National Council of Provinces - 26 June 2003

THURSDAY, 26 JUNE 2003 __


The Council met at 14:05.

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


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mnr A E VAN NIEKERK: Voorsitter, ek gee hiermee kennis dat ek by die volgende sitting sal voorstel:

Dat die Raad duidelik kennis neem dat die Nuwe NP onderneem om voort te gaan om die -

(1) blatante onwaarheid en onmoontlikheid van die DA as alternatiewe Regering te ontbloot; en

(2) plakkaat, pamflet en mediaveldtogte oor veiligheidsaangeleenthede, sonder enige implementeringsbevoegdheid, te ontbloot as foefies om die emosies van kiesers uit te buit vir politieke oorlewing. (Translation of Afrikaans notice of motion follows.)

[Mr A E VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, I give notice that I shall move at the next sitting of the House:

That the Council clearly notes the NNP’s undertaking to continue to expose the -

(1) blatant untruth and impossibility of the DA being the alternative government; and

(2) poster, pamphlet and media campaigns on safety matters, without any powers of implementation, as gimmicks to exploit the emotions of the electorate for political survival.]


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr N M RAJU: Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) notes that the Proteas, under new Captain Graeme Smith, commence their quest for cricket redemption when they play a rejuvenated England under their new captain Michael Vaughan on Saturday at the famous Oval; and

(2) wishes the South African team every success in their attempt to regain some semblance of cricket authority after their woeful performances at the Cricket World Cup.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.

                         CURRENT DEBT CRISIS

                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr K D S DURR: Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) notes with concern -

   (a)  the spiralling debt trap that people are getting caught in;

   (b)  that unemployment is a critical  factor  causing  people  to  be
       lured into borrowing practices from which they  have  difficulty
       to escape;

   (c)  that  gambling  is  fundamentally  a  huge  contributor  to  the
       increase in debt and poverty;
   (d)  that the current debt crisis  is  close  to  becoming  a  social
       disaster, which needs serious  intervention  measures,  such  as
       education and the imposition of severe penalties  on  those  who
       recklessly encourage people  at  risk  to  borrow  beyond  their
       means; and

   (e)  that the micro-lenders primarily create the  easiest  access  to
       money, and  then  by  the  deduction  of  huge  amounts  through
       subsequent garnishee orders increase the  debt-related  problems
       of our nation;

(2) is therefore pleased that Parliament is to take steps to address this issue; and

(3) calls on the Government to investigate in particular the impact and contribution of the micro-lending and gambling industries on poverty and the debt trap.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution. KE MOJA ANTIDRUG ABUSE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

                         (Draft Resolution)

Ms L JACOBUS: Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) supports and endorses the Ke Moja anti-drug abuse public awareness campaign that was launched earlier today, 26 June 2003, in which we will be joining hands with all stakeholders within the country and internationally in saying, “No thanks, I am fine. I do not want to do drugs.”;

(2) calls on all members to heed the call on International Day Against Drug Abuse, and to seize the opportunity to persevere in our government’s endeavours through policies, legislation and intervention strategies to prevent and treat the problem of drug dependency;

(3) encourages members to support the work of all stakeholders, including government entities such as the Central Drug Authority, who work tirelessly, despite the increases in gangsterism and illicit drug trafficking, to prevent and treat drug dependency;

(4) supports a campaign to make parents, teachers and communities aware that our children attending school are increasingly becoming soft targets for illicit drug distribution and abuse; and

(5) congratulates the Minister of Social Development on his initiative in launching such a campaign.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mrs E N LUBIDLA: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) notes once more, benefits attributed to the strength of the rand and lower oil prices, which pushed the Producer Price Index to 1.1%;

(2) further notes that a weaker rand was attributed by some economists to Government’s policies;

(3) believes that a lower Producer Price Index is a good step in the right direction and will benefit ordinary citizens;

(4) further believes that this news proves that our Government has exceptional policies despite what other people previously wanted us to believe; and

(5) therefore applauds the South African Government as a collective for its exceptional management of the economy.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mnr A E VAN NIEKERK: Voorsitter, ek stel sonder kennisgewing voor:

Dat die Raad -

(1) daarvan kennis neem dat -

   (a)  die Amerikaanse ambassade vir hul personeel taalkursusse aanbied
       om hulle voor te berei vir die land waarheen hulle gaan;

   (b)  Mary Grace McGeehan, eerste sekretaris van politieke sake in die
       Amerikaanse ambassade in Kaapstad, die geleentheid aangegryp het
       om Afrikaans te bemeester; en

   (c)  daar vandag, 26 Junie 2003, van haar afskeid geneem is, maar ook
       weet dat die inheemse Suid-Afrikaanse taal 'n brugbouer sal  bly
       tussen Suid-Afrika en waar sy ook al mag heen gaan; en

(2) alle ambassades versoek om ondersoek in te stel na die moontlikheid om Afrikaans en die ander inheemse Suid-Afrikaanse tale aan te bied vir personeel wat in Suid-Afrika diens moet doen.

[Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans draft resolution follows.)

[Mr A E VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) takes note that -

   (a)  the American embassy offers language courses for their personnel
       to prepare them for the country to which they are going;

   (b)  Mary Grace McGeehan, first secretary of political affairs in the
       American embassy in Cape Town, seized the opportunity to  master
       Afrikaans; and

   (c)  today, 26 June 2003, she was bidden  farewell,  but  also  knows
       that the indigenous South African language will remain a builder
       of bridges between South Africa and whichever country she may be
       going to; and

(2) requests all embassies to investigate the possibility of offering Afrikaans and the other indigenous South African languages to personnel who have to serve in South Africa.


Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mrs J N VILAKAZI: Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) notes that the Durban police are bracing themselves for a full-scale gang war on the city’s streets after the shooting of an alleged gangland enforcer outside a local nightclub;

(2) further notes that heightening fears of all-out warfare is the fact that Cape Town and Johannesburg gangs are known to be sending enforcers to Durban to protect their associates;

(3) believes that the looming turf war is an attempt to control the lucrative drug trade in the city; and

(4) therefore urges all the police officers in Durban to protect themselves.

Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Rev M CHABAKU: Chair, I move without notice:

That the Council -

(1) notes that -

   (a)  it is the celebration  of  the  48th  birthday  of  the  Freedom
       Charter, which was ratified in Kliptown on 26 June;

   (b)  it is the foundation of our new  South  Africa  and  our  world-
       acclaimed Constitution of South Africa;

   (c)  we recollect that both  these  documents  were  not  drafted  by
       experts but are the true wishes  of  all  the  people  of  South
       Africa of all backgrounds;

   (d)  we remember that we are here through the blood, sweat, tears and
       deaths of many people, young and old,  who  went  through  these
       agonies so that we may live; and

   (e)  we take pride that we, the indigenous Africans who suffered  and
       continue to suffer, yet never stood for "an eye for an eye", but
       instead we "turned enemies into friends" and we still strive  to
       share our land and our resources with all people; and

(2) reiterates its commitment to the last words in the Freedom Charter, which state thus:

   These freedoms we will fight for,
   Side by side,
   Throughout our lives,
   Until we have won our liberty.


Motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the Council, with the concurrence of the National Assembly, designates Ms B Thompson to replace Ms S N Ntlabati as representative of Parliament in the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum in terms of article 6(3) of the constitution of the said forum with immediate effect.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): As there is no speakers’ list, I shall now put the question. The question is that the motion be agreed to. As the decision is dealt with in terms of section 65 of the Constitution, I shall first ascertain whether all the delegation heads are present in the Chamber to cast their provinces’ votes. Are all heads of delegations present? [Interjections.] Yes, present. In accordance with Rule 71, I shall first allow provinces to make their declaration of vote if they so wish. Any province that wish to do so? None.

We shall now proceed to the voting on the question. I shall do so in an alphabetical order per province. Delegate heads must please indicate to the Chair whether they vote in favour or against or abstain from voting. Eastern Cape?

Ms P C P MAJODINA: Siyaxhasa. [We support.]


Mr T RALANE: In favour, Chair.


Ms D M RAMODIBE: Gauteng supports.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): KwaZulu-Natal?

Mrs J N VILAKAZI: Siyavuma. [We agree.]


Mr M I MAKOELA: Re a dumela. [We support.] The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Mpumalanga?

Ms M P THEMBA: Mpumalanga supports.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Northern Cape?

Mrs E N LUBIDLA: Northern Cape supports.


Mr Z S KOLWENI: North West ke wa rona. [North West supports.]

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Western Cape?

Mnr K D S DURR: The Western Cape supports.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Nine provinces voted in favour. I therefore declare the motion agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution. [Applause.]

May I take this opportunity to congratulate the member. I hope you will serve us with great dignity and great loyalty in that forum. I thank you on behalf of the Council. [Applause.]

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

                           (Policy debate)

Vote No 13 - Statistics SA:

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Deputy Chairperson, hon members, in opening the Budget Vote on Statistics SA, I’m reminded that as a nation we have an immense appetite for information, because this information tells us so many things about ourselves and about society in general. People need to measure all kinds of things.

Die Burger this morning discusses something that happened in one of the military bases. It says that the moral discipline in the camp could be measured by the speed with which a box of condoms was emptied. [Laughter.] People need to measure all kinds of things, but I don’t think that that is quite what we are going to talk about today.

Statistics SA must rise to the challenge to ensure that we have an agency that is legitimate, that has respect and credibility, and that is seen to produce accurate, reliable and timely statistics. This is a challenge that Statistics SA takes very seriously through hard work and dedication. However, we know that a number of difficulties and challenges remain.

I should, in introducing the Vote, advise members here that unlike the other departments that report to me - National Treasury and Sars - Statistics SA has a special statute which creates an arm’s-length relationship. This is so that what they do - the series that they undertake and all of the detail - is managed independently of Government. Whenever there’s a release, like the PPA release this week, I receive it at the same time as all other users. Normally Dr Hirschowitz, who’s in the box here, will send me an SMS to advise me of what the new release is. I have no prior sighting. Stats SA is fully compliant with the standard data dissemination service and system, as it obtains in the IMF. I do, however, have a very keen interest because I am accountable, at the end of the day, for the management of the organisation. So it is in this context that I rise to address this House.

Also, when an issue arises that in any way casts doubt on the quality of the statistics, we must move speedily. For instance, when we had the difficulty in relation to CPIX, we moved very swiftly to ensure that the Statistics Council, which is a body created by the same statute as a filter for the detail, would, in fact, undertake a review and be able to talk to South Africans about the changes that we want in respect of Stats SA going forward. In terms of the Statistics Act, the Stats Council, in fact, has the responsibility of being the custodians of statistics in South Africa.

Of course, whenever there’s a mistake, it is a matter of concern, although I should say that the term ``accurate statistics’’ remains an oxymoron. It’s the best estimates in any circumstance ever. Don’t look like that, hon Durr. Accurate statistics don’t exist. What the statistics agency must do is to minimise the margin of error, which is normal across the world. This is so that if you have a release that is outside the norms and standards you set for yourselves - and those have to be the highest - then, of course, it is cause for concern.

The CPIX debacle of a few weeks ago is still very fresh in our minds, but there are other agencies that have committed similar or worse errors. What is important is not that the error occurred, but how you deal with it going forward. I’d like to submit to this House for consideration and debate that the speed with which we moved and the involvement of the Statistics Council suggest that we take these matters sufficiently seriously. We want Stats SA to be transparent; we want its outputs to be seen as having a very high level of legitimacy, because we need accurate data, or as close thereto as possible, to ensure that we can have informed decision-making.

An agency like Stats SA requires stability. I have spoken to people in statistics agencies around the world. They tend not to be revolutionaries in big T-shirts of Che Guevara and so on, like the hon Jacobus. They tend to be quiet, numbers people. They work in stable organisations. They are very focused on outputs.

However, in the context of South Africa, this is a battle which we are still very much engaged in, because what we had in 1995 or 1994 come democracy was not an organisation with a sound basis for statistics. It was, in fact, an organisation in chronic turmoil: unco-ordinated and untimely economic statistical series and a complete absence of attention to social issues, such as poverty and the measurement of access to services.

It may come as a complete surprise - and, in fact, often when we share this information with outsiders, it is surprising - that on 8 July this year we will be releasing the results of only the second full census undertaken in this country. Prior to that, the last census in 1991, the 1991 census, measured primarily white areas - they knocked on doors and did a full census. The rest, black areas in South Africa, were shot from aerial photographs, and then of course there were the TBVC states and self- governing territories.

