National Assembly - 13 September 2005

                     TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2005



                                ____ The House met at 14:02.

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


                     CHANGE IN PARTY MEMBERSHIP


The SPEAKER: Hon members, before we proceed with today’s business, I wish to announce that the following change in party membership has occurred as a result of floor-crossing.

The hon Ms M M Mdlalose, on 6 September 2005, left the IFP and joined the National Democratic Convention.

As a result of floor-crossing, the following other change in party membership has occurred. The hon Adv A H Gaum has today left the NNP and joined the ANC. [Applause.] NOTICES OF MOTION

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, I hereby give notice that I shall move the following substantive motion:

That this House -

(1) has no confidence in the Deputy Speaker, the hon Ms Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, in that during the absence of the hon Speaker, Ms Baleka Mbete, she served as Acting Speaker of this House;

(2) the law requires that a member must inform the Speaker in writing of his/her decision to change membership of a party, and must submit to the Speaker written confirmation from the other party that he/she has been accepted as a member;

(3) the law also requires that before a member may cross, at least 10% of the members of the party must move simultaneously, failing which, that member may not cross the floor;

(4) in her capacity as Acting Speaker, the hon Deputy Speaker telephoned one or more members of the DA, and acting as the recruiting agent of the ANC, advised the member or members concerned that four members of the DA were ready to cross to the ANC, but that a fifth person was needed. She then encouraged that member to be the fifth;

(5) by conveying this information, the Deputy Speaker was guilty of a serious breach of trust, since it is implicit in the legal requirements that the Speaker should respect the confidentiality of the matter;

(6) if the information conveyed by the Speaker was untrue, as it appears to be, then she was acting deceitfully and dishonestly by seeking to mislead hon members;

(7) the manner in which the Deputy Speaker conducted herself demonstrated her lack of sense and good judgment and seriously impaired the dignity and independence of the Speaker’s office;

(8) the Deputy Speaker’s conduct can only be described as being dishonourable and dishonest;

(9) in the circumstances, the Deputy Speaker has proved herself unfit for office as Deputy Speaker, and she should accordingly resign or be dismissed by the House.


The SPEAKER: Hon members, that, of course, is a motion being put forward as a substantive motion. It will be considered, so it will go on the Order Paper, and shall be considered for programming and possible debate.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

The SPEAKER: Yes, hon Chief Whip?

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: I think, Madam Speaker, that the House is being deliberately misused to make a statement that is very clearly false to achieve certain political objectives. If the House can be abused in this fashion . . . [Interjections.]

An HON MEMBER: How do you know it is false?

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: It is completely false, because . . . [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Hon Chief Whip, I think we should leave the matter for further consideration in the office of the Speaker, and we will take it forward on that basis. [Interjections.]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: The ANC rejects all those allegations with the contempt they deserve.

Mr T D LEE: Madam Speaker, I hereby move that this House congratulates Retief Goosen on winning the German Masters golf tournament at the weekend, to put himself in line to win a third European Order of Merit title.

I thank you.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: We object to the process of that motion. It was not referred to other parties.

The SPEAKER: If it has not been agreed to, then it cannot be accepted.

Mr M J Ellis: Madam Speaker, I want to say to the hon Chief Whip of the ANC that it was sent to all parties. We received no notification whatsoever from the ANC that they would have an objection to it, and I cannot understand why he would object to something when we are praising a fellow South African.

It was actually handled in the correct way.

The SPEAKER: Hon members and hon Whips, I really would like to prevail on you to make the process easy. You know that it is really a matter of the Whips making sure that they are together on a question of this nature. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNERS OF GLOBAL ENTERPRISE CHALLENGE CREATIVITY AWARD

                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr S N SWART: I move without notice, on behalf of the ACDP:

That the House -

(1) congratulates students from four high schools in Klerksdorp, namely Arefadimaheng, Cocekani, Schoonspruit and the Christian Academy, who are the 2005 winners of the Global Enterprise Challenge Creativity Award after having been assessed the best in the world by a panel of NASA scientists judging the global challenge in Glasgow, Scotland.

(2) notes that –

    (a)            in a gruelling 24-hour competition, students were
           challenged to form a company to produce a working model of a
           domestic appliance to address the critical issue of global
           warming, using alternative fuel and to develop a business
           plan which improved the product’s financial viability.

    (b)            the winning South African entry was a solar oven,
           which beat competition from 15 nations.
    (c)            the local learners were all students of GET
           Enterprise Trendsetters, an enterprise programme in which in-
           school youth develop business skills, develop businesses,
           compete in different business competitions, and have import
           and export business partners in different countries.

    (d)            it is the only programme of its kind in South
           Africa, and is run under the leadership of Mrs Elsa Phillips
           who pioneered the idea of an enterprise olympics.

          e)  she is also the deputy principal of Dipetogo Primary
             School in Jouberton.


Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The Deputy CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, I move the motion as it is printed in the name of the Chief Whip on the Order Paper:

That notwithstanding Rule 110(2)(b), which provides that questions to the Deputy President must not be scheduled for the same week in which the Deputy President is scheduled to answer questions in the Council, questions to the Deputy President be scheduled for Wednesday, 14 September 2005.

Agreed to.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms A VAN WYK (ANC): Madam Speaker, the vision of the ANC has always been one of a prosperous, equitable and stable democratic society. In the economy we have always believed in decent work and living standards for all in the context of qualitatively improved equity and ownership, management skills and access to opportunities.

Wineries and farm owners in the Western Cape and the Northern Cape have an agreement with the Centre de Formation Professionnelle et de Promotion Agricole where some of the top French wine makers are trained. Ten workers from the wine farms in the two provinces are sent for two months’ training every year. Not only do they gain theoretical and practical insight into the French wine industry at the highest level, but they also return with levels of confidence that help most of them to fulfil more important positions on their respective farms.

The ANC is delighted by the initiative of and the confidence shown by the farmers in their own workers, by empowering them and also investing in their future. Initiatives like these communicate the message to the world that our country has a bright future. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH (DA): Madam Speaker, it is outrageous that the hon Minister of Defence allowed the SA Air Force to spend hundreds of thousands of rands of taxpayers’ money by participating in an air show in Zimbabwe over the weekend.

Air force officials have admitted that the flying hours used could have been far better utilised here at home. It is reported that it costs the SA Air Force approximately R616 000 per flying hour, which is an unaffordable extravagance, given that the Minister of Defence and the Department has recently admitted that the SANDF is struggling to maintain even its core capability.

The money should rather have been spent on fuel for much-needed flying hours for training pilots here in South Africa, and on filling the hundreds of vacancies that exist in critical positions within the SA Air Force. It is getting clearer by the day that all is not well with the management of the SANDF.

It is high time that the hon Minister takes responsibility for this and spends more of his energy and the budget of the Department of Defence on addressing the existing crisis in the SANDF. So, let’s get our priorities right. How is it that the Zimbabweans are suffering; yet they have time and money for air shows? Thank you. [Interjections.] [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr M B SKOSANA (IFP): Madam Speaker, the authors of the United Nations Development Programme 2005, Human Development Report, argue, and correctly so, that inequalities within countries also weaken the link between economic growth and poverty reduction, and that in very unequal societies growth may have little impact on poverty.

Economic growth alone will be insufficient to enable most countries to achieve the goal of halving poverty. Far more attention should be paid to creating conditions under which the poor can increase their share of future, national income gains.

The authors of this report express further concern regarding the dispassionate manner in which the rich countries approach the Millennium Declaration of 2000. This attitude on the part of the rich nations will make the Millennium Development Goals target for 2015 difficult to attain.

One of the predicaments of the poor nation states was to become the passive recipients of foreign aid, which by design was never intended to stimulate or complement self-reliance and self-help economic development models within the poor nations.

In Africa’s case, this crucial development factor should have been built in throughout the process of decolonisation and the demise of the apartheid system, so as to transcend the conditions of underdevelopment, illiteracy, poverty and disease.

It holds equally true that poverty is one of the major generators of conflict and the proliferation of the sale of small arms in developing countries, destroying lives at an enormous scale. It is therefore prudent for the government of the Republic of South Africa also to support Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s idea of a peacebuilding commission to assist postconflict countries in the transition to reconstruction and long-term development.

                       THE TRIPARTITE ALLIANCE

                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr J D ARENDSE (ANC): Madam Speaker, the statements made by the hon Tony Leon and the hon Helen Zille of the DA in this House last week, pertaining to issues relating to the tripartite alliance, are both distasteful and mischievous. The two members’ nerve to pronounce themselves on this matter is unfathomable, given their feeble and uneducated grasp of revolutionary politics. This is not merely a paper alliance created at conference tables and formalised through signing of documents, representing only an agreement of leaders. Our alliance is a living organism that has grown out of the rich history of the liberation struggle, which many of us contributed to while the two of them were enjoying the pleasures of apartheid. It is an alliance forged in the battlefield to bring about the democracy and freedom that all members of this House enjoy today.

It is - unlike the DA, which was formed with the sole purpose of retaining the white privileges - an alliance aimed at rolling forward the gains made by our people to secure a better future for our country. It is an alliance that is rooted in the philosophy of the master race. The ANC-led alliance is here to stay, because our people trust it. It is the only alliance that has consistently stood by our people. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr J BICI (UDM): Madam Speaker, the UDM wants to add its voice to those expressing outrage and disgust at the continued employment of a Vanderbijlpark teacher, who has admitted to the statutory rape of a 13-year- old child. The entire situation is simply unacceptable. An admitted child rapist cannot simply continue teaching. This man contravened several laws and should have been summarily dismissed. That he was not creates an untenable and ethically disastrous situation for all the pupils and teachers at the school.

The negligence of the Department of Education is compounded by the inability of the police and prosecution authorities to pursue criminal charges two years after the admission. Cases, such as these, feed into the perception that government is not serious about dealing with sexual predators, especially those who prey on children.

How will we ever get the message across to the sexual abusers that their crimes are unacceptable, when we are constantly faced with these blatant and public examples of sexual abusers not being punished for their despicable deeds?


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr L W GREYLING (ID): Madam Speaker, the ID has been outspoken in its criticism of the way in which the whole issue of the pebble bed modular reactor has been dealt with. This potentially dangerous and enormously expensive project has not been subjected to thorough public or parliamentary scrutiny. Attempts to receive documentation relating to the financial viability have been fruitless, and civil society activists have had to resort to legal means to obtain the documentation.

Just last week we saw the spectacle of another attempt at gagging of the media, this time by the PBMR Company who mistakenly gave the wrong documents to Earthlife Africa. This is a company that we are trusting with nuclear energy and billions of rands, yet they are not able to ascertain whether they are giving away the right documents.

It is clear why the PBMR Company would not want the information in these documents to be circulated to the general public. In Eskom board meetings of 2002 it was clearly stated that the PBMR is not a commercially viable option for South Africa, and that the uncertainty regarding the international market still remains one of the major risks.

To my mind this explains why Eskom finally decided to rid itself of its shares in this project and for the taxpayers of this country to become the new shareholders. Without the government’s lifeline of R600 million, this project would have been halted. This is in addition to the more than R1 billion that has been poured into it by various government entities over the past few years.

Now that we all are shareholders, the public has a right to know the true picture of this project’s financial viability before we are forced to pour billions of rands into a project that could well prove to be a dangerous, white elephant.

The ID calls on the government to be transparent in its dealings with the public and Parliament on this issue, so that we can all determine whether this project is truly in South Africa’s best interests or simply in the interests of a small nuclear cabal. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Rev K R J MESHOE (ACDP): The ACDP is very concerned about Johannesburg Metro Police officers who arrest motorists at roadblocks without producing a full warrant of arrest and a signature to return of service. Some of these roadblocks are erected in the morning when people are rushing to work, thus causing many to be late. Those that are arrested are detained for hours while police vans are waiting to be filled with other motorists that are accused of not paying their traffic fines.

According to The Star newspaper, the slow communication between the courts and the Johannesburg Metro Police department results in many people who have already paid their fines being arrested illegally. Many of those that are harassed and, at times, intimidated cannot lay charges afterwards as many such officers do not wear name badges and refuse to give their names to the motorists.

The fact that these police officers get paid for every summons they successfully serve causes them to be driven by greed, and to be inconsiderate and rude as they manhandle, very often, innocent motorists. The ACDP calls on the government to ensure that communication between the courts and the Johannesburg Metro Police department is improved so that people who have already paid their fines are not inconvenienced at roadblocks. If this does not happen, we are going to see more and more motorists laying charges of wrongful arrest against the police, something we do not need at this stage. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr C L GOLOLO (ANC): The ANC congratulates Tsotsi, a locally produced movie, on scooping two awards at the Edinburgh International Film Festival – the Standard Life Audience Award and the Michael Powell Award for best English film, Edinburgh. The awards reinforce the fact that South Africa is rich in talent in the context of the high profile of South African film nationally and internationally. Tsotsi will be released in South Africa in September.

The film, based on a novel by a great South African dramatist, Athol Fugard, puts a human face on both the victims and perpetrators of violent crime and is ultimately a story of hope and triumph, of love over rage.

Taking part in the film were cast members Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto, Kenneth Nkosi, Mothusi Magano, Zenzo Ngqobe, Zola Seven, Rapulana Seiphemo and Nambitha Mpumlwana. It is a marvel that our young democracy can boast of a significant group of young talent which is representing South Africa on world platforms. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms H WEBER (DA): Madam Speaker, in South Africa people with disabilities are being sent mixed messages. Our Constitution guarantees a right to dignity and equality, but the dignity and equality of people with disabilities are undermined every day. Government is doing little to change this. Problems include the inaccessibility of health services and buildings, and the dire shortage of special-needs schools and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Yesterday the DA launched its disability policy, which proposes new and better measures to prevent disability, improve the rehabilitation of people and equalise opportunities for all South Africans. This is the 25th important area of policy that the DA has introduced in the past two years. We now have a full set of alternative policies that guide our vision for an alternative government that will act broadly, boldly and inventively in order to ensure that all South Africans realise their potential in an equal- opportunity society. [Applause.]

                     XENOPHOBIA IN SOUTH AFRICA

                        (Member’s Statement)

Dr S E M PHEKO (PAC): Madam Speaker, refugees and economic migrants from other African countries have increasingly become the target of xenophobia. Xenophobia is anti African unity and impedes Pan-Africanism. According to the Pretoria-based Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, an estimated three million Zimbabweans live in South Africa today.

Since 1994, we have seen a growing hatred towards and ignorance of the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers. There are troubling reports about the reported conduct of the SA Police Service towards foreigners, who have obtained documents allowing them to stay in the country legally. There are reports that some police routinely confiscate and destroy refugees’ documents in order to justify arresting them.

Deputy Chairperson Zonke Majodina of the SA Human Rights Commission reports that, “Every week we have to go and retrieve people from Lindela who have been wrongly arrested”.

A recent survey, done by the University of the Witwatersrand, found that 71% of the refugees interviewed said they that were stopped by the police, compared to 47% of South Africans. Immigrants from Europe, North America, Russia, India, Pakistan and China do not often experience xenophobia. Something is wrong, and the whole nation is needed to correct it. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr T D H RAMPHELE (ANC): Madam Speaker, sound and accessible infrastructure provides much-needed access for people, particularly the poor and those in the origins of isolated, to affordable and quality services, facilities and opportunities. It can also facilitate economic growth and diversification, and create conditions conducive to improved production and increased consumption.

One of the tasks of the state-owned enterprises is to assist the government effort to push back the frontiers of poverty. The provision of infrastructure, especially rural infrastructure, is one such activity.

Transnet, over the past financial year of 2004-05, has invested an amount of R21,235 million in a number of rural areas in our country. Six provinces are benefiting from this investment, especially rural provinces.

The ANC applauds the initiative taken by Transnet and urges state-owned enterprises to emulate this shining example in their respective areas of work. Ke a go leboga. [Thank you.][Applause.]

                       TYPHOID IN DELMAS AREA

                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr D K MALULEKE (DA): Madam Speaker, no amount of clever government spinning or high-level visits will make the truth go away: the outbreak of typhoid in the Delmas area could have been prevented. The people of Delmas have been given a raw deal owing to bad planning and greed. They deserve better. I will request the chair of the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry to send a fact-finding team to the Delmas area.

The Delmas municipal manager should also be called to appear before the committee. He must explain how an underground water source became contaminated to the extent that this typhoid outbreak occurred. All available evidence points to poor planning on the municipality’s part, something he should be questioned about. I will also submit parliamentary questions to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Dr R RABINOWITZ (IFP): Madam Speaker, in view of the high profile of the current deliberations at the United Nations and the major role which our President, President Mbeki, plays on behalf of Africa and the underprivileged people of the world, the IFP would like to highlight the importance of certain issues, some at the UN and some at home, which we appeal to our President and his team of Ministers to address.

At the UN three goals go unchallenged. The first is the goal to be a world peacekeeper; the second, a human rights watchdog; and, the third, to foster the health of people and the environment. In this regard, the Republic of Taiwan’s 23 million people are part of the world community. We appeal to our President to highlight the importance of having Taiwan as an observer at the World Health Organisation and of the maintenance of peace between Taiwan and China remaining high on the agenda at the UN.

Important matters at home, or a particularly important matter at home, is to show greater government will towards curtailing the Aids pandemic, with unambivalent messages from the highest level about the HI virus that causes Aids, the provision of more wide-scale testing for HIV, and greater efficiency in the treatment of Aids sufferers with antiretrovirals and vitamin support.

It should not be left to civil-society organisations, such as the Advertising Standards Authority, to put a curb on racketeers like Dr Rath who mislead the public for their own financial gain, while our Health Minister gives covert support to his actions and even overt support through her ambivalent statements on the treatment for HIV.

South Africa will achieve nothing by paying lip service to certain ideals. It is our actions and priorities on which we will be judged and which will be of value to world stability and peace. Thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mrs D M MOROBI (ANC): Madam Speaker, although corfball is a sport that is not in the limelight, the ANC recognises the efforts of George Mwala, a 25- year-old from the Bophelong township in Gauteng. He left for Belgium on 19 August 2005, as a South African delegate, to attend a train-the-trainer course for the purpose of acquiring skills so that when he returns he can impart the skills to develop other South Africans.

He has achieved the following. He started playing corfball in 1994. In 1999 he represented the South African national team in the World Cup in Australia. In 2001 he played for the under-23 team in the World Youth Championship, which was hosted by South Africa. In 2003 he represented South Africa’s senior team in the World Championship in Holland. In the very same year, 2003, he participated as an assistant coach for the South African under-23 team in the World Championship in Holland.

The ANC-led government, inspired by the spirit of the Freedom Charter, has made it possible for young people to discover their talent. I thank you, Madam Speaker. [Applause.]


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY: Madam Speaker, I want to express my appreciation of the statement made by the hon Maluleke, and say that we appreciate your point about the need for us to investigate whether somebody is liable for the problem at Delmas. We did identify that, and we are investigating the matter as a department. However, the portfolio committee should continue with its own investigation. We would appreciate that.

I also want to say that we have specialists that are resident at the place. The water is being tested on a daily basis, and we just got results at 13h00. The quality of water is improving in the area, but at present there are water tanks that have been delivered there, so people are also getting potable water as we speak. I cannot elaborate on all that we are doing there, but I will await questions at a later stage.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS: Hon Speaker and hon members, one would indeed like to thank the hon member who raised the issue of our partnership programme on training of the wineworkers, which is a joint programme between South Africa and the Centre de Formation Professionnelle et Promotion Agricole with the French government.

It is indeed an important programme, because it empowers our workers, particularly some of those who are interested in starting wineries in their own right and to understand better what it is that they need to do to improve their own situation. This programme started two years ago, and as we speak today, 10 of our young people are already there, and I have asked the Deputy Minister to go to the graduation, which will be held in Burgundy, France, on 21 October.

Perhaps the reason why one felt that the Deputy Minister must go is that he himself is of French origin. We always pronounce his name “Du Toit”, but actually his surname is “Du Twa”. [Laughter.] We hope that this programme will eventually assist us to breed new black wineries in this country. [Applause.]


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS: Speaker, I just want to say that I am aware of the problem of some of the asylum seekers, and the claim of the asylum seekers and refugees who have been caught up in a situation where the police have arrested them and taken them to Lindela.

It is a matter that we are dealing with, together with the police. However, I am not aware whether the SA Human Rights Commission has actually had to go and collect some of those people, weekly, from Lindela. I am not aware that it is a problem that we have had on a weekly basis. I will be very happy if we could be supplied with the statistics, so that we are aware of how rampant this problem is.

In fact, it is not the problem of the Department of Home Affairs. I am happy that you have made the point that it is a problem that is a responsibility of the police. I also want to challenge society at large, especially the public representatives, because it is a problem that we need to deal with.

Some of the xenophobic tendencies we see amongst police, in particular. The problem of police who simply arrest people at random is a problem that we have inherited. It has been there in our society - if you see a person, particularly a person with dark skin, then you assume that that person is a foreigner.

Personally, I am a victim of that kind of a problem. I have children who are light-skinned and dark-skinned, and the dark-skinned ones have been stopped several times, and questioned on whether they are South African or not. In fact, we also have people in this country who come from Eastern Europe and from Asia who are here illegally, and you never see them being stopped and taken to Lindela.

It is a problem of stereotypes; of socialisation of the kinds of immigration officers and police we have in this country, because of the problem of our past, as I said.

I am saying that I challenge society and I challenge, in particular, our public representatives to assist us to deal with this problem of these racial stereotypes, which we have in our society. Thank you.

                         AIRSHOW IN ZIMBABWE

                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam Speaker, it is an established international practice that, in peace time, defence forces not only train the men and women in the armed forces, but periodically they create shows and so on to give their trainees an opportunity to test their skills and their performance against that of other defence forces.

Therefore, the participation of the SA Air Force in the air show in Zimbabwe is critical for this purpose. Members of the air force must be familiar with measuring their own skills and performance against others.

Secondly, in this region of Southern Africa, where the old SA Defence Force left us a hostile atmosphere, it is critical that the air force and the SA National Defence Force as a whole undertake programmes and activities that build relations between the SANDF and the countries of the region.

I must add that, at the present time, against the backdrop of the post-Cold War period, the South African military defence industries are increasingly attracting the attention of the emerging African market; increasingly, defence forces are interested in seeing what equipment and capabilities we have.

It is our task to display this, to take advantage of every opportunity so that this emerging African market, which is paying heavily in dollars and marks and so on, is increasingly attracted to come down South, and spend their rands here. [Interjections.]

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: But we have no money.

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: If you do not market yourself, you do not get money. It does not come looking for you; you must advertise. Therefore I just want to say that we are determined to strengthen relations between ourselves and the countries of our region.

There is no crisis; this country is not in danger. I do not know what the hon Shah is talking about when he talks about a threat. What threat? What threat is there when we are surrounded by countries that today are friendly to South Africa, that are looking forward to the leadership of South Africa. [Interjections.] I thank you. [Applause.]

                     PEBBLE BED MODULAR REACTOR

                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, I would like to respond to the statement by the hon Greyling, in respect to the pebble bed modular reactor. I think the one thing that we must be clear about is that the world is in need of choices, or the world must exercise choices of alternative sources of energy.

In respect to Hurricane Katrina just a few weeks ago, in the gulf states of the United States, it was shown that the waters in the Gulf of Mexico are now five degrees warmer than they were 10 years ago.

In this context, the choice of fossil fuel is limited. As a developing country, South Africa is really constrained, partly because our carbon emissions are relatively high for a developing country. So, in the exercising of choices, we need to demonstrate foresight. Part of that demonstration is clearly experimentation and developing alternative models.

I would like to ask the hon Greyling and others not to put it down before it is developed. At the same time, we must give these passionate nuclear scientists in South Africa an opportunity to develop the alternatives.

You cannot ask them to do so in a context of the glare of the spotlight. You cannot ask them to come here, week after week, before the portfolio committees, to explain the progress made in the past week. Research is like this. Development tends to be like this.

We need to support the global desire for alternative energy sources, and South Africa, right now, can be right at the leading edge of developing alternatives.

I would like to ask the hon Greyling and other environmentalists like him to support this, and to not put it down, neither to pooh-pooh it, nor to claim, “Never in my backyard”. South Africa will drive the alternatives. Thank you. [Applause.]


The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Madam Speaker, and good afternoon to the hon members. First things first: Hon Speaker, today I am celebrating my 63rd birthday. [Applause.]

The ANC is happy that the matter of floor-crossing is being debated in this House today. This creates space for us to respond to the many comments by critics of the measure, inside and outside of this House; especially those, whose parties and organisations during the days of Codesa were already pushing for a dispensation that would allow public representatives to change their party membership in Parliament without losing their seats.

Last week the media asked Cabinet’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, whether the government might want to scrap the floor-crossing legislation, given what was depicted as a vastly popular rejection of the system. We disputed the view that there is universal frustration around floor-crossing. We indicated to the media that our own experience in the ANC and in government, extending over the many instances of interaction with our people, is that the matter does not get raised at all as a concern. It does not appear anywhere on the radar screen of issues that trouble our people.

The media in South Africa has always shown keen interest in this question. Earlier on in the life of our democratic dispensation they placed the matter firmly on the agenda of public discourse. The media, of course, were supporting a position that the Democratic Party was advancing at the Codesa negotiations. Messrs Collin Eglin and Ken Andrew were the prime movers of that position. Mr Eglin, astute politician that he was, and the Democratic Party’s political advisors must have reckoned that democratic transformation in South Africa was going to benefit particular political organisations.

They must have counted amongst such beneficiaries, the ANC as the leading force in the national liberation movement and the Democratic Party, as the traditional base for liberalism in South Africa. In that scenario, the Democratic Party would possibly pick up voters who would leave the National Party principally, as that party was bound to haemorrhage in the wake of the political changes in the country. That is why the DA has been arguing for a two-party parliamentary system: the ruling party and the opposition party, which in the current situation therefore means the ANC and the DA.

The Natal Witness of 14 June 2002 captures the kernel of the argument, for floor-crossing is captured as being espoused by the Democratic Party and some sections of the media. In that issue’s editorial, the newspaper wrote, among other things:

From early on in South Africa’s relatively new democratic dispensation, many people found reason to regret the provision that parliamentarians could not cross the floor without losing their seats. It was felt that this inflexible system was not sufficiently supportive to the shifting tides of political opinion.

The editorial went on to argue that:

Political parties can move away from the principles that they once espoused and individual politicians can find cause to change parties, just as voters can become disenchanted with parties they once supported.

