus; and

(3) calls on him as a media manager to improve his relations with the press and stop his characteristic childish moaning and complaining.

[Applause.] Rev K R J MESHOE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  with appreciation the letter of rebuke written by Dr Allan
       Boesak to Prof Kader Asmal, who unfairly and unjustifiably
       attacked the Christians who gathered at Newlands Stadium to pray
       for peace, security and transformation in this country;

   (b)  with great interest that Dr Boesak believes that there is no
       area of life that is not subject to the lordship of Jesus

   (c)  that he says his own participation in the struggle for
       liberation in this country was based on and inspired by his
       faith in Jesus Christ and not Marx or Lenin; and

   (d)  he correctly says that more than anything, our struggle was
       sustained by prayer and faith;   (2) endorses the observation he made that history is littered with the
   debris of once powerful regimes who thought they could take on God
   and the Church; and

(3) encourages Dr Boesak to remain strong in the Lord and to continue confronting and correcting his comrades whenever necessary.


Mnr C AUCAMP: Mevrou die Speaker, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek op die volgende sittingsdag namens die AEB sal voorstel:

Dat die Huis -

(1) kennis neem van minister Steve Tshwete se beroep op georganiseerde landbou om eendragtig op te tree ten opsigte van plaasmoorde;

(2) die aandag van die Minister daarop vestig dat Agri SA, die TLU en die LWO wel saamwerk in die oorkoepelende Aksie Stop Plaasaanvalle, gerugsteun deur 390 000 petisionarisse;

(3) die Minister versoek om ten opsigte van plaasmoorde met hierdie oorkoepelende Aksie te onderhandel eerder as met afsonderlike organisasies;

(4) ‘n beroep doen op die onderskeie landbou-organisasies om in goeie onderlinge trou die ooreenkoms wat hulle onderling aangegaan het deurgaans te eerbiedig en uit een mond met die Regering en enige ander belanghebbendes te onderhandel, en nie toe te laat dat eie agendas en die onderlinge verskille wat daar tussen organisasies bestaan die veiligheid van ons boere benadeel nie; en

(5) ‘n beroep op die landbou-organisasies doen om ook op plaaslike vlak te koördineer en uit een form met belanghebbendes saam te werk om die lewens van ons boere te beskerm. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Mr C AUCAMP: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day I shall move on behalf of the AEB:

That the House -

(1) notes Minister Steve Tshwete’s appeal to organised agriculture to act in unison in respect of farm murders;

(2) wishes to draw the Minister’s attention to the fact that Agri SA, the TAU and the LWO are, in fact, working together in the umbrella organisation ``Aksie Stop Plaasaanvalle’’, backed by 390 000 petitioners;

(3) requests the Minister, in respect of farm murders, rather to negotiate with this umbrella organisation than with separate ones;

(4) appeals to the various agricultural organisations to respect throughout, mutually and in good faith, the understanding into which they have entered and to negotiate through one mouth when dealing with the Government and any other interested parties, and not to allow hidden agendas and mutual differences that exist between organisations to prejudice the safety of our farmers; and

(5) appeals to the agricultural organisations also to co-ordinate at local level and to co-operate from one forum with interested parties in order to protect the lives of our farmers.]

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 -

   (a)  the Cape Town Mayor, Mr Peter Marais, claimed at his
       inauguration that ``Coloured people had to wait 350 years to
       become mayors''; and

   (b)  everyone knows that the ANC's Theresa Solomons was the first
       coloured, and after her, NomaIndia Mfeketho was the first
       African mayor of Cape Town;

(2) reminds Mr Marais that the ANC had, with the nomination of two black mayors, broken with the DA tradition of appointing only white mayors; and

(3) calls on Mr Marais to -

   (a)  prove his loyalty to the cause of transformation by reversing
       the ban on soccer at Newlands; and

   (b)  stop his insensitive posturing that divides rather than unites
       the people of Cape Town.


Mr V C GORE: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House -

(1) takes note of the utter and devastating chaos in the ANC-controlled Johannesburg City Council;

(2) expresses its shock and outrage that this city was left without resources, including no petrol for lawnmowers, no bulbs to replace fused streetlights, no paint to paint road lines, a chronic shortage of bus drivers and, in a certain department, no telephones as the account was not paid; (3) further notes that the National Treasury has refused to pay the second instalment of a R500 million loan to bail out the ANC- controlled Johannesburg City Council, citing as the reason that Johannesburg remains in a deep financial crisis; and

(4) calls on the ANC-controlled City Council of Johannesburg to follow the example of the DA-controlled Unicity of Cape Town in governing and delivering to all the people rather than to a selected and privileged few in the ANC.

[Interjections.] [Applause.]

Mrs L R MBUYAZI: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move on behalf of the IFP:

That the House -

(1) applauds the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism for contemplating a tender for new vessels to patrol the country’s fishery resources in our Exclusive Economic Zone; (2) believes that this move will protect the living marine resources from illegal fishing activities, especially the Patagonian toothfish desperately sought by illegal fishers for its market, whilst it can only breed after it is about ten years old; and

(3) pleads with the department to speed up the tendering process before this living marine resource is depleted.

Mr R P Z VAN DEN HEEVER: 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 -

   (a)  corporal punishment as a method of disciplining learners has
       been declared illegal; and

   (b)  a pupil in the Northern Province lost an eye after being
       assaulted by her teacher;

(2) expresses outrage and condemns the prevalence of this barbaric action; and

(3) calls on parents, teachers, learners, school managers and provincial authorities to take on the challenge of transforming all schools into secure and safe places of learning for the sake of the future leaders of our country.


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

That the House -

(1) notes that the new Johannesburg Metro Police Department was launched last Friday, but that -

   (a)  in fact, Johannesburg's ``1 000 strong crime-busting force''
       consists of 741 former traffic officers in new uniforms and
       repainted vehicles with an even bigger workload; and

   (b)  the Premier has unambiguously stated that the Johannesburg Metro
       Police Department would receive no assistance from the province,
       despite the rampant occurrence of violent crimes;

(2) further notes that the DA-governed Western Cape has allocated R36,8 million to crime prevention throughout the province and that R20,9 million has been set aside to purchase the Philippi training complex to train up to 1 000 municipal police officers at a time; and

(3) calls on the Gauteng government not to place the full burden of establishing Metro Police on the ratepayers’ shoulders, but to make the much-needed provincial funding available.

[Interjections.] [Applause.]

Mr D G MKONO: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I will move on behalf of the UDM:

That the House - (1) expresses its alarm at the latest statistics on conditions in SA prisons;

(2) notes especially the dramatic increase in natural deaths, 584% over the past five years, mostly as a result of HIV/Aids;

(3) further notes that it is predicted that the current death rate would result in 45 000 prisoners dying per year by 2010;

(4) acknowledges that the rate of natural deaths in prisons is directly related to the appalling conditions, with overcrowding and rape being the norm, currently existing in SA prisons, which are exacerbating criminality rather than serving as rehabilitation, and which explain the high number of habitual criminals; and

(5) calls on the Minister of Correctional Services to address immediately both the conditions in prisons and the unacceptable lack of a concerted HIV/Aids strategy.


Mr S K LOUW: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House notes that -

(1) the procurement workshop was held as a follow-up to the signing of the Liquid Fuels Charter;

(2) the Liquid Fuels Charter states that 25% of stakes shall be reserved for Black Economic Empowerment ;

(3) the procurement workshop was attended by well over 400 people, 30% of whom were women from all provinces, with limited background knowledge of the industry, but with an interest in providing a procurement service to the oil industry; and

(4) the workshop was a resounding success in taking forward facilitation and networking on procurement in the oil industry.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  the recent tension between China and the United States of
       America over spy planes; and

   (b)  the continuing crisis in the Middle East and the devastating
       effect it has on women and children;

(2) believes that the recent international tensions will reverse all gains that have been made in maintaining global peace;

(3) calls upon the conflicting parties in all trouble spots to work for the peaceful resolution of their conflicts; and

(4) calls upon the United Nations and all other relevant bodies and governments to work tirelessly for the peaceful resolution of all conflicts in the world.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr D H M GIBSON: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House -

(1) notes -

   (a)  that Christians in South Africa and all over the world will be
       observing Easter next weekend; and

   (b)  that the Jewish community will be celebrating Passover; and

(2) wishes these religious communities and all South Africans well over the Easter period and prays that they and all members of Parliament will have a safe journey to their different holiday destinations.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mnr C H F GREYLING: Mevrou die Speaker, ek stel sonder kennisgewing voor:

Dat die Huis -

(1) kennis neem -

   (a)  dat die Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees, een van die
       hoogtepunte op die jaarlikse kalender, weer die naweek 'n
       aanvang neem; en
   (b)  dat die plaaslike kunstenaars wat by die fees optree jaarliks
       geweldige steun van die publiek kry en dat 'n hele paar van die
       vertonings by die fees reeds uitverkoop is; en

(2) ‘n beroep op sy lede doen om hierdie kleurryke fees te ondersteun. (Translation of Afrikaans draft resolution follows.)

[Mr C H F Greyling: Madam Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House -

(1) notes that -

   (a)  the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, one of the highlights on
       the yearly calendar, is commencing this weekend; and

   (b)  local artists who perform at the festival annually get a lot of
       support from the public and quite a number of the shows at the
       festival are already sold out; and

(2) calls on its members to support this colourful festival.]

                        PERSONAL EXPLANATION

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, Mr Abrah has requested an opportunity to give a personal explanation, and I will now give him that opportunity.

Mr S ABRAH: Madam Speaker, at the conclusion of the debate on violence in the rural areas, I was on my way to my seat here, when the hon Donald Lee provoked me. And may I assure this House that at no stage did I refer to the hon Mr Lee as a bobbejaanspanner - I have far too much respect for a bobbejaanspanner. [Laughter.] The hon Mr Lee …

Mr D H M GIBSON: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: This hon member is abusing the opportunity which he requested, and I ask you to rule accordingly. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon Mr Abrah, you will confine yourself strictly to the point that you asked leave to address, and not to what you might have done or might have wanted to do.

Mr S ABRAH: Madam Speaker, on my way I was provoked, and the subject of the provocation was that the hon Mr Botha had made a far better speech in the House. I used the words: ``Hy het gepraat.’’ In the first place, I believe that whatever happens here in the benches is something that should not be taken up with the hon Speaker who has far more onerous duties.

But that was in the course of an ordinary exchange between members. The word that I used is one which I believe is utilised in Afrikaans, but since it is a word that has apparently offended the hon Mr Botha, I will withdraw the word and say …

… sy toespraak was onsin, want ek moet my sterkste afkeur daaroor uitspreek. [Applous.] [… his speech was absurd, because I have to express my disapproval of it in the strongest possible terms. [Applause.]]

Mr A J BOTHA: Madam Speaker, may I have an opportunity, on a point of order, to reply, since … [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! You may raise a point of order, but there is no opportunity to reply. I was going to comment, but you may raise a point of order if you have one.

Mr A J BOTHA: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I believe that the hon Abrah has not apologised for his despicable behaviour.

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, I want to state that I allowed Mr Abrah to make this statement, because I had in fact asked Mr Botha, who had raised a point of order during the debate, to respond.

It is correct that normally the Chair is not involved in debates that you have amongst yourselves - and which you are not supposed to have, I might point out. But, certainly, I would expect that both officially and unofficially members treat each other with courtesy and respect.

I have previously said that we should respect our integrity, not only by calling each other ``hon members’’. And, therefore, I asked Mr Abrah to come and see me. He said he was going to withdraw the statement he had made, that he had not meant what that statement implied. That was the only basis on which he was allowed to speak.

The point raised by Mr Gibson, on a point of order, was taken and I think that subsequently he abided by it. The matter is now closed, but I do want to appeal to you even in private, not to be provocative or offensive to one another. But it is your judgment as to how you behave.

                      UNPARLIAMENTARY LANGUAGE


The SPEAKER: Order! I now wish to give a ruling on another matter that arose around the same time. In the course of that debate, a point of order was raised concerning a statement by the hon Mr Botha, and I quote:

… the ANC, with the President’s Office in the lead, encourage all and sundry to hate white farmers on account of their alleged racist misdemeanours.

The question was whether it was parliamentary to make such an allegation about the President’s Office. I pointed out at the time that if this was an allegation against a department rather than an individual, it might be in order.

On examining Hansard, I found that this allegation had indeed been made against an office, and I have quoted the exact words that were used, not specifically against a member or members of this House or the President. It has previously, on more than one occasion, been ruled that it is permissible to make such comments about an office or a department. And, accordingly, the statement in question is not unparliamentary.

A further point of order was then raised concerning an interjection made by the hon Mr Odendaal in the course of my ruling, making the same allegation about the whole ANC leadership. Hansard did not record such an interjection. I note that Mr Odendaal is not in the House, but I will follow up the matter with him as to whether he did, in fact, make such an interjection. I will leave the matter there, and, as I have indicated, I will be following up the second part with him.

We will now proceed to the first item on the Order Paper, which is motions. Mr M T GONIWE: Madam Speaker, there is still another matter.

The SPEAKER: Is it a point of order?

Mr M T GONIWE: Yes, Madam. I would like to know whether it is parliamentary for people to chew in the House? [Laughter.] The hon Tony Leon is consistently chewing - look at him, he is chewing gum! [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Will you please take your seat.

Mr M T GONIWE: Unqwakuza itshungama. [He is chewing chewing gum.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Mr Leon, will you take your seat, please. [Interjections.] Order! I wish to ask all members of this House please to finish their lunch before they come in. [Laughter.]


                         (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, with reference to the resolution adopted by the House on 1 March 2001, the period for the trial run of questions for oral reply be further extended until 30 June 2001.

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 -

(1) notwithstanding Joint Rule 35(1), the Joint Subcommittee on Powers and Privileges report its recommendations to transform the existing law and practice on existing parliamentary powers and privileges, directly to the House; and

(2) the recommendations be referred to an ad hoc committee of the House established for that purpose, the ad hoc committee to -

   (a)  consist of 27 members in the following proportions: Majority
       Party 14, Official Opposition 2, all other parties 1;

   (b)  consider the recommendations of the Joint Subcommittee and
       introduce a Bill in accordance with Chapter 13 of the National
       Assembly Rules, and specifically comply with the relevant
       provisions of National Assembly Rules 239 and 240;

   (c)  exercise those powers in Rule 138 that may assist it in carrying
       out its task;

   (d)  subject to the concurrence of the National Council of Provinces,
       confer with a corresponding Council committee; and

   (e)  complete its task by not later than 7 September 2001.

Agreed to.

                       HOUSING AMENDMENT BILL

              (Decision of Question on Second Reading)

The SPEAKER: Hon members, you are aware that the vote was not put yesterday, and I will now put the question that the Bill be read a second time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time (Democratic Party, New National Party, African Christian Democratic Party, Federal Alliance and Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging dissenting.)


The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, hon members, just before dealing with the Bill, I would like to share with this House the good news that we advised the country of yesterday, and that relates to the fact that the Revenue Service has surpassed the revised target that we accepted for the 2000-01 fiscal year. On Saturday, by close of business, the Revenue Service had collected R219,7 billion. [Applause.]

We were also able to contain expenditure below the budgeted levels, and the early indications are that the deficit for the previous fiscal year will come in at 1,9% of GDP. Clearly, the policies of this Government are sound and the management is very strongly in place. [Applause.]

The Bill before the House provides for the introduction of capital gains tax in South Africa and is, therefore, the last instalment in the codification of the comprehensive package of tax proposals announced last year. It is important to know that the legislation put before this House today is classified as a section 77 Bill - that is, a money Bill - and, once introduced, it cannot be amended. However, in order to ensure public participation and better parliamentary oversight, a draft copy of the Bill was published for comment on 12 December last year. The finance committees of both Houses of Parliament held extensive public hearings during January and February, and were afforded the opportunity to refine the draft legislation prior to its introduction.

The SA Revenue Service and the National Treasury listened to the concerns of the public and a revised Bill was published on 2 March, after which the parliamentary committee deliberations ensued. This participatory process ensured thorough interaction by all stakeholders. I am, thus, satisfied that this process …

The SPEAKER: Order! Minister Manuel, you may note that we need a new sound system in the NA. [Laughter.]

The MINISTER: Madam Speaker, we need to insist that members should not use their cellphones in the House. This participatory process ensured thorough interaction by all stakeholders. I am, thus, satisfied that this process has been transparent and participatory, and that the voice of business, trade unions and individuals has been heard and considered. Of course, this goes far beyond the requirements of section 77 of the Constitution.

Since its announcement last year, capital gains tax has been the subject of extensive debate by both those who are for and for those who are against the broadening of the definition of income to include capital gains. In the process, a lot of emphasis was placed by opponents of capital gains tax on issues such as the negative impact it will have on the economy, more specifically on investment in South Africa, entrepreneurship, job creation and savings; secondly, the lock-in effect it will have on assets in South Africa; thirdly, the complexity of the tax; fourthly, the small amount of revenue that it will produce; and fifthly, the lack of indexation.

In dealing with some of these issues, I would first like to put the matter in perspective. Capital gains tax was announced as part of a wider tax reform initiative aimed at enhancing the integrity of the tax system, broadening the tax base and reducing the tax rates. In this regard, it will bring greater neutrality between the treatment of income of a revenue and capital nature, thereby reducing the opportunity to recharacterise taxable income into nontaxable income of a capital nature.

Secondly, it will free up administrative resources in combating arrangements of this nature, which could be employed more productively in other areas of tax administration. Thirdly, it will complement and underpin the effectiveness of administering other taxes and, therefore, serves as a backstop to the tax system as a whole. Fourthly, it will bring our tax system in line with international norms in both developed and developing countries.

As was pointed out by the IMF mission which evaluated the South African proposals for the CGT, the absence of this tax is a deep-seated weakness in the South African tax system, and the implementation thereof will considerably reduce opportunities for tax avoidance. South Africa is, therefore, now well on its way to the taxation of income on a more comprehensive basis, in line with international best practice.

On the impact on the economy, savings and investments here, the same report expressed the view that the effect on private savings is likely to be slight. The effective rate proposed is very low, a maximum of 10,5% in the case of individuals and a maximum of 15% in the case of companies. The impact on the after-tax return will, therefore, be small. I might add that the best evidence is that total private savings are, in any event, more responsive to changes in the taxpayer’s total after-tax income than they are to changes in after-tax returns on specific investments.

Reducing the tax rate for companies and individuals, as we have done, is far more likely to encourage savings. The point was also made in the hearings before the committees that the extent to which capital gains tax has an impact on investment, is that it improves the allocation of resources in the economy by reducing the artificial preference for certain forms of passive investment income.

Foreign investment is likely to be unaffected by the introduction of CGT, since both long and short-term investors in South African companies are generally exempted from CGT on the disposal of their shares. Even where a foreign investor does pay capital gains tax on the disposal of the South African asset, the tax credit against this tax paid in the whole jurisdiction will be available for the tax paid in South Africa.

Although there is a debate on the real extent of the lock-in effect, whereby taxpayer holds assets rather than sells them in order to avoid capital gains tax, the proposed legislation has a number of design features that minimise such an effect: Firstly, the low inclusion rates that have been selected; secondly, taxation of capital gains at death, which removes the incentive to hold assets up to death in order to qualify for preferential treatment; and thirdly, the hold-over provisions that defer capital gains on the disposal of plant, machinery, aircraft and other assets used for business purposes until such time as the tax allowances on the replacements are available, to shield the taxpayer from the cash flow impact of capital gains tax due.

In respect of complexity, we know that, like beauty, it is very much in the eye of the beholder. The proposed CGT legislation is relatively simple when compared to that of other jurisdictions Indeed, much of the complexity in other jurisdictions’ legislation comes from special concessions granted to one interest group or another. I do not wish to imply that the proposed provisions are without complexities at all, but we were mindful of the complexity of the capital gains tax systems of other countries and, therefore, endeavoured to make the rules as simple as possible.

In respect of revenue yield, the projections are that we will garner between R1 billion and R2 billion a year once the system is fully phased in. It is a significant amount of tax, but what will be even more significant are the amounts that will be flushed from hiding and will be properly declared in the ordinary income tax system, in the VAT system, and for other taxes, once CGT has been implemented. It is these amounts, which are so difficult to measure, that are conveniently ignored by opponents of capital gains tax.

