National Assembly - 24 August 2005

                      WEDNESDAY, 24 AUGUST 2005




The House met at 15:02.

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



The SPEAKER: Hon members, the first item on the Order Paper is questions addressed to the Deputy President who will be doing her maiden answer session. [Applause.]

Remarks by Deputy President regarding lessons learnt from Zimbabwe

  1. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) asked the Deputy President:

    (1) With reference to her remarks on Wednesday, 10 August 2005, to the effect that a few lessons were learnt from Zimbabwe on how to do land reform fast and that some skills might be needed from Zimbabwe to help us with land reform in South Africa, (a) what methods does she propose we learn from Zimbabwe and (b) what skills does she propose we import from Zimbabwe;

    (2) whether she discussed her views on this matter with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council before making these remarks; if not, with whom did she discuss the advisability of making these remarks; if so, (a) what were the views expressed by members of the Council and (b) what was the outcome of these discussions? N1660E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, hon members, indeed, this is my maiden question session, so members must be nice to me . . . [Laughter] [Applause] . . . especially on this question. The question is from the Leader of the Opposition and the reply to the question is as follows.

Hon members, I really doubt that anyone in this House can deny that there are enormous problems with land ownership patterns in our country. The fact that we have these problems is obviously not surprising, given the centuries of wars of dispossession and, later, the race-based colonial and apartheid laws and policies designed specifically to drive black people off their land. It is as a result of this history that in 1994, 87% of agricultural land was owned by white people. We also know that the preamble to the Constitution enjoins us to recognise the injustices of the past and, in adopting the Constitution, to heal the divisions of the past.

So I’m convinced that all of the members agree that land redistribution in this country is moving too slowly. Government has set a target for redistributing 30% of agricultural land to the previously disadvantaged people by 2014. As of June this year, only 3% had been redistributed. So, what are the lessons?

The lesson is that we want to avoid the kind of problems that have occurred in Zimbabwe, where 20 years after liberation, land redistribution remained incomplete. We want to avoid a situation where, because land reform has taken too long, both government and the people become so desperate that they resort to desperate measures.

Indeed we can learn, and everybody, across the divide, can learn how to avoid these experiences so that we can truly heal our land. Is that so bad to learn? I thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: The hon Seremane on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr W J SEREMANE: Madam Speaker, I thank Madam Deputy President very much. Madam Deputy President, whilst you have added more meat to what you intended by your remark – I think the remark you made was very glib. On that basis, I strongly feel that you need to reflect on the fact that such a glib remark about taking a leaf from the chaotic book of Zimbabwe invalidates our own approach to land reform, which we are all agreed should happen. [Interjections.] Remarks made in jest or even in earnest mean that you admire and condone the economic meltdown and the trashing of human rights taking place in Zimbabwe.

If you do not, in the light of those glib remarks, in jest or earnest, how do you intend rectifying the perception that has been created? South Africa cannot afford to allow Zimbabwe’s failures to obscure the ANC’s and government’s own failure to carry out our land reform policy, which we can pursue successfully. Thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Order! May I ask hon members to press the buttons on the desk because there is some technological fault upstairs that hinders the operation of the mikes.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I will only add that I think what we have learned is that our approach is right, but is slow. So that is the biggest lesson for all of us; that we must do everything that we can and we must do it fast.

In the interest of saving taxpayers’ money, I don’t think that you should continue point-scoring about this issue. I think the point has been made. [Applause.]

Ms E NGALEKA: Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank Madam Deputy President for her comprehensive response.

Deputy President, in South Africa, there is still a wide skills gap between commercial and subsistence farmers. Shouldn’t government, therefore, consider putting in place a dedicated government-driven mentoring programme, funded by government and the private sector, to ensure the sustainability of this land reform programme? I thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Exactly, hon member. That’s another lesson that I forgot to mention. One thing that we can learn from Zimbabwe and anywhere else is that it is important to train people so that when they have an opportunity to own land, they will have the skills to be productive, something that we don’t have in the country. So, again, I urge the hon members on the other side to work with us to ensure that we fast-track skills acquisition. [Applause.]

Mr N T GODI: Madam Speaker, Comrade Deputy President, regarding land and land reform, the recent national land summit that was held in Gauteng was a truly significant moment in the history of agrarian reform in our country. However, in a weekend newspaper, one programme manager from an NGO that was present at the summit suggested that, in post-summit press conferences, the government seemed to water down some of the summit resolutions. He gave an example around the moratorium on evictions from farms. What I want to check, on the issue of the moratorium, is whether it was a summit resolution or did it come about because there was strong support for a moratorium?

Secondly, what is the standing of the resolutions taken at the summit? Are they going to be implemented as they are, or was the summit merely a sounding board for popular views? And lastly, do we have anything to worry about, that for the umpteenth time, an undemocratic minority will frustrate or block measures that are meant to alleviate the plight of the democratic majority after centuries of criminal oppression, ruthless exploitation and inhumane subjugation? Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I thank the Comrade for the question. You don’t have to worry about a situation where a minority will stop us from proceeding with a speedy land reform process. In fact, I would even venture to say that all normal people in South Africa are very impatient with regard to this issue. It is in the best interest of all citizens of this country that we proceed with speed. So I don’t expect any resistance.

Regarding the recommendations you are referring to, all of the agreements, as well as the conclusions of the summit, are recommendations that the department is studying, together with other stakeholders. I think that the Minister intends to make a statement on the status of the different recommendations, after we have looked at them, costed them and worked out a plan for implementation so that whatever we say is as close as possible to what we’ll be able to achieve and implement.

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, to the hon Deputy Minister, her reply indicates that . . . [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Deputy President.

Mr L M GREEN: Sorry! Hon Deputy President, I apologise. Your reply indicates that government is not satisfied . . . [Interjections.] Can I just repeat that, Madam Speaker?

Your reply indicates that government is not satisfied with the speed of land reform in South Africa. If so, is government planning to introduce measures that would fast-track land reform? And, if so, would the principle of “willing-seller, willing-buyer” remain part of future land reform, or is this principle becoming an obstacle to the speed of land reform? Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: We intend to fast-track the process, hon member. That is the reason that, even in the Budget, more resources have been allocated to the Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs.

Yes, we regard the principle of “willing-seller, willing-buyer” as a contributor to the slow pace of the process, but we are not going to be reckless in the manner in which we’ll be reviewing it. We will be doing it not to be vindictive in any way towards the farming community. However, to the extent that it actually does not enable us to speedily redistribute land, it definitely is not a sacred cow. [Applause.]

        Government action with regard to population expansion
  1. Prince N E Zulu (IFP) asked the Deputy President:

    (1) Whether the population expansion outstrips economic growth and perpetuates unemployment in South Africa; if so,

    (2) whether the Government has introduced any measures to control the population expansion; if not, why not; if so, what measures; (3) whether the Government has made enough incentives available to encourage the population to move from urban to rural areas; if so, what are the relevant details; if not,

    (4) whether she will make a statement on the matter? N1659E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The hon member’s question is with regard to population expansion and economic growth. The reply is as follows: Our economy is now growing faster than our population. According to the 2001 census, the population of South Africa stood at 44,8 million people in 2001 compared to 40,5 million in 1996.

The population has thus grown by 10% over the five-year period. This reflects an average population growth rate of 2% per annum.

On average, per capita growth was negative in the decade before 1994. Since then, the economy has grown at an average rate of 2,94% per annum. While the population growth rate does not perpetuate unemployment, the number of new people entering the labour market contributes to the level of unemployment in South Africa.

With regard to population development, government has a number of programmes in place to support women and men with regard to their reproductive choices. Amongst these are the family planning programmes, which provide for counselling and a range of choices of family planning methods such as contraceptives, access to legal termination of pregnancy and sterilisation under specific conditions as well as education on sexuality and healthy lifestyles. These services are provided free at primary health care level.

While government does not have a programme to encourage people to move from the urban to the rural areas, it does have programmes in place to improve the lives of the people living in rural areas. One of these programmes is the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme. The vision of the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme is to attain socially cohesive and stable communities with viable institutions, sustainable economies and universal access to social amenities. It must be able to attract skilled and knowledgeable people equipped to contribute to their own and the nation’s growth and development while they remain in the rural areas. Many of the activities that we are pursuing right now are aimed at attaining this vision. I will be first one to say that we do have challenges in this regard, but certainly, we are focused on moving in this direction. Thank you.

Prince N E ZULU: Somlomo, ngiyabonga kakhulu kumhlonishwa iPhini likaMongameli. [Speaker, thank you very much to the hon Deputy President.]

However, I may say that government strategies to control population expansion that undermines economic development may be in place as the Deputy President has just told this House - but how marketable are these programmes? How promotional? How implementable and what is the outcome?

The state of the economy, as I know it, stands at 4,8% growth and is not yet something to write home about, but it is a positive development, which nonetheless poses a big question whether or not it is a job-creating growth for the masses of the unemployed youth. Young recipients of the Child Support Grant still construe these grants as incentives for more children when in fact it should be the opposite. Isn’t this a lack of education in that respect?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Well, there is quite a lot of effort by the relevant departments and educational institutions to inform people about these choices and availability of these services. We also work very closely with the NGOs to make this information available, but like many other developmental programmes, you can always do more. So, there is room for us to even market these aggressively. Some of the municipalities and provinces have, on their own, designed their own marketing strategies that are in line with their populations.

Another interesting feature is also the involvement of the traditional leaders in this regard who are also participating in ensuring that they assist us to market and inform people about primary health care services. So, again, I would say, hon members and everybody, that we can do more, and we note your points that maybe these programmes are not as visible as they should be.

On the issue of whether the grants - if you like - have an unintended consequence in the sense that some people claim that they act as an incentive, I think that we do not have proof that that is the case. We also, at the same time, would like to ensure that whether this is anecdotal or whether people have genuine concerns, they must bring this to our attention so that we will be able to engage on this, especially the young people, because clearly we’ll all agree that this will be very detrimental, because not only does it affect the resources of the state but also, in the long-term, the lives of those young people who would prematurely become parents when they are not ready or interested in truly becoming parents. [Applause.]

Ms S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, Madam Deputy President, I refer to question 14, point 3. In the past regime, there was a system introduced and that was called influx control. Under the present government, there is no influx control. Madam Deputy President, do you feel that introducing such an incentive in moving our people from the urban areas to the rural areas would be fair to them? Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think controlling the movement of people is both a human right as well as a moral issue. People will gravitate towards the areas where they think there are better opportunities and resources. If you were to try and persuade people to move towards a particular geographic area, I think in all earnest, as a responsible government and citizens, it must be because we are convinced that they will get a better life. So, influx control as it was practised or in any other form is likely to contribute towards violation of peoples right to freedom of movement.

But also, in the manner in which we have always understood it, it is likely to keep away poor people who are looking for opportunities, and retain those opportunities for those people who are already rich because that notion comes from a thinking that says: “Not in my neighbourhood. I don’t want poor people to hassle me in my neighbourhood. I want to have my luxuries and I do not want to share.” Surely, that would be against our Constitution and the mandate of this government. [Applause.]

Mr I O DAVIDSON: Madam Speaker, Madam Deputy President, being conscious of the question that member Zulu has asked you, particularly the first point relating to the economy and growth, I’m conscious also of the recently appointed task committee to look at the whole question of lifting the growth rate in South Africa to 6%, together with the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Minister of Finance. Now, that 6% is not a mythical figure. It’s round about the level we need to actually just absorb entrants into the labour market. I’m conscious of Minister Sigcau’s statement that 546 000 jobs are needed just to halve the unemployment rate in this country by 2014.

You have been in this position for a little while now, and I just wonder what priorities you have set in terms of the task team? We recognise that there is no silver bullet as far as this is concerned, and that it is an integrated area of activity that you are going have to look at. But, nonetheless, there are certain constraints, and I think we recognise that a lot has been written, including by the ANC themselves in their paper ``Development and Underdevelopment’’. These relate to low levels of savings, low levels of capital formation, the whole question of flexible and appropriate labour market policies, the whole question of tax and tax incentives to actually employ people. I just wonder whether the Deputy President is prepared to share her thoughts and priorities as far as this is concerned. [Time expired.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon member, this task obviously, even though I convened the team, is a shared task. The people that will make these things happen are the colleagues who are line-function colleagues. We are also working very closely with the private sector in this regard, because we believe that solving these problems is not a public sector responsibility alone. In fact, it’s not doable if the public sector is alone.

So, amongst the areas that we are looking at is the whole area of infrastructure development and also prioritising and sequencing the rollout of infrastructure. Even though we have decided that we are going to be doing a major infrastructure roll-out programme in the next few years, if we want to reach a certain target of growth by 2014, some infrastructure is more crucial and critical than others. So, the issue of sequencing is important.

We are asking all the colleagues that are working with us in this team to test all of the initiatives they are putting in place to support the work of this team against its direct impact on growth, its labour absorptiveness, its impact on poverty and indeed its ability also to be commercially viable and sustainable. So, infrastructure is one area. For example, with regard to infrastructure, the efficiency and the functions of our ports, the functions of our roads and rail including commuter transport, a comprehensive strategy is needed to enable people to move about and access opportunities more easily than is the case thus far.

A comprehensive review of our Small, Medium and Micro-enterprise strategy is underway, and again, we are looking there at the specific bottlenecks that have dogged us in these past few years as far as the implementation of our SMME strategy is concerned. Even though we have seen some progress, we have identified some of the challenges that we face, including a regulatory environment.

We are also looking at specific skills that are crucial for growth and we have a comprehensive human resource and skills policy, which amongst others includes further education and training. However, we are saying that within that very broad skills policy, there are specific skills that are crucial for growth. What we intend to do is to work with the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Education so that they work together as a team with their colleagues in the training institutions to zoom on those particular skills that are growth-oriented, and to use that also to absorb some of the young people who have demonstrated, amongst others, the capacity to conceptualise at university level, but have attained degrees and qualifications that are not marketable for this economy. Part of our challenge is going to be re- orienting those young people and bringing them to the fore.

We have identified the issue of project management, both in the private and the public sectors, as the major barrier to ensuring that the projects, especially major projects in South Africa, are implemented and executed with speed. So, again, this is another area where we see room for collaboration with the private sector.

What is encouraging in this regard is that, through Business SA, the private sector has, on its own, come together to form a task team that mirror ours to work on how they will be supporting us. What is amazing is that they have identified exactly the same barriers that we have identified. So, over time, we intend to bring our task teams together so that we can crack the issue. I don’t want to put my neck on the block right now with numbers until we’ve been able to do a model, which we do not want for a long time because we think there’s enough data for us to move with speed. However, I think in due course, we’ll make a comprehensive statement on this matter. [Applause.]