As will be noticed from the date of the piece, the editorial was a response to the adoption by this House of floor-crossing. The newspaper welcomed the decision. The same sentiments the newspaper expressed in arguing the case for floor-crossing were conveyed by the Democratic Party at a meeting that they had on 30 January 2001, with former Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

The hon Tony Leon and his Chief Whip, hon Douglas Gibson, went to see Comrade JZ as leader of government business at the time to submit to him proposals for the possible introduction of legislation in Parliament in terms of section 23(a) of schedule 6 of the Constitution. They presented a draft Bill that they had been working on for some time, which they called the “Freedom of Association in Legislatures Bill”. The Bill observed in its preamble:

Item 23(a) of schedule 2 of the previous Constitution provides that an Act of Parliament may be passed to provide for the manner in which it will be possible for a member of a legislature, who ceases to be a member of the party which nominated that member, to retain membership of such legislature and that such an Act may also provide for any existing party to merge with another party; or any party to subdivide it into more than one party.

The last part of the preamble argued that:

The process of deepening democracy in South Africa has developed to such a stage as to make the realignment of political parties necessary and desirable.

The ANC was not quite ready in the beginning to engage in a full-blown discussion on floor-crossing. We started two processes to initiate discussion and to inform the party of the best avenue it could pursue going forward in the face of sustained attacks for being “intransigent”, “inflexible” and even “antidemocratic”. The ANC remained unconvinced. Its argument was that the system would disrupt the new processes and procedures of our young democracy. In 2002, however, we supported the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Act, Act 18 of 2002, which created floor-crossing at municipal council level. This was followed by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Amendment Act, Act 2 of 2003, which enabled members of the NA or provincial legislatures to cross the floor in similar circumstances as municipal council members.

The question must be asked: If some section of the media and the main opposition party here wanted floor-crossing early on in our democratic dispensation, why the change of heart now? [Interjections.] I presume that part of the answer will be found on the letters’ page in today’s The Star, as well in the Cape Argus. One of the readers of The Star, Len Anderson of Banbury Cross writes:

One could say the DA is either lying about how it expected the floor- crossing saga to end up or is too naïve. I find it hard to believe that Tony Leon and Douglas Gibson are naive. They expected gains from floor- crossing and they did make a few. Unfortunately, when the DA started losing support from the same policy it helped to create, it started crying foul.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTY: Madam Speaker, I could hardly believe my ears, because the hon Minister said that Tony Leon and Douglas Gibson are either lying or they are naïve. He then went on to say that he cannot believe that they are naïve and the clear implication is that hon members of this House are lying, which is not possible. Would you ask him to withdraw that remark?

The SPEAKER: No hon member, the initial mention of possibly lying of being naïve was a quote. Secondly, it is related, not to specific members, but to the DA. That is not unparliamentary. Hon Minister, please proceed.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a point of order. The hon Minister specifically mentioned Mr Gibson and Mr Leon by name.[Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: That was part of the quote.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, I would urge you to consider the Hansard and let us have a proper ruling on that.

The SPEAKER: I will take your advice, hon member, and consider the Hansard. Please proceed, hon Minister.

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: I repeat: Unfortunately, when the DA started losing support from the same policy it helped to create, it starting crying foul. [Applause.]

Anderson indicates in his letter that he is an opponent of floor-crossing, but let us please be fair to the DA and point out that the draft Bill they had handed over to Comrade Zuma, had the following stipulation:

Any member who can prove to the reasonable satisfaction of the electoral commission that the party that nominated him or her has deviated significantly and materially from the policy and principles on which that member was elected, he or she may resign from such a party but remain a member of the legislature until the next election.

The draft Bill also proposed that:

Ten members of any party or ten per cent of the members of any party, whichever is greater, may, subject to subsection (2), at any stage subdivide to form another party.

In the discussion on television the other day the hon Douglas Gibson denied this. [Interjections.] Subsection (2) made the following point:

The members of the party wishing to form another party must lodge with the electoral commission a statement of intent, signed by all these members within 14 days of the formation of the new party.

I don’t know, of course, how all of this would have worked, given the fact that some of the parties present in this House have expelled members they suspected of harbouring a desire to defect to save their seats. They have been sniffing them out. [Laughter.] I don’t know who under those circumstances would want to give “a notice of intention” to defect and still not be expelled! It is clear to us that the only reason the opposition and some sections of the media are no longer supporting floor- crossing has to do with the fact that the system has largely benefited the ANC. [Applause.]

We are being called upon in a sense to agree to adopt principles and laws that should only benefit the opposition and when they do not have such an effect, we must be pressurised to scrap them. We are not going to be pushed in that way. Democratic practice does not mean that we must chop and change laws at the whim of opposition structures and individuals.

The floor-crossing system has not undermined our democratic values. It has not been found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court and there is no compelling reason at this time to scrap it. Of course, we are open to intelligent debate and discussion on the matter, where we shall be shown that it is necessary to change the law. [Applause.]

Chopping and changing is part of the make-up of the DA. They supported the right of termination of pregnancy and the abolition of capital punishment, until they were attracted to the conservative bloc in our country; political ground that they believe needed to be exploited for recruitment, even to the point of sacrificing principle, as long as their move brought in a few thousand right-wing voters. That is the crux of the matter. [Applause.]

Mr R COETZEE: Madam Speaker, I suspected there was going to be some debate in this House today about which party introduced floor-crossing into our law and politics. I didn’t expect a rather potted history of the saga from the Minister of Safety and Security who, as a communist, has a record of misunderstanding history. [Interjections.]

Regarding the subject of changes, I am glad to see that the Minister of Finance’s economic policy has become the dominant one, because once upon a time the Minister of Safety and Security’s economic policy dominated. So, obviously, you are also capable of change, sir, and we will urge you to change more often. [Interjections.]

The fact is that the legislation in its current form was drafted and driven through Parliament by the ANC when it came to be useful to the ANC and, until that point, the ANC was not interested in it. And some parties supported it at the time, including the NNP and the DA. Other parties represented here today, such as the ID and the National Democratic Convention, were established through floor-crossing.

It is also true that almost all the parties represented in this House have accepted defectors into their ranks or have invited members from other parties to join theirs. So there are few floor-crossing virgins here, except those who suffer from a lack of opportunity or are so unattractive that nobody is interested in them.

However, our job today, if you have actually read the Order Paper, is not to argue over the genesis of floor-crossing. Our responsibility as legislators now is to look critically at the legislation, to assess the manner in which it is being used, to determine its impact on our democratic processes and, above all, to listen to what the voters are saying about it. Once we have done that, our job is to respond in the appropriate way.

The simple truth is that floor-crossing undermines the will of the people because in our electoral system electors vote for parties and not for individual candidates. The fundamental problem lies with our electoral system, which does not provide for adequate accountability to voters, as the ANC should know. [Interjections.] Indeed, too many individual public representatives do not feel a personal obligation to the voters because they are not directly elected by the voters, including the Minister of Finance.

If the ANC is serious about improving the quality of the democratic process in our country, it would accept the proposals contained in the Slabbert commission report. The DA has introduced private member’s legislation to give effect to those recommendations. We urge the ANC to accept it or to draft its own legislation to the same effect. Minister, I promise you, when you do that we won’t have a fight afterwards about who introduced it in the first place.

It is also quite obvious that the floor-crossing legislation in its current form is written with the objectives of protecting the ANC and making small parties vulnerable, and of creating a one-party state for the ANC and destroying the opposition. In particular, the provision that allows crossing only if 10% of members from a particular party wish to cross fundamentally contradicts the idea that floor-crossing, if it has to happen at all, should be the consequence of personal conviction and conscience.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Why did you vote for it?

Mr R COETZEE: We voted for it originally because we do have personal conviction and we do have conscience. You should think about that. As a result, the ANC is using floor-crossing in an attempt to destroy the opposition. The DA is big enough and has enough internal coherence and enough attachment to a real cause to resist the ANC’s attempts.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: What is the cause?

Mr R COETZEE: The cause is to have a free country in which there is actually increased opportunity for people; we do not go down on the human development index, we actually go up. That is what you should think about.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Madam Speaker, would the hon Coetzee take a question?

Mr R COETZEE: No, I won’t. Madam Speaker, the proliferation of political parties does nothing for the advancement of democracy in our country. Those parties lack the ability to properly participate in the work of Parliament and deliver nothing to the electorate. Of course, the ANC’s scheme to destroy or divide the opposition will come back to haunt it, because everybody knows that the ANC itself is the most divided party in South Africa. [Interjections.]

Very soon, Mr Zuma’s people and Mr Mbeki’s people will want to part ways, and I think I know which side of that divide the Minister of Safety and Security is on, but maybe the Minister of Finance would like to tell us where he stands. [Interjections.] Floor-crossing could then cause the government itself to collapse which, I suspect, is what the Minister of Safety and Security wants. But the most important aspect of our analysis is, and this is where the ANC needs to listen with its ears and not with its mouth: The most important thing to consider is what the voters are saying.

Is there anybody in this House who has even the slightest doubt – and clearly there is – that the voters from across the political spectrum abhor floor-crossing? It disgusts them and we are obviously more in touch with your voters than you are, sir. They are sick and tired of it and they want it to stop. We are the representatives of the people. If we refuse . . . [Interjections.] The DA voters are people too, Minister. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order! Hon members, please listen with your ears. [Laughter.]

Mr R COETZEE: At last, the Speaker is on our side.

We are the representatives of the people and if we refuse to heed their voice, then we should not call ourselves democrats. Indeed, to ignore the voters now would require breathtaking arrogance and I can see there is a lot of that in the House today. Floor-crossing compromises democracy in South Africa. It puts on display the worst of politics: The lust for position and the lure of money, and the people feel betrayed. In our party Colin Eglin was always the driving force behind freedom of speech and movement for public representatives. He was a great parliamentarian. He was a politician of principle and a co-architect of our country’s Constitution. He believed passionately that public representatives should be free to follow the dictates of their conscience and the demands of their honour.

However, what we have now is a gross perversion of this vision and so the DA is against floor-crossing. We have taken a critical look at how it works in practice. We have listened with our ears to the views of the voters and we have changed our position. I would suggest that the ANC does more listening to the voters and more changing in its position, and it might find itself a more successful government.

We propose that this House repeals the floor-crossing provisions in our legislation and at the same time accepts the recommendations for a new electoral system made by the Slabbert commission. If we do that, we would have strengthened the democratic process, we would have reaffirmed the faith of the voters in it, and would have done some good in South Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, we have a birthday today and I’d like to say: Mhlonishwa Nqakula, unwele olude! Halala! [Happy birthday, hon Nqakula! Congratulations!]

I’d also like to sing to him in Afrikaans:

Veels geluk, liewe Charles, omdat jy verjaar,
Mag die Here jou seën en nog baie jare spaar.


The president of the IFP has submitted a memorandum to the Deputy President calling for the scrapping of the floor-crossing legislation and a debate to discuss the matter. I therefore wish to thank the Deputy President for being instrumental in arranging the debate.

In addition to the IFP president’s initiative, the IFP has taken a further initiative to have the legislation scrapped. I am today submitting a private member’s Bill, requesting the scrapping of floor-crossing legislation. [Interjections.] These steps are further proof of the IFP’s determination to have the legislation scrapped and to put behind us a very sad chapter in our democratic history.

Yes, the IFP has lost some members because of this legislation, but our opposition to the legislation does not arise from that. We made our stand clear already at the time when the legislation was introduced in this House. We stand by those objections.

The real reasons why the ANC-legislated floor-crossing are becoming clearer by the day, and also why they would want to scrap it. I believe that the ANC and the NNP devised a constitutional bridge over which NNP members could cross into the ANC, obviously against the will of those who democratically elected them. This is why the legislation was passed and for no other reason. So now that the Nats have crossed, the ANC may as well burn that bridge. They have accomplished what they wanted to.

There is, however, a further reason why the ANC would now be eager – very eager - to scrap floor-crossing. The reason is the danger the ANC itself now faces: In a few years’ time a significant number of ANC members will be wanting to leave the ANC. [Interjections.] The signs are there for all to see. The cracks in the ANC are becoming wider by the day. The truth is that the ANC has to devise a contingency plan to prevent its disgruntled members from leaving.

Just think about the vicious struggle the ANC is currently engaged in - the Zuma issue; the Johnny de Lange smiling issue; the Cosatu headaches; the communists’ threats; the Oilgate scandal; the lack of delivery of essential services to the poorest of the poor; countrywide strikes like you’ve never seen before; and the ANC’s inability to effectively combat crime, corruption, HIV/Aids, poverty and unemployment. Yes, the ANC’s chickens are coming home to roost. O ya utlwa, monna? [Do you understand?][Laughter.]

These and others are the real reasons why the ANC would dearly want to prevent a walkout by ANC members. I therefore predict that the ANC is going to burn that bridge of floor-crossing to prevent their own disgruntled members from making an exodus from that failing party.

Prof B TUROK: Madam Speaker, is the speaker able to give us any names? Thank you. [Laughter.]

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: The only name that I know of is one Prof Turok. [Laughter.]

The IFP, like most other political parties, believes that floor-crossing is not only totally undemocratic but also constitutional theft. We believe it is constitutional theft, because the crosstitute takes a party’s seat away and gives it to another party against the will of the voters.

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Is it really permissible that members of this House, citizens of our country, who have the right to decide where they will place their membership, be called a name of this nature – “prostitute” - because this “crosstitute” is a word originating from prostitute? [Interjections.]

No, no, no. We have to maintain certain levels of propriety in the House. I think it’s completely unacceptable that when members of our society and the House exercise what is otherwise a constitutional and legal right they are labelled with a word like that. I can understand it from people in the streets, but from members of the House I believe it’s unacceptable. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Hon Van der Merwe, I do appeal to you to withdraw that word from your debate, because indeed it . . .

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: I never said “prostitute”.

The SPEAKER: You said “crosstitute”.

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Crosstitute.

The SPEAKER: I’d like you to withdraw that word.

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Madam Speaker, because it’s you, I will withdraw anything. [Laughter.]

Floor-crossing is also devised to collapse opposition parties through chequebook policies and other promises. This strengthens the de facto one- party state, which South Africa has effectively become.

In conclusion, the sooner the legislation is scrapped the sooner South Africans can put behind them this monstrosity of an undemocratic chapter in our history. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L W GREYLING: Hon Speaker, not a day has gone by in which the newspapers have not been filled with letters from members of the public expressing their total disgust with floor-crossing. The public out there does not want this legislation and this is borne out by scientific polls that show that the majority of South Africans disagree with floor-crossing.

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Please lower your voices.

Mr L W GREYLING: As a young MP, I have been enormously dismayed by the circus that this window period has brought into Parliament, and this debate is an example of that. I’ve had to endure incessant phone calls from the hon Gibson who has attempted to tell me about the woes of my party and how effective I could be in his party. I said it then . . . [Interjections.]


The SPEAKER: Order! Yes, hon Hendrickse, do you have a point of order?

Mr P A C HENDRICKSE: No. Speaker, is the hon member prepared to take a question?

Mr L W GREYLING: Okay. Give it to me.

Mr P A C HENDRICKSE: Madam Speaker, could the member please explain to us how this floor-crossing is different from that of his leader? [Laughter.]

Mr L W GREYLING: I will get to that in my speech. Thank you.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION PARTY: Madam Speaker, would the hon member tell us what his response was when I told him about his party? [Laughter.]

Mr L W GREYLING: I will do exactly that, hon Gibson. I said it then and I will say it now: You would have to be a much better politician than I think you ever could be to convince me that we could share the same ideological beliefs. [Interjections.] I must say that the one good thing about this window period is that the hon Leon actually greets me these days, instead of looking down his nose at me. [Laughter.]

What floor-crossing does is to allow for frustrations to build up over the past year-and-a-half, and for MPs to suddenly take it upon themselves to leave their parties without trying to resolve the issues they may have had with their leadership and organisation.

I have been appalled by the manner in which some MPs have been able to simply cross the floor on 1 September and then write a letter to their previous leader explaining their reasons. The ID decided to approach this period in a different manner. We believed that it would be better to convene a meeting in which any frustrations or grievances that members might have could be discussed and the possibility for common ground be found. This does not take away a member’s right to then decide to cross, but at least it goes some way in dispelling the mistrust and suspicion that this awful period instils in parties, particular smaller ones such as ourselves.

I will not judge any MP on their decision, because it is up to that MP to justify it to their leaders, voters and, most importantly of all, their members. It is not just a betrayal of the voters, but even more importantly, it is a betrayal of those members who have sweated blood to advance the cause of their party. This is not just a personal decision. As a public representative, you have a responsibility not only to act in your own interests, but in the interests of a vast number of people who look to you for leadership.

This legislation is also inherently unfair. The ANC can sit there confidently knowing that it would take 29 of their members to cross before they were to lose any. We have also seen the spectacle of the DA now suddenly condemning floor-crossing when it was passed with their support to facilitate their divorce from the NNP.

Let us all be honest: This legislation has brought out the worst in all of us, as we’ve all been forced to play by the rules of a terrible game. It has denigrated Parliament, our democracy and the reputation of MPs. We have all in some way benefited or have been disadvantaged by this legislation, but the time has now come to draw a line through it and for us to set about restoring the significant trust that voters have lost. I thank you.

Mr S N SWART: Madam Speaker, the ACDP remains opposed to floor- crossing and believes that it should be scrapped.

I take you back to the original Constitutional Court hearing in the certification judgment, albeit prior to the amending legislation, in which the Constitutional Court said that an antidefection clause prohibiting floor-crossing was supportive of multiparty democracy. The court also stated that it prevented parties in power from enticing members of smaller parties to defect from the party, upon whose list they were elected, to join the governing party.

According to the court, this could enable the governing party to obtain a special majority, which it might not otherwise be able to muster and which would not be a reflection of the views of the electorate.

There can be no doubt that the public at large is outraged at the political shenanigans exhibited during this floor-crossing period. Floor-crossing will undoubtedly contribute significantly to disillusionment with the political process. This, together with widespread dissatisfaction with service delivery at local government level, will negatively impact upon voter turnout for local government elections.

It is clear that our multiparty democracy is threatened with a feeding frenzy being waged on smaller parties. The legislation is clearly stacked against smaller parties. At the very least, the 10% threshold ought to be removed, which clearly benefits the majority party.

Whilst we appreciate that members crossing the floor may have sincere issues of conscience and that parties need to do some introspection, the unfortunate part is that floor-crossing ingrains negative public perceptions of politicians as self-seeking opportunists who do not display the consistency and discipline that voters value and expect from public representatives.

The challenge will be for all members of this House to change that perception by becoming true representatives of the people who elected us and by serving their needs and not our own. I thank you.

Ms F I CHOHAN-KHOTA: Madam Speaker, I just have two questions to pose to the DA: If you are opposed to floor-crossing, then why is it that you continue to invite people to join your party, and why is it that you continue to retain those members who cross over to your party? [Interjections.] Why is it that you continue smiling at the hon Greyling, for example? [Interjections.] It just doesn’t suit you! [Interjections.] The second question that I have is, assuming we do agree and we change the legislation today, exactly how long will it take for you to change your minds yet again on this issue? [Laughter.]

For the IFP, and particularly for Mr Van der Merwe, who I like very much, I have only two words: Ziba Jiyane, and that is all I will say to him to make him . . . [Laughter.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, the hon speaker has posed two questions to the DA, so I wonder if you’d give us the opportunity to reply them? [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: No, no, no! [Laughter.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Because she has certainly put them in a way that suggested she’d like an immediate response. We’d be very happy to do so.

The SPEAKER: No, no, no, you’ll answer at your own expense, in your own time.

Mr M J ELLIS: We’d be very happy to do so.

Ms F I CHOHAN-KHOTA: Politicking aside, Madam Speaker, during June 2002, Parliament passed four Bills that shared a common objective, namely to enable a member of a legislature or municipal council to become a member of another party while retaining membership of that legislature or council, and to enable an existing party to merge with another party or to subdivide it into more than one party, or to subdivide and any subdivision to merge with another party. This legislation at the time was opposed by the ACDP, the FF, the PAC and the UDM.

It is true that while some reflect negatively on the issue of floor- crossing, as evidenced by headlines to which the hon Minister of Defence has just taken objection to, and words such as “flawed-crossing”, it occurs to me that none of these commentators who are so scathing of the floor- crossing regime broached the subject of the legality or constitutionality of floor-crossing.

Indeed the historic context of floor-crossing and the subsequent ruling by the Constitutional Court that floor-crossing was substantially on all fours with our constitutional dispensation seem to have been largely forgotten by those who now claim that it is incongruous to our system of democracy. The arguments used to suggest that floor-crossing cannot exist alongside our electoral system are the very arguments that were put to the Constitutional Court, and rejected by that eminent court completely as being nonsensical.

We have always on this side of the House had ambiguous or differing views on the issue of floor-crossing within the ANC. This is so simply because in the right hands it can be a tool to really promote democracy, but in the wrong hands it can . . .[Interjections.] And it is in the wrong hands precisely because of your behaviour, precisely because of the kind of lies that you go and tell the voters of this country. [Interjections.] Why don’t you be principled and stick to your guns in the first place? Why do you always just come here and say that it was Colin Eglin’s baby, not yours? [Interjections.]

To explain the ANC’s position, under a year ago the President of this country offered the following explanation:

As the ANC debated the desirability or otherwise of the adoption of the floor-crossing legislation the point was made very strongly that such floor-crossing would undermine the will of the people. It was argued, correctly, that our movement had to adhere to the vision contained in the Freedom Charter that the people shall govern.

This, the President suggests, was and still is a pivotal concern amongst many who are opposed in principle to floor-crossing, as it may potentially result in large distortions of election results.

He goes on to state:

Contrary to this, the point was equally . . . made that ours was a very young democracy. Inevitably there would be . . . volatility . . . in terms of . . . social and political consciousness of many of our people. The point was made, for instance, that it would take some people time before they outgrew the negative and false perceptions of the ANC they had been fed by the apartheid regime.

 . . . . "white fears" . . . would take time . . . to disappear, as
essentially white South Africa came to understand that it had nothing
to fear from democracy, nonracism and our liberation movement.

In a similar vein the hon Yunus Carrim makes a similar point when he says:

It is rather simplistic to believe that the ANC just wants to gobble up
every councillor available. Part of the longer-term aim is to
deracialise . . . voting patterns. What sort of nonracial future do we
have if Africans vote overwhelmingly for one major party and non-
Africans almost wholly for a group of small marginalised parties? If
managed appropriately, floor-crossing could, over time, contribute to
less racialised voting patterns.
And don’t we all need that?

The ANC is not blind to the fact that floor-crossing is a phenomenon that could also affect its own majority in this House or any other legislature. The President says in his analysis of a year ago:

. . . even supporters of the ANC, who had come into the movement because    of their opposition to apartheid, might now want to move to other parties    on the basis that these provided them with a different ideological home    of their choice.

The argument was presented that it would be incorrect to frustrate such natural evolution on the basis of a proposition that . . . evolving political consciousness should only be allowed to manifest itself and make an impact on society once every five years.

Why should someone who is dissatisfied be stuck in a position where he or she is ill at ease? What kind of public representative would that individual be, merely biding his or her time until the next elections?

During the debates on the electoral system, many point out that while we opted for an essentially proportional representation system at the national and provincial spheres, and while this enhances and promotes multiparty democracy, it results ultimately in strong parties to which MPs and MPLs are beholden.

The Constitutional Court pointed out, however, that this is not simply the case only in proportional representation systems, but that it is also true for ward-based or constituency-based elections. Crossing the floor is offered as some measure to counter the big-party-boss syndrome. Indeed many of the MPs who quit their parties this time round would cite disaffection with party leaders. A case in point, clearly, is the rise of the National Democratic Convention, which so far has received three IFP members.

The word “opportunism” is often used. Indeed worse words are used to taint and castigate those who leave their original political homes. Many cite the phrase “chequebook politics”, and there have been vicious attacks from those less concerned about the evolving political consciousness of the young democracy we have with all of its apartheid baggage. [Interjections.] These attacks have been directed particularly at those who have crossed to the ANC.

On Focus on Sunday night, there was Douglas Gibson again in all of his self- righteous glory, bleating chequebook politics. This is, of course, not supported by any concrete evidence. [Interjections.] Indeed, when a single MP crosses to a single party, there is of course financial gain to be had in the form of leadership fees, allowances and so on. When someone crosses to the ANC that person has to compete with at least 200 other MPs for positions, etc. [Interjections.] Who is better off, I ask; who is better off? Who is kidding whom?

It is, in fact, outrageous that not one person has sought to write in any significant manner about the change of the political landscape after the previous NNP renounced racially based politics and threw their lot in with the ANC. This association, contrary to cynical predictions of the media, has withstood the test of time.

It is interesting to note that of the new single-person parties formed during the first floor-crossing period, only one remains today. Gone are the National Action of Mr Cassie Aucamp, the Independent African Movement of Ms T E Millin, the Alliance for Democracy and Prosperity of Mr M N Ramodike and the Peace and Justice Congress of Mr M F Cassim. Only one remains and that is the ID of Mrs Patricia de Lille, who I now trust will not stand up in this debate as a party leader today, condemning floor- crossing. But I don’t see her in the House, so I imagine she is out there beating out flames and fires, left, right and centre!

The point is simply this: There are indeed huge risks that MPs and MPLs take in going it alone, and no person is easily moved to take those risks unless it is a matter of deep disaffection or conviction, or both. Parliament relooked at the matter, admittedly in the context of the NNP and DP fall-out, but we were mindful of the concerns raised originally in 1997.

It is in no one’s interest to foster instability with people moving helter- skelter every time there are individual disagreements and better prospects elsewhere. Floor-crossing should be the result of a genuine social and political shift within our dynamic and complex make-up as a nation.

It is for this reason that the matter of the 10% threshold arises. It was the only mechanism we could find at the time to ensure that there is room for public representatives to shift allegiances without it resulting in general instability. This may be an imperfect mechanism, but until we find another one, I’m afraid it will have to do. The window of opportunity is similarly a mechanism to ensure that there’s a measured response to the shift in the political landscape.

Finally, let me just say that it’s all very well for some of us to go around saying the voters have been hoodwinked and we must protect the voters’ rights, etc, but I think as public representatives we have the responsibility of guarding against going to extremes just to be popular with the voters. We must remember that, of course, our courts have found that floor-crossing is both legal and squares up entirely with our Constitution. It is a new experience for South African voters . . . [Interjections.] And you wouldn’t know about it, but it is a new experience for South African voters that we have a democracy, and whether you oppose it or not, floor-crossing has a place in our landscape every single time a Ziba Jiyane stands up to be counted; every single time a person rises and says, “I’m tired of DA racial politics, I want to make a contribution and build this nation”. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Dr P W A MULDER: Madam Speaker, the FF Plus welcomes this special debate on floor-crossing.