In respect of indexation, balanced against the calls for simplicity have been calls for inflation indexing of capital gains. Apart from the fact that it is conceptually unsound to index only a part of the income tax system, the main problem with indexing is the complex record keeping that will be required of taxpayers to calculate the adjustments. Other jurisdictions have experimented with indexing and have abandoned it. We should learn from their experience.

I would also like to say a few words on the process followed in developing this Bill. On Budget day last year a guide setting out the key principles of CGT was released and public comment was invited. Over 300 submissions were considered. Then, after extensive preparations, a first draft Bill was released on 12 December last year. Once again, responses were received from more than 150 interested parties.

The Portfolio Committee on Finance and the Standing Committee on Finance held joint hearings on the matter during the period 23 January to 9 March 2001, which generated a great deal of debate and interest. During this process the committee had the benefit of hearing the views of international academics who are experts in this field of taxation. The second draft Bill was then released on 2 March, which took into consideration many of the issues and concerns raised during the hearings.

The opportunities for interested parties to make an input into the process were therefore extremely wide and transparent. I therefore wish to express my appreciation to the public, whether in their personal capacity or via organised groupings, for their participation and assistance, which have been of invaluable assistance in preparing and finalising this Bill.

Notwithstanding the above process, many organisations expressed the view that if 1 April 2001 had remained the date for implementation of capital gains tax, it would have been impossible for them to change their systems in time to comply with the provisions. In this regard, the Government displayed an understanding by deferring the effective date to 1 October 2001.

Let me turn to reporting the requirements. These have been included in the Bill in order to assist taxpayers. Unit trusts must, for example, report all gains made by unit holders on the disposal of their assets. After extensive discussions to ensure administrative simplicity, unit trusts will be allowed to use a weighted average basis to report the base cost of the units disposed of by unit holders.

As is usual in the case of tax legislation, appropriate anti-avoidance rules had to be included. The following are examples of such measures: firstly, value-shifting rules to combat the shifting of value from one person to another without triggering off a disposal; secondly, the disregarding of losses on disposal of certain personal-use assets; and thirdly, the ringfencing of capital losses, thereby not allowing them as a set-off against ordinary income in order to protect the existence base.

Various amendments also had to be made, consequently, to other Acts. Examples in this regard are, as the R1 million exclusion in the case of a primary residence only applies to natural persons the transfer duty exemption is being introduced to allow for the transfer of a primary residence held via a company or trust back into the name of the individual who resides on the property. A cut-off period of one year will, however, apply during which individuals can make use of this relief measure. Important adjustments are proposed with regards to the taxation of a long- term insurance, following the introduction of capital gains Tax, more specifically with regard to the formula regulating the deduction of certain expenditure incurred by the policy holder funds of the insurer. A lot of hard work has gone into the preparation of this Bill. I therefore wish to thank the members and the respective chairs of the Portfolio Committee on Finance and the Select Committee on Finance for the role that they have played in finalising this Bill, and in demonstrating how to deal with the complex section 77 legislation.

No doubt capital gains tax remains a complex issue and, as in the case of the other jurisdictions, the provisions will require refinement over time. I would like express my sincere appreciation to the teams from the SARS and the Treasury who worked on this Bill. Kosie Louw, Frans Tomaseck, Keith Engel, Martin Grote and their teams have done remarkably well to ensure that we could include many of the concerns raised. [Applause.]

Against that background I hereby table the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill. [Applause.]

Bill, together with the introductory speech, referred for consideration and report to the Joint Committee on Taxation Laws Amendment Bill 2001, established by resolution of the House on March 2001.

                      SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL

                       (Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Madam Speaker … [Interjections.] [Laughter.]

Mr K M ANDREW: Watch out for Johnny de Lange. [Laughter.]

The MINISTER: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, Cabinet colleagues and hon members, after soccer, boxing rates as one of the most popular spating codes in our country. Due to the nature of boxing, it is also the only sport that is regulated by an Act of Parliament. Professional boxing is currently legislated by the Boxing Control Act No 39 of 1954 that is intended particularly in the boxing fraternity to look after the interests of the most vulnerable constituency in boxing, viz the boxers themselves.

The current legislation, however, has numerous shortcomings. The current Act ranks among the oldest pieces of legislation still on the Statute Book from the apartheid era. Indeed, it is older than many, if not the majority, of members of this House. It is as antiquated as the apartheid system under which it was first introduced. Instead of promoting the sport, it serves to hinder and obstruct the growth and development of professional boxing. Moreover, in many respects it is simply just unconstitutional.

It is a coincidence that the South African Boxing Bill is being presented in this House barely two weeks before the staging of the first heavyweight world title fight, involving two heavyweight boxers, Lennox Lewis and Hassim Rahman, in our country. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

This Bill paves the way, amongst others, for a streamlined procedure that will cement our future as a global player in professional boxing. It rids us of a structure that does not serve the best interests of the primary stakeholders in the sport, ie the boxers themselves. Furthermore, it lifts the prohibition on females boxing, a clause in the current Boxing Act that is in conflict with our country’s Constitution. I must say that under this Bill, we will make sure that there are safety measures ensure that nobody gets injured.

More than that, the South African Boxing Bill ensures an effective and efficient administration of professional boxing and creates a mechanism for a synergy between boxing in the paid ranks and amateur boxing, a feature that is presently lacking to the detriment of the sport.

The Bill also provides for the establishment of a lean and mean boxing commission to be known as Boxing South Africa, and allows all role-players the right to organise within their own ranks. Boxers, managers, trainers, officials and promoters will now enjoy the right to form associations or a federation of associations to serve their respective interests.

It is no secret that the vast majority of professional boxers struggle to eke out a living. On their retirement, many boxers are destitute with nothing to show for their years of dedication to the sport and their sacrifices in the ring. They become mere statistics and face a new struggle for survival once their competitive days are over. Here we think of boxers like Norman Pangaman' Sekgapane, The Blue Jaguar’ Morodi, `Happyboy’ Mgxaji and a lot of other boxers. The new Bill will prevent all of that.

This Bill is also an attempt to address the inequities that exist between the boxer on the one hand and the other role-players on the other, who benefit from the exploits of the boxer without being subjected to dangers in the ring. This Bill also seeks to provide for a smooth transition from amateur boxing to the professional ranks, thus putting a stop to the uncontrolled exploitation of young boxers by unscrupulous matchmakers who are more concerned with lining their own pockets with money than the health and safety of our youth.

Under the existing Act professional boxing has been haemorrhaging profusely. The rights of boxers have been trampled upon and obligations on the part of agents, promoters and other beneficiaries have often been ignored and disregarded. The sport faced financial ruin. The S A Boxing Bill is an attempt to rectify that situation and, furthermore, to provide for an effective dispute-resolution mechanism that the Act currently lacks.

The independence of Boxing South Africa is guaranteed by this Bill and Boxing South Africa will have jurisdiction over all national and international fights in the provinces of the Republic of South Africa. This Bill creates the mechanisms for the effective marketing of boxing, both as a sport and as a business, and it provides a framework for the establishment of infrastructure that will ensure the growth and development of professional boxing.

I cannot see how this Bill could pose any problem to anybody. It reflects the principles enshrined in our Constitution and protects the rights of participants as citizens of our country. Not even `yours truly’ over there or all of them should oppose … [Interjections.]Is he not here? He is busy chewing bubble gum. Not even the opposition should have a problem with it, considering the valuable contribution they enthusiastically made in the preparation of this Bill in the portfolio committee.

Hon members before I become the world champion by beating one of the opposition members … No, on second thoughts I should not. I present this Bill to this House. [Applause.]

Ms N R BHENGU: Madam Speaker, hon members, the Bill we are presenting before Parliament today is aimed at overhauling the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1954. The 1954 Act provided for the establishment of the South African National Boxing Control Commission.

The objects of that commission were to regulate, control and exercise general supervision over boxing and tournaments with a view to the elimination of undesirable practices and the protection of the interests of boxers, trainers, promoters, officials and the public generally.

Hon members will observe that there is no mention of the promotion of female boxers in the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1954. The 1954 Act is therefore discriminatory in that it prohibits and excludes women from boxing. It is not in line with the Constitution.

The 1954 Act did not provide for a firewall between managers and promoters. As a result, promoters could also have a financial and material interest in the management company of a boxer. The Bill that we are presenting today provides for a firewall and a separation of roles between the manager and the promoter of the boxer, thereby prohibiting the promoter of a boxer from becoming a manager or having a material or financial interest in the management company of a boxer.

Regarding the structure of the boxing commission, as reflected in the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1954, the commission was composed of 11 members. There was a chairperson, an additional member, a medical practitioner, a public accountant, an advocate or a practising lawyer and six additional members who were from the provincial boxing commissions. They were all appointed by the Minister after nominations had been made by the provincial commissioners.

The new Bill provides for a board which consists of not fewer than four members and not more than seven members. They will all be appointed by the Minister, after the Minister has consulted with the associations of boxers, promoters, managers and trainers. That deals with the composition of Boxing SA. Regarding the tenure of office, the members of Boxing SA will hold office for three years.

Hon members will remember that this Bill was introduced last year, and it was after we had conducted the public hearings that it was referred back to the Ministry by the Joint Tagging Mechanism, when it was found to be a mixed Bill. It had to be separated into a section 75 Bill and a section 76 Bill. What we are presenting here today is only the part that falls into the section 75 category. The section 76 part of the Bill still has to be processed and introduced according to the rules and requirements of a section 76 Bill.

In view of the problems that we encountered when we were conducting the public hearings, and also in terms of having to relate the submissions made at the public hearings in respect of the section 76 part of the Bill, I want to put it on record in this House that there was co-operation amongst all the political parties, including the DP. I would like to express my exceptional appreciation for the contributions that were made by the hon Swart from the DP. [Applause.] He proved to the committee that he has a legal background. An enormous contribution was also made by the hon Mr Clelland, Mr Ferreira from the IFP, and all the other members of the portfolio committee.

I am mentioning this about the DP, because there was a turnaround when Mr Lee joined the portfolio committee, in the sense that when it came to the voting, he said that the DP was going to vote against the Bill. When asked to explain the position of the DP, he said that the DP had a principle of not voting in favour of laws that are proposed by the ANC. [Interjections.] They also strongly believed that, even if they participated in the debate and contributed, they would still not vote for it. That shows the inconsistency and confusion in the DP.

This Bill is in line with the Constitution and the ANC supports the Bill. We call upon the House to vote in favour of the Bill. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr T D LEE: Madam Speaker, I will stick to the facts. No other country can attest more to the enormous potential of sport as a unifying factor. South Africans have experienced it, but, at the very same time, sport can also prove to be an agent of division. South Africans can also attest to that.

The DA’s initial guarded support for the South African Boxing Bill stemmed from our belief that the Bill was aimed at giving structure to boxing in our country and at creating channels of communication between the different role-players in the boxing world. However, the Bill intends to do more than just that. It is in line with what has become Government practice over the past few years, namely the creation of yet another commission, with the Minister of Sport and Recreation appointing the members to that commission. It is quite evident that South Africa is falling victim to an ever- increasing tendency on the part of the ANC-Government to centralise the functioning of the state apparatus in order to gain control over all sectors of society. This tendency is evident in the South African Boxing Bill. The establishment of a boxing commission should be seen for what it really is. It is an attempt by the Government to hand out jobs to its cronies and to control boxing.

Die DA glo sterk dat die Suid-Afrikaanse Bokswetsontwerp om die volgende redes teengestaan moet word: eerstens, sentraleregeringsbetrokkenheid in Suid-Afrikaanse sport moet tot ‘n minimum beperk word … [Tussenwerpsels] … tweedens maak die bestaan van die statutêre liggaam, die Suid- Afrikaanse Sportkommissie, die skep van ‘n bokskommissie of Boks Suid- Afrika onnodig; en derdens moet die regeringsfondse aangewend word, en dit is belangrik, vir die skep van ‘n gunstige omgewing vir die ontwikkeling van Suid-Afrikaanse sporttalent, en nie om die staatsburokasie uit te brei nie.

Hoekom het ons ‘n bokskommissie nodig om onder andere die deelname en betrokkenheid van vroue in boks te bepaal? Ons het dan ‘n Grondwet. Die handves van menseregte, in hoofstuk 2, artikel 9(1) van die Grondwet, waarborg aan almal gelykheid voor die reg, en voorts in artikel 9(4) word onder andere seksuele diskriminasie verbied.

Die DA is van mening dat die Wetontwerp se doelwitte prysenswaardig is, maar ons bevraagteken die skep van ‘n nuwe wet om boks in hierdie land te beheer, en staan dit ten sterkste teen. Kort voor lank sal elke sportvorm in hierdie land gereguleer word uit die gange van die Parlement. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The DP firmly believes that the South African Boxing Bill must be opposed for the following reasons: firstly, central government involvement in South African sport must be kept down to a minimum … [Interjections] … secondly, the existence of the statutory body, the South African Sports Commission, makes the creation of a boxing commission or Boxing South Africa unnecessary; and thirdly, government funds must be utilised, and this is important, for the creation of a favourable environment for the development of South African sporting talent, and not to extend the state bureaucracy.

Why do we need a boxing commission inter alia to provide for the participation and involvement of women in boxing? We do have a Constitution. The Bill of Rights, in chapter 2, section 9(1) of the Constitution, guarantees everyone equality before the law, and furthermore in section 9(4) gender discrimination, among other things, is prohibited.

The DA is of the opinion that the objects of the Bill are praiseworthy, but we question the creation of a new Act to control boxing in this country, and strongly oppose this. Before long every type of sport in this country will be regulated from the corridors of Parliament.]

The DA therefore proposes that, firstly, an audit be conducted on the current workings of the SA Sports Commission to determine its deficiencies. Secondly, the consequent report should be made public and brought to the attention of South African sportsmen for their input in the matter. Thirdly … [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon member! Hon Ms Botha?

Ms N G W BOTHA: Madam Speaker, I would like to know whether it is in order for the member to keep on referring to the DA, because we do not have a political party here known as the DA. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Hon member, when I listen attentively, quite often members make reference to nonexistent entities in their speeches. [Laughter.] They do not have to be present in the House. Please proceed, hon member.

Mr T D LEE: Madam Speaker, the third point is that former professional and amateur athletes should be co-opted to administer sports in a professional manner in South Africa. Fourthly, the Government should stop acting as a job-creation agency which, in the process, puts more of a strain on the already cash-strapped taxpayer who will have to foot the bill for yet another ill-conceived governmental endeavour.

Fifthly, the Government’s finances should rather be spent on the development of young, talented boxers by building more boxing gyms where the Dingaan Thobelas and Baby Jack Matlalas of the future can hone their skills. I hope that the Minister will donate those boxing gloves to those gymnasiums and those boxers.

The DA believes firstly that sport in this country should be depoliticised. [Interjections.] The South African sports fraternity must not allow sport to be used as a tool to score cheap political points. Let us fight to put the interests of our athletes first, and not those of the politicians and the administrators. [Applause.]

Mr E T FERREIRA: Madam Speaker, when I looked at the Minister from where I was sitting when he was at the podium I first thought that maybe we could have a few rounds of sparring, but then I realised I was a heavyweight and he was a super heavyweight. He probably will be more suited to sparring a few rounds in his weight division with the member of the New NP who is wearing a blue shirt today. [Laughter.]

The South African Boxing Bill came before our committee some time last year. It was a horrendous Bill, which was deservedly shot down in flames by all the stakeholders who took part in the long public process we had in the portfolio committee. The Bill was badly written, and one got the impression that the writers had no idea that South Africa had a Constitution, nor that legislation could be in breach of the Constitution. The Bill was subsequently withdrawn because, amongst other things, it had to be split into both a National Assembly and a NCOP Bill. The Bill before us, therefore, does not contain the many issues pertaining to provinces, which one I would have liked to talk about.

When the Bill came back to us earlier this year it was a major improvement in many aspects. Gone was the ridiculous and clearly unconstitutional clause 29, which provided that Boxing SA would have the broadcasting rights to tournaments and that they would then decide which promoter would promote a particular tournament. This was never going to be on.

Other changes which improved the Bill considerably were also made, of which many were technical. Right at the end of the process, the committee amended clause 9 of the Bill to ensure that the Minister consults with boxing federations and stakeholders before appointing the members of Boxing SA. This really made one feel much more comfortable about supporting the Bill.

The people opposing the final product in front of us today are doing so on the basis of excessive ministerial powers and Government interference in sport in general. Although there is undoubtedly some merit in their arguments it is also true that boxing has been through many turbulent times in recent years. No one can deny that many people in the boxing fraternity have been exploited for a very long time, and none more so than the boxers themselves. This Bill will definitely improve that situation, and therefore needs to be supported.

Debate interrupted.

                      UNPARLIAMENTARY LANGUAGE


The SPEAKER: Hon Mr Morkels take your seat please. Hon members, the reference to a blue shirt has reminded me of another blue shirt in the House, and that Dr Odendaal is now in the House. Earlier I made reference to a statement allegedly made by him and a ruling, half of which I have given. The further point of order that was raised was in respect of an interjection by Dr Odendaal in the course of my ruling, making the same allegation about the whole ANC leadership. As I indicated then, Hansard did not record the interjection. Therefore I must ask Dr Odendaal whether he, in fact, in the context of the above allegation, did utter the remark: “It is the whole ANC leadership”?

Dr W A ODENDAAL: Madam Speaker, I said the whole of the ANC leadership is silent on the issue of farm murders, and then I said, “including Jannie Momberg”. [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Dr Odendaal, in terms of your statement, I think it is self-evident that we must ask you to withdraw that comment.

Dr W A ODENDAAL: Madam Speaker, I will withdraw it if Mr Momberg has anything to do with it. [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: If the reference was also to the whole leadership, many of whom are in the House, I think you have to withdraw both.

Dr W A ODENDAAL: Madam Speaker, may I enquire whether you are ruling it to be unparliamentary because I included the name of a member of the House?

The SPEAKER: No, on both grounds. Let me explain. The earlier allegation was about the Office of the President, and I made the ruling that that was in order, because we had not accepted that an allegation against an office or a government department would be unparliamentary. Allegations were made about them which would have been unparliamentary if made about members of the House.

The point of order was taken because it was alleged you said this applied to the whole of the ANC leadership. You have accepted that you said the entire leadership or members of the leadership. Now a large part of the leadership of the ANC, presumably its national executive committee, are members of this House. And, therefore, on that basis your allegation is out of order. That is the point and the ruling I am making.

Mr D H M GIBSON: Madam Speaker, may I address you on the matter? The hon Odendaal was not in the House earlier when the word “incite” was used. He is saying now that he did not say anything about “incite”. He said “remain silent” and there is, I suggest to you, a vast difference between that and the previous allegation.

The SPEAKER: Order! I have to accept the word of Dr Odendaal on what he said. In that context, it is true, but in the context of what he said about Mr Momberg, I think you he needs to withdraw that.

Dr W A ODENDAAL: Madam Speaker, Mr Momberg is not silent. I withdraw the remarks. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

An HON MEMBER: Here comes shop steward, Morkel.

                      SOUTH AFRICAN BOXING BILL

                   (Second Reading debate resumed)

Mr C M MORKEL: Madam Speaker, Minister Balfour, hon members, ie the few that are still here, first the good news. Notwithstanding the Minister’s recent visit to Cuba, he needs to be commended for his regular attendance of the portfolio committee, especially during the period when we considered inputs from stakeholders in order to make amendments to the Bill, section by section. I wish that other Ministers spent more quality time with the legislators and the people, instead of listening to stale lectures on what is best for the people from long-winded dictators.

The Bill has noble intentions to provide all role-players in boxing with a new structure, for both professional and amateur boxing in South Africa, to establish a new boxing commission known as Boxing SA. But, most importantly, it is intended to promote better interaction and interrelationships between associations of boxers, managers, trainers, promoters and officials.

Most would agree that the key motivation for amending any legislation or sections thereof must always be related to the relevance of that legislation in the current climate. Fundamentally, legislation must relate to the needs of society as expressed by that society. Yes, the Minister is right, the people must govern.

The fundamental question that begs to be asked is: Does this Bill respond to those people - the boxers, managers, trainers, promoters and officials - who represent the relevant interests of this society and those who want to compete in a temperate climate? The answer is an emphatic no. Notwithstanding sufficient consensus on many crucial aspects, this Bill, nevertheless, ignores the fundamental inputs which were submitted by provincial sports departments and other specialists in boxing, with regard to by whom and how the complex interrelationships within boxing should be regulated.

