National Council of Provinces - 08 August 2002



The Council met at 14:06.

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


The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon members, the provincial Whips have informed me that they have agreed that there will not be any motions proposed by members this afternoon.

                     DEPUTY PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I welcome all hon delegates, both permanent and special delegates, to the House. It is, indeed, pleasing to note the presence of the constitutional leaders of delegations - the premiers of the provinces. They are all welcome.

We are also pleased to welcome Deputy President Zuma in his annual contact in a debate with the National Council of Provinces. I believe we are very pleased that we are able to have the opportunity to be visited by members of the executive. I welcome them. It is now my great pleasure to invite the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Deputy President Zuma, to address the House. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Chair, I do not know whether I pressed the right button. [Laughter.] Your House is very educated now. [Laughter.] Even the Chair has some soul as it is moving.

Madam Chair, hon premiers, hon MECs, hon delegates to the NCOP, all invited guests who are with us this afternoon, let me begin by saying how honoured I am to be addressing you, Madam Chair, in your refurbished Chamber.

I have always said that the NCOP is the embodiment of the essence of co- operative governance. The reason why I keep stressing this is that we must never lose sight of the importance of the NCOP in our constitutional dispensation. It is the only body that brings together the national, provincial and local spheres of government in one Chamber. It is, therefore, the place that can best deal with the concerns of these spheres, and that can find ways of dealing with issues that arise among them.

It is also a forum in which the different spheres can learn the best practices from one another and gain from one another’s experiences. Where a particular province or local government structure has difficulty with a specific area within its competence, the NCOP is the forum in which the matter can be discussed so that it can assume a national character.

Let me commend the NCOP on the important contribution that it has made with regard to enhancing the legislation that has been tabled in this House. I certainly support the view that the NCOP needs to be given sufficient time to deal with legislation adequately.

One area which, I think, needs some attention is the participation of organised local government through the SA Local Government Association, Salga. If Salga’s input is weak, it means that the municipalities - the metros, towns and districts - are unable to make maximum use of this institution. I would also urge the premiers to ensure that the provinces provide the maximum support to local government.

Furthermore, I would like to congratulate you, Madam Chairperson, and all members on taking Parliament to the people last week when the NCOP met in Umtata. This was, indeed, something that the country had to notice. It was, indeed, a historic moment.

It was also a demonstration of our determination in this new era to take public institutions to the communities we serve, to allow citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on how we are serving them, and on how we can improve service delivery. It touches a real nerve in that the essence of our democracy, the essence of interaction with our people, is when we go to them. That is why I thought it was important to underline this important development. I wish and hope that we are going to keep it up. The interaction between parliamentary or public representatives and the people in this country is very important.

We are meeting here today during a period when our country has become a stage on which Africa and the rest of the world meet to discuss matters affecting the entire planet. Only last month we had the singular privilege of hosting the last summit of the Organisation of African Unity and of being the soil on which the umbilical cord of the African Union is stored.

The launch of the AU has prepared the ground for accelerating the regeneration of our continent through the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, known as Nepad. This House must have a full grasp of Nepad because as representatives of national, provincial and local government we must market this African Union programme, ensure that our people understand it and that it is put into operation.

I am pleased that the NCOP had a debate on the ``African Union and Development’’ last term and therefore on Nepad itself. But I urge hon members to continue their deliberations on the matter so that they can ensure that we have a concrete plan for the implementation of Nepad at provincial and local levels.

We believe Africa is now well poised to usher in peace and stability, democracy, respect for human rights and good governance from Durban to Dakar.

The launch of the AU and South Africa’s assumption of the Chair of the AU places a responsibility on all of us to work hard to ensure that this first year of the Union is a success. It means that provinces and municipalities need to play their own part in accelerating the African Renaissance. One of the ways of doing this is to promote interaction between South Africans and their brothers and sisters on the rest of the continent by encouraging people-to-people contact and cultural exchanges. I would like to urge the premiers and other delegates to look at how we can make this a reality. We certainly need to change our attitude as South Africans towards other Africans on this continent. [Applause.]

While provinces and municipalities eagerly form partnerships with the developed world through the programme of twinning, we should, equally, make an effort to form linkages and twinning arrangements with cities and provinces on the continent if the African Renaissance and Nepad are to work. This can play a vital role in furthering the objectives of Nepad.

Colleagues will also note that the AU recommitted itself to the early establishment of the Pan-African Parliament and the economic, social and cultural council, as envisaged in the Constitutive Act. This is aimed at ensuring the involvement of all African peoples and their civil-society organisations in the activities of the union.

As we speak, another major international gathering is to take place in our country, namely the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, the WSSD. The Johannesburg Summit will be the largest United Nations event ever held in Africa and the largest gathering of world leaders ever in South Africa. It is, indeed, a great privilege for South Africa to host this event, and I trust that we will all work hard to ensure its success.

In preparing for the WSSD, South Africa has had to play a crucial role in mobilising a global consensus. We are pleased to have been able to draw on our historical experience of bridging the gap between divergent positions, as we did when we were negotiating our own political settlement. This experience has helped us to assist with the process of reaching agreement on areas in which countries have been too far apart. We are pleased that the various preparatory committees have managed to achieve substantial consensus at this juncture.

Despite the large degree of consensus, there is still an overall concern that when it comes to the very critical issues currently affecting the world, the developing and the developed world still approach issues from different perspectives. The summit is especially important to us because we are grappling with the legacy of underdevelopment and with how to create a better life for all. We are also proud of the fact that, since 1994, we have developed many solutions to these problems, although many challenges still remain.

The Rio Summit of 1992 adopted Agenda 21 as the programme to achieve this objective, but, after 10 years, progress has been slow. The levels of poverty and inequality continue to be unacceptable, especially in Africa.

This summit is an event in which all spheres of governance should participate. The Gauteng province and the Johannesburg Metro, as hosts, are directly involved in almost every aspect of hosting the summit. The North West province is sponsoring two major stakeholder pre-summit consultations for youth and women’s organisations from around the world. KwaZulu-Natal is currently hosting the pre-summit environmental law conference, and the Western Cape the sustainable tourism conference. This shows active participation on many levels and it must be applauded.

The question many people are likely to ask is: What does sustainable development and the WSSD mean for local communities? Our view is that while looking at broader issues, the summit should also focus on tangible matters such as access to adequate water and sanitation, safe energy, health care, reversing land degradation, and increasing agricultural productivity to guarantee food security. These are issues that affect people directly.

We have, for instance, received a detailed letter from a Ms Nomvuyo Bontshi of Maclear in the Eastern Cape, outlining very specific problems around access to water, infrastructure, and social and health services in her home town, which she wants Government to address as a matter of urgency.

Our system of co-operative governance is designed to draw on our local experiences to inform better planning and delivery. It will enable us, as public representatives, to work together to address the kind of infrastructural problems that Ms Bontshi wants us to address urgently. She serves as an example because she was brave enough to take pen and paper and write to the Government. She was doing it on behalf of many. Members of the NCOP in particular should play a more active role in monitoring and intervening in such situations, because they cut across all three spheres of government.

It will also be crucial for public representatives to ensure that we take the sustainable development debate to local communities. Councillors and ward committees are important in this regard.

Local government is the hands and feet of governance as it is closest to the communities we serve. Government has sought to make this sphere more responsive to the needs of the people. This has been done through the establishment of structures for the democratic participation of communities in developing and implementing integrated development plans. This places local government at the centre of development.

Local economic development, through the integrated development plans, requires that national, provincial and local governments plan together. This is further evidence of the high priority which integrated and co- operative governance enjoys within and among the different spheres of government.

A discussion of sustainable development is especially relevant during this month, which is dedicated to women’s emancipation and on the eve of National Women’s Day. Women are increasingly occupying more prominent roles in South African society, and we salute them on their achievements which have come about as a result of the struggles that they have waged in this country over the years. Women have gone to prison, and have been tortured, banished, killed and dehumanised. They have carried the heaviest burden of the struggle in this country.

There are also millions of women who contribute tremendously, socially and economically, in many different corners of the country, especially in rural areas. Let us use National Women’s Day also to salute these unsung heroines who never make the front pages of newspapers, but who remain the backbone of many households and communities. [Applause.]

As we mark this day, we also need to look at the challenges facing us all. The scourge of HIV/Aids is one challenge that we should continue to fight together relentlessly. Women, once again, bear the brunt of this disease owing to the still unequal power relations between men and women in our society.

We must also note the challenge facing us with regard to the stigmatisation and other difficulties experienced by women with disabilities. This continues despite the protection enshrined in our Constitution, new laws and policies. We need to ask ourselves what can be done to ensure that these laws and policies can be effectively implemented, and we need to change the attitudes that make it difficult for them to be implemented.

The Office on the Status of Disabled Persons in the Presidency has launched a campaign to highlight the plight of women with disabilities and to encourage them to speak out. We urge hon members to contribute to this campaign in their respective constituencies. Let us work together to remove the remaining obstacles of prejudice and stigmatisation. Let us create the space for all South Africans optimally to utilise all the new and exciting opportunities our country has to offer.

I am sure that hon members will agree with me that this year’s Women’s Day has a special significance for our country. Sarah Baartman, a symbol of oppression, humiliation and violation of the human dignity of women in particular and of black people in general, will be laid to rest for the first time in Hankey in the Eastern Cape tomorrow. The burial of her remains, 187 years after her tragic death and after being barbarically put on display for most of this period, is a telling example of how human rights were brutally and ruthlessly violated in the so-called civilised world.

Her burial will be part of a healing process for all and should encourage us to recommit ourselves to working towards reconciliation, national unity and togetherness as a nation. May her soul rest in peace at last in the land of her ancestors, free from the prejudice, hatred and barbarism to which she was subjected in Europe. [Applause.]

Once again, let me reiterate how happy I am to have had the opportunity of sharing my thoughts with this House. I look forward to seeing some of the hon members at the WSSD and I am sure that we will, as usual, succeed in ensuring that the guests who attend the conference have a memorable and productive stay in our country. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF THE FREE STATE (Ms I W Direko): Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, our Deputy President, hon premiers, members of Parliament and ladies and gentlemen, it is once more a pleasure to be back in this House in spite of the metamorphosis it has undergone. For five years, 1994 to 1999, this was my home.

The struggle for reconstruction and development continues. This is the case not only in provinces where the majority of poor people are, but throughout our African continent. As members know, it is not only poverty with which our people are faced, but HIV and Aids as well. It is in times like these when all of us, in solidarity with people throughout our continent, should stand behind President Mbeki and other African leaders and actively show our support and total commitment with regard to their efforts concerning the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. There will never be peace in South Africa until there is peace on the whole continent of Africa.

I appreciate the opportunity of addressing this House a day before the national celebration of Women’s Day, having been invited by the Chairperson of the NCOP. I think women throughout the country approach national Women’s Day with a mixture of happiness and sadness. We are happy because we now live in a nonracial and nonsexist democracy. We can visibly see the progress which the Government and other sectors of society have made towards the upliftment of women. Of course, they only have Hobson’s choice, which is no choice at all.

Our daughters and granddaughters grow up inspired by a whole range of role models, other than nurses and teachers who were the order of the day in my time. Whilst we applaud these achievements, I join other women in reminding our leadership that this is not enough. We still have a long way to go.

We also applaud the commitment of the Government to prioritising social development issues and to focusing approximately 80% of its resources on social issues. It lifts a huge burden from our shoulders as women to know that the Government commits resources to care for the sick and the disabled, provides social grants for - I shall not say the aged - mature citizens and ensures that all children of school-going age are at school and lead the struggle against the scourge of HIV/Aids, irrespective of what is being said about our commitment to making a difference in the area of HIV/Aids.

We are sad, however, to note that despite the Government’s efforts to combat HIV/Aids, the number of orphans is increasing, as well as child- headed households. We have not overcome poverty in a manner that we would all have wanted to, and our movement towards peace and prosperity on our continent is much slower than we expected. We must, however difficult it is, keep struggling to succeed in our mission for a better life, a better country and a continent fit for children. We will succeed. We must succeed. The Free State provincial government has had numerous achievements with regard to improving the lives of our people. This is primarily owing to two important developments. The first is the stable government that we have achieved in the last three years. The level of commitment amongst members of the executive council and the co-operation between the provincial government and the provincial legislature have played an important role in stabilising governance in the Free State.

As a consequence of such a stable governance environment, we have also been very successful in improving our capacity to manage public funds allocated to the province. This includes increasing the amount of revenue due to the provincial government from various sources.

The recent transformation of our procurement system in the province, in which we charged accounting officers with the responsibility of managing the procurement process, has contributed to a large degree to the speeding up of service delivery. This arrangement has replaced the boards of old.

As a consequence of the above developments, we have been able to achieve the following. We have enhanced the skills of unemployed women, the youth and people with disabilities. Two nongovernmental organisations have been funded to the tune of R1 million for skills development. About 100 people with disabilities in areas around Bloemfontein and Thabo Mofutsanyana, formerly known as Qwaqwa, will benefit. Seven protective workshops have been funded to the tune of R663 000 to provide employment to 301 people with disabilities. Approximately 30 income-generating projects are operational, and 50 home-based care groups have been funded, trained and provided with stipends benefiting 500 women.

We have introduced programmes targeting vulnerable groups. These programmes promote awareness, protection, support and counselling programmes aimed at children who are victims of abuse and neglect, street children and children in conflict with the law. In this regard, we have just opened a place of safety, and we have put in place an integrated approach, because the judiciary, correctional services, social development, education and health are involved. Children in detention are kept there. Hearings take place at that very place. Counselling and attempts by Nicro to bring about a change in the mindset of our youth take place right at that centre. For the Free State this is an achievement. These programmes are also aimed at unemployed women and survivors of abuse and rape, substance abusers, the elderly and the frail, and children affected by and infected with HIV/Aids. Early childhood development centres have also been put in place. This programme includes victim empowerment shelters, social work services, the reporting of abuse, income generation, inpatient and outpatient treatment of substance abusers and community-based care services for senior citizens. Volunteers for support services for children and women who are victims of abuse have been trained and utilised.

The partnership between the Departments of Social Development and of Education has established a project for the packaging of learner support material and textbooks. This poverty alleviation programme has ensured employment for 960 unemployed women, youths and people with disabilities. This project is unique to the Free State province and has been operational for the past three years.

After the 2001 Grade 12 results, 71 schools were identified as failing schools after obtaining pass rates below 40%. The provincial government developed a holistic intervention strategy to address this problem. Some of the identified schools were trapped and could not move out of the situation without external support. The Department of Education has since appointed principals of well-performing high schools to assist these schools.