As we have heard, the ANC and the Constitution were initially opposed to floor-crossing. The Constitution was then amended, followed by a request, as we heard, by Mr Tony Leon of the DA to allow floor-crossing to take place. The DA requested the amendment, following the break-up between the NNP and the DA, and the Minister referred to this.

The FF Plus warned at the time that floor-crossing should not be used for solving short-term problems. We also predicted that in the long run it would only be to the advantage of the ANC and that it would be to the disadvantage of democracy in South Africa. That is exactly what happened.

Why don’t we learn from other countries? I used the example in that debate as well: India had floor-crossing, and in that country it soon became clear, within the first few years, that floor-crossing was solely used to strengthen the governing party and to oppress the wishes of the voters for the sake of the personal wishes of individual politicians. The examples are there to be studied.

In India, during the time period 1967 to 1973, 2 700 elected members crossed the floor. The majority did this to join the governing party. Chequebook persuasion always plays a role when floor-crossing is allowed. Out of the 2 700 members that crossed the floor in India during this period, 212 became Ministers in the party that they had crossed to.

From the voters’ point of view, the regular floor-crossing periods make a mockery of democracy and of their votes. In practice it means that voters’ voting wishes and their votes for other parties can be stolen without their permission. The FF Plus is convinced that the majority of voters are opposed to floor-crossing, and this may be tested at the polls if you want to try and do that.

Ek luister na baie toesprake in hierdie Raad, toesprake waarin lede die media kritiseer vir die negatiewe beeld wat sommige lede van die media van ons as politici skep. Die VF Plus is oortuig dat hierdie gereelde oorloopperiodes veroorsaak dat alle politici se beeld – dit sluit ons almal in - geloofwaardigheid en eerlikheid by kiesers onder verdenking geplaas word.

Die VF Plus glo verder dat dit een van die redes is waarom al minder kiesers aan verkiesings deelneem. Deur die oorloopklousule af te skaf kan kiesers meer betrokke raak, en kan die negatiewe beeld van politici teengewerk word. Dit is ons standpunt.

Ek is wel bekommerd, met alle respek vir die DA, dat die DA agterna sal sê dat dit nie hulle was wat dit gedoen het nie, want dit sal nie korrek wees nie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[I listen to many speeches in this Council, speeches in which members criticise the media for the negative image which some of its members create of our politicians. The FF Plus is convinced that these regular floor- crossing periods cause the image of all politicians – that includes all of us – our credibility and honesty to be compromised among voters.

The FF Plus furthermore believes that this is one of the reasons why fewer and fewer voters are taking part in elections. By scrapping the floor- crossing clause voters can become more involved, and the negative image of politicians can be counteracted. That is our standpoint.

I am in fact worried, with all respect to the DA, that the DA will say later on that they were not the ones who did it, because that will not be correct.]

The FF Plus was a political party that consistently voted against floor- crossing, from day one, and you can check our record. I listened to many speeches in this Assembly criticising the media for creating a negative image of politicians, but it is political issues like floor-crossing that help create this very negative perception of politicians.

Research will show in its results that floor-crossing makes the image, credibility and honesty of all politicians suspect with voters, and is one of the reasons why fewer voters participate in elections. By scrapping the floor-crossing clause, this can be prevented.

In the light of this, serious consideration should be given to changing legislation to such an extent that floor-crossing in a constitutional democracy and in a proportional voting system, such as South Africa has, is prohibited. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Madam Speaker and hon members, my party views floor- crossing as benign political adultery. We in the UCDP maintain that when someone says, “I do”, it means, “till death do us part”. [Laughter.] We maintain that nothing should separate an hon member from the love of his or her political party - if it had been genuine, and not opportunistic, like TB or any similar disease! [Laughter.]

Floor-crossing in the current electoral system is immoral, despite what the Constitutional Court has ruled. In the proportional representation listing, which this democracy uses, parties do not vote for individual members, they vote for the party, and therefore there is no justification for any member of a party, not even the leader of a party, to claim the seat and stealthily go on to join or form another party.

It is dishonourable for an hon member to hop, skip and jump among political parties in quest of personal aggrandisement. People hide behind the legislation in the constitutional amendment, accepting the practice, but we in the UCDP say: What does one’s conscience say to such a person, especially those who go away stealthily without informing their colleagues in an honourable way.

We in the UCDP will not sympathise with anyone or any party that is a product of floor-crossing when they lose members through the same process.

No one in their right mind can say floor-crossing under the present circumstances is a blessing to democracy. In fact, it is a drawback. When members are elected to Parliament there is no prescribed threshold, but when floor-crossing is invoked a threshold is set. This is done to ensure that those in power continue to call the shots, leaving other political parties paralysed in their wake.

My word of advice to those who are bent on crossing from one party to another: Politics is like a marriage, you leave one spouse for another and before long you feel it would have been better to have stuck with the old one.

Our injunction in the UCDP is that we would rather be doorkeepers in the house of the Lord than dwell in the tents of wickedness through political adultery. I thank you.

Dr S E M PHEKO: Madam Speaker, let me start by quoting the wisdom in an isiXhosa proverb: Inxeba lendoda alihlekwa. [Another man’s adversity is another man’s joke.] Do not rejoice at the misfortune of others, because tomorrow that misfortune may befall you. [Laughter.]

We should not deceive ourselves by calling the picnic that is taking place in this Parliament democracy. It has gone beyond a plutocracy combined with kleptocracy-. [Laughter.] It has now reached the kakistocracy level. [Laughter.] We are now faced with the challenge of ensuring that the democratic values that we promote make representative and participatory democracy work for the poor majority of our people.

How do microwave parties, without being tested through the vote of the electorate, earn a representative status in this Parliament? If 50% of members of the ruling party were to take part in this picnic, would that not be the fall of the government?

The PAC is calling for a constitutional revisit to this picnic, or a referendum by the people who painfully and helplessly watch as their mandate is violated with impunity. [Laughter.] This country needs a democracy that is concerned and preoccupied with the elimination of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, land dispossession, HIV/Aids and the introduction of free education for the poor, up to university level.

The picnicking that is taking place in this Parliament is sending a dangerous signal to the economically oppressed people of this country, namely that democracy has failed. Must they be blamed if they resort to other methods of realising the aspirations for which they sacrificed their lives in apartheid colonial prisons, exile and death on the battlefields of the liberation of this motherland? Injustice begets violence!

The ruling party has a large enough majority to bring about radical changes to the lives of the millions of poor people in this country. It does not need more members to achieve this. Even if it had 100% of seats in this Parliament the landless would remain dispossessed and the poor would remain poor, because their policies serve the interests of the rich minority.

It is policies of a political party that bring about liberating changes to the masses, not numbers bent on self-interest. Izwe lethu! [Our land.][Time expired.][Laughter.][Applause.]

Ms S RAJBALLY: Madam Speaker, the birth of our democracy made each and every citizen of South Africa equal, and with that equality came freedom of choice. The people of South Africa, through elections, chose a government best suited to represent their needs, interests and wants. From this vote, proportional government was inculcated and seats were taken by us, the various parties, through the votes that were cast.

Each and every seat in this House represents the people of this nation and the exercise of their right to vote. Also, each of us sitting or standing here today is not only here because of our hard work for our communities or through popularity, but because we were chosen as the best people to best represent the seat which the people of the party and community won. When we sit here, we sit here not as individuals, but as a representative of the seat.

In the interim Constitution, the MF’s leader, the hon MEC of sport and recreation, Mr A Rajbansi, persuaded Codesa to include an antidefection clause. Therefore as a matter of principle, the MF does not support floor- crossing. However, if a person opts to leave a party as a matter of principle, the MF believes that that person should resign.

However, the MF affirms that in all other respects the voters have voted for the party and not for the individual. Floor-crossing is treacherous and a betrayal of people’s votes. Thank you very much.

Mr P J NEFOLOVHODWE: Madam Speaker, Azapo wishes to repeat its view that every individual has a right to associate and dissociate from political parties. As a matter of principle, Azapo has no problem with individuals or a group of them crossing the floor to other parties or forming new parties.

For Azapo, the problem arises when such crossing is accompanied by the retention of rights and privileges that did not accrue as a result of the individual’s direct contest to acquire such rights and privileges. In other words, if our voting system was such that an individual is directly voted to Parliament by way of contesting a seat, then in that case an individual can claim legitimacy to the votes that came as a result of his or her efforts.

Our system of proportionate representation presupposes that the electorate votes for a party and not for individuals. This being the case, the individual cannot, by virtue of being on a party list, claim to have acquired the right to do as he pleases.

Azapo is now aware that the matter is topical to the extent that more and more voters are beginning to question the very basis of casting their votes during an election. Crossing the floor in its present form perpetuates the perception that the people’s representatives are a bunch of greedy, unprincipled and unworthy individuals. It erodes the integrity of Parliament as the custodian of democracy and diminishes public confidence in our political system. The will and aspiration of the electorate are undermined.

The fact that something is law does not make it morally justifiable. The law on floor-crossing is indeed not morally justifiable and it should be changed. I thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: I now call the hon Green for what I suspect is his maiden speech as a member of the Federation of Democrats, or FD. [Applause.]

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, the FD welcomes the debate on floor-crossing. Today I have heard many self-righteous parties, especially from the opposition side, denouncing the floor-crossing legislation. What I have not heard from any party today is that it is principally against floor-crossing and that it would not accept any member from any other political party as a consequence of this legislation. [Interjections.]

I believe that you cannot take a principled stand against a piece of legislation and yet benefit from the very piece of legislation that you speak against. A party that does this practises double standards or selective morality. Every time you accept a member from another party, it signifies a vote of confidence in the crossing-of-the-floor legislation. No amount of political rhetoric in this House or on public platforms will convince the electorate otherwise.

There are those amongst us today who regard the crossing-of-the-floor legislation as a monster. But who is the mother of this monster? [Interjections.] When and where was this baby born? Is it not true that the architect of the floor-crossing legislation is the DA, which needed floor- crossing to legitimise its marriage to the now defunct NNP?

The governing party was initially very opposed to the principle of floor- crossing, but the DA pursued this route. The baby that was born as a result of the marriage between the then Democratic Party and the now defunct NNP is now starting to bite. And now the baby must be aborted because it is no longer useful. It must be killed because the parents are bleeding. [Laughter.]

As MPs, many of us as seasoned politicians must know that legislation like floor-crossing has unintended consequences. Those parties who initiated and supported floor-crossing have made their bed. Once you have made your bed, you must lie in it. I thank you. [Applause.]

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION: Madam Speaker, what a farce today’s debate has been - from the smugness of the hon Minister of Safety and Security, to the sanctimoniousness of Dr Mulder, to the vulgarity of the person who has just spoken.

The reason for today’s debate is that the ANC has suddenly realised that it could become vulnerable, and floor-crossing may come to bite the ANC. All it needs to know is that the tripartite alliance could come to an end. Mr Cronin says it never will. I tell you it will come to an end. [Interjections.] It will come to an end, and that day you will be very sorry. [Interjections.]

The ANC has created a problem for all of us, this is a problem that all the other parties share, and this is that the law has been written in such a way as to protect the ANC. All of the rest of us – everybody else – has to protect our parties and seek good recruits to counter the chequebook politics and the job offers of the ANC.

My party has benefited significantly from floor-crossing, because we have attracted good people to our party and we welcome them. There are still going to be some more before the end of the week. They are not coming to us for jobs or for promotions, but the other opposition parties have been decimated and this, of course, suits the ANC. The more the proliferation, the weaker that side is, the better it suits the ANC.

If the DA was only interested in itself - because we keep on growing - we would keep quiet about floor-crossing. But we don’t keep quiet because we believe that the voter is king and it is quite clear that the voter, after watching this for the past couple of years, has concluded that it’s not good for democracy. The voters hate floor-crossing; the media hates floor- crossing; and surely people in Parliament must at least stop and listen to this, and ask ourselves: Should we have a look at the legislation? Should we consider amending it, or doing away with it in such a way that we can strengthen our democracy, instead of continuing to weaken it, as has happened for the past two or three years? [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Madam Speaker . . . [Interjections.] . . . Kuza kufiwa, niyadlala. [Sparks will fly.] Madam Speaker and hon members, I’d like to make it very clear in this House, as a member of the ANC, that we in the ANC challenge Mr Douglas Gibson to give us the name of one ANC member who we have given a cheque to. Give us just one name. [Interjections.] Give us that name; challenge us. Give us the name of a person who has accepted a cheque from the ANC. [Interjections.] Give us a copy of the cheque itself. [Interjections.]

Secondly, we’ve been advised by the hon Mr Coetzee to listen to what the voters are saying. Why are they important now, but they were not important before, Mr Coetzee?

Thirdly, the hon Coetzee said the DA was opposed to this legislation, and yet the hon Douglas Gibson on Focus this Sunday said the DA had no problem with this legislation, as long as it did not benefit the ANC. [Interjections.] Now, could this be a reflection of a sense of no direction from that side? [Interjections.]

If you say that this piece of legislation is immoral, hon Douglas Gibson, as the Chief Whip of the Opposition send those members back to their parties. Send them back. [Applause.] Send them back. [Interjections.]

I was under the impression that when this legislation was passed, the opposition parties, particularly the DA, as its chief advocates and sponsors would exclaim: “Victory scored our money’s worth”, for it is they who wanted this legislation in the first place.

When the then Democratic Party, and the NNP, PAC and ACDP proposed this legislation, arguing for absolute freedom to cross the floor, the ANC was vehemently against this, warning that it would one day come to haunt them – as it is now doing. It’s haunting you.

They would stop at virtually nothing to see it through, and took government to the highest court in the country – the Constitutional Court. Well, the ANC-led government finally processed the legislation, but continued further to warn them to be careful of what they wished for, for they might just get it.

It was a victory for the opposition parties. I remember others had a photo of the hon Tony Leon sitting on this bench and saying, “Look at this boytjie now”. That was the victory you had actually won. Also, the Democratic Party’s veteran, Mr Colin Eglin, in his own words said, and I quote:

Now that this legislation has been passed, South African politics will be healthier and Parliament will be able to develop to its full potential as the custodian of representative democracy in our country.


Now, the very same parties are shouting at the tops of their voices, but below their minds and abilities, accusing the legislation of . . . [Applause.][Interjections.] . . . [Inaudible.] . . . misleading the nation and stealing their votes. Unfortunately, some voters are not aware of these facts, particularly those who support the opposition parties.

I therefore suggest that you go back to your constituencies – something you should have done in the first place – confess to having been the proponents of this legislation, and apologise for taking unilateral decisions on this matter. It is cowardice to be asking for this debate to further lure the nation into thinking the ANC is responsible for this legislation. The ANC is not responsible.

It is interesting just how this legislation has suddenly made us realise what wonderful talent we have in South Africa.

The SPEAKER: Order! Yes, hon Ellis?

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, is an hon member allowed to bore Parliament by making the same statement over and over and over again? [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Allow the hon member to make her speech, hon member.

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: I did not know that this country had such an abundance of political analysts. According to them, this legislation could best be defined and described as “wicked”, “crosstitution” and “legislation aimed at betraying the electorate”.

What puzzles me is that everybody seems to be firing on all cylinders at the ANC, accusing it of political hegemony and creating a one-party state - something the hon Douglas Gibson likes saying - which according to them is a threat to democracy. [Interjections.] You are making it sound like we have created murder. There is nothing wrong with political hegemony as long as people say there isn’t.

What does not seem clear though is why the ANC is being thus unfairly criticised. Who are we really supposed to be criticising for this mess? I am beginning to wonder if this is not one of those cases Sigmund Freud would refer to as “misdirected aggression”. [Interjections.]

Let us deal with some of the political hypocrisies, which, in my view, constitute the basis for this confusion. Somewhere in 2000 the DA undertook a very ambitious process. It wanted to create an empire of opposition parties to fight the ANC, with the hon Leon sitting on the emperor’s throne.

This alone goes to show how politically bankrupt our political opposition parties are. Instead of concerning themselves with matters of substance, such as bettering the lives of our people, they are just concerned with fighting the ANC. They went about proposing marriage to all the political opposition parties. They forged some ties with the IFP in KwaZulu-Natal and the NNP, but somehow the situation just proved that the hon Leon was not a good polygamist! [Laughter.][Applause.]

When that marriage was on the brink of collapse, the hon Leon did not go for a divorce, but instead proposed that it be mended with this legislation. The hon Leon thought he had done his political mathematics well, because he took it for granted that members would simply run to his envisaged empire. This was done in order to maximise the support for the DA, thereby building the opposition-party hegemony.

It was viewed as a political strategy, but for some reason the ANC was not allowed to maximise its support because then it would cease to be a mass- mobilisation political strategy and become a threat to democracy. This is political hypocrisy in the first degree.

Those who understand mathematics would know that it is of critical importance that you get all your steps correct - even taking off your shoes

  • when calculating a sum. I think the hon Tony Leon must have forgotten one step during his calculations, because the answer came out wrong. Now he is faced with a nowhere-to-run situation and thinks he can make an empty- vessel noise to make up for his wrong political calculations. What is most absurd is that he wants the ANC to take the blame. It is his own mistake; he can’t calculate.

The most interesting of all is to hear some of these political parties attacking this legislation, and yet they are happy when one or two members defect to them. When this legislation benefits the DA, it’s all good and well, our democracy is alive and it’s functioning properly; it is not wicked, instead it is a political victory about which they stand on this podium and brag. Had they benefited we would have seen the hon Tony Leon on an open bus with balloons on it. [Laughter.] That’s what would have happened. But now they are crying that they were robbed.

This then brings me to the conclusion that the legislation is not attacked so much on the basis of its content, but rather on the basis of whom it benefits. We are therefore not prepared to be apologetic about being regarded as a political home for all. As the ANC we have no problem with members going to either of the parties, asinankinga [we have no problem], but why should people have a problem with those members defecting to the ANC?

Is it because it doesn’t coincide with “Keep-the-ANC-out” original plan of the DA? We are sure as hell not going to be responsible for the political bankruptcy of poor political strategies. Maybe these screaming political hypocrites should learn a thing or two from the IFP – when you are beaten in the game, derive pleasure and comfort from knowing that those who have left your party are “spineless and did not add value to the organisation”, but do not continue to make a noise about this legislation.

As to why you are not happy when “spineless” members leave your organisation so that you can get quality and loyal members is beyond my comprehension. [Laughter.]

I am sure if the hon Buthelezi and his party were on the receiving end of this “wicked” legislation, they would not have been this loud about it. I know, Mr Buthelezi, you want someone to blame. I think you should blame the polygamous hon Tony Leon for this.

On the other hand, I fully understand why the hon Buthelezi was one of those who asked for today’s debate. He asked for it, not the ANC. Losing a member to another party is one thing, but losing more than just a member – your own flesh and blood – is another. [Laughter.][Applause.]

I think the hon Buthelezi should take serious heed of what his own son, Prince Tutu Buthelezi, cites as the reason for his defection to Nadeco. He says in the Mail & Guardian that he is, and I quote, “ . . . tired of too many lies by the senior leadership of the IFP to its members”. If this statement is anything to go by, maybe they should first stop lying and see if they continue to lose members.

What seems to be disappointing about this pool of political analysts is that none of them has been able to come up with a political analysis that speaks to the following fundamental questions: Why is it that first and foremost the majority of our people keep voting for the ANC? That is the fundamental question you need to ask yourself. Why is it? [Interjections.] When all members are given . . . [Interjections.] . . . Listen . . . When all members are given an equal opportunity to choose their new political home - and not at gunpoint, I might add – why is it that the majority of them come to the ANC? Why is the ANC so attractive to the voters? That is the fundamental question you should ask yourself. [Interjections.] That’s a fundamental question. [Interjections.]

These are the questions they should seek answers to, and these are the very questions that will help them save their dying parties, because they need a proper analysis as to why voters are attracted to the ANC. What is it that we are failing at as the opposition parties? The ANC is not responsible for either your slow or fast, painful death. [Laughter.]

Asking and answering these questions will not only make them stand a chance to win a best political analysis award, but will also help those analysts who are on the losing side, as a result of this legislation, to open their eyes to critical issues that lie beneath such severe political defeats. Maybe your policies need some serious reviewing, but you will not realise this if you keep concerning yourself with irrelevant issues such as who the floor-crossing legislation is benefiting. [Interjections.]

I understand that the opposition parties are calling for the reviewing or the scrapping of this legislation. This is total hogwash. The rationale behind this legislation was to allow members to move to parties of their choice without losing their seats, so that our democracy “could be healthier”, to quote Colin Eglin. And this is happening. It is now the law and we are implementing it. There are no reasons for yielding to these demands.

You must listen especially when political veterans advise you. I am happy that the hon Tony Leon is finally starting to be a good listener. He listened to the words of wisdom from our President when he asked: Why should we take those seriously whose political ambition goes as far as being an opposition, as opposed to being a ruling party? Now, I can see the campaign slogan on the next poster of the DA will be “Register to vote” on street corners. [Interjections.]

Yes, the point is, lastly, that this legislation is a product of the DA, and not the ANC. Now, I want to warn you, the DA, you must watch yourself carefully. [Interjections.] You are slowly on the decline. Watch yourself very carefully. You are slowly on the decline, and the ANC is rising, my dear. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr H P CHAUKE: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I wish to make a suggestion: That the Department of Home Affairs open an office to issue death certificates just outside this House, and that parties that want to apply for death certificates may go outside to get them. [Laughter.]

Debate concluded.


                       (Second Reading debate)

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Madam Speaker, hon members, after a lengthy period of consultation, technical drafting and redrafting, I have the pleasure to introduce the Second Reading of the Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill.

Quite frankly, this has been a long and at times odious route where transport officials have had to traverse the intricate details of the law of delict, the Constitution and a great deal of statistical information that is subject to various interpretations. Some time ago, in a Budget Vote debate, I indicated that government was concerned about bringing the Road Accident Fund back to its fundamental purpose, namely to provide assistance to the victims of road accidents.

The fund, however, has never been in a position where its cup flowed over with excess resources. We approached the amendment to the original Bill fully cognisant of the challenges that we face. These include an environment where global fuel prices limit the probably unsatisfactory option to increase levies.

Of continuing concern is the unacceptably high rate of road accidents in South Africa. And with regard to the victims themselves, it has been clear for some time that the current system of compensation is slow, expensive and perpetuates the inequalities in our provision of health care and compensation.

This amendment Bill seeks to speak to the constitutional imperatives of ensuring the progressive realisation of the right to social security and health care, and the provision of appropriate relief without the introduction of unfair discrimination. It does this, firstly, by introducing a system of compensation that is more equitable, fair and transparent than the current system. Secondly, it provides for good corporate governance and addresses the financial position of the fund.

The Bill also removes the unreasonable limitations on passengers in favour of reasonable and transparent limitations for all road users. For the first time, and this is a major step forward, users of public transport will now be able to claim from the fund in the interest of helping build a more equitable system.

The Bill also ensures that more compensation reaches the primary victims of road accidents by reducing settlement costs. This aims to stop the recent trend towards increasing expense to both the fund and the claimant. It also protects those seriously injured who will be able to receive compensation to help them adjust their lives accordingly.

The Bill also introduces measures of transparency in providing health care according to public health care tariffs to ensure that current inequalities are not perpetuated through fuel levy moneys. These amendments were mindful of the need to allow for choice in health care and to ensure sufficient capacity for the critical golden hour.

Finally, the Bill aims to effect some savings to the fund as the new claims come through the system. The experts estimate proposed savings to the fund in the region of between R0,5 billion and R1,6 billion over a period of five years.

It is critical to understand that this Bill is a transitional measure, which allows the fund to continue providing a service to victims of road accidents. The Bill does not change the system of compensation but merely limits the levels of compensation whilst ensuring that the fund does not discriminate against certain classes of road users.

This Bill also does not address the inequities in accessing support or medical treatment, which are hindered by the principle of fault; nor does it address the inefficiencies and long delays of which so many victims have informed me. It also does not provide any compensation to those who were injured in accidents where there was no wrongdoing on the part of the other driver.

To this end, the Department of Transport is finalising a policy process in which the consequences and implications of implementing the recommendations of the Satchwell commission have been considered. The critical policy question is whether South Africa should shift to a no-fault system of benefits, which will be more equitable, reasonable, affordable and sustainable in the longer term.

Such a system will then form part of the comprehensive social security system. The position papers of the interdepartmental committee are currently being finalised and I look forward to taking this matter to Cabinet within this year.

In the short and medium term the Bill remains critical to reduce the current financial risks faced by the fund and it will be critical that the savings affected by the Bill are matched by administrative and efficiency savings within the management of the fund.

Madam Speaker, allow me therefore to introduce this Bill before the House. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J P CRONIN: Thank you, Chairperson. The Road Accident Fund is a bit of a hybrid entity. It comes to approximately R5 billion a year. So, it’s a very substantial public fund, which has a very hybrid character since it’s partly insurance and partly a social security system.

Essentially, the architecture and purpose of the fund is to indemnify me, for instance, all, or the rest of us from civil action. We might be unwittingly the cause of, let’s say, a multicar pile-up behind us as a result of some bad driving. We are criminally liable for anything that might be criminal, but we would also be liable under common law for civil action by all those suffering - the 25 drivers behind us suffering from whiplash, for instance.

Now, the fund takes away that liability and the fund becomes liable for that kind of civil action. The trade-off is that we all contribute when we go to the petrol pump, when we pay a bus ticket or pay minibus fare. We contribute to the fund through the fuel levy. We also forego our right to sue drivers and so on in civil action. So, that’s the trade-off and the structure of the fund, as it exists.

As the Minister has also explained, it’s also a fault-based system, for good reason, because we don’t through the fund want to encourage bad behaviour. We don’t want to send a signal to the public saying that they can be careless and reckless because the fund will cover them. The claim that I could make against the fund would be dependent upon the degree of fault, that is, my fault in an accident situation.

So, if I was 50% responsible for an accident, and that is often the case in accidents - typically it’s often not 100% fault on one side and 0% fault on the other side, because often it’s quite mixed – then my claim against the fund would be 50% in principle for medical costs, loss of earnings and so forth.

Now, that fault-based system, which has the rationale of not wanting to encourage recklessness on the roads, does have negative consequences. It means that the processing of claims can take a very long time because, obviously, trying to establish the degree of fault in an accident situation and apportioning the fault to different parties is quite a complex matter and invariably ends up in courts or leads to litigious types of processes.