Mr F BHENGU: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Phini likaMongameli, awusitshele nje kancane dadewethu . . . [Deputy President, could you tell us briefly . . . ]

Our understanding is that the ANC-led government is a developmental state, hence the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme, the Expanded Public Works Programme, Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development, Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme, Mafisa, etc. Can you briefly share with us what progress has been made in the rural areas in particular, especially the nodal points, and what the response of the communities has been?

Ngithola ukuthi sesikhohliwe kancane ukuthi senzani. Awusikhumbuze nje kancane sisi. [I can see that we have forgotten what we are doing. Could you remind us a bit.]

PHINI LIKAMONGAMELI: Ngiyabonga qabane, ngifuna nje ukugcizelela ukuthi lo hulumeni wethu obusayo uqinisile ukuthi unguhulumeni wentuthuko nonakekela abantu bakhe. Ngakho, ukuthuthukiswa kwezindawo zasemakhaya yinto esemqoka kithi. Ohlelweni lokwandisa umsebenzi womphakathi olubizwa phecelezi “Expanded Public Works Programme”, into esiyenzekile manje ukuthi imisebenzi esesiyenzile iyaledlula leli nani esasizibekele lona ukuthi emva konyaka siyobe sesilenzile.

Uma ngingaphosisi izibalo zethu sezedlulile ku-330 000 okuyilona nani esasizinqumele lona. Seqe ngale kwalo ekwenzeni imisebenzi. Enye into enhle esesiyenza manje ohlelweni lwezemisebenzi yomphakathi ukuthi asisalusebenziseli kuphela ukwenza umsebenzi wengqalasizinda ukwakha njalo njalo, kodwa sesiluthatha silufaka nasekwenzeni imisebenzi yokuthuthukisa abantu emakhaya, isibonelo, uhlelo lwezemisebenzi yomphakathi seluyangena ekuqeqesheni nasekuqasheni abantu abagada izingane ekuzifundiseni zisencane okwaziwa nge “early learning education”. Uhlelo lwezomsebenzi womphakathi manje seluyangena nasohlelweni lokunakekelwa kwabantu abagulela emakhaya olwaziwa nge “home-base care” lapho abezempilo nabantu abagada abantu emakhaya asebegula kakhulu besiza labo abadinga usizo. Nayo le misebenzi sesiyibona njengohlelo lwezomsebenzi yomphakathi. Siyafuna-ke ezinye izinhlelo ezifana nalezo ezenza ukuthi uhlelo lwezemisebenzi yomphakathi singalusebenzisi engqalenisizinda nje kuphela kodwa nasekugadeni kanye nasekwenzeni izinhlelo zabantu abangenabani emphakathini. Uhlelo lokubuyiswa komhlaba sesikhulumile ngalo ukuthi sizoluqhubela phambili kakhulu ngoba nalo silubona liwuhlelo olubalulekile. Ngicabanga ukuthi bonke abantu abahlala emapulazini abakaphatheki ngale ndlela esifuna baphatheke ngayo. Ngicabanga futhi kubalulekile ukuthi sisho ukuthi thina lapha eNingizimu Afrika, njengoba neNhlangano yaMazwe oMhlaba yezeMisebenzi isho, sibona kuthi abantu abasebenza emapulazini nabantu abasebenza emakhishini yibo abantu abaphatheka kabi kakhulu ohleni lwabasebenzi. Nokho sesinayo imithetho kanti futhi iyabonakalisa ukuthi impilo yalabo bantu iba ingcono ngoba njengoba sesaqala ukwenza lolu hlelo, labo bantu sebephatheke kangcono kakhulu kunokuba babephatheke kuqala.

Enye into esiyenzayo ekhombisa ukuthi siwuhulumeni onakekelayo nobathandayo abantu yindlela esiphethe ngayo abantu abadala. Ukuthi sibe nabantu abaningi abadala asebekwazi ukuthi bahlomule ohlelweni lwethu lwempesheni enye yezinto ezibonakalisayo ukuthi singuhulumeni obathandayo abantu. Ngiyabonga. [Ihlombe.] (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you comrade, I just want to emphasise that it is correct for our government to say it is the government of development that cares for its people. Therefore, the development of remote rural areas is an important thing to us. Through the Expanded Public Works Programme, we have created gross work opportunities, which far exceed the target that we had set for ourselves this year. If I am not mistaken our figures show that we have exceeded 330 000 job opportunities, which was our initial target. We have exceeded our target in creating job opportunities. The Expanded Public Works Programme does not only deal with infrastructure development and built environment etc, but we also use it in improving the development of people in the rural areas, for example it is also used in the training at early learning education. The Expanded Public Works Programme also helps improve the community home-based care where caregivers cater for the terminally ill and the helpless from their homes. All these are seen as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme. We want to see many of these programmes so that this programme cannot be only used for infrastructure, but for other programmes like looking after the destitute in our communities.

We have spoken a lot about the restitution of land and we will continue with this programme because we see it as an important programme. I think all farm dwellers are not yet treated the way we would like to see them treated. I think it is important to say that we here in South Africa, and the International Labour Organisation, feel that farm workers and domestic workers are the worst treated people in the labour sector. At least we now have legislation to deal with all this and it is now becoming clear that the lives of these people are becoming better; their treatment is now far better than it was before. The way we cater for the aged shows that we are a caring and a loving government. The high numbers of aged people getting the old age grant is one of the many testimonies showing that we are a government that loves people. I thank you. [Applause.]].

                  Priorities for Deputy Presidency
  1. Ms S P Rwexana (ANC) asked the Deputy President:

    What priorities will she be pursuing during her term of office? N1662E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, the hon Rwexana wants to know about my or our priorities for the Deputy Presidency in the coming few years.

Hon member, as you know, the Deputy Presidency is part of a Cabinet team led by the President to implement the programmes of government. However, in that context, I would just like to mention the areas of specific responsibility that are assigned to me. These are the SA National Aids Council; the development of the second economy; achieving an economic growth rate of above 6%; linguistic and traditional matters; the Moral Regeneration Movement; being the Leader of Government Business; and international matters including bi-national commissions in specific countries where the bi-national commissions are at the level of the Deputy President.

So, in the light of these delegations, my priorities are to harness, . . . Ngicela nilalelisise kahle [Please listen attentively] because this is for everybody, even the members across the House.

My priorities are to harness the goodwill of all South Africans in their organised formations as well as in their individual capacity to support, in practical terms, government’s agenda to grow the economy such that we create jobs in the second economy and reduce poverty while we continue to grow the first economy.

Many of the haves in our country, particularly those in business, have a desire to help, in many instances, the historically less fortunate cases. However, we need to ensure that we are able to hold them to these wishes and commitments where these commitments occur.

What we need is a strategy to use this goodwill for the maximum benefit of our country and our economy and, in particular, in that regard, to ensure that there is greater support and co-operation for our small and medium enterprise strategy, including co-operatives which form a major part of government’s economic strategy. Business, labour and civil society will all be harnessed in this regard.

Another priority of mine is to ensure that government and all our social partners respond systematically to the issues raised by the Beijing Plus Ten Platform on the challenges that are facing women and children. That is a very comprehensive programme which addresses almost all of the key challenges that we face as women, and ensures that we are able to implement optimally the legislation, policies and programmes that we already have in that regard.

Another priority, in line with government’s programme of action and areas of work that are delegated to the Presidency, will be to ensure that we build the capacity of government to deliver services, especially at municipality level, so that we are able to give our communities and our people the best that we can, given the resources that we have. It is also to ensure that, while we will not be able to solve and give the people everything they want at the same time, with the resources already allocated, we are able to give them services optimally and deal with them in a caring manner where we are unable to provide them with the answers at the time when they want them.

Another priority will be to pay attention to issues of development, in particular with relation to social cohesion and nation-building, through the Moral Regeneration Movement as well as traditional and cultural programmes. Thank you. [Applause.]

Ms S P RWEXANA: Somlomo, siyabonga Sekela Mongameli. Sekela Mongameli ngicabanga ukuthi ngikuzwa kahle ukuthi uthi: [Madam Speaker, thank you to the Deputy President. Deputy President, I think I understand you well to say:]

There is a plan to ensure that all government departments pursue the same objectives regarding the integration of undeveloped sectors of the economy into the mainstream economy.

Secondly, one would like to know whether there are any measures to make moral regeneration visible in all spheres of social life. Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, hon member.

Mhlawumbe ukuvuselelwa kwezimilo lokhu uma sikubiza ngokuthi ukuvuselelwa kwezimilo [Maybe if we call it moral regeneration] we tend to exclude other people who see it as something that is possibly only for the faith-based constituencies. So, we try and call it the campaign for promoting positive values so that everybody can feel that, whether they are religious or not, they actually have a role.

There is room in this movement for the communist as well as for the capitalist. The capitalist is about business ethics. I can see the hon Gibson is jiving there. It is about business ethics and issues of corporate governance and economic justice, because part of the morality in business is about ensuring that those who have excessive profits have the heart to share them with those who create the profits for us. On the other hand, of course, some of those people who may be atheists, who, like the socialists and communists, bring to the table the whole value of redistribution. In- between you have sports formations. Fair play is a positive value, a moral issue. We can bring it to the moral regeneration.

So, in that comprehensive undertaking, you are able also to find a way in which young people can actually come in and feel that this is, if you like, a ``cool’’ movement for them. Because, if you make it too heavy, you risk alienating the young people on whom we want to have the greatest impact as far as this initiative is concerned. Thank you. [Applause.]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, is that screen not working? We need to give it a kick. Thank you very much.

Madam Deputy President, you assumed office in controversial circumstances. I want to convey publicly to you what I did in private, and that is to say to you that the overwhelming majority of people in South Africa, irrespective of political affiliation, wish you well and would like to see you succeed. [Applause.]

Your success or failure will largely be judged by the progress we make in solving the three biggest crises facing South Africa, and that is jobs, jobs and jobs. Millions of our people are unemployed and joblessness festers at the core of our society. It’s an enormous waste of human talent. I would like to ask: What are you going to do about it?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I am going to ask you this question, “What am I supposed to do?” then deploy you to do what you suggest. [Applause.]


The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, via Shepherd.

I think that the issue of jobs concerns all of us. It’s one of the most serious challenges of our time. But, you know, we are seeing a bit of light as we proceed because it’s not as if we have not created jobs in the last few years. We just have not moved fast enough in order to absorb the number of people who are job seekers. So, part of what we are going to do regarding job creation is what I have already explained in terms of higher growth because that is a job-aligned activity.

When we are going to look at the contributions that colleagues are going to make, about the initiative they want to make, one of the questions we are going to ask them, when they need funding, and before it reaches Minister Manuel, is: Where are the jobs? So, part of it is going to be the vigilance that we are going to apply in supporting, before we spend, so that, regarding the quality of our expenditure, for each rand, we are able to say, “This is the job opportunity that we are unlocking in this result.”

I don’t want to start ``babbeling’’ (talking) about this because I need much more comprehensive and detailed information in order to answer accurately, but generally, that is the thrust that we are making. Small business remains a very critical part of this initiative. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr V C GORE: Madam Speaker, the ID would like to wish the Deputy President well in her capacity as Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa. As the Deputy President is no doubt aware, the ID shares the government’s dedication to the economic empowerment of women in South Africa. While we recognise that the efforts of the government in this regard over the last year have been substantial, we still believe that not enough is being done to empower women in this country. Women are still being overlooked for positions of influence in favour of their male counterparts, particularly in industry, not to mention the hardships endured by women labourers in rural areas and in the farming and fishing sectors.

Does the Deputy President agree with that statement? If so, as a woman in a position of considerable influence and power, does she intend to focus on the economic upliftment of women in South Africa? If so, how does the Deputy President intend to see to it that that happens?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I did indicate earlier on that I intend to make, as one of my priorities, the follow-up and the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. That addresses quite a number of aspects concerning issues of women disempowerment. But also, regarding all of the Ministers in their areas, one of the responsibilities that they have is to implement programmes in the social and economic arena in a manner that affirms women.

As I speak, yesterday, the Minister of Minerals and Energy was recognising women who have made strides in the mining industry. I don’t think that a few years ago we would have expected to see a woman running a mine, employing 100 people and being gung-ho about it because of the progress that she is making. [Applause.] That has taken a lot of work from the colleagues in that sector, and I am truly grateful for the energy that the Minister has for that.

In tourism, for instance, if you disaggregate the people that act in the tourism business both at ownership level and at the level at which people sell their labour, you’ll find there is a growing number of women. In agriculture, the female farmer of the year is the farmer of the year, period, because she is one of the best farmers we have in the country, men and women put together. [Applause.] So there are those initiatives. What we would like to do - as the President has asked us to do – is to make the impact on a mass scale, by rolling out some of these successful examples in a manner that enables us to duplicate them in many other communities, and take advantage of the experiences from which we have learnt. As I leave this House this afternoon, I am going to a function which is hosted by the Minister of Communications, which will be on women and the ICT. We will be looking at ensuring that access to technology is something that is as easy for women as putting on make-up. You know, keep your make-up in your bag and put your ICT tools in your handbag because this is what is going to empower you. [Applause.]

Of course, on the scorecards of the empowerment charters, particular emphasis is placed on the issue of the empowerment of women. You score points on the scorecard for empowering women. In the financial services charter, the last time I looked, the majority of the people who were taking advantage of the Mzansi account were women. So we are making inroads but the road is still long and lies further ahead, especially if we work as partners across the divide of the room. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mfu M S KHUMALO: Somlomo, Phini likaMongameli, ngicabanga ukuthi sicaciselwe ukuthi ukuvuselelwa kabusha kokuziphatha kuyinto esehhovisi lakho. Bengicela ukubuza ukuthi ubani oyi-patron yayo? Uma engakatholakali, uzotholakala nini? Siyabonga. (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[Mr M S KHUMALO: Speaker, Deputy President, we have been told that the moral regeneration programme is something that is taking place in your office. I would like to know who is your patron? If he is not yet appointed, when he is going to be appointed? Thank you.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon member, I thought you were going to offer to be a patron. [Laughter.]

We have not come to the level where we define the structure and the governance to the extent that we can say somebody has to be a patron. We actually think that all the people of South Africa should be patrons to some extent. We need to make sure that we do not stereotype a handful of people in South Africa as people who have the monopoly on higher morality.