Twenty full-time and part-time mentors were appointed in the five districts of our province for a period of one year. These mentors were drawn from former Model C schools and township schools. They resumed duty on 2 May 2002 after extensive consultation with stakeholders. Another intervention is the Thintana Telkom Project, which aims at improving computer and technology literacy. It also targets learners from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. As a result of these interventions, we have set ourselves the minimum target of a 5% improvement in our Grade 12 results.

A number of initiatives have been taken with regard to promoting awareness and prevention of HIV/Aids, as well as looking after those who have been infected with and affected by this disease. We have integrated knowledge of HIV/Aids into the curriculum of our schools at all levels. All schools have been exposed to advocacy, training and support materials regarding the disease.

We have successfully piloted a community home-based programme in the Lejweleputswa district, formerly known as Welkom. We have established approximately 50 groups that have been funded to provide home-based care services. We have funded 14 projects for community-based care to the tune of R2,2 million. We have established step-down facilities in every district of our province.

We have implemented pilot projects in Virginia and Frankfort with regard to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, or PMTCT. These projects are running according to schedule. We have recently decided to increase the uptake at these research sites and introduce similar PMTCT research projects in hospitals in Jagersfontein, Botshabelo and Thabo Mofutsanyana. We have also established a task team that is currently working on establishing administrative arrangements for the management of the PMTCT roll-out plan, evaluating the readiness of institutions for implementing a PMTCT programme, and building capacity to provide the services required.

In order to promote awareness of HIV/Aids and to enable public servants to manage this disease in our various workplaces, we have trained 200 professionals and 500 public servants on the implementation of the workplace guidelines we have developed.

The province has increased its TB … [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chairperson, Deputy President, hon premiers, special delegates and colleagues, the gap between the happiness we have and the happiness we could have represents our lack of self-realisation. The road we choose or decide to take will determine our future.

This brings me to this question: What role can we as local citizens play to make sure that the delivery of services is accelerated? We can do that by directly or indirectly participating in the Government’s programmes.

I am saying this because we are all aware that there are people who want to see things happen. Some will wonder when things will happen. Others are surprised when things do happen. Some will even question why things are happening. There are also those who simply appreciate it when things happen. All of the said groups are just useless. The only people who can add value to this Government are those who make things happen.

Of the three spheres of government, local government has a critical role to play in rebuilding local communities and environments as the basis for a democratic, integrated, prosperous and truly nonracial society.

For delivery to be visible we need strong and effective local government. The Constitution of the Republic mandated local government to, among other things, provide democratic and accountable government for local communities, ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable way; promote social and economic development, promote a safe and healthy environment and encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in local government matters. Local government must also promote the Bill of Rights, which reflects the nation’s values about human dignity, equality and freedom and uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

Within the framework of the Constitution, Government has established a basis for a new developmental local-government system, which is committed to working with citizens, groups and communities to create sustainable human settlements which provide for a decent quality of life and meet the social, economic and material needs of communities in a holistic way. One man once said: “We are a nation at work.” I know that we belong to the last category I referred to, and we are going to make it. One has to have long- range goals to keep oneself from being frustrated by short-range failures. He who has learned to obey will know how to command.

By advancing the notion of developmental local government, the Government has put forward a vision of developmental local government which centres on working with local communities to find sustainable ways to meet their needs and promote the quality of their lives.

There are four characteristics of developmental local government, namely exercising municipal powers and functions in a manner which maximises their impact on social development and economic growth, playing an integrating and co-ordinating role to ensure alignment between public and private investment within the municipal areas, democratising development and building social capital through providing community leadership and vision and seeking to empower marginalised and excluded groups within the community.

These characteristics urge local government to focus on realising developmental outcomes such as the provision of household infrastructure and services, the creation of attractive integrated cities, towns and rural areas and the promotion of local economic development and community empowerment and redistribution. Three approaches are provided which can assist municipalities in becoming more developmental, namely integrated development planning and budgeting, performance management, and working together with local citizens and partners. It must be borne in mind that co- operating government situates local government within a system of co- operative governance.

While acknowledging that the system of intergovernmental relations requires further elaboration, the section provides a preliminary outline of the role and responsibilities of national and provincial governments with respect to local government. While the national departments’ programmes may impact on local government, we are also mindful that local government is increasingly being seen as a point of integration and co-ordination for the delivery of national programmes.

All these shining, good, positive and wonderful ideas may not succeed if there is no financial management and control. For the above to materialise or to be realised, all members are advised or urged to read the Municipal Finance Management Bill, as gazetted by the Minister of Finance on 31 August 2001.

I would not be doing justice to myself if I concluded my speech without touching on the sensitive issue of traditional leadership under local government. The only trouble with being in the rat race is that even if one wins, one is still a rat. [Laughter.]

Since 1999, the Department of Provincial and Local Government has been telling traditional leaders that they are busy drafting a White Paper that will outline the role of traditional leaders in local government. That was almost two and a half years ago. By the looks of things - the time they have taken to draft this White Paper - it is abundantly clear that we are going to get a very thick document. [Laughter.] Up until now I have resisted joining the choir that says that there is no political will on the part of the Department of Provincial and Local Government to finalise this issue. It appears that we are pushing an elephant. [Laughter.] But we are consoled … [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! I am afraid your time has expired for sure. [Laughter.] [Applause.] That was in no way a declaration of interest. [Laughter.]

The PREMIER OF THE NORTH WEST (Mr P S Molefe): Chairperson, hon Deputy President and hon members, I should like to congratulate the Deputy President on an informative and inspiring speech which covered a range of strategic issues that are facing the country and the continent in the current period.

My contribution today will reflect what we, as a province, are contributing to this unfolding drama that is reflected in the speech of the Deputy President. When the democratic Government was established in 1994, it adopted a socioeconomic development programme which sought to improve the quality of life of ordinary people. In his state of the nation address this year, President Mbeki urged the entire country and the continent to join him in the very noble and difficult task of pushing back the frontiers of poverty.

Now, the adoption of the programme of socioeconomic development of a sustainable nature, as it were, and this clarion call by our President emphasised the fact that our country was, indeed, firmly in the epoch of accelerated service delivery and of the consolidation of nation-building.

During the last three years all spheres of government - national, provincial and local - have focused on an integrated approach to governance, on integrated sustainable rural development and on urban renewal, all of which are strategic priorities aimed at pushing back the frontiers of poverty.

The focus of the North West provincial government is indeed on the eradication of poverty and the restoration of human rights and dignity to all our people, for we believe that unless our communities which were previously disadvantaged, are brought into the mainstream of development and take part in economic development and unless social programmes are implemented in a manner which touches the lives of our people, and therefore changes them, the objectives of social transformation of our society and of development will not occur.

We have, therefore, committed ourselves to further accelerating the implementation of rural development and urban renewal programmes. This does not mean that in focusing on urban renewal and rural development we are now ignoring a number of major programmes of Government. All that we are saying is that we are increasing the focus of the distribution of our resources and directing them to those areas of greatest need in a manner which impacts positively on the lives of our people, thereby alleviating poverty, creating jobs and ending squalor.

We have thus far registered a couple of successes: 180 000 old age pensioners or senior citizens - mature citizens - have been registered; 40 000 child support grants have also been registered. We have also introduced a programme for children under seven years of age who need support, and since the call by the President we have registered 35 000 children. We are currently supporting 118 antipoverty programmes to the tune of R14 million. We operate 726 paypoint sites in the province and each one of those sites has welfare committees that help the old people. So, indeed, we have responded to that call through our departments of social security, arts, culture and sport.

There are 1 206 beneficiaries of projects such as poultry, trench gardening, drip-irrigated vegetables and ecocycles. The projects are for household food security and for income generation to our people.

With regard to the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme and the Urban Renewal Strategy, we have embarked upon a number of activities. We have produced a basket of anchor projects jointly with the province of the Northern Cape and the central Government in a node called Kgalagadi. The worth of these projects has now increased from R198 million at the time of the launch to R274,5 million. Of course, it will increase more once our comrades in the Northern Cape have also identified further funds that will be allocated to that node. [Laughter.] These projects include gold production, housing, construction of roads, water reticulation and electrification.

We are a model of a node, and the reason why we are a model is because we have demonstrated practically how co-operative governance across the spheres operates and also how we would work with traditional leaders in that regard. Very soon we will be announcing another very important project which will show that even though we are pushing an elephant, the work must continue. [Laughter.] We will be announcing a partnership with one of the most successful tribes in our province, the Bafokeng tribe, and with two municipalities, Bojanala and Rustenburg. This partnership recognises the independence of each authority and, at the same time, the interdependence of all of them.

We hope to launch this partnership in a high-profile way, and that it will send the message that in the North West province we are dealing with a different kettle of fish, a kettle of fish that understands that the challenges of development are of such a nature that the differences we might have in policy formulation deriving from major and problematic problems which are complex in terms of defining relationships, powers, roles, etc, must not impact negatively on the needs and the lives of the poor. So we will be doing that. We have a number of urban renewal projects, as well, which we are implementing.

With regard to land reform, we are accelerating the redistribution and restitution of land. We are resolving the problem of Leliesfontein, where a farmworker died and had to be buried along the side of the road. The families have now been settled in that area. In Ramatloma we are also resettling a community in Botshabelo which was dispossessed of its land in the late 1960s. We have done the same in respect of Mokgopa and Madikwe.

Increasingly, also, we are providing grazing land to these communities to ensure that there is sustainable development. To this extent, 246 km of fencing, 119 km of pipeline, 24 reservoirs and 54 troughs have been made available to assist those communities in their agricultural activities. We are also assisting emerging farmers with entrepreneurial training so that they, too, can participate in commercial farming.

In respect of housing delivery, in the last five years we have built over 50 000 houses and we have 113 projects in existence. Altogether 124 000 subsidies have been approved amounting to R1,75 billion, R886 million of which has already been spent. Our target is to deliver 1 500 houses per month, and we are pursuing that strategy relentlessly. I now turn to the issue of Africa. Let me say that we salute our President and the Deputy President for the efforts they have made towards the renewal of our continent. In particular, we salute ourselves as a country and the President on his election as the first chairperson of the newly born African Union. That we have been given this opportunity to play the midwife role to this new child is clearly confirmation of the important strategic role that South Africa is playing in the affairs of the continent. This really concretises this whole motion of the renewal of Africa. We are renewing Africa through the birth of our own country.

I believe that through our chairpersonship, the reconstruction of our continent will be accelerated and Nepad will be at the centre of all development, that all that the provinces are doing relating to sustainable development, good governance and human resource development must be seen within the context of the development and the renewal of our continent. We accept the call the challenge by our Deputy President that the provinces and local municipalities participate in this regard. Indeed, we celebrated Africa Day in our province in one of the far-flung rural areas to raise the awareness of our people about these challenges.

We recently had a stakeholders’ workshop that involved provincial government, municipalities, traditional leaders and civil society debating the challenges posed by Nepad and our understanding of what the African Union means for our continent. We will be going on with many more programmes and activities to raise the awareness of our people. I think the next stage for us would then be to debate these questions within the provincial legislature. When we do so, the ordinary people out there will have a sense of what they mean, and these questions will not be removed from them so that they can relate directly to issues of international relations and the renewal of our continent.

As a plan, Nepad was conceived and developed by African leaders. It commits African leaders and the rest of the world to placing the continent on the path of sustainable growth. Nepad is a comprehensive and integrated programme for the socioeconomic development of Africa. It states the problems facing the continent and maps out a plan of action to resolve these problems. It is also a translation of the African Renaissance into a policy and programme.

So what we therefore need to do is to continue strengthening the mechanisms intended to influence good governance, peace and security on our continent, and ensure that there is greater partnership; deal with issues of development and ensure that, as provinces, we mobilise the masses of our people so that these developments become their own programmes.

With regard to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, we are taking part as a province, as the Deputy President has indicated. We will be hosting three summits and these relate to the youth, women, and food and agriculture and will take place in the rural areas of Moruleng, Phokeng and Mogwase. We do believe that we will also be using the summit to ensure that we benefit economically from the huge number of tourists who will be in our country at that time.

We will also be holding another workshop with the United Nations Development Programme that is going to try to draw the linkages, the synergy, between the development plan of the North West province and how it can be situated within the context of the challenges that the World Summit on Sustainable Development will be dealing with. The focus will be mainly on issues of poverty and human rights deriving from those matters that are directly linked to our social programmes of health, water and sanitation. These are some of the issues that we will be dealing with.

I hope that what I have sketched here as issues we are dealing with which relate to sustainable development, integrated development and co-operative governance, do give hon members here a glimpse through this little window of the North West’s humble efforts towards the renewal of our continent and towards advancing the programme of sustainable development.

I wish the NCOP a very pleasant period up to the end of the year, and I am sure that we will continue to make our own contribution to dynamising this period with a view to pushing back the frontiers of poverty. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF MPUMALANGA (Mr N J Mahlangu): Chairperson, hon Deputy President, Deputy Chairperson and hon members, it is indeed a great privilege and honour for me to participate in this debate in which I intend to look briefly at the programme of the African Union, namely Nepad, and the possible spin-offs we may get from the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

It is important to note that if the implementation programmes of Nepad and of the WSSD are dissected and made to apply to the ordinary life of a person in a province or in a village, they will go a long way in a province such as Mpumalanga in changing the lives of many people living in abject poverty in rural areas.

The challenge therefore involves designing sustainable development programmes that prioritise improving the lives of the people, especially those of the poor, in order to increase their access to productive resources, public services and institutions, in particular land, water, employment opportunities, credit, education and health, among other things.

In order to sketch briefly some of the achievements we have made, I would like to say that we knew when we started, as we know now, that the road we have chosen must lead us to a destiny in which the majority of our people enjoy a better life, a life in which they have affordable houses in communities where there are clinics and hospitals that provide good quality care for all, and in communities where there is improved education for all our children in well-maintained and well-equipped schools.

While on the subject of education, I would like to mention that members of our executive council, as part of our outreach programme, visit our school assemblies in the morning, on a fortnightly basis, in order to encourage a culture of learning and teaching, and also to help inculcate discipline in our schools. We believe that, as a result, an improvement in our results will come into existence.

We want to create a life in which there is a clear movement towards creating jobs for all and in which there are better roads and good, efficient public transport. We do not need to remind anybody that our province is about 60% rural. I must say that we have started to make an impact on the supply of facilities such as water, electricity, housing and better roads in our rural areas. The backlog is still very big. We still need more money to improve the conditions of our roads. However, we have gone a long way in changing the lives of our people in the province. Many hectares of land have been handed back to the original owners through the redistribution programme of the department of agriculture and land affairs in our province, and we are very grateful for this achievement which was enabled by the national Department of Land Affairs.

Last year alone we were able, in the education sector, to build 386 classrooms. We were also able to renew last year the twinning agreement with the province of Maputo in Mozambique in terms of which the two provinces seek to enhance the economic potential of the Maputo Development Corridor which runs through our province.