Notwithstanding the constitutional provisions to the effect that the people shall govern, notwithstanding the exhaustive and expensive consultative process undertaken by the boxing transformation team, notwithstanding the considered inputs received from additional boxing indabas, as recorded in the document entitled ``Rationale underpinning the new national structure for boxing in South Africa’’, and noth withstanding the passionate representations from the portfolio committee, the Minister seems to blatantly ignore the crux of the input from the abovementioned quarters and that boxing and the boxing community want to democratically elect their own leaders and regulate themselves.

Notwithstanding verbal assurances, the Minister refuses to include unambiguous clauses allowing the specialist associations within the boxing community to have their elected leaders nominated for selection by the Minister. Instead, the Minister usurps the right of the people to govern by giving himself the title of benevolent dictator on the basis that he knows what is best for the people who cannot govern themselves.

In terms of the Bill, the Minister is given the right to appoint whomsoever is his whimsical flavour of the month, so that he can dictate what he believes to be in the best interests of a troubled boxing community. It sounds familiar, does it not? This seems to be the pervading arrogance of the ANC. It is clouded by far too much Cuban cigar smoke, perhaps it is inebriated by far too many lectures by similarly benevolent dictactors, and it is blinded by the punches dealt, not by the DA, but by the boxing community during that part of the parliamentary consultation process that the Minister did not attend.

Although the Bill is a great improvement on the old 1954 Act in that it removes certain archaic regulations, especially the banning of female boxing - we support those aspects of the Bill- because it attempts to regulate the eradication of corruption and attempts to deal with corruption by changing the structure, we cannot support the Bill. The people must be part of the decision-making, from the bottom all the way to the top.

An HON MEMBER: What about soccer at Newlands?

Mr C M MORKEL: We will get to soccer later. [Applause.]

Mr C T FROLICK: Madam Speaker and hon members, the debate in Parliament today on this Bill, which aims to provide for a new structure to oversee professional boxing in South Africa, brings to an end months of hard work by the portfolio committee members, the department, the provinces and all other stakeholders involved in boxing. Simultaneously, we are witnessing the dawning of a new era, which will relaunch the sport in order for it to occupy its rightful position in the South African sporting fraternity, and another piece of apartheid legislation, viz the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1954, is being repealed and relegated to the rubbish bin.

Unfortunately, the impression has been created here this afternoon that all of a sudden we have a super-Minister with super-powers to govern, control and participate in boxing. Members of the committee who were involved in the discussion of this Bill from its infancy can bear testimony to the fact that the Bill seeks to address and rectify legacies of corruption, exploitation of boxers and maladministration which are prevalent in the sport.

Not only does the Bill create synergy between amateur and professional boxing, but it also enables women to participate in the sport of their choice. This provision brings boxing in line with the Constitution and will certainly lead to greater interest and growth in the sport. The UDM, however, requests the Minister and Boxing SA to expedite the drafting of the necessary regulations.

After the lengthy process of consultation involving, amongst others, broadcasters, promoters and other stakeholders, the committee was faced with 24 pages of proposed amendments to the original Bill. Amongst the objections raised were broadcasting rights, promotion rights, composition powers and location of provincial bodies, and the composition of Boxing SA.

It is the considered opinion of the UDM that these concerns have been effectively addressed and that the stakeholders have indeed been consulted. The bone of contention at the moment is clause 9 of the Bill, ie the composition of Boxing SA. Clause 9(2) allows the Minister to appoint members of Boxing SA after consultation with stakeholders. There is a fear that the Minister will abuse his power and make unilateral appointments. However, the UDM believes that the necessary checks and balances exist in our constitutional democracy and in civil society to avoid and deal with such an eventuality, if it occurs.

The attempts by politicians to use legislation of any sort to stifle the competitive spirit of our sportspeople and to abuse their powers in order to score political points and settle political differences, is well documented. In response to these concerns, we must ask the following simple questions: What is the responsibility of the Minister of Sport and Recreation? Is it the Minister’s responsibility to sit back and do nothing when boxing is in a state of disarray, with the type of mafia operating in certain sectors? Is it the Minister’s responsibility to withdraw when many of the stakeholders show little or no inclination to address the problems in the sport, since a lot of these stakeholders have vested interests? Is it the Minister’s responsibility to accept recommendations unquestioningly as opposed to consulting on board appointees, when he fully knows that such recommendations could well include members who are part of the problem?

Lastly, we cannot lose sight of the international image of boxing. It is the Minister’s responsibility not to fold his arms while boxing in South Africa descends into the gutter and our international image is tarnished. No sports lover can allow this to happen and that is why the UDM supports the Bill. [Applause.]

Mrs R M SOUTHGATE: Madam Speaker, the ACDP wants boxing in South Africa to clean up its act. Boxing SA should be an apolitical body with certain constraints placed upon the Minister’s authority. The Bill states that this is an independent body, yet, given the nature of South African history, sport has always been mixed with politics and the independence of sport has been compromised. It is the duty of this House to ensure that we clean up the downside in our sport. The clean-up of our sport is a provincial responsibility. All provincial sporting bodies must be accountable in order to effectively restore good governance and discipline in the industry.

Boxing worldwide has been called upon to undergo reforms. This House may or may not agree with me when I say boxing is equivalent to a dog fight. Humans use their fists, while dogs are encouraged to fight till they die. Boxing with gloves is just an attempt to make it more humane, but the appeal to inflict injury is still the same.

One of the great problems with a sport like boxing is that it attracts ruthless and unscrupulous agents and promoters. In America we hear of promoters and managers who abuse contracts to enrich themselves at the expense of the fighters. In the Eastern Cape, for example, we have also heard of promoters who have been found guilty of underpaying boxers and of mismanagement by the boxing commission in the region. We do realise that the South African boxing industry needs a total overhaul. Boxing as a sports provides many heroes.

The ACDP does not support women boxing as this reflects negatively on the image of women, who are looked upon as ladies and mothers, the nurturers and protectors of families. They are not viewed as bashers of women.

Mr A MLANGENI: Chairperson … An HON MEMBER: Are you going to talk about golf today?

Mr A MLANGENI: No. I am not going to talk about golf today.

Chairperson, the hon the Minister has clearly stated here that protective measures are going to be introduced to protect people from getting injured. I am surprised that the hon Southgate is against women taking up boxing. I want to assure her that they will be protected and she should not worry.

We are engaged here in this Parliament in making laws which are aimed at transforming South Africa into a better country for all its people. But there are some people who are against any form of change, and they want to stubbornly remain faithful to the old order. How sad, indeed.

It is incomprehensible why people who worked very hard in making constructive contributions aimed at improving the Bill should now turn around and say they will not be supporting the Bill. Initially they had said they supported it. Can one seriously claim that one is working with people with integrity? I doubt it.

This Bill provides for a new structure for professional boxing in South Africa, while at the same time it recognises amateur boxing, something that did not exist during the time of the former President Comrade Madiba, when he boxed as an amateur. The Bill brings something new. It recognises amateur boxing.

To ensure that professional boxing is effectively and efficiently administered, the Bill, inter alia, establishes a boxing commission, which is a juristic person known as Boxing SA. The hon the Minister has already alluded to this. It will have jurisdiction in all the provinces of the Republic.

In terms of this Bill, Boxing SA will be an independent body with very wide powers. One of these powers will be to invest such funds as are not immediately required for meeting its financial obligations. It will issue certificates of registration to any person who is not a member of Boxing SA as a boxer, official, trainer, promoter, manager, and so on. In the certificate, the period of its validity must be specified.

To avoid chancers, the Bill empowers Boxing SA to test the ability of any person applying for a certificate of registration as a boxer, trainer, official or manager as it sees fit. It may also require the applicant to furnish it with all agreements entered into between the promoter of the tournament and the boxers and officials participating in the tournament not later than 30 days prior to the tournament.

Cases are known where promoters have not paid boxers for months after the tournament. The Bill states that if the agreement between a promoter and a boxer provides for the payment of a fixed amount to a boxer as remuneration for his or her services, Boxing SA may require the promoter to deposit that amount with it prior to the date of the tournament. Boxing SA will then disburse the money according to the terms of the agreement.

It is important to note that before a boxer can jump into the ring, a certificate of physical and mental fitness issued by a medical practitioner must be furnished to Boxing SA not later than 30 days prior to the tournament. This provision applies to both local boxers and those from outside our borders who box in the Republic. In the event of a dispute concerning any matter regulated by or under this Bill, it provides that any party to the dispute may, in writing, refer the dispute to Boxing SA, and that it must attempt to resolve the dispute. Section 9(3) in Chapter 2 of the Constitution states, and I quote:

The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender sex … Section 9(4) states: National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

The Boxing and Wrestling Control Act of 1954, as amended on several occasions, prohibited, as members have already pointed out, females from taking part in any tournament. It states, and I quote:

No person shall-

(a) hold or assist in holding any tournament in which any female takes part as a boxer or wrestler;

(b) negotiate with any female with a view to procuring her services as a boxer or wrestler at any tournament.

The Bill under discussion has, therefore, repealed large sections of the 1954 Act which discriminated against females. The time for discriminating against females by not allowing them to become boxers or wrestlers has passed. I support this Bill and we thank the hon the Minister for introducing such a progressive Bill.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, the Bill has been drafted to provide for new structures to oversee professional boxing in the country. The MF welcomes clauses 29 and 30 of the Bill, as they protect and promote the interests of all parties concerned. It is of interest to note that the Bill makes provision for the funds of Boxing SA to come from various sources, as well as for the capacity in which Boxing SA may enter into agreements with other parties.

The allegations of favouritism, vested interests and so on made by the South African boxing administration prompted the previous Minister of Sport, Steve Tshwete, to set up an internal boxing commission to restructure the sports administration when the South African National Boxing Control Commission was disbanded in February 1999. The boxing transitional body appointed by Minister Tshwete paved the way despite the obstacles encountered.

Harry Moses was allocated the task of clearing up South Africa’s boxing administration and delivering positive findings to the hon the Minister of Sport, Ngconde Balfour, last year. This led to the redrafting of the Boxing and Wrestling Control Act, since boxing had seen tremendous progress with the National Boxing Commission inheriting R400 000 from M-Net and the SABC, and hosting a fund-raising event to raise funds for the administration of boxing.

All of the aforementioned suggest that boxing is definitely here to stay, and has a future in this country. The MF supports the SA Boxing Bill of 2001 and recommends the legalising of women’s professional boxing, since gender equality at all levels is definitely the way forward in our democratic country. We support the Bill. [Applause.]

Mr C AUCAMP: Hon Chairperson, can you imagine Miss Rajbally in the boxing ring? [Laughter.] Ek kan hierdie wet ontwerp opsom met die volgende woorde: dit is die regte diagnose, maar die verkeerde medisyne. Die diagnose is reg. Ons weet die boksbedryf in Suid-Afrika is korrup. Boksers word uitgebuit en daar is ‘n mafia in beheer. Die medisyne wat hierdie wetsontwerp voorskryf, is absolute staatsbeheer. Dit is ‘n uitklophou vir sport as gemeenskapsaktiwiteit en die toonvenster van totalitarisme. Absolute staatsbeheer oor elke uithoekie van die mens se bestaan is ons voorland as ons vir elke probleem wat daar in die land is, permanente beheer van die gemeenskap na die staat toe oorskuif. Dit voorspel niks goeds vir ander sportsoorte nie.

Ons oorskry hier die mag van die staat. Die taak en die funksie van die Departement van Sport moet wees om ‘n klimaat te skep waarin sport as menslike aktiwiteit kan groei en gedy. Hierdie wetsontwerp gee permanente en totale beheer oor boks in die hande van die Minister. Hy stel die lede van Boks SA aan - selfs die hoof uitvoerende beampte kan nie sonder hom aangestel word nie. Hulle mag nie sonder die Minister besluit waar sy hoofkantoor gaan wees nie, soos vervat in klousule 6(2). In klousule 7(1) word aangedui dat Boks SA selfs die Minister se goedkeuring nodig het oor hoe Boks SA sy fondse moet belê. Die wetsontwerp gaan aan tot klousule 34 - die hele alfabet was amper nie genoeg gewees nie - om al die funksies van die Minister uit te spel.

Gaan ons naderhand dieselfde staatsbeheer kry oor jukskei en kennetjie ook? Ons kan nie toelaat dat elke terrein waar daar probleme ondervind word, onder die plak van die staat kom nie. Daar bestaan ander oplossings. Daar kan tydelike noodmaatreëls getref word totdat alles in orde is en dan sal sake weer genormaliseer word.

In klausule 2(r) word voorsiening gemaak vir vroueboks. Dit is ‘n uitklophou vir alles wat vroulikheid behels. Boks is ‘n geweldsport met die doel om te beseer. Het ons nou so opgeskeep geraak met absolute gelykheid dat ons geen sin meer oorhou vir die spesifieke skeppingsaard en -rol van die vrou nie? ‘n Vrou in die bokskryt druis in teen die beeld wat die Bybel van die vrou teken.

Ons kan hierdie wetsontwerp ongelukkig nie ondersteun nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[I can sum up this Bill in the following words: It is the right diagnosis, but the wrong medicine. The diagnosis is correct. We know that the boxing industry in South Africa is corrupt. Boxers are exploited and a mafia has control. The medicine prescribed by this Bill is total state control. It is a knock-out blow for sport as a community activity, and the display window of totalitarianism. We are doomed to total state control over every single aspect of human life if we transfer permanent control of the community to the state in respect of every problem in the country. It is a bad omen for other kinds of sport.

We are exceeding the authority of the state here. The task and function of the Department of Sport should be to create a climate in which sport as a human activity can grow and flourish. This Bill gives the Minister permanent and total control over boxing. He appoints the members of Boxing SA - even the chief executive officer cannot be appointed without him. They are not allowed to decide where the head office will be without consulting the Minister, as stipulated in clause 6(2). Clause 7(1) provides that Boxing SA even requires the approval of the Minister before it invests its funds. This Bill goes up to Clause 34 - it needed virtually the entire alphabet - enumerating all the functions of the Minister.

Are we eventually going to have the same state control over jukskei'' and kennetjie’’ as well? We cannot allow every area in which there are problems to come under the control of the state. There are other solutions. Temporary emergency measures can be introduced until everything is in order and then matters will be normalised again.

In clause 2(r) provision is made for the participation of women in boxing. This is a knock-out blow for everything that femininity stands for. Boxing is a violent sport whose aim is to mete out punishment. Have we now become so obsessed with absolute equality that we no longer have a sense of the specific creative nature and role of women? A woman in the boxing ring is at variance with the image of women as depicted in the Bible.

Unfortunately we cannot support this Bill.]

Mr M B NTULI: Comrade Chairperson, Ministers and hon members, the 1954 Act shows us how horrible apartheid was in the country. This is what the ANC Government has had to deal with head-on. However, the Bill before us today seeks to address all those unfair imbalances of the past, without compromising. I want to confine myself to female boxing. Apartheid Acts, including the 1954 Act, had placed another workload on the women of our country. Those were some of the discriminatory practices in South Africa. The ANC, in this debate, stands firm in its principle of transformation and emancipation of women in this country. For the first time in this country we want to pass a law that will allow female boxers to enjoy the sport.

Women were the most discriminated against people in this country. The ANC, through this Bill, seeks to liberate them. In fact, by introducing this Bill, we will be in line with the Constitution of this country as it is long overdue that our women in this sport should be liberated.

The time has come for us to say to women that if music be the food of life, they should play on and give us the excess of it. We in the ANC want to say to the dear women of South Africa that the ball is now in their court. They must choose how to play it without being prohibited by the laws of apartheid. The DA cannot stand in their way. We want to have the Tap-Taps and Gerrie Coetzees in this country from the women’s side now.

I will ask the female boxers to box against Mr Lee and, obviously, Mrs Southgate because they do not want them to box. They also do not want them to be liberated. [Applause.] I would like to say to Shakiera, Desire, and Liesl that they must now go to the gym to box and be ready for the fights.

The ANC would like to thank the founders of the South African Female Boxing Association, namely Mumtaz and Mr Mohamed, for inviting the portfolio committee to their exhibition, sensitising us about the possible breach of the Constitution, respecting the country’s Government by not breaking the law that has been in existence thus prohibiting them from embarking on the sport and intervening to stop the tournament that was going to take place in Durban which would have imported people from other countries thus leaving the women of this country unliberated.

I know that most of the males should be very worried about females being unprotected and safety. The Minister has already indicated that they must rest assured that the females will be protected because there are garments to protect whatever they feel might be broken into pieces. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Chairperson, I should first of all like to acknowledge the female boxers who are sitting in the public gallery. [Applause.] Mrs Southgate should go and sit with them. They can talk to her. I also wish to acknowledge Smoking Joe, who is one of our former boxers and our promoter in the Western Cape. Smoking Joe is also sitting over there in the public gallery. [Applause.]

No responsible legislature or executive authority can allow a sport to self- destruct. Some of the hon members on that side have, once again, vainly attempted to portray this Bill as so-called interference in sport by Government. What they must realise is that this is an attempt to clean up the mess left by their party which I am presently saddled with, especially that which was left by Abe Williams.

At the same time, the new Bill will protect our boxers from exploitation and it allows Boxing SA to monitor and supervise the activities of international professional boxing bodies. We are trying to look after the rights of a vulnerable section of our sporting community. I cannot understand why anybody would want to contest this. If they do, my understanding is simply that they do not have the interests of our boxers at heart and that they therefore support their continued exploitation.

As I have indicated earlier, the Bill provides for the participation and involvement of women in boxing. A convention on women boxers is scheduled for later this month, with the specific purpose of mapping out the future for women in boxing. It will be held in Cape Town and we will invite some members to that convention. In this regard, safety measures and the use of protective gear will feature prominently in the discussions at that convention.

The boxing fraternity has already been proactive in preparing themselves for the new challenges facing them once this Bill is passed into law. A very successful officials’ convention has just been completed in Bloemfontein, where the foundation was laid for the formation of associations for officials and the drafting of a rules booklet to administer tournaments and fights. Boxing is thus on the threshold of exciting changes.

I should also like to mention that the current interim chairperson of the Boxing Commission, Adv Solomons is with us, together with the interim CEO, Mr Dumile Mateza. They are the people who have assisted me to guide boxing to where it is today. They are sitting over there in the public gallery. [Applause.]

I would really like to thank the hon members Frolick and Ferreira who spoke quite well, as well as Mrs Southgate, although she opposes only that part which is about women. But I thank everybody. With regard to the hon Aucamp, I cannot say anything. I just leave it at that. I cannot respond at all.

I would like to thank the hon Clelland and Mr Swart, because they made valuable contributions until the big gun, the hon Donald Lee, was sent in. [Interjections.]

An HON MEMBER: Donald Duck!

The MINISTER: So he had to change everything, Mr Donald Duck. Interestingly, Mr Morkel also contributed. He was asking about white water rafting and when we would be making some regulations about that. Because there were white people involved Mr Morkel wanted regulations on that. [Interjections.]

An Hon MEMBER: Skande! [Disgraceful!]

The MINISTER: Skande! [Disgraceful!]

I also thank Sis Ruth Bhengu and the portfolio committee, as well as the department and the parliamentary officer, Rodney Swiegelaar, for the wonderful work that they have put into this Bill. I present this Bill to the House.

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time (Democratic Party, New National Party African Christian Democratic Party and Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging dissenting).


                       (Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Madam Speaker, hon members and Cabinet colleagues, the South African Sports Commission Act, No 109 of 1998, which was published in the Gazette on 4 December 1998, provides for the establishment of the South African Sports Commission. The Act provides for the commission’s powers with regard to sports administration and development, as well as the enhancement of recreation.

Thus, the South African Sports Commission is, essentially, the vehicle to oversee matters relating to the administration and promotion of sport and recreation in our country. With its establishment, it was decided that the Minister of Sport and Recreation should have a separate smaller department which would co-exist with the commission. That is the current position with regard to the department, now known as Sport and Recreation South Africa. It also became necessary to review the size and composition of the SA Sports Commission as stipulated in the principal Act and to entrench the functions as well as the responsibilities of the executive authority.

Given the fact that the Chief Executive Officer, Dr Joe Phaahla, appointed at the level of director-general, can adequately perform the main thrust of the functions of the commission, a review was needed for the roles of the chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the commission. Moreover, it soon became evident that a board of 30 commissioners would be unwieldy, costly and clumsy, and that it was not necessary to structure the board on the basis of representation, but rather on the expertise necessary to perform vital functions.