At the same time, we do not want to downplay the fact that there are exceptional South Africans, and we have to find a way of holding up those people to society so that we can look up to them. The process that we are in now is that there is an initiative, the moral regeneration movement, which has an office, staff and a board. There is another initiative which is led by religious leaders which has different religious groups.

Awuhlale phansi wena bhuti khona ngizobona lo muntu engikhuluma naye. [Ubuwelewele.] Yebo, mfake isibhaxu baba. [Would you please sit down brother so that I can see the person I am talking to. [Interjections] Yes, give him his dues, mister.]

There is also another group which is led by religious leaders. It has Hindus, Muslims, Christians and traditional African religions. Somehow, there hasn’t been enough working together between these two groups.

One of the things that we want to do is to pull those groups together and say, “You represent the core of religions and faith-based communities in this country, but beyond that, let us then bring in other people.” Let us bring educationists, let us bring parents and let us bring, as I said earlier on, sports bodies.

Out of those, let us find some of the people who probably, more than being patrons, would be ambassadors who would be able to reflect and represent some of the things that we would like to see. We need them to be young as well. We need to pick on young people who make us very proud so that other young people can look up to them. You need old people. Regarding old people, you need to probably give them very stiff performance indicators because they don’t have that long to live so they are not likely to mess up. Then we would have to look up to those people.

When we have put up and enthused all those people as far as this campaign is concerned, I suppose, then, at that point, we will see if we need a patron and what role the patrons would play. Hon member, I hope that you will be amongst those when the time comes. [Applause.]

       Improvement of the quality of life and status of women
  1. Ms J L Fubbs (ANC) asked the Deputy President:

    How far has South Africa progressed in achieving the 2014 goals set by the Government, in particular as they relate to improving the quality of life and status of women? N1735E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: This question has to do with the improvement of the quality of life and status of women. Here is the reply: The United Nations agreement is to review the millennium goals in 2015, but the ANC-led government has committed itself to meeting some of these goals by the year 2014, so as to allow proper preparation for the UN reports.

The millennium goals and the Beijing Platform for Action are an integral part of our policies and programmes. We have already made considerable progress in providing comprehensive social security, meeting the housing demand, providing universal access to electricity, providing access to clean water and sanitation, providing primary health care, broadening access to and improving the quality of education, to mention just a few. We have also made significant strides in ensuring that women are represented in high positions and in government. Of course, we have impressive statistics to back this up.

Ms J L FUBBS: Hon Speaker, let me say to the Deputy President: Malibongwe! [Praise!]

HON MEMBERS: Malibongwe! [Praise!]

Ms J L FUBBS: Hon Deputy President, you have given us a number of specifics, not only in response to this question, but in response to the previous ones. Therefore I think I can ask you, perhaps, to clarify, enlighten and brief us on what I consider to be more important than measures and mechanical instruments, and that is that, when we look at improving the quality of life and status of women, we realise we are living in a balanced society of men and women. Now, how can we, together as a government and civil society, contribute to the transformation of attitudes because, indeed, if you do not change attitudes, no amount of legislation and quantification will change anything? [Laughter.] [Interjections.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Ha! Uthethile uqabane. [Oh! The comrade has spoken.]

I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, the President likes to ask the question about the soul of the people of South Africa and that, after we have added up the numbers and decided about the targets, the most important question that we still have to answer is: What is the soul and character of the people of South Africa - that which will enable us, under any circumstances, to make the right decisions that are in the best interest of the community, men and women?

When it comes to the issue of socialisation, therefore, we should consider the public education initiatives that we undertake. For instance, we are now going towards the 16 days of no violence against women campaign. Those are some of the campaigns where we engage one another on some of the values that we would like to instil. This whole complicated thing of positive values and moral regeneration is about that soul of the people of South Africa. It is about that cohesion of society and shared values so that even if we do not – for all kinds of reasons – achieve the numbers that we want to achieve, at least we would have created a better society, qualitatively.

When it comes to the challenges regarding the relationship between men and women, which is why we talk about a gender-based struggle in South Africa, not just about women . . .

Marcus, ake usuke lapho! [Please move there!]

We are not only concerned about what women can do and we are not only concerned about the quality of life of women, we are concerned about the quality of life of men as well. We think they can play a role. We also think they are also entitled to a better life.

When we were pushed in South Africa at some point to have a department of women’s affairs, we opted for a gender machinery because . . .

Kaloku nawo amadoda ayabethwa. [Uwele-wele.] [Men are abused as well. [Interjections.]]

When they have such a situation, they should have somewhere to go. [Applause.] The values that we are trying to instil are not only that a good man doesn’t abuse, but also that a good woman doesn’t abuse. [Interjections.] Our own policy around children, the fight around pornography that Deputy Minister Gigaba is leading, all of those things are about the sanctity of childhood, and trying to protect and promote certain values.

Hon member, I think that even the relationship that we are developing with the faith-based communities and traditional communities is all about anchoring values that we can all identify with. Thank you. [Applause.]

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Madam Speaker, Deputy President, I am very concerned that, in relation to this contract with the people for 2014, you have just stated that the government will only meet some of the goals. That’s not what the contract says to me. But moving on, the HIV/Aids pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on millions of South African women. Just yesterday, the Portfolio Committee on Health was informed by the health department of the richest province in the country, Gauteng, that one in three babies born to HIV-positive mothers there dies at birth. They had a number of over 5 000 for the year.

Considering the fact that the situation is as bad, if not worse, in other provinces, could the Deputy President tell this House how she intends to inject some sort of urgency into the situation in that the Ministry of Health has made it clear to all that it has neither the will nor the competence to do so?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think there is a sense of urgency. I am not coming here as a Messiah who is going to perform miracles. There is a sense of urgency. I am part of a team that will try to work even harder to make these things happen. I will really not dignify with an answer the accusations directed at the Minister of Health.

Regarding the issue of the targets that we want to reach by 2014, the United Nations and the nations of the world were not populist in their identifying of the targets for the Millennium Development Goals. They did not say, “We will wipe out all poverty by 2015” and “We will wipe out all unemployment”. That is because the odds are against the world.

Why do you think that in South Africa we must make these open-ended statements? In our own contract with the people, we said “By 2014, we will have . . . ”, but we didn’t say we will wipe out unemployment. So I just think that we need to live in a realistic world and make targets that are within what is achievable.

We would like to wipe it out but the reality is that there isn’t even one country that was able, in the UN, to put its neck on the block and say that they would be able to achieve 100% success and universal success in terms of solving problems. South Africa is not an exception. [Applause.]

Mnu B W DHLAMINI: Somlomo, Phini likaMongameli, ngifisa ukubuza umbuzo mayelana nokunikwa kwamathuba abantu besifazane. Njengezwe laseNingizimu Afrika, sihamba ekwenzeni lokho. Umbuzo wami umayelana nokuthi-ke emibikweni ebhalwe kwi-African Journal kukhona amazwe athi, “Uma nina Ningizimu Afrika senikhuluma ngokunikwa kwamandla abantu besifazane, kusho ukuthi seniphambili kakhulu. Thina sisakhuluma ngokuqashwa kwabantu besifazane.”

Ngifisa ukubuza ukuthi lingakanani igalelo lethu, i-influence, njengeNingizimu Afrika ekwenzeni ukuthi nabo bahambe nathi ngonyawo olulodwa ekuthuthukiseni nokunika abantu besifazane amathuba i-Afrika iyonke, nokuthi siyaphumelela noma asiphumeleli yini kulowo mzabalazo? Ngiyathokoza. (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[Mr B W DHLAMINI: Speaker, Deputy President, I wish to ask a question regarding giving opportunities to women. As South Africa we are doing it. My question is emanates from the report which appeared in African Journal. There are countries that say, “If you as South Africa are talking about giving power to women, it means you are far ahead. We are still talking about employment of women.”

I wish to ask how much influence as South Africa we have in bringing them on par with us in developing and giving opportunities to women in the whole of Africa, and whether we are succeeding or not in that struggle? Thank you.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I think to talk about differences between empowerment and employment is about semantics, because employment is an aspect of empowerment. Income generation is an aspect of empowerment. You will never be empowered if you are not able to meet your basic needs such as those that you can meet if you have a form of income. But, obviously, we couple that with leadership and so on, so that we can show that women don’t just need a job. Women’s fulfilment is about working, leadership, thinking, and recreation. All of those things make you a rounded person.

Regarding the impact that we have been able to make in other countries, again, there I am guarded because I don’t want to give an impression that South Africa is the Big Brother and brain power behind the evolution of thinking in the continent. But if I look at us as a collective in the continent and as a partner with other countries, I would say the fact that the AU was the first regional body to adopt the 50-50 policy regarding representation of women, on its own, reflects that the African leaders are far ahead in their thinking.

So when you think about empowerment as in leadership, and you think about employment and poverty alleviation, I think it’s all part of the same continuum. Some countries are doing better in one aspect and some are struggling. But, in many cases, all of us have to do all of the things at the same time, because there isn’t any place where we are actually perfect. We are grappling with all of the aspects of empowerment, employment, and poverty alleviation, all at the same time. Thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Hon Godi, it’s your second chance. The reason I have taken a pause is because I am thinking whether to give you a chance or give it to another member of the ANC – which would be a second chance for an ANC member in this particular question. [Interjections.] I think we will give it to hon Godi.

Mr N T GODI: Thanks, Madam Speaker, for your kindness. Comrade Deputy President, the PAC would not only want us to reach the 2014 goals but we would, obviously, wish that we exceeded them. In your presentation, in terms of what it is that government wants to do or is doing, I just want to check what the role of the private sector is, both at the conceptual and practical levels.

What is happening currently? I might not be having full information but my sense is that, at the broad and generic level, arising out of the historic compromises of 1993, whilst, at the political level the democratic majority has fulfilled its obligations, we don’t get a sense, from this side, that at an economic level those who still control the economy have actually been that enthusiastic in seeking to address the challenges that face the majority of our people. Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Hon Godi, the ANC is kind, as you have just experienced. So you must do the right thing at the right time. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

The role of the private sector in advancing our democracy, especially in the economic arena, can be much more than what it is today. We would be the first ones, as the members on this side of the House, to say that. That is why we continue to engage them to create opportunities through which they can commit themselves.

In some cases, yes, they have committed themselves and we have seen some progress. But clearly we think that there is room to do even more. In cases where we think that regulation and persuasion don’t help, we have opted for regulation and legislation, not because we like that but because we have wanted to create certainty that some of these things are going to happen.

We are adopting a two-pronged strategy: continued persuasion and engagement, and regulation and enforcement, so that if we do not succeed with persuasion, there would be things that people are obliged to do. In some cases, even when we have met those commitments through regulation, we don’t get optimum support. That is why we are now talking, on this side of the House, about improving the capacity of the state to make sure that these obligations and agreements that we have already made can be fully realised. The growth summit development agreements, for instance, are crucial for us to make sure that we get optimum levels.

I think that tourism is a shining example of how the private sector really went all the way to make sure that we are able to implement. We have also made sure that, in some of the other areas that are non-economic, as it were, where the private sector can play a role, for instance in the fight against crime, we have been able to bring them closer to work with us. What we are busy doing now is tweaking those flagships and areas where the private sector is to get involved. At the end of the day, there has to be a change of heart in the private sector. Economic justice is not just about what you are forced to do. It is about wanting to do it. I think that is part of the bigger challenge, and it is part of what hon Fubbs mentioned regarding the direction in which the socialisation and soul of this nation is gravitating. Thank you. [Applause.]


Code of conduct for members of National Empowerment Fund (NEF), and cooling- off period for high-level civil servants

  1. Dr E Nkem-Abonta (DA) asked the Minister of Trade and Industry:

    (1) Whether any policies are in place to prevent members of the Board of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and high-level employees in his department from making decisions about the use of public money in a way that will directly or indirectly benefit themselves; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether his department will investigate apparent conflict of interests involving a certain NEF employee (name furnished) and certain beneficiaries of the fund (names furnished); if not, why not; if so, when; (3) whether any progress has been made in passing legislation instituting a general cooling-off period for high-level civil servants; if not, why not; if so, (a) what will the scope of such legislation be, (b) what is the length of the cooling-off period under consideration and (c) when is it anticipated that this legislation will be tabled in Parliament? N1645E

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, in terms of the provisions of the National Empowerment Fund Act and the principles of the King 2 report, the NEF established the Code of Good Conduct applicable to every member of the board. Specifically, the code requires that committee members comply with all applicable laws and regulations that relate to their own activities and activities of the NEF.

In terms of the code, it is obligatory for a committee member who believes that a course of action which they have pursued or are pursuing may involve them in a conflict of interest situation or a perceived conflict of interest situation to immediately make all the facts known to the chairperson of the committee or the chairperson of the board. The NEF respects the right of the committee members to make personal investment decisions as they see fit, provided these decisions are not made on the basis of material non-public information acquired by reason of the committee member’s involvement with the NEF. Contravention of the code is a serious matter. It leads to disciplinary action that could result in termination of appointment. Certain breaches of the code could also result in civil or criminal proceedings. To ensure compliance, all committee members are expected to sign a declaration that they have received, read and understood this code. Government has on numerous occasions also stated its stance on corruption and has put in place various pieces of legislation and policies to guard against such acts. The department actively complies with all these requirements.

On the second part of the question, in January 2005, All Joy, a food manufacturing company, issued shares to the NEF to the value of R5 million as part of its capital-raising and business expansion efforts. This was a normal commercial transaction. In August 2005, All Joy acquired Ehlobo, a company in which Dr Allister Ruiters, the Chair of the NEF, is a shareholder.

Dr Ruiters has stated publicly that he had not in any way breached the NEF Code of Conduct. Nevertheless, the department has requested a formal report from the National Empowerment Fund management regarding this matter. Upon receipt of the report, the DTI would act accordingly.

Lastly, placing certain restrictions on staff members exiting the Public Service has been discussed at Cabinet level. The Minister for the Public Service and Administration is developing policy in this regard. Thank you very much.

Dr E NKEM-ABONTA: Minister, it’s nice to see you today. It’s an opportunity I really enjoy and I thank you for that response. We will still wait for the report in question and see its content.

I want to ask you a question. Do you not think that in this instance a former public servant has benefited from a policy he helped create while in office? I remember that our President said he was against such a practice. Now, do you not think that the former public servant in question in this case has unduly benefited from the NEF loan, and that this is the kind of thing that our President condemns? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, it’s going to be difficult for me to express myself in this particular regard. As I indicated, we have asked for a formal report on this matter, and I am not so sure that it would be correct of me to prejudge what the facts are going to tell me. I think that we need to wait until we get a proper report on this matter.