If that is the base of your information, you clearly are not interested in knowing what the social conditions are that people live under. So changing that requires a monumental effort. I think our focus must be on the extent of that effort to ensure, as decision-makers all, we have a base of information that is reliable.

Each one of us, regardless of the party we represent here, has been deployed to work in a constituency. Each one of us, therefore - if we don’t have the capacity to know the data of all of South Africa - needs to know what is happening within our constituency, needs to know what changes have taken place in the past nine-and-a-half years, and needs to be able to be accountable to the constituency that one serves.

In that regard, the position of members of Parliament in relation to statistics is exceedingly important. If those stats are therefore incorrect, they become unusable and they diminish the ability of elected representatives to serve and for democracy to be the winner at the end of the day. So I’m glad, also, that the NCOP chose to take this debate on Stats SA because it is so fundamentally important.

In order to produce those outputs, we have to focus on building an organisation that is well equipped with people and systems. We have to train and retrain staff. We have to ensure at Stats SA that the decisions by the Statistician-General, Mr Lehohla, here, because the Act gives him the responsibility of prioritising the series undertaken by Stats SA - is in full accordance with the needs of South Africa, and not something fanciful, inherited or copied from elsewhere. Our needs in South Africa are developmental in every sense of the word, and we must ensure that we have accurate information that deals with those kinds of issues.

Building an organisation that is properly equipped with human capital is proving to be the hardest part. For the past two years we have been searching for individuals to head up both economic stats and informatics within Stats SA. For the past two years, we have not found people like that.

There is one university in South Africa, namely Wits, that teaches a course on official statistics and that course was introduced at the beginning of

  1. This neglect - yes, let’s be good about it: it’s a benign neglect in academia about the value of statistics - does not serve democracy well. It is something we must take up and take up very seriously to ensure that we have a deep reservoir of people that we can draw on to populate this organisation and ensure that individuals like ourselves, members of Parliament, members of provincial legislatures and councillors, have the information that allows us to improve on the quality of the service we render.

We have partnerships; wonderful partnerships with a whole range of the best institutions in the world. Statistics Canada, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Statistics Sweden are three of the partners from which we learn and with which we share. We also have relationships with Makerere University in Uganda where a number of our people have to go for training - undergraduate and postgraduate. In fact, we have a few PhD students there at the moment. In addition, we have a relationship with the University of Pittsburgh … which one? Oh, it is with the University of Pennsylvania. I keep forgetting that one.

We have these relationships because Stats SA, amongst our domestic responsibilities, also has to be active in developing accurate information and a demographic base especially on the African continent. We are active in this regard with the University of Pennsylvania.

Our relationships with these other agencies put us in a position of learning. Last night, after the debates in this House, I was privileged to meet the recently retired head of Statistics Canada, who is visiting with Stats SA and who will help us. He was explaining to me the kind of organisation that Stats Canada has become. It is an organisation with a 95- year history. Stats Canada is an organisation which, until now, has had 11 heads of the organisation. They know the history of the organisation. They know its ups and downs. They know when the changes have happened.

Stats Canada today does not take people with junior degrees. They want master’s graduates. Then they can be selective and choose the people with the As, because the organisation has developed a reputation that is strong, that makes it an employer of choice, and so they can be selective.

At this stage of the game in South Africa, we battle to find people with statistical literacy to employ so that we can train them once they are inside the organisation. Canada, as hon members may be aware, has about 30 million people. Stats Canada employs 5 000 people; permanent people. Then there are people who are taken in on contract to do particular surveys, or to do a big project like a census.

The number of South Africans there are we will keep secret until 8 July, when Stats SA hands over Census 2001 to the President. But for the number of us that there are, Stats SA employs a contingent of 804 people. That is the comparison. If you look at Stats Canada, for every three professionals there is one administrative staff member. Amongst our 804 members of staff you almost, in fact, have the inverse position.

Now this is not for want of trying. It isn’t even for want of money. What we need in South Africa is a pool of people who can populate this organisation to ensure that we, as decision-makers, have accurate statistics because people are properly mobilised and they are available. So the first challenge for us is one of availability.

Sitting in the box are a number of the senior management of Stats SA. The statistician-general, his two deputies, and a number of other members of senior management are here. Whilst we have learnt from other organisations elsewhere in the world, often the individuals who are sitting in the box are having to do other things.

In the middle of the processing of the census, Dr Hirschowitz, whose job is quality control and who is involved in that, calls me on a Sunday morning because there is big storm in Pretoria and the roof is leaking. Now what the statistician has to do with the leaking roof describes part of the difficulty. [Laughter.] So you need to retool this organisation and ensure that you have a focus, and a focus on the outputs.

But in order to do that you need to be able to draw on a lot more people - many, many more South Africans. In truth, owing to the dirth of South African talent available, I would not be incorrect in saying that if you come to Stats SA you will find a truly AU organisation, because we employ Africans from virtually every country on the continent. These are the offsets. This the challenge. I’m not rising to make excuses for anything.

Members of the select committee would have visited Stats SA on various occasions. Members should engage with this. I think that other members of the NCOP must come to understand because this is the enormity of the challenge.

However, that notwithstanding, Stats SA produces 118 different data series. Amongst these, the biggest, of course, is the population census which, by statute, is conducted every five years. The other series include the national accounts, such as the gross domestic product; price data; the CPI; the PPI and its various derivatives; quarterly surveys of employment and earnings; the labour force surveys; income and expenditure surveys; poverty statistics; and one of the most advanced geographic information systems.

When hon members return to Parliament after the recess and constituency period, we will avail some staff to demonstrate to members the value of the geographic information system: how you can zero in on your constituency and understand what exists there. This is because in the design of Census 2001, South Africa was broken up into what we call ``enumerator areas’’, roughly 130 houses each. In terms of those 130 houses we are able to map that information. After 8 July some of the information will be available on the Internet. Members who are familiar with the Web can access that information and begin to understand. To get there actually requires a heck of a lot of hard work.

In Census 2001, 10,3 million households were visited, and in every case the questionnaire was 12 pages long. I think that if you total that, you begin to understand the magnitude of the challenge.

Then, once you have the information you have to process it. And having processed it, you need to ensure that the information is correct, because sometimes funny things happen. You find three year olds with PhDs, and so on. You have to sort out those kinds of things. All of that have now been checked and will be available for consumption by South Africa on 8 July. Whilst that is happening, there must be regular issues of CPI and PPI, and household surveys of this or that kind, as well as certain checks in the national accounts, all of which Statistics SA has to do on a continuous basis.

So, once this information is handed to the President on 8 July, and we know that the information is as accurate as can be in the circumstances, a new battle begins, one which will transform the NCOP, now a place of enomous calm, into a centre of turmoil. Because part of what we will need to do is to use the results of Census 2001 to redesign the formula by which we allocate resources to provinces. So, the hon members form the Eastern Cape are going to say that Gauteng told lies, and Gauteng is going to say that it wasn’t them, but that it was the Western Cape. They are going to say that Gauteng is mistaken and that they should go to Mpumalanga, because those people should be recounted there are not as many as they say there are.

These are going to be the issues that will dominate the redesign of the formula as we go forward, but it is going to be an important process to go through. So, the quality of the information we have at our disposal for Budget-making and for equitable share distribution is going to be exceedingly important. It is important, because statistics and census, in particular, find a place in the way in which we live out our constitutional mandate, and the way in which we deliver democracy in South Africa.

I said earlier that this census is the second census. Now we have two censuses undertaken in South Africa, five years apart, but the 1996 Census was the ``dawn of democracy’’ census. The next census followed two years after a period of intense policy-making. In 2001 there have already been a number of years of policy implementation and the changes must be measurable, and that is what we need to look for. We must ensure that we can understand whether we are living up to the mandate, that contract which we have with people about a better life for all, that is the key element to be measured in the results of Census 2001.

The quality control is provided by the Statistics Council. I asked one member of the Statistics Council yesterday, who has a day job, she is a professor at the university, how many hours she worked on Statistics SA in

  1. She said that it would be substantianlly more than 300 hours. Now I do not think that we even pay her R300 for that. But these are South Africans who have given of themselves so that we can take appropriate decisions; so that we know that the quality of the information from Census 2001 will be sufficient for us to take informed decisions for the future. I think it is an enormous gift that we have in our ability to draw on these people.

We met the Statistics Council yesterday, we have interministerial committee, and they have shared with us some of their observations, without going into the numbers. In two weeks’ time, all South Africans and decision- makers, legislators in particular, will be armed with a new set of information. It will be available in a variety of forms: hard copies, copies available on the web and on cd-rom. It will be information that will be exceedingly important to our decision-making.

We would like to express our appreciation to the Statistician-General, the management and the staff of Statistics SA, and also to all those other people who were involved in the numeration and processing, many of whom worked on a contract basis. But that is a small part of the work. I think immediately after the census results, we would still have to debate a whole number of series: CPI, CPIX, PPI, and so on. Because the same people are going to knock on the door the Reserve Bank and say: Governor, with inflation coming down'', as I heard in the notice of motion earlier, you had better bring down interest rates, because we are paying too much for mortage bonds.’’

People expect reliable information so that they can take decisions about themselves. Employers expect reliable information for the negotiating period and trade unions expect information so that they can advise their members of negotiating strategies. Communities, in general, require accurate information so that they can take informed decisions, be it about the budgets of local authorities, the way in which IDPs are drawn up, or a myriad other things.

The information that Statistics SA produces shapes our lives in a very great way. It is a hard battle. We know what the shortcomings are, but I think we also owe a debt of gratitude to those who worked so incredibly hard, under difficult circumstances, to provide us with the information we have at our disposal.

Ndiyabulela, Mhlalingaphambili. [Kwaqhwatywa.] [I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]]

Ms Q D MAHLANGU: Thank you Deputy Chair, Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of Finance, members of the NCOP and the special delegates who are present here today. It is interesting that when the figures were withdrawn, because Statistics SA wanted to correct certain things, they made headlines, and everybody was running behind it. Today the Business Day has headlines about the lowest PPI figures in 30 years, and people are not making noise about it. This was the point the Minister emphasised.

The importance of the Statistics SA Budget Vote cannot be overemphasized. In 12 days’ time the results for Census 2001 will be formally released, and the President will receive it, as the Minister said. It is therefore crucial that hon members take a keen interest in what is going to come out of this product.

Amongst other reasons, census results are of importance for the following reasons: Firstly, the Minister talked about reviewing the formula and what role the new or proper information play in reviewing the equitable share formula, as suggested by the Treasury and the FFC. I briefed members about this a few weeks ago. Secondly, in order to make appropriate policy intervention, you need proper information, and I do believe that census results will assist us in this regard.

Thirdly, it will give us an indication of the total number of South Africans in our country, men, women and children. We will also be able to measure to what extent we have managed to improve and change the people in South Africa’s lives for the better. I think that for these reasons, amongst others, as I have stated, we should be taking the census results seriously.

In briefing the members of the NCOP on 11 June about the FFC recommendations for 2004-05, it became clear that there was a need for new information regarding the future. Therefore, the points I have alluded to earlier try to relate to the point that for us to be able to review the formula, to know, for instance, about the allocation to education and health, we need to have new information in data which will enable the policy-makers to make those changes.

On 15 June, when President Mbeki visited Mpumalanga, he raised the issue of the lack of properly qualified staticians in our country. It is important that we support initiatives taken by Statistics SA to train statisticians in different institutions in our country and elsewhere on the continent, as has been provided for in the previous Budget Vote. The Minister has talked about that. However, it is important to emphasise that, as a country, we need to develop infrastructure and programmes to teach people about official statistics, because people who have been trained at university are not trained regarding offical statistics. As a country and nation we need to try and invest with regard to this area. We must continue to support these efforts, but continue to encourage learners, to be interested in subjects like maths and science. Because out of that you can then produce statisticians of different kinds.

I am concerned about the fact that in the recent past some of the newspapers have highlighted problems of management in the organisation. I am also particularly concerned about the fact that instead of having five DDGs for the statistics department, they only have two. I think that it is very important for the statisticians to ensure that these vacancies are filled, if they are budgeted for. We cannot afford to have an organisation, as important as this one, which does not operate at full capacity.

We understand the problem of the lack of skills, but I think every effort must be made to make sure that we get properly qualified citizens, even if it means that we have to go offshore to get to those people. I am sure that we do have such people who can assist us somewhere on the continent.