We still have the challenge of spurring investors into taking advantage of these developments. The construction phase was faster, but the attraction of new investors is taking place at a comparatively slower rate. However, we believe that the introduction of Nepad, as a programme of action for the AU on the continent, and the WSSD, which is on its way, should bring us, as the province of Mpumalanga, opportunities which we can take advantage of.

We believe that a well-planned strategy for our province, emanating from the discussions which will take place at the WSSD conference, will help us attract more investors than those which we currently have. We are therefore ready and determined to take full advantage of this occasion.

At our strategic planning session of the executive council lekgotla earlier this year, we resolved that every department should come up with a year plan capturing programmes, specific financial implications and timeframes. Each department indicated what progress it would embark upon and how much money would be spent on these programmes per quarter.

Departments were also required to report progress on a quarterly basis. Where the work has not been done, they are required to account for failing to perform in accordance with their plans. Further, they are expected to indicate what plans they have for remedying the work which has not been done.

We believe this mechanism will ensure that money set aside for social development and other matters will be utilised maximally. I can therefore confirm for this House that on the strength of these quarterly meetings with departments which we have already had, we are on course in Mpumalanga to achieve what we set out to achieve by the end of the financial year.

We have also revived buildings and infrastructure damaged during the fight against apartheid before 1994. We think this is important in order to revive the economy of the province. The buildings and infrastructure belong to our parastatals and include shopping complexes, individual businesses and agricultural infrastructure.

We have also decided to train the entrepreneurs who are using or who intend to use these facilities, because we have noted that some of the businesses could not perform well because of a lack of knowledge and skills. I may mention that we have trained more than 1 332 people in the period from December 2001 to June of this year in various sectors of economic development. We hope this will improve the skills of our people.

We are now at a point at which our parastatals are busy considering loans for these trained entrepreneurs who are to trade in the newly revamped infrastructure. We, again, believe this will go a long way towards improving the lives of the people of our province. We have also encouraged business, labour and interested people in various municipal areas of our province to organise themselves into economic forums so that they can start looking at available natural resources and opportunities in their various municipal areas and come up with plans in order to give us an account of their needs. We can then look at what else we can do, as government, to help them.

Our parastatals are available to advise these people in these forums on a continual basis. This, we feel, will help in general to improve the economy of the province much faster than would have been the case before this initiative came about.

As the Mpumalanga government, we are pushing back the frontiers of poverty and we are doing so in partnership with many people in our society who are ready to lend a helping hand. We are proud that we are making progress in increasing the number of people who are active beneficiaries of social grants and child support grants. The number of pupils benefiting from the integrated nutrition school feeding programme is also increasing tremendously. Improving the quality of public education is high on the agenda of our government. That is why every two weeks during our executive outreach programme, members of the executive visit schools, as I have already indicated. We have also improved our financial management system in such a way that we can close our books in time for the end of the financial year. No department was in mora this case.

We have also increased the collection of our own revenue by 42% during the last year. We have succeeded in building more than 1 115 classrooms from 1999 to date. We have increased access to scholar transport in the farm areas to more than 11 300 scholars. Only a few, if any, still remain without transport.

During the first quarter of this year we managed to supply water and electricity to about 589 schools. We have also succeeded in building 42 000 housing units since 1999. In the first quarter of the 2002 financial year alone, we built 3 745 houses in various housing schemes.

In ensuring that our people have access to primary health care, we are currently building four community health centres and three new clinics. A new hospital with a capacity of 140 beds is under construction at Piet Retief.

We will not rest until we have done enough to uproot criminals from our society. We would like our streets and villages to be safe. We are focusing our energy on crime prevention strategies, particularly to prevent domestic violence and the rape of children and infants. For example, the multi- agency mechanism structures have developed strategic plans which will guide the implementation of crime prevention strategies throughout the province.

We remain committed to working together with the private sector to ensure that economic growth and development remain at the forefront of our efforts to create sustainable jobs, which will eventually improve the quality of life of our people. In this regard, the major provincial parastatals pay fortnightly visits to the municipalities to make sure that their knowledge is implanted in ordinary people. Also, through our investment promotion wing, the Mpumalanga Investment Initiative, we endeavour continually to attract both domestic and foreign investment.

Now, regarding our future plans, the programme we are pursuing this year builds on the foundations that we have already laid in previous years. This year we are spending more than R1,7 billion on social security, R46,8 million on the provision of social welfare and R58,5 million on social assistance. During the current financial year, we have planned the delivery of service in the province in such a way that we utilise every cent available to us for delivery of service to the community so that by the end of the financial year we do not have any roll-overs.

An amount of R114 million will be spent on school infrastructure development. We are erecting 401 classrooms, 28 special classrooms, 12 administration blocks, 165 ablution blocks, and we are renovating 101 schools during this financial year. Not only that, an amount of R136 million has been set aside for pupil support material at ordinary public schools.

We have planned the building of a total number of 14 071 housing units which will be built during the course of this year. In order to efficiently provide and adequately maintain the road network, we hope to spend more than R317,2 million in the province, and about R49 million will be spent on municipal infrastructure.

As the Mpumalanga government we will ensure that within the context of our programmes for integrated and sustainable rural development and urban renewal, we prioritise measures to ensure the proper utilisation of resources aimed at poverty alleviation. I must say that we have come a long way with this project of poverty alleviation throughout our three regions in the province. Particularly in the rural areas, emphasis will be placed on ensuring food security and community-based job creation projects so as to directly address the state of poverty and unemployment in our communities.

The success we have achieved together bears testimony to the fact that when acting together we can and shall continue to push back the frontiers of poverty and expand access to a better life for all.

Regarding the issue of traditional leaders, I want to join the chorus in saying that although this is said to be an elephant, we have good relations with our traditional leaders. Although they do not formally participate in municipalities, there is a way of interacting, and we are hopeful that co- operation will continue despite other problems which may still have to be addressed. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF GAUTENG (Mr M S Shilowa): Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, the Deputy President of the Republic, hon members, in about a week’s time our country will be receiving visitors from all over the world who will be participating in the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The people of Gauteng, in particular those residing in Johannesburg and its surrounds are all waiting with warm hands to welcome the guests to our beautiful country. We are more than ready to receive the more than 60 000 expected participants.

We take immense pride in the fact that our country and province will be hosting this event that has such critical implications for the future of humanity and the earth. Staging the summit in Gauteng has created the possibility for us to engage in constructive debates on what all of us - Government, business, workers, NGOs and communities - need to do to ensure sustainable development. Our approach is based on the conviction that central to the discussion on sustainable development are the key questions of poverty eradication, human rights, environmental justice, equitable distribution of resources, global peace and fair trade.

We call on the developed countries in particular and governments in general to join the developing world in adopting a 10-year programme of action on sustainable development, with a clear allocation of resources and the implementation timeframes. We believe strongly that sustainable development and environmental management are important issues for the province because, while it is the rich and wealthy who produce the most waste and consume the most resources, in particular water and energy, it is unfortunately the poor who live close to the waste dumps, who live in areas close to mine dumps, and who are forced to drink unhealthy water.

The province’s sanitation programme, which seeks to ensure that all citizens in Gauteng have water and sanitation over the next four years, is part of our contribution to sustainable development. Its success hinges on the pooling of resources by all spheres of government, especially local government, whose resources will be key to the maintenance of the infrastracture.

We know that there will be various organisations who will use the presence of world leaders to hold protest actions to highlight their protests and to protest against world leaders. We have no problem with peaceful protest. This is something we fought for and it is included in our Constitution.

What we deplore is lawlessness in the name of peaceful protest. We call on all organisations who are planning protest action to commit themselves publicly to ensuring that there will be no vandalism and looting during their protest action. We call on the police to ensure that appropriate steps are taken, using methods in line with those of countries that value human rights, to ensure that those who break the law are apprehended and dealt with accordingly.

In order to respond to the continued challenges of poverty and unemployment in Gauteng, we have developed an integrated provincial strategy for poverty alleviation, economic growth and job creation. The strategy is based on recognising that while high levels of economic growth, including attracting investors to the province, will result in sustainable employment for many of our people, we also have to deal with the here and the now of poverty and underdevelopment.

We believe that a critical element of addressing poverty is providing effective services to all our people, with the focus on the most disadvantaged. This includes programmes to provide free basic water and sanitation, ensuring access to electricity, dealing with issues of disease and malnutrition, providing quality education to our children and supporting early childhood development. We have also made a solemn undertaking to ensure that no beneficiaries who qualify for social grants and child support grants are turned back simply because we have exhausted our allocation.

Added to this, therefore, is the need to find concrete ways of creating jobs and income opportunities for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Many unemployed people in Gauteng continue to benefit from poverty alleviation projects, such as food gardens, and gain employment through opportunities in the development of infrastructure on a short-term to medium-term basis.

We have made significant strides in maximising the number of jobs created through our infrastructural development projects. Key initiatives in this regard include the Community-based Public Works programme, the maximisation of labour content of Capex projects, labour-intensive construction in the construction of housing, and the Zivuseni programme to maintain provincial assets.

The Community-based Public Works programme has repositioned itself to seek joint funding between the Department of Public Works and other public- sector and private-sector organisations, while the maximisation of labour content of Capex projects prescribe that construction methods for infrastructure development must have a minimum labour content of 60%. However, for the strategy to succeed, it will rely on what other spheres of government are doing to maximise the use of labour in the provision of infrastructure and in Capex programmes in Gauteng.

Earlier this year the provincial government launched a programme called Zivuseni, aimed at the renewal of our communities and the creation of the short-term jobs. The aim of the programme is to engage in the maintenance and upgrading of provincial social assets such as schools, hospitals, clinics, libraries, welfare paypoints, multipurpose community centres and sports facilities using unemployed people on short-term contracts.

Approximately 100 000 unemployed people over a five-year period will benefit from this programme. This programme will also serve to impart both functional skills and life-skills to enable people to escape the poverty trap by using skills gained during the project to pursue long-term opportunities elsewhere. In this way, Zivuseni will reduce the number of people living in poverty, while Government continues with other projects aimed at accelerating economic growth, development and sustainable job creation.

Our approach is to ensure that as many unemployed people as possible are involved in gainful and constructive work. This will enable our welfare system to target more effectively those in need - the aged, the disabled and children. Once again, the success of this programme will be limited unless other spheres of government that do work in Gauteng on social infrastructure are linked to the Zivuseni project.

Last year we reported on challenges posed by cross-border municipalities in our province. Together with our colleagues in Mpumalanga and the North West province, we continue to develop strategies to ensure that effective service delivery is not compromised in these areas. Together with these provinces, we will continue to engage municipalities to ensure that budgets and IDPs of municipalities reflect the challenges faced by local communities and the provinces.

Over the next three years, we will assist municipalities to implement effective billing systems, revenue collection, debt management, integration of systems, financial viability and sound procurement and tendering processes through the Municipal Institutional Support Centre established in our province, otherwise known as Misc.

The strengthening of local government should also be located within the need continually to review the powers and functions of all spheres of government. As indicated before, we need to identify powers and functions that currently reside at national and provincial government levels which may be better performed by local government and which could be devolved from the national to the provincial sphere.

While we are still grappling with the issue of the powers and functions, we should also be looking at ways of strengthening co-operative governance. In Gauteng the implementation of the Alexandra Urban Renewal Project has opened up the possibility for closer co-operation by all spheres of government on integrated planning and service delivery.

However, the current funding arrangement for the project, in which national departments decide when to release the funds, could delay the implementation process. We need to seriously consider releasing the project funds in bulk to the province, which is responsible for the co-ordination of the implementation process, to prevent potential delays.

Nginethemba ukuthi uMsholozi uma esebuyela emuva, esehleli nomkhandlu kaHulumeni, uzosho ukuthi sifuna amaphrojekthi wonke ezifundazweni aqhubekele phambili. Kodwa-ke akufanele ukuthi sihambe singqongqoza eminyango zonke izinsuku. Akubekwe imali phambili, amaphrojekthi uzowabona azoqhubeka. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[I believe that when Msholozi goes back to discuss things with the Cabinet, he will mention that we want projects to progress in all the provinces. But we should not be going from door to door every day. Let there be money, and all projects will continue.]

The PREMIER OF THE WESTERN CAPE (Mr M C J van Schalkwyk): Chairperson, sustainable development is dependent on a vital prerequisite: finding a political model which binds our country together and encourages and enables us all to pull in the same direction. These are the twin challenges of sustainable development in South Africa: dealing with the pitfalls and potential benefits of globalisation, whilst at the same time advancing the project of nation-building in our country.

We believe that the Western Cape is particularly well positioned to deal with these challenges and our goal of building a truly world-class province is underwritten by our view that the Western Cape is an important testing ground for the new South Africa. Of course we regard our relationship with national Government as vital in this partnership, but we also regard our relations with the governments of other provinces in South Africa as key in making a positive difference in the lives of all the people of our country. This is the basis of the agreement between the New NP and the ANC. It is about the importance of taking co-ownership of and co-responsibility for South Africa and our challenges.

For this reason the Western Cape is not an island. We are determined to contribute to the whole of South Africa by breaking new ground and finding solutions, which can also be to the benefit of all in the country. This is the difference between being a builder or a breaker in South Africa. This is the difference between people and parties who are proudly South African and those who are just partly South African.

In this regard there are three specific challenges which face South Africa that have the potential to derail our best efforts and intentions. These issues are the HIV/Aids pandemic, the challenge of land reform, and ensuring that nation-building is grounded on firm foundations.

I am addressing the hon Deputy President both in his capacity as Chairperson of the National Aids Council and as the Deputy President of our country. The Cabinet’s statement on HIV/Aids that was issued on 17 April of this year was a message of hope. It marked, for many people, a real change in the attitude and position of the national Government towards the use of antiretroviral treatments, as well as the removal of the Government from the ongoing energy-sapping debate.

I am convinced that the Western Cape government, the national Government, and, as a matter of fact, all the other provincial governments, can work together extremely effectively to fight the battle against HIV/Aids. There are enough people in all these institutions who understand what needs to be done. It is unnecessary to allow this issue to develop in a confrontational manner, or for us to take two steps backwards every time we take one step forwards. To win this battle we must all pull in the same direction.

Lately, however, there has been a worrying perception which has grown around statements attributed to the national Minister of Health on the toxicity of antiretroviral drugs, actions with regard to funding from the Global Fund and, most recently, disturbing reports about the stance of the SA Medicines Control Council towards the registration of nevirapine. These perceptions have done much to undermine the power of the April 17 statement. They continue to cloud the real issues in combating the disease. We must not lose the momentum which has been built up in fighting HIV/Aids.

It would be of great value if the national Cabinet were firmly and unambiguously to address these perceptions by reaffirming the commitment of Government to the principles set out in the April 17 statement.