There isn’t doubt about our commitment to ensuring that we deal with corruption in the Public Service as well as in the private sector. There is no doubt also that we are concerned about situations where there may be perceptions that, while people are holding public office, they may do their work in a manner that helps them to take advantage of opportunities that arise while they are holding public office. There is no doubt around those issues, but as to the specific facts of this matter, I would rather hold back until I get the proper information. Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think we should wait for the report.

Dr E NKEM-ABONTA: If you would permit, Deputy Speaker, I would want the Minister to say whether he thinks that the former public servant, on the face of it at least, did benefit from a policy he helped create? That’s the question. Did he create the NEF? Did he appoint the staff of the NEF? By merely withdrawing and saying look I have an interest there, does he not think that he has, in a certain way, influenced the decision of the committee? Before we get the report, what do you think Minister?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon member. I don’t think the question you are posing now is different from the one you asked earlier. I think we have agreed that we will wait for the report. If you do not get any satisfaction from the report, you still have an opportunity to ask questions.

Prof B TUROK: Hon Minister, thank you for your reply. We understand that due process has to take place. Nevertheless, the issue that has been raised is an important one, and I would like to remind the House of a speech by the President in this House in the debate on the Budget Vote on the Presidency when he talked about the harm that is caused to the development process by the abuse of state power by members of the executive corruptly to accumulate personal wealth.

So, the President has put very clearly the policy of this government, and his own position. He went on, on another occasion, in the letter from the President when he talked about the July lekgotla of the Cabinet that senior managers - and I hope the hon member is listening - of our Public Service have made a commitment that they would serve as honest agents etc. So it seems to me that the House must see this particular question in a wider context in which the government is viewing these matters.

The question I would, however, like to ask the Minister is this: In the light of these statements by the President, how have members of the department responded to these statements? Has there been any particular response as you have seen in the department? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Well, I don’t know if you’re asking in relation to specific responses to that statement, but what I can say is that, in the department, we are implementing a variety of measures that relate to the need, for example, for members of the senior management service to declare on an annual basis what assets they have and what particular interest they may have in business and investments that they may hold. And these are things that we do on a regular basis, and probably a few weeks ago, I was going through the declarations of a very huge number of members of the senior management service.

So we are engaged in a process to make sure that they comply. I must tell you that in cases where managers have not submitted their own declaration forms we have asked the respective Deputy Directors-General to pursue those cases from a disciplinary point of view because this is a condition of service so to speak. So we are implementing those measures in the department. Thanks.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you now Dhlamini? Quite a number of things happened during the recess. Congratulations!

Prof E S CHANG: I just happen to be sitting nearer to this microphone.

Minister, my question concerns conflicts of interest. You made a statement that if a government official is involved in some activities, he or she must declare it to the management. So my question is: Do members of the National Empowerment Fund have to sign financial disclosure forms, because I think that is what would prevent a lot of conflict of interest? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: The National Empowerment Fund developed, as I said earlier on, a Code of Good Conduct. It is my understanding that all of the members of the board subscribe to this code, and so, beyond that whether there have been financial disclosures on the part of members of the board, I wasn’t asked for that information. We can certainly look at whether there is a database of disclosures by members of the board.

But there is a Code of Good Conduct, which all members of the board subscribe to. I must also say that the report that we have asked for should enlighten us just in terms of the specifics of the question that was asked today. Thanks.

        Investigation into train collision at Merafe station
  1. Mrs N D Mbombo (ANC) asked the Minister of Transport:

    (1) Whether any progress has been made in the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision between two trains at Merafe station in Soweto earlier in 2005; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether the National Rail Safety Regulator has sufficient capacity to fulfil its obligations in this respect; if not, what is the position in this regard? N1633E

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Thank you, once again, Deputy Speaker.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are you standing in for . . . ?

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: I’m standing in for the Minister of Transport.

Yes, progress has been made regarding the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the train accident that occurred on 13 July 2005 at Soweto’s Merafe station. The Railway Safety Regulator has advised me that its board instituted an independent board of inquiry immediately after the accident occurred.

The board of inquiry comprises the following members, who are not employees of the Railway Safety Regulator: Mr George Negota, who is the chairperson, Dr Chris Dutton, Mr Johan de Villiers, Mr Driver Ngcongwane, Mr John Maluleke, as well as a scribe who has been appointed by the chairperson. The inquiry is still in progress and should be completed in due course. The findings of the board of inquiry will be detailed in the board’s report.

In addressing the second part of the question, I must say that yes, the Railway Safety Regulator recently appointed a general manager for safety assurance from the railway industry with tremendous experience in accident investigation. The current board of inquiry panel is liaising with him regarding the investigation into the Merafe accident.

In the absence of the dedicated railway safety accident investigators personnel, the board of the Railway Safety Regulator proactively compiled a list of independent experts in this field, and secured it as a contingency plan to utilise in the event of an emergency, such as the accident in question. It is for this reason that it did not take the Railway Safety Regulator long to constitute a panel. Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker.

Nkskz N D MBOMBO: Ndiyabulela Mphathiswa obekekileyo ngempendulo yakho ecacileyo, kodwa ke ndinombuzo. Njengomhlali waseSoweto, le nto yenzeke kum nqo, ndikule Ndlu inkulu yoWiso-mthetho kwikomiti yezothutho. Ngaba ke ingxelo yethutyana singayifumana nini? Abantu baseSoweto banxubile kwaye baxhalabile ngenxa yeengozi ezenzeka koololiwe. Bangayifumana nini bona ingxelo epheleleyo, eza kuthi ithomalalise uloyiko lwabo?

Enye yezinto abafuna ukuzazi yeyokuba ngaba abaqhubi boololiwe bayabona na ngamehlo? Umntu umtshayisa njani omnye uloliwe embona ukuba umile phambi kwakhe, aze alimaze abantu? Kwathi kwasweleka umntu kulaa ngozi, uTata uHlalele. May his soul rest in peace. [Wanga umphefumlo wakhe ungaphumla ngoxolo.] Ndiyabulela. (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Mrs N D MBOMBO: I appreciate your clear reply, hon Minister, but I have a follow up question. As a resident of Soweto, what has been explained here happened to me in person, being a member of this House in the transport committee. When will the interim report be available? Residents of Soweto are living in fear because of the recent train accidents. When will the full report be presented to the public to ease their fears?

What they also want to know is whether the train drivers can see? How can a person be involved in a head-on collision with a stationary train and injure people? Mr Hlalele, unfortunately died in that accident. May his soul rest in peace. Thank you.]

UMPHATHISWA WEZORHWEBO NOSHISHINO: Ndiyabulela, Mama. Ngokokwazi kwam, ingxelo epheleleyo yolu phando iza kuba sele igqityiwe ekupheleni kwale nyanga ka-Agasti 2005. Kulindeleke ukuba ngomhla wama-31 kuAgasti 2005 lube sele lugqityiwe uphando. Kwakhona kulindeleke nokuba emva kweentsuku ezintathu emva kwalo mhla uMphathiswa anike ingxelo ngokufunyaniswe lolu phando.

Ngokubhekisele komnye lo umbuzo, masikhumbuzane ukuba bekuthiwe kanene olu phandu kufuneka lusincede njani na. Sendizama ukuba sijongane noloyiko olu banalo abantu baseSoweto. Sithe abaphandi kufuneka bajonge izinto eziliqela, ezifana nokuba kwenzeka ntoni kule ngozi, iyintoni unobangela wale ngozi, kwanokuba zinto zini esinokuthi sizenze xa sele sifumene ingxelo yophando, ukwenzela ukuba sikwazi ukuthintela iingozi ezifana nale kwixa elizayo.

Ndizama ukuthi ke akuphandwa nje ukuze kwaziwe ukuba kwenzeke ntoni kule ngozi kuphela, kodwa siyenza loo nto sijonge ukuba nakwixesha elizayo sikwazi ukunqanda izehlo ezinje ngesi. Ndiyabulela. (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: I thank you, Madam. My understanding is that a full report on the investigation will be available at the end of August 2005. The investigation is expected to be completed by 31 August

  1. It is also expected that three days after receipt of the report the Minister will make the findings of the investigation public.

The reply to the other question is, let us remember what is expected of us from this investigation. I want firstly, to consider the fears of people living in Soweto. We mandated the investigators to look at several issues, such as what happened at the scene of the accident, what caused the accident, and what measures we can introduce to prevent accidents like this in future.

It is important to note that the investigation is not only about finding out what happened during the accident but also to have preventative measures in place for the future. Thank you.]

Mr S B FARROW: Madam Deputy Speaker, it is a pity that the Minister himself is not here to reassure rail commuters that their safety will continue to be assured. If I recollect correctly, this must be about the fifth accident that has taken place in as many years. And there have been as many boards of inquiry relating to these accidents that have also been undertaken, costing many thousands of rands, and hundreds of people have lost their lives.

Minister, I would like to know, firstly, whether the recommendations of those boards of inquiry, which clearly stated some of the problems that were faced by Metrorail services, have been implemented. Secondly, what lessons have we learnt from those particular recommendations to ensure that they won’t occur again? And thirdly, is there any policy in place to dictate to drivers what action they should take in a case of signal failure?

Fourthly, there are many technologies available, and I would like to know whether drivers are being communicated with in any other way? Fifthly, can the Minister confirm whether drivers have actually been banned from using cellphones in their cabs, which is a ridiculous situation, particularly when you are stuck on a railway line where the cable has either been cut or the signals have broken down? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Obviously, Deputy Speaker, I may not be able to respond competently to some of these issues, which are very specific. However, looking at the terms of reference of the board of inquiry that has been appointed and the mandate that has been given to this board, one can say that they do cover quite a wide scope, which would include, for example, issues such as the failure of technical equipment and power failures, and whether those issues have had any role in causing accidents.

I think that, in some instances, it won’t necessarily only be human error, such as a driver speaking on a cellphone; it will be issues of investment in technical equipment, signalling equipment, and those kinds of issues. When I look at the mandate and the scope of the investigation, the investigation is meant to cover quite a wide spectrum so that you are able to deal in more depth with some of the issues that may be underlying causes of accidents of this nature. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.

Mr H J BEKKER: Madam Deputy Speaker, with regard to this tragic happening at Merafe station, I would like to inquire whether this particular line indeed has had the technical support base of a computerised signalling system? Furthermore, is it true that more than half of the South African rail lines are not computerised and not technically equipped with appropriate signalling systems? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Deputy Speaker, once again, those specifics about specific lines I will not be able to respond to, but I do know that, over time, the issues around investment in signalling systems for our rail system have been put as matters that require attention. That is really the best response I can give.

However, regarding whether a particular line has got a computer and so on, I cannot provide that kind of information.

      Measures to ensure compliance with Employment Equity Act
  1. Ms L N Moss (ANC) asked the Minister of Labour:

      Whether, in light of the report by the Commission on Employment  Equity that Africans, women and people with disabilities are still  discriminated against in relation to appointments in top positions,  any measures have been put in place to ensure that companies comply  with the Employment Equity Act, Act 55 of 1998; if not, why not; if  so, what measures?

UMPHATHISWA WEZABASEBENZI: Sekela-Somlomo, ukuqeshwa kwabo babengabacinezelwa kwizikhundla eziphezulu ngumba ongundoqo ekufuneka uphunyeziwe. Ama-Afrika, abantu ababhinqileyo kwanabo bakhubazekileyo abafakwa kwezi zikhundla zokuphatha emisebenzini. ISebe lezaBasebenzi ke liza kubila lisoma lihlola iindawo zokusebenza, ukuqinisekisa ukuba umthetho uyathotyelwa.

Kwakhona, siza kuphicotha sihlalutye ezi ngxelo zithunyelwa kweli sebe lethu, siqwalasele ukuphunyezwa kweziphakamiso zabaqeshi kwakunye neenjongo zabo ngokulungelelaniswa kwemeko yezengqesho. Siza kukhuthaza, sigxininise ukuthotyelwa koMthetho woLungelelwaniso lwezeNgqesho. (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker, employment of the historically disadvantaged in senior positions is an important aspect with which we need to deal as a matter of urgency. African people, women and people with disabilities do not get considered for managerial positions in most institutions. The Department of Labour is going to make sure that employers comply with the law.

Further to that, I would like to make a promise that we will look at all the reports submitted to our department and consider an implementation process of the proposals that employers put forward with regard to employment equity. We would like to encourage and emphasise that employers read and understand the importance of complying with the Employment Equity Act.]

My dedicated team of inspectors has already conducted a number of blitz inspections at workplaces around the country over the past few years in relation to procedural compliance. Some of those inspections have led to challenges in the Labour Court. We are expecting the outcome of those soon.

The Growth and Development Summit also identified certain areas of work where social partners can work together. A team of these partners is working together to ensure improvement in both procedural reporting and creating awareness around the importance of employment equity.

The team increased reporting levels in the past reporting cycle. So, in summary, you will see that my department is very focused on improving levels of compliance with this Act, and in so doing ensuring that there is increased representation for all designated groups at all levels in South African workplaces. Thank you.

Mr M J G MZONDEKI: Madam Speaker, I thank the Minister for the reply. Minister, we really appreciate the efforts that are being made by your department to ensure that the Employment Equity Act is indeed implemented.

We know that whilst many employers are not doing as well in implementing the Act, there are those who have made it by providing an affirming environment in terms of reasonable accommodation, such as flexi-time, child care facilities for women and all the other necessary support.

However, there are those employers who still have a narrow understanding of affirmative action, which is one of the tools that you are using to address the inequalities in the workplace. How are you, Minister, going to assist them to have a better understanding of this tool so that they can begin to implement employment equity?

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Madam Deputy Speaker, in the report of the Employment Equity Commission, one of the things that they say to employers is that it must be understood that employment equity is not a numbers game only. There are many employers who think that it is about numbers; it is not about numbers.

Furthermore, it is important that all employers see employment equity as a business imperative, as something that makes business sense. The majority of the people in this country happen to be black, happen to be women, and we also have people with disabilities, in the same country. Therefore, it makes business sense to make sure that those categories of people are involved in decision-making in the workplace.

For this reason, the commission has developed the Employment Equity awards system because the intention is not only to use the “skiet, skop, donner” approach, but also to use a carrot and a stick. In order to have a carrot, it is important that we have the awards system.