I would like to talk about matters relating to other vital statistics. Amongst others statistics that Statistics SA is producing, is the producer price index, PPI; the consumer price index, CPI; and the gross domestic product, GDP. Statistics about the gross domestic product help us to measure the level of growth in our economy from time to time to be able to come to proper conclusions on whether the economy is growing or not. Secondly, the producer price index assists us to measure the cost of producing goods at shop floor level. As I said, the PPI figures, which were released yesterday, give a clear indication that there is a downward trend. The consumer price index helps us to measure the cost of consumption, that is the price that you and I pay when we buy our groceries at the different shops, like Pick ‘n Pay, etc.

In measuring inflation, we use CPI minus mortage bonds. So, these statistics are very vital for institutions like the South African Reserve Bank for purposes of informing monetary policy decisions. The recent activities in this regard must be viewed in proper context.

I also want to show that this is not unique to South Africa by reflecting experiences of other countries where such mistakes have occurred. I quote:

Measuring inflation and related economic statistics incorrectly may be undermining our economy’s prospects for growth. Simple measurement errors could have genuine effects on the fortunes of families and businesses in every constituency throughout the country. As a result of those errors, interest rates could be too high, the investment decisions of international capital might be biased and jobs might have been unnecessarily lost.

This may sound like a recent debate about Statistics SA’s recent revisions of the consumer price index. But in fact it is a quote from a United Kingdom parliamentary debate on 17 November 2000. The quote is from the hon member Mr Edward Davey’s speech. He is responding to concerns about British consumer price index statistics.

Errors in the measurement of statistics are also not unique to South Africa, or even developing countries, as the argument by the UK MP illustrates. The World Bank states: ``Measurement errors affect the reliability of all economics statistics’’. In fact, in 1996 an independent commission appointed by the United States Congress reported that government overstated inflation rates by 1,1% points, costing the US government billions of dollars in inflated social security and other payments.

The important point here is that mistakes do not only happen in South Africa, they happen in the States, the UK and all other countries. The important point is that mistakes are recognised, brought to the light and corrected in a fair and transparent manner. This is a sign of a well- functioning democracy, like in South Africa.

Statistics SA is committed to an ongoing process of transformation. Economists around the country applaud this transparency and delivery orientation of the new statistics in South Africa. Yes, we recognise that mistakes happen, but we learn from them. We correct them and we emerge stronger from these processes.

I would like to remind members of this House and the public at large that Statistics SA is a new organisation which must be supported at every level. In conclusion, I would like to make a call to all provinces to take a keen interest on issues relating to Statistics SA, in particular through the Statistics Council, because provinces have representatives in the council which directly represent provincial interests.

I also want to convey my sincere thanks to the Statistician-General, who has been available to the committee when we needed him, and to his team at large. I also want to thank all the people who are doing hard work behind the scenes in the organisation for their dedication to our country. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Ms J FUBBS (Gauteng): Hon Deputy Chairperson, thank you very much, hon colleagues, Minister, Deputy Minister, chairperson of the Select Committee on Finance, there is something I just want to start off with, and that is that these kinds of errors do occur. These errors are over two centuries old. Mark Twain is often thought to have said: ``You get lies, you get damned lies and you get statistics.’’ [Laughter.] In fact, it was the politician Disraeli of Britain who actually said that.

A budget debate affords us the time to focus on the progress made and the challenges that remain. The question that we ask is how far this budget, the budget of statistics, is underpinning the stated objectives. It also requires us to look back and see where we came from with statistics.

Certainly, there was an element of academic rigidity before the first democratic statistics that we had in the country. There was also an element of lack of relevancy. One recalls the days when the unemployment figure in the statistics did not include black people because of racial ideologies that were rampant at the time.

The objectives of providing the statistics that will provide reliable robust data for economic growth, development and democratic governance, are the stated objectives in this budget. This budget is not a time for sloganising or chewing on the political cud. Many of us are very naive about figures and find it very difficult to relate numbers to pushing back the frontiers of poverty.

When it comes to statistics, there are four kinds of people. There are those, perhaps like myself, who are awestruck by the figures in the book, and then there are the naive, the cynical and the critical. However, if we are serious about democratic governance, about ensuring employment, about tackling the shortage of skills and about developing the economy, then we have no choice but to develop a keen understanding of the purpose and contribution of statistics. We would really like to congratulate the Statistician-General and his organisation for focusing on training, upskilling and on ensuring that this country will develop a pool of qualified statisticians.

When we look at this budget, we are asked to go behind the numbers and seriously engage on how best to ensure that the appropriate data is selected, collected and analysed. Why? As an instrument to improve the lives of others. Our Government has realised this imperative, and Gauteng welcomes all the restructuring that Statistics SA has undergone to enable greater relevance of the data.

The GDP initiative, for example, for provinces has been an incredibly constructive help. When we look at classrooms for education, the information we are now getting is enabling the MEC of Education to plan the expenditure of finances and other resources more effectively, because the MEC now has a better understanding of what is actually happening in Gauteng on the population demographics. The same goes for health.

We welcome this new census, because we are quite certain that the fresh realities that are current in Gauteng will certainly lead to a revised allocation of funding. But there are other issues that are clear from some of the statistical data that has given us a better disaggregation on the lives of men and women, so that we now have a better understanding of exactly how women’s time is spent. Is it simply a kitchen anecdote, or do women in fact have far less time than men to educate themselves, to read the newspaper and so on, and what opportunities are available for the girl child to realise her potential?

Sound statistics require good data, clear and reasonable definitions and also appropriate samples, which I have touched on already. However, even the best statistics become sanitised in isolation. I think in Gauteng one of the things that has really impressed us is the integration of data, taking account of what it is that provinces need in order to plan. What do departments, other institutions and sectors need in order to plan. Of course, it takes financial resources to provide a platform in which users can articulate their needs, and finally for this to produce a product which can be measured. In this, we hope to get convergence of sustainable statistics - statistics we can use.

Just a short comment as an aside: we know that we can expect to see some very solid statistics. It is just that we get them two years later, understandably, there is a shortage of staff and so on. We get to utilise, or rather to develop the formula in order to utilise, that information another year later, that is three years later. We then get to implement the formula four years later.

Now, as I say, it is meant really to raise the concern and to indicate that we are aware that shortage of staff, and perhaps even financial resources, may be contributing to this. Nevertheless, we must also add, it is far better to wait for a reliable set of statistics, which we have done, than in the previous years just churn out any old batch of stuff that has no relation to what is going on in the country.

I would also ask Statistics SA to broaden the outreach programme, not only to provinces but to schools and other institutions. We know you have begun this work in provinces, we benefitted from it. This can be strengthened so that statistics are not things that people become afraid of. Just on that error that we encountered, one of the things which I thought was quite interesting was that after the Florida elections the myth about using wrong statistics was perpetuated. At the very least, when we saw the error, we are certainly looking into the matter and correcting it, and not perpetuating facts which are incorrect. I think for that Statistics SA ought to be applauded.

Another thing that we also welcome is the tourism survey that has recently been introduced, particularly in Gauteng where short stays predominate. That will give us some very useful information in that particular regard. The integration of registers, and so on, should make for more meaningful data. Again, our new Gauteng trade and industrial strategy will benefit directly from the data coming out of the integration of these registers itself. [Time expired.] Thank you. [Applause.]

Dr E A CONROY: Agb Voorsitter, agb Minister van Finansies, agb Adjunkminister van Finansies en kollegas, laat my toe om aan die begin my agb kollega uit Gauteng te korrigeer. Die uitspraak oor leuens, opperste leuens en statistieke is nie die van Mark Twain of Disraeli nie, maar dié van die skrywer Samuel Clemens, wat die skuilnaam Mark Twain vir sy beroemde boeke oor Tom Sawyer en Huckleberry Finn gebruik het.

Voorsitter, op ‘n meer ernstige noot. Twee jaar gelede het ek, na aanleiding van ‘n suksesvolle inligtingsbesoek van die Gekose Komitee oor Finansies aan Statistiek SA se hoofkantoor in Pretoria, waardering uitgespreek vir die uiters belangrike werk wat hulle doen en hulle nogeens bedank vir die bekwame wyse waarop hulle hul van hul taak kwyt.

Voorsitter, ek het by dieselfde geleentheid ook gesê, en ek haal verbatim aan:

Omdat hul werk so onontbeerlik vir ‘n gladde en ekonomies suksesvolle volkshuishouding is, is dit soveel te meer belangrik dat die produk wat hulle voortbring absoluut foutloos is; dat die produk feitlik blindelings vertrou kan word en aangewend word in besluite wat groot finansiële implikasies kan hê.

Ek het trouens by daardie geleentheid verder gewaarsku dat foute wat in die amptelike statistieke voorkom, die potensiaal het om die geloofwaardigheid van al Suid-Afrika se ekonomiese statistieke by veral internasionale finansiële instellings en beleggers onder verdenking te plaas en sakelui se taak om ingeligte besluite te neem, bemoeilik.

Voorsitter, reeds op daardie stadium het gevaarligte oor die gehalte van SSA se werk begin flits toe hulle tot hul skande moes erken dat verwarring in die berekening van die eerste drie kwartale van die vorige jaar se ekonomiese groeikoers geskep is, omdat hulle versuim het om die seisoensaangesuiwerde jaarstatistieke aan te pas. Mens sou hoop dat welmenende en opbouende kritiek wat op daardie stadium uit verskeie oorde uitgespreek is, hulle sou aanspoor om introspeksie te doen; om weer eens hul potlode skerp te maak en te sorg dat daar geen swak skakels in hul ketting van uitnemendheid is nie.

Maar helaas, dit het blykbaar nie gebeur nie! Dit is nou reeds oorbekend dat iemand van buite Statistiek SA, ‘n ontleder in die privaatsektor, die ontdekking moes maak dat verkeerde groeisyfers in die huur van huise en woonstelle gebruik is by die berekening van die VPIX; dat ekonome te velde getrek het oor die betroubaarheid en gehalte van Suid-Afrika se ekonomiese statistieke toe dit verder ontdek is dat Suid-Afrika se inflasiesyfer met tot twee persentasiepunte laer kon wees as wat dit tot op daardie stadium aangedui is. En dit, ten spyte van die feit dat dieselfde privaat-sektor ekonoom blykbaar reeds meer as ‘n jaar gelede sy bekommernis uitgespreek het oor die uitwerking van die 35% styging in huurkoste en SSA blykbaar niks aan die saak gedoen het nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Dr E A CONROY: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister of Finance, hon Deputy Minister of Finance and colleagues, allow me first of all to correct my hon colleague from Gauteng. The statement about lies, outright lies, and statistics is not that of Mark Twain or Disraeli, but that of the author Samuel Clemens, who used the pseudonym Mark Twain for his famous books about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Chairperson, on a more serious note. Two years ago I expressed appreciation, prompted by a successful information visit by the Select Committee on Finance to Statistics SA’s head office in Pretoria, for the significant work that they are doing and thanked them once again for the efficient way in which they perform their task.

Chairperson, on the same occassion I also said, and I quote verbatim:

Omdat hulle werk so onontbeerlik vir ‘n gladde en ekonomies suksesvolle volkshuishouding is, is dit nie soveel te meer belangrik dat die produk wat hulle voortbring absoluut foutloos is; dat die produk feitlik blindelings vertrou kan word en aangewend word in besluite wat groot finansiële implikasies kan hê.

In fact, on that occasion I further cautioned that errors which occur in official statistics have the potential to cause suspicion, among international financial institutions and investors, about the reliability of all of South Africa’s economic statistics, and to hamper the task of business people to make informed decisions.

Chairperson, at that stage already warning lights started to flicker about SSA’s work when they had to acknowledge to their own shame that confusion was caused in the calculations of the first three quarters of the previous year’s economic growth rate because they failed to adjust the seasonally adjusted annual statistics. One would hope that well intended and constructive criticism which was expressed from various quarters at that stage would have urged them to become introspective; to sharpen their pencils once again and to see to it that there are no weak links in their chain of excellence.

But unfortunately, this apparently did not happen! It is now already well known that someone from outside of Statistics SA, an analyst in the private sector, made the discovery that inaccurate growth rates for the renting of houses and apartments were used when the CPIX was calculated; that economists disputed the reliability and quality of South Africa’s economic statistics when it was further discovered that South Africa’s inflation rate could have been two percentage points lower than it was indicated at that stage. And this, despite the fact that the same private sector economist, already more than a year ago, apparently expressed his concern about the impact of the 35% increase in rentals, and apparently SSA did nothing about the matter.]

Chairperson, the effect of this error will not be immediately known. Although nobody is prepared to venture a guestimate, some economists have already indicated that it could cost the South African consumer billions. We, however, already know that young consumers who have bonds on their homes and loans on their cars could not bear the unnecessary high interest rates and they had to start returning some of their assets to the lending institutions, with a great financial loss to themselves.