It also further means that a great deal of the fund resources are often expended on professional fees; the Road Accident Fund Commission, the so- called Satchwell commission, estimated that perhaps as much as 50% of the funds or R5 billion per annum goes – not in corrupt ways but quite legally as professional fees – to lawyers defending claimants, the fund and so forth. Those are some of the challenges we face.

In this amending Bill, as the Minister has correctly said, we are not changing the fundamental architecture of the fund at all. The Road Accident Fund Commission has recommended that, and we await the further scenario planning and estimations about cost and so forth, about the possibility of moving the fund entirely into a social insurance type of arrangement. So, it will become part of a comprehensive social security system.

What we are doing is that we are amending the existing Act and the existing fund in three principle respects. We are trying to ensure that the functioning and especially the governance of the fund work much better. Secondly, we are trying to correct one very serious inequity that exists in the current fund; and thirdly, we are trying at the same time to be careful and cautious about the financial sustainability of the fund.

In regard to the governance matter, another ANC speaker will refer to that but essentially we are turning towards the department to ensure that the department oversight role and strategic guidance role are much more clearly spelt out in this amending Bill.

With regard to inequity, there is one very serious problem in the fund as it exists and in the founding Act and that is that public transport passengers’ claims are capped at R25 000. So, regardless of the injuries or the merits of the claim, the existing Act puts a ceiling on the claims that public transport passengers can claim. That is clearly inequitable.

It particularly strikes at public transport users - and we want to encourage people to use public transport - and it particularly strikes at the poor who are mostly dependent on the public transport. So we are proud to say that one of the really important things we are doing with this amending Bill is that we are striking down that cap. There will no longer be any cap for public transport passenger users. The cap of R25 000 disappears and public transport users will be treated fairly and squarely like any other claimant.

However, this, of course, has some consequences because it will impact on the financials of the fund. The department has tried to cost the likely impact of such claims with the cap being lifted on public transport claimants. It is estimated that it could add to the funds cost by some 10% to 20%, and here we are talking about some half a billion to even one billion per year, over the coming year. So that’s an enormous challenge and therefore bringing about that change, which is overdue and absolutely necessary, we’ve also then had to look at other areas in which we consider, perhaps, that we can tighten up on the way in which the fund’s money is disappearing.

We have done several principal things, but there are two key things. The one is that when it comes to general damages - this rather nebulous but important dimension of the claims element – we’ve said that from now on we would like to see that general damages are paid only for serious injury, bearing in mind the personal circumstances of the individual.

What we have seen as a pattern - and the Satchwell commission found this – is that there are significant numbers of claims; not necessarily of high value, but significant numbers of claims for general damages. Many of them involving injuries that are hard to determine specifically, things like whiplash which are serious and need to be treated there and then in the immediate context of an accident, but some years later a lump-sum award for a whiplash injury is very hard to pin down and to be sure about. And it seems to us to be not the appropriate use of a general damage award. So we are saying general damages, but only for serious injuries.

We know that it is notoriously difficult, in fact, impossible in law, to define what a serious injury is - is it one arm, two arms; at what point do you determine a serious injury. So, we have asked the Minister – we’ve somewhat thrown that responsibility to the Minister - to seek in regulation to define what is meant by serious injury. But even there we know that that would be complicated and we expect that there would be a rush of cases to test what the courts regard as serious injury. We expect that to happen; we think that’s perhaps the best way for it to happen.

However, as legislators we are turning towards the courts today in asking for this Bill to be passed by this House, and we are asking the courts to take fairly seriously the requirement that general damages - not the general claim, but the general damages aspect of the claim - be reserved for serious injury bearing in mind the personal circumstances.

The second key element that we are introducing in terms of cost saving is to put a cap on the loss of future earnings and support at a R160 000 per annum. So, there would be no awards beyond that for future loss of earnings or support. My socialist conscience suggests that R160 000 is still quite high but it’s not a socialist society; but at least it sets the limit.

At the moment, as we speak there is a claim before the Road Accident Fund for R90 million. So that gives a sense of what we need to rein in, and we think by setting a cap on future loss of earnings that gives some proportion and introduces a cap.

But, at the end of the day, we won’t save costs for the fund by tampering here and there with amending Bills and so on. Essentially, the cost to the fund is the consequence of the very high level of accidents in our country. Therefore the real solution to the problem is obviously to address the issue of accidents on our roads.

Finally, a word about the process: as the Minister said politely, this has been quite a long process; in fact, it came to the previous Parliament in

  1. The amending Bill has been through numerous drafts and extensive public hearings. There were some memorable public hearings in which some of the committee rooms of Parliament were besieged by dozens and dozens of members of the public in wheelchairs, coming to make very passionate and important, I think, inputs about the challenges of the people who’ve suffered serious disabilities, the challenges that they have in regard to the fund, and we listened very seriously to what they had to say.

The proceedings of the committee were also very closely scrutinized by the legal fraternity. I think at the beginning there was mutual suspicion, certainly from me as the Chair; I wondered about the legal fraternity and their vested interests in the fund. Of course they have vested interests in the fund, but I learned in time to respect the considerable degree of practical knowledge and understanding, which I certainly didn’t have, in regard both to the legislation and to the practices of the fund.

I would like to thank all of those who spent a lot of time with the committee making inputs, observing our proceedings and so forth. I hope also that they in turn learn to respect us as a committee and to appreciate that we were not going to railroad any legislation and that we were not just going rubber-stamp things.

I would like to thank the members of the department, Nonkululeko Msomi and Merissa du Toit, in particular, for the hard work that they have put into this, and the state law advisor, Herman Smuts; members of the committee, thank you across all different political parties. I think it was an important, long-winded experience in which all members contributed very well.

I think, it was not my intention but, by taking as long as we did, we proved that Parliament is not a rubber stamp and that we do take public participation very seriously, and we are determined to try to do our best to make good laws. The ANC obviously supports the Road Accident Amendment Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S B FARROW: Chairperson, I have a viewpoint slightly different to that of my colleague, hon Cronin. But just to start off, I just want to mention the controversy that surrounded this Bill for over 10 years, in fact. This was really brought about by a series of events of mismanagement, corruption, conflicts of interests and the general litigious nature of its administration.

As a result of this, numerous White Papers, inquiries and investigations were undertaken, incurring enormous costs, and it culminated in this three- volume, 2000-page Satchwell commission report in 2002.

The amending Bill that we see in front of us today has also been through very extensive public scrutiny, as the hon Cronin has said, over a period of nearly two years. During this time it has moved from position to position even up to the last day of its presentation before the portfolio committee.

I must say that considering the efforts of our portfolio to obtain as wide- ranging an opinion as possible for what has always been a controversial piece of legislation, it has not been easy passage. No sooner was input received on one version of the Bill than it changed, resulting in further research and consultations becoming necessary in order to deal with the impact. The RAF, I might add, was of little help in this whole process.

The chairperson has already indicated that the Bill can be broken down into three parts: that which deals with improved governance, that which deals with equitable fair and transparent compensation, and that which deals with limiting liability of the fund and its inherent sustainability.

The DA has no problem with improving governance of the fund, and hopefully these amendments will assist both the board and the Minister in ensuring stability and continuity. However, what it won’t do is to improve the outdated management style of the fund. The Minister now has a new broom to sweep clean for him in the way of a newly appointed board and acting CEO.

These key players need to now carefully look at the management, operations and administration of the fund in order to see how it can be restructured to move it from its current litigatory role to one of good, sound and cost- effective administration; because this, Mr Minister, is the core reason for the state of affairs the RAF has found itself in.

The DA has on a number of times called on you, hon Minister, to commission an appropriate external task team to investigate and come up with a restructured plan for the technically insolvent fund, which has a backlog of over 400 000 claims and an outstanding liability projected at nearly R23,8 billion. If it was a private entity, it would have already been under judicial management and its senior executives held to task over the endless reports of corruption and mismanagement.

It is a known fact that the salary levels of senior and middle managers are excessive, to say the least, and much of the wasteful expenditure has been because of the ethos of the fund and its overzealous legal department to challenge all and sundry. Consideration should seriously be given to outsourcing or even privatising certain aspects of the fund to improve its efficiency.

Next, let me comment on the most important part of the Bill, that of equitability, fairness and transparency. Yes, for years the Bill lived in the past and excluded or limited passenger victims’ claims for injury. This often included the poorest of the poor whose only means of transport often are taxis and buses. This no longer will be the case and the DA welcomes this noble inclusion.

However, it would be remiss of me not to mention the implications of this inclusion as it could be very costly for the fund if not properly controlled and budgeted for. Estimates from the Department of Transport put the costs of passenger claims at anything between an additional R0,5 billion and R1 billion per annum, and that’s going to be taken into account when we’re looking at the sustainability of the fund.

The limitations or caps imposed on the claims of R160 000 per annum for loss of support and loss of income will definitely have an impact on the viability of the fund as it cuts out the bigger claims and those of foreigners that were injured whilst in the country.

The latter, that is the foreign claims, is a good move as, with the current rate of exchange, many of these foreign claims became excessive. The portfolio committee’s chairperson mentioned the recent claim in the region of nearly R93 million.

However, with this limitation other problems could emerge, and this will need careful monitoring and a special dispensation, Minister. Here I refer to the impact it could have on the tourist industry and its operators throughout the country, who contribute significantly to the fund via the fuel levy and who might now need to provide extra cover for their foreign clients in the way of passenger liability insurance. We clearly need to have a look at that as to what it really means.

The same could be said for bigger earners of our country, whose income loss, proportionately calculated on the proposed R160 000 per annum caps, could be adversely affected. I went out and had a look, and I got an actuary to give me an indication as to what it would cost a family of four, in the way of a premium, running two cars looking for cover of about R1 million per annum, and it’s frighteningly high at about R7 500 per month. I don’t think many of those people could really afford that if you are trying to cover yourself for the excess.

Although there are quite a number of positives in the Bill, there are also many negatives, particularly the removal of the claimant’s right to common law and party-to-party costs, as well as the implications in respect of public tariffs, as opposed to private health care providers’ tariffs, both of whom are owed billions of rands by this fund as we stand here today.

In terms of clause 21, victims will now be forced into carrying additional insurance cover for losses not compensated by the RAF, whilst the offender or negligent driver carries no such burden and in many instances can walk away scot-free, without any common law obligations for damage caused in excess of the RAF’s accountability. In all fairness, this is an untenable position and a fundamental change to our common law rights.

As a worse-case scenario - not the bumper-to-bumper, Jeremy, but more the one that I’m going to be talking about - what message could we be sending out to our motoring public that allows a drunken driver, for instance, with a 100% fault, with adequate resources - and he’s not a man of straw - to maim or kill innocent victims and yet not be subject to claims for general damage? That is the question. Yet, there is nothing to stop the RAF doing the same claim for them because the Bill does not exclude them.

The removal of party-to-party costs will also make it more difficult for our poor, indigent accident victims to access the legal fraternity to take up their cases on a contingency basis as is the case at present.

Before I finish, let me just express concern regarding the high levels of accidents in our country, which have a direct bearing on the fund’s future. We remain one of the highest-rated countries in the world in terms of accidents, and unless we do something about it there will be no hope for the RAF. It will become a bottomless pit, forever topped up by motorists’ fuel taxes every year, unless the Department of Transport, together with the RAF and Arrive Alive call those stakeholders together to collectively tackle this problem head-on at a national conference or summit - which I’ve called for often - in order for this carnage to be prevented.

We need to get real and to start a serious campaign of education, coupled with zero tolerance law enforcement to stop the unnecessary loss of life and injuries to our citizens.

The recently released report by the RTMC on road traffic and fatal crash statistics reflect some horrific figures of 36 lives on average lost a day in South Africa, 20 people permanently disabled on our roads every day, 100 people seriously injured and 90% of crashes owing to lawlessness. Surely, these statistics cannot go unnoticed and the Minister must therefore call an urgent summit to address this serious state of affairs.

I agree wholeheartedly with our chairperson that one less accident, injury or death is one less claim against the fund.

The Bill, I have found, just on a closing note, to be messy, ambiguous and, in every likelihood, it’s going to be challenged in terms of its constitutionality. Under those circumstances, the DA cannot support this Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, the previous speaker said a lot with which I agree, especially when he refers to the administration that is totally failing at the RAF, and that, of course, raises the question: What is the cause of the failures at the RAF? The second question is: Is it because of a defective system or is it because of administrative incompetence? Those are basic questions. I will, in the few minutes at my disposal, strongly argue that it is not a defective system, but massive administrative incompetence.

The best proof that the current system works lies in the fact that adequate compensation is finally paid to claimants, no matter how long it takes. The previous speaker referred to the new board, but, although that board has been in office for some time, we still see no improvement and no light at the end of the tunnel.

The best proof of the RAF’s administrative failures are, inter alia, the following: the RAF’s liabilities run up to around R20 billion to this stage; hundreds of millions of rands are being wasted on unnecessary legal costs owing to mismanagement. As a result thereof, in excess of 6 000 summonses are being issued against the RAF every month, which leads to thousands of writs of execution and other court orders being issued by our courts against the RAF, owing to mismanagement of summonses; thousands of summonses are defended by the RAF, only to have 99% of those settled on the steps of the courts, obviously resulting in massive, unnecessary legal costs owing to mismanagement.

We are all affected by the RAF’s massive administrative failures because every one of us, as we sit here today, is paying 32,5 cents to the RAF for every litre of petrol bought. We are currently insured to get fair compensation in the event of personal injury, but this compensation assurance that we now have is, unfortunately, being removed by the Bill before the House, as I will indicate a little later.

In introducing the Bill the hon member missed the target. The real target is the massive administrative incompetence that reigns in the RAF, especially at the highest level. That is what the hon Minister should target and not try to change a system that ensures fair compensation for victims.

The IFP does not support this Bill for a number of reasons, and many of them were mentioned by the previous speaker. However, the removal of the common law right will leave the majority of victims without any way of supporting themselves or their families.

The limitation of medical treatment benefits to state hospital cost will condemn most seriously injured victims to the widespread incompetence and shortages in state hospitals. This means that if any of us here today is injured in a car accident, and are not permanently or totally disabled, we may be excluded from compensation for pain and suffering, and for loss of amenities of life.

Therefore if any of us is involved in a car accident and suffers injuries such as disfigurement, fractures to the pelvis, arms, legs, as well as a skull fracture, it will not be regarded as a serious injury.

If anyone in this House is injured or cannot work at all after an accident, he or she will only recover R13 000 per month, before tax, from the fund to support himself and his family. How many of us here today will survive on that amount?

The solution lies not in the changing of the system because that system is working. The solution is to address the gigantic incompetence of RAF officials. How do we do that? By privatising the Road Accident Fund.

Government is not in the business of an insurance company. Rather look at the successes of our toll roads and airports, which were privatised. Why not allow the free-market principle, which is successful, and privatise the Road Accident Fund and stop the drainage of millions and millions of rands being wasted by those incompetent officials?

Why not privatise so that people with capacity, competence and skills can rescue this sinking ship?

Ms N C NKABINDE: Chairperson and hon members, the necessity for the Road Accident Fund is unquestionable. South African roads are, unfortunately, the scene of thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries every year.

Whilst the RAF is a necessity, taxpayers are also entitled to have their taxes protected from the financial bottomless pit that the RAF has become. A major reason for the financial woes of the RAF relates to the way in which it operates. The amending Bill before us seeks to address some of these operational shortcomings. Importantly, limits are being placed on monetary claims for loss of income or support.

Similarly, the RAF’s liability for the legal costs of claimants is being repealed. The RAF will also now be in a position to directly pay medical practitioners. In both these regards, the unscrupulous abuse of the RAF and road accident victims by intermediaries will, hopefully, be dramatically curtailed.

Certain discriminatory limitations of liability in the founding Act are being repealed as well. The UDM supports these measures and their intention to improve the useful state of the RAF. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr V C GORE: Chairperson, the ID is extremely pleased that the RAF Amendment Bill is finally before Parliament, almost two years and five days since the Bill was introduced.

It is the view of the ID that the Bill is an honest and courageous attempt to address the administrative and bureaucratic backlogs that have plagued the RAF for the past number of years, and alleviating the undesirable situation of between 50% to 80% of actual funds being absorbed by medico- legal costs.

Despite the many positives, which because of time limits I cannot highlight, the ID would like to raise a number of concerns, particularly relating to the treatment of severely injured victims, such as those with spinal cord injuries and brain-injured individuals.

While the ID fully supports the capping of the fund with respect to minor injuries, it is wholly insufficient when compared to the requirements of between R700 000 and R1 million for the effects of severe disabilities, such as quadriplegia.

In addition, the requirement that medical treatment be only provided by state institutions could be problematic in relation to the specialised care required for brain-injured patients.

According to disability experts, the mortality rate of severely injured patients is in excess of 50% in state-run hospitals. It is our view that a choice should be given to victims of road accidents to seek medical assistance, and not just in emergencies.

Finally, the removal of road accident survivors’ right to have recourse to additional compensation through common law principles cannot and will not be supported.

Hon members, the ID believes that this Bill, although paved with good intentions, will not benefit those most severely affected by road accidents, namely spinal-cord-injured victims and individuals with head injuries. In all good conscience, the ID cannot support this Bill.

The solution to the woes of the RAF is not a piecemeal change to the Bill, but rather a complete new form of legislation. I thank you. [Time expired.]

Ms N P KHUNOU: Chairperson, Minister, Deputy Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, and fellow South Africans . . .

. . . re ne re tshwere phage ka dingana. Go ne go le thata go dira Molao ona. Re batla go bona batho botlhe ba re ba emetseng, segolo ba ba dikobo dikhutshwane, bao, re leng puso ya ANC, re batlang go bona ditlhoko tsa bona di siamisitswe. Ga re batle go bona ba sotlega e bile ga re batle gore bao ba kgonang ba gatelele bao ba sa kgoneng. Ga re batle molao ona o nne wa basweu le baemedi ba ba tshamekang ka ona. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[ . . . we had a difficult task. It was difficult to draft this Bill. The ANC-led government would like to address the needs of all the people we represent, especially the poorest of the poor. We would not like to see them suffer and being suppressed by those who are rich. We would not like this Bill to be viewed as belonging to whites and representatives of those who do not recognise it.]

We want to make sure that the amendments that we propose for the fund would provide for a more equitable, fair and transparent compensation system, and that it should limit the liability of the fund.

We want to make sure that the Road Accident Fund is characterised by good governance. The first amendment we propose is that there should be direct payment to medical service provisions for treatment provided. The claimants used to receive certificates of R25 000, and this was not working at all. It was a total disaster.

Mr Van der Merwe, it is always good for you to attend meetings so that when you come here, you don’t come and say what you think is said in the Bill, and it would also be good for you to go and read the Bill.

We had extensive public hearings. We were told that, apart from the fund taking a long time to pay out, it was a ghost fund. Medical costs were very high and if you didn’t have a medical aid, for instance, you had to foot the bill. For example, apart from the high medical costs, you sometimes had to buy your own wheelchair. We as the ANC are really in support of the R25 000 certificates no longer being used, and that the fund will be liable to pay for the medical costs. We are really proud as the ANC to ensure that this amendment is taken into cognisance.

We are also saying that everybody who is paying the petrol levy - and in this instance I am talking about foreigners - if they should be involved in a car accident, the fund should be liable for the medical costs. We cannot pay for loss of income, as Mr Farrow has said. The chairperson of the committee used the example of a foreigner who was claiming R93 million from this fund. What we say is that if a foreigner does not have benefits, and they are involved in a car accident, then the medical costs should be covered.

Another thing that I am really passionate about is that when you are involved in an accident, each and every one has a right to medical treatment. You can be taken to a nearby hospital. We should not forget that every time when people are involved in a car accident the ambulance staff always asks whether that person has a medical aid or not. We don’t want this to be a colour issue. Everybody who is involved in a car accident should be taken care of, and emergency treatment should be taken into cognisance.

We also say that, should you go to a public hospital and there are no facilities for whatever injuries you have sustained, you can go to a private hospital, and the fund will be able to pay for that. We are not encouraging abuse of the fund.

All passengers who have suffered a loss of income will be compensated as well if they produce proof of income. The maximum or the ceiling of the fund is capped at R160 000. This means that, whether you are poor or rich, all of us who have experienced a loss of income will be paid R160 000.

I would like to emphasise what the chairperson has said on serious injuries. The Minister has to discuss this with the Department of Health to make sure that we define it and that we are clear when we are talking about serious injuries. We should really be clear on what exactly we are talking about, because as the committee we could not agree on that. As much as I am talking about the proof of income, we are saying that for those who are not in formal employment, they can go to a police station and prove their income.

I would not be doing the matter justice if I don’t talk about women out there who are housewives. I am talking about women from Taung, from Limpopo, and all over, who are working day and night, but because of the kind of work that they are doing, there can be no amount that can be put into the amount of work that they are doing.

We are saying that should those people be involved in an accident, there should be a compensation of some sort. We are saying that the housewives need to be compensated. I am not saying that we need to go out and make sure that they need compensation and all that. What I am saying is that if, for instance, a housewife is involved in an accident and she dies, who is going to take care of the family? Or, should they lose any of their limbs, who is going to take care of their family?

We also said, as the ANC, that because the fund states that there need to be doctors who are accredited by the fund to take care of the people who are involved in car accidents, we say that all medical practitioners who are registered should assist as far as this is concerned.

This should not be a haven for lawyers. There are people out there who cannot go to lawyers and we are saying that they need not be dragged from one court to the other. The fund should pay where it is liable to pay.

Kwa bokhutlong, ke batla gore a re tlhokomeleng ditsela tsa rona. [In conclusion, I would like to say that we should service and maintain our roads.]

We don’t say that you should go out and make accidents. Let us be responsible drivers. Don’t drink and drive. Speed kills. Buckle up. Look out for children and pedestrians. We don’t want a nation that is sick. Remember, we have enough deaths through other sicknesses like the HIV/Aids pandemic, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Do not add to them through something that you are able to avoid.

Other people get into accidents because they have a right of way. In one meeting our Deputy President of the ANC, Comrade Jacob Zuma, said, “Don’t make a mistake because you think that you are right. If the robot is green and you have the right of way, look out for other cars. Don’t cause an accident when you think that you are right. If you do that, we will go and bury you.” The ANC supports the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, hon Minister, whilst we in the ACDP appreciate that this Bill seeks to address the financial crisis facing the fund, and are thankful for the improvements in the Bill before us, we still have serious concerns regarding certain provisions thereof, which I would like to touch on.

We, as legislators, should not abrogate our legislative responsibility to the executive. We appreciate that there is widespread abuse of the existing compensation system, and that this may be partially remedied by only allowing claims for general damages for serious injuries.

However, we believe that unfair and unjust results could occur due to the Minister deciding in the regulations what will qualify as a serious injury, as the Minister could, at any time, lift the bar and exclude further claims, should the liquidity of the fund require that.

We are, however, pleased that settlement payments of both general and special damages will be by lump sum or instalments, as agreed upon. The Satchwell commission, as well as nearly every submission heard in the committee on the previously proposed Bill, rejected the notion of payments by instalments.

As I also pointed out repeatedly in the committee hearings, the removal of the common law right to sue the wrongful or drunken driver is not desirable. Additionally, had this right been included, it may have assisted the Bill from constitutional attack on its implementation. It remains to be seen to what degree the Bill will be attacked constitutionally.

Can it be fair that the victim cannot sue the wrongdoer for damages, whilst the fund has the right of recourse against negligent drivers under certain circumstances? This removal of the common law right also flies in the face of the Satchwell commission that stated that: “Road accident victims and their families should retain all rights under the common law compensation.”

Where that victim is limited or excluded in terms of the RAF Act, clearly the victim should be entitled to claim against the wrongdoer. We also believe that this sends out the wrong message that the drunken driver can escape civil liability with impunity.

A short example will suffice, and my colleague referred to a rural housewife looking after children, unemployed, who is injured in an accident, and which injury, say for example a whiplash injury, would previously have incurred damages of approximately R25 000 general damages. This would have helped her through the time of recuperation.

Now not only is she excluded from claiming from the fund for general damages but, additionally, she cannot claim from the negligent driver who caused her injury. Surely this is unjust and unfair.

Whilst we in the ACDP welcome the removal of the limit on passengers’ claims, we are concerned as to the exact financial implications, as previous speakers indicated, with estimations being in the region of R500 000 to R1 billion. Will this, in effect, not cancel the proposed savings envisaged with the Bill?

In conclusion, I do, however, wish to thank the chairman hon Cronin for his patience in getting to grips with this very technical amending Bill, and for the committee accommodating various concerns. We are fully appreciative of the precarious financial position of the fund, and echo the words of the hon Cronin, that we urgently need to reduce the number of serious collisions on our roads.

However, in view of the reservations that we have expressed, the ACDP will not be supporting this Bill. I thank you.

Mr B E PULE: Chairperson, it is an irrefutable fact that road accidents in our country claim most of the lives of citizens of this country. It is therefore imperative that there be some measure of control in claiming. There has been a controversy as to how claims have been made from this fund.

The limitation of the liability of the fund, in respect of nonresidents of the Republic; the exclusion of liability of the claim in respect of an emotional shock; the provision of resolution of disputes through mediation and arbitration, in accordance with the prescribed procedure, will all enhance the cash flow of the fund, hence ensure sustainability. The UCDP, therefore, supports the amendment of the Act. Thank you.

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, reckless driving and mistakes while driving often cost lives. It is, however, pleasing to note that the number of roadblocks has increased, especially in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal areas.

Approximately 10 000 speeding fines and 11 000 fines for defects were issued during the Easter weekend. This step-up in traffic control offences has cautioned drivers to be more careful on the roads, and the hefty fines for offences contribute to this.

Many victims of road accidents have had the relief of the Road Accident Fund, which serves to compensate for losses or damages wrongfully caused by the driver of a motor vehicle.

Having viewed the amendments to the Bill, the MF is glad that provisions have been put in place to ensure that the fund is in no way abused, but that it is available to those who justly stand to benefit.

Regarding foreigners and the fund, it is felt that they should be paid in our currency as the accident took place on South African soil. We do not support a limit being placed on hospitalisation and treatment, and feel that an individual assessment on claims should be made instead. The MF, while having some reservations, supports the Bill. Thank you.

Mr B L MASHILE: Chairperson, hon Minister and chairperson of the portfolio committee, this caring state has an obligation, as per section 12 of the Constitution, to protect the freedom and security of persons. This includes the right to be free from all forms of violence from either public or private sources. Section 27(1)(c) of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have access to social security, which includes appropriate social assistance to those who are unable to support themselves and their dependants.

Although the concepts of social security and social assistance do not enjoy clear definitions in the Constitution, it is reasonably clear that the Road Accident Fund scheme, by virtue of its mandate to compensate people who have suffered loss as a result of death or injury on the road, is included in them.