The position of the Western Cape government is clear. We cannot afford to compromise on the issue of Aids, either morally nor financially. At present, it is estimated that between 100 000 and 150 000 people in our province are infected. By the year 2010 this figure is expected to reach almost 400 000 if we do not act immediately. In the Western Cape an estimated 30 000 children will be born with HIV over the next 10 years, unless we intervene decisively.

The implications are staggering, particularly in the light of sustainable development. There will be an increased demand of one million new hospital bed days, a 100% increase in the number of orphans and a 500% increase in the demand for child dependency grants. This is why we cannot afford not to make dramatic health interventions, particularly in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. This is the case in all provinces and in all parts of our country. We estimate that with our prevention of mother-to- child transmission programme, we will be able to keep the levels of infection in the Western Cape below 10% in 2010, and this is what we are aiming to do.

However, the moral and financial responsibility to fight Aids is not only ours as Government. It also rests with the major international pharmaceutical companies. The scale of the human disaster is so great that these companies must consider voluntarily waiving certain of their patent rights to allow for cheaper local licensing and generic local production of life-saving antiretroviral drugs. Similarly, one of the first steps in winning the fight against HIV/Aids is increasing access to and reducing the cost of Aids testing. I would like to ask the hon the Deputy President to reaffirm the commitment of the national Government as expressed in the statement of 17 April.

Another issue which has received less public attention than HIV/Aids, but which has a similarly explosive potential to undermine sustainable development in our country, is the question of land and land reform. This is an issue tied closely to poverty in our country. Poverty forces people to make use of any available means to provide for themselves and their families - most often at the expense of the environment and a sustainable future. If we are really committed to the principle of poverty relief and sustainable development, it is vital for us to address the issue of land reform.

In Suid-Afrika bestaan, in alle regeringsfere, ‘n sterk politieke wil om ‘n proses van ordelike, maar dringende, grondhervorming te bevorder. Dit is dié vennootskap tussen die nasionale, provinsiale en plaaslike regerings waarin die sleutel tot sukses lê. Die probleem in Suid-Afrika lê daarin dat dié politieke wil in daadwerklike optrede omgesit moet word. Die proses is té stadig, en is ook nie innoverend genoeg nie. Ons sal die probleem nie oplos bloot deur grond uit te deel nie.

Grondhervorming vereis ten minste drie ander lewensbelangrike elemente om volhoubaar te wees. Die grond moet kommersieel lewensvatbaar wees, daar moet toegang wees tot finansiering, en die kennis en vaardighede van opkomende boere moet ontwikkel en uitgebrei word. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[In South Africa, in every sphere of government, there is a strong political will to promote a process of orderly, yet urgent land reform. It is this partnership between the national, provincial and local governments that holds the key to success. The problem in South Africa is that this political will should be changed into real action. The process is too slow and not innovative enough. We will not solve the problem by merely handing out land.

Land reform requires at least three other vital elements to be sustainable. The land should be commercially viable, there has to be access to financing and the expertise of emerging farmers has to be developed and expanded.]

It is now our plan, over the next few years, to add another 7 000 farmers from previously disadvantaged communities to the 11 000 farmers in the Western Cape in an exciting partnership with the national Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs. A key element in ensuring that nation-building in our country is grounded on firm foundations is to find a sustainable, mutual accommodation of the interests of the majority and those of the minority communities. In this regard, many of us were concerned about the gradually deteriorating relationship between the Minister of Education - who was here earlier - and the Afrikaans-speaking community over the past few months, due to the Minister’s - I have to say - ill-considered pronouncements regarding the right of Afrikaans speakers to Afrikaans education.

Minister Asmal’s latest effort to reach out to the Afrikaans community must therefore be welcomed, as it hopefully brings to an end an era of much antagonism between the Minister of Education and the Afrikaans-speaking community. We trust, now that Afrikaans speakers and the Minister are once again within hearing distance of each other, that we will have a constructive debate that will not be derailed by insensitive pronouncements on one hand, or by the right-wing fight-back approach of some in the Afrikaans community, on the other, which does the cause of Afrikaans more harm than good.

Afrikaanssprekendes kan met reg aandring op ten minste twee Afrikaanse universiteite - een in die noorde van die land en een in die suide - met gelyklopende Afrikaanse onderrig aan sommige ander instellings. Indien dit die vertrekpunt is van die nuwe balans wat ons gaan vind, is dit ‘n goeie basis om ‘n sterk Suid-Afrikaanse patriotisme te bou waaraan almal deel het en waar ook regverdige akkommodering bestaan van die legitieme aspirasies van minderheidsgemeenskappe. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Afrikaans-speaking people can justly insist on at least two Afrikaans universities - one in the north of the country and one in the south - with dual instruction in Afrikaans at certain other institutions. If this is the point of departure of the new balance which we are to establish, it will be a solid base on which to build a strong sense of South African patriotism in which all can participate and where there will be a fair accommodation of the legitimate aspirations of minority groups.]

At the beginning of the term of office of the hon Deputy President, it was announced that he would be the leading Government figure in promoting and protecting the rights of cultural, linguistic and religious communities. I would like to request him to take a closer interest in the less than satisfactory relationship between the Minister of Education and the Afrikaans-speaking community and to assist us in getting it back on track, because we all want it back on track.

If we are to properly address the challenge of sustainable development in South Africa, advancing the project of nation-building in such a way that we all pull in the same direction in addressing the massive developmental challenges we face, then we cannot afford the divisive and polarising arrogance which is still displayed by a small group of increasingly irrelevant political leaders.

These leaders, who cannot make peace with the new South Africa, are intent on dragging their ever smaller groups of supporters into social and political isolation. Fortunately for our country, their holier-than-thou mask has been ripped away by their recent actions. Far from being the champions of clean governance they once pretended to be, they have been swamped by wave after wave of sleaze and mud of their own making. These political swindlers have, over recent months, stumbled from one scandal to the other, and their lily-white image has been replaced by their soiled and sordid reality.

In conclusion, no matter how huge the challenges which face us all may be, we as South Africans have the unique ability to face up to our challenges and to defy the odds. We have done so in the past and we are doing so every day in our efforts to build a world-class country that cares for all the people. We will continue to do so in partnership and with a shared commitment to the success of South Africa. [Applause.]

Mr G R KRUMBOCK: Chairperson, Chapter 3 of our Constitution on co-operative government states:

In the Republic, government is constituted as national, provincial and local spheres of government which are distinctive, interdependent and interrelated.

This chapter in our Constitution entrenches a number of progressive principles with respect to intergovernmental relations, one of which requires that all spheres of government and all organs of state must: `` … respect the constitutional status, institutions, powers and functions of government in the other spheres.’’

It is true that in South Africa there is the problem of a capacity to govern and administer at various levels of government. Given our history of Balkanisation under apartheid and the fact that the ANC favours a unitary rather than a federal system of government, it is perhaps not surprising that on too many occasions Ministers cannot resist the urge to take over functions which could and should be carried out in local and provincial government.

While most reasonable people would agree that the ANC’s intervention in the recent mayoral shuffle in Ekurhuleni has had a positive outcome, this success is heavily outweighed by the suffocating hand of intervention in the appointment of municipal managers in predominantly major metropolitan areas by senior Government leadership. Mayors of towns and cities, as well as provincial premiers, have been appointed on too many occasions in a similar manner, rather than by voters or members of the municipality or provincial legislature. The result of this is not only political tension between the various arms of government, but also serious damage to the idea of co-operative governance which is founded on the idea that the spheres are separate but equal.

Our democracy must not only be for the people, but also of and by the people. Our country desperately needs bigger individuals rather than bigger government. And the sooner power is actually devolved as close to the people as possible, the quicker we will succeed.

If we are sincere about quality of life in the future, we must take sustainable development seriously. Our understanding of sustainable development should not be restricted to the narrow and popular concept of conservation, but should also encompass a more global context, including agriculture and housing.

Perhaps one of the greatest unrecognised problems in South Africa is that of soil erosion, in which millions of tons of soil are lost each year due to destructive practices involving crop land and pasture land. It is, therefore, cause for concern that government departments, which were dedicated to protecting our land resources against soil erosion, no longer perform as effectively as before and are currently dysfunctional. Unplanned urban development is another cause for concern. Once urban sprawl extends onto farm land, productive land is lost forever. It is worth remembering that in South Africa we lose the equivalent of an average-size magisterial district in productive land to urban development every year.

Taking into account our finite land resources, which reduce every year against the backdrop of a growing food demand, a global perspective in sustainable development in agriculture provides greater insight than a narrow view which refers simply to retaining the beauty of the countryside.

In conclusion, we are right to honour women tomorrow. Is it not also true that part of the reason we do so is that we know all is not well on the other 364 days of the year? Perhaps our greatest failure in the fight against the abuse of women is the stubborn persistence of the myth that raping a virgin will cure the rapist of HIV or Aids. If we are serious about the emancipation of women, we must crush this myth and repulsive practice so that we honour women on Women’s Day 2002, not just in name, but also by our deeds. [Applause.] Mr P A MATTHEE: Chairperson, as we know, the World Summit on Sustainable Development will start on 26 August at the Sandton Convention Centre. A mere five kilometres from there, in Alexandra, many children are suffering from chronic diseases as a result of malnutrition. The facts according to media reports are that one in five South African children suffers from chronic malnutrition and one in 10 children admitted to Africa’s largest hospital, Soweto’s Chris Hani Baragwanath, suffers from severe malnutrition.

Many South Africans still have inadequate access to food. The small town of Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal, which is representative of many other small towns in our country, is dying as poverty, unemployment and Aids take their toll. In Mooi River hungry women sell their bodies to truck drivers at the toll gate in order to be able to feed themselves and their families.

Ons kan nie môre Vrouedag vier sonder om ‘n ferm besluit te neem om, wat moontlik ook al nodig is, op ‘n volhoubare grondslag die lot te verlig van dié vroue en van ander vroue wat hulle op ander plekke in ons land in ‘n soortgelyke posisie bevind nie. Armoede vernietig die menswaardigheid van ons mense. In die Suid-Afrikaanse verband moet die verligting van armoede die kern vorm van elke agenda vir volhoubare ekonomiese en maatskaplike ontwikkeling. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[We cannot celebrate Women’s Day tomorrow without taking a firm decision on doing whatever may be necessary to improve, on a sustainable basis, the fate of these women, and others who are in the same position elsewhere in the country. Poverty destroys the human dignity of our people. In the South African context poverty relief should form the essence of any agenda for sustainable economic and social development.]

It is critical for all South Africans to create a caring society offering expanded opportunities. We must accord to all our citizens simple human dignity, equality before the law and the inalienable right and opportunity to develop their individual talents and abilities to the full. In our politics, and in all other facets of our national life, we need to embrace a new and inclusive South Africanism aimed at achieving unity of purpose within a diversity of views that will always be the hallmark of a free nation.

Charity begins at home. South Africa is our home. It is also the home of the poor that I have referred to. These underfed and starving children of all races are therefore our children. These hungry women of all races, who have to sell their bodies in order to survive, are our sisters. The fathers of all races, who have to suffer the indignity of not being able to put food on the table for their families, are our brothers. They are therefore the responsibility of the Deputy President. They are also the responsibility of all of us, of each and every South African who is in a position to assist in whatever way.

We are, however, also part of the bigger family of Africa. We are therefore fully supportive of Nepad, and salute our President and Government’s initiatives and tireless efforts in this regard. Nepad is the only comprehensive African initiative which can bring about a new partnership between Africa and the international community for sustained human upliftment and poverty eradication on our continent.

Poverty and unemployment, which in turn lead to more crime and contribute to the faster spreading of HIV and more deaths as a result of Aids, present us with challenges of such magnitude that all of us as South Africans, from all language and ethnic groups and from all walks of life, need to take hands in not only alleviating the immediate crises, but, most importantly, in putting in place sustainable development, which will result in sufficient growth in our economy so that enough job opportunities can be created and sustained. Politics in the South Africa of today is therefore a deadly serious business, which has to be focused on outcomes and the finding of solutions to the enormous changes we are faced with.

We cannot, as in some other Westminster-style parliamentary democracies, afford the luxury of an aggressive confrontational style of opposition politics in which the government, its president and its Ministers are forever denigrated and demonised. This style of politics in a country like ours, with its history and racial composition and also the largely racial and ethnic composition of the different political parties, does not contribute one iota to the solving of the challenges we as a nation face. Instead, it contributes to racial polarisation and leads to the representatives and supporters of such parties being excluded from any important decision-making about the future of this country and its people, or even from having any influence whatsoever on any such decision-making. It is our experience that the vast majority of South Africans from the minority communities want to play a constructive role in helping to address the challenges mentioned. Many of them have unfortunately been poisoned by the DP-DA’s negative fight-back politics, which exploits the most basic fears of people. [Interjections.] When we, however, explain the fallacy and counterproductive consequences of fight-back politics to them and the need for all of us to take hands to address the said challenges, they are almost always persuaded that our inclusive approach of participatory democracy and governance is in the best interests of all South Africans, including themselves. [Interjections.] In order to succeed in creating sustainable development, which will effectively address the enormous challenges mentioned, we need the goodwill and the active participation of the vast majority of all South Africans from all race, language and ethnic groups, as well as from business and civil society.

We in the New NP will play our role in this regard to the full, and we will keep on convincing all South Africans to become co-builders of a new, brighter and better future, in which all our people and our country can, on a sustainable basis, develop to their full potential. As we are today celebrating the opening of our new, refurbished Chamber, it is appropriate to reflect on the perspective which guided us as we drafted the Constitution which gave birth to the NCOP, so as to continue to be informed thereby. Two of the most important principles which were part of that perspective were participatory democracy and co-operative governance, because we wanted to address the specific circumstances of our country and because we emerged out of our own definitive past. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M L Mushwana): Order! Hon member Botha, we do not read newspapers in the House. [Interjections].

The PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE (Mr E M Dipico): Chairman, small ones speak first, then the older ones. Hon Deputy President, Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, members of the NCOP, ladies and gentlemen, we have indeed spoken in this House on many issues of critical concern to our people and our country. We have also made observations on behalf of our people, through our representatives, on those key issues that affect their lives.

Today is very different. We celebrate 9 August as Women’s Day, and this month we will all be engaged in issues to ensure that we lift up once more one page of our Constitution and ensure that we implement what we said we would do since democracy, namely ensure that our women take their rightful position in our country.

With the return of our sister, of our grandmother, or our ``oumagrootjie’’ [great-grandmother] Sarah Bartmann, our dignity as a people has been regained and restored. Humanity has learned a good lesson from this event and the despicable actions of so-called civilised nations.

As we celebrate this occasion, we do so with the full knowledge that we have laid a solid foundation for our future and that of our children.