We will continue to harass those who do not comply with the law. That’s a stick, yes. I’m very happy that you understand the difference between a carrot and a stick – very good. As a teacher, I want to give you 10 out of 10 for that understanding. You have passed your exam, because you know the difference en nie net die skop, skiet en donner approach [not only the “skop, skiet en donner” approach.

It is important that we don’t always follow that route. However, we have a code on employment equity and technical assistance guidelines to assist employers who want to comply with and implement employment equity.

Asifuni mntu uza kuthi: “Andazi ukuba mandenze ntoni na”, kuba akulunganga ukufuna isitya emnyameni, hleze waphule nezinye. [We do not want a person to say: “I don’t know what I should do” because it is not good to fumble around, because in that exercise other things might get messed up.]

Mr C M LOWE: Deputy Speaker, let me start off by saying good afternoon to the Minister. Minister, perhaps with good intentions, government introduced the employment equity legislation to try to counter, as you said, “decades of discrimination against Africans, against women and people with disabilities”.

However, this fixation on rigid quotas and on targets – the skop, skiet, and donner you have talked about – has resulted in serious, unintended consequences, with highly skilled and qualified people being forced out of professions in both the public and the private sector, where they are desperately needed.

The teaching profession and the local government administration spring to mind. Effectively, employment equity has become just another form of job reservation. Now thousands of people with marketable skills and talents are being left out and made to feel unwanted, which is a terrible waste of talent.

Minister, is there a future for people with skills to offer, who see themselves as African and want to build a better South Africa, but happen to have the wrong colour skin or support the wrong political party? Is there a role and a future for young, skilled white people in this country? Is there a future, closer to home, in the Western Cape for coloured job seekers? Those are the kind of questions that people out there want answered, Minister.

It’s all very well to have a piece of legislation that tries to address the past, but it is the future that we also need to worry about. Thank you. [Applause.]

UMPHATHISWA WEZABASEBENZI: Sekela-Somlomo, ndicinga ukuba makhe ndiyithethe le nto ngesiNtu sasekhaya, saphaya kuQoboqobo, kuZingcuka. Ndingowalapha eMzantsi Afrika. Abant’ abamnyama ngaba lapha eMzantsi Afrika; abantu abangoomama ngaba lapha eMzantsi Afrika; abant’abakhubazekileyo ngaba lapha eMzantsi Afrika; abant’abamhlophe ngaba lapha eMzantsi Afrika.

Into eyayibangele ukuba singuKhongolozi sithabathe umgca othi abantu beli lizwe, abamhlophe nabamnyama, balingenwe leli lizwe. Kwakungenxa yokuba umnqweno wethu yayikukuphelisa ucalucalulo.

Ngoko ke, mhlekazi, andingekhe ndiyazi mna, ndinguDlamini, uJama kaSjadu wakuQoboqobo, into yokungcungcutheka kwabantu ngekamva labo kwilizwe elilelabo. Thina ke singena ndawo iyenye esingabheka kuyo asinaxhala lakamva. Sizinzile, siphelele apha, kunjalo nje sonwabile, sinabe sithe tswii okomfazi waseZingcuka esidl’imifino.

Ndibavela usizi ke abantu abangcungcuthekiswa nayinto engekhoyo. Kuyanyanzeleka, mhlekazi, ukuba ucalucalulo silulwe ngazo zonke izixhobo esinakho ukubambelela kuzo. Ngoko ke sithabathe eli khondo lomthetho kunokuthabatha ikhondo elenza okokuba abantu babe nomsindo. Ungahewula ke ukuba uyathanda, kodwa ke ukuba mna nawe sizimisele ukuhlala kweli lizwe, masibambane ngezandla sisebenzisane, ukuze uninzi lwaba bantu luthabathe inxaxheba phaya emisebenzini, kungenjalo siya kumpela ung’ong’o ngesiBhulu, engapeleki nangesiXhosa. [Kwaqhwatywa.] (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Deputy Speaker, I think that I need to say what I want to say in my mother tongue, the language that we speak in my village, Zingcuka at Keiskammhoek. I am a South African. Black people are South Africans. The women about whom we are talking are South Africans. People with disabilities are citizens of this country, South Africa. So are white people.

The reason for the ANC to say that this country belongs to all who live in it, black and white together, was because of our objective to abolish apartheid.

As the son of the Dlamini, Jama of the Sijadu clan from Keiskammahoek, I could never understand why people would be concerned about their future in their own land. We are not worried about the future as those people who have nowhere else to go. This is our established home and we are happy living in it. We are relaxed like women from Zingcuka sitting with their legs stretched out as they often do when they have wild vegetables.

I pity the people who have this baseless fear. We are obliged to completely uproot apartheid with all our might. We chose to pass this piece of legislation for employers to comply with rather than that which would annoy and make people angry. You can howl as much as you want but if you and I intend living in this country, we should join hands and work together in order for the majority of the citizens of the country to participate and contribute effectively at their places of employment, otherwise we would be faced with a catastrophic situation. We would have to spell ng’ ong’o in Afrikaans while we could never do it in Xhosa. [Applause.]]

Prince N E ZULU: Deputy Speaker, I thank the hon Minister for his response. Minister, can we, together, acknowledge the fact that the quota for disabled people in the workplace is only 5%, which they have not attained in terms of employment?

The Labour Relations Act takes its cue from the assumption that there are not many disabled people in the country. However, the need for them to have a job is overwhelmingly the greatest. Can we acknowledge that fact? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Maybe, Ndabezitha, you have forgotten that in the past people with disabilities were always hidden. They were treated as special cases – “put them in some place and keep them there. Please don’t take them to the diningroom; they must remain in the bedroom.” What the new government is saying is: Let’s bring them forward because these are human beings. As we sit here, tomorrow we might ourselves suffer a disability. All of us in this House are driving beautiful cars. As we leave this House, we might be involved in a car accident, and immediately, become a person with a disability. Therefore, it is important that we affirm people with disabilities.

I’m very happy that you asked this question. However, we are not saying that disabled people comprise only 4% of the population. It is not a quota; it is a target. By the way, it is stakeholders themselves that agreed on this target. It has not been imposed on anyone by anybody. It’s a target that we ourselves said we want to achieve. And if we have not achieved the target, then we must point at ourselves and say that the target has not been achieved.

I expect the IFP to do exactly that - have a target number of MPs who are people with disabilities in Parliament, and to respect them. I expect the DA, the ID and the ANC to do the same. If the ANC can say that 50% of councillors must be women, it means that very soon the ANC will be able to come up with another target for itself. And if the ANC doesn’t achieve that target - don’t call it a quota; it is a target of the ANC - then it must explain what the difficulties are.

Therefore, Ndabezitha, I agree with you that disabled people do not comprise only 4% of the population; they are more than that. However, we need to set a target for ourselves, and it is that target that sometimes makes me feel ashamed, because the same stakeholders who committed themselves to achieving that target are not achieving it.

Mr V C GORE: Madam Deputy Speaker, as a political party, we have placed the concerns and interests of people with disabilities as our core interests. As such, we are committed to the initiatives that truly seek to better the lives of people with disabilities in our communities. However, we remain unconvinced that the government is doing all it can to ensure that people with disabilities are given fair opportunities when it comes to seeking employment.

I’d like to congratulate the Minister in particular, in his own regard, in leading the way. However, there are Cabinet Ministers that have not been able to take on his initiative. The statistics contained in this report bear this out. Companies are not employing people with disabilities despite the fact that very clear guidelines have been laid down in terms of the Employment Equity Act.

Corporate South Africa and the government of South Africa have, to a large extent, ignored people with disabilities. More needs to be done to level the playing field and to assist people with disabilities to compete on an even footing with their able-bodied counterparts.

Access to the workplace is also an issue of concern to the ID. Employers need to be made aware of the qualms of disabled workers. The cure for this goes beyond mere physical barriers. Many people with disabilities are knowingly or unwittingly discriminated against by employers who may simply not have an understanding of the obstacles that people with disabilities face.

Clearly, hon Minister, there remains much work to be done in altering the perceptions and attitudes of employees. Does the Minister agree with the statement? If so, what does the Minister intend to do to improve the employment of people with disabilities in this regard? I thank you.

The MINISTER OF LABOUR: Thank you, hon Gore. Luckily I have seen you at a number of our activities in this regard. You know how difficult these things are. And I agree with you that more needs to be done.

Indeed we need to deal with this issue of perceptions. According to the technical assistance guidelines, hon Gore, people with disabilities should not be seen in terms of a condition or as suffering from a disease. They are individual human beings. For example, we don’t say that a person is an epileptic, but rather a person who has epilepsy. Hence people with disabilities prefer to be referred to as people with disabilities’’, rather than asdisabled people’’. This has to do with the perceptions that many of us have.

Ngokolu lwam ulwimi, side sibabize ngendlela engathi irhuqise nomrhaji, uve umntu esithi: “Esi silima”; “lo fomboyi”; “sitheni na esi sifombo?” Indlela esibajonga ngayo abantu abakhubazekileyo liliso elingena kuze livunywe nayile Nkosi ndayivumayo, uYesu Krestu. Masibaphathe ngendlela eyiyo abantu. (Translation of Xhosa paragraph follows.)

[In my language, we would call them names such as: “This cripple”; “Hunchback” What’s wrong with you, Hunchback? ;We look at people with disabilities in a manner that the Lord Jesus Christ would never approve. Let us treat other people well.]

It’s going to require that we engage in these campaigns, all of us in this House. It is our responsibility. After all, you are the people who passed the Employment Equity Act. Despite the screaming and crying by those who were opposed to it, it ultimately became law. Therefore, these lawmakers must not engage in oversight only, and watching how many ties and shirts the Minister of Labour is wearing, but it is important that, in our own constituencies, we change these perceptions against people with disabilities.

       Funding of political parties by state-owned enterprises
  1. Dr P J Rabie (DA) asked the Minister for Public Enterprises: [Written Question No 927]

    Whether any of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) donated money via subsidiaries to political parties prior to or during the 2004 elections; if so, what are the relevant details? N1281E

The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Thank you very much, Deputy Speaker. I’m standing in for the hon Alec Erwin.

The answer to the question that has been asked is that, to the knowledge of the Minister and the department, none of the six parastatals that report to him nor their subsidiaries have funded any political parties. I thank you.

Dr P J RABIE: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Minister, the allegations in the press regarding the Oilgate affair are of a very serious nature. It is said that R11 million of public money was used for political purposes. We, from the DA, feel that this is a threat to democracy in this country. I would like to know from the Minister whether any proactive steps have been taken to stop public money being used for narrow political ends. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Hon Deputy Speaker and hon members, I think I’ve answered the question to the Minister.

The question was on the parastals that report to the Minister. If I may remind colleagues, there are six parastatals that report to Public Enterprises and their parastatals. In reference to that question, no funding was given to any political party.

Secondly, on the issue of Oilgate - as has been alleged - the Public Protector looked at the matter and ruled correctly. So, I don’t think we . . . [Interjections.] I’m sorry, hon Zille, I think I’ve just answered the question. All of us have heard the Public Protector announcing that.

Certainly, the policy, as enunciated on the stand of government on issues of corruption, is very clear. I don’t think we need to rehash it. So, in as far as whether or not there are any systems, they are there. If there is any need to strengthen them, we will need to do so. I’m just saying that, in as far as the question that has been asked is concerned, indeed there is none.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, hon Minister, because indeed the question is about the parastatals – all six of them – as it stands on the Question Paper. I don’t see anyone interested in asking a follow-up question. We therefore move to the next question.

Accessing of funds through Agricultural Finance Scheme of South Africa (MAFISA)

  1. Adv S P Holomisa (ANC) asked the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs:

    (a)(i) To what extent and (ii) by what methods have South African farmers living in traditional authority areas of jurisdiction been informed of ways of accessing funds through the Agricultural Finance Scheme of South Africa (MAFISA), (b) what difficulties have been experienced by these people in accessing this form of funding and (c) what has been done to assist them in overcoming such difficulties? N1631E

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOLIMO NEZOMHLABA: Diliz’intaba! Ndabezitha, ngiyabonga ngalo mbuzo owubuzile mayelana nokuthi ngabe yiziphi izindlela kumbe sesihambe kangakanani ukwazisa abalimi abasafufusayo abahlala ezindaweni zasemakhaya, ngokuthi yini uhulumeni ahlela ukukwenza ngalolu xhasomali esilubiza ngokuthi iMafisa, i-Agricultural Credit Scheme, eyamenyezelwa nguMongameli ngonyaka owedlule? Ubuza-ke futhi umbuzo wokuthi ngabe yiziphi izingqinamba esibhekene nazo ngokuthi selekele abantu ukuthi bakwazi ukuzuza ukusizakala ngale mali? Ngizothi nje Ndabezitha nakumalungu ePhalamende siyakhumbula ukuthi mhla zingama-31 Meyi kulo nyaka silubeke ngokusemthethweni lolu hlelo endaweni yaseSikhukhune, eLimpopo, okungenye yezindawo zasemakhaya. Kanti-ke siphinde salubeka ngokusemthethweni laphayana kumasipala i–O R Tambo eMpumalanga Koloni. Sizoqhubeka siye KwaZulu-Natali esifundeni saseMkhanyakude. Savumelana-ke ngokuthi sizoqala ngalezi zinda ezintathu ukuze sikwazi ukubona ukuthi ngabe lolu hlelo lokwebolekisa imali ngale ndlela luhamba kanjani. Kanti inhloso yethu ukuthi uma kuphela lonyaka sibe sesifikelele kuyo yonke iNingizimu Afrika.

Siyazi-ke ukuthi izinkinga zona ziba khona ekuthenini ngabe ulwazi lufinyelela kangakanani kubantu. Ekusizeni-ke kuleso simo sisebenzisana nomasipala, iziphathimandla zemiphakathi yendabuko kanye nezinye izindlela zokusabalalisa ulwazi njengemisakazo njalo njalo ukuze bonke abantu kanye neziphathimandla zezolimo ezisebenza ikakhulukazi nabalimi bakwazi ukwedlulisa lo myalezo. Ngiyabonga Ndabezitha. (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Diliz’intaba! Ndabezitha, thank you for the question that you have asked about how far we have gone in informing rural emerging farmers about what the government is planning to do about this financial aid scheme called MAFISA, the agricultural credit scheme announced by the President last year. You also asked about obstacles that we are facing in helping farmers to get this financial aid. Ndabezitha and members of Parliament, you will recall that on 31 of May this year, we officially launched this project at Sikhukhume in Limpompo, which is one of the rural areas. It was also launched in the O R Tambo Municipality in the Eastern Cape. We are going to launch it in KwaZulu- Natal province at Mkhanyakude. We agreed that we were going to start in these three areas to see if it works. Our objective is to cover the whole of South Africa by the end of this year.