The South African Sports Commission Amendment Bill therefore provides for a streamlining of the composition of the commission, and ensures a greater degree of accountability to the executive authority. It will contribute immensely towards allowing me to fulfil my responsibilities as the executive authority, as stipulated in the Public Finance Management Act. It provides for a reduction in the of commissioners to a total of 12, the commissioners being appointed or elected on the basis of their skills or expertise in areas of sport and recreation, policy formulation, management and international relations. This will provide for more efficient decision- making and a consequent improvement in delivery to their clients, the national federations and other macrosport bodies.

The provision for a general assembly in the amending Bill will further enhance democracy, representativeness and accountability. The general assembly will then become the parliament of sport for South Africa. The Bill further provides for greater accountability in financial matters, bringing it in line with the PFMA and related Treasury requirements. It is my contention that this amending Bill will improve the potential of the commission to play a pivotal role in developing sport and recreation from grass-roots to gold. At the official launch of the commission on Thursday, 15 March, I described the event as the birth of a new life for South African sport. Birth brings along with it new challenges, expectations and opportunities.

There are detractors of the SA Sports Commission. Some of them are seated here in this House. What they fail to understand and accept is that this country was forced to start from a zero base in the growth of our sport, as a result of the selfish and racist actions of the past. The criticism is quite often shrouded in racist undertones. Those who criticise would prefer sport to continue in the old ways of the past. They decry any legislation relating to sport, using the smokescreen that sport should remain autonomous.

They are very likely to bemoan the fact that the responsibility of the executive authority is entrenched in this amending Bill. I would like to remind them, however, that this Bill merely affirms my responsibility, which responsibility I will not renege on until a fair dispensation has been entrenched for all South Africans. The opposition conveniently forgets that they denied the majority of our citizens the right to participate in sport through their cruel and racist laws.

Again, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Sis Ruth Bhengu for preparing this Bill for presentation in Parliament. I also include here contributions from the members of the opposition parties. As we said in the other Bill, they contributed a lot, especially the two members we mentioned, but they have now been instructed by their bosses, of course, with hon Donald Lee riding roughshod over them.

As for the department and the legislators in my department, I would like to thank them very much. I therefore present to hon members the South African Sports Commission Amendment Bill. [Applause.]

Mr H P CHAUKE: Mr Chairperson, hon members of Parliament, the CEO of the SA Sports Commission, Mr Joe Phaahla, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the third amendment to the South African Sport Commission Act on behalf of the portfolio committee chairperson, Ruth Bhengu.

I wish to commend the Minister for sponsoring this Bill, and for the leadership he displayed throughout the process. I wish to commend the members of the portfolio committee, who participated in the discussion of the Bill and who have made contributions to it. I wish to thank the state law advisers who have played a role during the processing of the amendments. Special thanks also go to the staff of the Minister, in particular Rodney Swiegelaar.

While acknowledging the history of South African sport and challenges posed by a democratic, nonracial and nonsexist South Africa, the SA Sports Commission Act resolved to establish the SA Sports Commission, whose objective is to oversee matters pertaining to the administration and promotion of sport in the Republic of South Africa under the direction and leadership of the Minister responsible for sport and recreation.

The amending Bill we are debating today gives impetus to the practical implementation of the Act in pursuit of its objective of overseeing matters pertaining to the administation and promotion of sport in our country. Positive words have been spoken in other debates in this House in favour of the SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill. I am not going to bore the House by presenting what has been said so far. The only area that I want to deal with is the current challenges that are facing the SA Sports Commission.

One of the areas that I want to deal with, is racism in sport, particularly in the Western Cape. For some time now we have been observing the attitude of politicians in the Western Cape, denying black people the opportunity to participate in sports, generally, in Cape Town. The point that I am raising is the attitude of the major of Cape Town, of not allowing football to be played at Newlands. It was very clear from the beginning that a motion was put by a DA councillor, refusing to allow soccer to be played at Newlands.

As a portfolio committee we have met with all soccer teams in the Western Cape, that is Ajax, Santos and Hellenic. We have met with the owners of Newlands Rugby Ground and Newlands Cricket Ground. All of them said that they support football being played at Newlands Stadium and that the problem lies with local government, whose mayor is Marais of the DA. [Interjections].

We invited the major to come and appear before the committee on Tuesday last week. He bluntly refused. We invited him again today to come and clarify the position of local government, and he again refused. [Interjections.] The portfolio committee met today just before the sitting of the House and has resolved that whether he likes it or not, he will appear before the portfolio committee. He decided not to meet with the portfolio committee but with the Minister, thus undermining the role of the portfolio committee in Parliament. That is something we are not going to accept.

It is clear that when it comes to facilities that are being provided for sport in this country, the fact of the matter is that during the apartheid era nice, big and beautiful facilities were built in white areas, whereas in disadvantaged areas such as Langa and Gugulethu such facilities were not erected. When people are supposed to start sharing those facilities, they begin to invoke apartheid ordinances. All along, even while the ANC was in power, they never invoked those ordinances. Is it because Bafana Bafana was playing against Zimbabwe? We know very well what the DA’s position is regarding Zimbabwe. We know for a fact that the DA wanted to apply sanctions against Zimbabwe, but now they are doing it at the wrong time.

Two weeks ago, Safa announced its intention to host World Cup 2010. Immediately after that, the hon Lee and Mr Marais, who were oppressed just like me, are in the forefront defending apartheid ordinances. What they are doing to the people of the Western Cape is a shame. [Interjections.] They are just windowdressing. The master behind them is just using them, because of their dark skin, to defend apartheid ordinances. We are not going to accept it. [Applause.]

Nobody in this country can reverse the gains of our liberation. We fought for nonracialism, nonsexism and democracy, and we are definitely going to change the attitude in Cape Town. Because of this attitude, black people are not welcome in this city - that is a fact. When one goes to a restaurant or a night club in Cape Town, one is asked for a membership card. Because one is black, one is expected to have a membership card. [Interjections.] We are not going to accept the nonsense that is going on in the Western Cape. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Adv P S SWART: Mr Chairperson, I will at least try to bring some sanity to the debate.

On 8 October 1997 the former Minister of Sport and Recreation said in this House, and I quote:

There is going to be interference from the Government in any sphere of life and activity in South Africa, including sport. I repeat, there is going to be interference in sport.

It is against this background that the DP, on 14 September 1998, voted against the principal Act. The DP and DA do not believe that there should be political interference in sport. We do, however, believe in the very important unifying role that sport and recreation play in this country to bring people of all cultures together.

During the debate on the principal Act on 14 September 1998, the then chairperson of the portfolio committee, the hon Lulu Xingwana, stated, and I quote, and I hope that this is still the case:

The Bill makes it clear that the commission will respect the autonomy of sport and recreation organizations … It has never been the intention of this Government to run sport in South Africa.

Fortunately, today we find ourselves with a new Minister of Sport and Recreation since 1999. From the onset it was clear that sport itself was his major concern, and apart from one or two isolated instances, he refrained from politicising sport. Unfortunately, on Tuesday in the portfolio committee during a briefing regarding the playing of soccer at Newlands, the Minister allowed his emotions to run amuck, and launched into a party-political attack on the members of the DA, who up to then had tried to focus on the problem.

Being a civil and soft-spoken person, I will thus only say this about Tuesday: It was unfortunate, uncalled for and counterproductive. The Minister being the captain of the ANC sporting team, his team members followed suit, causing the meeting to turn into a party-political shambles, which is still continuing today at this podium. However, bearing in mind what took place when the portfolio committee discussed and debated the SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill, I personally will regard Tuesday as an isolated incident.

The Minister attended all the briefing sessions and debates of this Bill before the portfolio committee and, indeed, played a major role in fine- tuning the Bill into what it is today. He afforded the opposition constructive participation in the debate, and also accepted a number of amendments to the Bill without arguing about which side of the House it came from. We, and I personally, thank him for that.

The establishment of the SA Sports Commission in 1998 was to ensure that one body controls and regulates sport in this country. Again, I want to quote the then chairperson. She said:

The commission will bring an end to the existence of both our Department of Sport and Recreation and the National Sports Council, which will effectively amalgamate to form the SA Sports Commission.

Today the Department of Sport and Recreation is still very much in existence. We need further indications as to how this amalgamation will continue to be effected.

The principal Act brought into being the SA Sports Commission with 30 members. From the outset, this high number of commissioners was a cause for concern. If we look at the budget of the Department of Sport and Recreation for the past two years, instead of money going into development, the greater part of this budget has been spent on remuneration of employees and commissioners. This is couterproductive in addressing a terrible backlog in the development of the previously disadvantaged people in this country.

This Bill seeks to rectify a number of these problems. The commission will now consist of six members elected by the general assembly, another six by the Minister. One member must focus on women, another on rural sport development, and another, preferably a member with a disability, on sport for disabled persons. The term of office for these members has been changed to three years from the previous five years, and members will not be eligible for election or appointment for more than two consecutive terms. The board itself will elect a chairperson of this commission.

I would like to tell the Minister that we welcome these changes to the Act. We think it is a better, mean and lean commission. In the Minister’s words, ``I ask you not to appoint mean people’’. I am sure the Minister is going to do so.

To conclude, the DP supports this Bill, which, in all respects, is better than the existing Act. We did not support the Act that is in place at the moment. This one is better, and that is why we will support it.

Our remaining concern is that the CEO of the commission is appointed at the level of a director-general. This is not part of the Bill or the principal Act, and does not impair our support for the Bill. However, we think that this needs to be addressed, and we will seek consultation with fellow committee members and the Minister regarding this.

Allow me to end by thanking the chairperson for the kind words and the way he participated during the discussion of this Bill. We appreciate that and, indeed, we are playing a constructive role. Please do the same.

Mnr E T FERREIRA: Mnr die Voorsitter, die agb mnr Chauke het oor alles behalwe die sportkommissie gepraat.

Miskien sal dit dan in order wees as ek agb lede van my twee pragtige labradors by die huis vertel wat pas sewe kleintjies gehad het, ses reuns en een teef, en moenie vergeet dat ek nog van my mooi grys kat ook vertel nie.

‘n AGB LID: Jou chihuahua ook?

Mnr E T FERREIRA: Nee, ek hou nie van chihuahuas nie. [Gelag.]

Die IVP steun die wysigingswetsontwerp op die SA sportkommissie. Dit is nie ‘n wysigingswetsontwerp wat ooit op komiteevlak omstrede was of die wenkbroue laat lig het nie.

Die oorspronklike wet maak daarvoor voorsiening dat daar 30 kommissielede sou wees wat ‘n onnodig groot en lomp organisasie tot gevolg sou hê. Soos ons gehoor het, word dit nou na 12 lede verminder waarvan ses deur die Minister en ses deur die algemene vergadering aangewys word. Dit sal natuurlik ook ‘n aansienklike finansiële las van die staat afneem.

Die ampstermyn van die kommissielede word tot drie jaar verminder. Kommissielede wat bedank, moet dit deur die Minister doen en nie deur die voorsitter nie. Die rede hiervoor is dat daar soveel persoonlike vetes en konflik tussen individue en sportorganisasies is, dat as die Minister minstens van die bedankings in kennis gestel word, hy baie vroeg sal agterkom wanneer dié soort probleem na vore kom. Ek weet nie of die argument vreeslik baie water hou nie, maar ons is nie in beginsel daarteen gekant nie.

Ons wil die sportkommissie ook alle voorspoed toewens met sy werk. Hy moet reeds geluk gewens word met die uitstekende manier waarop hy die Suid- Afrikaanse tradisionele spele gehanteer en aangebied het. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr E T FERREIRA: Mr Chairperson, the hon Mr Chauke discussed everything but the sports commission.

Perhaps, then, it would be in order for me to talk to hon members about my two beautiful labradors at home, who recently had seven little ones, six males and one female, and not forgetting my beautiful grey cat.

An HON MEMBER: Your chihuahua also?

Mr E T FERREIRA: No, I do not like chihuahuas. [Laughter.]

The IFP supports the South African Sports Commission Amendment Bill. This is not an amending Bill that was ever controversial at committee level or that even raised some eyebrows.

The original Act makes provision for 30 members of the commission, which would have led to an unnecessarily large and cumbersome organisation. As we have heard, these are now being reduced to 12 members, six of whom will be appointed by the Minister and six by the general assembly. This will, of course, also relieve the state of a considerable financial burden. The term of office of the members of the commission is being reduced to three years. Members of the commission who resign must do so via the Minister and not the chairperson. The reason for this is that there are so many personal quarrels and conflicts among individuals and sports organisations that if the Minister is at least informed of resignations, he will realise very quickly when this kind of problem arises. I do not know whether the argument is a terribly sound one, but in principle we are not opposed to this.

We would also like to wish the sports commission everything of the best with its work. It must already be congratulated on the exceptional manner in which it handled and presented the South African traditional games.]

Mr C M MORKEL: Chairperson, I do not have any dogs to talk about, but I do have a kitten and I will stick to the topic, the SA Sports Commission. I need to address some other matters as well.

The SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill is an amending Bill that we would like to support because it streamlines a bloated structure that exists in sport at the moment. It also reduces the membership from 30 to 12. Six of them are appointed by the Minister, and we do not like that part. But, nevertheless, we support the Bill because it, at least, guarantees a seat for one person with a disability and reduces the term of office from five to three years. So, this is not long-term employment. It stipulates that members of the commission will not be eligible for election or appointment for more than two consecutive terms of office. Those are the positive things about it and that is why we will be supporting it.

The Minister mentioned something that was quite worrying earlier on in his speech. He said that positions on certain matters and laws were cruel and racist. I think that is unfair, but perhaps the Minister does not know. Anyway, I will table this document here and give him a copy of it. It shows that on 9 October 1998 it was the ANC branch in Claremont that raised the first objection to Newlands being rezoned as a multipurpose facility. They did it for various reasons, but now the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. So, the Claremont …

Mr J H MOMBERG: [Inaudible.]

Mr C M MORKEL: Well, it is an ANC letterhead. I mean, come on guys! The ANC has used the race card here unnecessarily. [Interjections.] Now, it was at the time when the ANC was in control of the city of Cape Town. So, who is at fault here? Whose mess do we have to fix up, now that the DA is in control? It is the ANC’s. So we have to fix it up, and we have already started fixing it up. Minister Marais has made it clear that soccer will be played there …


Mr C M MORKEL: Now, immediately. The permit system will be done away with. Whilst the three to six months rezoning process takes place, soccer will be allowed there.

Mr J H MOMBERG: Why so long?

Mr C M MORKEL: That is the way the process works. It is very simple. So, the Minister made a statement that the DA is cruel and racist when it makes certain laws. Those laws could have been changed when the ANC was governing the city of Cape Town. That has not been done. We will now use the opportunity to fix up the legacy of the ANC in the city of Cape Town and in the Western Cape. We will allow soccer to be played there, but the ANC wants to hold the city of Cape Town to ransom. Today, in the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, the chairperson refused me permission to table the document, because the truth cannot be heard. The ANC practises selective morality and truth. [Interjections.]

Simply put, we will continue to expose the ANC on issues like these in the future. They continually use the race card when they cannot deliver to the people. They have not delivered a soccer facility in the city of Cape Town. Whose fault is that? It is their fault. When they were governing the city of Cape Town, they had the opportunity. Two-thirds of the capital budget under ANC rule in the city of Cape Town was not used. Use the opportunity. If the Minister could give it to me …

Mr J H MOMBERG: Mr Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it permissible for the member to be a shop steward for his father?

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! That is not a point of order.

Mr K M ANDREW: Mr Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it permissible for Mr Momberg to call the hon member a shop steward?

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! That is not a point of order.

Mr C T FROLICK: Chairperson and hon members, the proposed amendments to the SA Sports Commission Act not only reduce the number of members serving on the commission, but at the same seek to improve the operational function of its members.

It is obvious that the commission is, indeed, a bit cumbersome to effectively realise its objectives. By streamlining its membership, the outputs from the commission should increase, which will lead to greater effectiveness. This should be to the benefit of all sportsmen and women in our country. The commission has the overall duty of planning, developing sport priorities, seeing to the implementation of such priorities, and monitoring the progress of sport development.

The aim is that this Bill be debated against the background of a great challenge facing South African sport. The now infamous Newlands saga has, indeed, revived racial tensions and highlighted the prevalence of racism in sport. Racism in any form is not only disgusting, but reinforces the two nations ideology. South African sport can ill-afford a further escalation in hostilities between the national, provincial and local governments involving several sports administration bodies.

The UDM proposes that the streamlined SA Sports Commission tackle this challenge head-on by immediately setting in motion a process to undertake a thorough review process of all national and provincial ordinances, to establish whether any of these are in conflict with its operations and the democratic ethos of postapartheid South Africa. Furthermore, the UDM urges all the role-players, including the DA, to stop playing games and refrain from hiding segregation ideology behind new disguises such as zoning regulations. With each development of this nature, the DA is entrenching the idea that certain pockets under its rule are still stuck in the old dispensation.

Sport is one of the most unifying factors in the new South Africa. Every citizen, the SA Sports Commission, and all political parties must campaign to protect and nurture this vital nation-building tool. [Applause.]

Mrs R M SOUTHGATE: Mr Chairman, the ACDP supported the principal Act, and therefore we support the amending Bill before the House today. [Interjections.] However, we do have a few concerns.

The ACDP welcomes the provision in the Bill to reduce the members of the commission. I do not know whether it was because of its size, but whenever we needed the commission to address the portfolio committee, the task of doing so seemed impossible. As we know, there are problems with the commission, and the Minister knows that too.

One of my concerns with a smaller commission, however, is the question of representivity. The Minister has authority to appoint six members to this body. In other words, the Minister decides on 50% of this representivity. The commission will not be a large body and, as such, the Bill should have allowed for greater input from relevant stakeholders, in terms of the ratio of appointments to those of the Minister. The role of the Minister should be primarily to intervene where the suitability of members who are to serve on the commission comes into question.

The method of appointment, as currently provided for in the Bill, will create a body with two heads - one set of appointments controlled by the Minister, and the other set of equal size possibly going in the opposite direction. This is of grave concern to us. The commission, if called upon to decide on sensitive issues, will find itself in a no-win situation, leaving the Minister with the final authority to decide on whatever outcomes he desires. It is therefore quite clear that the final and overriding authority and power of the commission rests with the Minister.

The tasks ahead of the commission will be difficult as it seems it will need the Minister’s permission in almost every area affecting sport, because such is the manner in which the body is constituted. [Interjections.]

An Hon MEMBER: Wat se Mangope oor sport? [What does Mangope say about sport?]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Hy is die beste man wat sport nog ooit gehad het. [He is the best man sport has ever had.]

Mr Chairperson and the House at large, this Bill is one of the most progressive that this House has dealt with in recent times. Fifty per cent of the members of the envisaged commission will be elected by the general assembly, and the Minister’s prerogative will be to appoint the other 50% within set criteria, such as women, rural development and disabled persons.

The clearly set out three-year term of office challenges the commissioners to get down to work and not rest on their laurels once so elected or appointed. That the Bill embodies the spirit of the democratic tenets of our Constitution is further demonstrated by the fact that the board of the commission must elect from among its members a chairperson of the commission who will hold office for a period of 12 months. This speaks volumes about the responsibility and accountability being given to the commission.

We have come across instances in which members of boards, councils or whatever you want to call them, are all appointees of the Minister, including the chairperson. The approach of this Bill is a welcome demonstration of the confidence we have in the ability and maturity of our people.

The appointment of the chief executive officer is based on consensus among the three stakeholders, ie the Minister, the board of the commission and Cabinet. The whole exercise is widely consultative and transparent so that no stakeholder should feel alienated in the matter. We hope, however, that this consultation will arise from advertisements and interviews, and that it will have the backing of the majority of stakeholders, if not all. After all, it will serve no purpose if such consultation amounts to information about the actual appointment.

The Bill seeks to reduce the current bloated commission to a lean and effective machine of the people’s choice, which will be responsive to the sporting needs of our people. The UCDP supports the Bill. [Applause.]

Miss S RAJBALLY: Mr Chairperson, the Bill seeks to amend the South African Sports Commission Act of 1998, Act 109 of 1998. In respect of the composition of the commission, the MF believes that an increased representation of women is necessary so as to promote gender equality and address women’s interests in sport. This increased representation could benefit disabled persons participating in sport and boost efforts to include individuals with disabilities in mainstream communal activities.