Undoubtedly, some of them have also fallen in arrears as far as their monthly bond repayments are concerned. Even Salga has now entered the fray by alleging that SSA is responsible for the looming strike by local authority workers, saying that the miscalculation of the CPIX figures had had a negative impact on their wage agreements across the country and had cause worker unhappiness. It had the effect that the negotiated wage increase of 11% had to be lowered to 10,5% which, in monetary terms, caused a saving of R98 million for municipalities.

Voorsitter, dit sal egter nie help as ons nou in sak en as gaan sit nie. Ons moet vorentoe kyk en hoop dat SSA die welmenende en opbouende kritiek ter harte sal neem, sal regmaak wat verkeerd is en baie seker sal maak dat sulke foute nie herhaal word nie.

Trouens, dat hulle reeds die taak aangepak het om die verlore vertroue van die Suid-Afrikaanse publiek te herwin.

Daar sal, onder andere, ernstig daarna gekyk moet word dat staatsdepartmente, soos byvoorbeeld die Departement van Arbeid en ander instellings wat spesiale opnames gedoen wil hê, self die begrotings daarvoor voorsien en nie sal verwag dat SSA sy eie begrote en reeds geoormerkte fondse daarvoor moet aanwend nie.

Verder moet die Minister van Finansies moontlik oorweging skenk aan die aanstelling van ‘n eksterne modereringskomitee, bestaande uit staats-en privaat-sektor ekonome en -statistici, wat op ‘n gereelde grondslag steekproewe oor die korrektheid van SSA se metodes, tegnieke en gepubliseerde verslae kan uitvoer. En moontlik oorweeg om ‘n paar emmers te skenk vir die volgende reënstorm in Pretoria wanneer SSA se dak lek!

Voorsitter, hoewel met voorbehoude, maar tog met die vertroue dat Statistiek SA hiermee ‘n dure les geleer het, aanvaar die Nuwe Nasionale Party hierdie Begrotingspos. Dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Chairperson, it will, however, not help us to wear sackcloth and ashes now. We must look ahead and hope that SSA will take the well-intended and constructive criticism to heart, will rectify the mistakes and make absolutely sure that such errors will not be repeated; in fact, that they have already started carrying out the task of regaining the lost confidence of the South African public.

There will have to be serious consideration, among other things, for the fact that state departments, for instance the Department of Labour, and other institutions that require special surveys will have to provide the budgets for that themselves, and not expect SSA to appropriate its own budgeted and already allocated funds for that.

Furthermore, the Minister of Finance should possibly consider the appointment of an external moderating committee, comprising economists and statiticians from the state and the private sector, who will, on a regular basis, perform spot-checks on the accuracy of SSA’s methods, techniques and published reports. And possibly consider donating a few buckets for the next rain storm in Pretoria when SSA’s roof is leaking!

Chairperson, though with reservations, but nevertheless with the confidence that Statistics SA learned a valuable lesson through this, the New National Party accepts this Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]]

Mr M J BHENGU: Thank you, Chairperson. Thank you, Raju. Sir, our country and people are in desperate need of growth and development at all levels. And for this to happen it is well-known that policy-makers and agents of implementing changes need to be well-aware of the economic, fiscal and social dynamics of our country. And this is basically the task of Statistics SA; the body which is entrusted by our Government to provide policy-makers and our nation at large with the correct facts, figures and realities associated with the complexities of our country.

There has been a serious, and of course well-intentioned campaign on the part of the Statistician-General to disseminate solid information to the public via newspaper columns nationally. The mere fact that a representative of the private sector discovered the error put the credibility of Statistics SA in serious question. This meant that the consumers paid a price in the process as, since 2002, interest rates increased four times. This hit the middle-classes and the poor very hard indeed.

I do align myself with the sentiments expressed by the special delegate from Gauteng. As the CPIX is used by our Reserve Bank for inflation targeting, the fact that Statistics SA was using data on rental inflation dating back to 1999 proved a costly mistake in terms of our international credibility. There is a host of resultant questions one needs to ask in this context. Are there any other such errors in the Statistics SA calculations in respect of our financial, economic and social estimates? If yes, how big are these errors? What steps are to be undertaken so that such errors will not be repeated? How are figures and facts evaluated and monitored? How serious are these implications of such errors?

We all want to trust our statistical services because we are committed to the welfare of all our people, especially the poorest of the poor. We need to count on the solid, honest and highly scientific information provided by Statistics South Africa; no more or less, no more. We need to be alert and vigilant. To err is human; to forgive is divine; so goes the saying. We therefore say that the Statistician-General and the team must not repeat this mistake again, but we forgive them.

Mr M I MAKOELA: Thank you, hon Deputy Chairperson. No more less, no more more. Deputy Chairperson, until 1994, the Government regularly manipulated data to comply with its vision of a divided society. We cannot deny that. Its statistics, even the census, left out so-called independent homelands, which contained about a third of all South Africans. Even figures for the rest of South Africa - including, for instance, unemployment data and the income and expenditure survey used to calculate inflation - usually talked to the handful of privileged people.

And today, it appears that the same beneficiaries of the old order are lost in a time warp because, instead of doubting national statistics during those days, they choose to do so now.

Stats agencies in some of the major developing countries have sometimes also committed serious statistical errors. It has been mentioned that in the USA it once happened that they had to revise the inflation data fundamentally arguing that it neglected improvement in quality that underlies some price increases. Yet, Statistics SA has gone far in remedying the faults of the previous regime, complying better with international norms than most developing countries.

The quest for best statistical practice has, within a very short period of time, made a very big impact. South Africa was elected as a member of the United Nations Statistics Commission in May 2001. And as far back as 1996 South Africa subscribed to the IMF’s special Data Dissemination Standards. There is a very strict entry data requirement for member states.

Deputy Chair, it is Statistics SA’s commitment to transparency and adherence to statistical standards that provided the framework and environment for an individual citizen to participate in its revision of consumer inflation figures, which reduced inflation by two percentage points.

Stats SA ought to be commended for their attitude, because once they were made aware of the error they reacted spontaneously to address it. They were willing to listen to divergent viewpoints and courageously admitted their mistakes. This tells us that Stats SA has the political sensitivity and maturity to respond to an imperfect situation.

Stats South Africa produces many data series but I would like to make mention and reference to its survey of non-VAT registered businesses in South Africa. The survey gives information on the potential of small and microbusinesses in the country to create employment or income activities, and to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

Stats SA ought to be complimented for their ingenuity and innovation in producing this data. Instead of using the conventional definition of small and microbusinesses, it used a very different yardstick to measure all small businesses. Since the definition of formal'' and non-formal business’’ varies from country to country, Stats SA used the criterion of not being registered for VAT for identifying small and microbusinesses. Businesses not registered for VAT are generally excluded from the sample of formal businesses. Non-VAT registration is regarded as a proxy or an operational definition for informality. Members are aware that any business with an estimated annual turnover of R300 000 or more is required to register for VAT. The survey tells us that a total of 734 000 employees were working in non-VAT registered businesses and paid about R274 million in gross salaries and wages to their workers.

Deputy Chairperson, with these few words I would like to thank you.

Mr N M RAJU: Chairperson, hon Ministers, hon special delegates, the hon Minister has given a spirit of defence of the Stats SA debacle. [Interjections.] He has indeed conceded that such errors as committed by Stats SA could incapacitate public representatives. Even if the hon Minister contends in a pointer to the hon Durr that the animal ``acurate statistics’’ is an alien creature, a figment of one’s imagination, or even a phantasmagoric apparition, the fact remains that Stats SA has boobed and the consequences have been grave. Mistakes can be costly, as indeed they were.

The duty of any responsible opposition party is to hold the Government responsible and accountable for how the taxpayer’s money is spent by various Government departments. For Government departments to determine priorities before allocating millions of public rands, it is essential that data upon which onerous decisions are made, be accurate and up to date. Unfortunately, Stats SA suffered a slight aberration - or is it a tragedy - upsetting the Minister of Finance’s apple cart in more ways than one.

It is unfortunate that the one Minister in the executive who has done an admirable job for the country and the economy, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, should have had to suffer embarrassment when one of the agencies under his control had to mess up. [Applause.] The hon Minister stands tall in the corridors of world finance and the Stats SA mishap has put him in an invidious position. Incorrect inflation data and monetary policy decisions have adversely affected a range of payments on the negative side.

The hapless South Africans, from the affluent to the poor, have had to pay more for food, telephone services, postal services, water and electricity. One can only imagine the devastating effect on bond repayments. What about the cost of capital for SMMEs and even larger corporates? Stats SA’s lapse has also impacted on the all-important CPI figures - that means, wage settlements and tariffs that went off at a tangent. That much has been conceded by the hon Dr Conroy on my left, an erstwhile member of the New NP

  • the erstwhile ally of the ANC.

Due to the distortions that have occurred, all parastatals have had to institute urgent reviews of the recent tariff increases, which were obviously based on the flawed Stats SA data. In addition, all municipalities that have passed budgets based on faulty inflation data in their budgetary projections and passed budgets that add further fuel to inflationary expectations, should review these decisions.

Consumers and ratepayers should not be made to pay for someone else’s mistake. [Interjections.] Stats SA, though independent and protected against the executive interference in its statute, remains accountable to the Minister of Finance and he remains accountable to Parliament for the actions, omissions and judgement errors under his wings. The hon Minister is obviously accountable for the actions and lapses on the part of Stats SA. This House would like to know from the hon Minister - from the horse’s mouth, as it were - what went wrong? The same question was echoed by none other than my hon colleague, Mr John Bhengu. What went wrong? If it was a lack of funds, his duties to explain is even greater, given the pivotal importance of reliable statistics for sound policy and delivery.

If it was a lack of judgement and lapse in strategic leadership, and therefore a disastrous judgement error on the part of Stats SA and the Statistician-General, he must act and inform the House …

Mrs E N LUBIDLA: Chairperson, on the point of order: Is it parliamentary for the member to come and use Mr Gibson’s speech here? [Laugher.]

The DEPUTY CHAIPERSON OF THE NCOP (Mr M J Mahlangu): Order! Well, that’s not a point of order. We are not sure whose speech he is using.

Mr N M RAJU: The significance of these errors cannot be overemphasised. Every budgetary projection which used inflation indicators will have to be adjusted. Monetary policy and monetary policy decisions that may have been based on faulty data are equally in question. The DA does not support this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr T RALANE: Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister and special delegates, as the ANC we support the Budget Vote. But as we do that, we just want to remind the House of a creature - I am not sure as to whether it was called the House of Delegates or House of Representatives - in which the hon member served. This new Stats SA is undoing the kind of work that the hon member participated in. We have inherited a situation in which the member and his party participated, namely in the House of Delegates. They created a structure to which my hon members had referred; a structure which never considered, for instance, for purposes of development, black people. They developed all kinds of policies that had to do with development of the House of Delegates and Representatives without considering black people.

Secondly, there has been a boob campaign by the same party. Not long ago, they had a very funny campaign called the BIG. It has fizzled out precisely because it was a thumb-suck kind of a campaign. On what basis was that campaign of the basic income grant waged? It has fizzled out precisely because it was thumb-suck and not well-thought out and not tested. As a result, it has fallen apart. Again, today they are talking about another issue. Again it is not tested and not well-costed. It is thumb-sucking again. They talk about 150 000 policemen and women. Surely, again, it is going to fizzle out, precisely because it is has no basis. It is a populist and opportunistic kind of a campaign. This is a party today which is purporting to be spokespersons for the poor. They are trying to speak for the poor and apparently on behalf of our own people.

Ms B N SONO: Chairperson, on a point of order: Is it parliamentary for a member to mislead the House about our stand on the basic income grant, because the Umsobomvu Fund …

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! What is the point of order?

Ms B N SONO: He is misleading the House by saying that the basic income grant has fizzled out, because we were misled - because of Stats SA? Just as a point of correction, the Umsobomvu Fund …

The CHAIPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! That is not a point of order. Continue, Mr Ralane.

Mr T RALANE: Thank you very much. This is a party that is trying to woo the young of this country. Let me remind them that in my province this party is involved in the victimisation and intimidation of ordinary men and women, to be able to join the same party in the Northern Free State, in the area called Bothaville, for instance. This is where ordinary farmworkers are victimised by the DA to become members of its party. Some of the workers have been dismissed and evicted - illegally so, by the members of the same party in that part of the province. [Interjections.] This brings us to the issue of the conditions of farmworkers on farms, especially when members of this party are so arrogant. This Government is trying to address the plight and the miseries of all the workers who are employees of the members of the same party.