As we are fast approaching the end of the first decade of liberation in our country and the beginning of the second decade of freedom, liberation and democracy, we can take stock and say that great achievements and strides have been made. These include, as we remember today, the restoration of the dignity of our indigenous people. The Nama people, for instance, can speak their language freely wherever they are; they can have their culture; they can, at any school - as in the Northern Cape - demand to be taught in a Nama language. They have the Nama dance; they can dance it in Johannesburg and in Cape Town. The Griqua people, the Korana and the San people are all living examples of our people getting their dignity back. But, indeed, we also agree that there are a number of challenges facing us.

Throughout the country, throughout this continent, eradicating poverty is one of those big challenges. Creating new jobs in our little towns and big towns is a mammoth task for all of us. Specifically in the Northern Cape, alcohol abuse and drug abuse indeed take their toll on our people and cause problems for all of us.

Our challenges must be to deal with social polarisation and the concentration of wealth if we are to make significant headway in the fight against poverty. On that note we salute our Minister responsible for minerals and energy in our country for bringing about a new law which gives hope to our people. This new law gives hope to the communities, wherever they live. In the Congo, for instance, they work on a daily basis with rich mineral-bearing soil, but die of hunger because the minerals cannot be owned by them. The people of Delportshoop have an unemployment rate of 80%, but they have minerals worth billions. We believe that through the implementation of this law, our communities in the Richtersveld, in Namaqualand and Prieska can benefit greatly and wealth can come their way in some small way, as has happened to the Bafokeng community. This requires a national effort and the commitment of our people if we are going to succeed.

We have to continue to develop fraternal relations with the continent. “Afrika ke Nako.” [Africa, now is the time.] And, if we say that, we have to ensure that indeed we build partnerships - as provinces, as municipalities, as people - with our people in Africa, our brothers and sisters.

In our province we have undertaken various initiatives in this regard. Bordering Namibia and Botswana, we have a twinning arrangement with the region of Karas in Namibia. This relationship has been ongoing for the past three years and we are now hosting an international conference in the province to develop the San languages, a challenge for the Namibian people and the people in the Northern Cape. We hosted the Botswana delegation a few months ago to share best practices in the legislature and in governance, particularly in “the Government meets the people’’ initiative. They joined us in two of those meetings to find out how we are succeeding in ensuring that democracy is alive.

Long-standing relationships and historical and cultural ties have been strengthened between these two countries, particularly between our people. Recently, we sent an eight-member delegation, composed of seven women, to Tanzania to reconnect with the freedom struggle’s legacy in Mazimbu and Dakawa and to learn more about the successes in the rural development areas. I think there are a lot of stories to tell that we are able to share not only with the people of Europe, but our brothers and sisters, having dealt with these issues before.

Rural development is a challenge to all of us and the rural communities expect from us more development and leadership. It is imperative that we develop rural industries to provide employment opportunities and ensure that rural development occurs and addresses the needs of rural communities in a sustainable manner.

Indeed, it is unfortunate - I would like to say to the Deputy President - that the Minister responsible for transport just left, because we have a message for him, but through the Deputy President’s good work and leadership, I am sure, he will get this message. We are very clear about the economy of the province. We know the strengths and weaknesses. With regard to the Karoo, public transport must be revived in the De Aar, Colesberg and Noupoort areas.

Train transportation can seriously change the lives of those people, without a lot of money having to be pumped in. Train transportation alone can bring life to an area. Here, I am speaking on behalf of the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape and Gauteng too, because it is very important. It has killed … [Interjections] … in Gauteng. I am saying that it is important for us to come back and say, what a waste of infrastructure. We have paid so much for it and we are leaving it to rot. That is not fair, and I think that that point must be noted and we have to do something. The will must be there, politically, to drive this matter.

HON MEMBERS: Hoor, hoor! [Hear, hear!]

The PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE (Mr E M Dipico): Regarding rural nodes, I agree with my colleague Popo Molefe. They have been doing very well in terms of the Kgalagadi node. These are the areas to concentrate on because they are where the poorest of the poor live. Again, when we come back to these areas, focusing on sanitation and water - as the Deputy President has articulated - is correct.

When we go through the Karoo areas of Hanover, Hantam and Calvinia we realise that without water there will be no sustainable economy in those areas. They need water. We must draw it from somewhere. The pipes and the plans are there, and if only we could draw water, we could do away with the bucket system. Otherwise, the bucket system is there to stay.

This is a very difficult situation. When we give them the pit latrines, they say: Nee, nee. Ons soek die water-een. Ons druk hom net; dan loop alles reg''. [No, no. We want the one with the water. We just have to press it and everything is allright.’’] It is very difficult. They say, Why do we have waterborne sewage in Kimberley? Why do you want to give us pit latrines?'' It is a very difficult issue. If one tells them that there is no water, they say:There is the dam. Just draw the water to us.’’ These are the challenges we face. We can bring life to the rural areas if the will is there. We only need the will.

We are starting to see results in the Kgalagadi rural area node through the collaborative efforts and co-ordinated interaction of all the role-players. The two provinces, the municipalities, and the mining houses in that area are contributing very well indeed, as are the people who bring their sweat labour to these types of projects. But, most important, is the champion leading us there, Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. She is really a driving force for all of us to succeed. I say thank you to her, because we are succeeding in the Kgalagadi node in making a difference in the lives of our people.

With regard to urban development, urban renewal and Galeshewe, we have been waiting for a long time for the moneys from the national Government. It has finally arrived. That champion has now been appointed as Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi. A ground-breaking meeting will be taking place on Tuesday, at which all role-players will be focusing on implementation, rather than on policy and all sorts of plans. Plans are already on the table. The focus on implementation is to ensure what my colleague Sam Shilowa said - that we now bring the money and the resources to ensure that the projects in the implementation plans can be unfolded. I think we can do this with the proper co-ordination, the way we are doing it in the Kgalagadi. If we can get that type of synergy, we are in a position to succeed.

Finally, as a province, we will contribute - the Kalahari people, the Karoo people, the Namaqua people - to the Johannesburg summit. South Africa is the host, therefore that host includes the Northern Cape and we are part of South Africa. We will be there. We will be there because we will be exhibiting the good things we have in this part of South Africa called the Northern Cape. The good people with good hospitality, who kiss everybody even if they do not know where they come from - that is what we need. [Laughter.] They will be sober, I know what hon members are thinking. They will all be sober. They will be contributing.

Arts and crafts by our people will also be exhibited there. There will be no time for the people to see the better part of South Africa, but if they and those tourists come to the Northern Cape this is the time to visit because the flowers in this part of the country - in the Western Cape and the Northern Cape - will be bright. From above one will see flowers like a carpet. It is beautiful! Beautiful! If one has never seen this, then this is the time to travel north. If one wants to make those who are going to visit during the World Summit on Sustainable Development come back again and again, one must take them to the floral areas of the Namaqualand. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF KWAZULU-NATAL (Mr L P H M Mtshali): Chairperson, hon Deputy President of the country and members of the NCOP, the challenges facing sustainable development have, in the past two years, become a critical issue for us in KwaZulu-Natal.

Our provincial cabinet deliberated at length on what our priorities should be in the face of escalating poverty as a consequence of HIV/Aids and the poor performance of the economy, which has resulted in wide-scale job losses. These discussions led to our identifying six critical areas for the work of our government in KwaZulu-Natal. These include the eradication of poverty and inequality, managing the impact of HIV/Aids and reducing its spread, re-engineering and enhancing integrated service delivery in government, investing in infrastructure, strengthening governance, and developing human capability.

We took this step as an acknowledgement of the crisis that we are in and the huge responsibility that we have as a provincial government. We do not want to be found neglectful in our response to the suffering of our people, nor do we want to waste scarce public-sector resources on programmes that are not priorities.

Through the work of our Cabinet and clusters, we are endeavouring to ensure that these priorities are translated into properly conceptualised programmes that have an adequate resource base and are monitored and reported on on a regular basis. As we have indicated in our priorities, the greatest challenges for the province of KwaZulu-Natal are those of eradicating poverty and of reducing the spread and impact of HIV/Aids.

KwaZulu-Natal had an estimated 80 000 Aids-related deaths in 2001. During this period, it was also estimated that about 40 000 of our children were infected with HIV/Aids by their mothers. It is estimated that possibly 36% or even as much as 40% of our women who give birth are HIV positive. KwaZulu-Natal has the highest prevalence of HIV infection in South Africa. Possibly 35% of our population is already HIV-positive.

It was my growing awareness of the critical implications of the Aids pandemic for the future wellbeing of our province that prompted me to work in co-operation with our provincial department of health and the cabinet as a whole to develop an expanded MTCP programme to ensure the distribution of the drug nevirapine throughout the province.

The consequences of the pandemic for our province are potentially catastrophic at both an economic and a social level. As a province, we need continually to revisit our programmes to assess their effectiveness. The provincial HIV/Aids action unit was established in 1999, and a year later the intersectoral cabinet initiative, namely Aids Challenge 2000, was launched.

To date, significant progress has been made in that 484 HIV/Aids communicators have been trained and integrated into the community health- worker programme. Currently, 2 780 community health workers have been recruited to manage awareness programmes at neighbourhood level. Voluntary counselling and testing have been implemented in nine identified sites across the province.

Thirty home-based trainers have been trained in the nationally recommended training manual for home-based care. Each health district has identified nongovernmental organisations to render home-based care in its region. Partnerships with nongovernmental organisations and community-based organisations, as well as the private sector, have been strengthened. Currently, 34 organisations across KwaZulu-Natal are working with the Aids action unit. There are also 19 private-sector companies working in collaboration with the unit to develop HIV/Aids programmes and workplace policies.

Life-skills programmes have been implemented in secondary and primary schools, with a total of 1 558 educators trained to date. Twenty-three drop- in centres have been established across the province and are fully operational. Our main challenge now is to ensure that a response to HIV/Aids is mainstreamed into all our major policies, including our provincial development strategy, and that every sector develops programmes to mitigate the impact of HIV/Aids.

We are wrestling with other diseases that ravage in particular our lesser developed communities. Cholera is a chronic problem during the rainy season, reminding us of the urgent need to ensure that our rural communities in particular have access to potable water.

The department of traditional and local government affairs has allocated R6 million from its budget in the form of the indigent support grant to support the implementation of policies for the indigent at municipal level. This should bring some relief to poverty-stricken households in urban settlements. But the question remains: What assistance is there for poverty stricken households in remote rural areas?

The rainy season also brings with it an increase in the incidence of malaria, particularly in the coastal areas. All of these challenges place an enormous strain on our health services and call for intensified intersectoral development efforts to improve the environmental circumstances that our people live in. Linked to our fight against Aids is our fight against poverty. Almost all provincial departments have programmes and projects that impact on poverty alleviation or reduction. Currently, an amount of approximately R8 billion has been allocated to a broad range of poverty alleviation and reduction programmes. Of this, approximately R5,8 billion is allocated for the provision of social security grants to the citizens of the province.

A significant proportion of the R8,6 billion allocated to the department of education and culture’s budget targets the reversal of imbalances in the distribution of educational resources within the province. While we acknowledge the sterling work done by many of our departments, our concern is that programmes to combat poverty are commonly very fragmented and poorly conceptualised. Research into our province also suggests that our efforts and resources are not necessarily reaching poor citizens.

We are now shifting our emphasis to more effective co-ordination and improved conceptualisation and management of these programmes. During the course of this year, we have been developing a provincial poverty reduction strategy with the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Programme.

The high levels of unemployment are serious, aggravating our programmes on poverty and disease. While the overall figure for unemployment in the province is estimated to be approximately 24%, the estimated number of economically ineffective people in some of our municipalities is as high as 64%. These very high levels threaten the security of our province and contribute to the high crime rates. It is for this reason that programmes that create employment and sustainable livelihoods are so critical to the work of the provincial government.

Our department of social welfare and population development has spent approximately R5,5 million on programmes aimed at capacitating women and communities to escape the scourge of poverty. Similarly, Community-based Public Works programmes have been implemented, with 50% of the labour provided by women and 15% by the youth. In addition, 180 emerging contractors have been trained.

Central to all our poverty reduction and development efforts is the need to address the issue of powerlessness. Poor citizens can no longer be regarded as the passive recipients of our technical schemes and provision of services. Poor citizens have a huge role to play in actively shaping our programmes to make them sustainable, affordable and appropriate to local needs and local values.

In keeping with the theme of today’s debate, I want to reiterate that if the understanding of sustainable development is about improving the quality of human life, enabling people to realise their full potential to live lives of dignity and fulfilment, and conserving and improving the national resource base of our planet, we have an urgent responsibility as leaders to ensure that in our province our poor citizens and those living with HIV/Aids are the subjects of the programmes we devise and not the objects of high-flying plans and programmes that bear no relation to reality.

It is for this reason that I focus on poverty and HIV/Aids in my address today. With the World Summit on Sustainable Development opening in Johannesburg later this month the flurry of excitement about the African Union and the enormous challenges of Nepad, there is a real danger that we may neglect the needs of our humble citizens that stood in queues to vote us into leadership positions. They are our first responsibility.

Let us clearly articulate our plans for their sustainable development, for the improvement of their quality of life and for the conservation and protection of our natural resource base. Until we have done that and fully addressed the challenges that face us as leaders, we are in grave danger of failing to appreciate and respond to the crisis we are in. In this way, we may become a part of the problem rather than the solution, which could haunt us for generations to come.

I say thank you once more to the House for the opportunity of participating in this debate. [Applause.]

Dr Z L MKHIZE (KwaZulu-Natal): Chairperson, it looks like I need an orientation course on the technology of this House.

The CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES: You are a medicine man, you are not a mechanic.

Dr Z L MKHIZE: Chairperson, Deputy President, premiers and hon members of the NCOP, I would like to thank the Deputy President for a very inspiring speech and also take this opportunity to congratulate our President and Government on the successful launch of the African Union and Nepad. We believe that our provinces and our people must also take up the challenge, which is how our programmes are able to support the overall strategy of developing Africa as a continent through Nepad.

We need to be able to also answer the question of how our programmes in general are geared towards solving our priority challenges, namely the problems of poverty, unemployment, ill health, including HIV/Aids and other diseases, crime and abuse of women and children.

Numerous opportunities have been identified in KwaZulu-Natal. The province has shown a willingness to embrace the idea of global collectivity and has acknowledged the fact that worldwide markets are now accessible to South Africans more than ever before. But for these opportunities are to be successfully exploited for the benefit of all our provinces, and evidenced a partnership between Government and industry has to be enhanced. There is also a strong acknowledgement that while linking up with the entire world, we need to strengthen partnerships with our neighbours in Africa as part of the province’s alignment with Nepad, which calls for integrated and sustainable economic development across the continent.

