National Assembly - 27 October 2005




The House met at 14:02.

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


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Ladies and gentlemen, the Chief Whip of the ANC has requested to move a motion without notice, and I’m told that there is consensus among all the parties that we deal with it before the President answers questions.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House - 1) notes the death of Rosa Parks, US civil rights activist, who died on Monday, 24 October 2005;

  2) recalls that -

     (a)      Mrs Rosa Parks, African-American heroine, a humble
         seamstress from the City of Alabama, USA, sat on a whites-only
         seat on a city bus, thus inspiring millions of her fellow
         citizens to stand up for their rights and in defence of the
         constitution of the USA which successive federal governments
         had failed to enforce; and

     (b)      it was Rosa Parks and other icons of her generation who
         inspired all freedom-loving people, especially in South
         Africa, to act fearlessly in fighting the monster of
         legislated racism; and

 3) conveys its heartfelt condolences to members of her family and  dip
    our flag in homage to this courageous  woman  who  passed  away  on
    Monday, 24 October 2005.

Agreed to.


      Statement by SA Communist Party regarding land occupation
  1. Mr A H Nel (DA) asked the President of the Republic:

    (1) Whether Cabinet has taken a position in respect of the statement by the SA Communist Party that it intends embarking on a campaign of mass land occupation around the country; if not, why not; if so, (a) what is the Government ’s position and (b) what action does it intend taking should the SACP implement this plan;

    (2) whether the Presidency has taken advice on the implications for the public’s confidence in the rule of law if such land invasions take place; if so, what advice;

    (3) whether the Government remains committed to the protection of property rights in South Africa; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? N2053E

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, let me start by thanking the House for the motion that has just been approved. Indeed, I think it is very important that we communicate this message, because Rosa Parks was indeed, as described in the motion, a very important mover of the process that sought to address the problem of racism and civil rights in the United States. Coming to the question, the hon Nel asks whether the Cabinet has taken a position in respect of the statement by the SA Communist Party that it intends embarking on a campaign of mass land occupation around the country, and so on.

I’m afraid that the question is based on a misconception about what the Communist Party said – probably based on wrong reporting of what the Communist Party said. The Communist Party expressed its concern about the slow pace in terms of movement with regard to the issue of land redistribution. It said that it was necessary to highlight this and, therefore, among other things, that it would carry out symbolic occupations of land to draw attention to land distribution in order to highlight the problem of land shortage and land hunger among the poor - symbolic occupations.

Indeed, the only national land occupation that took place was in the Brits municipality on vacant land owned by the municipality. That occupation occurred with the permission of the municipality. So we are not talking here about a process, suggested by the question posed by the hon Nel, of mass land occupation, which results in the further questions.

This is a decision taken to highlight what indeed is an important matter – the challenge of the proper distribution of land in our country. As in the case of any other organisation or person in the country, the SA Communist Party indeed has a constitutional right to embark on protest action on whatever issues it feels should be brought to the attention of the authorities and the general public. Therefore this is not a matter that required that the Cabinet should take any particular position, except to respect the right of the Communist Party to protest.

With regard to the substance of the matter itself, the hon member might be aware that the Communist Party also took an important initiative when it called for a land summit to bring in all role-players who are interested in this issue, so that we could all get together to do what needed to be done to speed up this process of ensuring the equitable distribution of the land.

The government itself has been concerned about this matter because, as the hon member will know, we had said that by 2014 30% of agricultural land would have been subjected to this process of redistribution. So far we have only been able to get up to 3%. Now there are various reasons for this, such as capacity and budget constraints, and the time taken to formulate policy. A factor of significance, of course, is the willing-buyer, willing- seller approach; and various other matters have slowed down the process of land redistribution.

Therefore, indeed we agreed as government with what the Communist Party called for - the need for a land summit – so that we could then see what it was that needed to be done. The land summit and the decisions that it took respected the provisions in our Constitution with regard to the matter of property rights, and focused especially on section 25 with regard to this matter, which also makes provision for other interventions with regard to the property question, including the issue of land.

