National Assembly - 26 May 2004

WEDNESDAY, 26 MAY 2004 __


The House met at 14:02.

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



                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That, notwithstanding Joint Rules 129 and 132B and subject to the concurrence of the National Council of Provinces, until further notice the composition of the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women and the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Children, Youth and Disabled Persons each be 9 Council members and 13 Assembly members as follows: African National Congress 8; Democratic Alliance 2; Inkatha Freedom Party 1; other parties 2.

Agreed to.

                         PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS

          (Resumption of Debate on Subject for Discussion)

The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Madam Speaker, your Excellency Thabo Mbeki, hon members, yesterday we were reminded of the ostensibly historic handshake; the handshake you and the hon Mr Tony Leon shared on the occasion of your re-election. It was also suggested that the handshake should be a starting point for a new era in South African politics. Our nation already has a people’s contract, so we were told. We were also reminded that the struggle for freedom and equality is not and never was waged on behalf of the masses.

Those of us who were tempered in the trenches of that struggle and who remain committed never to dishonour the cause of freedom, know that state power must be exercised in the name and interest of all the people of South Africa, black and white. [Applause.] We know that we have an obligation to bring to the centre of state policy and programmes those to whom poverty was an institutionalised material condition of life. The contract between us and the masses of our people cannot be supplanted by a handshake. Thank you very much, hon Mr Leon, your hand must not cross the floor. Please keep it to yourself. [Interjections.]

Some of the expert observers of the South African political scene had a lot of intelligent things to say about the state of the nation address you delivered in this august House on Friday last week. They say you eschewed poetry and philosophy in favour of a concrete programme of action. Of course they betrayed their own incomprehension of the poetry of the masses. They clearly missed the philosophy that underpins the programme of action.

Unlike the expert observers, the DA demonstrably understands the philosophical difference that exists between us. Although they seek to conceal this, they also understand the material implications of this ideological contestation. In this regard Mr Leon’s philosophy is discernible from his own eulogy of Edmund Burke. It places him and the party he leads firmly in the camp of traditional conservatives who are known to have sought a stable order, but through a life based on tradition rather than on forward-moving forces.

These are reactionaries who see the highest virtues in the ways of the old, the self-confessed disciples of Edmund Burke, who himself was a supporter of the notion of natural aristocracy and saw the state as a divinely ordained moral essence in a society uniting those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born.

A little over 10 years ago the South African state had the following features: a central government, 10 bantustans, 1 200 racially segregated local authorities, 176 departments with a personnel complement of 1,23 million public servants, 13 houses of parliament and a quasi-legal legislative president’s council. All these institutions were based on the ideology of separate development that was institutionalised into policy over time. Together, they constituted the apartheid state machinery that was characterised by centralised and top-down management, a lack of professional ethos and work ethic, a lack of popular legitimacy and a tendency towards social exclusion. [Interjections.]

Today’s challenge of inclusion and exclusion is not an unfortunate legacy which requires only a miracle to redress. It is the state we inherited that presided over the process of inclusion and exclusion. Under the regime of the time the economy of our country was burdened with many objectives that ultimately undermined its viability in the long run. An obligation was imposed on the economy to build Afrikaner capital, to decree job reservation, to evade international sanctions and to provide a California-type standard of living to a racially defined elite. Needless to say, this elite was surrounded by the rest of the population, the masses who were institutionally condemned to wallow in conditions of abject poverty and underdevelopment.

Following the advent of democracy, Government adopted the Reconstruction and Development Programme as its guiding developmental framework. The RDP sought to democratise institutions of state and government, redress the socioeconomic inequalities of the past and extend services to all. Some of the key focus areas include the establishment of national, provincial and local spheres of government, transformation of the Public Service and working for the achievement of macroeconomic stability. The need to continue to create robust institutions of state is absolute, given one of the findings of our 10-year Review, which points to the causal nexus between weak state capacity and poverty.

South Africa’s human tragedy, poverty, lies in the long shadows of our colonial and apartheid past. The scourge of poverty shares the same geoeconomic space with a high aggregated concentration, both of ownership and control of the economy. This state of affairs has sinister social effects and is impropitious to the large-scale job creation process that we visualise. As we speak, many of our people have directly benefited from public investments through access to basic services focused on shelter, water, electricity and sanitation. [Interjections.] No doubt a lot more needs to be done. [Interjections.]

In the circumstances it is objectively necessary for us to seek to improve the capacity of all state organs to pay consistent and co-ordinated attention to the problems facing our economy. Our institutions must be guided by policies whose clear intention is to stimulate growth and create conditions for sustainable development. When my colleague the Minister of Trade and Industry speaks of the role we assign to parastatals, he is emphasising the need for the Public Sector to act as a critical player in the process of growth, reconstruction and development of our country. Even conservatives who happen to be slightly more enlightened than the Leader of the Opposition will agree that the market mechanism is particularly bad at resolving co-ordination problems that require changes of the enormous scale that our situation does.

We’re not saying this in order to deny the importance of a productive market mechanism. As a matter of fact, we are investing in processes which seek to alter conditions that slow down productivity. We are tackling the infrastructure backlog that pervades hitherto marginalised areas such as those we designated as nodes of urban renewal and rural development. We’re also seeking to improve levels of investment in research and development as well as human capital.

All this cannot happen if Government policy follows market fundamentalist theories, which my learned friend was propounding at this podium yesterday. Anybody who knows anything about the political economy of South Africa will understand that our insistence on closing the gap between white and black South Africans can hardly be called an obsession with making demographics into a destiny. It is an economic imperative.

I fully agree with the hon Mangosuthu Buthelezi who yesterday implored us to be serious about providing the full measure of our contribution as members of Parliament. He cautioned us against allowing Parliament to become a clapping or shouting crowd. By the way, he even boasted about his 50 years of involvement in the politics of South Africa. If all of that period was covered in glory we would not be facing this difficult task of redressing the legacy of the Bantustan system. [Applause.]

Coming, as some of us do, from the ANC, we understand that our mandate is to design policies and institutions which are appropriate to tackling the challenge of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment. We accept that we must coexist with those who may well be operating under a different mandate.

We have outlined our programme of action. This legislature has an oversight role to play. Depending on where you come from, you may play that role as a divinely ordained moral opponent of the executive or as some coalition of forces that is suing for change, even if the change is defined to mean reversion to the status quo ante. [Applause.]

By the way, I understand that at least one coalition, even though the ink on the ballot papers has hardly dried, is already fragmenting under the weight of disagreements as to which of its two constituent elements is the official, never mind moral, opposition in KwaZulu-Natal. [Laughter.] We are told that this matter will be resolved shortly over a cup of coffee. Those who tried before will testify that the matter is not capable of such a simple solution - especially if the prime suspect is the DA under its various names.

Yo, mafhungo a vhathu! [Wow, people’s news!] [Applause.]

Mr W J SEREMANE: Madam Speaker, hon President, and hon members, I would not want to descend to the low level of the previous speaker, who sounds like a small boy in the gutters. [Interjections.]

Madam Speaker, we have indeed a number of things to be happy about and to celebrate as beacons in our history. One of these historical beacons is the birth of our democracy, despite the ugly and unjust system that preceded it. The coming of age of this selfsame democracy, manifesting itself in the consolidation of our first decade of democracy, is something to be proud of.

We in the DA are not unmindful of the sacrifices and contributions made by all citizens - some known and celebrated, others unknown and silent yet making their humble contributions in many meaningful ways. Of course, one should not forget to mention the cherry on top of this achievement cake and that is, Laduma - winning the 2010 World Cup bid. This is in itself a new challenge in many respects. Let all these achievements make us true and mature democrats, true to the tenets and imperatives of our Constitution.

We can also pride ourselves on having contributed greatly to the renewal of the African continent and affirming that indeed Africa deserves its rightful place amongst the nations of the world. We can also say that we measure our progress by the establishment of bodies such as the African Union, the Pan-African Parliament and its concomitant organs, including the related socioeconomic development programmes.

The challenge remains to give substance to institutions such as the African Union and Nepad, in order to achieve the noble objectives that they purport to want to achieve. South Africa’s responsibility in this regard is of vital importance, for without the weight of South Africa’s contribution there is little hope that these mechanisms will be effective.

Mr President, prestigious institutions on their own do not count for much unless these institutions are guided by certain principles, tenets, codes and standards of conduct in accordance with the widely accepted norms of democracy, the rule of law, good governance and the upholding of fundamental, inalienable human rights.

With our quest and passion for peace, security, stability and overall human development on the continent, we must not rest on our laurels and float in the euphoric bubble that all is hunky-dory. Beginning right from within our own country, where charity should begin, we have to take note of the very aspects that contradict noble ideals and visions. Crime, corruption, and inadequate social and health amenities are indeed impediments.

With our African vision and passion for Africa’s renewal we cannot turn a blind eye to our neighbours, such as Zimbabwe and Swaziland, and also those from further afield, such as Sudan. There are two lessons of caution that we must not forget. These are, firstly, that human rights are universal and indivisible and, secondly, that if we do not protect other people’s rights, ours will be in jeopardy too.

Silence when human rights are violated almost makes one guilty of being an accessory, that is, connivance through omission. To cite an example that is a blot on our record of achievement, let us consider Sudan. We, South Africa, did not object to Sudan’s continued presence on the United Nations Human Rights Commission, despite its gross violations of human rights. There are currently more than 100 000 internally displaced refugees in Sudan facing starvation.

In the light of the ratified protocols in the institutions mentioned earlier, the South African Government cannot turn a deaf ear to the many reports highlighting the plight of human beings in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and other places on the African continent. Our sotto voce diplomacy has paid no dividends in Zimbabwe. The deadline of June 2004 for a settlement, as set by the President, seems a mere mirage. Madam Speaker, yesterday was a day of hope for the African continent, that is, Africa Day, but it should also be a day on which African states spare time for introspection, in order to honestly assess their commitment to ridding the continent once and for all of the blight of conflict and human suffering. This opportunity must not be lost.

In conclusion, I want to say to the preceding speaker that history has shown us that arrogant despots sometimes do bite the dust. History has a tendency of turning today’s heroes into tomorrow’s villains. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms S P RWEXANA: Madam Speaker, hon President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members and colleagues, let us be reminded once again, while the successes of our third national democratic election are still vivid in our minds, that of the millions of the electorate who went out to cast their votes on 14 April 2004, 55% were young and old women, black and white, and this is a good signal for a people-driven society where people are governing through various formations in civil society.

Mongameli, egameni lamakhosikazi elizwe lethu ndithi ukwanda kwaliwa ngumthakathi. Sinelunda sizingca namhlanje kuba asilindelanga mvuthuluka. Izitya zabelwa abantu ngokwemisebenzi. Kananjalo sinesidima nondiliseko ngenxa yomqulu wamakhosikazi owasekwa ngo-1954 ngamakhosikazi afana nooLillian Ngoyi, ooAlbertina Sisulu, ooHelen Joseph, ooRay Alexander Simons nooDora Tamana. Isigqeba sakho sinamakhosiakzi angabaphathiswa noosekela-baphathiswa yaye ngaloo nto sithi halala, Mongameli. Amaqobokazana angalala endleleni sukube kunyembelekile. (Translation of Xhosa paragraph follows.)

[Mr President, in the name of the women of our country I would like to thank you by saying: May you be richly rewarded. We are proud and excited today because we do not expect leftovers. The food is being apportioned to people according to their roles. We also feel dignified and honoured because of the Women’s Charter that was established in 1954 by women such as Lillian Ngoyi, Albertina Sisulu, Helen Joseph, Ray Alexander Simons and Dora Tamara. Your Cabinet has women Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and for that we say: Congratulations, Mr President. When women are sleeping along the road, then there are serious problems.]

Comrade President, the women of our country recognise and respect the role played by our stalwart, Comrade Ray Alexander Simons in the struggle of our country. This is one woman who played a role in the struggle of workers, in the struggle of women and in our national democratic struggle.

Siyabulela, Mongameli, ngokuwonga eli qhawekazi ngesithwalandwe xa besibhiyozela iminyaka engamashumi amahlanu yoMqulu waMakhosikazi. [We thank you, President, for bestowing the Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe Award on this heroine when we were celebrating 50 years of the Women’s Charter.]

The years of struggle that followed were largely determined by the contribution of women in whichever way they were able to contribute in the struggle for total liberation in this country. This was further shown by the contribution of the famous women’s march of 1956 to the Union Buildings. A battle cry was established as a warning to Strijdom that ``wathint’abafazi, wathint’imbokodo; uza kufa’’. [you strike a woman, you strike a rock; you will die] Interestingly enough, he died.

In the ten years of democracy the ANC-led Government has passed numerous laws that have changed the lives of women of South Africa and all our people. These laws include legislation allowing women to be legally protected from any physical or emotional violence and women victims of the perpetration of such violence can receive counselling from the police. The Employment Equity Act of 1998 makes sure that women are given equal opportunity to be hired, trained and upgraded so as to maintain a full- fledged position in the workplace. The passing of the Domestic Violence Act of 1998 extends the range of relationships that are protected and places obligations on law enforcement agencies to actively assist women to assert their rights under the Act.

Another commendable exercise was the passing of the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Amendment Act of 2003, whose purpose is to provide for unemployment, illness, maternity, adoption and dependants’ benefits to employees. The enactment of the Communal Property Associations Act of 1996 makes provision for non-discrimination between women and men in communal property ownership and use of communal land, expressly protecting the interests of women in accordance with the principles of democracy, accountability and equality.

Delivery and transformation in our country by the ANC-led Government has brought a better life to our women in many ways. There are several specific job creation initiatives that are ongoing in rural areas to benefit rural women. The Botshabelo Poultry and Vegetable Project at the Maraba village in Limpopo is thriving and so is the Barrydale Brick-making Project in the Western Cape. The full impact of these and other projects like them can clearly be seen in the story of the Phuthuma Project in Limpopo. In this project a group of previously destitute women now make clothing, fences and bricks with equipment purchased through Government funding for poverty eradication. A number of targeted small, medium and microenterprises have been established to ensure that businesses, and women-owned enterprises in particular, get access to information, training, counselling, markets and technology.

Through the Department of Housing, the ANC-led Government introduced the Rural Housing Loan Fund and also Women for Housing, which is a world-class organisation for rural families and especially rural women to improve their housing, economic and living environment. The Working for Water Programme is part of the National Water Conservation Campaign which employs local people in the clearing of invasive alien vegetation. This improves the available water supply and provides a means of livelihood for unemployed people. A number of jobs that mainly benefit rural women have been created through this programme. Flowing from the state of the nation address by the President with regard to the implementation of the Expanded Public Works Programme, as witnessed in Giyani in Limpopo during the first part of its implementation, we have seen youth and women who were never exposed to employment in their lives now being employed and gaining experience and skills.

The Government has committed itself to the acceleration of urban and rural development programmes especially to women in poverty-stricken communities. Prioritising both rural and urban nodes to show its commitment to this, it has re-introduced the Child Support Grant that targets the poorest households in our country and reaches 3 million of the poorest children. Frequently these grants mean the difference between malnutrition and starvation on the one hand, and having the means to provide a child with food on the other. Government has plans to extend the Child Support Grant from a maximum age of seven to fourteen by 2005.

Nutrition programmes for school-going children have also been introduced to ease the plight of poverty-stricken women with children. The programme is activated through the Primary School Nutrition Programme. The allocation has increased by 28,7% in real terms from 2002-03 to 2003-04. The increased allocation to the Primary School Nutrition Programme is aimed at improving frequency of feeding, the standardisation of menus, extending the number of schools and the inclusion of grade R pupils in the programme.

The past ten years have also seen a significant increase in the number of women in the public sector. Their occupation of senior management structures and the increase in their earning and purchasing power reinforces their critical economic role, previously and currently underestimated in places. As we address the challenges of transformation of this economy and the role of the public and private sector, and labour and the community, the reality of improving by recognising the role of women must preoccupy us in a dynamic way. We cannot wittingly or unwittingly underplay and marginalise the role of women when we have correctly identified the magnitude of poverty and joblessness as being huge and unacceptable, needing all the power and creativity at our disposal to imaginatively deal with it.

The past ten years of democracy have also spawned new dynamics of migration. The urban and rural dynamics now include women as migrants as they move to urban areas to find better prospects of economic survival. This reality has implications for the economic backbone. These women have been in the rural areas. Therefore, our urban and rural development planning and linkage strategies must be mindful of these patterns and respond to them creatively.

The ANC-led Government has further adopted the Beijing Platform of Action. It has also acceded to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and has accepted the SADC declaration. It has been in the forefront in committing SADC countries to the 30% representation of women in decision-making bodies of the council, creating an environment for women towards centre stage in looking at issues of eradication of poverty and diseases in their country and promoting economic development.

As far as gender equality is concerned, education and upbringing of our children must be done in such a manner that it removes stereotypes that have to do with bias and prejudice about who can do what when and who should be educated and who not. Our campaign for the education of men in particular, also linked to moral regeneration, will play a crucial role in the struggle for gender equality.

Finally, Madam Speaker, we celebrate the successful 2010 bid not just as an African triumph but also as it is going to accelerate the breakdown of barriers about who plays football. We see increased recruitment into the Banyana Banyana provincial and local ranks as well. Sexual barriers in sport are therefore crumbling and there is no turning back. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M B SKOSANA: Madam Speaker, his Excellency the President, Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members, last Friday, in his address to the nation, the President unveiled the most comprehensive and extensive Government programme of action to be implemented over a number of years, with specific time lines, to intensify the fight against poverty, diseases, illiteracy and underdevelopment. And we believe that with the right adequate human and material resources, and effectively utilised, the Government programme should undoubtedly consolidate the political, economic and social freedoms and liberties of all South Africans.

The broad-based black economic empowerment drive referred to by the President, which includes the promotion of agricultural credit schemes, the expansion of Spoornet, assistance to small and medium businesses, the acceleration of the restructuring of Transnet, and the stimulation of the first economy for job creation and equitable distribution of wealth and resources, should be an education to us lawmakers in this honourable House that political democracy is good, but is not sufficient on its own; it must be buttressed with economic democracy and cultural emancipation.

Here, hon members, Government and the entire Public Service are challenged by the Presidency to create a society and people who must all participate and share in the economic wealth they create. We should also be aware of the intimate relationship that exists between economic control and political participation, and if we are not vigilant enough, economic domination will creep in and strive to control political, social and cultural activities. In the words of Dr Moses Coady; ``Those who control the financial processes of the nation will also rule the political state.’’

Moral regeneration, national reconciliation and nation-building remain complex and elusive aspects of the national agenda. Yet they should form the fundamental cornerstone of the success of our democracy and sovereignty. Without them we would become like the honest builder who could not erect the house walls on a solid foundation and could not put up the house roof on firm walls. We will be disappointed when the centre does not hold and have to face protracted social unease and political decay characterised by failure, corruption, warlords, indiscipline, criminality and predation. That is a potential predicament for any nation or state which fails to respect its independence and the will of the people.