The MF compliments the Government on making provision for a three-year programme through its ``Building for Sport and Recreation’’ project which emphasises the Government’s determination to deliver in areas where the needs are greatest.

It is noteworthy that the Department of Sport and Recreation aims to address three fundamental aspects: Firstly, creating opportunities for the most needy to participate in sport and recreational activities; secondly, bridging the imbalances that existed between rural and urban communities in so far as accessibility to adequate facilities is concerned; and thirdly, contributing towards poverty relief through the creation of job opportunities.

The MF also welcomes the Minister’s appointment of a task team to draft a way forward for South African sport which identifies key strategic objectives for sport and recreation in the country. This includes looking at the greater unity in sports structures and drafting a plan that will address unity of purpose in the area of securing resources and high performance.

It is remarkable to find that there has been a growing interest in athletics at grass-roots level, and a number of workshops to ensure the delivery of sport are held on a regular basis. The MF supports this SA Sports Commission Amendment Bill. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! The next speaker, the hon R M Moropa, will be delivering his maiden speech. [Applause.]

Mr R M MOROPA: Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members of Parliament, I feel very honoured to be delivering my maiden speech only five days before the eighth commemoration of the death of Comrade Chris Hani, of which this year’s national event will be taking place at Ermelo in Mpumalanga.

Re re robala ka khutso mogale wa bagale. [Rest in peace, hero of heroes.]

I am saying this because Comrade Hani was a sport enthusiast himself, and if he were here he would have supported this Bill.

I must first acknowledge the presence of the CEO of the South African Sports Commission, Dr Joe Phaahla, in the gallery. I also wish to commend the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Comrade Balfour, for introducing this amending Bill.

It is almost two years since the passage of the South African Sports Commission Act, Act 109 of 1998. As a result, the basis for defining the roles and functions of three components of the commission has been laid. However, loopholes were apparent. The amending Bill we are debating today attempts to plug these gaps and ensure that the South African Sports Commission is able to address present day challenges.

The amending Bill mainly focuses on ensuring that the SA Sports Commission is a manageable structure geared to implement the objects of administering and promoting sport in this country. This amending Bill seeks to establish a lean and manageable structure to oversee sport in the country, and the SA Sports Commission envisaged in this Bill has a reduced number of members 12 thus cutting down the running costs of the commission.

The Bill starts off by saving more than 50% of the remuneration that the S A Sports Commission has to pay. This Bill has also passed the test of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, with its measures to ensure that state funds are protected and state employees are accountable for their actions. The composition of the commission, as laid down in this Bill, also facilitates quicker decision-making, as opposed to a commission composed of a large number of members with resultant cumbersome decision- making.

The amending Bill recognises the democratic process that must govern our sporting codes in South Africa, and hence 50% of the commissioners must be elected by the general assembly, based on their commitment and loyalty to sport. To this end, the Bill caters for the election of six commissioners. Experience has taught us that democratic processes do not always give answers to the broader questions of social transformation, and it is therefore imperative that we couple the election of the commissioners with appointments. What is noteworthy about this Bill is the fact that knowledge and skill in sport management are the overriding criteria for electing and appointing commissioners. Also noteworthy is the fact that the Minister, in making his six appointments, is guided by the requirement that provision has to be made for representation of each of the following criteria: women in sport, rural sport development and sportpersons with disabilities.

The South African Sports Commission Amendment Bill also seeks to address divisive tendencies by sport administrators who manipulate sporting codes for their own selfish ends. As a result of the tug of war, South African sporting codes end up being the proverbial grass that suffers when two elephants fight. The Bill, in dealing with the composition of the SA Sports Commission, seeks to address this challenge.

In conclusion, I wish to state that the amending Bill provides the commission and the Minister with the mandate to uplift and develop the sporting urban poor and rural disadvantaged communities. It creates coherent and people-centred development through sport. The philosophy and ideals espoused by a democratic Government for the creation of a nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous nation find their official expression in this law.

A historically divided nation such as that of South Africa sees its hope for unity in action for change through sport. The streamlining of the roles and responsibilities of all who have a stake in sport, under the political guidance of the Minister, is indicative of the ANC-led Government’s commitment to delivering a better life for all South Africans. I therefore urge the House to pass this amending Bill. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF SPORT AND RECREATION: Mr Chairperson, as the Minister responsible for sport and recreation, I will continue with the formulation of policies and regulations that will rid our sporting society of the last remnants of a hated past. In his reply to the debate on the state of the nation address, our President, Thabo Mbeki, called for the involvement of greater numbers of our youth in sport and cultural activities. That is one of the major challenges facing the SA Sports Commission.

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude, once again, to all members of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, led by the hon member Ruth Bhengu, for their positive approach to this Bill. That includes the hon Swart and the hon Clelland. Yes, I know that we clashed on Tuesday. That is life. We will still clash if there are some things that I am not happy with. We should not take that personally, because it is not personal. When I want to take on the hon Mike Ellis with sticks - he does want to have some stick fighting with me and is practising - it will not be personal when I take a few swipes at him. [Interjections.]

The contributions of all the members were invaluable and the sporting fraternity out there can rest assured that, with the calibre of members on this committee, sport and recreation is in very good hands. That I do not doubt. The contributions coming from all the members of that portfolio committee show that they really have come of age, and I appreciate the support that they are giving me.

I also just want to assure members that in appointing the six committee members, one appointee will be from business, with the necessary business acumen, because we need money for the SA Sports Commission; one will have an understanding of sports policy; one, of course, will come from the macroboard in Nocsa; there will be one representative for women; one for the disabled sportspeople; and one with a very rural bias.

I would like to thank the head of the department, Prof Denver Hendricks, who is a pillar of strength to me, Gideon Boshoff for legislation and the CEO of the SA Sports Commission as well. I would also really like to thank Mvuzo Mbebe, who is the Ministerial advisor to me on some of these issues. He has really been able to guide us. Lastly, I thank the former Minister of Sport, the number one policeman in the country, and Lulu Xingwana, because we got this SA Sports Commission from them.

I believe that, at the moment, the SA Sports Commission is really set for success. It knows where it is going. It has launched its indigenous sports, and has done a lot of work in the provinces, but much is still expected of it. I would like to see it being driven amongst the people on the ground, working very hard to change the situation of sport in our country.

I will not make a comment about Newlands. I will not prejudge the meeting I will have with Mr Marais, but that meeting does not take precedence over the meeting and the role of the portfolio committee. [Applause.] The portfolio committee will still go on with what it is doing. I will meet with Mr Marais tomorrow morning at eight o’clock to try and find out what we can do.

The issue of the ANC writing a letter is new to me. I have just received it now. All I know is that an official wrote a letter and copied the letter to Mr Killian and I have just said that to the hon member. I do think that we will be able to resolve this matter.

To the portfolio committee, I think they still have to talk to Mr Marais and whoever comes with him. I will not block that. I am not a member of the portfolio committee. I am just a poor Minister. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.


                      (Subject for Discussion.)

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Mr Chairperson, hon members, ladies and gentlemen and comrades, this debate on the National Plan for Higher Education, for which I am grateful to the Speaker and to the parties, marks a watershed in the history of higher education in South Africa. It brings to a close a decade of research, engagement and consultation on the need for and the challenges of transforming the higher education system in South Africa. This is based on the White Paper on Higher Education of 1997, which forms the basis for these proposals. This wide-ranging process has produced a rich variety of policy documents and frameworks, which have contributed to the development of the National Plan for Higher Education.

The breadth and depth of this process, as I am sure members will agree, represents democracy at its best - a national conversation between the key role-players and constituencies in higher education, which has involved hundreds of researchers, academics, students, workers, management, businesspeople and other constituencies from higher education, as well as interested parties, as I said, from labour and business.

This national conversation, I should remind the hon Aucamp, was initiated by the ANC more than a decade ago. The fact, as I have indicated, that there will be no further consultations on the national plan is not, as he suggested in his motion, ``a reflection of the centralist and totalitarian nature of the ANC.’’ On the contrary, it is a recognition that the national plan represents the collective wisdom and broad consensus of democrats committed to the creation of a truly South African higher education system, rather than the narrow and parochial interests of those whom the hon Aucamp represents.

The time for analysis, revisiting and talking is over. We must now turn with a single-minded sense of purpose to implement the National Plan for Higher Education and, therefore, to ensure that we rise to the challenges posed by a rapidly changing world in which knowledge and skills are not only at a premium, but at the very centre of the social and economic development process. This can only be done if the process and the needs are owned by all the actors - by universities and technikons, by staff and students and trade unions, and, if I may say so, and I say this very honestly, by members of this honourable House.

The national plan, on the basis of the core values and principles of the White Paper which is the point of departure, provides the framework and outlines the strategies for shaping the transformation of the higher education system for the coming decades. Its central focus and purpose is to ensure that higher education institutions are geared up to producing the skilled professionals and intellectuals required to sustain social and economic development in the context of globalisation, in particular in respect of the changes in information and communication technology and its impact on the world of work. I should also add that the role of higher education institutions is to strengthen the democratic order by the creation of the intellectuals to which I referred.

This plan will enable the higher education system to contribute to the building of a learning society that draws on people of all ages and all races and from all walks of life, and gives them the opportunity to advance and develop themselves, both intellectually and materially. In short, it should enable the higher education system to improve the quality of life of all our people.

The national plan recognises that the transformation of the higher education system cannot be left to chance or to the market. The higher education system has to be managed and directed to ensure that it responds to the national development agenda. I may be able to hear the cry from some quarters that this is an infringement of institutional autonomy, that institutions, basically, should be left to themselves, as we have done over the past decade, as they are best placed to determine and respond to the skills and knowledge needs of society. I beg to differ. If institutions were indeed as well-tuned to the needs of society, how do we explain the following facts?

Firstly, only 15% of students enrolled in higher education institutions graduate annually. This is an abysmal figure. Secondly, the participation rate, as a percentage of the 20 to 24-year-olds per thousand of the population enrolled in higher education, of black students continues to be well below that of white students - 40% participation rate on the one hand and about 12% to 14% on the other.

Thirdly, large numbers of black students are marginalised, not entirely, but in many satellite campuses and in distance education programmes. Although there are good distance education programmes, there are others that are meant largely to ensure that black students are not on the campuses. Fourthly, black and women students continue to be underrepresented in programmes that have high economic returns, such as engineering, technology, business, commerce, and management programmes. Women of all races are underrepresented in these high-yield subjects.

Fifthly - and this is anarchic - competition rather than collaboration characterises the relationships among institutions of higher education. There is good competition, and there is bad competition. There is competition for achieving excellence. The anarchic competition is the devil takes the hindmost. This is not the United Kingdom, not the United States, not Mongolia. This is South Africa, and South Africa needs a collaborative activity to create the kind of intellectuals we need in our society. This competition has resulted, in some cases, in institutions closing down so- called unviable programmes, especially in the fine arts, and in languages, modern languages and indigenous languages, rather than collaborating to ensure their continuing.

Finally, there are few opportunities for workers and mature learners of all races, in particular women and the disabled, to enrol in higher education. We also find that some 80% of staff, in particular at the senior administrative and academic levels, remain white and male, and that only about 5% of women of all races occupy senior academic and administrative posts. Language also continues to be a bar to access in some institutions.

Then we find another extraordinary thing in that archaic and offensive practices such as initiation ceremonies, which exclude many people, continue to be condoned, in places of learning, nogal. I could go on. I submit that the failure of higher education institutions to move beyond their apartheid-induced past and spatial geography to create South African institutions, in terms of values and cultural orientation, represents the single most compelling reason for not leaving the change agenda to institutions alone. There is no comfort in being comfortable and smug.

Mr G B D McINTOSH: But you are a commissar. [Laughter.]

The MINISTER: The Government is committed to institutional autonomy rather than to ``commissarniks’’. We are committed to institutional autonomy. This is not only entrenched in the Higher Education Act - I say this as a person, an academic, who has fought for institutional autonomy - but has been demonstrated in practice, with ministerial intervention … [Interjections.] Now, now, please. The hon Mr McIntosh must pay some credence to facts. They may confuse him in the process. [Interjections.] They may confuse him in the recesses of Greytown, but we are in Cape Town now, trying to deal with things intelligently. [Interjections.] Langa has many more intelligent people than he professes.

I have intentionally limited my intervention to extreme cases of breakdown in institutional governance. Intentionally I have not intervened. I have been criticised for not intervening until now, because I felt that the council and the communities in the institutions should resolve their own differences. However, as the national plan indicates, institutional autonomy cannot be allowed to prevent change and transformation. Higher education institutions must be held accountable to the people of this country for the large investment that is made in the system. Mrs Thatcher went much further than any proposal that is made in this document. Since that member plays at the feet of Mrs Thatcher’s spirit, he should take into account that I am not going to replicate here what the British authorities have done in relation to higher education. [Interjections.] No, not economics. The British transformed all those colleges of technology and universities, because Oxford University would not give her an honorary degree. So much for big resentment determining large aspects of higher education policy. Universities and technikons are key institutions and, as such, must contribute to the reconstruction and development of South African society.

The national plan also recognises that higher education has different purposes - of research, of teaching and, here in South Africa, community involvement. Central to that, unlike in any other country, community involvement in higher education is enormously important. It is largely fictitious, in fact, but community involvement is always claimed.

The national plan affirms the Government’s commitment to redressing the inequalities of the past. However, it moves beyond the sterile debates of the past, in which redress was linked to the levelling of the playing fields. Instead, it links redress to a central question: Redress for what? This recognises that leaving aside the feasibility of levelling the playing fields, which is an impossibility, it may not even be desirable, given the focus on developing a diverse higher education system. The national plan therefore suggests that the purpose of redress must be to enable higher education institutions to discharge their institutional mission, which each one has to work out, within an agreed national framework.

I also want to reaffirm the role that technikons play in meeting our human resource needs. The fact that the national plan proposes to restrict technikons to providing diploma programmes primarily for the next five years, is not intended, as the technikon sector seems to have interpreted, to relegate them to second-class status. On the contrary, technikons have a vital role to play in our broader economic and human resource development strategy, given their focus and experience in the development of career- focused programmes and their potential to build a strong, applied research capacity.

It is precisely because technikons have played an important role in increasing access to higher education and in supplying the pool of technical labour, which is central to our economic development strategy, that the national plan requires technikons to continue to focus on diploma programmes at least for the next five years. It does not preclude technikons from offering degree programmes, as 25% of their programmes are at present for degrees.

I want to emphasise that the responsiveness of the higher education system to national priorities must be paramount. This may not always coincide with the interests and predilections of individual institutions. While we are committed to accommodating these interests, we cannot be held hostage to them. At any rate, the national plan provides a five-year timeframe, after which the mission of higher education institutions will be reassessed. This is important as the national plan is a rolling plan. It is not a dictator laying down what should happen tomorrow or in December. It is a five-year rolling plan with established objectives and indicative targets that can be adjusted, updated and revised on an annual basis in response to changing conditions.

I also want to caution against hasty and ill-conceived responses to the national plan. This is most clearly demonstrated in the emotive headline raising suggestions that the national plan is a devious attempt by the Government to close down Afrikaans-medium institutions. There is not a shred of evidence to support this interpretation. The national plan makes it clear, and I reiterate - as the elder Bush would have said: ``Read my lips.’’ that language should not be a bar to access, and the current practice of marginalising black students through the establishment of satellite campuses and distance education programmes is unacceptable. And I want to caution against the simple reduction of language to culture and identity.

I submit that for example in the Western Cape, although Afrikaans may be a common language to different communities, it is no signal that there is a common culture or identity amongst the different communities in the Western Cape. The challenge that faces the Afrikaans-medium institutions, and it is a challenge that many are successfully addressing, is to ensure that the institutions comply with the spirit of the Constitution and the policy priorities of our nation.

I should also indicate that I sought advice from the Council on Higher Education on an appropriate language policy for higher education. In addition, I have at the same time decided to constitute a working group on language to assist me in the formulation of policy. I want to announce for the first time that the group includes the following people: Prof Jakes Gerwel as Chair, Prof Njabulo Ndebele, Prof Willie Esterhuyse, Ms Antjie Krog and Dr Nomsa Satyo. I want to reiterate that the time for talking is over. We have a unique opportunity to turn the system around, but time is not on our side. We must move with a sense of urgency.

My department has been working enormously hard for the past year and a half and has seized the task at hand. This is indicated by the fact that we have hit the ground running in relation to implementation, and they have been largely responsible. The National Working Group, which will advise me on institutional restructuring and collaboration, has been established. It is having its first meeting tomorrow. It is chaired by Saki Macozoma and consists of a distinguished range of community, education, business and labour leaders. The working group will report to me by the end of this year so that decisions on the new institutional landscape in higher education can be finalised early next year.

A discussion document on new a funding framework was released last week. My officials are already in the process of meeting with the vice-chancellors and institutional planners to discuss the details of submissions on programme and qualification mixes. They are required to submit these reports by the end of July. My officials will visit all the institutions by December so that we can work out the programme for transformation and change by January. My intention to proceed with the mergers identified in the plan has already been gazetted last week, those that are being merged here.

In addition, working groups for the facilitation and establishment - this is a South African contribution - of national institutes of higher education in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, and the establishment of single-distance institutions incorporating Unisa, Technikon RSA and the distance-learning component of Vista University, are in the process of being set up within the next few weeks. This is in the context of Vista University being unbundled.

The merger between ML Sultan and Natal Technikon is well on track. This is a voluntary merger assisted by us, and the councils of these two institutions need to be congratulated for taking the initiative in this regard to show some rationality in the Durban area, where they live cheek by jowl. This is the apartheid-special geography. They are next to each other and they have been leading independent lives.

I believe that the plan offers a unique opportunity for innovation and creativity to craft a new system. I am convinced that all role-players in higher education will grasp the opportunity with energy and enthusiasm. The plan thus provides all institutions, and I mean all, with an opportunity to turn their future niche and programme profiles in South Africa.

In assessing the niche programme for a mix of institutions, the Ministry will pay particular attention to the location of the institutions’ mission and for a profile within the regional and national context, including its capacity to respond to regional and national priorities and to the Government’s human resource development strategy, which will be launched in two weeks’ time.

May I say, in conclusion, that I call on all members to support the implementation of the plan. We must turn around our higher education system to become a key engine driving economic and social development and unleashing the extraordinary intellectual and ethical strength that we have among our young people, their contribution to a free South Africa of their minds, their acumen, their versatility. This plan provides for that rather than suppresses it.

Developments are taking place which have led South Africa to lead the world in some areas. Rather than suppressing those, in fact we want to develop them further to meet our needs. We must therefore act and learn to act in national interests. Sectoral interest or party-political agendas should not be allowed to stand in the way of ensuring progress and a better quality of life for all of our citizens. I commend this national plan to the House. [Applause.]

Prof S M MAYATULA: Chairperson, hon members, allow me to start this debate with these wise words by Castells, which are in the plan:

If knowledge is the electricity of the new informational international economy, then institutions of higher learning are the power sources on which a new developing process must rely.

These power sources are fuelled by taxpayers to the tune of R7,6 billion out of a total budget of the national Department of Education of R8,2 billion in the current year. Only in 1997 the higher education budget was R5,4 billion. The question then arises: Is this value for money? What is the national plan trying to achieve? The national plan is based on the policy framework and goals, values and principles that underpin the framework outlined in the White Paper. There are four of these, but I am not going to mention them. I would encourage hon members to read those goals and values in the report. The national plan addresses the following five key policy goals and strategic objectives: Firstly, to provide increased access to higher education to all, irrespective of race, gender, age, creed, class or disability, and to produce graduates with the skills and competencies necessary to meet the human resource needs of our country; secondly, to promote equity of access and to redress past inequalities through ensuring that the staff and student profiles in higher education progressively reflect the demographic realities of South African society, and some of these issues we need to consciously try to do or otherwise they will not happen on their own; thirdly, to ensure diversity in the organisational form and institutional landscape of the higher education system through mission and programme differentiation, thus enabling the addressing of regional and national needs in social and economic development; fourthly, to build high-level research capacity to address the research and knowledge needs of South Africa; and lastly, to build new institutional and organisational forms and new institutional identities through regional collaboration between institutions. Each of these objectives is well motivated in the document. Just a word on regional collaboration between institutions. Through this plan it is hoped that institutions of higher learning will start talking to each other to the benefit of all, especially our students.