Right here on this platform, all of them purport to be champions and spokespersons of the poor. This is the kind of fraud that we are dealing with here. This is the kind of people we are dealing with. All of us agreed when Minister gave his outline, that there have been human errors - and its a fact. Therefore, we clearly can’t understand whether the opposition parties want to make a political gain out of these issues. Instead all of them ought to be assisting us in addressing the problems here. The Minister told us that, only in 2000, the first course of this nature was undertaken in this country at Wits University. As a result we don’t have people who are properly qualified to be doing all these jobs.

This party is using this opportunistically again on the eve of the elections. They are trying to get some of the votes. It’s a pity but our people will not be fooled by their gimmicks. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Thank you, Chairperson. It’s good that the debate on Statistics SA is as spirited as this debate has been. It’s very clear that hon members here take the issue of statistics very seriously. I said earlier that those who work in statistical agencies tend not to be big revolutionaries. They quietly go about their work, and I’m glad that this debate has generated so much fire and brimstone here today, Chairperson.

A number of issues were raised, and let me try and deal with them as they were raised. The first of these is that it takes a long time to produce the results of a census. Now, when we release the results of Census 2001, it would be 21 months - in fact, two days short of 21 months - since the start of the census. I should say that there will be 74 variables available in Census 2001. In the UK, for 40 variables they took 24 months. In Australia they took 18 months for 40 variables. In Canada they took 18 months for 40 variables and the rest was released only after three years; with all of those people employed in Canada. And in the United States, they release headlines such as Total population ... ' - the statisticians call it sex''; I call it `gender’’. There are just a few headlines like that and the rest comes out some 18 months later, and the last of the figures are released as much as 36 months after the census has been conducted. So, it always takes time, and in relative terms I think that we aren’t too far off the curve.

The second issue was raised by the hon Dr Conroy and it relates to the adjustments. Now, the methodological requirements involve a readjustment retrospectively. The norm had been that national accounts be readjusted every five years. With effect from 1999 - plus one year, so it would have been 2000 - there now is an annual adjustment so that you don’t have to make these big variations retrospectively. And when that was done, clearly, there would have been three quarters where there were variations. It wasn’t a failure of seasonal adjustment; it was a change in methodology. And these issues would be done from time to time in terms of the norms of national accounts data, which are released after consultation by the IMF.

So, the methods are approved by the IMF and the issue that the hon Conroy referred to was that circumstance rather than a blaps [blunder]. Of course, what had compounded that release was that in one year agriculture was growing very well and because the rate of change wasn’t as big, it appeared very flat and so that confounded the numbers. But it wasn’t a seasonal adjustment failure. Rather, it was a change in method.

In respect of the Statistics Council - and this is something that the hon Conroy referred to as well - it exists as a kind of quality-control entity. It’s made up of 25 South African men and women, nine of whom are representatives of the provinces. Part of our difficulty is that the provinces appoint people and then forget that those individuals represent the provinces. I pulled a fast one on MECs for finance the other day and said that I would pay for drinks for all of those who could name the representative on the Statistics Council from that province. Only one member knew who the provinical rep was and as it happens, as luck would have it, that particular member does not consume alcohol. [Laughter.] So, I’m in a very good place, because Ebrahim Rasool indeed knew …

An HON MEMBER: Madam Chair, he normally doesn’t pay for drinks. [Laughter.]

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: But that council fulfils that role and I spoke of members who’ve been giving more than 300 hours of their time. It is, in fact, their filtration role, so they would prepare a report and say, ``Minister, we, in terms of the Statistics Act, have evaluated the following things about this undertaking and in the instance of Census 2001 we are satisfied that you should receive in good faith.’’ It’s a very important statement to make, because that is their quality-control function that they exercise. But it’s difficult. You can’t ask people to find that amount of time. Those 300 hours would be through the night; often throughout the night, and virtually every Saturday and Sunday people have given their time. It’s not possible for people to do that, so we need to examine how we can find or restructure the way in which the council operates. It’s something that they’ve raised with us. Some might be in a more technical advisory capacity, and others would then fulfil that different role, that’s the signing-off role. But these are issues that we would deal with.

I’d like to thank the divine Bhengu for his divine forgiveness. [Laughter.]

I’m very pleased to see the hon Raju is an avid reader, because what he shared with us - these scare stories that make the hairs on your neck stand on end - are from the very latest J K Rowling’s Harry Potter book. [Laughter.] It bears no relation to the subject at hand. It’s designed to scare, but we commend the member for being such an avid reader, because we need to inculcate good reading habits amongst our people. [Laughter.]

In respect of what he said, I think he’s very correct about being held accountable for the spending of departments. However, I think he’s incorrect in his reading of the Statistics Act, because the Act is very clear in designing the duties and powers of the Minister as against the responsibilities of the Statistician-General. The Statistician-General, it says:

(d) directs Statistics SA in accordance with the duties and powers imposed or conferred on him or her by this Act … ;

(e) determines, and exercises final responsibility regarding the implementation of, the work programme of Statistics SA, including -

   (i)  the collection, compilation and analysis of official  statistics
          in accordance with the purpose of official statistics ...;

   (ii) the times when and the manner in which  statistical  collections
          are undertaken and the  form  of  any     document  pertaining

   (iii)       the  manner  in  which  data  are  processed,  documented
          and stored;

   (iv) the form, extent  and  timing  of  the  release  of  statistical

But, in dealing with this, the Act actually creates an arm’s-length relationship, because it does not allow a Minister to interfere in the work of Statistics SA. What we build in this organisation must be durable. I think all of us, as South Africans, need to know that you aren’t going to have a situation … I mean, I’d like to be placed in a position where, before the elections in 2004, I can say to Statistics SA, ``Now make me look good.’’ The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! I’m afraid your time has expired.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: But I say thank you very much. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

          (Consideration of Votes of and Schedules to Bill)

Vote No 1 - Presidency - put.

Declarations of vote:

Mnr P A MATTHEE: Voorsitter, dis aangenaam vir die Nuwe NP om die begrotingspos van die Presidensie te steun. [Chairperson, it is a pleasure for the New NP to support the Budget Vote of the Presidency.]

We especially wish to thank the President and Deputy President for the passion and enthusiasm with which they provide leadership on the new challenge that faces all of us as South Africans, now that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has completed its work, namely to further advance the goal of national reconciliation. We wish to assure the President and the whole of South Africa that in the interest of all South Africans, that we in the New NP shall work together with this Government, under his leadership, to help build the new united, nonracial, nonsexist democratic, safe and prosperous South Africa to which the overwhelming majority of all our people are committed.

In spite of all the efforts of the DA under the leadership of Tony Leon to derail this process of reconciliation, and despite the short-term effects of their poison on the minds of our people by exploiting their most basic fears through false propaganda and blatant untruths, we will succeed in getting all South Africans of goodwill to join us on the exciting journey that will lead us to the humane, caring and peaceful society for which so many South Africans, from all sides, sacrificed their lives. Let us take hands to overcome our divided past and embrace our common future together.

Mr T RALANE: Chairperson, the national Parliament has implemented our policies in a manner that holds this institution accountable to the people we serve. Besides being transparent, our Parliament democratically develops and pursues a legislative agenda which is commensurate with the objectives of progressive forces supporting transformation in this country.

Therefore, the ANC supports this Budget Vote.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 2 - Parliament - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution..

Vote No 3- Foreign Affairs - put.

Declaration of vote:

Mr B J TOLO: Chairperson, before 1994, South Africa was isolated internationally due to its internal policies of apartheid and national oppression. That policy was abhorred by all progressive mankind. It was even declared a crime against humanity by the UN. Since we took our rightful place in the community of nations of the world in 1994, and apartheid also took its rightful place in the museum of history, alongside the spinning wheel, the South African foreign policy has focused on building a prosperous, nonracial and nonsexist country.

Our vision has always been and will remain in the foreseeable future, the realisation of peace, stability, democracy, development in Africa and the achievement of equitable wealth. The Department of Foreign Affairs has successfully put our country on the international map. Today, when South Africa speaks, the whole world listens.

Recently, our President was invited to address the International Labour Organisation, which he did. Organisations of such calibre do not invite any Tom, Dick and Harry. Those who read and listen to news will remember the comments of some of the people who attended that meeting. We are also informed that the President will address the CARICOM Organisation next week. This is a reflection of foreign policy which is seen as being progressive and a policy that is receptive to the international community.

Today we can stand tall as a nation that is respected internationally, thanks to the sterling work of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Nepad,a brain child of South Africa and the President of our country, among other people, is a programme that is respected both at home and abroad as a road map for the realisation of the African Renaissance. It is a vivid expression of our foreign policy.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has led us to earn very serious leadership positions in the world arena, within a very short space of time. There is the Nonaligned Movement, the Commonwealth and the AU. Our global prominence was given further impetus by the hosting of very important global meetings. In June 2000 we hosted the World Aids Conference. We hosted the World Conference Against Racism in 2001 and in 2002 we hosted both the inaugural meeting of the AU and the World Conference for Sustainable Development.

Peace and security are prerequisites for development anywhere. For Nepad to succeed, we need these prerequisites. It is for this reason that South Africa is engaged in brokering peace in many African countries. As we speak today, our boys and girls are in several African countries such as the DRC, Burundi, Ethopia, Eritrea and other countries; not as aggressors, like the apartheid forces used to be, but as peace brokers. They are sacrificing their lives so that Africa can realise peace.

The ANC supports this Vote unreservedly.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 4 - Home Affairs - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (ACDP dissenting).

Vote No 5 - Provincial and Local Government - put.

Declarations of vote:

Mr B J MKHALIPHI: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Hon members, I firmly believe that it is ironic that, on this historic day of commemorating the declaration of the blueprint for a democratic South Africa, famously known as the Declaration of Human Rights of 1995, that the right of the majority to govern themselves is put to question by a minority. Of course they have a right to that. But, in doing so, as I said earlier on in my speech this week, they just confirm one fact: The people of this country are ready to govern. Municipalities are putting forward the necessary initiatives and processes to ensure that the checks and balances are in place. These measures are still evolving …

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Please take a seat, hon Mkhaliphi. Hon Lever, are you raising on a point of order?

Mr L G LEVER: Chairperson, I also wish to make a declaration in answer, when this hon member has completed his statement.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Well, we will allow you to make a declaration. I do not know whether it will in response as a declaration on the Vote. Its content will be determined by yourself. Please proceed, Mr Mkhaliphi.

Mr B J MKHALIPHI: The necessary checks and balances are in place and are still evolving. The tools are also in place to enforce accountability to give support and to exercise oversight. However, what is clear is that the so-called opposition has no plan to play their role effectively. They only oppose and do not offer us with an alternative plan. The ANC views this as merely a way of destabilising a very credible system of local government that is moving forward. We therefore have no alternative but to support this Vote.

Mr L G LEVER: Thank you, Chairperson. I just wish to correct the previous speaker. The DA does by no means challenge the right of the majority to govern. We have, of course, the right … [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! That is not a declaration of vote. Please make a declaration of vote.

Mr L G LEVER: Chairperson, I will indeed. What we do have a right to object to, is the way the Budget is being applied in this particular Vote. We object because the goods are not being delivered. There are so many local governments in dire straits and this is the basis of the Vote which we exercise today.

Vote put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting). Vote No 6 - Public Works - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 7 - Government Communication and Information System - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Vote No 8 - National Treasury - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 9 - Public Enterprises - put.

Declarations of vote:

Mrs C NKUNA: Chairperson, we support the Minister of Public Enterprises because we recognise the need to restructure state-owned enterprises in a responsible way. We also consider our background history of apartheid in which the DP has participated so much.

We also appreciate the fact that the DA, that is never satisfied, at least, has recognised and appreciates the listing of the Telkom on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. On other areas where the DA is expressing its dissatisfaction to this House, we do not consider these as weaknesses. We see them as challenges and strength, which come as a result of the democratic situation in which we find ourself. The situation is one for which we fought so tirelessly so that the DP can also enjoy the freedom of speech and criticise this very same Government. The ANC supports Vote No 9, thank you, Chairperson.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 10 - Public Service and Administration - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 11 - Public Service Commission - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution. Vote No 12 - South African Management Development Institute - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 13 - Statistics SA - put.

Declarations of vote:

Ms Q D MAHLANGU: Chairperson, on behalf of the ANC I would like to state that the Vote 13 is one of the Votes that this House should support, because it will enable the organisation to enable us to produce empirical data that our country so much need for the purposes of redressing the imbalances of the past. I would like to call upon all members to allow the organisation to grow, criticise it constructively where it becomes appropriate, but also to give this organisation a chance and support it from time to time. On behalf of the ANC we support the Budget Vote.