The rural development protocols referred to by the President invariably place immense responsibility on the proposed Agri Black Economic Empowerment Framework, which will be required to apply itself to the true transformation of the rural economy. In the spirit of the President’s announcement, this means that agricultural co-operatives and co-operative landownership must be pursued vigorously and made to operate as antipoverty social instruments, accompanied by a rigorous land reform programme. Presumably these rural development protocols will be all- embracing, irrespective of regionality and political disposition.

In contrast with these rural development protocols, those motivated by a strong desire to retain economic interests and wealth in the hands and control of a few establishments, businesses and households took advantage of the conflict and political differences that existed between the ANC and the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal, and went on to push for a decision favouring governance of the region from Pietermaritzburg and Durban, a decision which will further impoverish millions of the rural population. It will plant hordes of informal settlements around the cities, and increase unemployment, lawlessness and crime, while at the same time resuscitating colonial relics and buffer zones, disallowing any measure of integration and development of the first and the second economy to the total exclusion of the poor majority who are Africans in that region.

These circumstances militate against economic democracy and public safety, and for this reason the people and the government of KwaZulu-Natal would find it prudent to review this reason for the sake of development, peace, stability, progress and unity. Elizabeth Isichei, a scholar in African history, observed that ``colonialism makes its victims its defenders’’.

The most arduous and difficult commitment for South Africa over the past ten years has been the renewal of Africa, and the President, the Deputy President and Government played a fundamental and positive role in assisting some of the African nations to focus their resources more constructively on intra- and interstate peace, security, health, economic co-operation and development. Yesterday the African Union launched the long-awaited Peace and Security Council for the African continent.

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development, together with the Commission for Africa recently established by the British prime minister Mr Tony Blair - and with the South African Minister of Finance Mr Trevor Manuel representing some of the African nations on the commission - should introduce a more relevant perspective on African economies and provide meaningful answers to some of the questions raised by Guy Martin in Africa in World Politics - A Pan-African Perspective. He asked these questions:

Why is a continent so richly endowed with natural resources and minerals consistently rated as the poorest in the world?

Why are Africans, contrary to what pertains in the rest of the world, still struggling for their basic human, political, economic and social rights?

Why is the African, 150 years after the abolition of slavery, everywhere still in bondage, a perpetual servant and beggar, a hewer of wood and drawer of water for the rest of the world?

I think this is a brutal reminder of the impact of the unbridled process of globalisation where underdeveloped African countries are treated as less than junior partners in trade.

However, a more optimistic perspective of Africa is contained in the words of the former US President, Mr Bill Clinton, in his address to the South African Parliament in March 1998, when he declared:

Yes, Africa remains the world’s greatest development challenge, still plagued in places by poverty, malnutrition, disease, illiteracy and unemployment. Yes, terrible conflicts continue to tear at the heart of the continent … But from Cape Town to Kampala, from Dar-es-Salaam to Dakar, democracy is gaining strength, business is growing, peace is making progress. We are seeing … an African renaissance.

The Middle East crisis is deepening further. From the Oslo Accords to the Road Map the peace process is hobbling from one tragedy to another, leaving behind hundreds of dead Palestinians and Israelis, including women and children. In spite of diplomatic interventions by members of the European Union and others, the conflict there continues to widen, threatening the economic and strategic interests of neighbouring countries. It brought partial paralysis to the United Nations and its Security Council; hence we agree with the President’s proposal to restructure the United Nations and some of its vital international organs. South Africa should also consider another alternative intervention, that is, the establishment of an all-party permanent committee for the Middle East, which would be a subcommittee of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, with an aggressive diplomatic programme worked out in conjunction with the President and the Cabinet.

Finally, our support also goes to the 2010 bid. We also agree with the President that its success must be a national obligation. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr P D N MALOYI: Madam Speaker, Deputy Speaker, President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon members of Parliament, distinguished guests, comrades and friends, from the onset, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the President for a wonderful speech delivered on Friday last week. The speech was specific on what it is that we need to do as a country. He spoke about achievable things, but what impressed me most was that the speech of the President was time- bound.

Whatever he spoke about, he was saying to us that within a particular period this is what we should have done. [Interjections.] You are therefore assured of our intentions to utilise the speech of the President as a guide in playing our oversight function. This is what we are going to do as members of Parliament, as South Africans.

We are debating issues raised in the President’s speech with our hands face up, as the ANC, and without any hidden agendas on how to accelerate the mammoth task of solidifying the foundation of our democratic order. Young people of this country played a pivotal role in the struggle for freedom and democracy. They fought tirelessly for the creation of a united, nonracial, nonsexist and democratic society. They insisted - and they still continue to insist - that whatever we do should not be defined on the basis of race, colour, ethnicity, language, culture or any such considerations. This is what young people are insisting on. Now, in the process of fighting for this democratic country, many of our young men and women lost their lives; others were incarcerated, brutally beaten up or murdered.

The late president of the ANC, Comrade O R Tambo said, and I quote:

A nation that does not invest in its youth does not deserve a future.

The qualitative shift brought about by the advent of democracy in 1994 changed the terrain for the youth sector. When the ANC and its allies drafted the RDP document what they noted, particularly in the introduction, was that special attention should be paid to the youth of this country. As a result, the youth was then identified as a target group and it was catered for in a wider programme aimed at addressing poverty and underdevelopment, psychological skills and otherwise.

In its endeavours to address the needs and aspirations of young people, the ANC-led Government established the National Youth Commission. That commission is located in the Office of the President. Its location is aimed at enabling it to fulfil its mandate of raising the profile of youth issues in all government departments. Therefore, its brief was to provide a co-ordinated framework and facilitate co-operation for all youth programmes, in all those departments.

The adoption of the National Youth Service Programme by our Cabinet was indeed one of the key achievements in this country. The cornerstone of that programme is, amongst others, skills development: Give work experience to young people in order for them to use that experience for the development of society as a whole; and key amongst those is to strive for national unity at all times.

The situation of our young people today requires a concerted national effort that will improve the skills level, which I spoke about earlier, and give work experience. This is what is required from all of us. The setting up of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund opened a number of opportunities for young people around the issues I spoke about: skills development, job creation, etc.

In executing its mandate, the Umsobomvu Youth Fund had to focus on three programmatic areas, obviously informed by what Comrade O R said and informed by what the President has been saying for all these years. One of those programmes was contact, information and counselling. This programme is to provide young people with information and support regarding careers; advise them about where to go to apply for bursaries; where to go in order to get employment, etc. That is the whole thing about this particular programme. It includes entrepreneurship and I must say that, to date, over 80 000 young people have visited this site, enquired, etc and have benefited from the programme I have just spoken about.

The second key programme is around skills development and transfer. This programme is aimed at providing unemployed young people with technical skills, life skills and work experience which will then enable them to access jobs or be self-employed. Already, I must tell you that after the adoption of the National Youth Service Programme by the Cabinet in this country, over 1 000 young people were trained out of 10 initiated youth pilot projects. I spoke to the CEO of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund on Thursday last week. He said to me that by the end of this year they would have trained 5 000 more young people - that is what he told me - and, obviously, in doing so they would be using the capacity of our further education and training colleges.

The third area is around youth entrepreneurship programmes. This is aimed at both business development support and enterprise finance. The Umsobomvu Youth Fund launched a world-first electronic-based business development support voucher programme. This is to enable young people to access support services such as business planning, productivity improvement, tax and accounting, marketing plans, etc. And, I must tell you that over 2 700 people have already been assisted around this particular programme.

In rounding up this matter I must tell you that, to date, the fund has committed over R500 million to 90 projects in these three areas; about 100 000 young people benefited; and 13 000 direct jobs have been created.

In his state of the nation address, the President of the country said, and I quote:

In the period since the holding of the Growth Development Summit, we have reached a figure of 64 000 with regard to learnerships. We have already studied our experience in this regard. Arising from this, we will engage the Setas to increase the uptake of learners and improve the focus on the skills that are in short supply. This process of engagement will be completed by the end of the year. We will work to ensure adequate funding of the technical colleges and proper alignment of the courses they offer with the requirements of the economy.

He went further and said:

By the end of the year we will compile a register of all graduates so as to link them up with Umsobomvu, learnerships, and other schemes and institutions that would help them to start their own businesses or get jobs.

This is what the President said. He put timeframes on whatever he said. The speech of the President sent a clear message to the youth of our country, that this society cares about them and is more than prepared to invest in them. We will not fail Comrade O R Tambo. It is therefore our sincere hope that the input of all the speakers who will speak after me will not be dominated by issues that are not important for this country, for this society and for all our people. [Applause.] The SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, your time has expired.

Mr P D N MALOYI: And, Madam Chair, that they will focus on issues of fundamental importance …

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr P D N MALOYI: … guided by a clear understanding of our commitment to better the lives of our people. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Madam Speaker, Mr President, hon members and distinguished guests, allow me first to start my speech by quoting the last words of your address, Mr President, to this House last Friday. The President said: ``Let us get down to work in a people’s contract to build a better South Africa and a better world.’’

Mr President, your speech was welcomed by the great majority of the people of this country who, like you, want to contribute selflessly to the creation of a better South Africa and a better world, using their energy, time and resources to achieve that goal. There are some grumpies, of course, who grumble incessantly about everything. We heard them yesterday. They have not stopped grumbling since your address. But, I think, as we all know, grumblers will continue to grumble, but when asked what it is they can add, they’ve got nothing to add. They belong to the same world of cynics and those who are noncommittal regarding the challenges we face and the opportunities that present themselves under our democracy.

An HON MEMBER: You must listen.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: I do listen. I hope you are part of the majority of the people of this country. [Interjections.]

Fortunately for our country, people like yourselves are in a very small minority that the wider world out there ignores. The great majority of our people, from all walks of life, also ignore you people and will do so at this particular point in time as they respond positively to the call of our President for us to get down to work to create the South Africa that our forebears in the struggle for our freedom could only dream about - a South Africa for all our people, black and white, working together to create democracy and equality, and conditions for prosperity, justice, peace and stability for all. However, I also need to indicate that I am not sure of the extent to which those on the left understand what nonracialism means in South Africa. [Interjections.] The hon members may need to go back and consult to find a way of making sure that they understand nonracialism in South Africa, which brings all people together. [Interjections.] Madam Speaker, they are making a noise.

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY: The leader of the people is making a noise.

The SPEAKER: The hon member is struggling to hear herself apparently.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Hon Madam Speaker, three newspaper articles were flighted during the first week of this month, which caught my interest greatly as a South African patriot. The writers were South Africans, writing from different perspectives and even from different countries.

The first article was published in a special souvenir edition of the Financial Mail of 7 May. It was an assessment by Dr Frederik van Zyl Slabbert of how far we have come as a country. Recalling some of the early attempts at a negotiated settlement in South Africa, which were peaceful, he referred to several meetings that were held by interested people in South Africa with the ANC leadership in exile. He wrote in part that:

Thabo Mbeki was present at most of these meetings and had a profound impact on those who were there …

This included himself -

… Through the force of his personality and intellect, he managed to keep the hope of a negotiated transition alive.

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: So why do you ignore him on electoral reform then?

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: I am not going to respond and waste my time on you. [Interjections.]

The state of the nation address, again, was another instance, Mr President, in which you continued to keep the hope of our people alive. There are many South Africans who are clinging to the hope that things are going to be better for them under our democracy. Even those who have nothing have their hopes raised when they see the things that the ANC Government is delivering to their neighbours, friends and relatives. When they see this delivery they say: ``Nakum izawufika.’’ [It will also come to me.] They never stop hoping.

I also want to mention an article written by Colin Dedricks that appeared in the Cape Argus of 6 May who described himself as ``an ageing South African who now lives as a Canadian citizen in Toronto’’. Dedricks was among the expatriates who attended the South African Freedom Day celebration in Toronto that he defined as -

… probably the best thing that happened to many expatriates. It was an opportunity to mix with our own kind, savour home-grown delicacies, listen to those familiar flat accents at full volume, and share a culture far removed from this country we now call home.

The country ``we now call home’’ he was referring to was Canada.

These were former patriots who still believe and have confidence in South Africa. This is the case with Dedricks because he said that no matter how long he had been there, he would never be a true part of the fabric. He said:

I’ll add a little border to the Canadian tapestry, a wee bit of colour but I’ll never be part of the final make-up because I was not born here.

Here in South Africa we have some South Africans who were born here but who, continually, are not patriots of this country. They continue to have commitments somewhere else. Therefore we have to question their ability and their contribution to the positiveness of South Africa. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

In a very constrained manner he makes the observation again that:

None of this older generation will ever admit, even under the pain of death, that maybe, just maybe we should have stayed in South Africa. But we have made our bed and now we sleep in it - nightmares and all.

I don’t know how many of us in this House identify with this statement.

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: The young audience is leaving you. I don’t know about the older one.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: You are part of the older one. Your mind, hon Leon, is old. You don’t belong to the young people of this country. [Interjections.] [Applause.] You belong to those old people from the past. Young people don’t think like you in this country. Young people think better. You don’t think like young people. [Interjections.] You think as if you are in Paul Kruger’s era. [Interjections.] That’s where you belong, but on the other side of the world. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon member! Order! Order, hon Deputy Minister!

Hon member, are you rising on a point of order?

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Yes, Madam Speaker, I have a point of order. It’s in respect of two things. The first is the manner of interruption through the running commentary that is made by the opposition from the one side. Also, with respect, there is provision in the Rules of this House that members shall not converse aloud. The second point is that no member has the right to interrupt a member speaking from the podium. So I would ask that those two issues be looked into. Thanks. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Hon members, the points raised by the Chief Whip are points that should be noted by everybody sitting in this House, because the noise tends to come from different sides of the House at different times. I really think that when there is a member standing here trying to address the House, that we respect that and give the member that opportunity.

Please proceed, hon Deputy Minister.

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I also want to mention that on the other side of the world there are Dennis and Nannie Visser who, having made their bed, refused to be slaves to that early decision. The Vissers left their home in Johannesburg in 1994 and emigrated to New Zealand and then Australia. When they told their story to the Sowetan, they said: Everybody was very nervous in 1994 and the future was very insecure.'' But today, they say, looking back,I think we could have stayed. South Africa did very well and the worst did not happen,’’ as they expected. ``Everybody now sees South Africa as a big success story after being able to change without civil war. I think the world is very happy for us.’’ This shows and indicates the positiveness about the future, which was seen to be doomed by most former South Africans who are still patriots, who will come back one day.

The South Africans who left our country for other shores were running away from different kinds of phobias. Many were afraid of the forthcoming democratic transformation, believing it would put paid …


The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Awuk’ uthule wena mani nxe! [Shut-up!] [Laughter.] [Interjections.] … believing it would put paid to the privileges they had, coming as they did from a past of white superiority and the preserve that accompanied their station in life. They proffered many excuses for the decision they made to emigrate. [Interjections.] They claimed that the country was going under, burdened by crime and other ills. They did not want to be, as they said, part of the rot. [Interjections.]

However, there are currently many South African expatriates who want to come back home and be part of our winning nation, to be part of the human resources that must work together to address problems like unemployment …


The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: The Minister of Health has done well. You should be ashamed of talking about her like that. [Interjections.] … to address problems like unemployment, disease and crime. They want to come back and work together with all of us in a people’s contract to build a better South Africa and a better world. They must be encouraged to come back as patriots, indeed so that they do not remain outside us in places far away from home where their cultures, customs and languages are spurned.

They must come back so that, working together, we can bring up our children in conditions of safety and security as parents in our homes, in which conditions we will teach them our value systems of morality; and inculcate in them the pride of being African. They must come back so that, working together, we can regenerate our sense of parenthood to consolidate our families and communities. Doing that will help steer our children away from gangsterism, drugs and the many attractions of underworld crime that put some money in their pockets. And, as they change their attitude, they will become a key resource in our crime-fighting strategy as sources of information for the law-enforcement agencies.

In the end, we will be able to unite our people around the important ideal of a people bound together by a sense of national consensus to safeguard our national interest, where we will be united in the fight against crime, where we will work together for peace in the countries around the world in which wars and conflicts continue to take the lives of innocent victims, where we will work together to roll back the frontiers of poverty and minimise, therefore, the occurrence of crimes of need.

Over some time now, you have been exhorting us to work together as a nation, Mr President. You have spoken about the need for us to find one another, united around the ideal of one nation that would accept its diversity but agree to be united in regard to the national interest.

There is an opportunity for all of us, calling also those who are not part of this, to come forward once more to unite around at least one issue, one goal: the 2010 Soccer World Cup which Fifa has asked us to host. We were united in 1995 when we hosted the Rugby World Cup. [Interjections.] Seremane, stop making a noise. You are too old to behave in that manner; you are a grandfather, mani. What are your grandchildren saying? [Interjections.] We were also united when we hosted the African Cup of Nations soccer tournament. On those occasions, our teams Amabhokobhoko and Bafana Bafana won the relevant cups and made us proud. We believe that, apart from their own skills and ability, the fact that the nation was united behind them must have gone a long way towards motivating them to the glory of victory.

Let us be united now as we prepare for the 2010 World Cup. Let us work together to upgrade the stadiums where the various matches will take place. Let us clean up the streets and places where we live. Let us unite to create conditions of safety and security for all of us, and, let all of us as public representatives make sure that we continue to participate and encourage different communities in our constituencies in making sure that this dream becomes a reality instead of pointing fingers.

We can always unite as a nation when we face challenges, and we should strive to do this. Many are the challenges we face as we consolidate the democracy we have. We have the resources we require to face them and to triumph. This is the direction you are leading us in, Comrade President. The great majority of our people are ready to follow you, because there is no alternative to the concept you spelt out on Friday of a people’s contract to build a better South Africa and a better world for the generations that will come after us and those that will come thereafter. As you said, Comrade President:

Perhaps the time has come for the emergence of a united movement of the peoples of the world that would come together to work for the creation of a new world order.

I want to say to all of us, again, how many of us believe in what the President said? How many of us, when Dr van Zyl Slabbert went to Lusaka and held those discussions with our President, believed that today we would be where we are? To those who are not prepared to come with us, we say, The train is leaving you. You are either on board or you are left behind.'' President, we say:Sekunjalo!’’ We are together with you. Thank you. [Applause.]

Rev K R J MESHOE: Madam Speaker, hon President and members, in his state of the nation address the President started by wishing all members success in their work as they carry out their obligations as our country’s lawmakers. I also want to reciprocate by wishing the President and his Cabinet well in their endeavours, among other things, to reduce poverty and underdevelopment in our country.

We must admit that the President unveiled an ambitious plan to stimulate economic growth and fight poverty and crime that has renewed the hope of the nation. The fact that he set timeframes and stringent deadlines for numerous tasks and challenges faced by this Government has affirmed his commitment to deliver on all his promises. This has also made it easier for opposition parties and the general public to have a check list they can use to measure Government’s performance and progress.