Many a student who has dropped out of the system for whatever reason, is roaming the streets while short of one or two courses to complete their degree or diploma courses. But, due to the rigidity of the rules of the game, which prevent crossing from one institution to the other or having one’s course accredited by another, especially when it comes to the so- called major courses, the student is required to do three or four more courses in order to graduate at another institution. These uncalled-for barriers occur even within one and the same institution.

At the beginning of this year, I was approached by desperate parents whose daughter wanted to follow a career in medicine. This student, who was determined to do medicine, was, so to speak, wrongly advised in the passages of the institution. She was advised to do a first-year BSc, so that she could do botany, zoology and physics. This student passed those courses with flying colours, some with more than 70%. Unfortunately, the rules of this university would not allow the same student to register the following year, because these courses - botany, zoology and physiology - were not regarded at the same level as biology in matric. Can hon members imagine this rigidity, where a dean of a faculty does not have the mandate to apply his authority in cases of this nature? Yet another student was lost.

Concerning the divide between universities and technikons, which the hon the Minister has touched on, the report has this to say. For at least the next five years the Ministry will continue to regard technikons as institutions whose primary function is to provide career-oriented programmes at diploma level; and universities as institutions which offer a mix of programmes, including career-oriented degrees, professional programmes, general formative programmes and research, masters and doctoral programmes. This plan goes on to say, and I quote:

This does not, however, imply that there will be no loosening of the boundaries between universities and technikons, as suggested in the white paper.

The future of technikons depends on their individually determined programme mixes and, if necessary, on further surmounting these barriers. The plan emphasises and states that the process of determining the programme mix of institutions will be based on an interactive and consultative process between the Ministry and individual institutions, linked to submissions of constitutional rolling plans. Even the new funding formula that will be phased in from the year 2003 will take into consideration these rolling plans. Therefore, technikons should start putting their plans for the future forward.

It is important to remember that no institution of higher learning will be left untouched by this plan. This plan is not peculiar to South Africa. It is part of what is happening globally. When we talk about co-ordination and co-operation, some people think that some universities are going to be closed down. It is also reflected in the plan that no institutional site is going to be done away with.

With regard to distance education, a number of concerns on its quality have been voiced. Investigations have indicated that, firstly, these programmes are based on poorly designed material and rely on civil medium of delivery that is inappropriate for the student; secondly, a number of programmes have been developed for use only on the Internet; and thirdly, the quality of the programme is undermined by a lack of research into the needs and context of what the student is supposed to be addressing.

In order to address these concerns, the plan proposes to establish a single dedicated distance education institution through the merging of Unisa and Technikon RSA, and incorporating the distance education centre of Vista University into the merged institution. A working group to facilitate the merger will be established to show that everybody will be taken on board in these debates.

This National Plan for Higher Education is a great improvement on the ones before it. It has been accepted by the majority of the stakeholders in most universities. All that is needed now is for all of us to support it and to assist in its implementation. [Applause.]

Mr R S NTULI: Chairperson, hon Minister and colleagues, the national plan provides the framework and mechanisms for the restructuring of the higher education system to achieve the division and goals of the transformation of the higher education system as outlined in the White Paper entitled: ``Programme for the Transformation of Higher Education’’ released in 1997. The previous speaker has elaborated at length about this and so I need not repeat it.

Central to this vision was the establishment of a single national co- ordinated system which will meet the learning needs of our citizens and the reconstruction and developmental needs of our society, as well as the economy. It is the Ministry’s response to the Council of Higher Education report entitled ``Towards a New Higher Education Landscape: Meeting the Equity, Quality, Social Development Imperatives of South Africa in the 21st century’’ which was released in June 2000.

This national plan establishes indicative targets for the size and shape of the higher education system, including overall growth and participation rates, institutional and programme mixes, equity and efficiency goals. It also provides a framework and outlines processes and mechanisms for the restructuring of the institutional landscape of the higher education system.

The DP regards the plan as a balanced and considered response to the realities of higher education systems on the one hand, and the imperative of restructuring and transformation on the other. The plan puts in place a framework with clear targets and makes purposeful recommendations in terms of policy implementation, taking the national process beyond the stages of policy formulation. It is pleasing to note that the chief executive officer of the SA Universities Vice-Chancellors’ Association, comments favourably on the plan. I quote him as follows:

The plan addresses many of the concerns of the universities’ responses to the Council of Higher Education report, as it builds on the strength of that report and reverts strongly to the policy recommendations contained in the White Paper. The plan offers a carefully considered pathway for higher education into the future.

The rejection of the set of mergers and combinations as suggested by the higher education report is welcome. The link between funding and graduate numbers is an incentive for greater teaching efficiency and the formation and support of carefully conceptualised academic development programmes. It is expected that these will translate into better contributions, which is a concrete commitment to realise meaningful, increased participation and broader access, about which we are so much concerned. Yet, there is a danger that using funding exclusively as a means to enforce the attainment of certain outcomes may seriously compromise academic standards.

An area of anticipated concern by the DP, which the hon the Minister anticipated and which was also articulated the SA Universities Vice- Chancellors’ Association, relates to the issue of constitutional autonomy. While the DP acknowledges the importance of public accountability, we feel that the issue of autonomy requires a more complex and empathetic approach in order to work out a workable solution to these issues.

There is also a need to develop sufficient capacity in the department in order to sustain the system. The plan now provides clear guidelines for the rolling plans. Previous attempts at implementing institutional rolling plans have not been entirely successful largely because of capacity limitation. Ways will have to be found to assist institutions in this regard.

We have reservations about the timeframes that are - good as they are in themselves as a matter of principle - attached to these targets. The multiple targets and timeframes as they stand are very ambitious. A rethink on these issues by the department and the institutions concerned may be necessary. Overall, the plan provides a plan for achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness within the system. However, there is a need for more interaction between the Ministry and the institutions.

Finally, there is also a dire need to improve the quality of our school system, especially the quality of matric results, to sustain the necessary transformation of higher education. In the past year, for example, only about 900 black matric students passed higher grade mathematics and science with a C or better symbol which is the minimum requirement, as we all know, for admission into the university faculties of engineering and science. At this pace we are not going to achieve the balance needed in terms of graduates in the various faculties and fields to create a balanced number of graduates. Yes, indeed, I accept that there was an improvement, but we have to keep on striving for excellence in education. [Applause.]

Prof L B G NDABANDABA: Mr Chairperson, hon members, hon Minister and His Excellency the Deputy President, in the view of the IFP, this plan is the way to academic excellence. When launching this plan on 5 March 2001 the hon the Minister said that the reform of our higher education is long overdue. We agree with that.

The National Plan for Higher Education addresses, in our view, the following question: How can South Africa best use its limited resources to get value for money so that our educational system can meet our national goals? It sets out details and strategies for the reconfiguration of the higher education landscape, as the Minister has outlined. The Minister has also assured us that the plan is the surest way to abolish the dual nationhood that apartheid left us with in this country.

The proposals in the national plan are forward-looking, in our view. I will not give a litany of all those, but mention only a few. They are: to provide access to higher education to all; to promote equality of access and to redress past inequalities; to ensure diversity in the organisational and institutional landscape of higher education; and to build high-level research capacity to address the research and knowledge needs of South Africa. This is crucial. Other highlights of the plan include the following: to produce graduates needed for social and economic development in South Africa.

The Ministry wants to establish targets as part of a three-year planning process for graduate output. This will increase the number of graduates. I say to the hon the Minister that we have diarised this period of three years and we shall pose questions after three years. The national plan proposes that the participation rate should also be increased through recruiting workers.

Even though the demographic composition of the student body is changing and is starting to reflect the composition of the population, equity of access still remains a problem. Black and women students are underrepresented in business, commerce, science, engineering, etc. The national Department of Education has been talking about plans to recruit matriculants who have achieved good marks in order to award them scholarships. This will help matriculants from disadvantaged and rural areas. In historically white universities, black staff still constitute only 5% of the staff components of the institutions. Thus, this plan is very very welcome.

A single dedicated distance education institution will be established through the merger of the University of SA (Unisa) and Technikon RSA, and the incorporation of the distance education centre of Vista. We hope that the working group which is working on this will do a good job. One of the issues that needs to be looked into when establishing the single distance education institution is that of accessibility. Most rural areas remain without higher education institutions. This means that people who live in rural areas will continue to struggle in terms of getting access to a decent education, including libraries.

The Ministry proposes that it will continue to regard technikons as institutions whose primary functions are to offer diplomas. This is a bit worrying to technikons who regard themselves as universities of technology and offer degrees such as B Tech, M Tech and D Tech.

The Ministry will replace the existing guidelines for registration of private higher education with regulations. There is an increase in the number of private higher education institutions in this country. The plan is therefore most welcome. Some of these institutions often close down after a few years in operation thus leaving students with incomplete diplomas and degrees, and often with loans from the banks. Regulating the registration of these institutions will protect students from those institutions which are doing this for profit and not for academic development. Several mergers between institutions have been authorised and several factors were, of course, taken into consideration in this process, including competition from foreign and multinational institutions.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the National Plan for Higher Education provides a framework needed to redress the past inequities. I concur with Prof Douglas Irvine, who also supports this, and I quote him:

In the face of global competition and the opportunities offered by new technologies, business everywhere is being forced to rethink strategies, operating structures and relations with higher education.

He goes on to state that business has a real interest in the future of higher education in South Africa. The most ominous sign of trouble is a declining national participation rate in higher education, which is now developing, thus leading to a situation which is not so palatable.

A serious concern is that research output has also declined since 1994. About 65% of recognised research publications are produced by only six of the 21 universities which also produce 70% of the country’s doctoral and masters’ degrees. That is why we support the plan. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon members, before I recognise Ms Mothoagae, allow me to express my indebtedness to you for complying with the rules of the House and making the position of the Chair so easy today. Secondly, I think that I must particularly express a double indebtedness to the hon Mr Momberg, because the only side of my ear that is being assaulted today is on the side of that left portion there. [Interjections.] Apart from that it is very good. Thirdly, allow me to commend Ms Mothoagae on her splendid attire. Being an arts and science man, I wish to commend her example to the rest of the House.

Ms P K MOTHOAGAE: Mr Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon Minister and members of the House, I think the tabling of this report on the national plan brings to an end the miles, if not kilometres, covered since the Freedom Charter was adopted at the congress of the people on 26 June 1955. The objective expressed in the clauses the doors of learning and culture shall be open'' andhigher education and training shall be open to all by all means of state allowance and scholarships awarded on merit’’ has been achieved today.

Allow me to quote from the new Agenda, the South African Journal on Social and Economic Policy, Issue No 2/2001. The article is entitled: ``The Higher Education Experience in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons to be Learned’’ and is written by Nahas Nangula. Dr Josuf is being quoted here, and I quote:

The African university must be one that draws its inspiration from its environment; not a transplanted tree, but growing from a seed that is planted and nurtured in the African soil. It must be more than an institution for teaching, research and dissemination of higher learning. It must be accountable and serve the vast majority of the people who live in the rural areas. The African university must be committed to achieve, through active participation in the social transformation, economic modernisation, training and upgrading of the total human resource of the nation, not just a small elite.

The plan, as tabled, unpack the whole question that Dr Josuf is talking about. Minister Kader Asmal has outlined the whole process of consultation up to this debate today. When we talk equity and redress we are not talking about it only in words. There is some funding that is supposed to go with it.

The fragmentation that we found in the system was further complicated post- 1994 when black students moved to historically white institutions; the competition between the institutions increased and racial diversity was one of the problems encountered. Enrolment impacted negatively on the historically black institutions. There was a lowering of standards, as the hon member has just said.

The reality of the matter is that the 36 public institutions - categorised as historically advantaged and historically disadvantaged - which have been inherited from the past, are all South African institutions and must be embraced as such. They must be transformed and put to work for and on behalf of all South Africans as the Commission on Higher Education has reported.

It is unfortunate that the hon Mfundisi is concerned that academic standards will be compromised. As I indicated, redressing funding has been one of the issues that this ANC-led overnment made its business, so that when we talk in terms of redressing, we talk of money. It was unfortunate that the money allocated was, most of the time, used in the already distressed institutions.

And with redress we are not only talking institutional redress, but we are talking social redress, which includes students’ financial aid. This House passed an Act last year to facilitate that, so that our learners should be prepared. This cuts across the past division between black and white institutions.

We had the earmarked funding, which we hardly talk about in this House, which was introduced in the 2000-01 financial year. This was allocated to enable institutions to introduce or offer extended curricula in key subject areas, as a means of improving access and success rates for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Assessments of the proposals submitted by institutions to access this funding, it is reported, was worrying. Half of the institutions submitted proposals that fell far short of meeting the key criteria areas. The one highlighted among them is that foundation programmes are not effectively integrated into the mainstream curricula and provide places for students who do not need admission criteria, thus resulting in higher failure rates and more dropouts. However, with the assurance that is being given, this plan is going to be re-evaluated as we go along, I hope, and we are going to achieve our goals.

The funding formula, which the hon the Minister referred to, will be phased in at least by the year 2003.

Ntetle gore ke bue ka Setswana, gonne kgang e re buang ka yona gompieno ga se ya diporofesa, dingaka le ba ba buang sekgoa fela, mme e ama le ba ba buang Setswana fela kwa gae. Go bontshitse gore bomme ba ba repetlaneng dirwe ke nomoro e e kwa tlase kwa ditheong tse tsa thuto. Ke ne ke lebeletse thata gore Mme Taljaard o tlaabo e le mongwe wa rona fa. Ke ne ke tlile go mo raya ke re a bue le mokaubere wa bona, e leng Mme Dene Smuts, gore mo lekokong la bone, ga ke ise ke utlwe ba bua ka bomme kgotsa mokgatlho wa bomme. Nna ka re re tsene thata mo ntlheng e. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[Allow me to speak in Setswana, because the topic that we are discussing today is not only for professors, doctors and those who speak English, but also affects those who only speak Setswana at home. It has been shown that there are only a small number of physically disabled women in those institutions of learning. I was hoping that Ms Taljaard would be here today. I was going to tell her that she must speak to the veteran in their party, Ms Dene Smuts. I have never heard them speaking about women or women’s organisations. I am saying that we should discuss this topic with this in mind.]

The female of the species is an endangered species in these higher institutions of learning.

Ke ne re ke a re thusaneng, re le bomme, gore dipalopalo tse di tlhatlhoge, gonne re lebeletse gore dikolo tse di kwa tlase tse re ntseng re bua ka tsona - e leng tsa diporaemari, tse dikgolwane le tse dikgolo - di re ntshetse baithuti ba ba nang le boleng jo bo ka amogelwang ke ditheo tse dikgolo, ka gonne ga ba sa siama … [Nako e fedile.] (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[I was saying that we should help one another as women, so that these numbers could increase, because the lower-grade schools that we have been talking about - preprimary, primary and highschools - should produce quality pupils who are acceptable to institutions of higher learning, because when they are not of this quality … [Time expired.]]

Dr B L GELDENHUYS: Mr Chairperson, the hon the Minister made a very unfortunate remark when he addressed the House. He said the purpose of distance education was to keep black students away from contact institutions. That is not true. Practical reasons, and only practical reasons, determine whether a student, black or white, makes use of distance education.

In Beeld het ‘n berig onder die volgende opskrif verskyn: Castro se lang asem laat Asmal uiltjie knip''. [In Beeld an article appeared under the following heading:Castro’s lengthy speech causes Asmal to catch forty winks.’’] This means that Asmal took a nap during Castro’s long-winded speech. The Minister must rest assured that nobody in his or her right mind will blame him for having fallen asleep, as long as he is awake and watchful with regard to the future of higher education in South Africa.

I say that the aims of the National Plan for Higher Education are admirable, but the way in which the Minister wants to implement the plan is questionable and raises serious concerns. The aim to ensure that the participation rate in higher education increases overall, especially in the fields of business, commerce, science, engineering and technology, is admirable.

Unfortunately, the Minister is putting the cart before the horse. Enrolments in business, science and maths will only increase if the school system delivers enough students with matriculation exemption in these subjects. [Interjections.]

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: I said so, I said so!

Dr B L GELDENHUYS: Yes, but the Minister must first lay the foundation and then put the roof on. Currently they do not. Last year 3 000 students got an exemption in mathematics, which is unsatisfactory, and the participation rate in higher education will only increase once the school system has been overhauled and improved. [Interjections.]

The aim to increase graduate outputs is also admirable. Graduate outputs, however, cannot be linked to funding or subsidies, as envisaged in the plan. This will inevitably, for obvious reasons, lead to the lowering of standards, as institutions will simply turn out graduates in order to ensure ongoing funding.

It is pointless to try to increase graduate outputs, on the one hand, while on the other graduates and highly educated people are leaving the country at a rate ranking amongst the highest in the world, mainly due to draconian labour laws, reverse discrimination and rampant crime. Of the 19 000 members of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, 4 000, or nearly 22%, were living abroad at the end of the year 2000, and some research suggests that emigration has cost South Africa R8,4 billion in lost income tax and a further R285 billion in potential contributions to the GDP.

This shows how wrong Adv Gumbi, law adviser to the President, was when she said ``people who are leaving the country are racists with no confidence in a black Government, and whose departure is no loss at all’’. She should be reprimanded for this irresponsible statement. The Government should do everything in its power to keep graduates in the country.

The recruitment of academics from the rest of the African continent in order to establish equity in staff compositions could be supported, provided that such recruitment emanates from bilateral agreements between South Africa and the countries involved. President Mbeki recently indicated that 250 000 African professionals were currently working in the United States and Europe. South Africa should not aggravate the situation by poaching academics from Africa. The hon the Minister was himself very vociferous in his condemnation of consultants from Britain trying to recruit local teachers. Recruitment of academics from the African continent should, therefore, be handled with caution.

The restructuring of the institutional landscape of the higher education system in order to eliminate duplication and to promote diversity is also a positive step. We have confidence in the working group appointed by the Minister to make recommendations on possible mergers. But we strongly urge the hon the Minister to consult with institutions that may be affected by possible mergers before taking a final decision, despite the fact that he, once again, ruled out such a possibility. A final round of consultations with those institutions will hurt nobody.

The whole concept of diversity should not only apply to academic programmes, but also to institutional identities based on either language, culture or religion. In this regard, allow me to ask the Minister a specific question. Under the heading: Collaboration and Institutional Identities'', the national plan states:This is not to imply that institutional identities, real or imagined, can be wished away’’. Now, does this mean, for example, that a university can define itself in terms of culture, language or religion without forfeiting state subsidies? To put it quite bluntly: Will it be possible in future for the University of Potchefstroom to define itself in terms of its Christian roots?

Met ander woorde, sal die Universiteit van Potchefstroom steeds as die PU vir CHO, Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys kan bekend staan? [In other words, will the University of Potchefstroom still be known as the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education?]

Will it be possible for a university to define itself as an Afrikaans university? The language issue had dominated the debate on the National Plan for Higher Education because the only reference to language in the plan was made in the form of a threat. It stated quite clearly that language ``may not stand in the way of any student to study at an institution of higher education’’.

Die Nuwe NP en die DA verwelkom die aanstelling van prof Jakes Gerwel as voorsitter van ‘n werkgroep wat aanbevelings gaan doen oor die taalkwessie. [The New NP and the DA welcome the appointment of Prof Jakes Gerwel as chairperson of a study group which will make recommendations on the language issue.]

The Minister also announced the rest of the team, and we have confidence in it. Prof Willie Esterhuizen is on the team and he initiated it at Stellenbosch. And if one would like to consult somebody on initiation, one can consult him. [Interjections.]

Die Nuwe NP wil een ding egter baie duidelik beklemtoon. Die voortbestaan van Afrikaans as onderrigtaal aan inrigtings vir hoër onderwys binne die raamwerk van meertaligheid mag nie in die slag bly of aangetas word nie. Ek wil herhaal dat die bevordering van inheemse tale as wetenskap- en onderrigtale in ‘n nuwe bedeling voorrang moet geniet. Aan die ander kant durf Afrikaans sy verworwe status as wetenskaptaal wat deur die Grondwet gewaarborg word, nie verloor nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[The New NP would, however, want to emphasise one thing very clearly: The continued existence of Afrikaans as a language of instruction at institutions for higher education within the framework of multilingualism should not fall victim to or be affected by this. I want to repeat that the promotion of indigenous languages as science languages and languages of instruction should enjoy preference in a new dispensation. On the other hand, Afrikaans should not lose its gained status as a science language which is guaranteed by the Constitution.]