Dr E A CONROY: Dankie, Voorsitter. Soos reeds in my toespraak genoem, steun die Nuwe NP begrotingspos 13 met die voorbehoud dat Statistiek SA alles in sy vermoë sal doen om sy gekneusde openbare beeld te herstel. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Thank you, Chairperson. As I have already mentioned in my speech, the New NP Supports Budget Vote No 13 on condition that Statistics SA does everything within its means to restore its battered public image.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Mnr A E VAN NIEKERK: Voorsitter, die Nuwe NP steun hierdie begrotingspos en wens die departement sterkte toe met die taalbeleid en -plan wat ingestel moet word sodat al ons mense in dié land bemagtig kan word in die taal van hulle keuse.

Die Nuwe NP het egter ‘n bekommernis ten opsigte van die oorvleueling van die werk in die departement se taaldiens en die funksionering van Pansat. Hierdie oorvleueling bedreig die onafhanklikheid van Pansat en dit is ongrondwetlik en ook teenstrydig met die Pansat-wetgewing. Die moontlikheid moet oorweeg word om Pansat te voeg by die ondersoek wat op die oomblik gedoen word oor die onafhanklikheid van die Hoofstuk 9-instansies soos die Menseregtekommissie, die Openbare Beskermer ens.

‘n Duidelike definiëring van die pligte en verantwoordelikhede van die taaldiens in die departement is nou nodig, veral op die vooraand van die totstandkoming van die Kommissie vir die Beskerming en Bevordering van Taal- , Kultuur- en Godsdiensregte van Gemeenskappe. Ons steun hierdie begrotingspos. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr A E VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, the New NP supports this Budget Vote and wishes the department every strength with the language policy and plan which must be implemented so that all our people in this country can be empowered in the language of their choice.

The New NP, however, is concerned about the overlap of the work in the department’s language service and the functioning of PanSALB. This overlap threatens the independence of PanSALB and is unconstitutional as well as contrary to PanSALB legislation. The possibility of involving PanSALB in the investigation that is currently taking place into the independence of Chapter 9 institutions such as the Human Rights Commission, the Public Protector, etc, should be considered.

A clear definition of the duties and responsibilities of the language service in the department is now necessary, especially on the eve of the establishment of the Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Linguistic, Cultural and Religious Rights of Communities. We support this Budget Vote.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Declarations of vote:

Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, the New NP supports the Education Budget Vote but we would request the Minister and the Department of Education to make sure that they do not overburden our schools by implementing change without taking our history in consideration. We support the Budget Vote.

Rre D M KGWARE: Modulasetulo, re ratile go tsaya sebaka se go leboga le go rotloetsa baeteledipele gore lenaneo la rona la thuto le le tlhomilweng ke mokgatlo wa ANC, le tsweletse pele. Fa go na le diphetogo tse di tshwanetseng go tlhagisiwa, re tla di tsweletsa ka lobelo. Lobaka ke gore thuto mo mokgatlong wa ANC, jaaka re akanya ka ditiragalo tsa 1976, ke selo se se masisi thata. Re rata go rotloetsa baeteledipele gape le go solofetsa gore diphetogo di tla diragala mme re tla gatela kwa pele.

Mokgatlo wa ANC o rotloetsa le go thatafatsa lenaneo la rona la ditšhelete gore le tswelele pele. (Translation of Setswana paragraphs follows.)

[Mr D M KGWARE: Chairperson, we would like to take this opportunity to thank and encourage our leaders to keep it up, seeing that the educational programme that was instituted by the ANC has made progress. If there are any changes that need to be made, we shall speedily effect them.

Our reason for doing that is that, judging by the events of 1976, education is of paramount importance to our organisation. We want to once again encourage our leaders and to promise that changes will take place and we will make progress.

The ANC will ensure that our financial programme is strengthened, to see to it that progress is made.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Vote No 16 - Health - put.

Declaration of vote:

Ms L JACOBUS: Chairperson, I rise on behalf of the ANC to support Budget Vote No 16 on Health. We are fully aware of the vital role that the Ministry of Health plays in creating a healthier and better live for all our people. We were very encouraged that provinces were maximising their health budgets, even those provinces that had smaller allocations like the province of Limpopo. We note substantial budgetary increases in the previously disadvantaged provinces like Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape, North West and the Eastern Cape.

We discovered through our inputs in our intergovernmental fiscal review briefings that there is still a lot to be done. We need to re-examine our distribution of the equitable share to the various provinces. International organisations such as the WHO, and indeed our own Department of Health, have set very high standards in the delivery of quality health-care services in every province. Every province is expected to meet and indeed surpass these standards.

Provinces therefore should and must be given both additional funding and the necessary training to perform to their maximum potential. We believe that this Ministry through its budget allocations will move us closer to our objectives of a health and better life for our people through budgetary increases in the integrated nutrition programme, the primary health-care programme and the enhanced response to the HIV/Aids strategy. We support the Budget Vote. [Applause.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Vote No 17 - Labour - put.

Declaration of vote:

Mr R Z NOGUMLA: Chairperson, this Budget Vote ensures that the Minister is able to actively promote the health and safety of people in the workplace and contribute to the national skills development strategy. Other issues are the national human resource development strategy and the reduction of unemployment and all the other social ills associated with unemployment.

The department has successfully implemented a number of projects and programmes in an effort to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequalities, aimed at improved economic efficiency. This includes a national skills development strategy, which contributes to the implementation of the national human resource development strategy.

The Skills Development, Act No 97 of 1998, strengthens the link between the workplace, education and training, economic growth and employment opportunities, occupational health and safety which promotes health and safety in workplaces, social insurance which provides for administrative and other support services, to the unemployment insurance funds and compensation fund. The unemployment insurance fund provides short-term income replacement for the unemployment, those unemployed due to temporal illness, and so forth.

The ANC is encouraging the Minister to remain focused on developing an integrated employment strategy that will address this Government’s biggest challenge, and that is to create an enabling environment for employment. We believe that, in addition to other initiatives by the department, the high unemployment rate in South Africa must also be addressed by establishing a high-quality workplace, education and training system. This Ministry is therefore employing a multifaceted approach to curb high unemployment rates. Therefore, the ANC supports this Budget Vote. [Applause.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 18 - Science and Technology put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 19 - Social Development - put.

Declaration of vote: Ms P R MASHANGOANE: The African National Congress supports the Budget Vote on Social Development because we believe that this Ministry, through its budget allocation, will move us closer to our objectives which is pushing back the frontiers of poverty. This Ministry’s budget, especially through its various grants like the extended child support grant and increased pension grant, is still by far this Government’s biggest poverty alleviation programme. We moved from 2,5 million beneficiaries in April 1997 to 5,6 million in March 2003. This budget indicates increases in the equitable share and conditional grants to provinces.

We are confident that after the thorough interrogation of the budget that we engaged in with the Department of Social Development and the Treasury by way of the Intergovernmental Fiscal Review briefings, we now have a clear understanding of the needs of all provinces. At the same time we have no doubt that the Treasury was made fully aware of the shortfalls experienced by some provinces with regard to their budget allocations. We have confidence that the Minister is focusing his budget allocation where it is needed most. We look forward to an improvement in human resource allocations so that we can deliver services in keeping with our Batho Pele principle. Thank you, Chairperson.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 20 - Sport and Recreation - put.

Declaration of vote:

Ms N P KHONOU: Madam Chair, on behalf of the ANC I support the Vote. The Ministry has shown its commitment to ensure that our sport codes become representative and that sport focus on the development of facilities and the training of black communities that were historically disadvantaged. There is indeed great improvement and we are reaching our goal, which is to involve everyone. We are also impressed by the involvement of women in sport. Therefore, we support this Vote.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 21 - Correctional Services - put.

Declaration of vote:

Mof J L KGOALI: Modulasetulo, ke a leboha, ke leboha sebaka sena. Ho ya ka mokgwa oo Lefapha la Hlabollo ya Batshwaruwa le ileng la etsa mananeo a lona ka teng, le ho nka karolo ke maloko a ntlo ena ha mmoho le ba mokgatlo wa kganyetso, ho a makatsa kajeno hore re ka fumana re ena le batho ba nang le kgahlano le ditekanyetso tsa lefapha lena. Ho ya ka moo re tswang teng, le moo re yang teng, ho hlakile ho totobetse, empa bao ba senang maikemisetso le maikarabelo a ho re ba nke naha ena ya rona ba e ntshetse pele, ke bao ba tlang ho phehisana le ditekanyetso tsa lefapha lena.

Rona re le mokgatlo wa ANC re na le maikutlo a felletseng a hore lefapha le motjheng. Ke a leboha. (Translation of Sesotho paragraphs follows.)

[Mrs J L KGOALI: Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity. Considering how the Department of Correctional Services managed its programmes, and how members of this House, together with the opposition parties took part in this, it is really surprising today to find that there are still people who are opposing this department’s budget. Considering where we come from, and where we are going, it is clear and simple, but those who do not have objectives and the responsibility for developing their country, will always oppose this department’s budget.

We as the ANC really believe that the department is on the right track. Thank you.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Are there any further declarations of votes?

Mr P A MATTHEE: Madam Chair …

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I understand the declarations are one per party per vote. Therefore, hon Matthee, there has already been a declaration from the ANC. I am not sure why the ANC would stand up and make a further declaration.

Mr A E VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, on a point of order: There must be a misjudgement somewhere, because Mr Matthee is a member of the New NP.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The hon member will recall that the hon Matthee was sworn in, in this House, by the hon Judge President of the Cape as a representative of the ANC. [Laughter.] The member may shake his head, but that is a fact. I have the certification from the KwaZulu-Natal legislature which, if you demand, I would present to you, but I would not speak untruths from the Chair. The hon member was sworn in as a member of the ANC, as was the hon member Adams from the Western Cape.

Mr A E VAN NIEKERK: I wish to let it be noted that I object to what is said now and would like us to pursue the matter further. It is not that I am against your ruling. We have discussed this previously and we were awaiting a legal opinion on it and that was not forwarded to us at all. He was nominated by the KwaZulu-Natal legislature but he has no membership of the ANC. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Well, that is a very serious matter and certainly it should be looked at. It will be investigated, because it may mean that the KwaZulu-Natal legislature has performed something which we would have to correct. As I have indicated, on the certification, the member is indicated as a member representing the ANC; as is the case with the Western Cape representative the hon Adams. We will return to the matter.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 22 - Defence - put.

Declaration of vote:

Kgoshi M L MOKOENA: Chairperson, before 1994, in this country we had the SADF. During the negotiations this Government, however, made it possible for the SADF to be integrated with the people’s army, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and some other armies to form the SANDF. While we are comfortably in our houses enjoying ourselves, this force is looking after our borders. As I am speaking now, our Defence Force is assisting in peacekeeping in some other countries on the continent. There is no way any self-respecting South African, any patriotic South African, can oppose this budget. The ANC support this Budget Vote.

Vote agreed to in accordance of section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote agreed to in accordance of section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 23 - Independent Complaints Directorate - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 24 - Justice and Constitutional Development - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting). Vote No 25 - Safety and Security - put.

Declaration of vote:

Mr T RALANE: Thank you, Chairperson. Our security agencies work tirelessly at implementing the National Crime Prevention Strategy targeted to prioritise crime, and police areas with the highest incidence of serious crimes. Moreover, the Department of Safety and Security continues to improve the capacity of the Police Service to discharge its crime prevention and combating responsibilities in areas most adversely affected by crime. Therefore, the ANC supports this Budget Vote.

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Vote No 26 - Agriculture - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 27 - Communications - put. Declaration of vote:

Mrs C NKUNA: Thank you, Chairperson. We believe that the Minister is on track with our objectives to make communication accessible to all.

Xin’wana hileswaku hi twa hi tinyungubyisa ngopfu loko hi vona leswaku eka xiyenge lexi hi ta kota ku vulavula tindzimi ta hina hinkwato ni ku kota ku yingisela mahungu hi Xitsonga. [We feel honoured to realise that we will be able to speak all our languages and to listen to the news in Xitsonga, as befits this Budget Vote.]

Lastly, we are also comfortable with the new management structures in place in the Postal Services and believe that these changes will go a long way in picking up the pace at which corruption will be rooted out.

ANC ya seketela hilaka ku nga heriki. Inkomu.[The ANC supports. Thank you.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance and African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Vote No 28 - Environmental Affairs and Tourism - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 29 - Housing - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (African Christian Democratic Party dissenting).