The government participated, of course, in that conference, took seriously the decisions that were taken there and therefore necessarily looks at what it is that can be done in response to the decisions of the land summit to speed up this process of land reform. Therefore government’s position with regard to constitutional and legal matters in terms of property rights remains unchanged. I am saying, however, as the land summit said, that section 25 of the Constitution provides for other interventions to speed up this process, and the government is looking at that. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Speaker, thank you, Mr President. It may well be that their statements were reported wrongly, but I will come back to that.

I recently attended the congress of AgriSA and also visited northern KwaZulu-Natal where we spoke to many farmers. There is a willingness and a lot of good will to make land reform a success. There are problems, of course, but it is widely accepted that effective and sustainable land reform can only come about through the joint efforts of government and the farmers.

Now I was at the land summit myself, Mr President, and my perception is a little different from what you perceived there. I perceived the SA Communist Party as recklessly and cynically exploiting the emotion around land to further its own political ends. And, Mr President, it is your alliance partner. Are you prepared to tell them that their methods are irresponsible and reckless, not only undermining the rule of law but also jeopardising the economic future of our country? Thank you very much. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, as I said, I’m quite certain that the reason the SA Communist Party deliberately and consciously spoke about symbolic occupations was precisely because it wanted to respect the rule of law. It didn’t say, “We are going to seize land”. It said: “We will make these symbolic occupations”, and, as I indicated, the first one and the only one as far as I know that has taken place actually took place with the agreement of the Brits municipal council. So, I do not believe that we have anything in particular to fear with regard to this.

Indeed, the view of the government coincides with yours, hon Nel, with regard to the need to co-operate with organisations like Agri SA. Indeed, the land summit itself spoke about a supply-led approach to land reform, so that we should deliberately go out to find this land. It’s best to handle this – and, again, this was said by the land summit – in the context of a public-private partnership; that the government should indeed act in partnership with the landowners, as represented for instance by AgriSA, to access this land so that then it becomes possible to say to the people, “There is land available of this kind for these particular purposes”.

So we are not in disagreement at all about that. But also, as I was indicating, there are many other things that need to be done in this regard, which include – again within the context of the Constitution – interventions that would relate to expropriation of land and payment for it in the manner that is prescribed in the Constitution. This includes issues that were, again, raised at the land summit that had to do with scrapping restrictions on subdivision; reversing concentration; promoting the principle of one farmer, one farm; changing the current large farm-size culture; foreign ownership; land tax; using land for optimal social benefit; and extensive support for small-scale agriculture.

We have to intervene in all of these various ways in order to address this. I know that in some instances we have had problems. Issues have been raised about the possibility of negative things happening in this country - of grabbing land. I’m saying that the government is committed to respecting the Constitution with regard to the approach to this. Indeed, what we are saying is not peculiar to South Africa.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It’s gone, Mr President.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Yes, I think so too. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Mrs B M NTULI: Madam Speaker, agriculture had a central role to play in building a strong economy and in the process reduce inequality by increasing income and employment opportunity for the poor. For many decades Africans were deprived of economic opportunities. The denial of property rights prevented them from raising capital for investment.

With regard to the pace of land reform, would the President agree that in addition to the recommendations made at the Land Summit that the government must designate certain land or areas for land reform purposes even if it calls for expropriation? [Laughter.]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Speaker, yes, indeed. As I was saying, this is provided for in our Constitution and therefore must be one of the interventions we make with regard to speeding up this process of land redistribution.

I was going to say that none of this is peculiar to South Africa. Our ambassador in the United States, Barbara Masekela, earlier this month responded to an opinion item that appeared in one of the United States newspapers which was entitled “South Africa’s land grab” and she said that the South African government has not taken and will not take the land of any one farmer or otherwise without compensation or due process of law. To do so would be unconstitutional.

Our Constitution gives the state the power of eminent domain to take land for a legitimate public purpose. The US Supreme Court has held that eliminating the social and economic evils of a land oligopoly is a legitimate purpose. We are using eminent domain to redress land oligopoly resulting from generations of legalised racial discrimination. Then she asked under what set of circumstances does a remedy that passes muster under the US constitution become a recipe for disaster when we apply it under ours? [Applause.]