Among the bold pronouncements by the President is the goal of providing all households with easy access to clean running water within the next five years and providing more than 300 000 households with basic sanitation by December of this year. This is commendable, particularly when one recognises the fact that the lack of proper sanitation and access to clean running water has had a seriously negative impact on the health of our people. All the efforts to improve the living conditions and health of our people should be supported by all members in the House.

For a good quality of life for all our people to become a reality, poverty must be replaced with prosperity. For our people to enjoy any form of prosperity they must have jobs, because at the root of any poverty alleviation programme there must be the creation of jobs - most of which should be permanent. We are therefore pleased that the President has promised to pay particular attention to the further growth of the small and medium business sector.

The ACDP believes that for the economy to grow and be sustainable most jobs must be created by the small business sector rather than by large corporations, big industries or the state. That is why it is important for Government to create and maintain an environment in which small businesses can flourish. One way of helping them to flourish is for the President to consider recommending a decrease in taxes for small businesses that are struggling with growth. Such a decrease in the tax burden would then leave them with much-needed cash to create more jobs, contribute to the increase of the GDP and reduce the levels of unemployment and poverty in our country.

The opportunity and privilege given to South Africa to host the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup is going to bring a major boost to our economy, with billions of rands that will be injected into the South African economy - drawing tourists from over the world and creating much-needed jobs. According to the Football Bid Committee, who did an excellent job on our behalf, more than 150 000 jobs will be created as five more stadiums will be built and five others upgraded. We agree with Cosatu that urged construction companies to boost the local manufacturing industry by using South African-made materials and components.

An urgent response to the President’s call to improve roads, ports and rail infrastructure is crucial. Transport Minister, hon Radebe, did well by admitting that the Department of Transport must be overhauled, and that its administrative section must be reorganised to meet the challenges of a developing economy. We agree with what he was reported to have said, namely that -

… rail passenger transport is haphazard, of a low service standard and is grossly underfunded as far as the maintenance and provision of new infrastructure and security are concerned.

An announcement by the Safety and Security Minister that the deployment of railway police on our trains is going to be reintroduced is long overdue. The ACDP has been calling for the use of railway police on our trains, to ensure passenger safety, for many years. We are glad that finally it is going to happen.

The review of police salary structures is a welcome move that hopefully will improve the morale of the police, who on many occasions have to endanger their own lives in the line of duty. A generous offer of increases, between 20% and 50% for the lowest-paid police, is recommended by the ACDP. Such an increase will remove any need for members of our police services to be involved in moonlighting, accepting bribes or participating in any form of corruption. If Government can manage to eradicate crime from our passenger trains, thus ensuring passenger safety, then more people who drive alone to work will start using trains again, which in most cases is a much cheaper option. This will ease the congestion on our roads and reduce exhaust fumes that contribute significantly to air pollution. Other spin-offs would include fewer accidents and a longer lifespan for our roads.

The ACDP welcomes the Victim’s Charter, the President said would be finalised within the next two months. It is good news to hear that by the end of this calendar year Government will commence with the implementation of the Victim Support Services Programme so as to attend urgently to the needs of the victims of crime. The ACDP has been calling for the compensation of victims of crime by the introduction of the principle of restitution in our justice system. We trust that the Victim’s Charter will include the establishment of a compensation fund for victims of crime. Where the criminal is not apprehended or is unable to pay restitution to the victim, then it should be incumbent upon the state to compensate the victim, as the state has a constitutional obligation to ensure the safety of its citizens.

The Department of Social Development placed an advert in some newspapers announcing the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2004. The ACDP has consistently advocated for the promotion of the family and the promotion of family values. We fully appreciate that families are experiencing increasing difficulty in fulfilling their role of social development due to poverty, unemployment, HIV and Aids. There can be no doubt that dysfunctional families contribute to the moral and social decay within society. South African families need help.

It is unfortunate that while the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Family coincides with the 10 years of freedom celebrations in South Africa, the President didn’t make any reference to it. The family is the most important building block of any strong, healthy nation. This Parliament must promote family life and address the needs of families holistically by providing services and resources. Government must allocate resources to address the needs of families as the pillars of our society.

I realise that there are a number of members who are interested in the Titanic, and I want to say something about it now. [Applause.] I want to recommend that members watch the movie, Titanic. If you watch the movie you will see how it sank. The Titanic did not sink in one piece, but it sank in two parts. So when I, from a distance, saw the sinking of the Titanic, I did not manage to see what the colour was of the alliance partner which went down first. And nobody can argue that the coalition partner of the Majority Party, the New NP, definitely started sinking on 14 April. [Laughter.] [Applause.] So, the other part will follow suit. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr R B BHOOLA: Madam Speaker, Madam Deputy Speaker, hon President and colleagues, in 1994 the father of our nation, His Excellency Mr Nelson Mandela, informed the South African nation that the winning of political freedom was only one victory and that many battles lay ahead. Greater battles still had to be waged.

The renowned Martin Luther King once said, ``I have a dream’’. On hearing our hon President Thabo Mbeki address the state of the nation, South Africa does have a dream - a dream to overcome poverty and underdevelopment and to improve the quality of life of all South Africans. No one can disagree with this. Much of this speech has been the slogans of political parties sitting here. Hence there can be little disagreement that this dream should become a reality. It is the duty of Parliament to prioritise budgets and develop action plans that will address South Africa’s fundamental socioeconomic problems that hinder the development, growth and creation of jobs.

Parliament must be committed to addressing challenges relating to racial and gender inequalities, the disempowerment of the youth and people with disabilities and the elderly. Parliament must ensure the enforcement of rules and regulations and Acts of Parliament relating to employment equity and affirmative action. As I speak, KwaZulu-Natal still does not have an affirmative action policy or an employment equity plan in the education sector. This tends to undermine the commitment of Parliament and our constituencies.

The second area of commitment relates to the need to raise skills within the public sector. The President has committed himself to engaging the Setas to address the uptake of learners and to improve the focus on skills that are in short supply. While this is progressive, very little is mentioned about improving and upgrading skills at school level.

Two areas are of fundamental importance. Firstly, with regard to the introduction of the FET curriculum that includes subjects such as motor mechanics and hairdressing, there has been absolutely no development in this area in schools. Secondly, it is evident that a number of educators will require reskilling in order to implement the FET curriculum at schools. This area should receive considerable attention if it is our intention to improve the quality of life of our people.

There is also a need to generate more bursaries for schoolchildren. Government must also explore the possibilities of financing the products of FET schools to facilitate more entrepreneurs. Schools should not always be viewed as institutions for the creation of labour. Implementing some of these recommendations would assist our children to start their own businesses at a very early age.

In respect of adult basic education and training, these institutions must exist in their own right. Educators should be permanently appointed to such posts and the conditions of service must be determined.

While Government is busy implementing social security initiatives, such as school nutrition programmes, they must be extended to secondary schools. A comprehensive plan for HIV and Aids must include schools.

With regard to the distribution and creation of jobs arising out of the Extended Public Works Programme, mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that there is no discrimination and marginalising of minority groups, as poverty does not pick and choose on the basis of race. The manner in which local government responds to some of the challenges in respect of poverty alleviation is very slow. Mechanisms must be put in place to ensure efficient service delivery.

There has been a change in the government of KwaZulu-Natal, and we are proud of the fact that the KwaZulu-Natal Premier, the hon J S Ndebele, is implementing your policy of unity. [Applause.]

In the past 10 years numerous changes have benefited the long-suffering masses. The masses, Mr President, have given you their recognition with a record 70% support. The road towards peace, unity and reconciliation has been strengthened. For the record: on 29 April 2004 there was a by- election in Ward 73 in the eThekweni Municipality. The MF won the seat with 73% of the votes, crushing the DA who received only 9% of the votes. [Applause.]

In conclusion, the time has come, not for long speeches, theories and philosophies regarding the development of this country, but for implementation. Mr President, you have charted this great ship of democracy on the correct course. If one had to engage the President’s speech, the MF would advise the engagement should be on the development of action plans and on the ratification of budgets biased towards South Africa’s people first and foremost at all levels of government. I have seen the slogan ``Sekunjalo, ke nako’’ [now is the time] in many places. Now it is time for implementation. Izandla ziya gezana. Ngiyabonga. [Tit for tat.] I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M R MOHLALOGA: Madam Deputy Speaker, His Excellency the President and hon members, there is an African proverb in Kikongo, a language spoken by the Bakongo tribe in central Africa which, directly translated, says that a forest without young trees will die.

The ANC, as an organisation, understands the point expressed by this proverb. We know that every society relies on its youth to propel it forward and to move to new heights. As we celebrate ten years of freedom, we recall the bravery and sacrifices of our youth who had to perish in pursuance of our people’s yearning for freedom and democracy. We recall the indignation, marginalisation and disempowerment visited upon our people by successive colonial and apartheid regimes. Accordingly, we acknowledge the importance of and the invaluable contribution that our youth made to propel us forward, and to free our people.

Together with our people they could not despair, but they gained the fortitude to fight and free themselves from the shackles of apartheid bondage, inspired by a firm belief that another world was possible. As a result of the tremendous work that we have done in the last ten years, hope and confidence prevail in the hearts and minds of our people. Today those of our people who are without food, have hope for a meal; those of our people who are infirm and sick, have hope for health; and those of our people who are tired and sleepy, have hope for a roof over their heads.

Madam Deputy Speaker, having attained our freedom, the challenge for us lies in how we maximise opportunities for our youth to participate in the economy. To us as the ANC, economic participation by the youth denotes an ongoing process in which young people are engaged, invested in and empowered. In this context, economic participation by the youth is a multidimensional endeavour to promote sustainable integration of the youth into the mainstream economy. We stand firm in our belief that young people should not be spectators of the broad-based black economic empowerment programme. They must be active participants in the economy.

Young people represent 70% of the employment sector in the country. As a result, the African youth, rural youth and young women bear the brunt of grinding unemployment and underemployment. The progress we make with regard to reducing unemployment and joblessness will be determined by the extent to which we reduce the number of young people who are unemployed.

To this end, we appreciate and commend the commitment made by our President to launch the Expanded Public Works Programme in all provinces by the end of the year, as well as the other measures intended to maximise the capacity of our economy to create sustainable jobs.

The President announced in the state of the nation address that we will compile a register of all graduates graduating this year, so as to link them up with Umsobomvu, learnerships and other schemes and agencies to help them own businesses or get jobs. This is a very important initiative, because it will assist in easing access to these institutions and agencies to the benefit of all our youth. It will bring these institutions to the youth and, conversely, it will bring the youth to these institutions.

Consistent with the sentiments expressed by the President, it is important for us to lend financial and material support to the youth in the establishment and development of their enterprises. In this context, the introduction of a proportionate stake for young people in companies as one criterion when Government departments and state-owned enterprises award tenders, could be one of the interesting ideas that we need to look into. I hope that as Government does so, the private sector will take a leaf out of its book and reciprocate. Young people can be leaders in industry, and so we should open up a space for them, to build their potential, their talents and skills, to the service of our economy.

Young people are not a liability but an asset at our disposal. The various black economic empowerment charters that are being considered should be used to the benefit of young people as well. Financing mechanisms and affirmative action programmes should be embraced wholeheartedly by the private sector. The chronic problem of unemployment stems from a lack of skills, the contingent oversupply of a manual or unskilled workforce, and a gap in the synergy between the education system and labour market demands. To this end we would like to welcome the commitment that the President made regarding the funding of technical colleges, and the proper alignment of the courses they offer.

In the initial stages of the implementation of the learnerships, some of us were a bit sceptical about the extent to which we could move with regard to our absorption targets, given the pace at which Setas were moving at that time. But thanks to the tough-talking Minister of Labour we would like to congratulate and commend the Setas with regard to the progress that they have made so far. However, we should insist that they move to a higher gear, to accelerate the intake of learners through measures that were announced by the President.

Madam Deputy Speaker, we are reminded by Charles Colton that great minds must be ready, not only to take opportunities, but to make them for their fellow brothers and sisters. Accordingly, a call should be made to establish business leaders, both black and white, to mentor the upcoming young entrepreneurs. Let us also be reminded of the commitment that young people made at the last Growth and Development Summit. They committed themselves to contributing one day’s gross remuneration of all working youth and youth who may have financial and monetary opportunities, for the establishment of a youth fund. The President was the first to make a pledge to this fund, and I would like to join him by making a pledge, here and now, with the hope that deadlines will be considered for its implementation as well. An HON MEMBER: How much?

Mr M R MOHLALOGA: I do not know how much I earn a day.

In February 1964, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan de Klerk, explained South Africa’s sport policy as follows:

South African custom is that within the boundaries of the Republic, whites and non-whites exercise their sports separately, and this must be adhered to. Participation of mixed teams as representatives of South Africa as a whole in world tournaments or competitions cannot be approved. Whites take part in such tournaments as representatives of whites in our country, and in the same way, non-whites will represent non-whites.

It was Dr Verwoerd, on 4 September 1965, who took this policy’s perspective to new and crazy heights. He determined who could play, against whom they could play and when and where they could play sport. In solidarity with the people of South Africa, the supreme Council of Sport, an agency of the Organisation for African Unity, then mobilised the African sporting community to press for the isolation of the South African sporting codes in international games. They also mobilised for the boycott of those games where South Africa was invited. Consequently, most African sportsmen and sportswomen could not participate in international games, because of their solidarity with their South African kith and kin.

The fact that we are hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup on behalf of Africa is a humbling honour and privilege. This moment marks the full integration of Africa into the international sporting community. It is a celebration of many years of struggle by the African people to use their talents for the unity of our continent. It is a moment at which we, as South Africans, should unite and put our ugly chapter of discrimination in sport behind us. Furthermore, we should make use of this opportunity to nudge along and mould the talent that is there amongst our youth in the rural areas, in the townships and in squatter camps, so that all the sporting codes in the country become fully integrated.

In conclusion, Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to congratulate the millions of our youth who came out and participated quite enthusiastically in the last general elections, thus sounding the death knell to the artificial sophistry that was coined before the elections to disengage young people from the political life of our country by referring to them as apathetic.

I have spoken to many of our young legislators, and those that are members of various executive councils, and they are quite committed to ensuring that they do not fail our movement and our people. The confidence that our country has shown in them will meet with their dedication and hard work.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Comrade Malusi Gigaba on his appointment as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. I was talking to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, who has the same complexion as you and me, and I was saying to him that with your appointment, those of us who have the same complexion as you do, will start having peace with immigration officials. Thank you very much. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

Ms R TALJAARD: Mr President, Deputy Speaker and colleagues, apart from our own election, events of global economic significance have occurred. The situation in Iraq and the Middle East has woefully deteriorated, with world oil prices surging, fuelling inflation concerns not only in the G8, but among our own countries in the developing world. The United States deficit continues to rise. The European Union has welcomed new entrants, opening up new destinations for global FDI flows. The Doha trade talks appear to be back on track. China is overheating and India has seen a change of government.

Against this global canvass of both rapid change and tactical opportunity, we have to redouble our own efforts at increasing our economic growth and moving onto a higher growth path. We must do this, not merely for the sake of pursuing growth itself, but because growth is not only a socioeconomic but also a moral imperative. Only sustained economic growth can dramatically reduce the levels of poverty and unemployment in our country.

While your speech, Mr President, was impressive for its political courage in setting explicit targets, there was one missing, and that is a non- negotiable aim at higher economic growth. There are legitimate fears for any government that aims to set a growth target for itself, but the old adage is true, that is if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time. This is no trivial matter. It is true that many of our Gear targets, including our growth targets, have been missed, but that is because growth and many of its component parts of macroeconomic reform have been sacrificed too often in the pursuit of ideology.

We cannot primarily blame some of the vagaries in the economic situation on the global arena. We also have to do introspection of where we have failed. We agree with you that the Washington Consensus has become an intellectual construction site, but we also realise that there is no substitute for free markets and open markets. It is quite clear that we need higher investment, greater freedom for the private sector and entrepreneurs, and a streamlined competitive economy that is attractive in its tax structure, inflation profile and input costs.

There is consensus on the need for growth, but we part ways on the means and the modalities of how to achieve it. The first of our differences concerns the role of the state and parastatals in development and job creation. State-led job creation is always far less preferable to that of the private sector and almost always more expensive. Mr Pahad, you need some lessons in economic policy. [Interjections.]

The state is limited in how much it can spend on social grants, public works, and the recapitalisation of the parastatals if it does not wish to empty the state coffers. You will realise the limitations of the modalities you deployed, Minister Pahad, when you are looking at a higher deficit you can’t control.

Ongoing reform of our economy and the education system constitute the only interventions that will deliver skills, higher growth, and large-scale job creation. We must not lose sight of the basics when it comes to the appetite and capacity of business to absorb an ever-expanding list of social obligations. More importantly, we cannot, and must never replicate the manifest mistakes of the past. The former apartheid government turned the parastatals into employment agencies. The price tag of this step was enormous in terms of the exorbitant inflation-fuelling input costs, unsustainable debt profiles, pension fund obligations, medical aid obligations, and other liabilities, not to mention uneconomic jobs traded for political support.

The legacy of this project of economic social engineering was almost equally devastating to our economy as the policy of apartheid was to our social and moral fabric itself. It must not and cannot be repeated.

On privatisation, the market needs far more reassurance than it has currently received from the new Minister. As Raymond Parsons points out in today’s Business Day, ``The political foundations of a market-driven economy need to be secured.’’ We must continue to unleash the productive force of the private sector, and not shackle it in endless obligations.

Many of our differing views on means indeed centre on the role of the state. State-led development has been tried and failed in South Africa before under NP rule. In this regard, the disastrous policies of prescribed assets, another favourite of NP economic policy, must remain on the dusty shelves of history. The prescribed asset route is an inappropriate method to use to generate investment. FDI remains first prize of a socially targeted investment. Although your announcement, Mr President, emanates from the GDS agreements, and does not amount to a formally prescribed asset route, it does indeed raise concern because it adds to the burden of obligations already on the private sector.

Many sectors of our economy already have to absorb the financing implications of charter-related BEE transactions. Retirement funds are also taxed, to the detriment of the national savings. Adding prescribed assets to the mix, even through an informal target, will cause even greater pressure. It will impact on investor appetite, and indeed on FDI flows. In a country such as ours there is no doubt a need for social obligations and social responsibility in the private sector. But there is a limit to the amount of obligations both local and foreign business can assume, while remaining profitable in our emerging economy. The ``can-do’’ attitude that inspired the World Cup, must also inspire us in chasing a higher investment rate. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Rev K M ZONDI: Madam Deputy Speaker, your Excellency the President, hon members, today a very important meeting is taking place in the People’s Republic of China. It is a meeting of key decision-makers called by the World Bank to discuss the problem of poverty in the world. This morning the president of the World Bank, Mr James Wolfensohn, said that there was a reason why they decided that the meeting should take place in China. He said it was because China, which is the emerging economic giant of the 21st century, has taken more than 400 million people out of poverty over the last 20 years.