Consequently, the Road Accident Fund scheme is in compliance with section 27(2) of the Constitution, which calls upon the state to take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the right of access to social security and social assistance. It is precisely because of this constitutional provision that today we have this amending Bill in front of us.

It is, however, prudent that the scheme we established through this legislation performs and achieves the objectives of the state as contemplated in section 27(1)(c) of the Constitution. The principal Act fell short of these objectives in that the powers of the fund required to deliver services efficiently were limited. We have seen claimants who have had to endure long periods – more than two years - waiting for their claims to be processed by the fund.

Imagine the old Bushbuckridge man who worked in the forestry department and got involved in a taxi accident and sustained a broken leg. He lodged a claim with the RAF through the help of a legal firm and said: Ge nka hwetša tšhelete yaka ya leoto, ke tla reka terekere. [If I get compensation for my foot, I am going to buy a tractor.] Six months down the line you meet the same person, and he then says: Lekgowa lela le jele tšhelete yaka. Gape ke kgale, ga ke e bone. [If I get compensation for my foot, I am going to buy a tractor.] Twelve months down the line, you meet the same person and then he says: Ba emetše gore ke hwe, ke gona ba tlogo e tliša ka gore ke tšhelete ya bahu. [They are waiting for me to die, and then they will bring it because it is money for the dead.’’ ]

Here we are actually dealing with the problem of making awards in time. We are of the opinion that assistance is valuable as long as it comes at the right time. Precisely because this is not currently the case, this amendment is necessary and important to achieve our constitutional obligations.

Section 10 of the principal Act provides for the establishment of the board or fund and the executive committee. The board or fund is to be composed of a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 members appointed by the Minister.

The amending Bill before us abolishes the existence of the executive committee. It provides for a maximum number of consecutive terms; it provides for the appointment of the chief executive officer by the Minister on the recommendation of the board; it abolishes the cumbersome selection committee and its workings; it provides for the publication of nominees and appointed members of the board, and their areas of speciality in the Government Gazette; it abolishes the prescription on the specific experiences of the chief executive officer; and it places the responsibility to appoint the chairperson and the vice-chairperson on the Minister.

The above provisions in the amending Bill seek to improve functionality and accountability in terms of corporate governance. The publication of the nominees in the media and in the Government Gazette leads the transparency of the appointment of board members to unprecedented high levels never seen in corporate governance. The publication of appointed members and their areas of speciality affords the public an opportunity to scrutinise the members of the board.

The provision for the board to make recommendations to the Minister on the appointment of the chief executive officer will improve the relations between the board and the chief executive officer, as well as between the chief executive officer and the Minister. This involves issues of responsibility and accountability. The scrapping of the selection committee has to do to with the bureaucratic nature of its establishment and functioning. This will practically shorten the selection process of the board members.

The provision to limit the number of consecutive terms of office is to improve the opportunity to bring new vision and ideas in the governance of the board. We are conscious about continuity within the board, but that should not allow the establishment of traditional membership status to the board. The provision for the relaxation of the prescriptions of the experience that the chief executive officer should possess is an attempt to avoid an unintended job reservation. We have experienced the wrath of job reservation, and we should try by all means to remove it whenever it raises its head.

The provision for the Minister to appoint the whole board and its chairperson and vice-chairperson cements the board’s relationship with and accountability to the Minister. This will practically remove the situation in which there will be an operational standoff between the board and the Minister.

In conclusion, we have listened carefully and we are convinced that the bureaucracy that existed within the fund will be a thing of the past. The delays experienced by claimants will be significantly reduced to acceptable levels. The shortcomings experienced in the governance of the fund will be a thing of the past.

The Freedom Charter calls for all to enjoy equal human rights. It is in the spirit of the Freedom Charter that these amendments are presented to this House in furtherance of the protection of persons as provided for in the Constitution. The ANC supports the Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill, 2005. I thank you. [Applause.]

The MINISTER OF TRANSPORT: Chairperson, hon members, I’ve indicated in my opening remarks that this amending Bill is not a panacea to solve all the problems that are confronting the fund. As I have indicated, we are still going to come back with a comprehensive approach to this issue of the Road Accident Fund, in line with the recommendation of the Satchwell commission. So, the comments by the DA are very much misplaced in this particular regard.

As hon members are aware, we’ve appointed a new board of the Road Accident Fund, with a new chief executive officer. They are under instruction to make sure that these amendments that are going to be passed today are, in fact, implemented.

As executive authority I have regular meetings with the board and the management to make sure that we give them the necessary support to effect this turnaround at the Road Accident Fund.

I do understand that the IFP did not vote against the Bill at committee level, so it looks as if they change, depending on what they are being told from time to time. But, I want to assure the members that, from the executive authority point of view, we are going to be monitoring the board on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that they create the necessary competencies in order to perform with regard to their core mandate.

There are a lot of measures that the new management is putting in place, such as the introduction of risk management strategies, so that they are able to monitor compensation that is being paid. And also, there is the implementation of the assessment method that is going to be properly, fairly and effectively done in order to ensure that we distinguish between serious and nonserious injuries.

I do note the views that have been expressed by this House and we’ll take that into particular regard.

It is also very critical that the fund, on an ongoing basis, measures its performance in terms of the output with respect to compensation, but also, in particular, in respect of impact so that we can ensure that the effect of the tariffs gives rise to reasonable compensation to the victims, especially on the medical side.

With regard to the views that have been expressed by members in terms of road safety, there is a campaign that is ongoing of which members of Parliament are encouraged to be part of to ensure that our roads are safe.

As hon members are aware, as government we are doing everything we can in order to ensure that we accelerate the awareness amongst our people, not only in terms of campaigning, but also in terms of creating institutions that are going to make sure that the whole issue of traffic management in South Africa is done in such a manner that the three spheres of government act in an integrated manner. I’m referring here to the Road Transport Management Corporation, the RTMC, which has started its operations; I think it will go a long way in ensuring that even the objectives of this Bill are going to be reached.

I thank the members for their participation with regard to the Bill, except those who do not want to come along with us in this transitional measure of the Road Accident Fund. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Question put: That the Bill be read a second time.

Division demanded.

The House divided:

AYES - 149: Abram, S; Ainslie A R; Arendse, J D; Asiya, S E; Bapela, K O; Benjamin, J; Beukman, F; Bhamjee, Y S; Bhengu, F; Blose, H M; Booi, M S; Botha, N G W; Cachalia, I M; Carrim, Y I; Chauke, H P; Chikunga, L S; Cronin, J P; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Direko, I W; Fihla, N B; Frolick, C T; Gaum, A H; Gerber, P A; Godi, N T; Gololo, C L; Gumede, D M ; Gxowa, N B; Hajaig, F; Hendrickse, P A C; Holomisa, S P; Huang, S; Jacobus, L ; Kasienyane, O R; Kati, Z J; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, K K; Khumalo, K M; Khunou, N P; Komphela, B M; Kondlo, N C; Kota, Z A; Lekgoro, M K; Lishivha, T E; Louw, J T; Ludwabe, C I; Luthuli, A N ; Mabe, L L; Mabena, D C; Mabuyakhulu, D V; Madasa, Z L; Maduma , L D; Magubane, N E ; Mahlangu-Nkabinde, G L; Mahomed, F; Mahote, S; Makasi, X C; Maluleka, H P; Manana, M N S; Martins, B A D; Maserumule, F T; Mashangoane, P R; Mashiane, L M; Mashile, B L; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Matlala, M H; Maunye, M M; Mayatula, S M; Mbombo, N D; Meruti, M V; Mfundisi, IS; Mgabadeli, H C; Mkhize, Z S; Mlangeni, A; Mngomezulu, G P; Mnguni, B A; Modisenyane, L J; Mofokeng, T R; Mogale, O M; Mogase, I D; Mohamed, I J; Mohlaloga, M R; Mokoena, A D; Mokoto, N R; Moloto, K A; Montsitsi, S D; Moonsamy, K; Morobi, D M; Mosala, B G; Moss, M I; Mshudulu, S A; Mthembu, B; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mzondeki, M J G; Ndou, R S; Ndzanga, R A; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngaleka, E; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Njikelana, S J ; Njobe, M A A; Nkuna, C; Nogumla, R Z; Nonkonyana, M; Ntombela, S H; Ntuli, M M; Ntuli, S B; Nzimande, L P M; Olifant, D A A; Oliphant, G G; Padayachie, R L; Pahad, A G H; Phala, M J; Phungula, J P; Pieterse, R D; Pule, B E ; Radebe, J T; Rajbally, S; Ramgobin, M; Ramodibe, D M; Ramotsamai, C P M; Ramphele, T D H; Reid, L R R; Rwexana, S P; Schneemann, G D; Schoeman, E A; Sekgobela, P S; September , C C; Sibanyoni, J B; Skhosana, W M; Solo, B M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Surty, M E; Thabethe, E; Tsenoli, S L; Tshwete, P; Vadi, I; Van den Heever, R P Z; Van Wyk, Annelizé; Yengeni, L E; Zita, L; Zulu, B Z. NOES-40: Bekker, H J; Blanché, J P I; Boinamo, G G; Botha, C-S; Chang, E S; Coetzee, R; Cupido, H B; Delport, J T; Dreyer, A M; Dudley, C; Ellis, M J; Farrow, S B; Gore, V C; Joubert, L K; Kalyan, S V; Kohler-Barnard, D; Labuschagne, L B; Lee, T D; Lowe, C M; Maluleke, D K; Masango, S J; Morgan, G R; Mpontshane, A M; Ndlovu, V B; Opperman, S E; Roopnarain, U; Sayedali- Shah, M R; Selfe, J; Semple, J A; Seremane, W J; Sibuyana, M W; Smuts, M; Stephens, J J M; Swart, M; Swart, S N; Trent, E W; Van der Merwe, J H; Vos, S C; Weber, H; Zille, H.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): As the result of the division showed that there was not a majority of the members of the Assembly present for a vote to be taken on a Bill as required by Rule 25(2)(a), decision of question is postponed.

Mr M J ELLIS: On a point of order, Mr Chairman, does it not mean that the entire process has to be begun again? [Interjections.] This is not just a situation where a vote is being postponed or anything like that; a vote has been taken, if there is not a quorum doesn’t it mean that the vote is now lost, and therefore the process has to begin again?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): No, it’s the decision we’re referring to, Mr Ellis.

Mr M J ELLIS: Mr Chairman, I’m not convinced, sir, with due respect, that you are correct. I would welcome the opportunity to look into this too.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Let me consult the Rules. Let me do that.

Mr T M MASUTHA: Chair, could we request that he allude to a specific Rule on which he relies in making that proposition? [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): We are busy consulting the Rules; let’s give ourselves a few minutes to do that.

Order, hon members. The Rule is clear that after the bells have been rung for five minutes and there is still no quorum, the presiding officer may suspend the proceedings or postpone the decision of the question. So the decision on the question has been postponed, Mr Ellis. [Applause.] Therefore the decision will be taken at another sitting.

Mr T M MASUTHA: Could we request from the DA that they apologise for misleading the House? [Interjections.][Laughter.]

Mr M J ELLIS: Chairman, could I ask that member to apologise for even suggesting that we were deliberately misleading the House?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order, order! Mr Ellis, order! Could you please settle down?

Hon Masutha, I am advised that you did use an unparliamentary phrase: you said, “deliberately misleading the House”. Could you withdraw that part of your statement?

Mr T M MASUTHA: Chairperson, I said, “for misleading”, I didn’t say, “deliberately misleading”. Could I request that you check the Hansard to verify the exact statement I made?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Mr Masutha, please withdraw the statement.

Mr T M MASUTHA: I duly withdraw.

Mr P A C HENDRICKSE: Chairperson, could I please request that the Table ascertain whether all the bells in the parliamentary precincts are working? I was in a vicinity where no bells were ringing.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): That will be done, hon Hendrickse. [Interjections.]


The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Hon members, I have to give a ruling, so could I have your attention, please?

Hon members, during statements on 6 September 2005 the hon V C Gore raised a point of order in regard to the statement made by Mr M Swart. He contended that Mr Swart had made allegations against the hon Ms P De Lille that could only be made by way of a substantive motion. He further contended that members are not allowed to impute improper motives to other members, cast personal reflections on their integrity or verbally abuse them in any way, except upon a substantive motion which would comprise a clearly formulated and properly substantiated charge.

I undertook to study the Hansard and return to the House with a considered ruling, which I have now done. We have studied the Hansard and I rule as follows: There is nothing in the statement by Mr Swart that would warrant bringing a substantive motion before the House in accordance with established practice. Rule 63, however, determines that no member shall use offensive or unbecoming language, and one remark by Mr Swart falls within the ambit of this Rule, namely his appeal to Ms De Lille to start practising her politics in an honest manner.

It is unparliamentary to impute that a member is being dishonest and I therefore request Mr Swart to withdraw that particular remark. I now call on the hon Swart. Could you approach a microphone for recording purposes, Mr Swart? Thank you.

Mr M SWART: I withdraw, Chair.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Thank you, hon member. Order! The hon Chief Whip of the Opposition on the same occasion also rose on a point of order stating that Ms De Lille had made a certain allegation in the House. He added that she was not called upon by the Chair.

May I take this opportunity to remind the hon Chief Whip of the Opposition that he and any other member was entitled, at the time, to challenge the statement by rising on a point of order. Whips have a particular duty to assist the Chair in protecting the dignity and decorum of the House, and I would urge them to be vigilant in this respect.

The second ruling is on the point of order taken by the hon Chauke. During the debate on the Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry on 7 September 2005, the hon Mr H P Chauke raised a point of order in regard to the speech of Mr M W Sibuyana.

I undertook to study the Hansard and return to the House with a ruling. Having now had the opportunity to study the Hansard I rule as follows. Mr Chauke said: I want to say that it is not correct for a member to tell Parliament lies when speaking in Xitsonga as if we cannot understand that. What he said is really not correct, and he must not continue telling lies.

The Chair cannot be expected to judge on the accuracy of any statement made in the House, in other words, to determine what is true and what is untrue. If a member disagrees with a statement that has been made, that member should use the opportunities provided by the debate to give the House a different version.

Mr Chauke’s objection does not therefore constitute a point of order. However, Mr A M Mpontshane correctly stated in raising his point of order that Mr Chauke contravened the Rule, which prohibits the use of unparliamentary language, when he said that Mr Sibuyana was telling lies, and that he must not continue telling lies. I now ask Mr Chauke to withdraw these remarks. Mr H P CHAUKE: Thank you very much for this opportunity, Chairperson. I was speaking in Xitsonga, so I think that’s why there was this misunderstanding.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hon Chauke, please withdraw. [Laughter.]

Mr H P CHAUKE: I withdraw.


Mr F BEUKMAN: Hon House Chairperson, hon members, it’s a privilege to introduce this historic debate in the House today. The debate is historic in the sense that it is not merely an introduction by the chairperson, but also an opportunity for members of the Standing Committee On Public Accounts to highlight important work that we have done during the past eight months.

The non-Scopa members taking part in today’s debate will, hopefully, join our committee on a permanent basis in future. As a committee, we have discussed the need to debate our resolutions on various occasions in the past three years, as well as in our strategic workshop at Saldanha in January 2005. We are indebted to the Whippery for proactively taking this matter forward.

This is a further strengthening of the oversight role of Parliament as an institution, given the increased exposure to the decisions and recommendations of Scopa. This information is not of direct relevance to the accounting officers only, but also to members of Parliament and the general public.

We, as a committee, therefore welcome this initiative and trust that the spirit of the debate will contribute to strengthening financial accountability in the public sphere. This approach is also in line with international practice.

In the 2003 CPA survey on public accounts committees it is indicated that in the case of 57% of jurisdictions, public accounts reports are debated in the House and that 43% are not. South Africa’s contribution this afternoon will take the percentage over the 60% mark.

The study group on public accounts committees, PACs, of the CPA highlights certain aspects in their 2003 report. The study group considers the work of the PACs to be of such importance in maintaining the integrity of a country’s public sector that an annual debate on its work would appear essential. This would be minimum acknowledgement from Parliament that it takes seriously the need to ensure that the country’s public sector is functioning properly and in the wider public interests. This is part of the accountability price that governments must pay in exchange for office.

I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the members of Scopa and to the two members of the group secretariat, Ntombi Madide and Gershwyn Dixon, for their role in the finalisation of the resolutions that we are discussing this afternoon.

Once again, we were able to produce consensus reports on important issues of financial oversight and accountability. The reports will serve as an important tool and framework for departments, constitutional institutions, public entities and national government business enterprises.

The adoption of the reports by the House is a very important step in the monitoring role of Parliament over the executive. The debate today is also a practical consequence of Parliament’s role to scrutinise and oversee executive action as envisaged by section 43 of the Constitution of the Republic.

At a recent Wilton Park Conference on Promoting Good Governance and the role of Parliament in June 2005, participants agreed on a strategy to improve oversight and to strengthen committee structure. I quote from the conference report:

The second strategy for improving oversight is strengthening the
committee structure. Parliamentary committees are powerful tools of
oversight as they bring out spectacular information, and governments are
often timid in the face of well-reasoned and researched reports produced
by well-resourced committees. Oversight in the context of where it
matters is not an easy job, though. It is also a costly process as the
effectiveness of oversight committees is often dependent on sufficient
administrative and research support.

In the book entitled Building Representative Democracy, Christina Murray and Lia Nijzink indicate the following role for PACs, and I quote:

Public accounts committees play a very specific role in the oversight
process. It is to PACs that the financial statements of government
departments that have been audited by the Auditor-General are referred.
The responsibility of PACs is to inspect the accounts and to follow up
on issues that the Auditor-General has identified as being

To strengthen the qualitative aspects of Scopa’s oversight role, we have decided, as one of our goals, to ensure that transversal issues are scrutinised more comprehensively and to respond to existing areas of financial management weakness and underperformance.

The reports before the House could be divided into three categories, namely A, B and C reports. Category A is about those matters that would ideally always entail a public hearing. The reports in this category also have a bearing on departments and public entities, where the accounting officer or accounting authority has appeared in person before Scopa at public hearings. This includes the 14th report on Statistics SA; the 16th report on the Municipal Demarcation Board; the 22nd report on Parliament; the 23rd report on the Health department; the 30th report on the Unemployment Insurance Fund; and, the 31st report on the Department of Defence.

In the case of category A reports we have made comprehensive recommendations based on the Auditor-General’s reports, testimony by officials before Scopa and responses from officials on questions put by Scopa members.

The following important areas are highlighted in these reports: tender procedures; reconciliation of advances; asset register; tax payment; delegation of authority; internal audit; vacancies; donor funding; computerised general controls; internal control; third-party payments; employment benefits and compensation; inventories; monitoring of conditional grants; transfer payments and conditional grants to provinces; structure and governance; contingent liabilities and leave; physical and tangible asset movement schedules; management of inventory, machinery and equipment; irregularities and losses; land and building; and, gifts, donations and sponsorships.

My colleagues will refer to these matters in more detail. The resolutions on the Order Paper represent only a small portion of our total number of resolutions passed at committee level. At last count we established that we regularly scrutinise somewhere in the region of 280 annual reports each year. In fact, we are obliged to scrutinise all reports of the Auditor- General that are presented to Scopa and to Parliament. We do so first at group level, then at Scopa plenary level, for adoption.

There have also been guidelines issued to accounting officers, Ministers and other persons appearing before Scopa. Mostly, we give these guidelines to all persons we specifically identify in a notice to attend a hearing. Ordinarily, the accounting officer of the relevant department must appear before Scopa in person and must be well-briefed with relevant up-to-date information on the subject matter of the hearing and any information contained in the report or any statutory records that the accounting officer is obliged to make and retain in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.

’n Belangrike aspek van die oorsigproses is om te verseker dat die aanbevelings van Skoor, wat deur die Parlement aanvaar word, deur tydige en toepaslike opvolgstappe deur die uitvoerende gesag gehanteer word. Dit is daarom van belang dat die reaksie van rekenpligtige beamptes en rekenpligte owerhede in terme van die siklus van terugvoering aan die Parlement met die nodige deeglike en tydelike aksie gepaard gaan. Die evaluering van hierdie reaksies en opvolgwerk, sowel as monitering van implementeringstappe deur departemente en entiteite sal ’n belangrike fokus van Skoor se werk in die komende maande wees.

’n Spesiale woord van dank aan die komiteelede van Skoor vir die harde werk, sowel as die voorbereiding, wat baie ure per week omvat. Hulle speel ’n belangrike rol om oorsig in die Parlement te laat werk. Agb Voorsitter, ek vra graag om steun vir hierdie verslae. Baie dankie. [Applous.] (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[An important part of the oversight process is to ensure that the recommendations of Scopa that are adopted by Parliament are dealt with through timeous and appropriate follow-up action by the executive. It is therefore important that the reaction of accounting officers and authorities is accompanied by the necessary thorough and timeous action in terms of the cycle of feedback to Parliament. The evaluation of these reactions and follow-up, as well as the monitoring of implementation by departments and entities, will be an important point of focus of Scopa’s work in the coming months.

A special word of thanks to the committee members of Scopa for their hard work, as well as the preparation, which involve many hours every week. They play an important role in making oversight work in Parliament. Hon Chairperson, I ask for support for these reports. Thank you very much. [Applause.]]

Ms A M DREYER: Mr Chairperson, the reports before Parliament today should really be set to a musical score so that they can be sung with a chorus for the refrain between the many verses. There is a recurring theme running through many of the reports, showing a worrying tendency. The theme is: “noncompliance”; noncompliance with the Public Finance Management Act; noncompliance with Treasury regulations; noncompliance with tender board regulations, as well as noncompliance with many other relevant pieces of legislation.

I will provide some examples by quoting from a selection of the reports before Parliament today to illustrate the point. The Council for Medical Schemes: “noncompliance with the Public Finance Management Act”; Statistics SA: “Noncompliance with procurement regulations”; “State Tender Board regulations not complied with”, and “Services amounting to R16 million procured irregularly”; the Municipal Demarcation Board: “Polices, regulations and procedures not adhered to”, “control measures not complied with”, “noncompliance with regulations and procedures”, “compliance with donor funding agreement is in question”; Health: “Fundamental deficiencies and noncompliance with the provisions of the Division of Revenue Act”, “noncompliance with the provisions of the PFMA and Treasury regulations regarding the transfer of payments to NGOs”; Unemployment Insurance Fund: Apart from a myriad of other problems, there’s also noncompliance with the PFMA, once again; once again, “noncompliance with Treasury regulations, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Unemployment Contributions Act”.

To crown it all, no disciplinary action has been taken against persons responsible for negligence or misconduct.

With Defence, there was noncompliance with Treasury regulations regarding physical asset movement schedules, and management policies and procedures were not adequately followed. Again, disciplinary action is not implemented in the event of noncompliance with prescribed policies or regulations.

The message is clear: Not only is noncompliance the order of the day, but officials get away with it without any consequences. This is a dangerous development, with grave consequences for our still fragile democracy.

An influential political scientist, Karl Deutsch, stresses the importance of compliance habits in upholding the rule of law. He has demonstrated that laws become difficult to enforce when less than 90% of the population obeys them voluntarily and regards this figure as a critical threshold in maintaining the rule of law.

Deutsch’s research contains a warning to South Africa: It will become impossible to enforce laws if more than 10% of politicians and administrators in South Africa do not comply voluntarily with laws and funds regarding state management.

When we analyse reports by the Auditor-General, it is clear that many politicians and administrators of the ANC government have already turned their back on the rule of law.

Scopa has a special responsibility to keep a check on this dangerous development. Its foremost duty is to protect the taxpayer’s money, because there are often controversial issues at stake, such as the arms deal and Oilgate scandals.

The chairperson of this committee has an extra responsibility resting on his or her shoulders, to maintain its role as the impartial watchdog of Parliament. Since Scopa is Parliament’s primary oversight body, nothing can be more dangerous for a Scopa member than justifying noncompliance and lack of respect for the rule of law. Yet this is exactly what happened recently.

After the grilling of PetroSA by the opposition, an ANC chairperson of the Scopa committee told the PetroSA delegation that:

What we are saying to you is, stick to your policies of good governance, which you have, and the financial management. Do not get distracted by political sideshows. Thank you for coming and answering all these difficult questions. Personally, I think you did well. We specifically allowed hard questions, but never mind the Imvume issue; that was a sideshow.

These startling remarks showed the chairperson’s political bias. He may have tried to protect his party from embarrassment, but this incident clearly illustrates that the chairperson of the ruling party will always be subjected to an inherent problem, protecting taxpayers’ money or protecting his ruling party’s interests.

There’s a proud tradition in Commonwealth countries that a member of the opposition chairs this crucial committee. Members of Parliament such as Ken Andrew and Gavin Woods did sterling work; as well as member Francois Beukman - when he was still in the NNP - who maintained the non-partisan approach of the committee. [Interjections.] Further, he did the right thing when, after he had joined the ANC and stopped being a member of the opposition party, he resigned as chairperson of Scopa.

In the interest of a sustained democratic future for South Africa, this position must now be filled, not by a member of the ruling party but, again, by a member of the opposition. [Applause.]

Mnr H J BEKKER: Agb Voorsitter, dit is altyd ’n voorreg om te volg op die agb Annchen Dreyer. [Hon Chairperson, it is always a privilege to speak after the hon Annchen Dreyer.]

The IFP supports all the reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Of course these reports are a historical record in respect of previous financial years.

It is essential that we analyse what has gone wrong in the system and learn lessons in order to avoid similar occurrences in future. Unfortunately, in practice, it would mean that frequently the door is only being bolted after the horse has bolted. This standing committee is the watchdog of Parliament and we therefore salute the dedication of all the political parties and their representatives.

May I also thank the hon Dr Gavin Woods for the relevant role that he has played for the IFP in this committee; we hope that he will continue to do so for his new party. Of course we will miss him, but I sincerely believe that he will miss the IFP even more.

The importance of this standing committee is being illustrated by these reports. Corruption and mismanagement of public funds are ruthlessly exposed and under special circumstances may even lead to a presidential appointment of a judicial commission. I can remember the specific role that we played in this regard with the appointment of a commission into the so- called Departments of Co-operation and Development and of Education and Training.

In the 1990s I proposed, for instance, a snap debate on the CCB, the so- called Civil Co-operation Bureau, and atrocities that had taken place at that stage. After my proposal was seconded by the hon Harry Schwarz, this debate led to the judicial commission into the CCB and the secret funds. I trust that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will continue to do its good work. The IFP supports all the relevant reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. I thank you. [Applause.]