We know that there are some problems concerning how the information is disseminated. In improving the situation, we are working together with municipalities and traditional leaders. We are also using various channels of disseminating information like radios, so that the public and agricultural officials, especially those who are working with farmers, are able to disseminate information. Thank you, Ndabezitha.]

Adv S P HOLOMISA: Sekela-Sihlalo, mandibulele kuMphathiswa wam obekekileyo ngempendulo yakhe. Mphathiswa, isizathu ebesibangela ukuba ndibuze lo mbuzo sesokuba ixesha lihambile kakhulu abantu basezilalini bengafumani ncedo lufanelekileyo. Umzi ngamnye ezilalini uba negadi kwanentsimi. Zilele ezi ntsimi zingamafusi, kwakunye nezo gadi zabo, ezidliwa ziihagu nazibhokhwe kuba abantu abanayo imali yokuthenga izichumisi kunye nembewu efanelekileyo.

UMgaqo-siseko uthi abantu baya kuncediswa ukuze bakwazi ukusebenzisa umhlaba wabo. Abantu abanayo nemali yokuthenga ucingo lokubiyela. Ndicinga ukuba ke ngoku le mali iza kuvela kuMAFISA yiyo eza kubanceda abantu ukuze bakwazi ukuboleka imali engazi kuba nanzala ingafikelelekiyo. Siyayibulela kakhulu ke loo nto singabantu, ingakumbi baphaya ezilalini.

Kodwa ke bendifuna ukwenza isicelo, ndingadanga ndibuze mbuzo, sokuba uze uncede uqinisekise ukuba ngenene iinkosi ezi ziyasetyenziswa kwaye ziyalunikwa ulwazi kangangoko, kwakunye nezindlu zeenkosi, ukwenzela ukuba zincedise ooceba kwanabo bonke abanye abantu abasebenza ezilalini, ukwenzela ukuba olu lwazi lufikelele ezilalini.

Okokugqibela, amagosa ezolimo, i-extension officers, ayakhala qho. Athi awanazo izithuthi zokuya ezilalini. Wofika ehleli phaya edolophini, kufuneke siwafunele ngokwethu izinto zokuhamba. Ndicela ke uwancede wethu uwakhangelele izithuthi ukuze akwazi ukuba olu lwazi analo ekufuneka luye ebantwini akwazi ukulusa.

Okokugqibela, ngaphezu kokokugqibela . . . [Laphela ixesha.] (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Adv S P HOLOMISA: Deputy Chairperson, I appreciate the answer provided. The reason for this question is that it’s been a while that people from rural areas have not had access to water. Each homestead in the rural setting has a garden and a field to plough. The gardens and the ploughing fields are unattended because people do not have money to buy fertilizer and seed.

It is enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa that people will be assisted in the development of the land. Nevertheless, people do not get necessary assistance to buy resources such as fencing wire. The funds from the MAFISA research and planning agency will assist people in getting loans with affordable interest rates. We will appreciate that as people from the rural areas.

I want to make a request that traditional leaders be given full information of what is happening as they will help in assisting the councillors and others in dissemination information to the communities.

Finally, the extension officers complain about lack of transport when they want to visit rural areas. They linger in town until we provide them with transport. I request transport for them so that they are able to go and disseminate information to the people in the rural areas.

In conclusion . . . [Time expired.]]

UNGQONQOSHE WEZOLIMO NEZOMHLABA: Ngiyabonga, Sekela Somlomo, ngibonge nakuNdabezitha ngesincomo asibekile ngoba ushilo wathi akazukubuza mbuzo kodwa kukhona izinto azozicela ukuthi njengohulumeni sizenze. Uye wendlalela kabanzi-ke nangenkinga abalimi abasezindaweni ezisemakhaya ngaphansi kwamakhosi ababhekene nazo. Impela ngiyaqinisekisa Ndabezitha ukuthi sizosebenzisana namakhosi laphaya ezindaweni zawo kanye namakhansela amele amakhosi kanye namakhansela bohulumeni abakhethiwe basemakhaya. Siyazi ukuthi kubaluleke kangakanani, ikakhulukazi kulaba balimi abalaphaya ezindaweni ezingaphansi kwamakhosi ukuthi nabo basizakale.

Siyazi futhi ukuthi esikhathini esingaphambili uxhaso belungafinyeleli kubo ngqo. Okumnandi-ke ukuthi amakhosi amaningi siyazi ukuthi umsebenzi wezolimo awuthathela phezulu. Sibonge nje uma sibona okwenzekayo laphaya endaweni yaseMzimvubu, lapho khona inkosi isebenzisana nomasipala ekutheni sisebenzise zona lezi zimbuzi ebesizibona ziyinyama yemisebenzi nezinyanga

  • sizame-ke nokho ukuthi senze imbuzi lena nayo ukuthi ifake umnotho. Ngiyethemba-ke ukuthi ngelinye ilanga amalungu ekomidi ayokwazi ukuvakashela laphaya emaXesibeni, eMount Ayliff.

Uma futhi sibheka into eyenzeka laphaya eMnqgesha, into ebonakalisa ukuthi inkosi yamaRharhabe nayo iwuthathele phezulu lo msebenzi wezolimo yinto esithokozisayo leyo. Ngithanda futhi ukukhumbuza nje amalungu alapha ePhalamende ukuthi inkosi yaKwaZulu, uNdabezitha uZwelithini, ungomunye wabalimi abavelele abakhiqiza izinkomo. Lokho kusenza-ke thina sibe nomndlandla wokuthi uma sisebenza ezindaweni zasemakhaya, sisebenza sibambisene namakhosi awaziyo umsebenzi okufanele awenze ekuthuthukiseni izimpilo zabantu. Uqinisile futhi ekutheni akuthi ekwenza lokho amakhosi kanye nabalimi abakuleziya zindawo kube khona ukusizwa ekufinyeleleni ezintweni zokuthi bakwazi ukusebenza kahle.

Sizozama-ke ukuthi le mali yemboleko kanye nezinye izimali zokuxhaswa simahla njengezimali esizithola laphaya ohlelweni lwe-Comprehensive Agricultural Support, ezisiza ngezincingo - ngiwezwile amanye amalungu ePhalamende ebalula – zifike nakule miphakathi esezindaweni zasemakhaya. Singabheki nje kuphela abantu abangabalimi abavelele kodwa sibabheke nalaba balimi abasafufusayo laphaya emakhaya. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, and I thank Ndabezitha for the recommendations he made. He made it clear that he was not going to pose a question, however he wanted to mention certain things that we as the government must do. He explained in detail the problems that face rural farmers operating in Amakhosi areas. Ndabezitha, I want to reaffirm that we are going to work together with Amakhosi, councillors representing traditional leadership as well as councillors from local municipalities. I know how important it is for the farmers to get financial assistance, particularly those who live in areas that are under Amakhosi.

We are aware that in the past financial assistance was not taken directly to them. It is also appreciated that most Amakhosi treat agricultural projects with respect. We highly appreciate what we saw at uMzinvubu, where iNkosi were working together with municipalities to use the goats that people use for meat when they have a feast. Let us try to make these goats contribute to the economy. I hope that one day members of the portfolio committee will visit the area of emaXesibeni, Mount Ayliff.

What we saw happening at Mngqesha, confirmed that iNkosi of the Rharhabe also treat the agricultural projects with respect and we appreciate that. I also want to remind the hon members of this House that the King of KwaZulu- Natal, His Majesty, King Zwelithini, is one of the prominent farmers who are breeding cattle. Those are the things that encourage us when we work in rural areas, where we work together with Amakhosi who know what should be done in order to improve the lives of the people. He was also correct when he suggested that Amakhosi and local farmers should be able to access resources so that they can do their work properly.

We are going make sure that loans and other modes of financial assistance that are available through the programme of comprehensive agricultural support, which helps with fencing, are accessible, and I heard some members indicating that these resources are also accessible even in rural communities. We should not focus on the developed farmers only, we also need to focus on the emerging farmers in rural areas. Thank you.]

Mr D K MALULEKE: Deputy Speaker, the Deputy President today stressed the importance of training and supporting emerging farmers. The worst thing that can happen to productive land is for it to be redistributed and then become unproductive and unable to support the new owners, let alone help feed the nation. Why does the Minister’s department continually fail to do as much as it should do in supporting, equipping, training and financing emerging farmers?

The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Hon Maluleke, I’m not sure what assessment we are working on, but nonetheless, I will answer your question. I hope you remember that agriculture is a concurrent function. To that extent, there are functions that are solely in the domain of the provincial departments of agriculture with members of the executive councils and their legislatures.

Indeed, I agree that there is a concern that the level of extension services in our country is not of the standard we would want to have. Similarly, the work that we need to continue doing in partnership with the Department of Education and the higher education institutions to look at the issues of training and support of extension services in farming communities is critical - and the training of people to that extent.

But, I think, as we do so, we need to understand that there are particular responsibilities that fall on the national government and that fall on the provincial governments. For instance, we are concerned, as the national department, if you look at veterinary services, that in the majority of provinces, there has been neglect in terms of this responsibility, which the Constitution states clearly is the responsibility of provinces, not the national government.

Similarly, it also takes into consideration the responsibility of farmers themselves, so that as we deal with issues of maintaining an efficient agricultural system in the country, we do so in partnership. I wouldn’t want to go to that level, save to say that one does appreciate the issues that you are raising. But I think it is important, when we examine where the responsibility lies, that we properly articulate that so that we don’t make general statements as if we don’t even understand our own government structure.

Through the Minmecs, which are the co-ordinating structures of the Ministers, Deputy Ministers and members of the executive councils, this is a matter we have raised, which is a matter of concern. So, I just thought it’s important for me to articulate that relationship, because it might be easy to say, “Minister, what isn’t your department doing?” but when you come to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, you will accuse me of taking on a function that is a function of the provincial departments. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mnu M V NGEMA: Ngiyabonga Sekela Somlomo, Ngqongqoshe uhlelo lukaMafisa kuhloswe ngalo ukuba, phakathi kokunye, imiphakathi nabalimi basemakhaya bakwazi ukufinyelela kalula emthonjeni wokwebolekeka izimali zokusenza. Esikhathini esiningi ngokusebenza nekomidi lomnyango wezolimo sifinyelele lapho abalimi bethwele kanzima ngenxa yenzalo abayikhokhayo, ikakhulukazi esikubonile ohlelweni lwebhange leli lezomhlaba. Ithemba lethu-ke ukuthi iMafisa izokwenza kube nobungcono. Bengithi ake ngizwe kumhlonishwa ukuthi kulolu hlangothi lwenzalo, njengoba sekukhona lapho sekuqalwe khona, bukhona yini ubungcono maqondana nomehluko ngokwenzalo njengoba ngisho ukuthi imisebenzi eminingi iyalimala ngenxa yokuthi kuthwaleke kanzima enzalweni? (Translation of Zulu paragraph follows.)

[Mr M V NGEMA: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Minister, one of the objectives of MAFISA is to help the community and rural farmers to have easy access to financial service providers. In working with the committee of the Department of Agriculture, we have seen places where it’s hard for the farmers because of the interest that they are paying, especially in the World Bank. We have high hopes that MAFISA will make the situation better. I would like to ask my question concerning interest rates. Since there are places where you have already started with this project, is there any difference in terms of interest rates?]

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZOLIMO NEZOMHLABA: Ngiyabonga Sekela Somlomo kanye naselungwini eliphakamileyo, ubaba uNgema, mangisho nje kubaba uNgema ukuthi mhlawumbe uma ngingasakhulumi ngoMafisa ngqo okunguyena obhekene nezolimo, kodwa sengikhuluma ngokubaluleka kokunikezwa kwabantu imalimboleko abasezindaweni ezikude namadolobha, ikakhulukazi ezindaweni zasemakhaya kanye nasezimbonini ezincane ezingafani nezimboni ezinkulu. Sizokhumbula ukuthi ngo-1995 lowo owayenguMongameli, uMandela, waze wabeka ikhomishini eyaziwa nge “Strauss Commission” ukubheka inkinga eyenza ukuthi amabhange esinawo ajwayelekile angakwazi ukufinyelela ezindaweni zasemakhaya.

Kukhona-ke izinto ezibalulekile engifuna ukuthi sikhumbuzane zona ezavela kuloluya hlelo. Okokuqala, kwaba ukuthi amabhange amaningi uma echaza isizathu sokungayi athi kudula kakhulu ukuthi abe namahhovisi kuzo zonke izindawo zasemakhaya. Lokho besekwenza ukuthi izindawo ezisemakhaya lapho kukhona khona amabhange athile njenge-Ithala nje - uma ngibheka KwaZulu–Natal nakwezinye zindawo njalo njalo – ukweboleka kwazo kuba sezingeni eliphezulu uma siza enzalweni ngoba ukubiza kwemali kuba ngale kokuqonda ngoba abafikeleli kuzo zonke izindlela zokuthola usizo lwezimali ezikhona emabhange.

Okwesibili, uma sibheka indaba yebhange lomhlaba, ezinye izinto ezenza ukuthi imali yebhange lomhlaba ibize yingoba alinawo omunye umkhiqizo ngaphandle kokubhekana nezolimo nokuthengwa komhlaba. Kanti uma ubheka ibhange elifana ne-Standard Bank noma u-ABSA, abolekana ngezimali zokwakha izindlu, izimali zomsebenzi wezolimo, imali yokuthenga ifenisha njalo njalo. Ngakho, bayakwazi ukuthi izinkinga abanazo bazixazulule ngokuthi batshelekise ngezimali zemikhizo noma zemisebenzi eyahlukene. Leyonto-ke uma sibheka uhlelo lokwebolekisa ngezimali akushibhile. Ngifuna ukuyisho nje leyo nto ukuze sibheke ukuthi isimo esikuso sinjani hhayi kuphela eNingizimu Afrika. Ubaba uMpahlwa angangivumela. (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Thank you Deputy Speaker and hon member Ngema. Let me say this Mr Ngema. Perhaps, I should not speak directly about MAFISA which is responsible for agricultural activities, but rather about the importance of giving credit to people in remote areas, especially those in rural areas, as well as to small and medium enterprises that are different from established industries. You will remember that in 1995 the former President Mandela appointed a commission on rural finance known as the Strauss Commission to investigate problems that are preventing our banks from reaching the rural areas. There are important things I would like to remind you about that came from that programme. Firstly, the explanation given by most banks for having no branches in rural areas was that it was expensive. It is expensive to banks like iThala in KwaZulu-Natal and other areas to lend money. They charge higher interest rates. They have no access to other financial assistance which is available from banks.