This presents us with a sober challenge and a yardstick to measure the success of our nation by. Today, as we debate the state of the nation address, we must ask this critical question, namely whether we are making sufficient progress towards creating a people-centred society in which all our people are free from deprivation, despair and want. I believe that the question is of great importance and relevance to the IFP and our role in the body politic.

The plight of the rural and the urban poor must be prioritised. The development challenges are immense and considerable. They require a measure of insight, vision, commitment and even courage to tackle. We must create a genuine opportunity society in which everyone is drawn into the mainstream. We ask not for equality of outcome, but equality of opportunity. Education and skills acquisition are the only way to achieve this. There is an urgent need to ensure that people in historically disadvantaged communities have the opportunity to acquire professions in key sectors where their contribution is sorely needed, such as in the medical and science fields, and in the new technologies.

Education and training facilities must continue to be upgraded in line with these objectives. Education and the spread of opportunities undoubtedly has been one of the most important factors in lifting people out of poverty in China and elsewhere, allowing a new world to cascade down to new generations. We must not and cannot allow this generation and future generations to experience the indignities and the injustices of the apartheid era.

With the interests of our constituents in mind, it was particularly gratifying that the President gave detailed timeframes to the infrastructure initiatives to develop the so-called first economy in the national logistical system. And while the IFP endorses the Expanded Public Works Programme to respond to the challenges of the second economy, it is, however, of the view that more should be done to expand the development and output of our economy in order to ensure more sustainable job opportunities and to respond to the overarching challenges to create a people-centred society in which all our people are free from deprivation, despair and want.

Great strides in delivering services to the poor have been made over the last decade, but the dark side is that many of the electricity, water and telephone connections are cut off each month, because users simply cannot afford to pay for them. The big question of our time is whether we will be able to meet here again in 10 years’ time and say that we are closer to achieving a people-centred society, or will the poor majority continue to become poorer as the new enriched elite emerges.

The IFP fears that the politics of race will be overlaid with the new stratification of the politics of class. According to statistics quoted in Prof Sampie Terreblanche’s seminal work, A History of Inequality in South Africa, at present only a small elite of 16,6% of the population earn 72% of personal income while the poorest 25,5% of South Africans earn 1,3% of personal income. That is why the most critical need is still to develop a cogent macroeconomic strategy to drive economic growth up to 6% plus, to turn the tide against South Africa’s deep structural poverty and narrow the gap between the rich elite and the poor majority.

In this Parliament the IFP will continue to urge Government to adopt macroeconomic measures to make South Africa, like China and the tiger economies of South Eastern Asia, a haven for foreign direct investment and to lighten the burden on would-be entrepreneurs. It is also important to grasp that the Expanded Public Works Programme will not in itself be a panacea to South Africa’s unemployment crisis. The jobs created will only be short-term, though they will provide for skills training and transference. Finally, the IFP will ask these crucial questions in every debate: Will the decision of this Parliament improve the living conditions of the rural and urban poor? Will this legislation or that administrative measure benefit the poorest of the poor and will it improve their condition? Will this decision enhance a community’s ability to help itself or promote self- reliance?

Together as a nation, as a Government and as opposition, we share a glorious goal to create a truly people-centred society in which opportunities abound, especially for the historically disadvantaged. The IFP will serve to the best of its ability and we are looking forward and focusing outwards. We welcome the broad thrust of the state of the nation address, with the emphasis upon moving from aspiration to implementation. Now let it be done. I thank you.

Ms E THABETHE: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and hon members. As we celebrate 10 years into our democracy and the entrenching of our position in the beginning of this term, the position of the ANC-led Government is correctly alluded to in the message from the President in the ANC’s 2004 election manifesto as ``a people’s contract to create work and fight poverty’’. I quote:

Throughout its 92 years of existence, the ANC has put the interest of all the people at the top of its agenda. Having united the overwhelming majority of South Africans in struggle, the possibility was created in 1994 for us to work together, practically to construct a society that cares.

Democracy and equality before the law are entrenched in our Constitution. Women workers, youth, professionals, people with disabilities, traditional leaders, religious communities, businesspeople and rural communities all have the right to utilise the opportunities that have come with freedom.

This position is aptly stated again in the state of the nation address in which he says that the two celebrations of our 10th anniversary and the success of our bid confirm the strength of the sentiment shared by millions across the globe for a world of peace, democracy, nonracialism, nonsexism and freedom from poverty. They speak of a shared dream for international solidarity and friendship among the people, and the victory of the African Renaissance.

These circumstances suggest that perhaps the time has come for the emergence of a united movement of the peoples of the world and that we would come together to work for the creation of a new world order. This should respond to the urgent need to address the concerns and interests of the billions of our universe who are poor and marginalised, as are the same masses in our country who must be the principal focus of our efforts to build a caring and people-centred society.

In our efforts to build a caring, living and people-centred society, the ANC-led Government, in 2001, established the SA National Council on Aids, which is chaired by the Deputy President and consists of representatives from the Ministries, 17 civil society sectors, 18 Government departments, two Portfolio Committee on Health representatives and the chairperson of the Select Committee on Social Services. It is surprising that there are some leaders who come here and state that the ANC-led Government does not care about people living with HIV/Aids. And it is also surprising that some of the leaders who were in Cabinet then endorsed these particular programmes. But then, three weeks after not being appointed to Cabinet, they now turn around and say that nothing is being done or that the ANC- led Government is not serious about the question of HIV/Aids.

Allow me, Deputy Speaker, to state the overall view. One of the major achievements of our HIV/Aids response, as led by the ANC Government, is the approval by Cabinet of the operational plan for comprehensive HIV/Aids care, management and treatment in South Africa. The approval on 19 November 2003 paved the way for the national and provincial health authorities to begin a concerted effort to improve management, care and treatment for people with HIV and TB.

The implementation of this plan also places a significant emphasis on health system strengthening. Additional resources for this were provided to the national Department of Health in December 2003. Following the implementation of the STI surveillance system, the first report is due in the 2004-05 financial year. There is an increase in access to the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission programme. There are now 1 752 facilities that are offering the PMTCT programme, there is improved management of TB and other opportunistic infections, access to home-based care services was increased and, by the end of the 2003-04 financial year, there were 893 active service points. There’s currently a process under way to map and zone health services with a specific emphasis on home-based care in districts. This process will also assist in adequate referrals.

The youth programme launched the first national youth skills behaviour survey. This survey provided valuable information, not just on health matters, but behavioural data that will be of importance to other Government departments and civil society. The programme also launched materials for deaf children on HIV/Aids. By the end of the 2003-04 financial year, there were more than 2 500 facilities where voluntary counselling and testing services could be accessed. This is a significant increase from the 1 500 facilities at the start of this financial year, and the Khomanani mass communication campaign was very visible.

Given all this, it is again really impossible for some of the leaders to come and stand at this podium and say the ANC-led Government doesn’t care about people living with HIV/Aids.

Ke kgolwa hore le ha re bua ka Sesotho, batho ba sa batleng ho utlwa, Motlatsa Sebui, o ke ke wa kgona ho ba qobella hore ba utlwe. Empa ke kgolwa hore batho ka ntle ka mane ba a tseba hore Mmuso ona wa ANC, ntate Presidente, ke Mmuso o saleng o tlile o tshwere ditletlebo tsa batho le maphelo a batho ka tsela e makatsang. Dintho tseo ke sa tswa bua ka tsona mona ke tse hatellang hore mokgatlo ona o utlwisisa le ho mamela batho e le hore o tle o tsebe ho etsa dintho tseo o tlamehang ho di etsa ka nako e tshwanetseng.

Jwale ba bang ba batla hore re nne re mamele bona ha ba ntse ba bua dintho tse senang nnete, ba tsamaya ba batla divoutu tsa batho. Re fetile dikgethong hle! Jwale mosebetsi ke hore re tshwarisane, etswe diraporoto, ntate Presidente, di re lefu lena la Aids le a laoleha. Jwale re tshepa hore ha re tshwarisana, batho ba tlohela ho nna ba batla dintlha tseo ba sa tlo bang ba di fumana ha jwale, ho ka ba molemo haholo.

Batho ba naha ena ba bontshitse hore ANC e eteletswe pele ke wena ntate, mme ba e tjhaella monwana. Jwale ke tshepa hore le bona ba lokela ho leka ho latela. Ha re sa kgutlela morao empa re ya pele. Re ise ka lebitso la hao ntate, tswela pele le Letona la tsa Bophelo. Re re o sebetsa mosebetsi o moholo, mme ho bobebe ho bua ho ena le ho etsa. Batho ba bang ba bala dibuka tse kgolo haholo. Jwale, ha ba qeta, ha ba ye bathong ba ilo bona dintho tse etsahalang. Ho bona ho bala dibuka ho molemo haholo. Empa wena ntate o bontshitse le nakong eo re neng re kene matsholong a dikgetho hore wena o utlwisisa ho ya bathong hore o tle o utlwe ditletlebo tsa bona, o tle o tsebe ho etsa hore molao wa hao o dumellane le seo o se bolelang ha o re o latela dintho tse batlwang ke batho. Eseng dintho tse nahanwang ke batho ba balang dibuka tse kgolo, hobane ho bona tse ka bukeng di kgolo haholo.

Wena o tseba hore na batho ba phela jwang. Tswela pele le Letona la Lefapha la tsa Bophelo. Re re ha a tswele pele, o etsa mosebetsi o motle. Ho molemo ho bua o etsa. Jwale re bua tjena hobane jwalo ka ha re bua tjena hajwale, jwalo ka ha o ne o bua le ka la bohlano bekeng ya ho feta, disebediswa tsa bophelo bo botle tse 113 di tla kenngwa tshebetsong ka ho phethahala. Empa ka motsotso wa jwale ha re bua tjena, tse 31 tsa tsona di sebetsa ka ho phethahala diporovinseng tse 7. Jwale, ha o bue feela o nne o latele batho ba tlang ho bua haholo. O sebetsa ka tsela eo o sebetsang ka yona mme setjhaba se o tjhaeletse monwana, tswella ntate. (Translation of Sesotho paragraphs follows.)

[I believe that, even if we say this in Sesotho, those who do not want to listen will not hear, and we cannot force them to hear. However, I also believe that people out there know that this ANC Government, Mr President, is a Government that has always dealt with their complaints and their lives in an amazing manner. What I have just said here shows that this party understands and listens to people, so that it can do what has to be done at the right time.

There are others who want us to listen to them while they tell lies, so as to get people’s votes. We are now through with elections, please! What we have to do now is to work together, because the reports say that Aids can be controlled, Mr President. We hope that if we work together, and people stop trying to score points that they cannot get right now, things will be much better.

The people of this country have shown that you are the leader of the ANC, Mr President, and they have voted for it. Now they also have to follow. We are never going back, but we are going forward. Take us, go forward with your name, and go ahead with the Minister of Health. You are doing a great job, and it is easier to talk than to work. Some people read very impressive books. Now, when they are done with them, let them go to the people and see what is really happening. To them, reading books is very important, but you have shown us, even during the elections, that you would rather go to the people and listen to their complaints, so that your laws can agree with what you mean when you say that you go according to what the people want. Unlike the way those who read impressive books think, because they only respect the theory in their books.

You know how people live. Go ahead with the Minister of Health. We say she must go forward, she is doing a good job. It is better to speak and act, at the same time. We say this because, as you also said on Friday last week, the 113 health instruments will be completely put in place. However, at the moment, 31 of them are fully working in seven provinces. You do not just talk because some people talk a lot. You work in the way that you are working, and people agree with you. Go ahead, Mr President.]

Madam Speaker, as the ANC and the Government are steadfast in building a caring and people-centred society, the youth is not left behind. As you remember, the ANC-led Government was given a mandate to govern in 1994, and since then the people of South Africa have twice renewed their faith in this Government with the hope that a better life will come to all - not only to the ANC members, but to all in this country.

The national Department of Public Works was mandated to use its competency to improve the rural landscape of South Africa and make life better for the poorest of the poor, which project resulted in the creation of more than 163 000 job opportunities, of which 48% went to women and 30% to the youth. These projects consisted of rural roads, marketing, stores, taxi ranks, etc.

A number of special projects were also funded, with one entitled ``Youth working towards environmental accessibility’’, carried out in partnership with the National Youth Commission and the Office on the Status of the Disabled. This project, which comprised the identification of strategic Government buildings that do not have adequate facilities and access for disabled persons in both urban and rural areas and the equipping of these buildings with the necessary facilities, was met under the R50 million budget allocated for it under the special projects budget.

About 420 young people in three provinces were recruited, trained and employed in the modification of these structures. I think, Comrade President, this is what we say in terms of the buildings that people will use to access whatever necessary information they need, and the disability sector and the youth then played a key role in trying to say: ``Let’s not talk but let’s act and volunteer, in order that we are able to make sure that people living with disabilities will also have access to the necessary information and resources that your Government provides.’’

As a pilot, this project was a national effort to kick-start the establishment of the National Youth Service, designed among other things to recruit and then to make sure that economic development and reconstruction, and social transformation are realised. On the other hand it encouraged youth to follow in the spirit of volunteerism. It also inculcated in their minds the role of the youth in our country, and created an opportunity for them to follow in the path of their role models like the Sisulus, Mandelas, Thabo Mbekis and others of this world, people who are still in this House who are veterans and have volunteered for this organisation, and continue to do so. There are people like mma Rita Ndzanga as one of the veterans, mma Bertha Qcowa is another, and bo ntate Diale. We expect the youth of today and tomorrow to reflect and also follow on the path of those leaders so that they will be able to contribute and make this country work.

It is also because of the need to sustain all efforts in building and caring for the people of our society that this ANC-led Government approved not only the implementation plan of the National Youth Service in seven provinces, which comprises of an Expanded Public Works Programme which so many members have discussed, but also, looking at the programme nationally under the auspices of the Department of Health, the ``Partnership for Health Programme’’.

Also, looking at the Johannesburg Eco-City Trust, we see that 100 young people are demonstrating how efficient energy can be used in landscaping, building and waste management in poor communities. Care, where 20 young people provide human hands and time in clinics and hospitals around Johannesburg, has demonstrated the Expanded Public Works Programme in action.

Ka hoo he, mohlomphehi Presidente, ka nnete le batho ba sa batleng ho utlwa, esitana le yona tsipa-sehole, e a bona hore ha o bue feela empa o a etsa. Tswela pele ntate. [Therefore, hon President, even people who do not want to listen, even the dumbest of the dumb, can see that you are not just talking, but you are also doing something. Go right ahead, Mr President.]

Thinking globally but acting locally, South Africa has been at the forefront of efforts to protect our ozone layer, working to prevent the dumping of toxic waste on the poor or the powerless, working to mitigate the global climate change and removing persistent organic pollutants from society. All this is done because South Africa now has a caring Government, and pursues peace, development and international relations that benefit all.

As we celebrate our 10 years of democracy, it is pleasing to note that we are on track in meeting our environmental objectives - that of ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the protection of the environmental rights of all South Africans, particularly the disadvantaged. We therefore ensure a better life for all South Africans through the growth of tourism and the sound management and protection of the country’s environment. The sound management of these resources ensures that the potential economic growth in these sectors is maximised, resulting in job creation and foreign investment attraction.

Comrade President, in your state of the nation address you referred to three pillars that should respond to the challenges in the struggle against poverty and unemployment. These challenges can also be met by the impact and benefit of the tourism industry sector in our country, where some of the youth will be able to benefit. We can also try to train some of them to start future tourist attraction type businesses. These will have to be looked at in terms of not only building jobs that are sustainable, but making sure that some of them become successful entrepreneurs and are able to lead. The following proves what Pixley ka Seeme said at the founding conference of the ANC in 1912, when he said: ``We have called you to this conference so that we can together devise ways and means of forming a national forum.’’ [Time expired.] [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon President, hon members and comrades, yesterday the overwhelming majority of members and parties in this House welcomed the vision and programme contained in the state of the nation address presented to Parliament by the President of the Republic. They committed themselves to being part of building a people’s contract to create work and fight poverty and to create a better life for all.

A minority proclaimed that they too agreed with this vision. After quoting a few goals from the President’s address they stated that there was agreement about the major goals our society needed to reach. They stated that there was agreement on ends, but disagreement on means. They then proceeded to advance perspectives and positions which indicated fundamental opposition to the goal of creating a democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous society.

They chose instead to articulate a well-known agenda that sought to defend the privileges of those who had historically enjoyed privilege by opposing all major legislative and policy interventions to deal with the legacy of colonialism and apartheid. They tried to distort and falsify the history and nature of our society and the struggle fundamentally to change this society, and also the nature of the movement that has led the struggle. [Interjections.] They do this in the hope of undermining the fundamental social transformation of our society. This is the agenda that Mr Tony Leon was advancing yesterday in his reply to the President’s state of the nation address. [Interjections.] Mr Leon spoke of the need for debate. [Interjections.]

The enormous challenges confronting our nation demand that we debate with humility and honest intent. [Interjections.] Debate must always have, as its central objective, the creation of a better life for all by dealing with the terrible legacy of colonialism and apartheid. According to Mr Leon, one of the areas of disagreement on means, which, in fact, turns out to be a disagreement on goals, is the role of the state. Mr Leon states that:

The ANC believes that the state should guide South Africa’s economic development, and virtually everything else. In contrast, the DA believes that the people - and the private sector, the faith-based initiatives and the nongovernmental organisations - make better choices and deliver better results than the Government alone.

He goes on to suggest that the state’s role should be limited to the tasks of protecting the lives of its citizens and intervening as a measure of last resort to make slightly more bearable the dehumanising burden of poverty. Mr Leon tries to characterise this as a disagreement on means. The true meaning of Mr Leon’s perspective is, however, best described by the President in a speech made in this House in June 1999. On that occasion the President said:

In our specific situation, what this means is that those who are fittest to survive will survive. Those who are best able will qualify on the basis of merit. Those whose race defined them as subhuman must now have no access to state support, which state must, after all, retreat to allow those who have the means to survive and dominate to dominate. This is the soulless secular theology which indeed defines the DP as an opposition party. It has nothing to do with theories of democracy.

[Interjections.] Overcoming the legacy of colonialism and apartheid will not be accomplished by market forces. This task requires a comprehensive programme of reconstruction and development in which the state and all sectors of society need to act in partnership to ensure the implementation of such a programme. The state will need to play a leading role in this endeavour.

The ANC has consistently asked for partnership between the state and all sectors of society and the active involvement of the masses of our people. In each successive state of the nation address over the past five years, the President has made and elaborated on different aspects of this call. In June 1999 the President spoke of ``the enormity of the challenge we face to succeed in creating the caring society we have spoken of’’. He went on to say that: For this reason this is not a task that can be carried out by the Government alone. The challenge of reconstruction and development of our society into one which guarantees human dignity, faces the entirety of our people. It is a national task that calls for the mobilisation of the whole nation into united people’s action, into a partnership with Government for progressive change and a better life for all, for a common effort to build a winning nation.