In conclusion, the aims of the plan are admirable, but in the final analysis, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. [Applause.]

Prof L M MBADI: Chairperson, Deputy President, Ministers and colleagues, the National Plan for Higher Education represents a bold step in the right direction for Government policy.

Meeting the equity, quality and social development imperatives of South Africa in …

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Quite a number of members are standing in the aisles. Please take your seats. Carry on, hon member.

Prof L M MBADI: Chairperson, meeting the equity, quality and social development imperatives of South Africa in the 21st century is indeed a noble course. I agree with the goals of the plan and most of the proposals for achieving the following goals, reflected innovations and creativity. Gradually increasing the participation rate is correct, whilst recognising that in the short to medium-term, the focus should be on improving efficiency with increased graduation outputs. The funding of academic development programmes has been problematic, contributing to low participation and graduation rates. The proposed new funding formula, as well as the review of the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme, are both long overdue, and I welcome this. Ditto with regard to the recruiting of participation and recruitment to include previously neglected sectors of society, such as women, the disabled people and workers.

The proposed new overall focus on ensuring that all enrolments are equipped with skills of the new economy and technology cannot be faulted. In short, the higher education plan is welcomed. It is a fresh breeze in a debate that has gone stale in recent years.

There is at this stage only one matter of great concern to me. I refer to the issue of the possible restructuring of African or black universities out of existence. The UDM urgently appeals to the Minister to consider this matter afresh. I appreciate that considerable thinking has preceded the suggestions contained in the plan, and note the proposed establishment of a national working group to investigate this matter. However, I feel morally obliged to raise certain concerns.

I urge the hon the Minister to remember the historic context of the former so-called African/black universities. It is undeniable that these institutions have made a considerable contribution to the liberation of our country by nurturing and developing African leadership in times of great oppression and upheaval. South Africa could hardly have attained its political miracle without these institutions.

For many decades, these institutions were the only avenue for the previously disadvantaged to acquire skills. Many people from other African countries also acquired their skills at these institutions, returning to their homes to rebuild what colonialism, dictatorship and civil war had destroyed. The rebuilding of South Africa in the past seven years would not have been possible without the skills taught at these institutions. Many of the great reformers of the past few years, including numerous members of this House, studied at these institutions. In fact, I recognise several of my … [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Mr L M GREEN: Mr Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon Ministers and hon members, we have entered the 21st century with a huge backlog in education development, meaning that a large portion of our population is ill-equipped for the current job market.

The National Plan for Higher Education correctly states, however, that ``knowledge and the processing of information’’ are the key driving forces for wealth creation and socioeconomic development. So we support this statement. In order to make this happen, certain infrastructural changes to higher education institutions will have to occur. Historically, South Africa’s education was divided along racial lines and inequality. This is a historic fact, and yet, despite all these many disadvantages, many South Africans managed to obtain good qualifications at our universities, despite the many obstacles in their way, such as the quota system.

However, we are ill-equipped as a nation for the new millennium. Incidentally, I discovered this when I visited Atlanta in the US. I found that there were so many black females who were highly qualified and in key positions. That brought reality home to me that in South Africa we really need to get our act together.

Now, the National Plan for Higher Education has noble objectives. Any transformation that might lead to the improvement of our higher education system will be welcomed and supported by the ACDP. So, we do not have arguments against the objectives: increased access to higher education for all - who can argue against that equity of access to all institutions of higher learning is a noble one; to address the research and knowledge needs of our nation is correct, and ensuring regional collaboration of institutions of higher learning is good.

In conclusion, although we support this and there are so many merits that we are mindful of, perhaps we should bring to the attention of the Minister the issue of constitutional autonomy of universities. How are we going to do that and not interfere with the autonomy of universities? Is that not an important issue that needs to be addressed?

Dr P W A MULDER: Mr Chairperson, Alfred Milner was not a real Englishman, but he was more English than the English trying to destroy Afrikaans. Mr Asmal is not a real Englishman, but the question is: Is he a second Alfred Milner, or not? [Interjections.] I know the Minister said ``no’’, but I am going to test him. [Laughter.]

The Minister said that there was not a shred of evidence that Government wanted to act against Afrikaans universities. [Interjections.] I welcome it. Mr Asmal seemed not to be a second Milner but, in the next sentence, he says: ``They may not use language to keep students away. Language may not be a barrier to students.’’ With that point of departure, the Minister is killing Afrikaans as a language of instruction. Why? Because the number of students that prefer English and the cost of providing parallel instruction will slowly force all Afrikaans universities to use English alone as a language of instruction.

There are no such demands on English institutions. What is happening with most Afrikaans schools in rural areas? They have become schools with parallel instruction and then the Afrikaans instruction is stopped and small children of six years go to a hostel 200 km away. That is the reality out there.

Wat is die posisie ten opsigte van Afrikaanse universiteite? Suid-Afrika het 21 universiteite waarvan 5 tradisioneel Afrikaans was. Wat bedoel ons as ons praat van ‘n Afrikaanse universiteit? Natuurlik kan alles nie in Afrikaans wees. Kom ons praat van die universiteit wat Afrikaans-dominant is as ‘n taal van onderrig. Die VF glo net soos AZAPO dat Suid-Afrika se Afrikatale ook nog as universiteitstale ontwikkel moet word.

By al vyf hierdie universiteite is Engels reeds die dominante taal vir alle nagraadse kursusse. By drie van hulle is Afrikaans en Engels reeds parallel; slegs twee is nog Afrikaans. Die proses is reeds besig om geleidelik Afrikaans te vernietig. Die VF het gevra vir twee universiteite en ons ongewild gemaak na buite omdat ons dit so afskaal. Die Minister kan gaan kyk na enige ``international charter on minority rights’’ en … (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[What is the position with regard to the Afrikaans universities? South Africa has 21 universities, 5 of which were traditionally Afrikaans. What do we mean when we speak of an Afrikaans university? Of course everything cannot be in Afrikaans. Let us talk about the university that has Afrikaans as its predominant language of instruction. The FF believes, just like AZAPO, that the African languages of South Africa must also still be developed as university languages.

At all five of these universities English is already the dominant language for all postgraduate courses. At three of them Afrikaans and English are already parallel languages; only two are still Afrikaans. This process is already steadily destroying Afrikaans. We in the FF asked for two universities and made ourselves unpopular among the public because we were scaling them down to such an extent. The Minister can take a look at any ``international charter on minority rights’’ and …]

… the right to education up to tertiary level is one of those basic rights. That means active steps must be taken by the majority to protect the minority. Is the Minister willing to take active steps to protect Afrikaans? Otherwise, it is all over. [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon members, you have been giving me great co-operation, but I do appreciate that some of you are becoming restive. May we call you back to order? [Interjections.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Mr Chairperson, the advent of democracy has placed demands on all who are involved in education. Higher education is no exception. Technikons seem to be the most afraid of the envisaged plans when one takes into account statements made by the heads of Technikon North West and Technikon South Africa.

South African students should have an equal chance of access to higher education. To attain this, measures have to be taken to make funds available to those who do not have. Such access could also be enhanced by the proposed broadening of the social base of students. Centres of higher education should not depend entirely on certificates with regard to workers, mature learners and the disabled. Working experience could count in the favour of this category of persons.

Pronouncements made by Government to the effect that mainly students who follow courses in science, mathematics and information technology should take precedence for admission have resulted in a drop in enrolments in other disciplines such as the arts. The result is that the study of languages is taking a back seat. The greatest victims are African languages and culture. This should not be allowed if we wish to promote the African Renaissance. African languages for the peoples of Africa should be the mainstay of the rebirth of Africa.

The UCDP argues that restructuring the higher education system does not mean anglicising it. We look forward to the day when our universities and technikons will offer programmes in some African language from first year to doctoral level. Any failure to realise this could mean that the colonial mentality has won the day.

The envisaged desirability and feasibility by the Council on Higher Education of introducing four-year undergraduate degrees was done with great success, way back in 1980, by what is now called the University of the North West. It is a matter of when this is done and not whether it can be done by the other universities.

It is unfortunate that the National Students’ Financial Aid Scheme cannot cover more students. This does not help the situation of deserving students. The fact that institutions tend to give funding to those following the so-called rare subjects does not help the situation either. While the UCDP supports the restructuring of higher education, we will keep on saying: Mr Minister, cothoza [do not hurry] in that direction.

Dr J BENJAMIN: Mr Chairperson, I am going to speak in my mother tongue, which is Afrikaans.

Hierdeur steek ek ‘n hand van vriendskap uit na dr Mulder van die VF en al my mede-Afrikaanssprekende Suid-Afrikaners. Die punt wat ek wil maak, is dat Afrikaans ver van verdwyn is. Dit is aan die toeneem. Wees gerus.

Die meeste tersiêre instellings het die nasionale tersiêre opvoedingsplan verwelkom. Prof Coetzee van die Vrystaatse Universiteit is hoogs tevrede met die missiegedrewe- en nisprogrambenadering. Volgens prof Reinecke van die Potchefstroomse Universiteit getuig die program van realisme en prof Dennis van Rensburg, rektor van Technikon Pretoria, sê die program stel groot uitdagings aan hoër onderwys en verder bied dit goeie geleenthede vir instellings om hul ``nismarkte’’ uit te brei.

Dié program dra by tot die kennis en menslike hulpbronne wat die land nodig het. Vir my is dit ooglopend hoe hierdie program wegbeweeg van die apartheidgesprek en positiewer en proaktiewer vooruitgang maak.

Plaas van konsentreer op etniese en kulturele verskeidenheid, praat ons hier van institusionele verskeidenheid. Omvorming word gedryf deur die programme van instellings te evalueer volgens die kriteria wat befondsing bepaal. Hierdie kriteria word deur missies en doelwitte bepaal wat in die witskrif vervat is en wat sowel die verskeidenheid onder studente as die behoeftes ten opsigte van die ontwikkeling van menslike hulpbronne in ag neem.

Wie kan dan nog teen so ‘n plan gekant wees, behalwe dié wat nog steeds soos volstruise hul kop in die sand druk? Die agb lid adv Gaum, indien Beeld hom reg aanhaal, het gemaan dat rasionalisering op streekvlak implikasies kan hê vir die onderrigtaal by sommige instellings.

Weer eens probeer iemand politieke wins maak deur etniese gevoelens op te sweep. Hierdie vrees dat Afrikaners hul taal as onderrigmedium sal moet prysgee, word natuurlik genoem in teenstelling met die grootskaalse inname van swart studente en die druk op instellings om oor te skakel na tweetalige onderrig om swart studente te akkommodeer. Dit is kommerwekkend dat swart studente hul grootliks by Afrikaanse tersiêre instellings inskryf. Nieteenstaande bly die studentemassa meestal wit, terwyl die swart massas op afstandkampusse beland.

Dit is egter die minderheid Afrikaanssprekendes wat nou nog huil oor die statusverlies van Afrikaans in die regering, administrasie, regstelsel, wetenskappe, en handel en nywerheid. Die breë Afrikaanssprekende gemeenskap, die meer as 15 miljoen eerste-, tweede- en derdetaalsprekers juig, want hulle sien Afrikaans as ‘n groeiende kommunikasiemiddel wat belangrik is vir handel, nywerheid en finansiële instellings. Hierdie progressiewe Afrikaanssprekendes aanvaar dat Afrikaans van sowel Europese as Afrika-oorsprong is en nie net aan wit Afrikaners behoort nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[By doing so I am extending the hand of friendship to Dr Mulder of the FF and all my fellow Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. The point that I want to make is that Afrikaans is far from disappearing. It is on the increase. Rest assured.

Most of the tertiary institutions welcomed the national tertiary education plan. Prof Coetzee of Free State University is highly satisfied with the mission-driven and niche programme approach. According to Prof Reinecke of Potchefstroom University the programme attests to realism and Prof Dennis van Rensburg, rector of the Pretoria Technikon, says that the programme poses great challenges to higher education and furthermore affords sound opportunities for institutions to extend their ``niche markets’’.

This programme contributes to the knowledge and human resources that the country needs. The way that this programme is moving away from the apartheid discussion and making more positive and proactive progress is obvious to me.

Instead of concentrating on ethnic and cultural diversity, here we are talking about institutional diversity. Transformation is driven by the evaluation of programmes of institutions in terms of the criteria that determine financing. These criteria are determined by missions and objectives that are contained in the White Paper and that take into consideration the diversity of students as well as the requirements in respect of the development of human resources.

Who could then still be opposed to such a plan, except those who are still hiding their heads in the sand like ostriches? The hon member Adv Gaum, if Beeld quoted him correctly, warned that rationalisation at the regional level could have implications for the language of instruction at certain institutions.

Someone is once again trying to score political points by inciting ethnic emotions. This fear that Afrikaners will have to give up their language as a medium of instruction is mentioned, of course, against the background of the large-scale admission of black students and the pressure on institutions to change over to bilingual teaching to accommodate black students. It is disconcerting that black students largely enrol at Afrikaans tertiary institutions. Nevertheless the students remain mostly white, while the black masses end up on distance campuses.

It is the minority of Afrikaans-speaking people, however, who are still bemoaning the loss of status of Afrikaans in government, administration, the judicial system, the sciences and trade and industry. The broader Afrikaans-speaking community, the more than 15 million first, second and third-language speakers, are rejoicing, because they see Afrikaans as a growing means of communication which is important to trade, industry and financial institutions. These progressive Afrikaans-speaking people accept that Afrikaans is of European as well as African origin, and does not belong to white Afrikaners only.]

Dr C P MULDER: Mr Chairman …

Dr J BENJAMIN: Maar niemand huil oor die verlies van status wat hulle voel … [But no one is bemoaning the loss of status that they feel …]

Dr C P MULDER: Mr Chairman …

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Yes, hon member. Are you rising on a point of order?

Dr C P MULDER: Mnr die Voorsitter, terwyl die agb lid baie tyd het, wil ek haar vra of sy bereid sal wees om ‘n baie maklike vraag te beantwoord? [Mr Chairman, since the hon member has a great deal of time, I want to ask her whether she would be prepared to take a very easy question.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Hon member, will you take a question?

Dr J BENJAMIN: Mnr die Voorsitter, sodra ek klaar is. Ek sal miskien my toespraak afhandel voordat my tyd verstreke is. [Mr Chairperson, as soon as I have finished. I might conclude my speech before my time expires.]

Dr C P MULDER: Mnr die Voorsitter, ek sal wag daarvoor, dankie. [Mr Chairman, I shall wait for that, thank you.]

Dr J BENJAMIN: Dankie. [Thank you.]


Dr J BENJAMIN: Sommige Afrikaanssprekendes bied teenstand. Hulle huil oor die verlies van status en bied weerstand teen omvorming. Dit is hierdie weerstand teen omvorming waarteen die Minister hom uitspreek wanneer hy sê taal is steeds die grootste struikelblok vir swart studente om toegang tot histories wit Afrikaanse instellings te kry.

Die plan konsentreer nie net op die inskryf van studente nie, maar ook op die uitkoms van onderrig. Dit maak dus nie sin om taal vir identiteitsdoeleindes te gebruik nie, maar wel as kommunikeermiddel. Sonder dat Afrikaans vandag in mense se kele afgedruk word, groei die taal ten opsigte van gemeenskaps- en kulturele produkte - dit is sekerlik ‘n beter manier om ‘n taal te bou.

Dit is interessant dat alle instellings hul planne wil skoei op een soort instelling, die Oxbridge-soort model, wat deur groot navorsingsinstellings verteenwoordig word. Weer eens is dit die koloniale erfenis wat tevore groter befondsing vir navorsing en kleiner befondsing vir onderwysprogramme gekry het.

Die departement het nie met vorige voorstelle saamgestem om tussen navorsing en onderwysinstellings te differensieer nie. Die meeste instellings het ‘n nisprogrambenadering verkies omdat elkeen sodoende ‘n eie nismark kon vind. Die nasionale tersiêre opvoedingsplan is ‘n praktiese benadering tot verandering.

Dit toon volwassenheid onder ons tersiêre instellings, asook ‘n bewuswording dat, tensy ons die meerderheid oplei om tot hul volle potensiaal te ontwikkel, ons en ons nageslag die gelag sal moet betaal, want ons sal sit met ‘n nasie waarvan die meerderheid arm en minderwaardig is.

Ek het nog sewe sekondes oor vir ‘n vraag.

Dr C P MULDER: Dankie! Mnr die Voorsitter, die agb lid is reeds ‘n gerespekteerde en senior lid in haar party, ook wat die onderwyskomitee betref, en sê ons moet ons nie bekommer oor Afrikaans en die pad vorentoe nie. Nou wil ek vir die agb lid vra, wanneer my kind oor vier of vyf jaar universiteit toe moet gaan, kan die agb lid vandag vir die Afrikaner en die Afrikaanssprekendes daar buite die versekering gee dat my kind universiteitsopleiding in Afrikaans sal kan kry, ja of nee? [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Dr J BENJAMIN: Some Afrikaans-speaking people are resisting. They bemoan the loss of status and resist transformation. This is the resistance to transformation which the Minister expressed himself as being opposed to when he said that language was still the greatest stumbling block to black students’ gaining admission to historically white institutions.

The plan concentrates not only on the admission of students, but also on the outcome of training. It therefore makes no sense to use language for purposes of identity, but one should in fact do so as a means of communication. Without Afrikaans being forced down the throats of people today, the language is growing in respect of community and cultural products - this is certainly a better way of building a language.

It is interesting that all institutions want to base their plans on one type of institution, the Oxbridge type of model, which is represented by large research institutions. It is once again the colonial heritage which previously received more financing for research and less financing for educational programmes.

The department did not agree with previous proposals to differentiate between research and educational institutions. Most institutions preferred a niche programme approach, because each of them could in this way find an individual niche market. The national tertiary education plan is a practical approach to transformation.

It displays maturity among our tertiary institutions, as well as an emerging awareness that unless we train the majority to develop to their full potential we and our descendants will have to pay the price, because we will end up with a nation of which the majority is poor and inferior.

I have seven seconds left for a question.

Dr C P MULDER: Thank you. Mr Chairman, the hon member is already a respected and senior member of her party, also in respect of the education committee, and she says that we should not be concerned about Afrikaans and the road ahead. Now I want to ask the hon member, when my child has to go to university in four or five years’ time, whether the hon member can give the Afrikaner and Afrikaans-speaking people out there the assurance today that my child will be able to receive a university education in Afrikaans, yes or no? [Interjections.]]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Hon member, I will give you an extra minute to answer.

Dr J BENJAMIN: Mr Chairperson, an extra minute?

Mnr die Voorsitter, ek hoop die agb lid se kind praat nie net Afrikaans in ‘n land waar daar 12 tale is nie. My kind, en ons almal se kinders, moet leer om met ander te kommunikeer. Die meeste van ons kan drie, vier, vyf tale praat. Ongelukkig kan ek net een of twee praat. Die antwoord is, hopelik, ja. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Mr Chairperson, I hope that the hon member’s child does not speak only Afrikaans in a country in which there are 12 languages. My child, and the children of all of us, should learn to communicate with others. Most of us can speak three, four, five languages. Unfortunately I can speak only one or two. The answer is, hopefully, yes. [Applause.]]

Dr M S MOGOBA: Chairperson, for a developing country such as ours … [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Proceed, hon member.

Dr M S MOGOBA: Chairperson, for a developing country such as ours, an excellent education system is an absolute imperative. We have clearly inherited an education system that is complex and gives the appearance of being advanced and multifaceted whilst it is inadequate in meeting the needs of the majority of our people. Rationalisation is critical to avoid duplication and confusion. The next thing, after accepting this principle, is to strive for consensus after extensive consultation. Respect for the individuality of historical and cultural peculiarities should characterise the exercise.

Where institutions serve the same geographic area, they may have to merge, but higher ideals should be enunciated. Institutions with historic character should be preserved, perhaps in name. A good example is Fort Hare, which has trained leaders in Africa far beyond our borders and has held the torch of education during the dark ages. If Rhodes, Port Elizabeth, Fort Hare and Unitra were to merge to form a larger university, such a conglomerate should be called Fort Hare, but the individual component campuses should retain their names. Likewise, Pretoria University, Wits and RAU could form a medical university but it could be called Medunsa. Other possible formations can be constructed around the Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Natal, Potchefstroom and Free State Universities.

Universities must not be so large that they become amorphous and characterless. After the initial rationalisation the institutions of higher education should justify their existence. No institution should be propped up. Those that have a propensity to fall or die should be allowed to die gracefully. After a suitable funeral, they should become history. [Interjections.] [Time expired.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Hon member, you should talk to the hon Momberg about getting more time.