Ms L L MABE: Chairperson, the ANC is acutely aware that various departments and entities present fancy, glossy and beautiful annual reports and strategic plans that are expensive to produce. The big question is: How much of the content of the strategic plans is implemented to change the lives of our people within the stipulated timeframes? And, how far do the annual reports reflect distinctly what the department has really done during the financial year?

We have observed that some of the reports repeat the same information in consecutive reports and simply cut and paste information. Is that inaccurate, wrong information in a glossy, beautiful document intended to mislead or inform the readers?

Every year Parliament passes a Budget to enable government to change the lives of our people. We have noted with serious concern, as the ANC, that some departments and entities do not implement their budgets in relation to their strategic plans. Government has capacity problems and lack of financial management skills. On the contrary, we have many unemployed graduates who need exposure, empowerment and mentoring to alleviate some of the problems that the departments have in fulfilling their mandate.

As the ANC we are greatly concerned that during the year under review, Parliament, firstly, could not submit supporting documents for payments amounting to approximately R3 million for auditing purposes and that whilst we have the Chief Financial Officer in Parliament and staff in the finance section. Secondly, that R7,7 million for third-party compensation payments could not be verified. Consequently, all procedure manuals must be updated to eliminate any ambiguity and apply disciplinary measures to staff members who do not comply with the disciplinary codes of various departments.

Good health is vital for the survival of a nation. We have noted that the Health department encounters serious problems with regard to conditional grants that go to provinces and constitute 91,4% of the department’s expenditure. This is a direct consequence of inadequate monitoring of conditional grants and a lack of clear procedures and guidelines to the provinces, which the national department must provide to ensure that the 91,4% is well spent by the provincial departments.

The Mpumalanga health department, for example, underspent by 64% in the area of hospital management and quality improvement grants, and the same applies to NGOs that receive funding from that department. We want to emphasise that all the funds that go to the provinces in the form of conditional grants must be accounted for because they are meant to ensure that the ANC government changes the lives of people who have been marginalised for centuries.

It is incumbent upon the departments or the officials of these departments to get their act together, for the sake of those people who desperately need their services. As the ANC we cannot condone officials who do not implement our policies.

I’d like to differ with the previous speaker of the DA when she said that some officials do not abide by their political-party affiliation or positions. That is not correct. In Scopa we don’t abide by party-political affiliations. In Scopa, when officials come, we are neutral. [Interjections.] For your information, you are not a member of that committee. We are neutral. We look at how departments have performed on their finances, because as Parliament we approve a budget and we want that budget to be implemented in the way in which the department told us they would do.

Finally, I would like to thank the members of Scopa, as group convener for group 2, for having given me the necessary support, and even the staff of the Auditor-General, as well as our staff in that committee. I want to thank you very much, because I became successful as a group convener because of your effort and what you gave me as support. I want to thank you all very much. [Applause.]

Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairman, the ACDP supports these reports. It is my experience on this committee over a period of time that has revealed the diligence of the members of this committee, and the seriousness with which they approach their responsibility. But, I will focus my one minute on the 30th report, which deals with Scopa’s concerns as to whether the UIF management is proactive and strategically focused to address the problems resulting in the breakdown of internal control.

This is particularly serious because the UIF is key in not only protecting the most vulnerable of workers, but also in rewarding those who commit to working for a living by providing a safety net in difficult times.

Unemployed Pretoria and Cape Town residents are reported to be up in arms about the inability to access UIF payments; some say that they are turned away by officials, who apparently claim that there are no funds; others have not been able to access their cash owing to hitches arising from the newly introduced electronic UIF system. This new system aims to do away with the queues and ensure correct information, but these hitches and other failures to comply must be addressed speedily by the department to avoid the resulting hardships created for those who have not only paid their dues, but are relying on this stopgap. I thank you.

Mr P A GERBER: Mr Chairperson, you can never ever ask too many questions when you work with taxpayers’ money. Therefore we as Scopa have tackled departments and parastatals, and we will continue to do so. We specifically started focusing on parastatals and public entities, and this has brought us very positive results.

Skoor wil nie net nadoodse ondersoeke doen nie. Ons wil nie soos insleepvoertuie onder die brug wag tot die ongeluk gebeur nie, ons sal graag vóór die tyd wil intree. [Scopa does not only want to engage in post mortems. We do not want to operate like breakdown trucks that park under bridges, waiting for accidents to happen; we would like to intervene timeously.]

In terms of future initiatives by Scopa, there are many innovative ways to impose corporate governance and financial responsibility, and improve value for money for the taxpayer.

In terms of the Public Audit Act, Act 25 of 2004, it is possible for the Auditor-General to audit a whole range of entities, NGOs, etc. Of special interest should be those entities where the taxpayer, via the state, has substantial shareholding.

Here I would like to refer specifically to SA Rugby. Members might say that SA Rugby is an NGO and therefore the state has no financial interest in it, but the state actually does. The official sponsor of SA Rugby is Sasol, which was originally started with taxpayers’ money by the state.

The state, via the Public Investment Commissioners, has a 21,7% shareholding in Sasol, according to the JSE Handbook. So yes, the taxpayer has a direct interest in the proper financial management of SA Rugby. It is therefore my proposal that the Auditor-General, in terms of the Public Audit Act, starts doing the books of SA Rugby as soon as possible.

One of the biggest dangers to our young democracy, especially in our enormous battle against poverty, is not the overspending of departments, but the underspending. In the 2003-04 financial year there were quite a few culprits, and I would like to name a few for you.

The Department of Foreign Affairs underspent by R140 million; the Department of Communications underspent by R807 million, which translates into 49,1%; the Department of Land Affairs underspent by R46 million; the Department of Trade and Industry underspent by R137 million; the Department of Transport underspent by R122 million.

I can continue: Water Affairs underspent by R457 million; Parliament underspent by R42 million; Correctional Services underspent by R133 million and Health by R172 million. This is totally unacceptable: underspending totalling R2,9 billion. We urge the portfolio committees to really continue investigating this. [Interjections.]

Man, moenie van my mond ’n kafee maak nie. [Man, do not disturb me while I am talking!]

One of our timeshare departments, in other words, departments that appear before Scopa every year, is the Department of Public Works. One of our regular concerns is the completeness and accuracy of the state-owned property register. Every year we emphasise the seriousness of this issue and it looks as if it is improving.

In 1994 the Department of Public Works was aware of only 32 names under which state properties were registered. Since then the 32 names have grown to a staggering 6 486 names and a total of more than 1,4 million properties, and the number is growing.

The size of South Africa is technically also bigger after this investigation, with a total area owned by the state of more than 24 million hectares. This puts an interesting spin on the whole debate of land reform.

Earlier this year the Department of Defence appeared before Scopa for a public hearing and many serious problems were interrogated. We also probed the whole financial feasibility of the Rooivalk helicopter project. This project was started in 1982 and since then, until now, 2005 - that is 23 years later - has cost the taxpayer between R6 billion and R7 billion. So far only 12 helicopters have been built, in other words, a spending of R500 million per helicopter.

We then asked Denel to do a cost-benefit analysis of the whole Rooivalk project. We read the other day in the newspapers Denel CEO Mr Shaun Liebenberg’s statement that the Rooivalk project might be scrapped.

A while ago Scopa got a tip-off from the public that Transnet was losing millions on the selling of the nonferrous scrap metal, in other words aluminium, brass, copper, etc. Scopa asked the Auditor-General to investigate this and, after legal arguments from Transnet, they eventually opened their books to the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General discovered that they were losing millions on the contract. Corrective steps were then taken and the contract was cancelled, and the taxpayer saved a lot of money.

I would like to end off by bringing honour to two of the best Scopa members that I think this democracy has ever seen, and that is Uncle Billy Nair and Mr Lalu Chiba, who is not with us any more. For 10 years they grafted in Scopa, diligently, not expecting to be promoted, but simply to serve. We often forget these humble role models. [Applause.] And may we forever draw from their hard work, discipline and commitment.

I want to thank all the Scopa members - all members from the various parties - for their commitment and hard work, and may this committee go from strength to strength. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, the MF is pleased with Scopa’s 10th to 13th reports, and regards them as satisfactorily handled. As far as the 14th report regarding Stats SA is concerned, the MF recommends that Scopa’s recommendations be adhered to so as to close the loopholes in Stats SA legislation; and a progress report in this regard would be awaited.

Scopa’s review of the Municilpal Demarcation Board, the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency, the Public Service Commission, the Social Housing Foundation, the Special Investigative Unit and the Thubelisha Homes, all seem to be in order. As for Scopa’s 22nd report regarding Parliament, the MF would like the loopholes in our system to be addressed earnestly and that the recommendations be adhered to.

The national Department of Health also needs some work, but we are glad that the National Home Builders’ Registration Council is on the right track. The same goes for the National Prosecuting Authority and the Presidency. The reports on the Rural Housing Loan Fund and the SA Council of Educators have also been efficient.

As for the 30th report regarding the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the 31st report regarding Defence, both appeared to have loopholes that, hopefully, Scopa’s recommendations shall effectively serve to close. The MF supports all the reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Mr D M GUMEDE: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson and members. I will start by congratulating Mr Vincent Smith on his recent appointment to Chairperson of the Southern African Development Countries Public Accounts Committees, SADCOPAC, in Zanzibar earlier this year. [Applause.] He has done us proud, both as this Parliament and as South Africans.

I also want to thank the outgoing chairperson of Scopa, Mr Francois Beukman, for his diligent and professional approach to his job. It was an outstanding service to our country. Well done, Francois! [Applause.]

Coming back to the job at hand, when the President was speaking at the NCOP in 1999, he said, and I quote:

We are certain that our representatives in the spheres of governance
maintain close contact with the people. They will themselves contribute
significantly to the achievement of the national objective of
accelerating the improvement of quality of life of the people by
properly discharging their oversight function over the executive
authorities in all spheres of government.

Part of that oversight is on financial regulation in government and as a partner with other portfolio committees. Firstly, Scopa has a duty to assist the legislature in ensuring that the institutions remain within their budgets and spend according to purposes determined by legislatures.

Secondly, they are held accountable if they do not comply with the law and regulations concerning their financial management. I think here the member of the DA stretched it too far but, of course, she has to be in the lead. Thirdly, to provide value for money in services provided to the public and the state; and lastly, to develop and implement the necessary financial capability and good governance practices.

To optimise our outcomes, particularly in ensuring that policy goals of government are met, we have to work together, taking everyone on board. This will assist us not only to combat unaccountable conduct, fraud or even corruption, but will also assist everyone in combating perceived corruption, which is as damaging to the performance of the economy.

In 1999 this government provided us with a very potent management tool in the form of the PFMA. This spells out structures, procedures, and requirements that this country expects in the stewardship of public funds and resources from its Directors-General and accounting authorities. It is our right to expect no less from our accounting officers.

However, it is a reality that capabilities and resources that ensure the delivery of the stewardship we expect are scarce and even those that we attract are poached by the private sector. Available resources in the economy and the fiscus cannot always meet the demand for skills that has been generated by this relatively new legislation.

The attorney-general cites the outcome that was produced by this. The scarcity of these skills, together with an expected increase in economic activities and service delivery in our country, creates serious concerns about the long-term ability of these government departments to deliver on their mandates. This is not solely a problem for the departments, but one for us all.

How do we improve human capital in South Africa together using Setas to correct this problem? Sitting in our portfolio committees, what roles do we play to make these skills available to the country and to the public sector? Sitting in our portfolio committees, how do we make sure that enough children are not stopped by preventable diseases, hunger and poverty from candidacy for these positions in the long term?

Yes, the ANC has the answer and it is in the social contract that we have with the people of South Africa. Despite instances cited above, the vast majority of departments and entities remain a shining example of financial management, although the few that aren’t are sticking out like a sore thumb.

There is much improvement in the systems of different departments with some room for improvement in a few. The management of fixed asset registers is another concern. In other words, the record of what the government owns is incomplete in some cases. This includes the disposal of these fixed assets like selling furniture, which may be regarded as antique and is sold as obsolete.

Vast improvements in meeting deadlines for reporting in time have been experienced. There is much concern in the committee about repeated transgressions and noncompliance. This needs serious efforts from this Parliament. Public Works is one of them and the UIF is another, but happily we do not have too many departments that are in that category.

There are issues that often make headlines, but when they are tested, they yield results that are different from what we read in some newspapers. To assist us in assessing departments and entities that are alleged to be corrupt, we have to ask some questions, such as whether there is a breach in corporate governance; whether the department is taking remedial steps; and whether fraudulent or corrupt activities are permitted in making decisions for the department and so forth.

As South Africa, under the leadership of the ANC government, we have the will, the tools and the tenacity we need to be the best in the world. We just have to be given time as these tasks took developed nations the better part of a century to achieve. The struggle towards clean governance will continue and we shall eventually succeed.

Aluta continua, victoria acerta! [The struggle continues, victory is sure!][Applause.]]

Debate Concluded.


There was no debate.

Mr T M Masutha: I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.


There was no debate.

Mr T M Masutha: I move on behalf of the Chief Whip of the Majority Party: That the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

                       PATENTS AMENDMENT BILL

                       (Second Reading debate)

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Chairperson, Deputy Minister Botha, hon members, I am honoured to table the Patents Amendment Bill in the NA. This important amending Bill gives further effect to the government’s biodiversity policy and complements the implementation of the National Environment Management: Biodiversity Act of 2004.

At the heart of this amendment is the protection of our indigenous knowledge and our genetic and biological resources, and the recognition of the need for economic benefit-sharing between communities and scientists, and researchers.

The Department of Trade and Industry is committed to working with other departments in formulating policies and appropriate legislation to protect holders of traditional and indigenous knowledge and its associated use. The protection of indigenous knowledge is a hotly debated topic in international and regional fora.

Unless indigenous knowledge holders receive protection, their knowledge will be exploited and they will not share in the economic benefits of successful inventions that are based on the knowledge of certain communities. As I speak today, there is very little protection for indigenous knowledge at the national level, at the regional level or even at the international level.

However, individual countries such as Brazil, India and Peru have provided for the protection of the knowledge of their indigenous communities through their intellectual property law system. At the regional level, the Andes nations and the African Union are encouraging their member states to protect indigenous knowledge systems.

Although there have been significant debates at multilateral level about the need for international instruments in this area, there has been no agreement as yet. These debates are taking place in a range of fora, including the World Trade Organisation, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the Convention on Biodiversity, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. While it is usually developed countries that demand legally binding instruments at multinational level, in this instance it is the developing world that is calling for multilateral intervention.

The Patents Amendment Bill has four main provisions or objectives: firstly, it compels the patentee to disclose the origin of the genetic or biological resource in a patent specification; secondly, it compels the patentee to acquire prior informed consent from the local communities which contributed towards the invention; thirdly, it compels the patentee to co-own the patent with the local communities where applicable; and, fourthly, it compels the patentee to enter into benefit-sharing agreements with local communities where applicable.

The Bill intends to address certain economic imperatives such as the following: firstly, holders will be empowered economically as they will be able to negotiate terms and conditions in the benefit-sharing agreements; secondly, holders will be involved in the formal economy and they will enjoy protection nationally like any other economically active person in the formal economy; thirdly, it encourages economic growth in the sector that did not enjoy recognition; and, fourthly, it provides remedies for holders if their rights are infringed.

Through these amendments, the South African government will be able to ensure that the unauthorised exploitation of our biological and genetic resources is limited and that there is adequate disclosure. In addition, they require companies that seek to exploit indigenous knowledge to share the economic benefit that may be reaped with the communities from which these resources emanate and that have original ownership of the resources of the application.

The Bill also provides remedies for and recourse to communities and indigenous knowledge holders whose knowledge is exploited without their consent and without the intention of sharing the economic benefits reaped.

South Africa is a country rich in genetic and biological resources. We need to protect our resources and our scientific heritage while, at the same time, ensuring that our indigenous knowledge can be utilised to generate economic activity and benefits. By recognising in law the rights of communities with original knowledge, we are also creating an environment in which the economic exploitation of such knowledge is facilitated.

I would like to thank the following persons and bodies for making it possible to produce such an important piece of legislation: the chairperson of the portfolio committee, Mr Ben Martins, and the committee as a whole; government departments such as Agriculture, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and other departments; the Standing Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights; the SA Institute of Intellectual Property Law; the World Intellectual Property Organisation; the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property; and South African research and development institutions as well as other stakeholders for their support and invaluable contributions. I commend this Bill to the House. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr B A D MARTINS: Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, and hon members, I should start by congratulating hon Thabethe and hon Davies on their appointment as Deputy Ministers of Trade and Industry. Members of the portfolio committee look forward to working with you.

Now to return to the matter at hand: Whilst a significant number of people in developing countries have to contend daily with diseases occasioned by abject poverty, malnutrition and hunger, a plant used by the Khoisan people for centuries to stifle the pangs of hunger and thirst has found its way to American laboratories to help combat obesity and other diseases of opulence. The question that remains is whether the Khoisan people are benefiting from this?

The Bill before the House today deals with, amongst others things, indigenous knowledge and the application of the patent system thereto. It seeks to entitle the holders of indigenous knowledge who previously fell outside the ambit of the Patents Act of 1978.

The effect of the Bill will be to ensure that where the holders of indigenous knowledge contribute towards an invention, their contribution is recognised and the co-ownership of the invention is ensured. The Bill further seeks to achieve the following: Firstly, to promote fair trade and development; secondly, to promote technology transfer; and thirdly, to stimulate economic growth and empowerment.

In conclusion, we also wish to commend the valuable work carried out by the Departments of Arts and Culture, Science and Technology, Environmental Affairs and Tourism in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry. The ANC supports the passage of this Bill through the NA. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L B LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, allow me also to congratulate our new Deputy Minister on her appointment. The protection of intellectual property is an important and also fascinating field. We have only to consider the myriad technological advances that we have experienced in our own lifetime. Moreover, globalisation has had an important influence in the field of intellectual property and it is not always possible to predict the impact of the invention.

I was once informed of a comment made more than a century ago about the telephone, and the comment was that is was a useful toy with no commercial value whatsoever. So you see, you can never know what the result is of what is patented.

South Africa is a country with a rich biodiversity. We are blessed with an incredible variety of plant life and a long history of traditional leaders who have used our plants for medicinal purposes. We have also recently seen how genetic material has been sold and attempts to hijack the well-known rooibos.

There are patents which emanate from genetic and biological resources, patented all over the world, often without the knowledge or consent of the states to which these resources belong; and also without the knowledge or consent of the indigenous people from whom this knowledge was derived and who through the sharing of their knowledge may have made a contribution to the invention. There has hardly been any legal prediction for this state of affairs.

This Bill will thus benefit and empower the holders of indigenous genetic material, indigenous biological resources and the practitioners of indigenous knowledge to make it possible to outlaw biopiracy, that is the trafficking in biological material for developing inventions without prior approval.

The discussions of this Bill are a good example of the positive interaction between the portfolio committee and civil society, and cognisance was taken of the practical suggestions from interested parties.

While we are on the subject of patents, I hope you will indulge me if I digress from the strict objects of the Bill, and make a plea on behalf of the many local inventors to see what measures can be taken by government to encourage the small inventor to commercially develop inventions. Who knows, somebody might discover “a useful toy without any commercial benefit”!

And finally, I would like to thank the hon Gibson and the hon Louw of the DA for coming to the committee’s assistance to provide a quorum at the last moment so that we could conclude our work on the Bill. You see, you can always rely on the DA when it is in South Africa’s interests. The DA supports the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Ms E S CHANG: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister and the chairperson of the committee, the Patents Amendment Bill is one of the best pieces of amending legislation this year.

You know, it’s easy to take five minutes to debate a speech, but one minute is really difficult. So I put my one minute in one sentence, which is, the IFP supports the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr N T GODI: Chairperson, comrades and hon members, may I start by joining the rest in congratulating you, Comrade Deputy Minister, on your appointment and wishing you all of the best.

The PAC supports this Bill, as it will stop biopiracy. It is about time - in fact, long overdue - that the plunder and misappropriations by countries, especially of the North, of indigenous knowledge, genetic and biological resources are stopped. Small wonder countries of the North are not enthusiastic about the need for national and international binding instruments to appreciate and protect traditional knowledge involved in patent inventions.

Armed with this legislation our government must be part of the vanguard in the mobilisation for internationally binding instruments to protect traditional knowledge, genetic and biological resources, especially from the South, and to ensure economic benefits for all. The PAC supports the Bill.

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, it is amazing how piracy creeps into every sector. Having viewed the Bill and its concerns regarding patents, the MF acknowledges South Africa’s international responsibility towards patents for international purposes, as well as to protect the patents of our domestic products.

However, we are concerned about patenting time and whether when an item is patented if it will be affected by other later claims to patents, and how the latter may take this precedence over the first.

However, the MF does see the need to empower a registrar with the necessary authorities to refuse or revoke a patent, based on biological material, as well as refuse, revoke or invalidate a patent that is based on prior knowledge associated with such material, as well as the authority with which this Bill provides the Department of Environmental and Tourism Affairs.

The MF hopes the Bill meets the needs of the holders and practitioners of genetic biological resources and the indigenous knowledge system. The MF supports the Patents Amendment Bill. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Ms D M RAMODIBE: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, and ladies and gentlemen, the Patents Act, Act 57 of 1978 has been amended about six times. These are the consequences of the remnants of the old apartheid regime. It will take us years to undo the damage done by this monster.

They still have guts, to date, to argue about what they themselves have created, to the extent that they are protecting what they took away from our forefathers.

The Bill seeks to empower and protect the poor from being further robbed of their rights. This is in line with the third quarter of the 8 January statement that all national groups shall have equal rights. It is for these reasons that we need to restore the people’s rights.

The President of the country reminded us that, again, as we enter into our second decade of liberation, we commit ourselves to pursuing the programmes of reconstruction and development as confirmation of our determination to uphold the vision contained in the Freedom Charter.

It was also not surprising to learn from a report by Sangeeta Shashikant on current reports on the divisions at the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s meeting in June this year. Developed countries will always hold a different view from that of developing countries, because they want to come and poach and run away with it. The Bill is important as we have patents, which emanate from genetic and biological resources that need to be protected, including traditional knowledge.

The legislation will curb misappropriation of genetic-biological resources and biopiracy. It will also allow individual or family ownership. Should the patent become viable, there have to be royalties. The Bill will contribute in empowering traditional knowledge holders in fair trade development, technology transfer, and the protection of individual or collective traditional knowledge.

This will subscribe to the principles of black economic empowerment, as most of our indigenous people will be able to invest in their own land. The ANC supports the amending Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY: Chairperson, thanks to the members who participated in the debate. I think all of the speakers were in agreement with the Bill. I thank them very much for that, seeing that this is my maiden tabling of a Bill as a Deputy Minister. They were very good to me. Thank you very much for that.

I think, on some of the points raised, such as dealing with the question of the incentives, we fully agree on that because we need to address the question of the small inventors, and we hope that that will take us further and that in the process, we will then be able to consult as we did now.

We really thank you for your contribution, and we are also waiting for more information in order to strengthen the question of the incentives.

I think all the speakers supported the Bill. I hope that we will be able then, in developing other policies, which is dealing with research and other issues, to come to this House, I’m sure, getting anything that needs to be further amended sorted out. I think that, as we amend, we learn new things that are unintended consequences.

I thank you very much and I don’t want to waste your time. I think it is late now. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time.

The House adjourned at 18:22. ____


                      FRIDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 2005


National Assembly

The Speaker

  1. Submission of Private Members Legislative Proposals:

    (1) The following private member’s legislative proposal was submitted to the Speaker on 7 September 2005, in accordance with Rule 234:

    (i) Electoral Act Amendment Bill (Mr G Morgan)

      In accordance with Rule 235 the legislative proposal has been    referred to the Standing Committee on Private Members’ Legislative    Proposals and Special Petitions by the Speaker.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Speaker and the Chairperson

Report of the South African Parliamentary Delegation to the 18th Plenary Assembly Session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, held at Ezulwini, Swaziland from 29 May to 3 June 2005.

The full report is available from office of Clerk of the Papers.

Executive Summary of the Report


This report constitutes the report of South Africa’s parliamentary delegation to the 18th Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum’s Plenary Assembly held in Ezulwini, Swaziland from 29 May – 3 June 2005. The delegation comprised the following:

  • The Hon Speaker Ms B Mbete (Head of the Delegation)
  • The Hon Ms F Hajaig
  • The Hon Ms M Madlala
  • The Hon Mr W J Seremane
  • The Hon D J Sithole    `    Support staff included: Ms A Barnard, Ms G Constable, Dr F Khan and Ms N    Mpuntsha.

The theme and main focus of the 18th Plenary Assembly was, ‘Challenges in the implementation of SADC Protocols’.

The meetings were attended by the Presiding Officers and representatives of 11 of the 12 Member States of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF or the Forum).

Opening Session – Addresses

The host Speaker, Hon S’gayoyo Charles Magongo, highlighted the commitment of the Parliament of Swaziland to the Principle of the Rule of Law, good governance and the promotion of gender equity and gender mainstreaming.

The Chairperson of SADC-PF, Hon Amusaa Mwanamwambwa highlighted the fact that SADC celebrates 25 years of progress this year, which presented an opportunity to take stock and measure the extent to which the quality of life had improved in the region.

The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Rt Hon Absalom Themba Dlamini noted that for 25 years, SADC has acted as a forum to discuss problems and matters of common interest in the region – it could thus be a shining example to the rest of Africa.

In her Vote of Thanks, the Speaker of the South African Parliament, the Hon Ms Baleka Mbete, stated that the destinies of Swaziland and South Africa are linked, in many instances, through family ties and that integration among the countries of the region was important despite the artificial boundaries imposed by colonial history.

Executive Committee Meetings – Key Issues

      •  The  Legal  Sub-Committee  considered  the  admission  of  the
        Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to SADC-PF  and  recommended
        that the DRC be admitted.
     • The  Steering  Committee  on  Human  Resources  facilitated  the
       appointment  of  seven  professional  staff   members   to   the
     • The Chairperson of SADC-PF reported on a courtesy visit paid  to
       the President of South Africa, His Excellency, Thabo  Mbeki,  at
       which the issue of the establishment of a  SADC  Parliament  was
     • The  Secretary–General  reported  on  the  election  observation
       programme, in accordance with which elections will  be  observed
       in Mauritius and Tanzania this year, and in Zambia,  Angola  and
       the DRC in 2006.
     o The Treasurer reported  that,  in  order  to  cope  with  rising
       expenditure, annual mandatory contributions from  Member  States
       would be increased to R858 000  p.a.  Member  States  were  also
       urged to  pay  their  current  contributions  and  settle  their
       arrears before June 2005.