Then, again, in February 2000 the President said:

I would like to take this opportunity once more to emphasise the importance we attach to the strategic objective of building the partnership between the public and the private sectors. We will therefore further intensify our links and co-operation with the private sector for the successful implementation of the various economic initiatives we have mentioned.

Since 1994 the Government, led by the ANC, with the involvement and support of the overwhelming majority of South Africans, black and white, has ensured that 486 new clinics have been built in many rural areas; that 3,8 million electricity grid connections have been established; that 1,4 million hectares of land have been redistributed; that 4,5 million learners are receiving meals under the Primary School Nutrition Programme; that social grants have increased in both quantity and the range of beneficiaries; and that year on year our national Budget directs more and more resources to social spending.

The other area that Mr Leon oddly characterises as a disagreement over means is the need to transform society. After attacking the necessary role of the state in dealing with the legacy of colonialism and apartheid, Mr Leon proceeds to attack what he calls the ANC’s policy of transformation. He says:

The DA agrees on the need for radical and fundamental change. But the policy of transformation, as the ANC defines it, aims at something more. The goal of this transformation is to achieve representivity - a state of affairs in which every institution, public and private, reflects the demographics of South Africa as a whole.

If Mr Leon is suggesting that we should perpetuate apartheid by agreeing to a situation in which some institutions, public and private, are left to be unrepresentative then clearly we disagree on more than just means. [Interjections.] How does one argue for radical and fundamental change in our context and, at the same time, oppose attempts to make society as representative as possible? Who is Mr Leon suggesting should remain unrepresented and in which institutions?

Mr Leon goes on to argue that:

There is simply no way that the Government can meet all of its delivery objectives and pursue hard-line racial transformation at the same time. The Public Service cannot deliver if it loses experienced civil servants.

[Interjections.] Is Mr Leon suggesting that experienced civil servants capable of implementing delivery objectives only come in one gender and one colour? Clearly, we are disagreeing on more than just means. [Interjections.] Mr Leon says that transformation goes against the principle of nonracialism. He defines nonracialism to mean that we judge a person ``not by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character’’. This is to distort and pervert a principle that guided millions of South Africans in their struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

Nonracialism must entail a comprehensive and proactive programme to deal with the legacy of colonialism and apartheid that defined and treated some as superhuman and others as subhuman on the basis of their race. We must accept that it will be difficult to avoid judging each other by the colour of our skins for as long as some of our skins reflect wealth and privilege and others reflect poverty and underdevelopment.

Again, we make the point that we must debate with humility and honest intent. One would have expected a less strident approach from a former member of the apartheid army and the apartheid parliament when he decides to lecture the sons and daughters of Dube, Luthuli, Dadoo and Fischer on nonracialism.

Related to his attempts to minimise the role of the state and the need for thoroughgoing transformation, Mr Leon says: ``We must remember that the struggle for freedom and equality is not, and was never, waged on behalf of the `masses’. It is waged on behalf of human beings.’’ He does not want to recognise that individual human beings were advantaged and disadvantaged not as individuals but as members of certain races, genders and classes. [Interjections.] Black economic empowerment is also described as a disagreement over means. Mr Leon asserts that:

The President also spoke about measures to promote broad-based black economic empowerment. With respect, none of these proposals dealt directly with the question of how to increase ownership and entrepreneurship among millions of black people.

We must debate with honest intent. The President referred to the Apex Fund dedicated to the extension of microcredit to the Agricultural Credit Scheme, the merger of Ntsika and the National Manufacturing Advisory Centres, to name a few.

Mr Leon says:

For example, Mr Tokyo Sexwale made national headlines when he made a deal to buy 10% of Absa worth about R4 billion. But everyone forgot about the tens of thousands of Absa employees, 65% of whom are black, who were only given 1% of the bank as part of an employee share- ownership scheme.

Mr Leon does not seem to find it strange that in a country where black people constitute 85% of the population that it is cause for a headline when a black person buys 10% of a bank. Surely this is what we should be debating? [Interjections.]

Mr Leon then links Mr Sexwale’s purchase of shares to the fact that employees at Absa only received 1% of shares. We have never heard this point being raised in relation to thousands of similar transactions involving white businesspeople. Perhaps Mr Leon could explain exactly what point he is trying to make. [Interjections.] This brings us back to the unfortunate reality that in the eyes of some to be black and wealthy is somehow inherently morally suspect. Clearly, we differ on more than means.

Mr Leon deplores and decries the fact that the ANC decides to deploy members who are committed to creating a better society to positions in which they can do just that. Mr Leon warns that:

Deployment is undermining the integrity of institutions that are meant to be independent. From the SABC to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, to the boards of major corporations, ANC cadres have risen to positions of dominance. The dangers of such a concentration of power in the hands of a ruling party, any ruling party, are clear. A society that is controlled by a small group of people loses its robustness. It cannot respond to challenge or change.

Again, there is a need to debate with honest intent. Mr Leon seems to forget that 70% of the South African voters voted for the ANC. It would indeed be a very small group controlling society if all ANC members and supporters were excluded from holding positions of responsibility. [Interjections.]

Furthermore, Mr Leon does not seem to find anything wrong with the fact that there are groups in our society who own wealth and wield power and influence far out of proportion to their numbers. However, he sees any attempt to challenge the power and influence of these small groups as part of a sinister transformation agenda.

Mr Leon states:

Today tolerance is more important than ever before. Today South Africa is living with a curious paradox; as the economic gap between black and white is shrinking, the political gap between black and white is growing. What is the basis for this extraordinary statement? What is Mr Leon’s yardstick for measuring this so-called political gap between black and white? Compared to 10 or more years ago, we live in a constitutional democracy in which all citizens enjoy the same political rights. We have had three democratic national and provincial elections and two local government elections.

Our political institutions are broadly representative of the racial and gender make-up of our society. It is true that the DA has tried its best to create such a gap by trying to polarise communities with scare tactics and fight-back slogans, but the outcome of the last elections shows that the voters are tiring of this approach.

Throughout his speech, Mr Leon adopted the two-party Westminster paradigm. He refers consistently to: ``Government and opposition: ANC and DA’’ - as if it were the most natural thing to juxtapose a 70% mandate with a 12% mandate. [Interjections.] The existence of all other parties in this House, who, combined, represent an 18% mandate, is all but ignored. Significantly, he makes no single reference to his partners in the Coalition for Change, which was supposed to have secured a 30% mandate in the last election. We must debate with humility.

Mr Leon asserts:

The handshake President Mbeki and I shared on the occasion of his re- election one month ago should be the starting point for a new era in South African politics.

Clearly, we have a very different understanding of what constitutes an era. [Interjections.]

In conclusion, the President has put before Parliament a clear programme of action for building a people’s contract to create work and fight poverty and create a better life for all. It is up to us, as elected representatives of the people, to make sure that we play an active role in making sure that this programme is implemented and that we contribute to creating a better life for all. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The following is a maiden speech by hon Kohler- Barnard. [Applause.]

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Madam Speaker, Mr President and fellow MPs, this continent’s journalists did not have much to celebrate on Africa Day yesterday. Freedom of the press is very fragile indeed. The Media Institute of Southern Africa, Misa, released their report: So, this is Democracy - State of Media Freedom in Southern Africa, on World Press Freedom Day, that was 3 May.

This very same day the Zimbabwean government threatened to close down another independent newspaper, after the Tribune amended its ownership structures without informing the so-called Media and Information Council. [Interjections.] The paper also had some strong words to say about Information Minister Jonathan Moyo. This Information Minister, Moyo, said in April that the next enemy that ``needed to be dealt with’’ in that country was the media. He said there was plenty of room in Zimbabwean jails. He called them terrorists of the pen.

Last year’s forced state closure of the Daily News there was considered to be the worst media freedom violation recorded in 2003. Zimbabwe accounted for 54% of all media freedom and freedom violations recorded by Misa in that year.

In Swaziland journalists have, in recent years, had to cover events such as the rule of law crisis to the king and his multi-million dollar jet, while his people suffer under poverty, Aids and starvation. And, as has happened in similar scenarios, the government again chose to demonise the media. Foreign Minister Mabidi Dlamini announced that the image of Swaziland had been tarnished, not by the events themselves, but by the local media. Fears are that legislation will soon be introduced to gag the independent press.

And what about here at home? In the run-up to the announcement of the winner of the 2010 Soccer World Cup Bid, local journalists joined the BBC and most international news agencies in giving a breakdown of support for the three bidding nations left in the running. The President’s Office immediately accused them of instigating a witch-hunt, of working against the aims of the African Renaissance, of being truly mischievous and of confusing the public. We were told by the Government to ignore the journalists.

During the apartheid years the government unashamedly used the SABC as its propaganda instrument. Years later, under an ANC Government, the corporation gives the ruling ANC one and a half hour’s worth of live television coverage for its manifesto launch and just 90 seconds for the official opposition.

SABC spokesperson Paul Setsetse defended this apparent breach of the corporation’s mandate, saying that the national public broadcaster … “must compensate for the Mbeki-bashing practised by the rest of the media.”

The head of the public service radio, Judy Nokedi, last year ordered that discussions on political issues only take place within designated current affairs programmes, effectively gagging dozens of senior radio announcers.

The decision was also taken to put the flagship show, The Editors, under current affairs after SAFM had, of course, created and controlled it for 12 years. Now, Snuki Zikalala is brought back in as head of all SABC news. New board member Sesolo Msomi, the very man he had given a job as a middle management editor, brings him in.

Former Justice Minister Maduna and Foreign Minister Dlamini-Zuma, have both said they cannot see what is wrong with making the media and journalists register with the Government, as has been done in Zimbabwe. Well, let me explain: In February this year the Zimbabwean Supreme Court agreed that the government’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was acceptable. That country’s government now has the legal right to decide who may or may not be a journalist. In fact, in Zimbabwe they just throw journalists in jail. It must never happen here in South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S L TSENOLI: Madam Speaker, the best policy is to ignore trash. The ANC was founded on a passion for unity. Throughout its existence, over 90 years, it has pursued this goal single-mindedly. Some of its leading founders were also traditional leaders, including leaders from our neighbouring countries. The outcome of our recent election is partly an indication of whom traditional leaders, and those under their jurisdiction, think best serves their interests.

Our relationship with them cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be opportunistic and politically expedient. Just as we continue to rebuild and reorganise our governance and state machinery to serve the majority of our people, we have equally been seized with the task of transforming the institution of traditional leadership, so that it too serves the interests of the people better than it could in the past. Great progress has been made in this area.

The call by the reconstruction and development programme mandate of this Government, now encoded in the Constitution, to create a united - and I repeat, united - democratic, nonracial, nonsexist and prosperous society, is our collective task. The unity referred to herein is our historic duty imposed on us if we are to succeed in undermining the division, fragmentation, exclusion and discriminatory practices that characterised the past, the legacy of which continues to this day.

The relationship between and amongst state entities is not left to individual entities or spheres, but is clarified in our Constitution. Co- operative governance, that is collaboration and co-ordination, is the approach to follow. The three spheres are described as interdependent, inter-related and yet distinct.

These stories about centralising issues are misplaced and fail to comprehend the dynamic insistence and value of doing things together, instead of harping on what supposedly divides us. It was in the 80s, Comrade President, that MaFlo, one of our veteran activists in that part of the world, asked and actually cried disdainfully:

What can we really do with bananas and sugarcane in KwaZulu-Natal? That gold and those diamonds are ours too!

It is clear that that lesson was saying that this is one country and that it cannot be looked at in isolation.

The other important sobering lesson that we have learnt in matters that require us to work together as a single country relates to the issue of the running of cities. In the civic movement we called for one city and one tax base, but soon it became clear to us that the key is one country, one tax base. We now understand this story appropriately. This is the reason we welcome the President’s call to relook the equitable share formula to assist weaker municipalities.

This announcement regarding local government significantly takes forward the five-point strategy adopted by the President’s co-ordination council to further transform this sphere. These five points are enhancing the status of local government to take its rightful place in our system of co- operative governance, accelerating service delivery and economic development, deepening democracy and local accountability, strengthening its institutional and administrative capacity, and building financial viability.

There are very important developments taking place around working together. Some of these useful trends include instances of horizontal intermunicipal co-operation and interprovincial co-operation, including crossboundary co-operation with neighbouring countries, that confirm the correctness of doing things together. Perhaps the 2010 bid is the most dramatic expression of what unity can deliver - as you said.

Some of the issues that also yield to co-operation and working together include the following: disaster management, HIV and Aids, as said earlier by Comrade Thabethe, environmental protection and regeneration, crime and, of course, the economy. It is perhaps crucial to state here that what we hear from the DA about not wanting to intervene in the economy is in fact merely a reflection of dogma, and of course a straitjacket that refuses to understand the dynamics of being a country that is responsible for the production of its own policies, and not merely importing and repeating what gets done elsewhere, or is supposed to be said to be done elsewhere.

This is what a member of the Dutch parliament said about the role of the state:

The state must create conditions, stimulate, mobilise and co-ordinate. It is, potentially at least, primarily an ally of the people and not an alien in power that rules over them; it takes upon itself the needs of the people, identifies with their lot and tries to use its power to change things for the better for everyone.

That is the position we must maintain and must adopt our approach to matters regarding the development of our economy.

Comrade President, there is a very critical area that we believe makes it possible for the programme you have announced to meet with successful implementation. The lessons we have learnt from the President’s co- ordinating council, from the Budget Council, from Minmecs and from provincial intergovernmental relations forums, are going to play an important role in informing the legislation that you announced would be placed before this Parliament very soon. We say so, because we believe that these lessons are crucial, as they speak to the issues that arise in Government acting together as a single entity. The rebuilding and reorganisation of the state that we spoke about earlier is precisely this area that we are referring to here. The purpose of these forums and of others not mentioned here has been to do things together and to maximise the impact of our political, administrative and economic resources - always mindful of the need to involve our people in the process of governance and the advancement of the cause of women in every activity.

It is perhaps appropriate here to reflect on the integrated sustainable rural development programmes that were intended to be used as a platform for learning effective mechanisms for integrated service delivery. In various departments and spheres coming together in these areas to pool their resources to make the biggest impact on poverty and joblessness, lay the foundation for us to learn the lessons, and therefore replicate them in the rest of the country, in every municipality, where in any case the development of IDPs constituted this way of doing work. It is this lesson of integrated service delivery, of working together across boundaries, across departments, and the horizontal and vertical relationships that we are talking about that will ensure that there is effective implementation.

Regarding disaster management that I referred to earlier: Who can forget the dramatic images of the SANDF rescuing that woman and child from a tree to safety? Who can forget the recent dramatic arrest of those poaching on our seas, in co-operation with Mozambique, before the ink had even dried on a co-operation agreement signed there. These are examples of working together, of co-ordinating our activities, not only internally, but also elsewhere. These are lessons not only of intergovernmental relations, but also of crossboundary co-operation, that will lead to successful implementation of the tasks before us.

The challenge of intergovernmental relations is not only in the structures and the systems we put into place, but in the people who staff these structures and forums. In their ability to do their work and their ability to interact together without putting in place bureaucratic obstacles to service delivery lies the success that we can achieve. It is very clear with reference to the ICT advice we are getting, and the ICT systems that we are putting together, that information communication technology will allow us to put into place systems that will allow speedy information dissemination and co-ordination, so that we can better implement our intergovernmental relations system.

The intergovernmental fiscal relations themselves, as typified in the call for relooking the equitable share, is itself an area that, of course, will ensure successful implementation of some of the programmes that we are talking about here. It has also, in my opinion, been shown dramatically in the recent decentralisation of some of the funding to municipalities - the municipal infrastructure grant.

It is not only a decentralisation of funds, but it is a clarification of the roles of national, provincial and local government. In the task, not only of infrastructure development, but also of economic development in those areas - as we said earlier on - this has major important implications for the overall performance of our provincial as well as our national economy, if handled properly.

We think this is the foundation that has been appropriately laid for the successful implementation of the programme as announced by the President last Friday. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mnr W P DOMAN: Agb Adjunkspeaker, geagte President, kollegas, ons sal graag met die vorige spreker die toestand van plaaslike regering in die Vrystaat, waarvandaan hy kom, wil bespreek. [Tussenwerpsels.]

Terwyl 1,8 miljoen minder opposisiekiesers in die afgelope verkiesing gaan stem het, is dit merkwaardig dat 430 000 meer vir die DA gestem het. Die vader van die Nuwe NP, mnr F W de Klerk, sê ons het nou ‘n krimpende demokrasie. Die ironie is dat juis die agb Van Schalkwyk en sy party die grootste oorsaak daarvan is. Agb Van Schalkwyk het die Nuwe NP uitverkoop en daarmee opposisiekiesers nie net ontgogel oor homself nie, soos sy Vrystaatse leier, mnr Inus Aucamp, sê nie, maar ook ontgogel oor eerbaarheid in die politiek.

Agb Van Schalkwyk sal in die politieke geskiedenis afgaan met die twyfelagtige eer dat hy die demokrasie in Suid-Afrika verswak het, dat hy die ANC onverdiend versterk het, dat hy ‘n ongesonde magswanbalans help vestig het en in die hele proses kiesersapatie help bevorder het. [Tussenwerpsels.] Dit sal, soos mnr F W de Klerk sê, minderheidsgroepe nog meer uitgesluit laat voel.

Om sy eie politieke loopbaan te red, het die agb Van Schalkwyk ‘n knieval voor die ANC tot ‘n mooiklinkende politieke deug verhef, naamlik samewerkende regering. [Tussenwerpsels.] Samewerkende regering kan alleen werk as ‘n minderheidsparty ‘n beduidende magsbasis het. Teenoor die DA wat steeds groei, is die Nuwe NP onder leiding van agb Van Schalkwyk vanaf 27 lede gereduseer tot sewe Wes-Kaapse bittereinders, en in ‘n party wat skaars 250 000 stemme kon kry van meer as ‘n miljoen die vorige keer.

Onder aanmoediging van die agb Van Schalkwyk het sy lede by elke geleentheid hier die DA probeer uitkryt as ‘n wit party. Dít komende van ‘n party wat sedert 1994 nie een swart lid hier in die Nasionale Vergadering gehad het nie, en nou ook nie het nie. Maar hoe lyk dit vir hom as hy nou kyk na die DA? Wat sê hy oor ons verteenwoordiging? [Tussenwerpsels.] Onder aanmoediging van die agb Van Schalkwyk het sy lede hoog hier voorgegee dat ‘n onpatriotiese Engelse kliek die DA beheer. Is die 1,97 miljoen kiesers wat vir die DA gestem het nou ook onpatrioties? Verteenwoordig die DA nie nou die meerderheid Afrikaanssprekendes in hierdie land nie? [Tussenwerpsels.]