Vote No 30 - Land Affairs - put.

Declaration of vote:

Mnr A E VAN NIEKERK: Voorsitter, die Nuwe NP herbevestig sy steun vir grondhervorming en vir die volhoubaarheid daarvan. Die Nuwe NP is ook bekommerd en besorg oor die gereelde aankondigings uit die departement dat daar nie genoeg fondse beskikbaar is om grondhervorming te laat plaasvind nie, en ons vra dat daar duidelikheid gegee moet word oor die omvang van die tekorte wat aangevul moet word om grondhervorming ‘n sukses en ‘n werklikheid in Suid-Afrika te maak. (Translation of Afrikaans declaration of vote follows.)

[Mr A E VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, the New NP reconfirms its support for land restitution and for the sustainability thereof. The New NP is also concerned and anxious about the frequent announcements from the department that there are not sufficient funds available for land restitution to take place, and we ask that clarity be given as regards the scope of the deficits, which should be supplemented in order for land restitution to be a success and a reality in South Africa.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Declaration of vote:

Ms D M RAMODIBE: Thank you, Chairperson. It is indeed an honour for me to stand before this Council in this, the 9th year of the democratically elected Government of the people for the people by the people, to talk about achievements in the Department of Minerals and Energy. In 1955 millions of our people were excluded from participating in the mining sector. This sector was predominantly white as it was owned and controlled by them.

Today, as the Freedom Charter clearly stipulates that the people shall share in the country’s wealth, the Department of Minerals and Energy has consistently strived for transformation in the mining sector to meet the physical needs of South African communities and to improve the quality of life of particularly poor and marginalised sectors such as women. Through its various programmes the department has been able to successfully create thousands of job opportunities for South Africans.

It has successfully implemented a number of projects, amongst which the formation of Mine Qualifications Authority to facilitate the develoment of appropriate knowledge and skills in the mining, mineral and jewellery sectors. These achievements are indicative of the ANC’s commitment to translate transformation into tangible benefits for poor South Africans. Those who have suffered under apartheid enjoy change and those who have benefited are dissatisfied.

Ke kgomo ya mosate wa e gapa o molato wa e lesa o molato. [It is a catch-22 situation.]

The ANC supports the Vote. I thank you. [Interjections.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Vote No 32 - Trade and Industry - put.

Declarations of vote:

Ms B N SONO: The core business of the DTI is to provide economic leadership through its understanding of the economy, knowledge of economic opportunities and anticipation of the future. Loosely translated, this is the opening statement of their vision. Loosely translated, it should be the engine room for economic growth and development behind the Government with a bold plan to stimulate growth and create jobs that will see rising living standards, especially for historically disadvantaged people.

Firstly, the DTI’s present model of the BEE strategy leaves much to be desired. The real answer is to have the kind of approach to development that puts investment in the economy and infrastructure alongside investing in people. Even the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry in the National Assembly begged the department to go back to the drawing board to review this strategy. [Interjections.]

Secondly, a strategy for the formal economy that would enable both established and emerging small and medium businesses to create jobs, absorb labour and reduce the high unemployment levels, which now stand at 40%, is sorely lacking. [Interjections.] Not enough is being done to stimulate the economy and not enough jobs are being created.

Thirdly, amongst other national departments the DTI has 26,14% and 28,7% of their budget respectively unspent for this financial year. This department shows extraordinary mediocrity under a Minister who implements policy. We therefore object to the Budget Vote. [Interjections.]

Mr R Z NOGUMLA: I rise on behalf of the ANC in support of Budget Vote No

  1. Since 1994, the DTI has contributed directly to the process of transformation, reconstruction and economic development in South Africa. It has remained committed to its objectives to grow investments and exports, grow markets for South African products abroad, grow small, medium and micro-enterprises, grow women-owned enterprises, redress the inequalities in the economy through bringing the previously disadvantaged into the mainstream, grow the Southern African Development Community region and assist with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, reduce geographic, spatial development inequalities by spreading investments over the provinces and create a fair and efficient market place for a business and consumer alliance. All the programmes implemented by this department have been successfully done. Quite a number of projects have been implemented and also a number of entities that are committed to its objectives have been formed. In the report to the department it includes the Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency, Khula Enterprises, the National Co-ordinating Office of the Manufacturing Advisory Office, Technology for Women in Business, the Industrial Development Corporation and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The CSIR is the principal research organisation in Africa committed to innovations supporting sustainable development and economic growth, and also creating value for clients, partners and stakeholders.

These achievements are indicative of the ANC’s commitment to translate transformation into tangible benefits for poor South Africans. We strongly believe that the current budget will build these achievements and allow us to extend these benefits to even more South Africans during the next financial year. [Interjections.] I thank you. [Applause.] Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 33 - Transport - put.

Declaration of vote:

Dr P J C NEL: Thank you, Madam Chair. Before I start, I would like to say I was very pleased to read in Die Burger this morning that the hon Minister of Transport is back in his office. We wish him well. [Applause]

The New National Party supports the Budget Vote. We do, however, have concerns regarding some aspects. It was very discouraging to learn from the business plan of the departmental document that the backlog with regard to road and commuter rail capital and infrastructure had escalated over the years to such an extend that it might lead to unacceptable consequences, should it not be addressed adequately within the medium term.

However, it is encouraging that the South African National Road Agency is going to take responsibility for the upgrading and maintenance of several national routes and provincial roads that form part of the strategic primary road network that currently falls under the control of the various provinces. I have no doubt in my mind that this programme will bring great relief for most of the provinces which are experiencing budgetary shortfalls at the moment, and I would like to thank the Minister for that.

My party is also concerned about the fact that the Department of Transport seemingly has a major problem with poor management of traffic information. Currently no information is available for a number of serious injuries on our roads. Apparently, information is collected only for fatal road accidents and according to the department, statistics in respect of fatal road accidents for 2002 will only be available towards the middle of 2003. Soldiers cannot be sent to a battlefield if they do not know the strengths of the enemy. The enemy is killing plus minus 10 000 of our people annually on our roads. I hope the hon Minister will deal with this problem effectively in the near future. [Applause.]

Vote agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution (Democratic Alliance dissenting).

Vote No 34 - Water Affairs and Forestry - put and agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

Question put: That the Schedule be agreed to.

Schedule agreed to in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.

                         APPROPRIATION BILL

             (Consideration of Bill and Report thereon)

Mr T RALANE: Minister, Deputy Minister and special delegates. The Joint Budget Committe notes the following: The present South African Government under the guidance of ANC delivered its 10th budget on 26 February 2003. The 2003 Budget takes us up on another rung on the ladder of social and economic progress.

Additional expenditure on social services, such as the child support grant, education, land restitution, health and food relief projects is unprecedented. The early announcement of transfers by the National Treasury to local government and municipalities is a fine demonstration of our continual involvement in intergovernmental fiscal relations.

The R13,3 billion tax relief for individuals who are the low and middle- income earners is yet again most welcome tax reform.

An above-inflation increase of old-age pensions and disability grants to R700 is noteworthy. The amnesty from prosecution offered to South Africans with funds illegally held offshore is a reflection and application of the ANC-led Government’s critical strategy for conflict resolution between political adversaries but applied in this case to the disharmony between Revenue Service and citizens.

It is also noted that opposition parties have objected for the sake of objection to several of the departmental Budget Votes. Unfortunately, an obvious conclusion is that, resistance to the process of transformation takes the form of unreasoned opposition that is tantamount to hostility. In defiance of the fact that such conflict destroys the essence of democratic debate, it is distressing to us that opposition parties seek to hinder and restrain the putting in place of a process that seeks to benefit all our people.

The Joint Budget Committee would like to refer members of this House to its recommendations when exercising their oversight functions. Some of the recommendations are published in the ATC of Wednesday, 18 June 2003.

The following are some of the recommendations: Further capacity have to be built into financial management procedures to ensure compliance with the Public Finance Management Act of 1999; Strategic plans of the department have to be scrutinised to ensure the redress of underspending or overspending before departments proceed to plan for new projects; formal structured co-operation between the committee and other sectoral committees of Parliament is necessary to permit the flow of information, in respect of peculiar departmental spending patterns and in the provincial sphere of government, greater co-ordination is necessary between treasuries and Minmecs to ensure that decisions taken at Minmec level are sufficiently budgeted for.

As elected representatives we have an overwhelming task of focusing not only on the national budget but also on the budget of the nine provinces and the 284 municipalities. Elected representatives are expected to focus on outputs and outcomes to be delivered by all three spheres of Government.

The Joint Budget Committee congratulates the National Treasury of South Africa once again for fulfilling, with distinction, not only its Constitutional responsibility but also its mandate.

We urge the House to support the Appropriation Bill.

Debate concluded.

Bill agreed in accordance with section 75 of the Constitution.


Ms N C KONDLO: Mr Chairperson and hon members, this Committee, after having been established by the decision of the Chairperson of the NCOP and the Speaker of the National Assembly, considered the President’s recommendations to Parliament. The TRC process, as we all know, was a very painful process that opened wounds and reminded many of the atrocities perpetrated against blacks in general and Africans in particular, by the then apartheid regime. Many a times those who suffered most from these acts of gross human rights violations were and remain women.

Andingeze, Mhlalingaphambili, ndiwulibale umbono wendlela oomama baseGuguletu apha eKapa abawufumana ngawo umphanga wokusweleka kwabantwana babo. Sokhumbula ukuba bababona ezindabeni koomabonakude. Abo ngumama kaMthimkhulu nomama kaSizwe Kondile. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[Ms N C KONDLO: Chairperson, I could never forget the sight of the mothers of the Gugulethu Seven when they heard the news about the death of their sons. We will remember that they only saw and heard about them during news time on TV. Those are Mthimkhulu’s mother and Sizwe Kondile’s mother.]

Chairperson, I will not venture into citing all the experiences because they are as many as the years we were discriminated against and treated as less human by the then Strydom, Botha, Malan and De Klerk regimes.

Nangona kunjalo, Mhlalingaphambili, … [Notwithstanding that, Chairperson, … ]

… when the ANC took over political power in 1994 …

… yabona kubalulekile okokuba, njengoko uMqulu weNkululeko usithi `kuya kubakho uxolo nokhuseleko’, mayimisele umthetho oza kujongana nokuzama ukwakha uxolo, umanyano nothando phakathi kwabemi baseMzantsi Afrika. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[… and saw it necessary to pass a law that seeks to build peace, unity and love amongst the citizens of South Africa and also a way of bringing about what the Freedom Charter says: There shall be peace and security.]

Yes, Chairperson, we saw how victims forgave perpetrators. We also witnessed situations where perpetrators were asking for forgiveness. We also know, I am sure the IFP will agree, that there were those who never bothered to come forward to the TRC.

Healing is a process. After it has been established, the committee considered the President’s recommendations flowing from those of the TRC. After deliberating extensively on these recommendations, as contained in the report before us, the committee endorsed these recommendations. The ANC believes that no amount of money …

… engaze ibuyise abo abangasekhoyo, ibuyekeze ukungcungcuthekiswa nomonzakalo kwabo bafunyaniswa yikomishoni bengamaxhoba empatho erhabaxa ngokwamalungelo abo, ndawonye nazo zonke izinto eziphathelee nokuphathwa gadalala kwabo.

Njengoko ikomiti ivumelene, ezi ziphakamiso zindidi mbini: zezo zijongene noluntu olwalungamaxhoba nezo zijongene nabantu abangamaxhoba njengeziqu. Sihlalo, zibe khona iindawo apho kusilele khona. I-ANC ithi ke uRhulumente, ngokwamasebe ngamasebe, makaqinise ngakumbi, agxininise kwiinkqubo ezijongene namaxhoba njengoko kwakuvunyelwene. Nathi, njengabameli babantu eMzantsi Afrika, masizifumane iingxelo kumasebe kuba umthetho uyasivumela okokuba senze oko.

Apha, Mhlalingaphambili, sithetha ngobom babantu. Ikhona ke imibutho yezopolitiko eyenza into yokudlala ngobom babantu. Njengoko isele isisiqhelo kuyo, yenza loo nto nangoku, siyazi okokuba ayizi kuyamkela le ngxelo yezi ziphakamiso zikaMongameli. Sithi siyi-ANC siyazamkela ezi ziphakamiso nale Ndlu mayenze njalo, khon’ ukuze lo mcimbi wembuyekezo ukwazi ukwenzeka ngokukhawuleza. Sele lilide ngokwaneleyo ithuba.