Madam Speaker, I might add for the benefit of the hon members that the US Supreme court judgment would indeed be instructive to read. It is Hawaii Housing Authority v Midkiff 467 US 229 (1984). So, yes this is indeed one of the interventions that must be made to address both the maldistribution of land, and indeed, the other challenges as the hon Ntuli has mentioned, such as helping to generate economic growth and encourage equity in our society. Thank you Madam Speaker. [Applause.] Mnu V B NDLOVU: Somlomo neNdlu ehloniphekile, mhlonishwa Mongameli, ngicela ukukusho kumhlonishwa uMongameli ukuthi kuyazeka ukuthi isikhathi sesiside kakhulu abantu belindile, abanye babo bekhala ngokuthi mhlawumbe uMnyango wenza kancane ukuthi ubuyisele umhlaba kubona. Kwake kwezwakala nomhlonishwa iSekela likaMongameli lithi mhlawumbe iZimbabwe ibafundise isifundo yini, bangafunda yini nakhona.

Ngicela ukubuza mhlonishwa Mongameli ukuthi ukungenelela kuzokwenza yini ukuthi abantu laba abafuna umhlaba nabafanele ukuthi bawuthole babe nevuso lokuthi bazowuthola ekugcineni, kungabi sengathi bayethenjiswa noma kukhulunywa nje into engezukwenzakala?

Okwesibili, nalaba okuzothathwa kuwo umhlaba kuhle kungabukeki sengathi bayephucwa umhlaba kodwa bakubone kufanele ukuthi umhlaba kufuneka bonke abantu babe nawo. Iyiphi leyo ndlela okungenziwa ngayo ukuze kukwazeke ukuthi zonke lezi zinhla ezisebenzayo ukufuna umhlabathi zikwazi ukuthi ziphumelele zonke? (Translation of Zulu paragraphs follows.)

[Mr V B NDLOVU: Madam Speaker, hon House and hon President, what I would like to say, is that it is a well-known fact that people have been waiting for a long time. Others are complaining about the department that is taking too long to return their land. We once heard the hon Deputy President say that perhaps Zimbabwe had taught them a lesson; they have got to learn from it. I would like to know, hon President, whether interference will cause those people who want their land to have hope that in the end they are going to get it, and not to feel like they are being promised something that will never happen.

Secondly, regarding those from whom the land is going to be taken away, it would be a good thing if they did not feel as if the land were being taken from them by force but deemed it necessary that everybody must have land. Which way is going to be used so that all the structures that are working to redistribute land are successful?]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Of the two basic points with regard to this, and there may be more than two, one of them is that indeed it is fundamentally part of government policy to ensure that we speed up the process of redistribution of land.

Kufanele singathembisi nje abantu balinde balinde iminyaka singenzanga lutho. [We don’t have to promise people without doing something; they wait for years.]

It is fundamentally the government’s determination to make sure that we speed up the process of land redistribution. That is why these two particular questions arise. The first one is the question about expropriation within the context of what the Constitution provides for and this issue of how we handle the so-called principle of willing sellers and willing buyers.

Those issues arise in the context of precisely this determination to move forward fast. That is one thing, and the second thing is that this means that we have to do all of these things that I have mentioned to look at the totality of issues that have served as blockages in terms of faster movement forward and then remove the blockages. One of them obviously, and the expropriation issue is related to this, is affordability, the provision of resources to make sure that indeed we do acquire this land. Because we say expropriation is provided for in the Constitution but the Constitution also provides that there must be compensation, fair compensation. So, you need those resources even when you have expropriated.

I am saying that these are important elements in terms of what government has done, what it thinks and certainly the impact of the land summit with the decisions it took. These must surely be that they encourage the government to move forward faster with regard to this.

Lokho kuzokwenza ukuthi abantu bangahlali iminyaka belokhu bethembile. USekela Mongameli badlala ngaye. [That will ensure that people do not have to live in hope for years. The Deputy President is not to blame.] What the Deputy President said was that here we have a challenge of the land question in Zimbabwe and as we look at what it is that we need to do. Naturally we will as part of answering the challenges that we face, look at all examples including the example of Zimbabwe.

Now, to look at the example of Zimbabwe is not to say that we are therefore going to copy what is happening in Zimbabwe, but to look at the question of Zimbabwe would very well be to say that if things went wrong, there is no reason why we should repeat that because we have got that prior experience.