Standing Committee Meetings – Key Issues

  • The Committee  on  Democracy,  Gender  and  Conflict  Resolution  /
    Peacebuilding noted that:
     o SADC-PF Chapters should be established at national Parliaments.
     o In  terms  of  election  observation,  while  the  principle  of
       sovereignty would be upheld, it  was  nonetheless  important  to
       continue the practice of observing elections in Member States.
     o While Country Reports showed  a  trend  towards  greater  gender
       sensitivity, there are still many gaps in the implementation  of
       the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development.
  • The Committee on Inter-parliamentary Co-operation noted that:
     o There were inadequate lines of  communication  and  exchange  of
       information between the Forum and other regional  (such  as  the
       Pan African Parliament – PAP)  and  international  parliamentary
     o National Parliaments should create awareness  of  the  work  and
       importance of the Forum.
     o SADC Heads of State need to be sensitised about  the  importance
       of establishing a SADC Parliament.
  • The Committee on Regional Integration noted that:
     o National Parliaments should play a decisive role in the approval
       of  loans  and  that  parliamentarians  should  reinforce  their
       oversight role and ensure that loans are used for  their  stated
     o There was insufficient information  about  NEPAD  and  that,  in
       order for  the  contribution  of  parliamentarians  to  be  more
       effective,  there  needs  to  be  more  consultation   at   both
       grassroots and parliamentary levels.
  • The Committee on HIV and AIDS noted that:
     o Despite all the interventions and  programmes  detailed  by  the
       various Country Reports, the infection rate is on the rise.
     o The proposed Action Plan that addressed the problems identified,
       should be implemented.
  • The Committee on the Regional Women’s  Parliamentary  Caucus  noted
     o Advocacy and lobbying  missions  to  encourage  greater  women’s
       representation in national Parliaments  will  be  undertaken  to
       Mauritius, Zambia and Angola this year.
     o While women’s representation rose from 17,9% to 19,2% during the
       1997 - 2005 period, the levels of representivity remained  below
       15% in most Member States.

               Plenary: Thematic Session – Key Issues

   • The theme of this session was, ‘Challenges in the implementation
     of SADC Protocols: The role of parliaments in the management of
     cross-border natural resources’. The key points made were:

   • There is concern over the slow ratification of SADC Protocols.
   • The latest three Protocols to be ratified all deal with the
     management of cross-border natural resources, viz. the Revised
     Protocol on Shared Watercourses; the Protocol on Fisheries; and
     the Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement.
   • The objective of these Protocols is to establish common approaches
     to the conservation and sustainable  utilisation  of  cross-border
     natural resources on a basis of equity, and  to  assist  with  the
     effective enforcement of laws governing those resources.
   • Common challenges for all the Protocols include: lack of political
     will; limited financial and human resources; high poverty levels.
   •  Parliaments  need  to  play  their  role  in   facilitating   the
     ratification and implementation of SADC Protocols.

Another theme dealt with in this session was the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It was noted that:

     • The MDGs set a number of goals and targets for monitoring  human
       development by 2015.
     • Few Less Developed Countries (LDCs),  which  include  some  SADC
       countries, will meet these targets by 2015.
     • The attainment of the MDGs  will  not  succeed  without  a  very
       significant increase in both resources and effort.
     • The attainment of the MDGs is inextricable from  the  attainment
       of larger freedoms such as peace and security; good  governance;
       human rights; effective socio-economic policies.

                Plenary: Policy Session – Key Issues

  • The establishment of a SADC Parliament:
     o  A  decision  is  required  on  the  establishment  of  a   SADC
     o The concerns of some Heads of State,  to  the  effect  that  the
       expenses for this institution would be a drain on  the  region’s
       resources should be addressed through the provision of more data
       on the budget required for its establishment and operation.
  • Application by the DRC:
     o The Plenary Assembly unanimously approved the application by the
       Parliament of the DRC for admission as the 13th member of  SADC-
  • MDGs:
     o There is unsatisfactory progress made by the region in attaining
       the MDGs.
     o Funding for measures to attain the MDGs should be  reflected  in
       the budgets of national Parliaments.
  • African Debt:
     o  Parliaments  should  initiate   relevant   constitutional   and
       legislative reforms to  ensure  that  their  role  in  the  debt
       contraction process is further enhanced and institutionalised.
  • HIV and AIDS:
     o A  plan  of  action  for  national  Parliaments  (which  covered
       prevention, treatment, discrimination,  cultural  practices  and
       the care of Orphans and  Vulnerable  Children)  to  address  the
       continued increase in the rates of HIV infections was approved.
  • Future Plenary Sessions:
     o The 19th Plenary Session will be held in  Botswana  in  December
       2005 and the 20th in Mozambique in June 2006.

        Issues for the South African Parliament to follow up

  • Submit Country Reports for all five Standing Committees.
  • Submission of reports on the Global Fund showing  amounts  accessed
    to date; utilisation of such amounts and problems encountered.
  • Consideration  and  finalisation  of  the  draft  Protocol  on  the
    Establishment of the SADC Parliament.
  • Submission of a report on the ratification of all SADC Protocols to
  • Submission of a report on  the  establishment  and  support  for  a
    national woman’s parliamentary caucus.
  • Submission of a report on action  taken  at  a  national  level  on
    SADC’s Norms and Standards of Elections,  the  SADC  Principles  on
    Democratic Elections, and South Africa’s electoral laws.
  • Submission of a report on action taken at a national level  on  the
    SADC Declaration on Gender and Development.
  • Submission of a report on action taken at a national level on NEPAD
  • Submission of a report on action taken at a national level  on  PAP
  1. The Minister of Housing

    Report and financial statements of the National Housing Finance Corporation Limited for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

  2. The Minister of Labour

Report and Financial Statements of Vote 17 – Department of Labour for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 113-2005].

  1. The Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry:

(a) Government Notice No 763 published in Government Gazette 27846 dated 05 August 2005: Correction Notice to amend Government Notice No 533 published in Government Gazette No 27641 dated 10 June 2005 to substitute the word “Calitzdorp” for “Ladysmith”.

(b) Government Notice No 767 published in Government Gazette 27846 dated 05 August 2005: Notice of List of Protected Tree Species, made in terms of section 15(3) of the National Forests Act, 1998 (Act No 84 of 1998)

(c) Government Notice No 780 published in Government Gazette 27859 dated 01 August 2005: Rate s and charges, made in terms of section 11 of the Water Research Act, 1971 (Act No 34 of 1971).

(d) General Notice No 1391 published in Government Gazette No 27877 dated 05 August 2005: Publication of draft Forestry Laws Amendment Bill for comment.


   National Assembly
  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism on Oversight Visit to Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden 16 August 2005, dated 6 September 2005:

                        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The  South  African  National  Biodiversity   Institute   (SANBI)   was
established on 1 September 2004 in terms of the National  Environmental
Management: Biodiversity Act 2004. The Act expands the mandate  of  the
National Botanical Institute to include  responsibilities  relating  to
the full diversity of South Africa’s fauna and flora, and builds on the
internationally respected programmes  in  conservation,  research,  and
education and visitor services developed over the past century  by  the
National Botanical Institute.

The institute has during the past year, improved facilities of National
Botanical Gardens (NBG). It has completed new  education,  visitor  and
conservation  facilities  in  the  Lowveld  NBG  in  Nelspruit;  a  new
restaurant and shop at Walter Sisulu NBG in Roodeport; a new  education
centre, restaurant and shop in the Free State NBG in Bloemfontein and a
new restaurant, wetland and parking facilities in the Pretoria NBG.

In  its  new  role  as  SANBI,  the  institute  has  launched   several
biodiversity databases, including those on  reptile,  butterflies,  and
marine and freshwater fishes. The transfer to the  institute  over  the
MTEF period are R84,9 million in 2005/06, R89,0 million in 2006/07  and
R92,7 million in 2007-08.


As part of conducting oversight function and monitoring the  status  of
National Botanical Gardens, the delegation of the  Portfolio  Committee
on Environmental Affairs and Tourism undertook a study tour  to  Walter
Sisulu Botanical Garden, Roodeport in Johannesburg on 16  August  2005.
The main objectives of  the  study  tour  were  to  interact  with  the
officials of the South African National Biodiversity Institute in order
to examine management of Walter  Sisulu  Botanical  Garden  and  nature
conservation, and to receive input  on  progress  made  in  respect  of
global warming and greening of the nation project.

During  the  study  tour,  the  delegation  held  meetings  with  Chief
Executive Officer of the South African National Biodiversity Institute,
watched five minutes video on  the  activities  of  the  institute  and
received briefing on the outcome of  the  strategic  planning  workshop
held by the board members of the institute in July 2005. The main focus
of the briefing was on challenges  and  opportunities  related  to  new
mandate, client  and  customers,  products  and  services,  priorities,
knowledge  base,  legislative  review,  financing  strategy  and  human
resource management.

In addition, the members of the delegation were  taken  on  a  tour  to
Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden. The delegation had  an  opportunity  to
discover the breath-taking Witpoortjie Waterfall,  beautiful  landscape
of indigenous gardens such as cycads, succulent rockery plants, a water
garden, fern walk, black eagle, concert facility, new restaurant and  a
tuck shop built from the extended public works programme funds from the
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

    Noting that due to time constrains, the delegation could not have an opportunity to visit Pretoria Botanical Garden and did not get briefing on the climate change and greening of the nation project, it is concluded that an appropriate time should be allocated by the committee to undertake visit to Pretoria Botanical Garden, and ensure that members get input on the climate change and greening of the nation project.


    Based on the findings of the study tour, the following recommendations are made:

    The Portfolio Committee should call SANBI to brief members on the status report on greening of the nation project.

    The Portfolio Committee should call SANBI to brief members on recruitment and retention plan for young disadvantaged scientists.

    The Portfolio Committee should call SANBI to brief members on its draft financial strategy and on expansion strategy on botanical gardens.

    The Portfolio Committee should undertake study tour to Pretoria Botanical Garden to monitor the management of the garden and how indigenous plants and birds species are conserved.

    The Portfolio Committee must assist and have discussion with Mayor of Johannesburg Metropolitan Council to request the improvement of signage in the Botanical Garden.

    Noting that Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is currently unknown to previously disadvantaged individuals, it is recommended that more marketing should be done to provide exposure and access especially to black people.


As part of conducting oversight function and monitoring the status of
National Botanical Gardens (NBG) in South African which are in the
jurisdiction of South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
that accounts directly to the Department of Environmental Affairs and
Tourism and Parliament through the tabling of annual reports in terms
of Public Finance Management Act, a delegation of the Portfolio
Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism undertook an oversight
visit to Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, in Roodeport, Johannesburg on
16 August 2005.


   The main objectives of this oversight visit were to:

   Monitor and assess the management of the botanical garden and the
   conservation of species;

   Solicit input on the progress made in respect of global warming and
   greening of the nation project.


   A multiparty delegation of the Committee under the leadership of
   Acting Chairperson, Mr DAA Olifant (ANC) consisted of Mr JJ
   Combrinck, (ANC), Ms R A Ndzanga (ANC), Mr A D Mokoena (ANC), Ms M M
   Ntuli (ANC), Ms C Zikalala (IFP) and Mr TM Manele, Committee


The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism, having
conducted its oversight visits to Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden on 16
August 2005, reports to Parliament as follows.

The Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Prof Brian Huntley, welcomed the delegation of the committee. After brief introduction of the delegation, institute officials and an outline of the oversight visit by the delegation leader, Mr DAA Olifant, the delegation of the committee had an opportunity to firstly watch a video and briefing on the outcome of the strategic planning workshop held by the Board of the South African National Botanical Institute on July 2005 in National Botanical Garden’s Biodiversity Center in Pretoria. The briefing made by the Chief Executive Officer focused on the institute’s new broad mandate, client and customers, products and services, priorities, knowledge base, legislative review, financing strategy and human resource management. The sections that follow provide a brief discussion on the main issues presented during the briefing session.


 As a comprehensive biodiversity information system is not in place in
 south Africa to provide adequate and appropriate decision support for
 all stakeholders and that the nature and content of collaboration
 between partners and a strategy to achieve synergies are not yet
 defined in a measurable system, the board of the institute has realized
 that a comprehensive financing strategy is needed for the new mandate,
 including transfers of functions and funding from entities that
 currently have overlapping roles.


 Currently, the institute provides services to the society directly or
 via national government organizations (NGOs) community based
 organizations (CBOs) research institutions, and three tiers of the
 government such as national government, provincial government and local


  The key products and services to be provided by South African National
  Botanical Institute, for which indicators need to be developed and
  monitored are; knowledge, decision support, conservation and
  sustainable use and awareness.


  The priorities of the institute for 2005–2007 include the
  establishment of knowledge base   related to structure, functions,
  dynamics and biodiversity. The second priority, relates to the
  promotion of the exploitation of opportunities in biodiversity such as
  ecosystem services, eco-tourism and bio-products. The third priority
  relates to the promotion of the management of threats to biodiversity
  such as climate change and invasive species. The final priority,
  relates to the promotion of the transformation of the biodiversity
  sector such as training awareness and mainstreaming.


  The institute has on June 2005 developed a knowledge base, gaps and
  priorities. A five-year action plan with business case to the treasury
  has also been prepared on August 2005. A framework of comprehensive
  knowledge management system for SANBI will be developed by April 2006
  and a roll out of action plan by April 2007


  The institute has discussed legislative review process with the
  Minister of Department of Environmental Affairs and tourism on 1
  August 2005. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism will
  complete the process legislative review by November 2005.


  On the 1 August 2005, the management of SANB developed a draft a
  financing strategy and policy for the Board’s consideration on donor
  funding, public funds, reporting and investment to be finalised on
  November 2005.


  The management of SANBI will develop on October 2005 an efficient
  system of human resource management reporting to the board based on a
  scorecard system to be monitored and reviewed at each board meeting
  from November 2005.

    Members of the delegation were taken on a tour of the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden so that they could gain firsthand impression of the types of species that are conserved in the garden. The delegation had an opportunity to discover the breathtaking Witpooortjie Waterfall, landscaped indigenous gardens and a nature reserve along the Roodekrans ridge.


Having visited Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden on 16 August 2005, the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism and recommends as follows:

4.1 Noting that during the visit the delegation of the committee could not get progress report on climate change, greening of the nation project, it is concluded and recommended that the Portfolio Committee should call SANBI to brief members on greening of the nation project, climate change, expansion strategy on botanical gardens and, recruitment and retention strategy for young disadvantaged scientists.

4.2. Noting that Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is currently unknown to previously disadvantage individuals; it is recommended that more marketing should be done to provide exposure and access especially to black people.

4.3 Noting the problem related to signage, it is further recommended that the portfolio committee must assist and have discussion with Mayor of Johannesburg Metropolitan Council to request the improvement of signage in the Botanical Garden.

The South African Biodiversity Institute must be recommended for the work done in training highly competent botanists from the previously disadvantage communities.

Report to be considered.

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism on Oversight Visit to Umtata and Port St Johns 10-12 August 2005, dated 6 September 2005:



    In 1999, a National Poverty Relief Programme was introduced as a vehicle for creating employment opportunities through Government Departments. As a leading Department within the sustainable development agenda, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has an opportunity to work with communities and other stakeholders to contribute to the alleviation of poverty while actively engaging in its core business. A further development in poverty relief came when, in 2001, President Thabo Mbeki announced thirteen rural nodes and eight urban nodes of initial intervention. These were the integrated sustainable rural development and urban renewal programmes.

    In 2004, the President announced the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), which has a focus on using government expenditure to provide employment opportunities and training to unemployed people. The refocusing of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s social responsibility programme on the EPWP has provided additional guidelines to the programmme that include: a focus on labour intensive projects; accredited training; the definition of a job opportunity as an employment of six months or more; the utilization of 30,5% of project funding for community wages.

    With the aim of sustainable job creation, it has been made a requirement that at least 10% of workers must be provided with an exit opportunity in the form of a permanent job or a funded training opportunity. According to the 2004-2005 Annual Review of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the National Treasury allocated R386 Million to Departmental Social Responsibility and Projects Programme for 2004-2005 financial years, all of which had been spent by 31 March 2005. This was allocated to 163 projects with focus to working for tourism, people and parks, sustainable land-based livelihood; working for the coast and, working on waste.


    As part of conducting its oversight function over the implementation of Social Responsibility Project of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, a delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism conducted a study tour to Umtata and Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape Province from 10 to 12 August 2005. The main objective of this oversight was to monitor and assess the economic impact of 1 km coastal zone that restricts development and viability of local government, visit the location of poverty alleviation projects and interact with stakeholders to solicit input on barriers that inhibit successful implementation of poverty alleviation and job creation.


    During the visit, the delegation of the committee held meetings with the Executive Major of OR Tambo District Municipality, Government Officials, Executive Mayor and Councillors of Port St Johns District Municipality and, conducted site visits to the location of poverty alleviation projects in Umtata. In the meetings with the Executive Majors of OR Tambo and Port St Johns District Municipalities a number of challenges, opportunities and concerns were raised that relate to eco-tourism development.

    Some of the major problems mentioned by the Executive Mayor of the OR Tambo District Municipality that inhibit eco-tourism relate to nonutilization of indigenous knowledge in projects development, lack of capacity for community participation, underdevelopment of airport and lack of investment in tourism and poverty alleviation projects. While acknowledging the nature of problems, the Executive Major cited the creation of tourist attraction sites such as Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Mandela’s Birthplace in Mvelo, Sabata Dalidyebo, taxi owners for purpose of tourism, formation of local and regional tourism boards and establishment of tourists’ roads as opportunities that could contribute to eco-tourism development and benefit the indigenous people in Umtata.

    During the meeting between the delegation of the committee and Councillors of the Port St Johns District Municipality, the Executive Major expressed several concerns about eco-tourism development. Some of the concerns expressed relate to the financial implication of environmental impact assessment, non-flexibility of 1km coastal zone and lack of balance between environmental protection and development.

    In addition to the formal meetings held, the delegation of the committee visited three Poverty Relief Projects (i.e. Mthatha Greening and Cleaning, Siyaqola Recyclers Community) in the OR Tambo District Municipality funded by the Expanded Public Works Programme of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

    About 300 people, mostly women, are benefiting from all the three poverty relief projects funded from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s poverty relief programme, now renamed social responsibility and projects. The deliverables in these projects include job creation, training, planting of trees in the community and schools, collecting waste for recycling purposes, glass cutting, manufacturing of toilet paper, skills development of youth and women.


    Noting that the delegation of the committee could not visit poverty alleviation projects in Port St Johns as planned, concerns on poverty alleviation projects funded by European Union and problems of sewerage system in the areas where poverty alleviation project are implemented, it is concluded and recommended that:

    41.      The O R Tambo District Municipality must ensure that all
         the damaged sewerage pipes are repaired or old ones removed in
         order to ensure the successful implementation of the Mthatha
         Greening and Cleaning Project.
    4.2.     The Portfolio Committee should make a follow-up with
         Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to account on
         poverty alleviation projects funded by the European Union
    4.3.     The Portfolio Committee should consider undertaking
         oversight visit to Port St Johns with the objective of visiting
         poverty alleviation projects and soliciting community input on
         the socio-economic benefits of the projects in terms of job
         creation and poverty alleviation and tourism promotion.
    4.4.     The Portfolio Committee in collaboration with the
         Provincial Standing Committee must monitor the implementation
         of the recommendations made in this report.

    As part of conducting its oversight function over the implementation of Social Responsibility Project of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism as contained in 2005 Estimate of National Expenditure (ENE), a delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism undertook a provincial oversight visit to Umtata and Port St Johns from 10 to 12 August 2005.

    1.1. OBJECTIVE

    The main objective of this oversight visit was to monitor and assess the economic impact of 1 coastal zone that restricts development and viability of local government, visit the location of poverty alleviation projects and interact with stakeholders such as provincial department, district municipality and community members to solicit input on factors that inhibit or promote successful implementation of poverty alleviation projects within the framework of Extended Public Works Programme.


    A multi-party delegation of the Portfolio Committee under the leadership of the Acting-Chairperson, Mr DAA Olifant, ANC consisted of Mr J Combrinck, Mr A Mokoena, ANC, Mrs R Ndzanga, ANC, Mr. M Kalako, ANC, Ms C Zikalala, IFP and Committee Secretary, Mr M Manele.

    1.3. REPORTING

    Having conducted its oversight visits to Umtata and Port St Johns from 10 to 12 August 2005, the Portfolio Committee reports to Parliament as follows:


    On the 10 August 2005, the delegation of the committee had a formal meeting with officials from the Department of Economic and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Major of OR Tambo District Municipality. In her presentation, the executive major briefed members of the delegation on problems and opportunities related to eco-tourism development.

    The problem related to eco-tourism development includes investors enticing communities with offers of money and share schemes for their lands; building of capacity for the community to be able to participate in developmental projects; leaderships programmes currently not benefiting the local communities; indigenous knowledge not used in the implementation of community projects; underdevelopment of air port; lack of blue flag status for Coffee Bay; community participation and investment and, European Union members have recruited local and creating consortiums and trust so that members of the community could sign 25-year leases.

    While acknowledging the nature of problems, the Executive Major cited the creation of tourist attraction sites such as Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Mandela’s Birthplace in Mvelo, Sabata Dalidyebo and taxi owners for purpose of tourism, formation of local and regional tourism boards and establishment of tourists’ roads as opportunities that could contribute to eco-tourism development and benefit the indigenous people in Umtata.

    The OR Tambo District has a population of 1,7 million people and currently has the following tourists attraction sites, Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu; Mandela’s Birthplace in Mvelo; Sabbath Dalidyebo – Kingdom of Abathembu; Umtata dam; OR Tambo Cultural Village and Gardens of Remembrances; district spending funds to assist taxi owners for purpose of tourism; formation of local and regional tourism boards and establishment of tourists roads.


    During the period of the visit, the delegation of the committee conducted site visits to poverty relief projects (i.e. Mthatha Greening and Cleaning Project, Siyalola Recyclers Community Project) in Umtata that are currently funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism under the Social Responsibility and Projects as contained in 2005 Estimate of National Expenditure.


    The Mthatha Greening and Cleaning Project is one the poverty alleviation projects funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The main activities of the project include planting and beautification of trees, gardening of vegetables in homes and schools and environmental rehabilitation in Umtata. The project started in December 2004 and will end in March 2007. The total budget of the project is R10 million. The main objectives of this project are to: create jobs as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme; alleviate poverty in the urban renewal area of Ngangelizwe; arouse the interest of the public in environmental related matters and ensure that the area of Ngangelizwe is green and clean.


    The project got funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and has up to date managed to put in place a management structure, acquired a truck, machines and equipment and created 80 jobs for local community. The intention of this project is to create a friendly tourist environment through collection of waste, creating jobs and developing skills for all the previously disadvantaged communities.

    The main activities of the project reported to date include collection of waste for recycling purposes, bailing of waste and sending it to end- users, glass cutting, manufacturing of toilet paper, door to door collection of recyclable waste, provision of skills to youth and women. Despite the progress made in respect of creating jobs for local people, ensuring environmental cleanliness and awareness, the closure of Spoornet between Umtata and East London, non-acceptance of paper and boxes by the local companies currently cause transport and market problems and sustainability of the project.


    On the 11 August 2005, the delegation of the committee had formal meeting with the Port St Johns District Municipality. The Executive Major, raised number of concerns related to eco-tourism development in the area of Port St Johns. The following are the concerns raised by the executive major for the consideration of the committee and follow-up with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism:

    A blanket 1 km no-go zone area will create problems due to there being no flexibility. A consideration should be given to nodal development as reflected in our Spatial Development Framework Plan, which in various meetings has generated environmental support.

    The Mayor commented that department seems to prioritise the protection of flora far more highly than consideration for indigenous people. In his opinion, the current policy should be reviewed to give adequate consideration to both the indigenous people and the environment in which they live.

    Environmental impact assessment and scoping report as required by law have various financial implications, from our limited budget we believe consideration should be given by our department to subsidize if not fully finance these studies done due to your legislation.

    Places like East London that fall in IDZ (industrial development zone) obtain various dispensations from national government to assist them to develop their IDZs.

    Port St Johns has been identified as one of the six tourism nodes in South Africa. No dispensation or consideration is afforded to our town in any manner whatsoever, for instance our share of MIG is only five million which has limited impact over an area of 1 296 square kilometers.

    The limited resources make it extremely difficult to fast track the development of this tourism node. We believe that the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism should budget for the provision of funding to this end.


    Having conducted an oversight visit to Umtata and Port St Johns on 10–12 August 2005, the Portfolio Committee concludes and recommends as follows:

    4.1 Noting that the delegation of the committee could not visit poverty alleviation projects in Port St Johns due to ineffective communication between the provincial department and district council and misrepresentation of the provincial department, it recommended that:

    4.2. In order to improve future coordination of oversight visits; there should be effective communication between the provincial department and district municipalities and that proper representation of departmental officials in formal meetings be improved.

    4.3. Noting also that there are sewerage system problems in the areas where poverty alleviation project are implemented, it is recommended that:

    1. The OR Tambo District Municipality must ensure that all the damaged sewerage pipes are repaired or old ones removed in order to ensure the successful implementation of the Mthatha Greening and Cleaning Project.

    4.2. In future, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism should brief the committee on the status of poverty alleviation projects across all the provinces.

    4.3. The Portfolio Committee should consider undertaking an oversight visit to Port St Johns with the objective of visiting poverty alleviation projects and soliciting community input on the socio-economic benefits of the projects in terms of job creation and poverty alleviation.

    4.4. The Portfolio Committee in collaboration with the Standing Committee must monitor the implementation of the recommendations made in this report.

    4.5. More should be done by South African Airways to develop airport in Umtata so as to promote tourism and contribute to job creation and poverty alleviation.

Report to be considered.

                      MONDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2005


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Translations of Bills submitted
 (1)    The Minister of Trade and Industry

    Wysigingswetsontwerp op Patente [B 17– 2005] (National Assembly –
    sec 75)

    This is the official translation into Afrikaans of the Patents
    Amendment Bill [B 17 – 2005] (National Assembly – sec 75).
  1. Membership of Committees
(1)     The following changes have been made to the membership of Joint
    Committees, viz:

    Appointed: Mabe, Ms L L; Nene, Mr N M (Alt)

National Assembly

The Speaker

  1. Membership of Committees
(1) The following changes have been made to the membership of Portfolio
   Committees, viz:

   Agriculture and Land Affairs:
   Appointed:  Nhlengethwa, Ms D G

   Environmental Affairs and Tourism:
   Appointed: Zita, Mr L
   Discharged: Thabethe, Mr E

   Appointed: Nene, Mr N M
   Discharged: Davies, Dr R H


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance
 (a)    Report and Financial Statements of the Accounting Standards
     Board for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Independent
     Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 108-2005].
  1. The Minister of Trade and Industry
 (a)    Report and Financial Statements of the Export Credit Insurance
     Corporation of South Africa Limited for 2004-2005, including the
     Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for
     2004-2005 [RP 160-2005].