Currently, KwaZulu-Natal has identified a number of key economic projects which are expected to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the entire Southern African region and enable the country to play an active role in the global economy. There is a mood of optimism in the public- sector and private-sector partnership which, we call the growth coalition.

Amongst the flagship projects that are expected to have a lasting and sustainable bearing on the lives of our inhabitants, are the proposed multibillion rand Dube Trade Port at La Mercy, which also includes the King Shaka International Airport to replace the Durban airport. Complementing the airport will be an industrial development zone with a freight village and cyberport, all aimed at ensuring that the province achieves a modern connection to the hi-tech-oriented world economy.

The integration of the African economies will have a huge influence on all sectors of the province’s economy. The construction of the new airport will also enable direct flights to the province. Also, the other programmes already relate to the multimillion rand development of basic infrastructure, such as access roads, trinational ecotourism focus projects

  • which is the Lebombo SDI - and the programme recently chosen by the UN as a World Heritage Site at St Lucia, which is fast becoming a hive of tourism activity. These projects will have incredible spin-offs and a multiplier effect on the province and the country’s social stability as they will also create opportunities for SMMEs and the scope to accelerate black economic empowerment.

In acknowledging socioeconomic disparities created by the apartheid government, the Government is investing in many sectors aimed at promoting equity and bringing the rural communities into the mainstream of the economy. Through the Integrated Rural Development Strategy, communities are being financially assisted in starting their own income-generating projects. And, to ensure sustainability of these enterprise initiatives, which are often transformed into co-operatives, communities are afforded skills training to capacitate them.

We are also proud that KwaZulu-Natal was chosen as the birthplace of the African Union and Nepad. This has boosted the province’s confidence and determination to play a meaningful role in the reconstruction of the African continent. It has given us the impetus to go ahead full steam with the implementation of key projects that would generate job opportunities for the impoverished sections of our society.

The Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative letter also indicated an additional aspect here which is the agreement of co-operation among South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland to mark the joint campaign to fight malaria. This is part of the ``Roll Back Malaria’’ campaign, which is a continental programme of the heads of state and ministries of health. This programme is aimed at reducing the disease burden of malaria and at encouraging tourism across the region.

This programme has actually been so successful that it has resulted in a reduction of 76% in malaria cases in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal, a reduction of 60% in Swaziland and a reduction of 40% in Mozambique. This has been one of the very successful projects, indicating that regional co- operation can result in a lot of progress. The technical capacity in our facilities and the expertise that we have as a result of our experience in fighting these particular diseases are actually at the disposal of South Africa and can be used in other countries. For example, our scientists based in Jozini have become part of an international effort to do GIS mapping of malaria patterns for the population in Africa south of the equator.

I also believe that the issue of HIV/Aids remains one of the major threats to the development of our economy and the programme on the eradication of poverty. I think we all need to remember that we are part of the continent that carries the largest burden of HIV/Aids. So all our plans and strategies to succeed, our fight against HIV/Aids must be won. To begin to see the reversal of the rising trend of HIV, we in this country have to begin to do things that we have not done before, or to do more of what has been shown to work in the past.

It is in this vein that we welcome the allocations of the funds from the HIV/Aids Global Trust Fund, and KwaZulu-Natal is very proud of the application that we placed as part of our country’s effort. As we announced a few weeks ago - and from our discussion with the Minister of Health, who assisted us in regularising the process of receiving these funds - these funds will in fact be received through the SA National Aids Council. Our technical teams from both the KwaZulu-Natal government and the national Government will deal with the technicals details of ironing out all the submissions. However, we reiterate that there is no risk of these funds being lost and what we did was really to regularise the process that we all got into in a very short space of time, with very few guidelines. We are now quite happy that they are in place. Therefore, I want to say that the calls for the national Minister to resign as a result of this issue are actually rejected because they have no basis.

We also, at the same time, want to welcome the hand of partnership that we see developing in the private sector. We have noticed that some employers are beginning to offer antiretrovirals to their own staff. We are talking in particular about Anglo American and I have noticed that BP has also offered to do the same. We want to encourage all of the private sector to follow suit.

I just want to clear up one issue, namely that of nevirapine, which has been raised here. It has nothing to do with the Minister. It is an issue that has to do with the fact that although nevirapine is registered under the MCC, when the FDA in America requested certain documentation they were unable to get it from the manufacturing company. As a result, the queries have come to the point where the MCC in this country is forced to relook at the registration process.

However, this has nothing to do with the Minister. It is an independent process involving scientists and a registration process the Government has no hand in. A scientist is leading that process. If they say we must continue, we should continue. If they say that we should not continue, there must be a reason for that. We are hopeful about the process. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Rev P MOATSHE: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon premiers from provinces, special delegates and hon members in this House, I greet you in the name of the Lord.

If you allow me, Chairperson, I want to approach the subject from another angle. I want to quote from the Book of Books:

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. I needed clothes and you did not clothe me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. Then they also will answer, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison and did not help you?' He will reply, I tell you the truth. Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

This is a challenge to the global village in that we are interdependent on one another, and that is what can sustain any development.

Le Motswana a re, magora go swa a a mabapi. A re, bana ba motho ba kgaogana tlhogwana ya tsie. A re, tau e tlhokang seboka e siiwa ke none e tlhotsa. A boe a re, tswaa tswaa e tswa gale, modisa wa kgomo o tswa natso. A bo a feleletsa a re, kodumela moepathutse ga go na lehumo le le tswang gaufi. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[A Motswana says that people should help each other. He again says that people should share the little that they have. He again says that people cannot achieve anything when they are divided. He again says that people should make preparations in good time. He concludes by saying that success comes through hard work.]

Thirty years ago the world community gathered in Stockholm for the first UN Conference on the Human Environment. The event was, for all intents and purposes, a watershed.

Ten years ago the international community gathered again for the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro with the conceptual breakthrough of sustainable development. The summit generated the blueprint, better known as Agenda 21, for action to be taken globally in every area where human activity impacts on the environment.

The Rio de Janeiro summit was historic in the sense that it focused global attention on the planet’s environmental problems and showed that they were, in fact, inextricably linked to global economic conditions and the challenges of social justice. It demonstrated that if people are poor and national economies are weak, the environment suffers. Moreover, it showed that if the environment is abused and overconsumed, people suffer and economies decline.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held on South Africa’s shores in 18 days’ time from now, will not necessarily dwell on purely environmental issues, but, more importantly, focus on the needs of the developing world, that is the link between poverty, human development and the environment. We believe that sustainability is one of the most important issues of the 21st century and that the focus on environmental protection per se is not enough.

The summit will demonstrate how the people of the developing world have suffered disproportionally as a result of the high consumption by the rich countries of the earth’s natural resources. The summit will also show that evidence of these vexing issues are indeed acute on the African continent. In fact, poverty and inequality on the African continent are some of the greatest threats to global sustainability in the 21st century.

Yes, the statistics do not make for good reading. More that 1 billion people are without safe drinking water. Twice that number lack adequate sanitation, and more than 3 million people die every year from diseases caused by unsafe water.

Our concerns as Africans are that the reality of the world today is still much like that of 1992, a world where poverty and inequality are still prevalent. We still live in a world where the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen, where the poor are still victims of cultural destruction, social injustice, economic debt and a struggle for the basic human rights of a clean and healthy environment.

These social ills also manifest themselves acutely in our country. It is for these reasons that the World Summit on Sustainable Development presents us as South Africans and indeed as Africans with the unique opportunity to communicate our vision, contained in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, of a more just and equitable world. Moreover, it affords us the opportunity to address the Southern African region’s sustainable development challenges. President Thabo Mbeki enunciated very clearly on 8 February this year the need to combat poverty in our country. Hence, our country’s proposal that the overarching theme of the 2002 World Summit should be poverty eradication as the key to sustainable development.

As the host country, South Africa believes that the following imperatives should underpin deliberations: access to water and sanitation; environmental health; agricultural productivity, especially in Africa; energy and health biodiversity; sustainable human settlement; and peace and stability.

These imperatives will require social and economic interventions if their targets are to be met. Therein lies the challenge for the summit - to ensure a fundamental shift between economic relations, between the developing and the developed world. It will require much more than the promises made in Rio de Janeiro, and it comes down to this: either the developed world protect their own environment or help the developing world defeat poverty.

In conclusion, the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, summed it up brilliantly in a letter to the heads of state and governments of the G8 when he said: ``These are goals set for the world, by the world.’’ I conclude: “Kodumela moepathutse, ga go lehumo le le tswang gaufi.” [Success comes through hard work.] The World Summit on Sustainable Development is coming. [Applause.]

Cllr O MLABA (Salga): Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon premiers of provinces, hon members, we are approximately 18 months into the final phase of local government’s dispensation. During this period municipalities have had to engage with their establishment processes, with the appointment of municipal managers and top level management, with the implementation of local government legislation, integrated development planning, with the provision of free basic services and with the extension of services to previously unserviced areas.

The new dispensation also brought with it new governance challenges, such as the establishment of community participation structures to facilitate municipal decision-making. This goes hand in hand with the development of appropriate communication policies and capacity-building strategies to enable communities to participate. The reality is that not all municipalities are at the same level of progress in respect of these matters, and it will take a considerable amount of time before all these challenges are adequately addressed.

The issues for discussion today are gender equality, co-operative governance and sustainable development. Salga, as the national organisation that represents municipalities, is the chief instrument through which policy development and strategies are initiated. As early as our launch in 1996, Salga adopted the strategic objective of achieving gender equality as a priority for democratic local government.

We played a pivotal role in the International Union of Local Authorities, IULA, worldwide declaration on women in local government. We did this on the understanding that organised local government can be the umbilical cord that connects local government to the vision of a democratic, nonsexist and nonracial society, committed to the promotion of equality and human rights.

It is a belief that we can play a critical role in reconstructing and developing a society that respects the rights of our grandmothers, our mothers, our wives, our partners, our daughters and our granddaughters. Hopefully this is the legacy we can leave behind for the next generation. In co-operation with our counterparts outside South Africa, Salga has been engaged in a gender programme for the last two years. The purpose of the programme is to provide capacity for Salga to play its constitutional role in local regimes.

Currently, the focus is on the following key areas, that is to develop capacity within Salga to develop and build the capacity of local government councillors, to develop a policy on gender, and to share experiences both within the context of South Africa and indeed on the continent.

The implication of this is that there has to be commitment at the highest level of municipalities. Local government leadership has to drive the processes, otherwise we will not succeed. Whilst we have made significant strides in improving our capacity to engage with gender and women issues, we face serious challenges in this regard. One of these challenges centres around our ability to participate consistently and effectively in structures in which we should be engaging. The harsh reality for Salga is the fact that we do not have the kind of capacity that is demanded by our mandate. As long as this is the case, Salga will always be perceived as not doing its job.

This brings me to the next critical issue of this debate and that is co- operative governance. As I stated earlier, Salga is the national voice of local government and the chief instrument through which national policy development and strategies are initiated for the local sphere of government. Salga has, since its inception, endeavoured to participate in all intergovernmental forums in which local government-related matters are discussed, with varying degrees of success, of course.

I will not dwell on the past, suffice to say that the intergovernmental relations audit highlighted some of the deficiencies in our intergovernmental relations system, in general, and in Salga’s performance therein, in particular. Since then, however, we have made significant strides in playing a more prominent role in intergovernmental relations and in co-operative governance.

The most significant event for Salga was the special President’s Co- ordinating Council of 14 December 2001. At that meeting the transformation of local government was put under the microscope and a very detailed programme of action was developed, with the express aim of accelerating the transformation process. It must be pointed out that up until then the PCC consisted only of the President and nine premiers. The membership of the PCC will soon be extended to include representation by local government. This will have the impact that we expect Salga to have.

With regard to sustainable development, as Salga we subscribe to the three- tier view of sustainable development, that it is economically, socially and environmentally driven. Under economic development, we cluster issues such as trade, finance, investment and technology transfer. Under social development, we cluster issues such as water, health, energy, food security and poverty alleviation. Under environmental development, we cluster issues such as climate change, land degradation, biodiversity, the atmosphere, the oceans, and so on.

Salga’s involvement in matters relating to sustainable development and, more particularly, to Local Agenda 21 originated after signing a memorandum agreement with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in March

  1. The agreement provided that Salga must co-ordinate the implementation of Local Agenda 21 at local level. Furthermore, Salga has to act as the secretariat for Local Agenda 21 at national level in making sure that programmes of Agenda 21 are implemented in our municipalities. Salga has advocated for the inclusion of Agenda 21 principles in the integrated development plans of municipalities with the focus on social and economic development.

Therefore, IDP processes have to capture social, economic and environmental issues. And one of the key objectives of our municipalities is to undertake a consultative process with our communities in terms of planning, implementing and monitoring in order to achieve consensus on Local Agenda 21.

There is, therefore, a clear link between municipalities and the objectives of the upcoming World Summit as the many problems and solutions addressed by Agenda 21 have roots in their local activity. Delegates at the summit should therefore understand and take into account that in practice, municipalities construct, operate and oversee planning processes and establish local environmental policies and regulations. Their role and participation in the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and thereafter should have a positive impact on implementing programmes of Agenda 21 at local level.

In preparation for the summit, Salga has hosted an African mayors’ meeting with the purpose of ensuring that African priorities and issues are taken into account at summit deliberations. The main objective of the meeting was to ensure that matters of primary concern to Africa are not sidelined at the summit. We also had to formulate and agree on African local government recommendations for action at the World Summit in Johannesburg.

I will skip saying quite a lot, save to say that, in conclusion, I have highlighted the importance of gender issues for local government in general and Salga in particular. The effective participation of Salga in our intergovernmental relations system is critical if Salga is to become an equal partner in co-operative governance. Sustainable development is one of the pillars of municipal integrated development plans, and the summit will reinforce such priorities for national, provincial and local government worldwide.

I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the local government sphere to wish all women in South Africa an enjoyable and productive Women’s Day tomorrow, and I want to assure them that Salga is striving with them to promote gender equality in our country and on the continent. [Applause.]

The PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN PROVINCE (Mr N A Ramatlhodi): Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP, Deputy President of the Republic, colleagues and hon members, allow me to begin by congratulating my colleague Mr Van Schalkwyk in absentia on his elevation to and subsequent mounting of the wild horse known as the Western Cape premiership. I would like to take this opportunity to wish him well, and I hope that we will continue to work together to strengthen co-operative governance in this country. I would also like to take this opportunity to salute our women - grandmothers, mothers, wives, lovers and daughters - and, lastly, to raise our banners in the memory of our grandmother, Sarah Baartmann.