Secondly, there is the issue of the Land Bank. The Land Bank’s interest rate is high because it does not produce but purchases land and addresses agricultural issues, whereas banks like ABSA and Standard lend money for mortgages, agricultural activities, furniture etc. They are able to address problems by lending money from other products. Surely it not an easy exercise to lend money when one looks at these activities. I wanted to say this so that we know the situation we are in, not only in South Africa. The hon Mpahlwa would agree with me.]

Experience across the world in terms of micro finance is that its cost is very high, but it is an important element because it extends the reach of credit to those who are not able to access it. We have to manage that tension, because as we grapple with the issue of extension of finance to the rural communities – trying to manage the costs so that it is affordable

  • we also need to manage the affordability and the sustainability for the very financial institutions we are talking about. This is the same question that will face co-operative financing and the financial co-ops – the same as MAFISA. I think that for me success does not only depend on the costs of capital.

Some of the issues that have been raised by the hon Maluleke are important and some of the issues that have been raised by the hon Holomisa are important. This is because, even if you can lend money to farmers at a cheaper rate, if there is no risk integrated into that insurance to ensure that when the rain doesn’t come, those farmers are able to survive; if you don’t put inputs, which will be your seeds and implements, closer to those farmers; if you don’t train them; and if you don’t have good, efficient extension services and the market, and the infrastructure - which are the roads to move the goods from the farms to the markets – then the cheapest money cannot have the desired effect.

So, I would say what would be important for MAFISA – and, yes, we will have to negotiate with the Treasury about the level of the interest rate - is how we package MAFISA, not just looking at MAFISA as an independent entity for success in farming, but also integrating it.

In this regard, we said so: if you remember in 1995 on Batat - the Broadening Access to Agriculture Thrust – what the key elements for success are in farming. This is not only for farming that is commercially viable or for farming on a subsistence level. These are the key elements that are important for any farmer, anywhere in the world, including South Africa. I thank you. [Applause.]

The House adjourned at 17:04. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Referral of Bill to National House of Traditional Leaders
The Secretary to Parliament has, in accordance with section 18(1) of
the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act, 2003 (Act No.
41 of 2003), referred the Repeal of Black Administration Act and
Amendment of Certain Laws Bill [B 25 – 2005] (National Assembly – sec
76) to the National House of Traditional Leaders, which must, within 30
days from the date of this referral, make any comments it wishes to


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Defence
(a)     Report and Financial Statements of the Armaments Corporation of
    South Africa Ltd (ARMSCOR) for 2004-2005, including the Report of
    the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.
  1. The Minister of Public Enterprises
(a)     Report and Financial Statements of Escom Holdings Limited
    (Escom) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Independent
    Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.


National Assembly

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security on the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), dated 17 August 2005:
The Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security, having taken a decision
at the meeting of 22 June 2005 to table a report in Parliament for
debate, highlighting the concerns of the Committee with regard to
perceived problems in the current functioning of the ICD, reports as

A.      Introduction

   The Portfolio Committee on Safety  and  Security  held  a  number  of
   meetings  with  the  Independent  Complaints  Directorate   in   2005
   including a meeting with:

     Representatives  of  the  National  Office  of   the   Independent
     Complaints Directorate on 9 March  2005  to  discuss  the  2005/06
     budget allocation.

     Provincial Heads of the ICD from all nine  provinces  on  22  June
     2005 to discuss their concerns and suggestions.
     Representatives from the National Office of the  ICD  on  22  June
     2005 to discuss follow-ups on problems  raised  by  the  Portfolio
     Committee arising from the meeting of 9 March 2005.

   A decision was taken by the Committee on Safety and Security at it’s
   meeting on 22 June 2005 to table a report to Parliament for debate,
   highlighting the concerns of the Committee with regard to perceived
   problems in the current functioning of the ICD.

   The purpose of this report is therefore to:

     Highlight problems, which have been identified by the Portfolio
     Committee in its interactions with the National Office of the ICD.
      These include problems with the management of the ICD’s budget.
     Highlight problems, which have been identified by the Provincial
     Heads of the ICD.  These include problems with the structure of
     the ICD and the relationship of the National Office to the
     provincial structures.
     Make recommendations to assist in the resolution of these
     identified problems.

   B.   Problems identified by the Portfolio Committee

     The following are some of the  key  concerns  highlighted  by  the
     Committee on Safety and Security in its various interactions  with
     the ICD:

     Travel Expenditure

     According to the ICD, its total travel expenditure for 2004/05 was
     R2,9 million of which approximately R650 000 was spent by National
     Office. The remainder was spent by the 9 provincial  offices.  The
     Eastern Cape office had the highest travel expenditure (R360 000),
     and the Northern Cape had  the  lowest  travel  expenditure  (R130
     000). The ICD said that the travel  expenditure  of  the  National
     Office was largely to cover visits to the  provinces  for  service
     delivery audits,  disciplinary  hearings,  personnel  evaluations,
     interviews, imbizos and meetings with the Minister, MECs  and  the
     Portfolio Committee. Discrepancies in provincial  expenditure  are
     attributed to the size of the province as well as the caseload and
     number of investigators that travel to crime scenes.

     Concern: The Committee has raised  numerous  concerns  around  the
     high travel budget for the ICD, particularly with respect  to  the
     National Office.   The National Office spends more  than  3  times
     the  average  expenditure  of  an  entire  provincial  office  and
     consists of only 5 managers including the Executive Director.   In
     addition, Committee members are confused by the vast discrepancies
     in expenditure between provincial offices, both in terms of  total
     expenditure and in terms of line item expenditure.

     The Committee is not satisfied with the explanations  provided  by
     the National Office, which either  lack  sufficient  detail  (e.g.
     briefing on 9 March  2005),  or  are  confusing  and  not  clearly
     explained (e.g. meeting on 22 June 2005).

     Submission of Reports

     In response to a concern raised by the Committee that the ICD is
     not submitting its reports to the Portfolio Committee, the
     Executive Director in her written response dated 23 May 2005
     stated that:

        Of the 6 reports identified by the  Portfolio  Committee  on  9
        March 2005, 4 of these reports were not tabled as they had  not
        in fact been written.
        The 2 Domestic Violence Act reports,  which  should  have  been
        tabled before Parliament, have not yet been tabled.

     Concern: In the meeting of 9 March 2005, the Committee raised the
     concern that the ICD is not submitting its reports to the
     Portfolio Committee.  The Committee raised this concern with
     respect to the 6 reports (4 research reports and 2 Domestic
     Violence) mentioned in the Estimates of National Expenditure 2005.

     In response to the concern, the ICD promised in the meeting of 9
     March 2005, that it would forward these reports to the Chairperson
     of the Portfolio Committee immediately. However, in the response
     of the Executive Director dated 23 May 2005, she stated that 4 of
     these reports had not in fact been completed.  This written
     explanation by the Executive Director contradicts verbal
     explanations given during the meeting of 9 March 2005 as well as
     information contained in the Estimates of National Expenditure

     The Committee is concerned that this information was not presented
     accurately to the Committee. This may point to an attempt by the
     ICD to cover up information that they believe does not positively
     reflect on the functioning of ICD or may have been a result of
     ignorance as to the actual deliverables of the ICD.
     Presentation of ICD statistics

     The Portfolio Committee has periodically raised the concern that
     the way in which the ICD presents its figures, particularly with
     regard to deaths in police custody, may play a role in feeding
     misconceptions with regard to police misconduct. The Executive
     Director, in her response dated 23 May 2005, has committed herself
     to rectifying this problem in all subsequent reports.  Reports
     will now include details of cases received as well as the outcomes
     of investigations in respect of these cases.  This will assist in
     clarifying cases where the police were found to be accountable and
     those in which they were not.

     Concern: The Committee has pointed out to the ICD that
     insufficient detail on these figures allowed for a potentially
     incorrect interpretation to be formulated.  This resulted in an
     interpretation by the Human Rights Watch Report that there had
     been an increase in cases of police misconduct while in fact the
     ICD had attributed an increase in reported cases to outreach
     programmes.  The Committee is frustrated by the fact that the ICD
     only decided to take action to rectify this problem after it had
     been faced with negative media publicity, as this could have been
     avoided if it had heeded previous concerns voiced by Committee

     Lack of detail in reports

     The Committee has expressed concern that both verbal and written
     reports submitted to the Committee are not detailed enough. The
     Executive Director, in her report dated 23 May 2005, has provided
     the Committee with the additional information as requested. This
     includes a detailed report of all categories of cases received by
     the ICD during the 2004/05 financial year in comparison with
     2003/04, a provincial breakdown of total cases received for
     2004/05 in comparison to the previous year and the outcome of
     finalised cases.  In addition, this same written report details a
     summary of operational targets for the 2004/05 financial year and
     the actual performance of the ICD against each of the targets.

     Concern: The Committee has expressed concern that both verbal and
     written reports submitted to the Committee are not detailed
     enough, especially in comparison to reports by the ICD in the past
     which have contained more detail.  This lack of detail negatively
     impacts on the ability of the Committee to fulfil its oversight
     function effectively.

     Lack of data for 2004/05

     The Committee has stated that it is not possible to accurately
     reflect on the forthcoming budget when the figures in terms of
     expenditure and attainment of operational targets for the previous
     year are not provided.  The Executive Director, in her report
     dated 23 May 2005, has provided the Committee with the figures as
     requested.  The Executive Director provides a number of reasons in
     her report for the failure of the ICD to achieve a number of its
     operational targets for 2004/05.

     Concern:  The Committee requested the ICD to provide details of
     expenditure as well as the extent to which operational targets had
     been met for the 2004/05 financial year, as this information was
     not provided in the meeting of 9 March 2005.  This hampers the
     ability of the Portfolio Committee to oversee the budget of the
     ICD effectively.
     It is clear from the response by the Executive Director, that the
     ICD is not meeting its operational targets, particularly in terms
     of its core function of investigation of complaints.  The ICD has
     determined targets in respect of investigation of cases of deaths
     and criminality on the basis that 80% of such cases should be
     finalised in 180 days.  With regard to cases of deaths received,
     the ICD only achieved a finalisation rate of 63%.  With regard to
     criminality, a finalisation rate of only 41% was achieved.
     Finally with regard to misconduct, a finalisation rate of only 44%
     was achieved.  In addition, the ICD failed to meet its standard of
     producing 4 research reports and 2 Domestic Violence Act (DVA)
     reports in 2004/05.

     The key concern of the Committee is that this information was only
     provided after prompting by the Committee and was not shared with
     the Portfolio Committee during the meeting on 9 March 2005. This
     information is extremely pertinent and the fact that it was not
     initially made available is of grave concern to the Committee.  It
     is also of concern that the information provided in the Estimates
     of National Expenditure (ENE) may not be accurately represented.

     Distribution of the budget between national and provincial offices

     The Committee has noted with concern that according to the
     provincial offices, a large proportion of the budget
     (approximately 47%) is allocated to the National Office with the
     remaining allocation divided among the 9 operational provincial
     offices. As a result of the skewed distribution, the ICD is not
     fulfilling its mandate effectively. In addition, it must be noted
     that despite numerous requests, the National Office of the ICD has
     never provided figures on the distribution of the budget between
     the National and Provincial Offices or accurate figure on the
     resources available at provincial offices.

C.      Problems highlighted by Provincial ICD Heads

     The Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security met with the
     Provincial Heads of the ICD from all nine provinces at Parliament
     on 22 June 2005. The purpose of the meeting was twofold.  Firstly,
     it was an opportunity for Provincial ICD Heads to openly discuss
     problems that they experience in their provinces with the Members
     in a closed meeting without fear of victimisation by superiors or
     media scrutiny.  Secondly, in light of the decision announced by
     the Minister of Safety and Security with regard to the potential
     restructuring of the Secretariat and the ICD, the meeting provided
     the Provincial Heads with an opportunity to identify their needs
     and make recommendations on how the ICD should be restructured to
     fulfil these needs.

     It was clear from the briefing that all provinces experience the
     same type of problems, and that differences are merely in terms of
     the severity of the problem experienced.  The following are the
     key problems faced by the ICD provincial offices:

     Staff Shortages

     A number of problems were identified by the provinces in terms of
     staff shortages.

        There is a severe shortage of operational staff, which reduces
        the ability of the provincial offices to achieve the mandate of
        the ICD.
        The shortage of investigators was of particular concern to all
        provinces.  It was noted that the shortage of investigators is
        related to the number of people that the ICD is required to
        monitor in terms of its mandate, and the area serviced by the
        ICD which impacts on the time which it takes to travel to
        various crime scenes.  Due to the shortage of investigators
        some investigators may have as many as 200 files assigned to
        them at any time. The shortage of investigators has also
        resulted in a huge backlog of cases going as far back as 1997
        and this impacts on the ability of investigators to operate
        effectively in reaching targets with regard to current cases.
        Provinces complained that even though the ICD received an
        increase for the 2005/06 financial year, this additional money
        was not allocated to core functions, such as investigators, but
        instead allocated to National Office staff.
        High caseloads and shortage of staff negatively effects service
        delivery, and Provincial Heads noted an increase in complaints
        by the public about poor service delivery.


     Many provinces identified the lack of satellite offices as
     reducing the accessibility of the service especially to rural
     areas.  The lack of satellite offices also impacts negatively on
     the ability of the ICD to provide an effective and efficient
     service due to the long distances that must be travelled to reach
     crime scenes (and thus time delays between the incident and the
     ICD arriving at the scene).  Marketing of the ICD to distant towns
     and areas is also hampered by the inaccessibility of its offices.

     Community outreach

     Provinces complained that the budget constraints that they face
     with regard to community outreach means that they are unable to
     market themselves effectively in many of the provinces,
     particularly in outlying areas.