 (b)    Report and Financial Statements of the Council for Scientific
     and Industrial Research (CSIR) for 2004-2005, including the Report
     of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005
     [RP 115-2005].

 (c)    Report and Financial Statements of Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd
     for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on
     the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

 (d)    Report and Financial Statements of the National Lotteries Board
     for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
     Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

   e) Report and Financial Statements of the Competition Commission of
      South Africa for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-
      General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 62-2005].

 (f)    Report and Financial Statements of the South African National
     Accreditation System (SANAS) for 2004-2005, including the Report
     of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-

 (g)    Report and Financial Statements of South African Bureau of
     Standards (SABS) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the
     Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 163-

 (h)    Report and Financial Statements of the Competition Tribunal for
     2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
     Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 127-2005].

 (i)    Report and Financial Statements of the National Advisory
     Manufacturing Advisory Centres Trust (NAMAC) for 2004-2005,
     including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial
     Statements for 2004-2005.

 (j)    Report and Financial Statements of the National Gambling Board
     for 2004-2005 (plus inclusion of one page into the Annual Report
     of the National Board i.e. Page 51 “under the heading: Gambling
     Tax/Levy contribution per gambling mode – all modes – the Total R
     9 925 million is replaced with R 925 million), including the
     Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-
     2005 [RP 131-2005].


National Assembly

  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs on Visit to Gauteng Province, dated 21 June 2005:

    The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, having undertaken a visit to Gauteng Province in Germiston on 27 May 2005, reports as follows:

 1. Background of the visit

    On 27 May 2005, the Committee undertook a visit to Gauteng province
    visiting Germiston. The multi-party delegation under the leadership
    of the Acting-Chairperson, Mrs E Ngaleka (ANC)  included  Mrs  B  M
    Ntuli (ANC); Mr B A  Radebe  (ANC);  Mr  Z  Kotwal  (ANC);  Mr  TDH
    Ramphele (ANC); Mr S Abram (ANC); Mr J Bici (UDM);  Mr  M  V  Ngema
    (IFP); and Mr P J Nefolovhodwe (AZAPO).  Mr  J  Boltina  (Committee
    Secretary) and Ms Zukiswa Jara  (Committee  Assistant)  accompanied
    the delegation.

    The Democratic Alliance mandated Mr G Wolmarans from the Gauteng
    Provincial Legislature to join the delegation.

      1. The Chairperson, Mr J Boers represented the Gauteng  Provincial
         Standing  Committee  on  Agriculture  and  Land  Affairs.   The
         Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni represented by Mr  Theo  Rossouw,
         Councillor responsible for Housing.
      2. The following members represented the Gauteng Land  Restitution
         Claims Committee: Mr C Khanyile; Mr Dodo Shiburi;  Mr  Morapeli
         Seuoa; Mr Jacob Manase; Mr Mohlalefi Mokoena; Mr George Meluva;
         Ms Catherine Ncwana; and Mr Ignatius Thipane.

      3. Mr Tozi Gwanya represented  both  the  National  Commission  on
         Restitution of Land Rights and the Department of Land  Affairs.
         Regional  Land  Claims  Commission:  Gauteng  and  North   West
         represented by Mr Blessing Mphela; Ms Annelize Roesch;  and  Mr
         Elton Greeve, Parliamentary  Officer  for  Department  of  Land

      4. The Acting Chairperson of the Committee, Ms  Ngaleka  indicated
         that the Committee attended the meeting to honour  the  request
         made by  Gauteng  Land  Claims  Restitution  Committee  to  the
         Committee in August 2004. Because of many  challenges,  demands
         and obligations imposed by the Programme of Parliament, it  was
         impossible for the Committee to attend to the invitation during
         2004. It was for that reason that the Committee agreed  in  its
         meetings held on 17 & 24 May 2005 to attend  the  meeting  with
         the Gauteng Land Claims Restitution Committee on 27 May 2005 to
         discuss the problem of valid claims rejected by the Land Claims

 2. Brief overview

    Mr  Khanyile  stated  that  the  Gauteng  Land   Claims   Committee
    established in February 2004 consists of 29 areas  in  Gauteng.  It
    represents 66 000 people who were left out during  the  restitution
    process and is still collecting statistics. The Restitution of Land
    Rights Act (Act No. 22 of  1994)  is  generally  perceived  by  the
    dispossessed people as a good gesture of restoring the  dignity  of
    communities that were dispossessed. Such a gesture should heal  the
    wounds, uplift the socio-economic standard of life and pave the way
    for genuine reconciliation. However, section 2(1) e of the Act  has
    left a multitude of authentic potential Restitution of Land  Rights
    claimants due to the cut-off date of 31st December 1998.

 3. Presentation by Gauteng Land Claims Committee

      1. December 1994: The Restitution of Land Rights Act (Act  No.  22
         of 1994) was promulgated and  subsequently  the  Commission  on
         Restitution  of  Land  Rights  and  Land  Claims   Court   were

      2. March 1995: 3 years and 9 months before the  cut-off  date  for
         the lodgment of land restitution claims, the  first  democratic
         Ministry for  Agriculture  and  Land  Affairs,  led  by  former
         Minister Derek Hanekom, appointed Ms E Mashinini as  the  first
         Commissioner for Gauteng and North West.  Two  other  provinces
         had   also   appointed   four   other   Commissioners.    These
         Commissioners were legally authorized to discharge  tasks  such
         as  making  enquiries   by   accessing   relevant   information
         pertaining to the dispossessed, writing reports about the great
         removal scheme of Africans  from  their  areas  and  performing
         other duties regarding the dispossessed.

      3. It must be evident that much was not done in urban areas as per
         the Commissioner’s statistics for Gauteng.  The  Committee  was
         informed that there are only 11 885 claims  lodged  in  Gauteng
         and only 33 000 countrywide. Such information is not impressive
         and  it  is  therefore  unacceptable  to  the   worst   victims
         (Africans) of forced removals.

      4. June 1995 to January 1996: the period is two years  and  eleven
         months before the cut-off date for lodgment of land claims. The
         Commission appointed eight  public  servants  for  Gauteng  and
         North  West  whom  should  have   interacted   with   all   the
         dispossessed   through   the   formation   of   community-based
         structures which could have assisted in the compilation of data
         and the provision of solutions to other challenges.  The  ideal
         situation is to  appoint  such  public  servants  from  amongst
         dispossessed respective communities. At that point in  time,  a
         great  number  of  authentic  claimants,  including  Government
         officials,  were  unaware  of  the  Commission’s   mandate   of
         restitution claims process, hence this current problem  of  the
         many that were left out by the cut-off date. It  is  therefore,
         clear that the initial stages of the Commission’s  undertakings
         were not implemented properly.

      5. March 1996: the first batch of twenty-seven Gazetted claims was
         processed. Most of those were rural claims and some were claims
         from free-holding areas. It is  apparent  to  all  people  that
         other areas were wittingly or unwittingly left out. Hence,  the
         request that the Restitution of Land Rights Claims  process  be
         revisited through discussions in order  to  scrutinize  whether
         the aim of promoting  reconciliation  through  the  Restitution
         process was satisfactory realized.

      6. June 1998: the Commission launched a  massive  National  Public
         Awareness Campaign in Pretoria only six months before the  cut-
         off date for lodgement of claims. The campaign  is  appreciated
         but it has given much controversy due to  its  timing  and  the
         lack of outreach programmes to most deserving claimants. In the
         opinion of the Gauteng committee, the  Commission  failed  when
         comparing that campaign with, for example, the General Election
         Campaigns. The committee believed that other stakeholders  such
         as the Provincial Governments and Municipalities did  not  know
         of such a campaign.

      7. December 31, 1998: given the complexities created by  the  cut-
         off date for lodgment of claims, one may conclude that the date
         has been proved to be futile. It did not  accomplish  much  joy
         for the majority, which is sad and  miserable.

      8. South African Yearbook 2003/4 states that “forced removals from
         white areas affected some 3.5 million  people  and  vast  rural
         slums were created in the homelands which were used as  dumping
         grounds.” “By 2002 approximately 68 000 claims had been lodged,
         of which 72% were urban and 28% rural. A total of 36 489 claims
         had been settled, involving  about  85  000  households.  Urban
         claims mostly involved financial compensation  for  victims  of
         forced removals. The total compensation made by  December  2002
         was R 1.2 billion.” and

      9. Therefore,  the  request  is  to  ask  Parliament  through  the
         Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs  to  kindly
         redress the imbalances of the past by amending Section 2(1)e of
         the Restitution of Land Rights Act (Act No. 22 of  1994)  which
         would allow for  re-opening  of  lodgment  of  the  restitution

 4. Presentation by Chief Land Claims Commissioner

      1. The Commissioner briefed Members of the Portfolio Committee  on
         Agriculture and Land Affairs about the  process  on  the  Stake
         Your Claim Awareness Campaign from 1st June 1998 leading to the
         31st December 1998, the latter being the last date for lodgment
         of the land restitution.

      2. The Restitution of Land Rights Act states that all claims  must
         be lodged before 31 December 1998, this date came as  a  result
         of an amendment to the Act  that  was  made  by  Parliament  to
         extend the lodgment of claims from  May  1998  to  31  December
         1998. The reason for this extension was that  Parliament  noted
         that the response rate to the lodgment of claims was poor given
         that the land  dispossessions  affected  more  than  6  million

      3. When the restitution process was initially undertaken,  a  high
         profile communications campaign, namely the  Stake  your  Claim
         Awareness Campaign was nationally launched on 1 June 1998. This
         campaign  was  a  joint  venture  between  the  Commission   on
         Restitution of Land Rights, the  National  Department  of  Land
         Affairs and the National Land Committee, which included all its
         affiliates. The campaign also included  interaction  with  NGOs
         and the South African Council of Churches (SACC). The  campaign
         targeted all potential claimants who qualified for  restitution
         – persons as  well  as  their  descendants  who  were  forcibly
         removed from  their  land  as  a  result  of  racial  laws  and
         practices since 1913. The target audience of the  campaign  was
         very diverse  and  widely  dispersed  throughout  the  country.
         Forced removals were targeted primarily at black, coloured  and
         Indian people in rural and urban areas.

      4. The campaign targeted the use  of  mass  communications  media,
         that  is,  advertisements  on  national  and  community   radio
         stations  in  11  languages,  advertisements   on   television,
         workshops  in  urban  and  rural  areas,  posters  as  well  as
         pamphlets in the 11 languages, taxi rank  promotions,  door-to-
         door visits and the establishment of a Call Centre with a  toll
         free number.

      5. The radio campaign was targeted particularly at people  in  the
         remote areas and the advantage of such a campaign was that  the
         same message would be transmitted nationally and  on  community
         radio stations to all the campaign audiences in languages  that
         people understood.

      6. These adverts were broadcasted at peak times in the morning and
         the evenings when most people were either getting ready  to  go
         to work or on their way to work and in the evenings  when  they
         were  already  at  home.  The  audience  also  included  people
         remaining at  home,  housewives,  retired  persons,  youth  and
         unemployed persons. (988 radio  spots  on  16  different  radio

      7. The television campaign was by far the most successful  element
         of the campaign. It targeted mainly  urban,  peri-urban  groups
         and also rural areas. High impact spots were targeted, that is,
         before news bulletins, sport  programmes  (soccer  matches  and
         boxing),  etc.  This  was  however,  also  the  most  expensive
         campaign (11 spots).

      8. The pamphlet campaign – pamphlets explaining to people  how  to
         lodge a claim in 11 languages have been  distributed:  600  000
         pamphlets at  all  restitution  promotional  events,  that  is,
         rallies, workshops, taxi rank  promotions,  churches,  schools,
         community halls and during the door-to-door.

      9. The poster campaign ensured that people’s faces were mounted on
         walls of prominent trading stores within urban and rural  areas
         throughout the country. These posters included  the  toll  free
         number. (700 trading stores).

     10. T-shirts and caps were also given out at every  possible  event
         and the toll free number was also on the t-shirts. The  message
         was clear – “Restitution – Stake Your Claim.”

     11. Taxi rank promotions – the taxi  ranks  were  selected  on  the
         basis of the volume of people that go  through  the  taxi  rank
         everyday.  Taxi  ranks  in  all  provinces  were  visited   and
         pamphlets were distributed.

     12. Workshops to provide people with the opportunity to understand,
         through discussion,  the  objectives  of  restitution  and  the
         process that has been chosen to effect restitution were held in
         urban and rural areas  countrywide.  Workshops  were  held  for
         leaders of various  structures  of  civil  society,  to  elicit
         support for restitution and in educating the public about their
         land rights. These included people at the various levels and in
         structures of Government, chiefs, church  leaders,  leaders  of
         political organizations, trade union  leaders  and  others.  In
         addition, leaders were supplied with posters and  pamphlets  to
         assist in promoting and communicating the aims  and  objectives
         of  the  campaign.  Potential  claimants  also  attended  these
         workshops. The workshops were  mainly  held  over  weekends  to
         target most people. (More than  600  workshops  were  held  for
         communities around the country).

     13. The 0800 toll free number and the Call Centre (Help desk) was a
         critical part  of  the  campaign.  The  toll  free  number  was
         accessible to all and was cited in every  medium  used  in  the
         campaign.  A  team  of  4  persons  was  trained  in  telephone
         management skills and the subject matter of the campaign “Stake
         Your Claim.” The team was  multi-lingual  and  could  therefore
         assist callers in any language of their choice. The  toll  free
         Call Centre was operational till 31 December 1998. More than  2
         000 calls were received.

     14. Newspaper adverts – one of the late additions to  the  campaign
         as more funds became available. These included placing  adverts
         explaining the restitution process, announcements of workshops,
         event-based adverts, etc.

     15. Special events for example, Heritage Day and Women’s  Day  were
         used to promote the campaign  throughout  the  country  and  to
         distribute pamphlets and posters as well as T-shirts.

 5. The Awareness Campaign in Gauteng

      1. Many activities took place in the  following  areas:  workshops
         were held in Alexandra, Vereening, Diepkloof and Brakpan.

      2. Areas visited  included  Dobsonville,  Meadowlands,  Mohlakeng,
         Munsieville, Krugersdorp, Katlehong,  Vosloorus,  Thokoza,  Kwa
         Thema, Springs, Wattville, Benoni, Daveyton,  Brakpan,  Duduza,
         Springs, East,  North  West  and  South  of  Gauteng  including
         Atterridgeville, Saulsville, and Hammanskraal.

      3. Newspaper: 23 Adverts in November 1998 to December 1998.
      4. Taxi rank promotions  in  Pretoria  Bloed  Street,  Alexandria,
         Baragwanath, and Roodepoort.

      5. It should be noted that various  State  Departments  and  Local
         Municipalities made their offices available  for  claimants  to
         lodge their claims and  for  officials  from  the  Land  Claims
         Commission  to  work  from.  In  Gauteng,  for   example,   the
         provincial Department of Housing made their  offices  available
         for this purpose. In Diepkloof Soweto, the  Local  municipality
         also made offices available. The Commission  has  accepted  all
         the  restitution  claims,  which  were  lodged   with   various
         Government  offices.   Claimant   committees   also   submitted
         restitution claims in large numbers on behalf of  other  people
         and those claims were also accepted.

 6. How Gauteng Province dealt with late lodgement

      1. The office position has always been clear in  as  far  as  late
         lodgement of claims is concerned  and  this  position  emanates
         from the very same provisions  of  the  Land  Restitution  Act,
         which states clearly that the closing date for lodgement is  31
         December 1998. This is the message that has  been  communicated
         to the late claimants since the closing date.

      2. The claimants have always been informed (in writing and by word
         of mouth) that the office does not have  the  necessary  powers
         (including amending the Act) to decide whether or  not  to  re-
         open the process  of  Lodgement.  However,  Parliament  as  the
         legislative body has those powers  to  make  such  a  decision.
         Furthermore, late claimants were advised on other  land  reform
         programmes  available  within  the  Department  that  could  be
         accessed in order to improve or better their living conditions.

      3.  Sophiatown,  Alberton,  Pageview,  Lady  Selborne,   Eastwood,
         Alexandra,  Benoni,  Eastern  and  Western   Native   Township,
         Germiston,  Brakpan,  Top   location,   Meyerton,   Mooiplaats,
         Wallmannsthal, and Roodepoort are areas where late claims  have
         been received from database of late claims.

      4. The office advised the Gauteng Land Claims Committee to take up
         the  matter  with  the  NCOP  Select  Committee  and  Portfolio
         Committee as they would be the applicable bodies to  deal  with
         the matter.

 7. Conclusion

      1. As a result of the “Stake Your Claim Awareness  Campaign”,  the
         number of claims lodged increased from 33 000 in March 1998  to
         68 000 by 31 December 1998.

      2. Although the campaign had been undertaken, many people did  not
         believe that the restitution process would deliver  their  land
         back. It was only after the Commission on Restitution  of  Land
         Rights started delivering on its promise  of  giving  back  the
         land, that people realized  the  seriousness  of  the  process.
         Subsequently, many of those who did not submit claims  are  now
         wishing to do so, unfortunately  after  the  cut-off  date  for
         lodgement of claims.

      3. There are critical  issues  and  implications  that  should  be
         considered in any consideration process for the  re-opening  of
         the lodgement process.

           • Most of  the  urban  claimants  have  opted  for  financial
             compensation, which is one of the remedies/forms of redress
             available in terms of the Restitution of Land  Rights  Act.
             Most of the critics of the restitution especially NGOs such
             as National Land Committee (NLC) and research  institutions
             like PLAAS, are opposed to financial  compensation  because
             they believe it undermines the intention of  Government  to
             change the skewed  ownership  of  land  by  whites  (87:13%
             debate). Those urban claimants  who  want  re-opening  have
             already indicated that they would want to be given the same
             financial compensation that has been given already  to  the
             successful urban claimants.

           • Financial compensation has led to a lot of family disputes,
             fraudulent  claims  by   wrongful   claimants,   abuse   of
             restitution awards on unproductive  expenditure,  which  do
             not prioritize sustainable livelihoods.

           • More than R 4 billion has been spent  towards  the  59  345
             claims settled to date, of which were 52 809  urban  and  6
             536 rural. The Commission on  Restitution  of  Land  Rights
             need R13 billion to resolve the outstanding 20 351  claims.
             It is common knowledge that about  6  million  people  were
             victims of racial dispossession in the country but only 10%
             of dispossessed persons lodged a restitution  claims.  Most
             of the people did not lodge claims  for  patriotic  reasons
             such as “I cannot claim against my own  government  that  I
             have fought for so long.” Others simply  “did  not  believe
             that the return of land  would  be  possible,”  yet  others
             simply overlooked the campaign. But now  most  people  have
             seen that “this thing is real.”  If  one  were  to  re-open
             there would be a flood of new claims. The nation would need
             to provide much more resources for those new claims.

           • One of the main reasons for  the  cut-off  dates  for  both
             restitution  (19  June  1913  and  31  December  1998)  and
             redistribution (30% of agricultural land  redistributed  by
             the  year  2015)  was  to  ensure  certainty  for  economic
             development in the country. In  restitution,  for  example,
             once a claim  is  lodged  and  gazetted,  commercial  banks
             become reluctant to approve any loan for claimed land.  The
             resolution of the claim lifts up that uncertainty; and

           • Land Claims that are dismissed may be referred, in terms of
             section 6(2)(b) of the Restitution of Land  Rights  Act  to
             other land reform programmes (redistribution/LRAD or tenure
             reform) for access to land. This is in line with the vision
             of government to redistribute more land  and  thus  address
             the skewed land ownership in South Africa.

 8. Media briefing

    The following points were released at a joint media briefing, which
    took place after the meeting:

    “We have responded to the request of the Guateng  Land  Restitution
    Claims Committee to come and listen to their request for re-opening
    of lodgement of land claims.

    As the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs, we have
    listened attentively to the request.

    We shall go back to Parliament in Cape Town  and  deliberate  as  a
    full Portfolio Committee on the request.

    We are encouraging people to consider other land reform programmes,
    in order to address the  question  of  skewed  ownership  in  South

    Gauteng Land Restitution Claims Committee appreciates  the  support
    from Provincial Government, Executive Mayor  and  the  Land  Claims
    Commission. Gauteng Land Claims Committee is also grateful  to  the
    Portfolio Committee for coming all the way from Cape Town.”

    9. Appreciation

    The Committee expressed appreciation  for  passion  and  enthusiasm
    shown by Gauteng committee for engaging Parliament on the  critical
    matters such as the land question. Further noted that this was  the
    way communities should handle their problems, rather  than  running
    to the media without consulting relevant institutions.

    10.      Recommendations

    The Committee recommended that:

    a) The issue of amending the Restitution of Land  Rights  Act  (Act
       No. 22 of 1994) in order to reopen the lodgement of  restitution
       claims could be covered by the  upcoming  National  Land  Summit
       scheduled for late July 2005;
    b) Secondly, one of the strategic objectives of the  summit  is  to
       address the concerns and fears of the  previously  disadvantaged
       and current landowners  from  a  national  perspective  and  the
       Portfolio Committee is of the view this would ensure that  South
       Africans participate fully in the land and  agrarian  processes;

    c) In the interim, people who were left out by the cut-off date are
       encouraged to make use of other Land Reform Programmes, such as,
       the  redistribution  and  land  tenure  programmes,  which   are
       available in the Department of Land Affairs.

Report to be considered.

                     TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2005


National Assembly

The Speaker

  1. Membership of Assembly (floor-crossing)
Membership status of the following member has in terms of Schedule 6A
of the Constitution (floor-crossing) changed, as follows:

  ▪ Adv A H Gaum has, on 13 September 2005, left the New National
    Party (NNP) and joined the African National Congress (ANC).
  1. Membership of Committees
(1)    Mr L Zitha has been elected as Chairperson of the Portfolio
    Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism with effect from 13
    September 2005.
  1. Referrals to Committees of papers tabled

    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs. The Reports of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements are referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 88-2005].

    b) Report and Financial Statements of Bala Farms (Pty) Ltd for
       2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
       Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 133-2005].
    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Communications. The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements are referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 118-2005].

    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Finance:
     (a)    Government Notice No 806 published in Government Gazette
       No 27878 dated 5 August 2005: Determination on interest rate
       for purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition of “official
       rate of interest” in paragraph 1 of the Seventh Schedule,
       tabled in terms of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act No 58 of
    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements are referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit (MIIU) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 72-2005].

    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on the Public Service and Administration for consideration and report:

    (a) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.

    (b) Explanatory memorandum to the Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

    1. The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor- General on the Financial Statements are referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Construction Sector Education and Training Authority (CETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 85-2005].

    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour and the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements is referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    a) Report and Financial Statements of the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 97-2005].

    1. The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour and the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land Affairs for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements is referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Primary Agriculture Education and Training Authority (PAETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 106-2005].

    1. The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour, the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence and the Portfolio Committee on Defence for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor- General on the Financial Statements is referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Diplomacy, Intelligence, Defence and Trade Education and Training Authority (DIDTETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 100-2005].

    1. The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour, the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements is referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority (THETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 104-2005].

    1. The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour and the Portfolio Committee on Finance for consideration and report. The Reports of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements are referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 84-2005].

    (b) Report and Financial Statements of the Financial and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor- General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 83-2005].

    (c) Report and Financial Statements of the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 93-2005].

    1. The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry for consideration and report. The Reports of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements are referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 105-2005].

    1. The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on Labour, the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government and the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements is referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of the Local Government, Water and Related Sector Education and Training Authority (LGWSETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor- General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 95-2005].

14.     The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Arts and Culture for consideration and report. The  Report  of  the
    Auditor-General on the Financial  Statements  is  referred  to  the
    Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the National Museum for
         2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
         Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 141-2005].

    (b)      Report and Financial Statements of the Northern Flagship
         Institution for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-
         General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 128-

    (c)      Report and Financial Statements of the Freedom Park Trust
         for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on
         the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

    (d)      Report and Financial Statements of Blind South Africa
         (Blind SA) 2004-2005, including the report of the Independent
         Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

    (e)      Report and Financial Statements of Performing Arts Centre
         of the Free State for 2004-2005, including the Report of the
         Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

15.     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio  Committee  on
    Labour and the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture and Land  Affairs
    for consideration and report. The Report of the Auditor-General  on
    the Financial Statements is referred to the Standing  Committee  on
    Public Accounts for consideration:

    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Sector Education
         and Training Authority for Secondary Agriculture (SETASA) for
         2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the
         Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 107-2005].

16.     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio  Committee  on
    Labour and the Portfolio Committee on Education  for  consideration
    and report. The Report of  the  Auditor-General  on  the  Financial
    Statements is referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts
    for consideration:

    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Education, Training
         and Development Practices Sector Education and Training
         Authority (ETDP SETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of
         the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

17.     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio  Committee  on
    Labour,  the  Portfolio  Committee  on  Health  and  the  Portfolio
    Committee on Social Development for consideration and  report.  The
    Report of  the  Auditor-General  on  the  Financial  Statements  is
    referred  to  the  Standing  Committee  on  Public   Accounts   for

    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of the Health and Welfare
         Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) for 2004-2005,
         including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial
         Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 92-2005].


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance

    (a) Annual Economic Report of the South African Reserve Bank for 2005.

  2. The Minister of Transport

    (a) National Household Travel Survey for 2003 – Key Results.

    (b) National Household Travel Survey for 2003 – Technical Report.

  3. The Minister of Public Enterprises

    (a) Report and Financial Statements of arivia.kom for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005.

  4. The Minister of Labour

    a) Report and Financial Statements of the National Productivity Institute (NPI) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 48-2005].

    (b) Report and Financial Statements of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 97- 2005].

  5. The Minister of Health

 (a)    Report and Financial Statements of the Council for Medical
    Schemes for 2004-2005, including the Report of the Auditor-General
    on the Financial Statements for 2004-2005 [RP 146-2005].

National Assembly

 1. The Speaker

  (a)   Report and Financial Statements of Vote 11 – Public Service
       Commission (PSC) for 2004-2005, including the Report of the
       Auditor-General on the Financial Statements of Vote 11 for 2004-
       2005 [RP 124-2005].