Talking about today’s theme, I am sure it has been inspired by the fact that we are meeting on the eve of one of the most important summits in this century, a summit which seeks to ensure that life continues on earth until eternity, that we sustain ourselves and those that we produce, and preserve the world in trust and on behalf of those who must come after us. In this regard, to sustain ourselves we have to, in the first place, create peace in our world.

I wish to congratulate the President and the Deputy President and all those who have been assisting in making sure that there is peace on our continent. I believe that the successes that are being scored have become legendary and monumental. I am sure that as they toil at night trying to get warring parties together they know that they have the support of all of us in the provinces.

When we talk about Nepad, I think there are ordinary people out there in the villages and towns, unsung heroes and heroines, who are striving on a daily basis for self-betterment and for community development. Indeed, they are at the coalface of the struggle for what we call Nepad. They are sustaining themselves and helping their communities, most of the time with very little help. Occasionally we have a glimpse of these people through programmes such as Community Builder of the Year'',Woman of the Year’’ and so on. But there are many others out there who are engaged in the very struggle that we are talking about.

What we sought to do in the province was to convene a meeting of all these people, the winners and the nonwinners, because they were all winners, in a sense. We said: What is it that makes those who succeed succeed, and what is it that makes those who do not succeed fail? Could they share experiences? What role could we play as Government to support the initiatives of ordinary people?

We realised that this provided the raw seeds for development within our communities, that we could give them the training and support and, at the end of the day, that we could give them the market, using our relationship with the private sector and using the fact that the Government itself is in charge of most of the institutions. For instance, talking about vegetables, one should buy vegetables from these people, because part of the problem is not so much that people do not have a job, but that they produce these things and sit in front of a house and there is no market. In the meantime, as the state, we purchase elsewhere, leaving them there. These are some of the things that I thought we should really share as a way of exchanging notes. One of the examples that I can give in this regard is of somebody who trained women to produce sweets, using very simple technology. After the women have produced these sweets, we then get the African Bank to buy them, giving the African Bank incentives. So there is an end market.

We have gone on to look into the co-operatives in our province. I do not know how many members here know about the Outspan oranges that we used to pride ourselves in. They came from Zebediela and many other farms in our province. What we discovered was that productivity had gone down to levels which were totally unacceptable. The reason could be that regardless of whether the people produced or not, they got paid, because they are state employees on those farms. So what we have done is to suggest to these people that we want to form a co-operative and give them a farm that they could take as theirs. But, because we know they are not, as yet, ready to produce at a sustainable level, we will bring in white commercial farmers to support them. These farmers will bring in, on a contract basis, the money and, secondly, the experience, so that people will work together and grow into the job. That is how we managed to send abroad world-class oranges from Guillenberg which were fit to feed the World Cup soccer players in Japan.

Still on the same issue, one of the things we have done was to say that whilst these people are training in the field, we must create possibilities for them also to receive some formal instruction. Hence, two years ago we stopped the intake of new students into agricultural colleges so that we did not continue producing the extension officers of old, but, instead, produced farmers who could go out and farm.

I think we do have a problem on the political question of co-operative governance, because these technical colleges are technically the sphere of higher education. One might find that the Department of Education does not have the vision we have, but comes and takes the school, hands it over somewhere and the school is destroyed.

So the question of whether we need provinces or not, of whether we need local government - or national Government - or not, I think, is not the real issue. The question is what it is that can best be done at what level of governance. In that context, there will not be total uniformity, because, in any event, there are different circumstances to be addressed by different governments.

On this issue I must say that in 1996 we established Mastech in the province, which was an institution for maths, science and technology, and, as a government, we gave the best students free bursaries. We went about getting all the resources, and I can tell hon members we concentrated on producing maths, science and technology teachers. That is what we were doing. That programme, again, in terms of the strict application of the Constitution, was wrested away from us and handed over to the University of the North. I can tell hon members that it is now crawling. Limpopo is left without skilled maths, science and technology teachers. So the question is not who has what power, but who does what best, is capable of doing it, and has the vision, understanding and commmitment.

The other issue I want to raise is that we are not seeking to urbanise Limpopo, but to enhance the quality of life of our rural people wherever they are. In this regard, there is the question of policy that we need to look at. One cannot have a uniform policy for the whole country which is not differentiated with respect to application. What the people in the rural areas want in order to enhance their quality of life are water, electricity and roads. That is what they will tell one if one goes to the villages. In an effort to meet these needs, one finds that we started by building in a township like Minga, which is away from the villages that are established. In other words, one is not putting resources where there are no resources. One can have a village that is established, but it does not have water. One goes on to put water somewhere and build new houses. What we thought we should do was to shift policy and build whatever houses we could within the established households, because in any event in the villages one does not have only one house in a yard. So if one puts more houses in the yard, one is then able to begin to connect water and get maximum outcome from one activity, rather than dispersing one’s resources, as we have been doing in the past.

I was going to tell members a story about some of these townships in the villages, but I will leave that for another day, because I am afraid I do not have enough time left. All I can say is that they are, in the main, not occupied. One is likely to find that it is only the young people who apply to go into those houses. They are newly married and so on. The husband is likely to be working elsewhere, so the village might actually be occupied only by women. When a man enters that village, everybody runs to the in- laws and says: ``Have you seen a man going into that village?’’ [Laughter.] The husbands hear about this and then take their wives out of those houses, so they remain empty. One then finds that one is not using the resources properly.

In other words, sustainable development must also take into account the customs and practices of our people. If we divorce ourselves from the custom which one has in a village homestead of several people staying together supporting one another and then wrenching some people out of this arrangement without really taking into account this custom, one is likely to fail with that sort of approach in the rural areas.

I would first like to express my appreciation for the fact that the national Government has begun to deliver on the issue of processing the land claims. However, I want to urge that move to go much faster because, in the first instance, the claimants themselves are waiting in hope, and we need to make sure that we settle this issue. In the second instance, we need to establish certainty within the rural environment, because what is happening is that once land has been earmarked for land claims, development stops on that land. The farmer does not put money into something that he cannot keep tomorrow. Jobs are lost and the land becomes less developed. It loses its value because care for the land stops. So we need to move fast to solve this problem.

Still on the subject of farming, members will be aware that there is a lot of movement from cattle farming and even grain or crop farming, to animal farming in some provinces, ours being an example. Now what is happening is that conflict is emerging between the cattle farmers and the game farmers, because the game farmers are introducing … Oh, I see my time is running out.

Let me just finish this point as it is very important. They are introducing buffalo which suffer from what they call snotsiekte'' [bovine malignant catarrhal fever]. Once a cow catchessnotsiekte’’, one has to destroy the whole herd. What we are suggesting is that Onderstepoort investigate the possibility of developing vaccine so that we can deal with ``snotsiekte’’. [Applause.] Mr M M MAMASE (Eastern Cape): Chairperson, Deputy President, hon Premiers and hon members of this House, as we return to relevance and the first principles of planning, sustainable development is development that takes care of the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations.

Sustainable development encompasses several pillars, including economic development, social acceptability, rates management, resource productivity and environmental concerns, as they are scheduled to be discussed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

The strongest pillar of sustainable development is capital development. The other pillars are, by their very nature, passive agents of development. It is the people, or the human capital, that are active agents of development and change. People take decisions, make choices from the available alternatives and combine the available resources, or factors of production, in order to satisfy their needs and sometimes their wants. For these needs to be satisfied, a conducive environment in the form of enabling policies has to be created, whereby people are able to make choices and decisions, and take responsibility for their lives. Skills development comes before structural development. We have witnessed the destruction of the environment and vandalism, which are not good for the future welfare of the people, owing to the slow development of human resources in this country.

Women should be at the forefront of development, and for them to have a significant impact they need education, intellectual skills, moral and spiritual support, and be fortified with strength and character. Sustainable development relies on both the men and the women of this country, who are the distinct two sides of the same coin as their efforts can never be separated.

For us to achieve our objectives in sustainable urban and rural development, our strategies should incorporate a very strong element of women empowerment as a priority. This is the determining factor of how integrated our urban and rural development strategies are. If we do this, we will be able to attain socially cohesive and stable urban and rural communities, viable institutions and sustainable economies.

Corrosive poverty has also got national attention, and the current functions, as reflected in the Constitution, are becoming a reality. Therefore, women need recognition in all spheres of existing institutions, not just by their presence and visibility. They need to have clearly defined roles, whether political, social or otherwise. For women to be fully empowered, they have to be involved in policy and decision-making structures at all levels and at all times. If we do this, our institutions will become viable and stable.

Rural development in the form of ham production and sugar production is progressing in the Eastern Cape, and women have taken and occupied their rightful place in these projects. The Constitution provides for interdependence and interrelations in respect of competencies, policies and lawmaking. The key guiding principle of co-operative governance and intergovernance are based on consultation on matters of common interest, legislation, and on the avoidance of legal procedures against one another.

Rural development, in our view … mhlalingaphambili, uphuhliso emaphandleni luya kuthi ukuze lukwazi ukuqhubeka ngolu hlobo esifuna ngalo sibandakanye … [… Chairperson, in order for development to take place the way we want it, we should involve … ] it involves both black and white commercial farmers in what we called a mentorship programme in the province. This mentorship programme has resulted in a number of areas.

Uboya begusha kweliya phondo, abantu abasezilalini babuthengisa naphesheya namhlanje. Iitapile ziyaveliswa kweliya Phondo. Siza kutyisa abaya bantu baseRhawutini. Amapayina siza kuwasa eMalaysia. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[People in rural areas sell their sheep’s wool overseas nowadays. Potatoes are being produced in that province. We are even going to supply people in Gauteng. We are going to take our pineapple produce to Malaysia.]

The only terrain in which we are still struggling, is that of cattle- farming, but, “ndifuna ukuthi, Mhlalingaphambili” … [Chairperson, I would like to inform people … ] for the last three years … “le mbasa yeFemale Farmer of the Year ithatyathwa leliya phondo minyaka le. Ithi ke loo nto oomama banendima enkulu abayidlalayo. Ndiphinde ndithi … [“that the Female Farmer of the Year Award has been won by somebody from that province every year. That shows the importance of the role that women play. Furthermore, I would like to say that … “]

It is, therefore, necessary for all of us to exploit the structural arrangement of governance to empower the women of our country. We need to emphasise human capital development in order for the women to occupy key strategic decision-making positions in our country.

The theatre of action, in terms of service delivery, in urban and rural areas at local government level has been seen as the key dynamic in power relations at local government level. This is the most crucial sphere of government, owing to its proximity to the people, women, men, children and the disabled. This means, therefore, that as we continue to devolve and decentralise powers, functions and resources to local government structures, this should be coupled with the devolution of human resource personnel, who are adequately equipped with the relevant skills and expertise to speed up service delivery.

Tomorrow, as we celebrate Women’s Day, we will also be laying to rest the remains of Saartjie Baartman. This symbolises the era from which we come. Despite the bombardment by all the newspapers in our country as far as education, social welfare and health are concerned, we continue with our vigilance to better the lives of our people.

The Nqura development and the East London industrial development zone are taking shape and continue to be sources of employment in our province. Concurrent competencies are being deepened, and in the rural areas rural development and sustainable development are constantly on course. [Applause.]

Ms M P THEMBA: Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon premiers, hon members, we have heard about the beautiful things, the programmes, that are taking place in all our provinces. The next thing that we would like to hear about are the monitoring structures that are in place in all our different provinces, for example the offices on the status of women in the premiers’ offices - the gender focal point in all the departments - so that we may be able to interact with the relevant structures.

Tomorrow we will be celebrating our day, Women’s Day, the day that signifies the important role our women have played in our democracy. They left behind their aprons and took up arms, saying: ``We cannot stand aside and do nothing when our rights are being abused, when human rights have no meaning in the country of our forefathers, when apartheid is destroying the core of the soul of our people.’’

Tomorrow we will be celebrating the power of women. As the saying goes: ``Wathint’umfazi wathint’imbhokodo’’ [For we are the rocks and the anchor of our nation.]

I am sure, hon Chairperson, you will agree with me when I say that no words can ever explain the importance of the role of women in our society - from being the ones who give birth to nations to being the ones who mother the nations.

Phela, ngibo bomake labangubona batsatsa litjalo balibophe elukhalweni. [Indeed, it is the mothers who take full responsibility by fastening shawls around their waists.] Ke bona bomme ba ba tshwarang thipa ka fa bogaleng. [Those are the mothers who stand up for their children.]

Therefore, in any democracy the role of women cannot be underestimated or undermined. I would like to quote from research done by the Inter- parliamentary Union entitled Politics: Women’s Insight:

Democracy is participation. By their participation, women broaden the democratic arena. If women are not present in politics and at decision- making levels, there is no democracy. Decisions taken without women’s perspectives lack credibility in a democratic context.

Unfortunately, history has shown the contrary. We have read in our newspapers and seen from our own experiences in our country the degradation of women’s abilities, the undermining of their intellectual capacity, not to mention the abuse of women and children. As a nation we have come a long way in terms of gender empowerment, and yet our journey has just begun.

As we all know, transformation is a long walk on its own, but as a winning nation we are determined to combat the abuse of women and promote the empowerment of women. We need more women behind legislation so that we can, indeed, practice what we preach and see to it that laws that protect women are implemented. In that way, equality, as the foundation of democracy, will move from law to being practice in order to guarantee freedom for all, thereby making us proud to all call our nation a true democracy.

Our Constitution embraces gender equality and the progressive realisation of basic social rights, such as access to education, housing and health for women. It protects women’s rights to control their bodies and it also includes freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

This has led to numerous sectoral policies and legislation aimed at transforming the social delivery system and at the reprioritisation of our national budget, with a deliberate bias in favour of the social sector. In co-operation with civil society, the Government has implemented major reforms providing broader access for women to education and illiteracy programmes, to improved reproductive health services, poverty eradication policies, and national strategies to combat domestic violence.

Through its Department of Trade and Industry, Government has developed various support mechanisms and initiatives to support and strengthen women’s enterprises. Technology for Women in Business, Twib, and the SA Women Entrepreneur Network, Sawen, are two major projects targeting women specifically in business.

The Department of Trade and Industry also has a separate gender unit which is mandated to implement gender capacity-building programmes that specifically target women and business skills. In this respect, the focus is on rural women.

We held a national gender summit last year. The idea of having such a summit was seen as mutually beneficial for the newly established structures constituting the core of the national gender machinery. The purpose of this summit was to bring together key national stakeholders and a few regional stakeholders in the field of gender equality in order to provide a platform for stakeholders to engage, assess progress and redefine the strategic direction for the national gender machinery.

The resolutions of the summit were about, amongst other things, reinstating gender budgeting in planning, policy and implementation; sexual offences laws; the UIF meeting the needs of women workers, especially domestic workers; and holding hearings on how South Africa can best address the impact of HIV and Aids on women.