Miss S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, the Minister, Deputy President and hon members, the MF believes that knowledge definitely equals power, and education is certainly the key to knowledge. In the apartheid era the masses were dealt an unjust blow when it came to education and were deprived of an equal status in all spheres of their lives. However, in postapartheid South Africa, further steps are being undertaken to remedy past ills and provide for equally accessible education for every individual, irrespective of colour or creed.

The MF commends Education Minister Kader Asmal for introducing the National Plan for Higher Education which, in keeping with the third White Paper, focuses on establishing a single national co-ordinated system which will meet the learning needs of citizens as well as cater for the needs of our society’s economy. The National Plan for Higher Education aims to create a balance in the ratio of black and white students that are admitted to tertiary institutions, as well as to create balance in the ratio of students that are admitted in different faculties.

There is also a dire need for institutions to provide courses that are affordable and user friendly, so as to increase the rate of students that attend tertiary institutions as well as to increase the pass rate level of graduates and postgraduate students. It is commendable to note that the national plan aims to ensure that all graduates are equipped with computer and adequate growth skills, since there is a limited number of individuals in this technological field. This will in turn create a boost in the economy.

The MF fully supports the National Plan for Higher Education and is hopeful that it will provide a stepping stone to success for the youth of tomorrow, as well as the ambitious citizens of our society. [Time expired.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! I would like to remind hon members of a Rule of this House which states that members should speak, rather than read their speeches. It helps a great deal for the order in the House if members address themselves to hon members. So I would like hon members to take note of this Rule of the House.

Mr D H M GIBSON: That Rule no longer applies. It is an old Rule.

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! Is it an old Rule? If it is an old Rule, then it is no longer valid and therefore members are free to read their speeches.

Mr C AUCAMP: Chairperson and hon Minister, although I was not present in the House, I followed the hon the Minister’s speech on the monitor in my office, as I was still preparing mine. Although I do not agree with the hon the Minister, I want to thank him for answering my motion.

Die nuwe Plan vir Hoër Onderwys het met baie omstredenheid gepaard gegaan, miskien nie omtrent die plan self nie, maar oor uitlatings wat die Minister terselfdertyd gemaak het, soos sy verklaring dat die taalmedium transformasie belemmer, sowel as die moontlike bepalings oor die regulering van bevolkingsverspreiding vir studente en personeel. Dit is dus te begrype dat die saak van interne outonomie in gedrang kom.

Hierdie bedreiging raak in die besonder die karakter van ‘n universiteit soos Potchefstroom, waaroor ek nou verder wil praat. Potchefstroom se Christelike karakter is in wetgewing tydens hierdie nuwe bedeling in 1998 vasgelê. Die vrees dat dié karakter in die gedrang kom, word vererger deur die Minister se uitsprake dat ‘n geloofskriterium vir personeel, en ‘n besluit deur die PUK oor die moraliteit van ‘n aanbieding van Pieter-Dirk Uys, teen die Grondwet sou wees. As die Grondwet my reg tot godsdiensbeoefening beskerm, dan beskerm dit ook my reg om die werklikheid en die wetenskap te beskou in die lig van my godsdienstige oortuigings. Dit is nie diskriminasie nie, dit is my reg. Dit is nie verideologisering nie, want dan is die gewaande beginsel van absolute neutraliteit mos ook ‘n ideologie. Aan die PUK word teen niemand gediskrimineer nie. Inteendeel, geen student word weggewys op een van die verbode diskriminasie-gronde van die Grondwet nie. Al wat gebeur, is dat hy hom tydens sy onderrig aan ‘n bepaalde legitieme wetenskapsbeskouing verbind.

Indien daar van personeel verwag word om hul akademiese aktiwiteite te beoefen in ooreenstemming met die etos van die universiteit, is dit volgens die gelykheidswet nie onbillike diskriminasie nie, maar `` … differensiasie op grond van objektiewe maatstawwe, inherent aan die aktiwiteit wat aangebied word,’’ soos die wet ook lui. Daar is groot kommer dat hierdie reg van ‘n instelling wat ‘n trotse geskiedenis het in Suid- Afrika, en wat hoogstaande akademiese opleiding bied, in die gedrang kan kom. Ek doen ‘n beroep op die Minister om duidelik die reg op eie etos van my alma mater te erken. [Tyd verstreke.]

Mnr J H MOMBERG: Moenie ``worry’’ nie, ons gaan jou beskerm!

Mnr C AUCAMP: Ek glo jou. Dít maak my bekommerd! [Tussenwerpsels.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[The new Plan for Higher Education has been associated with a great deal of controversy, perhaps not about the plan itself, but about statements the Minister made at this time, such as his statement that the language medium is hampering transformation, as well as the possible provisions on the regulation of population distribution for students and staff. It is therefore understandable that the issue of internal autonomy is being jeopardised.

This threat particularly affects the character of a university such as Potchefstroom, which I would like to say more about. Potchefstroom’s Christian character was captured in legislation during this new dispensation in 1998. The fear that this character could be jeopardised has been exacerbated by the Minister’s statements that a faith criterion for staff, and a decision by the Potchefstroom University about the morality of a presentation by Pieter-Dirk Uys, would be in violation of the Constitution.

If the Constitution protects my right to practise religion, it then also protects my right to view reality and science in the light of my religious convictions. This is not discrimination, it is my right. It is not ideologisation, because then the supposed principle of absolute neutrality is certainly also an ideology. Nobody is being discriminated against at Potchefstroom University. On the contrary, no student is turned away on one of the forbidden bases of discrimination in the Constitution. All that happens is that during his instruction he commits himself to a particular legitimate view of science.

If staff are expected to carry out their academic activities in accordance with the ethos of the university, in terms of the Act pertaining to Equality this is not unreasonable discrimination, but: ``… differentiates between persons according to objectively determinable criteria, intrinsic to the activity concerned,’’ as the Act states. There is great concern that this right of an institution which has a proud history in South Africa and which offers academic training of high standing, could be jeopardised. I appeal to the Minister clearly to recognise the right to its own ethos of my alma mater. [Time expired.]

Mr J H MOMBERG: Don’t worry, we are going to protect you!

Mr C AUCAMP: I believe you. That is what worries me! [Interjections.]]

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! On the point that I made earlier, the hon Gibson has caught my eye and I think that he would like to inform the House as to what the situation is. We will all be better for it.

Mr D H M GIBSON: Chairperson, on a point of order: The point of order was that Rule 62 does indeed refer to members not reading speeches. A member shall as far as possible refrain from reading his or her speech, but may refresh his or her memory by referring to notes. Perhaps if I could add that if one starts applying this Rule - as it has almost been abrogated by disuse - it will have to apply to Ministers and others as well.

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: Order! The point that I wanted to make was that if one addresses members, it does make for better audience contact and therefore better reception.

Prof S S RIPINGA: Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon Minister of Education and hon members, empirical evidence confirms the ANC’s view that a single co-ordinated higher education system has the strength and immense potential to contribute to economic and social development needs of South Africa. We now know that our system has fundamental problems and serious weaknesses. It is for this reason that the hon the Minister of Education has unveiled a national plan that seeks to fix the system, meet pressing needs and respond to new realities and opportunities in our country. We want to commend the Ministry for this brave and brutal strategic plan.

Firstly, allow me to briefly comment on the establishment of the national institute for higher education in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape. The people of Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape have waited for a long time for a coherent code pertaining to the provision of higher education. The geographic location of higher education institutions during the apartheid era was based on ideological and political considerations rather than on rational and coherent planning. This arbitrary planning resulted in fragmentation and unnecessary duplication the excessive concentration of higher education institutions in some regions and an absence of readily accessible contact in certain areas of the country.

To this end, some higher education institutions were established in the bush and in industrial areas for various ethnic groups, and others for English and Afrikaans-speaking groups. Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape were worst off. No contact institutions were provided for these areas. To address this irrational ideological and manipulative planning in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape, the Ministry intends to establish a national institute of higher education. This is commendable. This will serve as an administrative and governance hub for ensuring a coherent provision of higher education programmes, largely through programme collaboration. This will build on existing programmes that are offered by different institutions currently operating in the two provinces. We note with gratitude that a working group will be established soon, to develop a framework and an inplementation plan for the establishment of such an institution.

Allow me to respond to some objections and reservations that have been made by the opposition and some people outside the Chamber in respect of some elements of the plan. Some people have raised concerns that the plan will infringe on institutional autonomy. Some have raised concerns about the increase in the participation rate in higher education, claiming that it will lead to the lowering of quality or standards. They further claim that the question of incentives will compromise quality. They also claim that shifting the balance in enrolment between humanities, business, commerce, science, engineering and technology from the current ratios will never be achieved. They state that the processing of students from secondary schools to universities will never be realised, because of the poor logistical infrastructure and matric results, as is happening at the moment.

In respect of the impact of the plan on institutional autonomy, the hon the Minister has already alluded to this. As the hon the Minister has already indicated, the need for institutional autonomy is appreciated and is granted by the Higher Education Act. However, institutional autonomy is not absolute. The Act does not grant higher education institutions unfettered autonomy. In fact, regarding Mr Green, I would like to bring it to his attention that there is no constitutional autonomy, but we are talking about institutional autonomy. The plan also refers to institutional autonomy. Higher education institutions, therefore, are accountable to Government and to all credible and legitimate stakeholders who depend on the institutions.

Conservative higher education institutions’ management use institutional autonomy as an excuse to derail transformation and to perpetuate historical privilege. Regarding the question of the plan on quality and standards, some people associate increased participation with pass-one-pass-all. Some people equate this whole issue of quality and standards with the question of just pushing black university students for the sake of doing so. That is not correct. If one looks at the White Paper and the plan itself, both say something about quality. In other words, if one looks presently at the combined potentially adverse effects of rising enrolment on educational and academic standards, quality assurance has been provided for. Higher education institutions are accountable with regard to performance indicators that influence standards.

With regard to ``cothoza’’, I do not think that we are in position to go slow.

Ek wil vir die agb dr Geldenhuys sê ons sal nie op ‘n sloerstaking gaan nie. [I want to tell the hon Dr Geldenhuys that we will not embark on a go slow.]

We are going to move fast to implement these measures. The time for negotiations which were slow is over. Now we will implement.

With regard to distance education, keeping black students from contact institutions, I think that the Minister will also say something about that. However, with regard to the teaching of mathematics as a prerequisite for studying in some field, I want to remind Dr Geldenhuys of the words of Dr Verwoerd when he said: What is the use teaching a Bantu child mathematics when it cannot use it?'' I urge members to note the derogatory wordit’’. That is why we are now reaping the fruits of the malicious policies of apartheid education. What we want to do is to reverse the balance and encourage mathematics, science and technology to be taken at high school. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF EDUCATION: Madam Speaker and hon members, on 29 January 2001 a very important speech was made. It went along the following lines: There are two nations in this country. One nation can dream, the other nation cannot. The one nation can write and is literate, the other nation is not. The one nation performs very badly in school, the other nation does not. There is hope for one and there is no hope for the other.

That speech was not made by President Mbeki. That speech was not made by me. It was made by the President of the United States of America, George W Bush. In the first speech that he made, he talked about the two nations. He gave it away, unfortunately, by saying: ``Our performance in mathematics comes below that of Cyprus and South Africa.’’ Thus, it was self- flagellation. It may have worked as part of the whole changed approach. We must not carry it too far, though.

I think that it has been a very fruitful debate. I have a whole sheaf of replies. I will engage the speakers. I would like to engage the speakers, because in 10 minutes I cannot reply to all the points raised.

However, I must begin on the basis that there is an emerging consensus in our country and that we should not play silly-billies with education. While I listened to Mr Ntuli, I wanted to say: What a rational voice that I can engage with. On the other hand there is Dr Geldenhuys. It is difficult to believe that they speak for the same party. They must be speaking for a bifocated party. [Laughter.] A bifocated party is a schizophrenic party. It is not fair to those who are not schizophrenics, because one can treat schizophrenia. However, this is an unremediable situation that we find ourselves in.

I am going to say to Mr Ntuli that there is a place on this side of the House for him, because that is the kind of basis we talk about. I want to say to Dr Geldenhuys, for example, that we begin on that basis, but that this is a plan that we will be carrying out in time. It is a firm commitment. Obviously, there will be discussions. There will be discussions with regional institutions. There will be further discussions and negotiations, as we said, because this must be brought about within the plan. For example, the hon member talked about time limits and autonomy. Let me say that I am a strong believer in academic freedom by the way. It is a much more obvious and palpable issue. One can feel academic freedom, because violation of academic freedom can be very obvious in its consequences.

Autonomy is an elusive notion. An Australian Minister of Education, a few years ago, laid down that no institution whose enrolment was fewer that 8 000 students could exist. He just laid that down. The choice was either to close down or merge and find the merging institutions. That was carried out. We are not doing that. In fact, Mr McIntosh said that I am a commissar. However, it was his conservative Australian Minister who implemented the plan concerning having under 8 000 students not being a viable institution.

We are not doing that. What we want to do is to look at the programmes and how the programmes fit into each other, for example, to ensure that there is a proper balance between arts and science. We are saying that, at present, 49% of students are doing the humanities. That is too large a proportion. We want, in fact, about 40% so that 30% will do science and the other 30% will do subjects like accounting, which we need. In the same way, we want to develop the teaching of African languages. Very few universities and technikons in South Africa have professors in indigenous languages.

We will use this programmatic approach. We will use a bait of more funding to establish chairs in the African universities. We also want to establish chairs in more foreign languages too. Thus, in the same way, regarding the language question, I do not think that we should inflame feelings about this matter. I have said that I have set up a group of distinguished people

  • Afrikaans-speaking and non-Afrikaans-speaking - to talk language issues at the universities and technikons.

It is not only the Afrikaans language, but I have also looked at the Group of 63 statement about international charters and conventions. Our provisions of the Constitution go further in legal terms than any other international charter convention. I am prepared to meet Dr Mulder - who had to leave unfortunately - and go through the Group of 63 statement about language and its relevance in South Africa. Let the institutions show that when adopting a particular language policy they do so in ways that do not undermine the goals of the system as outlined in the White Paper and the plan we have put before members. I have not ruled out an Afrikaans-medium university. Many of them have said that they are not Afrikaans universities anymore. A distinguished Afrikaner intellectual said that. I have not ruled that out. However, 5 out of 21 institutions means in fact that there is inherent discrimination. Thus, we are not ruling out anything. We are responsibly guided by the ability of the institutions to respond to national imperatives and take into account the reports that I have received from the Council of Higher Education and the Gerwel Report.

Regrettably, some members in the opposition benches continue to read the plan out of context and in selective bytes. There is much more in the plan. There is much more about the need to develop research in our institutions. There is much more about giving remedial treatment to students who come in, first-year students of all races, by the way. There is much more in the plan about the need to have a central applications office - which Die Burger misunderstood - so that students can have a real choice in the matter. We want to South Africanise our institutions. Thus, we want white students to go back to places like the Pretoria Technikon. We want white students to go back and not flee to the private sector because our training and education in the state institutions is much better than any private- sector institution could provide. Thus, I asked members for their proposals with regard to improving graduate outputs. That must be read in conjunction with the development of very robust quality assurance systems.

Regarding Dr Geldenhuys, I know that he is a spokesperson on education and there is a great deal to learn yet. We said in the report that there is a higher education quality committee which will assess every degree and qualification. We cannot have bogus degrees like some of correspondence institutions’ degrees which are bogus. Quality assurance will ensure that there will be no superior and inferior degrees, according to which employers categorise degrees at present.

I agree with Mr Ntuli that the capacity to plan has to be augmented at both the institutional level and the level of my department. On the part of my department, we will be drawing up an expertise exercise in the higher education institutions through secondments. However, I must say that with the limited staff of my department we have done an astonishing amount of work. This plan has been praised by a highly reputable Norwegian educationist, who said that they have not seen a plan of this dimension anywhere yet, and he wishes us well in carrying it out.

With regard to the recruitment of academics from the rest of the continent, we would remind the hon member that we are a part of that continent. Of course, we must have government-to-government agreements on this. Therefore we cannot lose our resources in the North as the African resources are being lost to the North.

That is why we say, about student enrolments, that we want 10% of our students to be from SADC countries as part of our regional development. It is important. We are the first country to say that we must open our institutions to our brothers and sisters who have done so much to assist in the liberation of our continent. [Applause.] That is an altruistic thing.

But I must tell the hon members that altruism is very good for our students, of all races, by the way, who lead insular, parochial lives, to get students from other countries to enlarge their horizons, which is what a universitas or university is supposed to do - enlarge our horizons. This will not be at the expense of the South African students. It will be a part of the augmentation of both numbers and capacity, in our institutions.

Prof Mbadi has been misinformed. The plan is clear that no current higher education learning institution will be closed. On the contrary, new opportunities are being opened up. The Government has decided that we must develop two or three institutions for ICT, centres of excellence. This plan will allow us to meet the needs - a kind of silicon valley of the mind.

We will develop two or three institutions as centres of excellence in science and technology, and that is the Government’s policy. So, we rejected the Council on Higher Education report because, in fact, it said that bedrock universities would be the old, historically black universities, with no research and no post graduate work being done there. We rejected that, because we cannot, in fact, solidify the fruits of apartheid in our institutions.

There are many other points. Very important is the question of a school system. I have answered that question. We say in the report that we must build up a school system, even if we have to get Cuban mentors in science and mathematics. This is a true internationalisation of learning. We are firmly committed to the international approach to learning and higher education. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.


The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members that concludes the debate on this subject.

We have come to the end of two and a half months of very intensive work. [Applause.] That may be premature. Wait till I finish. It has been hard work. Members have applied themselves and we can, with justification, take well-earned leave until after Easter.

I want to wish those who are marking religious occasions, particularly those of the Jewish and Christian faiths, peace and serenity as they mark those occasions, as well as fulfilment of their prayers.

After Easter, we go into a constituency period. I want to urge you, hon members, to listen and reflect during that period: listen to your constituents. I know you do this regularly, and you know what people are saying in terms of their problems and needs. But I also want you to listen, particularly to what they are saying about us, their representatives, and what they think of this, their Parliament.

What do they say about the way in which we have conducted debates, the extent to which members are seen to be conducting private discussions, walking around, chatting and distributing documents; the groups of four to five members conducting lengthy meetings, a habit which I regret extends to some Ministers and party leaders, who turn their backs to the podium or the Chair to conduct their work or have their social chats.

What do people think when we fail to have enough members to vote on a Bill

  • and I want to remind you that this is not the first time that this has happened. What respect can they have for us if we come in late, leave early
  • not once but regularly; if we shout down speakers and each other with noise, but rarely respond with wit or with facts.

That is what I have asked you to reflect on, and that is what I am asking you to do: listen to what they are saying. They write to me and I am sure they will tell you if you probe into this. And let us, fter that exercise at the end of the constituency period, come back refreshed and renewed, with the invigorating spirit of 1994, and not the rather jaded image that I am afraid we are now projecting.

I now wish you well, as I said, for both rest, reflection and work; refreshed to come back for a much harder session, when we have to deal with a very intensive series of Votes. And with that, I wish you all au revoir.

The House adjourned at 18:30 until 8 May 2001 in terms of Rule 30(2). ____


ANNOUNCEMENTS: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 The Taxation Laws Amendment Bill [B 17 - 2001] (National Assembly - sec
 77), that was introduced by the Minister of Finance on 5 April 2001,
 has been referred to the Joint Committee on Taxation Laws Amendment
 Bill in accordance with resolutions adopted by the Assembly and by the
 Council on 20 March 2001.

National Assembly:

  1. The Speaker:
 (1)    Ms D P S Jana vacated her seat with effect from 22 March 2001.

 (2)    Gen C L Viljoen will vacate his seat with effect from 30 April


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces: Papers:

  1. The Minister of Finance:
 (1)    Explanatory Memorandum on the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, 2001
     [WP 1-2001].

 (2)    Government Notice No R.231 published in the Government Gazette
     No 22139 dated 8 March 2001, Cancellation of appointment of
     authorised dealers in foreign exchange.

 (3)    Government Notice No R.238 published in the Government Gazette
     No 22141 dated 9 March 2001, Draft Treasury Regulations published
     for comment in terms of section 78 of the Public Finance
     Management Act, 1999 [Act 1 of 1999].