Terwyl slegs 4% van blanke kiesers vir die Nuwe NP gestem het, en daarmee ingesien het dat ware samewerkende regering tans gedoem is omdat die ANC die raamwerk voorskryf waarbinne konsensus móét plaasvind, is dit ook verblydend dat Afrikaners nie in groot getalle die etniese pad van die VF Plus in die afgelope verkiesing gekies het nie. Afrikaners besef die dag toe President Mandela vir gnl Viljoen ‘n volkstaat geweier het, het die hele doel van die VF Plus se bestaan weggeval. Al wat nou oorgebly het vir die VF Plus is hulle verwoording van ‘n klein minderheid van Afrikaners se belange. Hulle erken self dat hulle ‘n klein minderheid is.

Ek het hier ‘n advertensie van hulle in die Centurion Rekord waarin hulle die bykans 4 000 kiesers in Valhalla en Centurion wat hulle steun aan die VF Plus tydens die afgelope verkiesing toegesê het, bedank. Ons weet almal dat Centurion omtrent 75% Afrikaans is. Die DA het oor die 46 000 stemme daar gekry. Geen wonder dat die agb Mulder gister so skerp kom kla het dat die DA hulle wil insluk nie. Dit waaroor hy gekla het, was eintlik gewone stemwerwery waarmee die DA voor die verkiesing besig was. Wat baie duidelik daaruit blyk, is dat hy, net soos die ID, eintlik in die opposisiedam vis, en nie die hoofopposisie, die ANC, in die oog het soos ons nie.

Die feit dat die ANC vir u so ‘n groot toejuiging gegee het, maak dit tog duidelik wie hulle as die ware opposisie beskou. U sal moet mooi daaroor gaan nadink, agb Mulder. Terwyl hulle vir ons in die opposisiebanke verdeel, is daar geen verdeling in hulle geledere nie. Die Burger het vir u goeie raad gegee: oorweeg aansluiting by ‘n nie-etniese opposisie.

Die agb President het voorheen vir die agb Annalisé van Wyk as ‘n bevryde Afrikaner, wat vrede met haar verlede gemaak het, voorgehou. [Tussenwerpsels.] Sy en die agb Adjunkminister Oosthuizen is vir ons as Afrikaners nie goeie voorbeelde om te gebruik nie, want hulle het by die ANC aangesluit toe hulle politieke toekoms aan ‘n dun draadjie gehang het. Die agb dr Manie Schoeman het ons respek voor, want hy het samewerking gekies en toe onbeskaamd by die ANC aangesluit. [Tyd verstreke.] [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr W P DOMAN: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon President, colleagues, we would like to discuss with the previous speaker the condition of local government in the Free State, from whence he comes. [Interjections.]

Whereas 1,8 million opposition voters went to vote in the recent election, it is striking that 430 000 more voted for the DA. The father of the NNP, Mr F W de Klerk, says that we now have a shrinking democracy. The irony is that actually the hon Van Schalkwyk and his party are the greatest cause of this. Hon Van Schalkwyk sold out the NNP and in doing so not only disillusioned opposition voters regarding himself, as his Free State leader, Mr Inus Aucamp, says, but also disillusioned them regarding honour in politics.

Hon Van Schalkwyk will have the dubious honour of going down in political history as having weakened the democracy in South Africa, as having strengthened the ANC undeservedly, as having helped to create an unhealthy imbalance of power and, in the whole process, as having helped to promote voter apathy. [Interjections.] This will, as Mr F W de Klerk says, cause minority groups to feel even more excluded.

In order to save his own political career the hon Van Schalkwyk has elevated a curtsy before the ANC to a fine-sounding political virtue, namely co-operative governance. [Interjections.] Co-operative governance can only work if a minority party has a significant power base. Compared to the DA which is still growing, the NNP under the leadership of the hon Van Schalkwyk has been reduced from 27 members to seven Western Cape diehards, and into a party that could barely poll 250 000 votes as against over a million votes last time.

Encouraged by the hon Van Schalkwyk, his members tried on every occasion here to denounce the DA as a white party. That is rich, coming from a party that, since 1994, has not had a single black member here in the National Assembly, and does not have one now. But what does he see when he looks at the DA now? What does he say about our representation? [Interjections.] Encouraged by the hon Van Schalkwyk, his members suggested here that the DA was being controlled by an unpatriotic English clique. Does that mean that the 1,97 million voters who voted for the DA are also unpatriotic? Does the DA not represent the majority of Afrikaans- speaking people in this country now? [Interjections.]

Whereas only 4% of white voters voted for the NNP, thereby realising that true co-operative governance is doomed at present because the ANC prescribes the framework within which consensus must take place, it is also heartening that Afrikaners did not, in large numbers, choose the ethnic path of the FF Plus in the recent elections. Afrikaners realise that on the day when President Mandela refused to give Gen Viljoen a ``volkstaat’’, the whole purpose of the FF Plus’s existence fell away. All that has now remained for the FF Plus is their verbalising of the interests of a small minority of Afrikaners. They themselves admit that they are a small minority.

I have here an advertisement of theirs which appeared in the Centurion Record in which they thank the almost 4 000 voters in Valhalla and Centurion who supported the FF Plus during the recent elections. We all know that Centurion is about 75% Afrikaans. The DA polled more than 46 000 votes there. No wonder that the hon Mulder complained so vehemently yesterday that the DA wanted to swallow them. What he was complaining about was actually normal canvassing which the DA was engaged in before the elections. What becomes quite apparent from this is that he, just like the ID, is actually fishing in the opposition dam and is not keeping his eye on the main opposition, the ANC, as we are doing.

The fact that the ANC gave you such a hearty round of applause surely makes it clear who they regard as the true opposition. You will have to go and think carefully about that, hon Mulder. While they are dividing us in the opposition benches, there is no division in their ranks. Die Burger gave you good advice: consider joining a non-ethnic opposition.

In the past the hon President has described the hon Annelisé van Wyk as a liberated Afrikaner, who has made peace with her past. [Interjections.] She and the hon Deputy Minister Oosthuizen are not good examples for us as Afrikaners to use, because they joined the ANC when their political future was hanging by a thin thread. We respect the hon Dr Manie Schoeman, because he chose co-operation and then unashamedly joined the ANC. [Time expired.] [Applause.]]

Mr O E MONARENG: Madam Deputy Speaker, His Excellency the President of South Africa, Comrade Thabo Mbeki, Ministers, hon members, allow me an opportunity to participate in this debate in which the President of South Africa delivered the state of the nation address.

I will move from the premise that my topic is very broad because it has been subject to many interpretations: the role of Parliament in executing the people’s contract. This role, conventionally and internationally, is not a role that normal classical parliamentarians play.

When we look at the term ``parliament’’, we find that it has many connotations as a system of governance and democracy. It has undergone many processes of definitions and interpretations stemming from the British Westminster system. The electoral constituency-based system has guided almost all Commonwealth countries everywhere in the world. Countries such as Canada, Australia, Singapore, Jamaica, Ireland, New Zealand and India practise the Westminster system.

When dealing with this subject, a whole range of questions comes into being. What is parliament? What role has it played in the new order? Who are the people who serve as representatives? In our situation, we continue to raise the issues of Parliament and the transformation agenda. We continue to raise issues around the separation of powers theory. We raise the issue of Parliament as an agent of socioeconomic change.

We are moving away from the Westminster system as demonstrated through the National Council of Provinces; passing Bills between two Houses; provincial mandating; the parliamentary committee system; parliamentary oversight; constitutional basis for executive accountability to Parliament; public participation and Parliament; leadership and individual MPs; presiding officers; Chief Whip of the Majority Party; portfolio committees; chairpersons; women in Parliament; parliamentary committee on the quality of life and status of women; legislation affecting women; performance of political parties; ethics in the new Parliament; and conflict of interests in the new Parliament.

So, there is a whole range of questions that are asked, and these roles are actually institutional. We are clear regarding the fact that what is more demanding is to ask questions around the role of opposition, especially in the South African situation where we have a situation of a diminishing opposition. That question will be left to the President to answer.

The mentioning of all these critical questions and roles is but a demonstration of how loaded this topic is. These are, in essence, issues we grappled with in the first 10 years of democracy. These issues will again continue to be in the agenda as we grapple with those issues that will continue to contribute towards the improvement and perfection of our democracy.

Our role, as South Africans, is to harness and enhance our discussion, especially on what the people’s contract entails. How do we translate the role of Parliament in relation to concrete material conditions on the ground? The manner in which the ANC’s election manifesto explains the people’s contract, ``to create work and fight poverty’’, goes a long way in helping all public representatives on the application of simple tactics and techniques regarding interacting with the people on the ground. It demands that public representatives engage with the people on the ground before reaching decisions that affect their lives.

It suggests that it is imperative to enter into dialogue with people before one thinks one is a champion of people, be it workers, residents, burial societies, churches, business concerns, NGOs and the entire civil society. So these questions are not just questions.

The notion of a people’s contract should be understood in the way in which we explain what the ANC intends to do. It should be understood in the way in which we say, ``When we talk of a people’s contract to fight poverty and create work we mean a commitment which the ANC has made.’’ The impression should not be created that this commitment is new.

Historically, the ANC is an organisation of commitment and integrity. It is an organisation that does not make empty promises to the people. That is why it was imperative for us to actually explain during our election campaign that we started motivating our volunteers by quoting from Comrade Amilcar Cabral when he said, Tell no lies, claim no easy victories.'' That is what Comrade Amilcar Cabral from Guinea Bissau said and that inspired us. When we launched the ANC, in 1912, we said,We shall strive for the unity of Africans, not only in South Africa but in Africa as a whole.’’ That was a commitment we made to the people of South Africa and Africa.

When we launched the Freedom Charter, in 1955, we made a commitment to the people and said, ``These freedoms we shall fight for, side by side, throughout our lives, until we have won our liberty.’’ That is another commitment that we made. When we were trying to grapple with processes of the liberation of our country, we came to terms with reality and drew up a document called the Harare Declaration. That document was a commitment to the people of South Africa, the people of Africa and the people of the world. And, as such, the ANC is known for making commitments that it always fulfils.

While in the process of the struggle, in 1961, we made a commitment which was all over the news and called for attention regarding negotiations. The ANC then formed uMkhonto weSizwe. The MK manifesto said,

Our people’s patience is not endless. The time comes in the life of any nation where there remain only two choices: submit or fight. We shall not submit, and we have no choice but to hit back by all means within our power in defence of our people, our future and our freedom.

The history of the ANC has shown that we have integrity; and we have credibility and tried and tested leadership. That is why today the President of the Republic of South Africa, who is also equally the President of the ANC, has come out with an action plan of delivery. Parliament should be informed by what the bulk of society aspires to achieve. What Parliament seeks to achieve should be based on what the people’s manifesto hopes to undertake and achieve.

Regarding our social welfare budget, I am reliably informed that the Minister of Social Development will utilise R50 billion to address the problem of poverty pertaining to children, pensioners, people with HIV/Aids, people with disabilities and those who are mainly unemployed. We know that in our society there are those people who are highly unemployable. We call them the lumpenproletariat. These people have no option, they have nothing to do and they have no hope of ever being employed. So, the parliamentarians have to devise a strategy to utilise this budget.

As far as the Expanded Public Works Programme is concerned, I’m reliably informed that we are going to utilise a budget of R100 billion in the next five years. So it means that the role of Parliament is to break down that budget and make sure that it is properly utilised.

What I want to say, Comrade Speaker, is that the imperatives of consistency …

An HON MEMBER: Madam Speaker!

Mr O E MONARENG: Deputy Speaker … [Interjections.] [Applause.] Deputy Speaker, there are imperatives of consistency in constituency work which cannot be overemphasised. Members are expected to interact with their designated constituencies in order to service their electorate on a regular basis. The aspect of resource allocation to members should be addressed sooner rather than later.

Just to recap, the following challenges therefore need to be dealt with: Members have to be consistent in their constituency work; members have to exercise oversight in Government and public institutions which deal with the implementation process; Private Members’ Bills and motions have to be effected in order to bring to the attention of Parliament concerns of communities they serve; there should be more exploration regarding the connotations of a people’s contract vis-à-vis Government policy; particular experiences vis-à-vis the election process and outcomes thereof.

In conclusion, the state of the nation address is a project plan with definite timeframes based on ensuring that there is delivery on the part of Government. The speech also seeks to ensure that Government is transparent and accountable. The implication, therefore, is that Parliament has to apply itself to the discussion of the various Votes of Government departments - which is an indictment on the part of Parliament to apply itself to reasons that make it accept or reject certain budget proposals and recommendations.

The ANC therefore calls upon Parliament as a whole to support and endorse the state of the nation address of the President, for it seeks to address the disparities which exist on the ground. The speech is a clear programme of action for clear delivery. I personally support the speech in its entirety. I thank you one and all. Interjections.] [Applause.]

Ms H ZILLE: Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr President, hon members, I would like to devote at least one of my five precious minutes to saying what an honour and privilege it is for me to stand at this podium in a democratic Parliament some 25 years after I last sat in the press gallery of a very different place, called the National Assembly under apartheid.

Sithethi, xa ndijonga ixesha elachithwayo, kucacile ukuba ilizwe lethu liphucukile kakhulu. Ndinika imbeko kubo bonke abemi boMzansiAfrika neenkokeli zethu ezenza yonke into ukuba iphumele. [Speaker, when I consider the amount of time dedicated to this, I think our country is very important. I honour all South Africans and our leaders who made everything possible.]

The President’s speech was built on the concept of South Africa’s two economies and the major challenge we face in expanding the first while opening up real opportunities for millions of our fellow South Africans trapped in the second. It is a helpful analogy far more useful than the divisive race-based two-nations theory of the past. A compelling image of the dual economy was given by presidential adviser Joel Netshitenzhe who said it was like a building with two storeys and no stairway between them. The DA agrees with Government about the urgency of creating access from the one to the other.

I listened to the Minister for Public Enterprises explaining yesterday how Government intended to do this. It is indeed a complex process, but when we boil it down to the fundamentals the stairway really requires only two strong pillars: the first is good governance with everything that this term implies.

Today I will focus specifically on the second indispensable pillar, and this is education. Good governance and world-class relevant education are the real fundamentals that will shape the future of our economy and determine whether we can succeed in addressing the greatest collective challenge we face: the grinding poverty of millions of our fellow citizens.

I was encouraged by the President’s focus on skills development aligned to the needs of our economy, on the long-overdue recognition of the crucial role that technical colleges must play in this process, on the need to focus on Abet, and on the opportunities arising out of the Expanded Public Works Programme. All this is good theory, and then we have the reality.

Op gister se voorblad van Die Burger lees ons dat net een uit elke ses leerders in graad ses kan tel tot op die verwagte vlak; en dat net een uit drie behoorlik kan lees. As hierdie nie ‘n nooienstoespraak was nie, sou ek verduidelik hoe die ANC se onderwysbeleid oor die afgelope 10 jaar tot hierdie tragiese situasie bygedra het. [On the front page of yesterday’s Die Burger we read that only one out of every six learners in Grade six can count up to the level expected; and that only one out of three can read properly. If this were not a maiden speech, I would have explained how the ANC’s education policy over the past 10 year has contributed to this tragic situation.]

The ANC and its alliance partners recently said a lot about education, but they have not focused as one might expect on finding solutions for the crisis of literacy and numeracy in our schools. Instead, they remain obsessed with the colour of teachers’ skins rather than their competence in the classroom. [Interjections.] Racial head counts are, as usual, a handy way of avoiding the real issues, and, in this way, this Government continues to pick on and undermine precisely those schools that are delivering high-quality education for children of all races, including yours, Mr Minister. [Interjections.]

This is how the Government loses the plot on almost every laudable policy initiative. If we continue like this, we will never rise to the challenge of building the stairway out of poverty for our fellow citizens. Instead of building the viable economy we all seek so that all our people can be proudly self-sufficient, we will doom them to relying on further welfare grants and Expanded Public Works programmes for generations to come. Thank you, Speaker. [Applause.]

Ms E NGALEKA: Hon Madam Speaker, hon President, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, the cornerstone of this Government’s policy since 1994 has been the RDP. The Reconstruction and Development Programme is about the fundamental transformation of our society in all its aspects. It has to do with the construction of a truly democratic, nonracial, nonsexist, prosperous and stable South Africa and an example of what a people- centered society should be. The RDP is an integrated and sustainable vision for the creation of the postapartheid society for which so many of our people sacrificed everything including their lives.

Allow me the opportunity to express my appreciation to the voters of this country who, on 14 April, overwhelmingly supported the ANC. The commitment of the ANC over many years of struggle and this ANC-led Government’s track record over the first decade of democracy shows that ours is a caring Government.

During the election campaign, the ANC went out to the masses and asked them to join forces with the people’s movement to create work and eradicate poverty. As the ANC we want to urge all South Africans of all colours, creeds and religions to work together in pushing back the frontiers of poverty and ensuring a better live for all. A people’s contract happens when people are working together with the Government to facilitate transformation to enhance a better live for all - people from all walks of life and all sectors, particularly people from the villages and townships, the suburbs, the business sector and religious bodies, and traditional leaders, women, youth and people with disabilities; people from all national groups that make up this beautiful rainbow nation. In bringing about real transformation we have to participate and play our part in that transformation, because each and every one of us has a role to play. Indeed, there is scope for everyone.

Today, through the leadership of the ANC Government, we will be the first African country to host the Soccer World Cup. I also wish to add my voice in congratulating the 2010 World Cup bid committee on work well done. Heyta, Danny Jordan, heyta! To make a success of hosting the World Cup we need the participation of all our communities. Children in Grade 9 now will be the ones playing in the World Cup in 2010. They will not become players overnight; we need to prepare them for the year 2010.

The parents, teachers, churches, communities, traditional leaders and Government have a role to play in ensuring that we produce South African champions. This is an example of a people’s contract. It is only through unity that we will get the strength to succeed. The ANC Government is a government by the people for the people, and it will always work with the people.

Since the ANC came into power in 1994, government services have moved closer to people in remote and disadvantaged communities through the introduction of multipurpose community centres, one-stop shops that offer a range of government products and services under one roof, simplifying the processing of applications for passports, IDs, pensions and other social grants. Four years after they began to be rolled out, the multipurpose centres are in demand especially in our rural areas.

To date, 54 multipurpose community centres, including seven satellite sites, have been established. The Government aims to establish 60 centres across the country, with at least one in each municipality. Aside from improving communication, government information is available at the centres, with at least six government departments represented at each centre. Multipurpose community centres also shorten the distance people have to travel for Public Services. From these centres, communities also receive training in skills, such as how to use information and communications technology like the Internet. The telecentre at the Mapela multipurpose centre in the Limpopo province, for example, has a satellite- connected network that is giving a state-of-the-art edge to courses on computer skills training for members of the community.