     Measures to attract, recruit and retain staff

     A number of problems were identified by provinces with regard to
     the difficulty in attracting and retaining staff.  These include:

        The entry level salaries of operational posts is low compared
        to other bodies, such as the Safety and Security Secretariat,
        and the ICD thus struggles to compete for staff with this and
        other investigating bodies. In addition, low salaries also
        hampers the ability of the ICD to retain staff.
        Promotional posts have been created at National Office to
        retain existing staff but not at provincial level where these
        are most urgently required.
        All investigators need to have an LLB or other legal
        qualification.  This causes a number of problems, including the
        inability to attract suitably qualified persons as the salaries
        are not commensurate with these qualifications.  This is also a
        factor contributing to the inability to retain these staff
        The legal requirement is applied even to entry-level posts for
        case workers who fall under the Complaints Registry programme.
        Case workers hired before this requirement are demoralised as
        they now cannot compete for other higher level jobs as they do
        not have the appropriate qualification.  New job descriptions
        are required for these posts (as the initial job descriptions
        did not require them to do consultations and registration of
        complainants) but have not yet been forwarded by National
        Some provinces complained that they still experience delays in
        the filling of posts due to lengthy vetting processes.
        For the last few years National Office has become involved in
        the recruitment process and the National Office Senior
        Management conducts interviews and act as chairpersons.  The
        provinces find this disempowering, not cost effective and time
        consuming.  Some provinces noted that the National Director
        appoints whom she likes regardless of the recommendations of
        panels in the provinces.
        Provinces that complained of delays in filling of vacant posts
        largely attributed this to over centralisation of this
        function. Delays in approval from Head Office means that
        recommended candidates eventually find employment elsewhere,
        with the result that the posts need to be readvertised.

     Centralisation of decision-making powers at National Office

     All of the provinces raised a number of problems with regard to
     the centralisation of decision-making powers in a variety of
     spheres at National Office and the concomitant lack of managerial
     decision-making powers by provincial managers.

     Examples include:

     Overtime: Provincial managers may not approve overtime for
     investigators and all approvals need to be forwarded to the Human
     Resource Manager at Head Office, the Programme Director at
     National Office and the National Director who approves these on a
     case-by-case basis.  This results in the late payment of claims
     and reluctance by investigators to work overtime.

     Travel claims: Provincial managers may not approve claims when out
     of necessity a private vehicle is used for work purposes.  Instead
     each trip must have the advance approval of the National Director.

     Appointment  of  staff:   National  Office  is   responsible   for
     approving the appointment of all staff, even interns.  It may take
     up to 6 months to obtain this approval.

     Media  issues:   The  provincial  offices  are  not   allowed   to
     communicate with the  media,  even  on  operational  issues.   All
     information has to be relayed to the National Office which is then
     responsible for liasing with and updating  the  media.   Sometimes
     the provincial offices are not informed by  National  Office  that
     provincial cases have been  raised  in  the  media  and  are  thus
     disarmed when approached by the public, legal representatives  and
     complainants on issues in this regard. The inability  of  the  ICD
     Provincial Head to talk to the media  also  means  that  they  are
     unable to market the ICD effectively in their provinces.

     Discrepancies between provincial offices

     Some  Provincial  Heads  are  appointed  and  function  at  Deputy
     Director level while others function at Director  level.   It  was
     identified  by  some  offices  that   the   responsibilities   and
     accountability of these people are the same, and  therefore  there
     should be uniformity in the appointment and  functional  level  of
     Provincial Head posts.


     Provinces raised a number of problems with policies that impact on
     the effective running of the provincial offices. Provinces stated
     that policies are not reviewed frequently enough, which sometimes
     results in the application of poor or irrelevant policies to

     For example:

     Overtime: The policy states that there is no payment  of  overtime
     for travelling time for investigators to crime scenes after hours.
      Examples have been given where it may take between 3-6 hours  for
     an investigator to reach a crime scene and thus a large proportion
     of their after-hours work may be utilised in reaching a particular
     destination.  The policy has a negative effect on  the  morale  of

     National Office

     A number of provinces raised the allegation that provincial office
     staff members have been told by National  Office  that  staff  who
     voice  concerns  about  the  way  the  ICD  is  run,   are   being
     insubordinate and should resign.  Some provinces  felt  that  this
     has  mounted  to  threatening  behaviour  and  intimidation.    In
     addition, allegations were made that  National  Office  has  asked
     employees in the provinces to spy on colleagues.

     Additional problems identified by a few of the provinces with
     regard to National Office include:

        The National Office staff are inaccessible  and  unapproachable
        as there is a highly developed sense of ‘rank consciousness’.
        Provinces complained that the standards set by National  Office
        for programmes  such  as  Investigations  are  too  high  (i.e.
        investigation of cases is  set  at  80%  investigation  of  all
        complaints) and set the provinces up for failure.  Failures  to
        meet standards are not  sympathetically  received  even  though
        constraints are faced by investigators, related to the lack  of
        A  few  provinces  complained  that   the   National   Director
        undermines team spirit.
        Accusations were made about disorganisation at National Office,
        including ad hoc and unreasonable requests for information  and
        misplaced documents which result in repeated requests  for  the
        same information.

     Policing Powers and appointment certificates

     Almost all provinces  noted  the  delays  in  conferring  policing
     powers to newly appointed  investigators.   Delays  mean  that  in
     practice, many new appointees often wait for a  year  before  they
     are  able  to  commission  statements  and  effect  arrests.    In
     addition,  provinces  noted  similar  delays  in   acquiring   the
     necessary appointment certificate  for  new  investigators,  which
     identifies them as employees of the  ICD.   This  exacerbates  the
     existing problem of staff shortages.


     Training  is  centralised   (the   National   Training   Committee
     coordinates training) and according to some provinces there  is  a
     perception that many staff members in the provinces do not benefit
     at all from training or else are sent too frequently  to  Pretoria
     for training.   Even  when  managers  in  the  provinces  identify
     specific training needs for  individual  staff  members  they  are
     unable to ensure that they receive this training or to arrange for
     this training by local service providers.  Provinces  have  little
     role to play in staff development.

     Anti-Corruption Command

     A  few  provinces  noted  particular  problems  with   the   newly
     established Anti-Corruption Command which  is  based  at  National
     Office.  These include:

        Investigators begin the investigation process in the  provinces
        (i.e. by taking  an  initial  statement)  and  then  leave  the
        provincial investigators with the responsibility of  completing
        the investigation which takes up the  time  of  the  provincial
        investigators concerned.
        They utilise provincial investigators  when  they  are  in  the
        provinces effectively hampering  the  provincial  offices  from
        continuing with their day-to-day duties.
        There is an accusation that the Command  has  a  large  budget,
        which is spent on expensive equipment, including  vehicles  and
        long distance cameras that are seldom used.
        The sentiment seems to be that  these  functions  can  be  more
        effectively  fulfilled  by   the   provinces   and   that   the
        establishment of this function at national level has no  impact
        on the expeditious handling of corruption cases.

     Relationship with the SAPS

     The following problems were identified by provinces with regard to
     interactions with the  SAPS,  which  negatively  impact  on  their
     ability to perform in line with the mandate of the ICD.

     Domestic Violence Act: Provinces stated that they  receive  no  or
     very few  applications  for  exemption  by  SAPS  with  regard  to
     compliance with the Act, even though training has been provided to
     SAPS members.  In addition, no monthly returns for  non-compliance
     are submitted by  some  Area  Commissioners.  This  hampers  their
     ability to fulfil their mandate of monitoring  the  implementation
     of the DVA.

     Notifications:  Some provinces experienced  the  problem  of  late
     notifications of deaths in police custody or as a result of police
     action. Sometimes no notifications are received at all.

D.            Recommendations

     The Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security makes the following

     Travel Expenditure

     The Committee is not satisfied with the  explanation  provided  by
     the National Office with regard to the high travel expenditure  of
     the National  Offices  and  discrepancies  in  travel  expenditure
     between provinces.  The Portfolio Committee has  also  noted  that
     this high travel expenditure of the National Office may  correlate
     with the complaints by the provincial heads that  National  Office
     centralises decision-making and fulfils  some  of  the  functions,
     which should be undertaken by the provincial offices.

     The  Committee  recommends  that   the   travel   expenditure   by
     specifically the national Office is investigated by the Office  of
     the Auditor General to determine the relevancy of the  expenditure
     in relation to the mandate of the ICD.

     Submission of reports

     All research reports and recommendations made effecting
     management, procedure and policy within the SAPS must be submitted
     by the ICD to Parliament within 1 month after completion.

     Provision of information

     It appears the ICD is only providing information to the Committee
     that depicts it in a positive light and is withholding certain
     information and problems from the Committee.  This is not in the
     best interests of the ICD in the achievement of its mandate.  In
     addition, it undermines the effective functioning of the Committee
     in executing its oversight responsibility.  In order to assist in
     ensuring effective oversight of the Portfolio Committee over the
     ICD, the ICD must ensure that all reports to the Committee contain
     sufficient information and detail and are received by the
     Committee at least one week prior to the scheduled briefing.

     Presentation of statistics by the ICD

     The Committee will monitor the implementation of the agreement by
     the Executive Director to ensure that all reports will present
     statistics in a manner that provides sufficient detail in order to
     reduce the possibility of misinterpretation of the information.
     This new approach as agreed to by the Executive Director should be
     reflected in the 2004/05 Annual Report of the ICD.

     Decentralisation of some powers

     Provincial Heads should be entrusted to deal with operational
     matters without the constant intervention of National Office.  It
     is therefore recommended that:

     Overtime:  Provincial heads should be empowered to approve
     overtime for staff.
     Media: A person responsible for communication should be identified
     in each province.
     Recruitment:  Provincial offices should be able to recruit and
     appoint entry-level staff and interns.


     Provincial offices and operational employees should be consulted
     in the development of policies that affect the work that they do
     on a day-to-day basis.  This would assist in ensuring that
     policies correctly reflect the concerns of the people who are
     affected by them.  Policies should be reviewed regularly to ensure
     relevance to current practice.  Policies that are a cause of
     discontent among staff (such as the overtime policy) should be
     reviewed and negotiated to assist in improving staff morale.  If
     policies are a result of public service regulations rather than
     ICD policies then this should be explained properly to staff.

     Attraction and retention of staff

     A retention policy, which is fairly applied to both national and
     provincial levels, should be developed. The possible upgrading of
     posts to ensure the ability of the ICD to attract skilled staff
     should be explored. The focus should be on reviewing entry-level
     salaries particularly for Investigation and Complaints Registry
     and Monitoring.

     Training opportunities

     Newly appointed staff must participate in induction training
     within the first 3 months of appointment.  In addition, the
     training policy should specify that staff members should attend
     identified training courses annually. Some training should be
     decentralised to provincial level to ensure that provincial
     managers are able to identify training needs amongst staff and
     provide the required training.

     Policing powers

     Delays in obtaining policing powers must be urgently addressed by
     the National Office.  It is unacceptable to the Committee that in
     the light of severe staff shortages steps are not taken by
     National Office to ensure that existing staff can function

     Budgetary concerns

     The Committee recommends that a performance audit be conducted  by
     the office of the Auditor General to determine to what extent  the
     spending and distribution of the budget  of  the  ICD  contributes
     towards the ICD optimally  executing  its  mandate.   During  this
     audit special attention should be given to:

        The distribution of  budget  between  national  and  provincial
        The high travel budget especially for national office.
        The disparities in provincial office accounts for travel.
        The budget reporting in general.

     Annual meeting with Provincial Heads and quarterly reports

     The briefing with the Provincial Heads have brought a number of
     serious problems to the attention of the Committee. These were not
     brought to the fore by the National Office in its numerous prior
     interactions with this Committee over the years.  The Portfolio
     Committee will schedule annual meetings with the Provincial Heads
     to provide an opportunity to discuss problems and identify
     resolutions to these problems, at least until such time that some
     of the more serious problems with the National Office have been
     resolved.  In addition, the Portfolio Committee will request
     quarterly written reports from each of the provincial heads
     highlighting problems, progress in rectifying these problems and
     status in terms of reaching their operational targets.

     Monitoring implementation of recommendations

     The Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security will monitor the
     implementation of the recommendations made in this report, by the
     National Office and the provinces, in order to ensure that the
     identified problems are promptly resolved.  The Portfolio
     Committee expects a progress report on steps taken by the National
     Office to address these concerns within 3 months of tabling of
     this report to Parliament.

     Restructuring of the ICD

     The Portfolio Committee recommends that the Minister of Safety and
     Security takes the following issues into consideration when
     considering the restructuring of the ICD and the Secretariat:

        Review or capacitate the ICD to effectively fulfil its  mandate
        in terms of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA).  The  ICD  is  not
        fulfilling its mandate in this regard, largely because of  lack
        of cooperation from the SAPS. This is an important issue to the
        Committee and the effective monitoring of police action in this
        regard is essential.
        Remove the monitoring of station audits from the responsibility
        of the ICD and ensure that the Secretariat  is  capacitated  to
        fulfil this function.
        Review the necessity for the newly established Research Unit.
        Review  the  placement  and  function  of  the  Anti-Corruption
        Command in terms of national  and  provincial  distribution  of
        Review or capacitate the ICD to fulfil its  role  in  terms  of
        cell inspections.

     In addition, the Minister should ensure that in his review, due
     consideration is given to the proper empowerment of the ICD to
     fulfil its mandated responsibilities effectively. In this
     restructuring, the Minister should look at the feasibility of
     developing separate legislation to govern the functioning of the
     ICD, instead of retaining this in the SAPS Act.

     In order to ensure the more effective functioning of the ICD, ICD
     staff should be allowed access to the CAS system.  In addition,
     the Provincial Commissioners should be held accountable for the
     implementation of solutions recommended by the ICD, to ensure that
     these solutions are actually implemented by the police.

     While  it  is  understood  that  the  ICD  is  functioning  within
     budgetary  constraints,  it  is  recommended  that  a  feasibility
     assessment is done  on  the  establishment  of  satellite/district
     offices in the provinces to ensure  access  to  rural  areas.   In
     addition, the study should look at creative  solutions,  including
     the allocation of areas to the ICD offices based  on  geographical
     proximity rather than clear borderlines and the  use  of  district
     offices of the Secretariat by ICD staff.

E.      Conclusion

     The Portfolio Committee recommits itself to the necessity of the
     work of the ICD.  The Committee believes that the very existence
     of the ICD is an important tool in the monitoring of SAPS into a
     truly democratic police service, providing equal service to all of
     South Africa’s people.  It is our belief in the SAPS as an
     accountable service that motivates us to present this report to
     Parliament and to make these recommendations.

     In order to make sure that the recommendations made in this report
     is implemented, the Committee expects a progress report by the ICD
     and the ministry, three months from the date of this report being
     debated in Parliament.  Further progress reports will be submitted
     to the Committee as determined by the Portfolio Committee.

Report to be considered.