Ilulutho ke kuthi, njengombutho wesizwe, into yokuba ezi ziNdlu zoWiso- mthetho zombini zibe ziyiqukumbele yonke le ngxelo ziyamkele ngale nyanga yolutsha, kuba loo nto ithetha ukuthi iza kuthabatha umgama omkhulu ekuzipholiseni izilonda kulutsha njengoko bachaphazeleka kakhulu lulwamvila lengcinezelo. Mhlalingaphambili, i-ANC iyayixhasa le ngxelo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[… could bring back the dead; reverse the experiences of abuse and assault and injuries suffered by those that the commission found to be victims of oppression as well as every other aspect of their condition under the apartheid regime.

As the committee has agreed, the proposal is two-fold: it is those that are concerned with the people that are victims in the physical manner. Chairperson, indeed there are shortcomings in other respects. The ANC is calling on the Government and the different departments, to emphasise the importance of programmes that are aimed at reparation for the victims as per agreement. As representatives of the people of South Africa, we should receive reports from different departments because we have the backing of the legislation.

Chairperson, here, we are talking about people’s lives. We know that there are political parties that do not acknowledge people’s lives at all. As they have always been doing that and therefore are used to it, we know that they are not going to accept the President’s recommendations. The ANC endorses these recommendations and this House should do the same so that the matter about reparations should be resolved as soon as possible. It has been a long time already.

As the majority party, it would be significant to us if the two Houses would conclude about this report and support it during this youth month because that would mean that it has taken a long stride in healing the gaping wounds as the youth sweat and bled during the struggle against apartheid. Chairperson, the ANC supports this report.]

Mr L G LEVER: Chairperson, the Democratic Alliance would like the issue of reparations to be dealt with differently. We do not believe a `one size fits all’ approach is either desirable or appropriate when dealing with the issue of reparations.

We put our position to the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Reparations and the majority of the committee members did not accept our point of view. The DA is grateful that our positions were recorded in the report even though they were not identified as ours and they were not accepted.

The DA accepts that communities suffered and were traumatised under apartheid. We accept that there is a need to rehabilitate these communities. The DA believes that this form of community rehabilitation should be in addition to proper and adequate compensation to individual ``victims’’.

The DA believes that, at the very least, the 2 975 declared victims whose rights to claim civil damages against successful amnesty applicants were extinguished, should have their losses and damages assessed and receive commensurate compensation. The DA believes that a once-off grant of R30 000 to the victims as defined in the Act to be inadequate.

The DA supports the recommendation that monuments be erected commemorating the struggle for freedom and our new democracy. The DA believes that these monuments should be symbols of unity and reconciliation and that such monuments should reflect these ideals.

As I have already stated, communities traumatised under apartheid should be rehabilitated, but that this should be in addition to adequate individual reparations. The DA also supports the proposals for medical, educational and other social benefits.

It is important to note that there are a number of victims who have ongoing needs and who still suffer pain and trauma as a result of their injuries. The social benefits being offered will not fully address their needs, which resulted from the harm they suffered.

It is for these reasons that the DA cannot support this report. I thank you. [Interjections.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon members, before I call on the next speaker, I must indicate that I allow the list to continue as presented to me by the Whips, despite my earlier comment with respect to the hon Matthee. I will deal from the Chair with the matter of the party representation of the hon members that I had referred to earlier. But, I will allow the speakers’ list to proceed as it is before me at this time. At our next sitting I will indicate the legal position.

Mnr F ADAMS: Voorsitter, die verslag soos hy is en deur die komitee opgestel, is aanvaarbaar. Daar is geen beswaar vanaf die Nuwe NP om dit te ondersteun en te aanvaar nie. Voorts sal ons graag wou sien dat die bedrag soos voorgestel deur die komitee, nader aan die Waarheids- en Versoeningskommissie se aanbeveling moes wees.

Desnieteenstaande wag die aansoekers vir hierdie uitbetaling daar buite vir die ontvangs daarvan. In die lig van die afwagting van die aansoekers word daar vertrou dat die nodige regulasies so spoedig moontlik in gestel sal word, om sodoende ‘n deel van die geskiedenis van die verlede af te handel.

Ek wil ook graag die medevoorsitter, me N Kondlo, en die kollegas van die komitee bedank vir hul bydrae en harde werk in dié verband, Voorsitter. Die Nuwe NP steun die verslag. [Applous.] Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr F ADAMS: Chairperson, the report as it is and as it was drafted by the committee is acceptable. There are no objections from the New NP to support and accept it. Furthermore, we would like to see that the amount as proposed by the committee should be closer to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s proposal.

Notwithstanding that the applicants of this pay-out are waiting on the receipt thereof. In the light of the expectation of the applicants, it is trusted that the necessary regulations will be implemented as soon as possible in order to get closure on a part of the history of the past.

I would also like to thank the co-chairperson, Ms N Kondlo, and the colleagues of the committee for their contributions and hard work in this regard.

The New NP supports the report. [Applause.] I thank you.] Mr M J BHENGU: Thank you, Chairperson. The Act that established the TRC provide that victims would lose their right to take criminal or civil action against perpetrators who applied for and received amnesty. Our committee on reparations recommended that we support the President’s recommendations calling for systematic programmes to project the symbolism of the struggle and the idea of freedom through academic and informal records of history, cultural and art forms, erecting symbols and monuments that exalt the freedom struggle, including new geographic and place names.

The Committee further supported the Government’s commitment to the continued system of special emphasis on the rehabilitation of communities that were subjected to intense acts of violence and destruction. However, it must be remembered, Chairperson, that millions of people, who suffered under apartheid, never appeared before the TRC.

Only about 19 000 people actually appeared before the TRC. Another question here is: How do we deal with the nonmonetary issues? It is not known what provision will be made to ensure that the destitute, often the elderly, sometimes rural people in remote parts of the country, who are unlikely to have access to banks or bank accounts, would safely receive the proposed lump sum of R30 000. So because of all these things, the IFP would favour broad-based communal and symbolic reparations. Secondly, we would support the institution of a basic income grant, presented as part of communal reparations. And we believe that this would actually really impact on poverty and on nation-building. With those few words Chairperson, I thank you.

Rev M CHABAKU: Honourable Chair. I stand here as someone who has been in touch with people that made presentations at the TRC and others who have suffered through the apartheid system. But I would like also to add something: Many of our people’s suffering did not start with the apartheid system. The British started with all the oppression in our country. They started the Land Act, they brought the pass issue, they brought the Group Areas Act. All these became the foundation on which the apartheid system was built.

So I would urge that we must never forget that pain, that foundation that was just the basis for the apartheid system onwards. So the TRC, while it did a marvelous job of trying to give a record of what a pain and agony people have gone through, it has not said that it is authoritative, or the only thing. And we have never ever anywhere, said ``one size fits all’’; never. So its a fabrication that comes from somewhere. The committee never said so, never agreed that way, and the ANC, of course has never said so. The ANC knows that no money whatsoever can ever compensate for the pain or hurt of anybody, anywhere, anytime. [Applause.]

Even the little money that the ANC has suggested of R30 000 per family or person is not adequate, but where will we get all the money for everybody? We would not but this is a gesture of showing our concern. And we have also said, on top of that, that we must also begin to be part of healing, part of reconciling, of bringing people together. There are many other ways that we can help to heal. The scars will always be there. And we must never forget the scars, because otherwise you will forget who you are and where you come from.

Hence we suggest that the programmes that we have already started as a healing nation, as a party that believes in reconciliation, the programmes such as having the garden of rememberance, must continue. That we must continue building monuments, name schools, colleges, institutions, organisations and programmes after the people who have sacrificed themselves to make us to be what we are. We must never forget them and so their memory will go on. And when we have those monuments, they are not the monuments of drunkenness in taverns, but they will be very sad monuments because people lost their lives. They lost their relatives and some don’t have even gravestones of where their loved ones have been. [Interjections.]

Some don’t even know up to this day or have hardly even a garment to show where their loved ones were. The pain will always be there. But because we are truly African, truly religious people who won’t forget but can forgive. We are saying: let’s come together. We have all been part of the problem. Let’s be part of the answer. We are urging that all of us must support this report of the President who said: `` Let us find ways in which we can compensate and also make sure that such violence must never happen again’’. We must commit ourselves that we will love people beyond race or colour. We will share and care for them beyond race and colour. Those who have the means must always share with those who don’t have them. Because if we do not do so, tomorrow you will lose what you have, if you don’t share. [Applause.]

So we are saying here as a nation, we have shown the world through the TRC that we have created a place where those who have committed crime, can share; and those who were forced to commit crime and were used by can also come and share and bear their souls.

For others it was a job issue. It was not that they believed in what was happening. So they are also human beings. So we must find the healing, reconciling for them. So this report really endorses what the President stands for. And we urge that it must not just be a report, it must be our own commitment that from today the TRC thing must never happen again.

But we take that record, see what we have and that it must not multiply again. We become committed to caring and sharing with people everywhere, because many people are in need but a lot of people have got a lot of greed and so continue to push the greed, the need will never be met. So this report is a very worthwhile report. I was privileged to be in the committee and the subcommittee to hear and learn and understand how different parties were trying to work together. The different parties were trying to make one resolution, so that this decision is a decision of support and co-operation of all parties for all people, of one nation, in the New South Africa.

And we say this and we make this report on this special day, that is on 26 June. Remember, I say my brothers and sisters, my colleagues, that the TRC will not answer the whole question. But it’s a record of showing what has been done and this was presented to us. Copies of report are available. The President has gone through it and has made his recommendations. In response to what my honourable friend Mr Lever was saying: If you remove those phrases, all the rest was what we decided on, except that we didn’t mention about this being ``one size fits all’’, as he said.

Even the R30 000 is merely a gesture of compensation. We know 22 000 people came forward and some 19 000 cases were recommended for urgent reparation. Reparation means putting what was damaged and made wrong during war. So the urgency is there. There are many who didn’t come to the hearing. There are many who died. There are many who didn’t report and who are suffering in silence. There are many who are cripple right now. So we can’t be able heal everyone of them. But let’s say how can we make this hurt to be part of the answer. How can we turn lemons into lemonade? How can we make these men and women who have pain and hurt, use it positively to build, to restructure, to reconcile, to make a new country. The world is watching us and we are an example. We must continue to be an example.

With these words I say: Let’s move this report and serve this report. [Applause].

Debate concluded.

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I shall now put the question, the question being that the report should be adopted. The decison is dealt with in terms of section 75 of the Constitution. I note that all delegation heads are present in the House. In accordance with rule 7 I shall allow provinces an opportunity to make their declarations of vote, if they wish to do so. Is there any province wishing to do so? There is none. We proceed therefore to voting on the question. This will be done in the usual way. Delegation heads should indicate whether they vote in favour, against or abstain from voting.

Ms P MAJODINA: iMpuma Koloni iyawesekela. [Eastern Cape supports.]

Rev M CHABAKU: Go ntse go le gon ntsi-ntsi fela. [There has been lots and lots of it.]

Ms J KGOALI: Gauteng e a tlatsa. [Gauteng supports.]

Ms B THOMSON: iKZN iyawesekela lo-imbiko [KwaZulu-Natal supports.]

Mr M I MAKOELA: Limpopo e a o amogela. [Limpopo supports.]

Ms M P THEMBA: Mpumalanga iyawesekela. [Mpumalanga supports.]

Ms E N LUBIDLA: Northern Cape iyavuma. [Northern Cape supports.]

Mr Z KOLWENI: North West ke wa rona. [North West supports.]

Mr K D S DURR: Die Wes-Kaap steun die voorstel. [Western Cape supports.]

THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: All the provinces have voted in favour. I therefore declare the reported adopted.

Report adopted in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.

The Council adjourned at 16:52. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:

  1. Bills passed by Houses - to be submitted to President for assent:
 (1)    Bill passed by National Council of Provinces on 26 June 2003:

     (i)     Appropriation Bill  [B  8  -  2003]  (National  Assembly  -
          sec 77).

National Council of Provinces:

  1. Messages from National Assembly to National Council of Provinces in respect of Bills passed by Assembly and transmitted to Council:
 (1)    Bill passed by National Assembly on 26 June 2003 and transmitted
     for concurrence:

     (i)     Judicial Officers  (Amendment  of  Conditions  of  Service)
          Bill [B 33 - 2003] (National Assembly - sec 75) (introduced as
          Judicial Officers Amendment  Bill  [B  72  -  2001]  (National
          Assembly - sec 75).

     The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee on Security  and
     Constitutional Affairs of the National Council of Provinces.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces:


  1. The Minister of Home Affairs:
 Strategic Plan of the Department of Home Affairs for 2003-2006.