Some centres also serve as venues where community events such as education, campaigns, exhibitions and other activities can take place, helping people get information they can use to improve their lives and develop their communities. These centres provide a two-way communication channel - people receive information from Government, and the centres also empower them to talk back to Government about their needs and aspirations.

We, in the ANC, believe in freedom of religion, and we will never ever use religion to score cheap political points during an election campaign. Those who misuse religion also produce prophets of doom - who tell lies during the election campaign. Today, instead the ANC emerged with a 70% majority.

Phantsi ngabaprofeti bobuxoki phantsi! [Down with prophets of doom, down!]

HON MEMBERS: Phantsi! [Down!]

Ms E NGALEKA: Christians in South Africa should openly condemn these prophets of doom. Religion in South Africa is not just about Christianity, we must embrace all religions. Let us also remember that not all people in South Africa became Christians by choice but that Christianity was forced upon them.

Mr President, we also, as the ANC Women’s League, heeded your call on moral regeneration. We are working with women of other religious formations to re-educate our children on moral issues. We are working on character building and development programmes, moral education, HIV/Aids prevention, to name but a few.

We are aware that moral regeneration is not about religion; it is about correct moral fibre of a society with family values that are acceptable to a healthy society. We are engaging our elders to share their knowledge and wisdom in solving the social ills. We are sure that in three to five years these efforts will bear fruits. Our intention and efforts are to build a better future and a better nation.

The role of traditional leaders as custodians of the people’s culture is to ensure that our customs and cultures are kept alive, and making sure that they survive from one generation to the next.

As members of Parliament, we have a responsibility to take the lead in rendering voluntary services to our communities to recapture the community spirit of Letsema. Mr President, we appreciate the role that is going to be played by the community development workers as they will be the eyes and ears of Government in a united action to push back the frontiers of poverty, as they walk from street to street and door to door, identifying problems such as child-headed households, orphans and ensuring that those affected become part of our social safety net.

We want to thank all the provinces that have already employed community development workers and urge others to follow suit. We all have a responsibility to ensure that Government facilities reach those whom they are intended for.

Our commitment, as the ANC, is to achieve a better life for all. And, we have made this commitment, as Government, to the people of this country. On many fronts, in all provinces, in hundreds of cities, towns and communities, this commitment is being delivered with varying degrees of success but with a determination to make a difference. In South Africa everything is possible.

Allow me a minute to respond to the member who spoke here before me. I don’t know what to say because whatever programmes there are and whatever this Government does, we will always have opposition. We have people on my left who seem to have been born to oppose and, to them, there is no cure for that. I thank you very much. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Hon members, the hon Sayedali-Shah will be making his maiden speech. [Applause.]

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: Madam Speaker, hon President, hon members of Parliament, while we rejoice and celebrate the tenth year of democracy, let us pay tribute to and salute those countless men and women, both young and old, who made tremendous sacrifices during the struggle against apartheid. Today, Mr President, we enjoy the fruits of their labour. Let us not forget them.

We have been liberated from the bondage of apartheid. But we have yet to be liberated from the bondage of poverty, unemployment, HIV/Aids, crime and corruption: all of which undermine our democracy. These challenges cannot be overcome by simple and empty political rhetoric. This will require genuine policies, viable and practical solutions, hard work, commitment, dedication and the political will to carry them out. [Interjections.] Mere political or liberation sentiments alone will not sustain the present nor secure the future.

Voters gave the ruling party a mandate, which it is expected to implement. Citizens of this country who voted for the opposition parties gave them a mandate too. [Interjections.] They are expected to present their alternative policies with seriousness, and to present the views of those who supported them. The government of the day must understand and respect that. [Applause.] Indeed, we may have to, at times, ask some very tough questions and point out if the Government is failing to deliver on the needs of all our people. [Interjections.]

The Constitution … [Interjections.] It is a maiden speech, but I am not a maiden. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

The Constitution reminds us every day of our commitment to open and accountable government. Accountability is what reminds elected officials that they are answerable to the people who voted them into office. In fact, it is one of the most important values in a democracy. This is particularly important for the ruling party because it has the power to act on its promises. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, is that a point of order or a question?

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Madam Speaker, I would just like to know whether the member would take a question? [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Are you prepared to take a question, hon member?

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: No, I’m not. We live in a pluralistic society. Our cultural and political diversity must be appreciated. These are assets to our beloved country and, certainly, not an impediment to its growth and development. This political and cultural diversity entails mutual respect for one another’s views and opinions. No one single party can claim exclusive right over the political and social life of the people of this country. [Applause.] No one single party can claim exclusive right over the political discourse in this country. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

There is a need, Mr President, to deracialise the politics of South Africa. To put it plainly, what I’m trying to say is that real democracy will never be achieved until we move away from the notion which suggests that it is only a black person that can best protect and advance the interests of another black person. For that matter, it is not only an Indian person that can best protect and advance the interests of other Indians. The same is true in the case of all the other racial groups. [Applause.]

Patriotism, Mr President and hon members, should not be synonymous with belonging to a particular group or political party. [Applause.] We are all individuals with various preferences, ideas and opinions, but we are all South Africans - we are not denying that. In spite of our differences, this is what binds us all together, that which gives us this deep yearning to make our country - not yours alone - a better place for all.

It is in this spirit that I have entered the political arena. And it is in this spirit that I have joined the Official Opposition - the DA - because I believe in the potential of the individuals that make up our diverse society. [Applause.] The DA recognises the worth of all our people, irrespective of race. It has played, and will continue to play - no matter who thinks what - a vital role in the political life of this country.

In conclusion, I have been granted a unique opportunity to serve my country and all its people. Indeed, what an honour and responsibility it is! See you in other debates, and then we will talk. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: I may add, hon member, that you also had the honour of an extra minute.

Mr F BHENGU: Empty political rhetoric. I am not an idiot. First impressions last. [Interjections.]

Abantu abatolikayo baba nengxaki xa ndithetha kule Ndlu. Ndithe ke ndakukhe ndiluthambise ulwimi namhlanje. Osesihlalweni, uPrezidanti namalungu abekekileyo … [Interpreters have told me that they often have a problem interpreting my speeches when I address the House. Therefore, I will try to use simple language today. Madam Speaker, hon President and hon members …]

… I woke up this morning with a nagging question in my mind that was asked by the pastor during an Easter service: Why us? I was seated in the front row and he went on to say: ``Even members of Parliament cannot answer this question.’’ His advantage, like all keynote speakers, was that no one has an opportunity to interject in a church. Only Tony Leon can do that - unless he has repented.

Rev Meshoe, it was not about the Titanic but the divine: Why us? In 1912, the question was: Why us? During the 1920s to 1940s the question persisted: Why us? In the 1950s and 1960s the question became stronger: Why us? When our great leaders passed on, we asked: Why us? In 1994, when we attained our freedom, we asked the same question. During the Truth Commission the excruciating question was …

An HON MEMBER: Why us? [Laughter.]

Mr F BHENGU: Every South African, black and white, young and old, under different circumstances, Mr Leon, at one stage or another asked the question: Why us? [Interjections.] We won the bid with tears in our eyes. Then we asked the question, Mr Tony Leon …

An HON MEMBER: Why us?

Mr F BHENGU: That’s very good. [Laughter.] Africa is asking and the world asked differently: Why them? [Interjections.] My dear pastor, now it is my turn to respond. This is our time. We are a chosen nation, a nation that went through all trials and tribulations - all of us, Mr Leon; a nation that learned through its own mistakes and understood that umntu ngumntu ngabantu [a person is a person because of other people]. We should not come here when we have made such great achievements and say we cannot call Mr De Klerk to come and address the nation and receive that honour, Mr Tony Leon. We are a nation that made peace with itself; a forgiving, loving and caring nation; a nation that extends a hand of friendship to the world; a nation at work; a nation that was born from the womb of humility - that’s who we are. We are leaders in our own right, and most of all we are Africans. Thank you, Mr President.

Regarding all those who proclaim to be Christians, all things work together for those who love God and those who are called according to his purpose.

Ingxaki ke bantu bakuthi kuxa ungayazi injongo yobukho bakho kweli lizwe, ungayazi nenxaxheba ekufanele uyithathile. Into okholo yona kukusoloko uphikisana nenkqubo nenkqubela. [The problem, fellow countrymen and women, arises when you do not know your purpose and the role you should play in this country. What you do is to criticise every initiative of the Government aimed at the betterment and development of people’s lives.]

May these words find peace and joy in your heart if you are listening. At our 51st ANC conference at Stellenbosch, in 2002, we noted that problems, amongst other things, had emerged in the course of our experience of infrastructure development. I am taking you back because when you begin to debate here, Mr Tony Leon, you end up thinking that you just woke up one day and found some kind of a divine vision about this country. [Interjections.]

We then resolved that the Expanded Public Works Programme had to be a major priority and be designed to make a significant contribution to reducing unemployment and providing livelihoods for the poor, women, youth and people with disabilities. Give me one organisation that would come up with that kind of vision. Give me one document from any of these parties that are time and again criticising the work that is done by the ANC - parties who would simply produce a document and say, ``This is also contained in our document.’’ Show me and give me one.

In the spirit of the 1995 agreement between labour, business and Government, a differentiated approach to social and economic infrastructure should be adopted that will ensure the suitable design of social infrastructure, including all urban and rural social facilities: infrastructure for basic household services; amenities in residential areas which focus on the creation of jobs through labour-intensive construction and maintenance; creating sustainable access for the poor; creating income-generating opportunities for communities; and, providing opportunities for skills development and training. This is where we are.

We went on to say that capacity must be built in all spheres of Government to manage implementation, review the financing framework for local government and promote good governance that is people-centred; and that the structure of the state must, where appropriate, be designed and restructured to facilitate infrastructure development. Arising from the President’s address in this House on Friday, last week, we were told in no uncertain terms that we are at the implementing stage. The question now is: What will be our role as parliamentarians in the next five years in realising the targets spelt out?

Will we be able as members - when one million employment opportunities have been created through training unemployed people - to say that we were part thereof? Rather than criticising, are you going to be able to come up and say, in five years’ time, ``I was part thereof’’? If we fail to attest to this, what reasons will we give the electorate? I am not talking about the ANC, I am not talking about the DA, the IFP, etc - I am talking about us as South Africans. The programme is there. You can’t come up with another programme because the programme is there, signed and sealed. Now, it’s the question of implementation. Where will you be when we implement the programme? [Interjections.]

There is a challenge that we face as parliamentarians. We need to look at the manner in which we function and carry out our responsibilities, particularly in our constituency offices. Once again, I am not referring to the constituency offices of the ANC, I am referring to the parliamentary constituency offices where Mr Tony Leon is, where Baba uZondi is. The constituency offices are utilised in a very inefficient way. I am tempted and I will do this, Mr President - I will visit one of the DA constituency offices to look at what they are doing there. What programmes do they have? Because the major problems that we are confronted with concern when they begin to craft ways of stalling progress in our country. [Interjections.] The reason is that whenever we agree in this Parliament on issues for implementation, they attest and vote on those issues but outside there they don’t do that. [Interjections.] Precisely so, they balk on these issues and begin to say, ``Look at them’’. Who are they? Aren’t they South Africans? Aren’t they part of what should be done by a committed South African and an African? [Applause.]

It is a great pity to find that we have people, particularly in this House …

… abangabanxaxhi. Uya kufumanisa ukuba abantu abasibukeleyo phaya emakhaya bayaphawula ukuba kukho abanxaxhi. Xa sithetha ngentlungu, bona abathethi ngentlungu. Xa sisithi siza kwenza oku, bona bagxeka loo nto siyenzayo ekulungiseni loo ntlungu akuyo umntu. Bona bafumana ubumnandi, besoloko besithi yijonge le ANC, ayifezekisi nto. Siyigqibile iminyaka elishumi ngoku.

Mongameli, mna ndiphaya ePort St Johns. Ndandibukele xa wawuhambela imizi ngemizi ugaya iivoti, nathi sazeka mzekweni. Sifika mzini uthile ngenye imini phaya kukho umntu oqhankqalazayo esithi akanako ukuzimanya ne-ANC ngokuyivotela. Eqhankqalaza njalo, ubuzwe umbuzo othi, Ngaba kanene mama, le ndlu uhlala kuyo uyifumene ngayiphi indlela?'' Uthi umama ukuphendula,Hayi ndiyifumene njengabanye aba bazifumeneyo.’’ Umbuzo olandeleyo uthe, Njengokuba unombane nje apha kwakho, uwufumene njani wona? Zona iimali ezi zifumanekayo uyazifumana?'' Uphendule wathi,Hayi ndiyazifumana iimali ezo nombane ndiyawusebenzisa.’’ Mama ndibona abazukulwana phambi kwakho, ingaba abasifumani na isibonelelo?''Kunjalo bayasifumana isibonelelo.’’ Ingxaki ke mama iphi?'' Lime lodwa ke elo. Uqhube wathi,Nokuba ndiyazifumana ezi zinto, andinakuzimanya nani.’’ Luyathundezwa ubhityo, Mongameli, wawutshilo kule minyaka igqithileyo.

Siphinde saya kwakhona. Sifike kweziya ntsuku zokuba silungiselela ukuzalisekisa amalungelo ethu ngokubeka u nx''. Xa sifika kulaa mama, uthi,Hayi, bendisenkonzweni. Ndikuvile uthetha ndaza ndazibuza umbuzo wokuba ngaba ikwanguwe na lo wawulapha kum endlwini’’ Impendulo ebuyileyo ithe, ewe nguwe. Landihlaba ilizwi ngoba ndiphinde ndeva laa nto wawukhe wayithetha apha kum endlwini. Lizwi elithini phofu elo? Ilizwi elithi, Ngaba uyayazi na injongo kaThixo ngomntu apha ehlabathini?'' Umbuzo olandelayo ngothi,Ngaba inxaxhe ngabuni na inkqubo ka-ANC kwizikhokelo zaseBhayibhileni? Ndithi yiza nayo ibe nye uthi kum, hayi, le ayidibani nenkqubo yeBhayibhile''. Wavuma, Prezidanti, wathi,Ndihlatywe lelo lizwi kanye, kuba andifumananga nanye kwezi zinto nizenzileyo nezi ndizixhamlayo engekhoyo eBhayibhileni.’’ Masizibulele iinkonzo! [Kwaqhwatywa.]

Prezidanti, bekuthiwe mandithethe ngenkqubo yemisebenzi kaRhulumente, kodwa ndisuke ndibe nengxaki yokuba ndibe naba bantu ndibathandayo: abantu abandim nendingasokuze ndahlukaniswe nabo de ndiye kungena engcwabeni, ekufuneka sihambe nabo. Usuke uthi xa usiva bethetha, uthi wena osuka kwi- second economy wakucinga ukuba olwakho uxanduva luyintoni na, kube kukho abantu abaphila kwi-first economy abangaboni ngeli liso ubona ngalo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]

Mongameli ohloniphekileyo, ikomiti yemisebenzi kaRhulumente igqibe kwelokuba kuyo yonke inquleqhu nezinto enizenzileyo namalungu eKhabhinethi, masinibulele. Emva kwengxoxo-mpikiswano ngohlahlo lwabiwo- mali lwesebe, Somlomo, siza kuba nocweyo, i-workshop, esekeleze ekusondezeni la maqabane ekomiti ukuze akhanyiselwe ayazi indima aza kuyidlala xa efika phaya ebantwini nalo mcimbi. Baza kube bekhona nabo. Ndiyabulela kuba uyasiva isiXhosa. He bethu!

Sakuthi sakugqiba, Somlomo, sityelele oomasipala, Mongameli. [Laphela ixesha.] [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.) [… who are dissenters. One will realise that people in the rural areas, who are watching us, do realise that there are dissenters. Whenever we talk about suffering, they do not talk about suffering. When we say that we are going to do something, they criticise what we intend to do to address the suffering of that person. They rejoice, always saying: Look at this ANC, it fulfils nothing. We are now 10 years down the line.

Mr President, I am from Port St Johns. I was present when you were conducting house-to-house visits, canvassing votes, and we were also doing the same. One day, as we were going from house to house, we came across this person who was resisting, saying that she could not associate herself with the ANC by voting for it. Whilst she was resisting, a question was posed to her: Madam, could you explain to us how you got the house in which you live?'' The woman responded as follows:Well, I have acquired it in the same manner as all the others acquired theirs.’’ The next question was: As you have electricity in your house, how did you get it? The grants that are being paid out, do you access them?'' She responded by saying:Yes, I do receive those grants and I also use the electricity.’’ Madam, I see grandchildren around you, do they receive any grants?'' Yes, they do receive a grant.’’ What then is your problem, Madam?'' There was no response. She only said:Even though I do get all these benefits, I cannot associate myself with you.’’ Mr President, one must always take care of those who are suffering or in pain. You said so yourself a few years ago.

We went there again. We arrived just a few days before the day of fulfilling our right to cast our votes. When we arrived at the home of that woman, she said, No, I was attending a church service. I heard you talking, and I asked myself a question as to whether this was the same person who was with me at my house the other day? The reply which came back was,Yes, it is him.’’ Your words proved me wrong, because what you once said to me in my house I heard again. Which words are those, in fact? Words such as, Do you in fact know what God's purpose is for creating a human being on earth?" The following question was,How different is the ANC’s programme from the biblical religious doctrine?” I said she should just mention one and say to me, ``No, this one is not in accordance with the biblical doctrine.’’ Mr President, she agreed and said, “It is exactly those words that convinced me. Because regarding the things you, the ANC or the government did, which I benefit from, there is not even a single one which is not in accordance with the biblical doctrine.’’ Let us thank the churches for that. [Applause.]

Mr President, I was offered this opportunity to talk about the Expanded Public Works Programme. My problem is just that I have these people of ours whom I love so much, whom we should not leave behind. Nobody will separate me from them until death do us part. When you hear them talking - you who come from the second economy - and whilst you are busy thinking about what role to play, on the other side there are those who live in the first economy who do not see things the same way. [Applause.]

To the hon President, and the hon members of the Cabinet, after all the efforts you have made and the things you have done, the portfolio committee wants to extend a word of gratitude. Hon Speaker, after the departmental budget debate, we are going to have a workshop, which is aimed at bringing the comrades who are committee members close so that they can be enlightened and know the role they will play when they meet the constituency concerning this issue. They will also be present. I thank you because you understand isiXhosa.

After that, hon Speaker and Mr President, we are going to visit the municipal areas. [Time expired.] [Applause.]]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker … [Interjections.] … the question is: Why me? [Interjections.] Why me, indeed? And the reason for that is simple. It’s because patriotic South African voters returned me to this House, as a proud African and a proud South African, to represent their interests, and that’s what I’m going to do. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

I’m not going to presume to deal with the President’s speech. My hon leader has already done so comprehensively. I may say that the graciousness that he showed, his good manners and his goodwill towards the President were not reflected in many of the speeches that were made thereafter in this debate. [Interjections.]