The Office on the Status of Women committed itself to developing a comprehensive national gender action plan that would activate the principle of South Africa’s national policy framework for women’s empowerment and gender equality in which women and poverty, HIV/Aids, rural strategy, women and the economy, and violence against women will be priorities.

In addition, the Commission on Gender Equality, the Office on the Status of Women and the parliamentary Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women will have the complementary mandate of promoting and protecting gender equality.

To conclude, the challenges we are facing as a nation in terms of women are mere challenges and not obstacles. They are challenges that come with transformation, with more women taking charge and being the drivers of and pioneers in the empowerment of women, and with their playing a crucial proactive role in the legislation. Siyawunqoba. [We will win the battle.] We must take our democracy to the next level, and indeed the objectives of an African Union and those of Nepad will be realised. Indeed, this century will be ours, for these objectives cannot be realised without the proactive participation of women.

On that note, I would like to congratulate the Government of the people on its effort and the role it has played in ensuring that women’s rights are indeed realised.

Ngifisela bomake bonkhe imicimbi lemnandzi kusasa. Igama lamakhosikazi alibongwe! [Tandla.] [I wish all mothers a successful celebration tomorrow. Let the voice of women be praised! [Applause.]]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Chairperson, premiers, MECs and all delegates of the NCOP, you will agree that we have taken up the entire afternoon debating. If I were to respond to specific inputs that have been made, we will sit here until tomorrow. [Laughter.] The inputs have been very enriching and wide-ranging, touching on all the key issues that needed to be touched on by this House. I would, therefore, like to take a few minutes to really express my gratitude and also to acknowledge the input and contributions that have been made by the members. They have indeed been inspiring.

With regard to provinces, premiers and representatives of premiers have indicated the kind of development and progress that is being made. I think that almost every province had an opportunity to indicate to us what is happening in a number of areas. This has indeed been encouraging, as has been the determination shown by premiers to continue to implement the programmes. I think that if I were to go through each province, again, I could take a lot of time. I must say that it has been encouraging.

The contributions covered a number of areas. An area that has been covered is the area of health. The issue of HIV/Aids was almost always out and, I think, very correctly so, given the challenge that it has given us as a nation. I think all of us are agreed that this issue needs our almost undivided attention in order for us to deal with it. We should look at this issue as a challenge, rather than as an issue with which to play politics. I think that if we can succeed in putting our thoughts together on this issue, we would have done this country a lot of good. The Premier of the Western Cape, in dealing with this issue, remembered the statement made by the Cabinet on 17 April. Given the controversies that have come with the process, he was keen to check whether the Government still reaffirms that position. Certainly, we reaffirm that position - Government’s stance on that - and it has not changed. We will continue to take that stance. We believe that is an issue we all need to pay our attention to as much as possible. It is a complicated issue, an issue of life and death. It is a very emotional issue. So in politics we should not use such an issue in a manner that does not promote help in terms of seeking solutions, as it is an issue which really touches our lives.

There were other things that were raised on the question of the broad area of health which, I think, indicated the attention which provinces are paying to this issue. I was also happy that some explanations were given of the Global Fund in the process of contributions, Dr Zweli Mkhize having discussed it. I hope that we can look at how we benefit from this, rather than seeing it as an issue on which to score points.

The issue of poverty and our determination to deal with it were raised by almost everyone. I am certain that all programmes of Government, in all spheres of government, are in the main aimed at dealing with poverty and underdevelopment. One is encouraged, indeed, to see the sensitivity with which we have dealt with that.

We have also dealt with the question of economic development from the different angles of the provinces. The Premier of Limpopo province took time to give details and examples of how they have tried to deal with the most difficult aspect of rural areas in terms of bringing about development. I am sure that it would be very interesting if we could perhaps have an indaba about rural development as an issue that needs to be attended to very specifically, because I believe that it is only when we succeed in bringing about development in the rural areas that we will in fact have delivered a telling blow to poverty. This would be particularly so if it could be in support of rural development as a programme of Government. It is correct that although, in general terms, areas will be the same, there will be peculiarities that might need very specific attention. I think that, in this regard, colleagues discussed all Government programmes, including rural and urban development.

I must note, as well, the point made, firstly, by the Premier of Gauteng and by other premiers regarding the question of the delay of funds from the national sphere to projects to which money has been allocated. I think that is an issue that needs to be addressed. I do believe that the manner in which we handle finances, or the flow of finances, does need to be looked at because at times the systems - correct and important as they are - if dealt with in a particular way, would actually tend to undermine their very objective.

We do need to discuss that issue at a given time because one could ask how we can get the moneys quickly enough and how we commit the moneys. I remember dealing with this issue while I was still in the province. We still had what was called the RDP Fund. Once the announcement was made, they thought that the money was in the province. As one walked around one could hear them say: “Bayayidla imali yethu laba.” [These people are pocketing our money.] I had to explain and I used the peasant analogy or explanation.

Ngangiye ngithi, hhayi, ayikho le nto. Iyinto efana nokuthola imbuzi noma inkomo ukuze uyifuye. Isuke ise le kude futhi isashaywe uphawu lokuthi ngeyalapha ekhaya nje kuphela. Kodwa isuke ingakazaleli futhi ingakasengelwa lapha ekhaya. Izalela le isengwe le esibayeni esikhulu. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[I used to say that it was not true. It was like getting a goat or a cow to keep, but it has not yet come to your home. It is still there, at your father’s place - the main kraal - and the only thing that shows that it belongs to you is the mark on it. But it has not given you a calf or milk. It has given birth to a calf there, and it is being milked there - at the main kraal.]

I am sure this is an issue that we need to address, not with any conflict but as an issue to help us speed up delivery. I think that is very important. This might address the issue of the moneys that, at times, do not get utilised. I have noticed that at times people rush around to use the money quickly because the time has come. So maybe what becomes more important is the balancing of the books, rather than delivery. That is an issue that needs to be discussed. I am happy that the premiers have raised it. I do not think that they raised it as a criticism, but as an issue that needs to be addressed in order to find a way to deal with it. I will certainly convey this message to the national Government.

Issues were raised about the World Summit on Sustainable Development. I am sure there is not much one can say in that regard, except that it is true that the approach by developed countries and by us on a number of issues is an issue that all of us need to address. Among other things is the issue of the environment, which was touched upon here. For a developed country, the major emphasis is: ``Do not touch the environment; do not interfere with the environment’’, whilst they have gone through a number of stages, including damaging the environment.

The problem that we need to deal with from the perspective of the developing world is: What does one do if one has a beautiful environment, part of might even be declared a world heritage site, but adjacent to it is a very poor community? How does one balance those two? To me, that is a critical issue that the summit needs to deal with.

I have in mind a community in KwaZulu-Natal where there is one of the outstanding wetlands areas of St Lucia. But this area is described as the worst poverty-stricken area. How does one balance those two? How can one sit with beautiful nature and not touch it while people are dying of starvation? This is something we need to balance because it becomes a contradiction in terms. How does one balance the two and, therefore, how does one balance environment with the people who have to live on this planet? This is an issue which, in my view, the developed and developing world need to discuss in order to find a balance because it is easy to find a balance.

I am happy that the issue of Nepad has been raised. I feel very strongly about it because I think, as the speakers have indicated, it is the first time that Africa has a plan for Africa by Africans, almost like the Marshall Plan after the Second World War. We are not begging for money with it. Rather we are making partnerships amongst ourselves and saying to the world: ``Partner with us on an equal level’’. I think this is an important programme that we have to look at in terms of its bigger and smaller aspects and decide how we can implement it.

The Premier of the Northern Cape raised the issue of rail transport, among other things. That is an issue which I could feel everybody was agreed on in the House. This is something that the Minister of Transport is dealing with. The question is how we can move faster on rail transport, because we cannot call ourselves a developed country on the continent when we do not utilise transport in the manner in which it is utilised in developed countries. Developed countries have tube trains that run underground.

Izitimela zakhona zihamba ngaphansi komhlaba lapho kuthi uma usuhamba ngaphansi komhlaba ucabange ukuthi usufike kwabakini asebakushiya kanti lutho, kuseyinto yentuthuko nje. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[Developed countries’ trains move underground. When one is underground, one may think that one has come to the world of one’s forefathers. But that is not it; it is just the level of development.]

It is important for us to look into that in a very concentrated fashion. The plan is there, and I think that the Minister is working on it. It is a question of how we support that so that it becomes a reality regarding employment and transportation.

Regarding the lack of capacity in Salga, as Cllr Mlaba said, I think it is serious if Salga complains that they have less capacity. I would understand if it was a district somewhere in the bundu, not a metro like Durban, which would cry to us that there is no capacity when we are told that they have enough money. It is really a question of planning and also of appreciating their participation here and in other structures. It is important that they should budget for that.

Regarding the question of budgeting, metros, in my view, must carry the poor ones. I do not think that we could do otherwise. It is an issue I would imagine the NCOP should look at, because it looks like an artificial issue. I am not saying that other structures at the lower levels do not have problems, but this cannot be a general problem. I do not think that the Johannesburg or Cape Town metros complain. I do not think that they cannot help, because here we are not saying that everybody comes at the same time. Representatives have to be identified so that they can be in a position to participate. So I think that we need to do something about it.

Regarding what Kgoshi said about pushing an elephant, I would like to respond because a few weeks ago we were here in Cape Town to launch the National House of Traditional Leaders. I observed very wonderful relations between the Minister and amakhosi. There were statements made that the matters were being resolved. So I hope that the elephant is now walking on its own. [Laughter.]

An issue was raised about the implementation of policy in terms of different conditions in different provinces which, I think, we need to take into account, as we do a number of things. Peace and stability in our country, on our continent and in the world is, I think, what we all strive for and what we should try to work for. It is important to do so. The time of war is over. Even Europe, whose history has just been about wars, has stopped fighting. They are now doing development and coming together, uniting. It would be very useful if we could do so.

I also note the point raised by Premier Van Schalkwyk on the issue of the politicians who are using the Afrikaners for some narrow objectives. I believe that that issue is very important and should be handled with the greatest care because, at times, people or politicians become too emotional about it. I have always had a problem with politics that is based on ethnicity. It does not have a future.

Politics must be broad enough to be based on how society can move forward and on how we interpret society. Of course it should take into account the realities. But once politics becomes based on ethnicity - and that becomes the beginning and the end - it becomes too dangerous. I think Mr van Schalkwyk is correct, therefore, to say that some people are utilising this for very narrow ends. I hope that South Africans would realise by now that that does not take anybody very far.

Just like the politics of opposition, there is a misunderstanding of what opposition is. People believe that to be in the opposition is to oppose everything. [Interjections.] If one stands up one must say something just to oppose. I do not think that is opposition. It is something else. One cannot forget what the broader interests of the people are and one cannot fail to distinguish between what is good that is being done, and what is not good. That is particularly so in a country where one would know that one would not win government in one’s lifetime. One then has to ask: What can I do to help so that the conditions of the people can be addressed and I become a constructive opposition?

It is one thing if people think that the gap is too narrow in that they think they can win and therefore use other methods, but it is another thing when one knows that one will never win in one’s lifetime, or even in the lifetime of the generations to come. So one has to be constructive and place the interests of the country above the party. Therefore, by being in opposition one must be helpful to the people.

I totally agree with Mr van Schalkwyk that the politics must change. We must have politics of building the nation, ie the politics that always seek to unite our people because they need to be united. I think it is not correct for politicians to spend time, energy and money working towards dividing people. It cannot be right. If people have those kinds of political beliefs - I am sure people can have all kinds of political beliefs, but wars have started because of the wrong beliefs - that is actually wrong. It cannot be right.

I am happy, therefore, that a member very strongly and quite emotionally stressed the point that we needed to work together. I was very happy with that contribution because it helps the country. It makes the country feel comfortable. If we dissolve tension, even if we do not have everything, I am sure that this country will move towards prosperity very fast. It is the duty of every politician to do so. We should try our best to talk to our colleagues who believe otherwise. If need be, we should teach them a bit of politics. [Interjections.]

I was also happy that we talked a great deal about tomorrow - the big day for women. It would be important, therefore, to end on that note by thanking everyone who participated. Also to you, Chairperson, I would like to say that this debate was properly placed in that it took place just a day before 9 August. We have made a contribution as a country by attending to the issue of the empowerment of women. We have actually become a leader in the world. Everybody looks towards South Africa. I can guarantee members that some of our women who participate in international organisations have, indeed, done us proud. They have made an effective contribution. Everybody believes today that women in this country who are in positions are not there because they are tokens, but because of merit. They are making a huge contribution. They argue on matters in the world that anyone would find very difficult if they did not have the correct points. That is an important thing.

I would like to appeal to them because they have a way of dealing with issues. In a Zulu setting, if a man is really fighting and fighting and cannot be stopped by anyone, even his brothers cannot stop him, one needs to call a wife to come to stop him. The wife comes carrying a baby, with no stick at all, and asks: Yise kabani, wenzani?'' [So-and-so's father, what are you doing?] Then one will see the man go back and say Ngiyokuthola kusasa.’’ [I will get you tomorrow.] [Laughter.] The mother has spoken. I think that they should participate in the process of diffusing tensions in the country and of bringing about unity.

They need to participate and focus on this because the country can hear them better. At times it is worrying when one hears politicians, when faced with political differences, talking in a manner that does not help the country. We can talk. If we fail, we have the Constitution and we can go to court. Why should we then get angry? It does not help. I hope they can do that. [Interjections.] Yes, that member heard. I am sure the mother was talking. In Zulu they say: “Wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo!’’ [You have touched women, you have touched the rock!]

Empa ha re bua Sesotho re re, `Mosadi o tshwara thipa ka bohaleng’. [Ditlatse.] [A real mother is the one who protects her children under any circumstances.] [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

The House adjourned at 18:00. ____


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson:
 (1)    Assent by the President of the Republic in respect of the
     following Bills:
     (a)     Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill [B 8B -
              2002] - Act No 25 of 2002 (assented to and signed by
              President on 31 July 2002); and

     (b)     Taxation Laws Amendment Bill [B 26 - 2002] - Act No 30 of
              2002 (assented to and signed by President on 31 July

National Council of Provinces:

  1. The Chairperson:
 (1)    Bills passed by National Council of Provinces on 2 August 2002:
     To be submitted to President of the Republic for assent:

     (i)     Reinstatement of Enrolment of Certain Deceased Legal
          Practitioners Bill [B 6B - 2002] (National Assembly - sec 75).

     (ii)    Insolvency Amendment Bill [B 14B - 2002] (National
          Assembly - sec 75).


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:


  1. The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:
 Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Independent Electoral
 Commission regarding the Management and Administration of the
 Represented Political Parties' Fund for 1999-2000, including the Report
 of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 1999-2000 [RP 14-