There were three members, in particular, who used the state of the nation debate to launch attacks on the DA and its leader, and I think that they deserve a reply. Dr Mulder was one of them. He leads a party which 10 years ago had half a million supporters and nine seats in this House. At that stage, the DP had 300 000 votes and seven seats. Today, under his leadership, that party has four seats and about 200 000 votes, whereas the DA has almost 2 million votes and 50 seats. Now, that ought to be enough of a reply for him, but he also carried on to whine about the fact that the DA had offered co-operation and then tried to swallow him up.

Ek wil verduidelik hoekom. Dr Mulder misgis hom oor twee sake. Eerstens, dat sy party die VF Plus geword het deur die AEB en die KP in te sluk. Met ander woorde, dr Mulder het na regs beweeg. Na 10 jaar van die ANC in die Parlement lek, het die VF Plus skielik ontpop met plakkate wat gelui het: Stop die ANC'' enSê nee vir die ANC’’. [I want to explain why. Dr Mulder is mistaken about two issues. Firstly, that his party became the FF Plus by swallowing up the AEB and the CP. In other words, Dr Mulder has made a shift to the right. After 10 years of sucking up to the ANC in Parliament, the FF Plus suddenly came up with posters that read: Stop the ANC'' andSay no to the ANC’’.]

He also forgets that he fought a by-election in Randfontein, where his party used a pamphlet saying: The black ANC has done nothing for you. The black DA can do nothing for you.'' Then they also used a photograph of Mr Andries Botha, MP, dancing with Premier Winkie Direko, and they used it with the sameShock! Horror!’’ as the HNP used a picture 30 or 40 years ago of Mr Vorster, then prime minister, sitting next to Mrs Cecilia Kadzamira, who was Hastings Banda’s hostess. [Interjections.] The HNP used that for racist purposes then and the FF Plus used it for racist purposes now, and that’s why we declared war on that party.

But we do want to co-operate with them. If they will think again - if they will recognise that South African voters punished them because they moved to the right and because they became racists, which is why we couldn’t co- operate with them - and move in the direction of the new South Africa and the future, which is where white and black people want to be, then we’ll be delighted to co-operate with them.

Then what about Ms De Lille? I think that I’ve earned the right to give her a little advice in this Parliament, because when the ANC was oppressing her and acting unconstitutionally against her, I was the one who stood up and protected her rights. [Interjections.] Now, in this debate yesterday, she made two serious mistakes, and, I think, on reflection, she’ll recognise that that is so. The first one was that she set herself up as the opposition to the official opposition. I think she’s making a big mistake when she does that. Before the elections, she promised that she was going to be the new leader of the opposition, that her party would be the new official opposition. Well, the voters didn’t take that seriously or her party seriously, but they gave her seven seats here. But the reason they voted for her is because she is a gutsy fighter and because they liked her in-your-face opposition to the ANC. If she moves over, as she’s busy trying to do, and emulates the NNP, the voters will regard her as a one-term wonder, and that will be the end of it. [Applause.]

The next little mistake that she made, and I think it was more than a little mistake, was that she referred to the leader of the opposition as a little boy. [Interjections.] Now, there are many people in this House, and all of us grew up in a South Africa where an adult man and woman were referred to as a boy and a girl. I want to tell Ms De Lille that there are no boys and girls in this House. All the hon members here are adult human beings and they are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. She must move away from the apartheid paradigm and forget about boy and girl.

Then there’s a third speaker who needs some attention, and that is the hon Minister, Minister Mufamadi, who, in the most brutal way, smacked away the hand of friendship that the leader of the opposition proffered to the President. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon member, is that a point of order? Is that a question?

Mrs X C MAKASI: Ngicela ukubuza ukuthi ilungu lingawemukela yini umbuzo? [I would like to know if the hon member would take a question.]

The SPEAKER: Would you like to take a question?

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: No, you know I wouldn’t. I’ve got very limited time. I haven’t got 22 minutes like other people. [Interjections.]

The hon Minister, in fact, said that the ANC does not want co-operation. He said the ANC does not seek unity of great purpose in South Africa. He said the ANC is too big; they don’t need anybody else’s co-operation: We've got the plot. We're the only ones. We have the people's contract.'' He said:We don’t want your hand on this side of the House.’’ And I think that was also a big mistake, because South Africa was watching. And, I don’t think South Africa lightly forgives people who want to regard their opponents as enemies. We are not your enemies, Minister; we are your political opponents, even if you choose to treat us that way. [Interjections.]

I want to tell you that there are two big sicknesses that come with too much political power. One of those is arrogance, and the other one is pride. [Interjections.] They are two big sins. [Interjections.] That hon Minister’s term of reference is not Burke; his term of reference is Karl Marx. [Interjections.] I want to tell you that that is why he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t even begin to understand what it’s about. [Applause.] I want to say to you that things will change in South Africa. [Interjections.] In God’s good time, there will be a political change in this country - the ANC will cease to be in power and some other party will take over. [Interjections.] But he will hasten the day … [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order!

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: … that that happens if he becomes full of overweening pride and arrogance, and when a hand of friendship and co- operation is extended he smacks it away. It’s wrong, and it’s bad, and you should apologise. [Applause.]

Mr B MTHEMBU: Madam Speaker, our President, our Ministers, our Deputy Ministers and hon members, on 14 April 2004 the citizens of this country exercised their democratic right to elect the government of their choice. It was an election in which 11 parties with divergent political orientations participated. It was an election where more than 15 million voters cast their votes. It was an election which was declared free and fair by the Electoral Commission.

When almost 70% of the voters cast their votes in favour of the ANC, they were explicitly accepting the invitation made by the ANC to enter into a people’s contract to create work and fight poverty. They were saying, With the people's Government, based on the will of the people, we can and we will do more to achieve a better life for all.'' They were saying, United by the people’s contract, let us move to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014.’’ They were saying, ``Working together, we can realise the vision of a single and integrated economy that benefits all our people. Together we can and we will create work and fight poverty.’’ Our experiences during the first decade of freedom give us hope that, by working together, we can achieve more towards the realisation of a single and integrated economy that benefits all our people. Working together during the Codesa deliberations, we succeeded as South Africans in creating a climate for all for the birth of a rainbow nation. Working together as South Africans, we succeeded in 1996 in institutionalising democracy based on the Constitution. Together we have created a Constitution that respects human dignity, a Constitution that creates a law-abiding society that is inimical to arbitrary rule, a Constitution that celebrates the diversity of our people, and makes it possible for all of us to define ourselves as one people.

Our experiences during the first decade of freedom give us hope that working together we can achieve the ideal of a single and integrated economy that benefits all of us. Our people have demonstrated through the Letsema, Tirisano, Khomanani, Vukuzenzele and Farisanani campaigns that we are able to work together.

The key challenge that confronts us as we begin the second decade of freedom is the creation of work and the reduction of poverty. A cursory survey into the manifestos of the various political parties suggests that there is a common concern with the question of unemployment and poverty. We may not agree with the how, which is natural, given our diverse ideological orientations. However, our common sense of humanity tells us that it is unacceptable to see our fellow men and women suffer the indignities of helplessness, hopelessness and misery arising from a lack of food, shelter, health and sustainable livelihoods.

I believe we all care, and together we can create a caring society that is just and humane. Let me hasten to assert that there is an emerging consensus as to both the vision and the means of realising it. Last Friday, our President articulated a comprehensive socioeconomic programme that will take this country towards the realisation of Vision 2014. This programme has been endorsed by the leaders of all opposition parties except the leader of the DA. This is not surprising, given the ideological framework that informs its worldview. I will elaborate later on this point.

Our hearts leap with joy when the majority of opposition leaders say, ``Together in the people’s contract we can and we will halve poverty and unemployment by 2014.’’ It gives hope to our people. I assert that there is an emerging national consensus around a common vision for economic growth and development. The Growth and Development Summit agreement of 7 June 2003 is a case in point. On this occasion the President said:

In crafting the Bill of Rights, the founders of our democracy knew only too well that political rights without a socioeconomic foundation would be unsustainable. They knew that a political settlement without an enduring contract among the economic role-players for growth and development would entirely collapse on a foundation of sand.

The President continued:

The Growth and Development Summit should not be seen as an isolated event. It is a major step forward in our protracted process that should in time culminate in our people’s contract for growth and development.

I need to point out that this summit was held following our President’s announcement of his intention to have growth and development summits for constituencies to work together to address investment, employment and poverty challenges that our country is facing. It is grossly misleading to suggest that the programme for the realisation of the ideal of a single and integrated economy that will benefit all our people is just something that comes from a so-called party that is power-drunk and is determined to dominate the whole of society.

The list of constituencies that adopted the Growth and Development Summit agreement demonstrates the commitment of our Government to working with the people. Organised labour was represented by Cosatu, Fedusa and Nactu. Organised business included Business South Africa, Nafcoc and Fabos, and committee constituencies were represented by the National Rural Development Forum, Sanco and Disabled People South Africa.

These constituencies from various backgrounds adopted a common vision for growth and development and a set of national priorities for joint action, as well as a programme of action. I want to agree with the hon leader of the ID. She has admonished some of the opposition parties to speak truth to power if they are to be credible. To suggest that it is impossible to have national consensus unless something has been debated in Parliament is far from the truth. The majority sentiment in this Parliament, except for one political party, has endorsed the comprehensive socioeconomic programme announced by our President last Friday.

We must speak truth to power. To suggest that the ANC Government is abusing its majority power by forcing a national consensus on the rest of society is far from the truth, as evidenced by the Growth and Development Summit agreement. Speak truth to power if you aspire to be a credible opposition.

Last Friday, our President announced a detailed socioeconomic programme which seeks to realise, in part, the vision adopted at the Growth and Development Summit. At that summit, the constituency agreed to work together for the realisation of the identified national priorities. These priorities included promoting and mobilising investment and creating decent work for all; ensuring economic empowerment for all, especially for black people, people with disabilities, women and youth; eradicating poverty and addressing the legacy of underdevelopment; and strategically engaging globalisation to the best advantage of the country. These are the national priorities agreed to by very important and powerful constituencies, as I have stated. The key messages that arise from our President’s state of the nation address are: Firstly, a complete expression of the commitment made by the Government at the Growth and Development Summit; secondly, concrete and specific interventions to expand the first economy so that it can absorb the millions of our people who have been deliberately excluded from participating in the mainstream economy; and thirdly, investment in social capital for sustainable livelihood. This socioeconomic development programme constitutes a multifaceted and inter-related implementation strategy intended to realise the vision of a single and integrated economy that will benefit all our people.

In essence, the President says we should move away quickly from the paradigm of exclusion, because this country belongs to all who live in it, both black and white. Through the people’s contract we can and we will realise the vision of a single and integrated economy.

The programme announced by the President last Friday is intended to intervene decisively in the first economy, so that we can, firstly, enlarge the economic cake and thereby enable ourselves to absorb the millions of our people who were excluded from participation. Secondly, it indicates direct and specific interventions in the second economy, so that we will be able to ensure that those who were excluded in the past are able to move into the first economy. Thirdly, it will ensure that we address the social infrastructure. I think this is very realistic. I think this is the way in which we should go forward to ensure that we are able to work together so that all our people can benefit. As long as the paradigm of exclusion dominates, we will not make any progress.

As I pointed out earlier, I want to deal with some of the issues and claims made by the DA. The DA’s worldview is informed by afro-pessimism, neoliberal ideology and a technocratic approach to social reality. [Interjections.]

Afro-pessimism, as outlined by some of them, claims that it is impossible to forge national consensus for socioeconomic development unless we use Parliament. I added earlier that today, more than ever, there is an emergent consensus. It is only the DA that sees life through the goggles of Afro-pessimism. [Laughter.]

Parliament cannot be used as a forum to advance the neoliberal agenda of the DA. The mandate to govern is derived from the will of the people. All of us were given an opportunity to campaign to sell our policy and manifesto. The people rejected your policy, rejected your manifesto, but then you want to come through the back door and use this Parliament to put forward your neoliberal agenda. That cannot be accepted. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

One of the factors that affects investment is Afro-pessimism. The DA always portrays and reflects that there is chaos. They can see nothing good. They are bad ambassadors for the good image of this country. They are part of the kind of a society, the people, who will always see that you cannot expect anything from Africa. They are part of that thinking. That is one of the major challenges in that the Government has come up with a clear and specific intervention, agreed to with the various stakeholders, to intervene decisively in the first economy as well as in the second economy - because that is one of the challenges.

Comrade Minister Mufamadi has dealt with the issue of neoliberalism, save to say that it is a dangerous prescription that has brought misery to many countries in the developing world. Under the cloak of so-called good governance - you know, transparency, human rights, rule of law and all those things in beautiful language - the problem is that what they preach is not what they practise. More often that not, they steal the language of the progressive movement and cheat people with all these good words. But when you look at their policies, what they are actually doing is in fact contrary to what they are saying. That is why I am saying that this is a very dangerous ideology. It is a very dangerous ideology, and it is one of the issues we need to deal with very seriously. [Applause.]

What is actually happening with these so-called concerns with human development and other things is that essentially their agenda is to protect the status quo, which is a socioeconomic setup in which the wealth of this world and this country is concentrated in the hands of a few. That is their main agenda. [Applause.] That is why they are anti all measures to develop our people. They are anti broad-based economic development; they are anti affirmative action; they are anti, anti, anti everything. [Laughter.] [Applause.] This is because they always make a noise when it comes to any progressive policy that threatens the interests of the few. [Interjections.]

Let me give an example. They say that they believe in democracy, nonracialism, etc, etc, but how on earth do you want to conceptualise democracy using Parliament to force a particular agenda? [Interjections.] You can’t do that. [Interjections.] That is exactly the problem with this dangerous approach and, in fact, it is a technocratic approach to human issues. If you ask them: ``What values informed you?’’ you will never be told. You will never ever be told. They will talk about equality, nonracialism, etc, and, as a result, you find that it is very difficult to deal with them. Hence, they come with simplistic solutions, which cannot take us forward, because they talk about means, means, means. We don’t agree with means, means, means. We cannot talk about means, without knowing the what and what values inform that. You will only understand our means if you understand the values that inform what we want to achieve. [Interjections.]

They tell us that we must change policy. They need to understand that as the ANC we have the right to conduct our business as we wish and cannot be dictated to by the DA. We held a policy conference at which all our structures were represented - branches, regions, provinces. I’m not aware of any political party that had an open conference to interrogate whether our policies were right. That is what we have done. [Applause.] We were convinced that our policies were correct democratically. Are you doing that? Not only that, we went to a conference in Stellenbosch and these policies were adopted by all our structures. That is democracy in practice, which is not preaching it but not practising it. That is the problem with the neoliberals.

We went to all corners of the country, door to door, and spoke to the people and explained and popularised our manifesto. And the people responded. That is democracy. All political parties were free to campaign. That is the reality. One of the cornerstones of democracy is that the Government rests with the will of the people. You cannot distort this concept to suit you. The people have expressed their confidence and they have given us a mandate to lead this country. This is not a traditional leadership; it is a gained leadership. [Laughter.] We have been elected democratically in an election that was free and fair. That is the mandate that we have, and we will carry that mandate. We are not going to be diverted by people who don’t have a mandate.

You are here to monitor, to exercise oversight of the vision and the programme that I’ve explained the majority of the people in this country support. They are the businesspeople, the workers, the youth, the disabled and even the majority of the political parties here. You then ask yourself: Why can’t these people who claim to be democratic accept the majority sentiment of the people of this country? [Interjections.] [Applause.] Why? Because this agenda does not meet their agenda to maintain the disaccord in which the majority of the people are excluded from meaningful participation.

In conclusion, we cannot engage the DA until they change their ideological framework. [Interjections.] We are wasting time, but, at the same time, we are not going to wait for the DA to change its ideological framework. We will move forward with the people of this county united. We can and we will realise the goal of a single, united and integrated economy which will benefit all our people. The people’s contract is an idea whose time has come. It is unstoppable. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]

Debate interrupted.

The House adjourned at 18:13. ____



National Assembly

  1. Membership of Rules Committee
 (1)     Apart  from  the  Speaker,  Deputy  Speaker,  Chairperson   of
     Committees and Deputy  Chairperson  of  Committees,  who  are  ex
     officio members of the Rules  Committee,  the  following  members
     have been appointed to serve on the Rules Committee:

          African National Congress

              Bapela, Mr K O
              Bhengu, Mr F
              Dipico, Mr E M
              Kondlo, Ms N C
              Masithela, Mr N H
              Masutha, Mr T M
              Mentor, Ms M P
              Nel, Mr A C
              Ngaleka, Ms E
              Nhleko, Mr N P
              Rwexana, Ms S P
              September, Ms C C
              Sithole, Mr D J
              Thabethe, Ms E
              Tsenoli, Mr S L
              Van Wyk, Ms A

              Chohan-Khota, Ms F I (Alt)
              Goniwe, Mr M T (Alt)
              Landers, Mr L T (Alt)
              Mabe, Ms L L (Alt)
              Maluleka, Mr H P (Alt)
              Modisenyane, Mr L J (Alt)
              Motubatse-Hounkpatin, Ms S D (Alt)
              Nene, Mr N M (Alt)
              Newhoudht-Druchen, Mrs W S (Alt)
              Njikelana, Mr S J (Alt)
              Oosthuizen, Mr G C (Alt)
              Sibanyoni, Mr J B (Alt)
              Smith, Mr V G (Alt)
              Tshwete, Ms P (Alt)
              Zita, Mr L (Alt)
          Democratic Alliance

              Doman, Mr W P
              Ellis, Mr M J
              Gibson, Mr D H M
              Kalyan, Mrs S V

              Maluleke, Mr D K (Alt)

          Inkatha Freedom Party

              Seaton, Ms S A
              Van der Merwe, Mr J H

              Mpontshane, Mr A M (Alt)
              Zulu, Prince N E (Alt)

          United Democratic Movement

              Holomisa, Mr B H

          Independent Democrats

              De Lille, Ms P
              Harding, Mr A (Alt)

          New National Party

              Greyling, Mr C H F

              Gaum, Mr A H (Alt)

          African Christian Democratic Party

              Green, Mr L M

              Durr, Mr K D S (Alt)

          Freedom Front Plus

              Mulder, Dr C P

              Spies, Mr W D (Alt)

          United Christian Democratic Party

              Mfundisi, Mr I S

              Ditshetelo, Mr P H K (Alt)

          Pan Africanist Congress of Azania

              Godi, Mr N T

              Likotsi, Mr M T (alt)

          Minority Front

              Rajbally, Ms S

              Bhoola, Mr R B (Alt)

          Azanian Peoples' Organisation

              Nefolovhodwe, Mr P J


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs
 Strategic Plan of the Department of Land Affairs for 2004-2007.