Well, I am sure we are all accustomed to the scarecrows that are raised everyday and this was one of them. [Laughter.] [Applause.] Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr S N SWART: Madam Speaker and the hon President, the ACDP welcomes your commitment to protect property rights in terms of the Constitution and the rule of law. We also appreciate the need for land redistribution in our country.

The experience of the Modderklip land invasion case, however, shows a distinctly different approach for certain state organs. You will recall, hon President, that in that matter the eviction order was obtained but the state refused to enforce it, obliging the owners to again approach the courts for an order. The Chief Justice Langa said in the Constitutional Court in this matter, failure by the state to act in an appropriate manner would mean that Modderklip and others similarly placed could not look upon the state and its organs to protect them from invasions of their property. He emphasised that this would be anarchy and a recipe for disaster, and he added that the state failed to do anything and accordingly breached Modderklip’s constitutional rights to an effective remedy as required by the rule of law and entrenched by section 34 of the Constitution.

Whilst the ACDP appreciates that the mere fact that they were able to approach the courts and obtain liberal recourse indicates that property rights and the rule of law are being upheld in South Africa. Do you not agree, hon President, that it is deplorable that certain state organs in this case did not take active steps to prevent the land invasion in question and that the very least to enforce the eviction order granted? If so, how can similar situations be avoided to prevent what the Constitutional Court referred to as a recipe for anarchy? I thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Speaker, I am quite certain that we don’t have time to discuss the Modderklip case the hon member has spoken about, and he quoted quite correctly what the Chief Justice said. There is a whole range of other matters that relate to this, but I am saying that I am quite certain we do not have to discuss all of those. The principal point of course is that in the end the law is obeyed and indeed as he says, Modderklip had the possibility to resort to the courts to lodge whatever complaint it had and I am quite certain that in the end the executive organs of state, as they usually and normally do, would respect the decisions taken by the courts. But the difficulties relating to similar sorts of cases will persist.

However, I think that we should not carry the impression that there was a wilful decision by any executive organ to ignore the courts, but that there was an argument. There was a case that the executive authorities thought they had, but in any case, the matter has moved and everybody has respected what the judiciary has said. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Tensions regarding selection of candidates for local government elections

  1. Mr N T Godi (PAC) asked the President of the Republic:

    1) Whether ongoing tensions regarding the selection of candidates for the local government elections will adversely affect these elections; if so, what are the relevant details;

    2) what are the underlying causes of these tensions? N2134E The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, indeed, I think that the hon Godi has raised an important question, namely whether ongoing tensions regarding selection of candidates for the local government elections will adversely affect these elections, and what the underlying causes of these tensions are.

Part of what I’ve heard is that indeed there is, certainly in some areas of the country – it might be everywhere in the country – an intense competition among people who are contesting the election as candidates for their various parties for the forthcoming local government elections.

I’ve been told, for instance, that in some instances people will even come to meetings with guns in order to ensure that they get elected. I’ve been told that in some instances people threaten to destroy the very organisations that they want to represent in the councils if they don’t get elected as candidates.

I’ve heard of stories where people have been organised to carry out clearly lawless acts, which have involved burning down houses, and so on, in order to eliminate people that some think would be their opponents within the context of the choice of these candidates.

As we go around, doing municipal izimbizo, one of the things that comes across very strongly is that we have quite a number of people who serve on our councils, who think that to be a councillor is to access resources for themselves. This is perhaps the underlying cause of the tensions to which the hon Godi refers, that people think that by becoming mayors and councillors they’ll be able to access resources that they otherwise would not.

The Minister of Finance persuaded the Cabinet to agree, in the Municipal Finance Management Act, that councillors should be excluded from the tendering processes, precisely to address this. Nevertheless, it does seem, from the stories I hear, that people still continue to act in this manner, which in reality shows disrespect for democratic processes and for the will of the people by using unacceptable means to ensure that they get elected as candidates.

The underlying cause seems to be that people believe that by gaining these positions in local government, it would give them access to resources and, indeed, when they go around - some of them - asking people to support them as such candidates, they make specific promises: When I become mayor, you’ll get tenders. When I become mayor, I will do the following for you. And by doing so they do not address the fundamental interests of the poor of our country.

This is a matter of concern, and I appeal to all parties to make sure that we deal with this matter, particularly because of the great importance of the system of local government, which is the coalface of delivery, the coalface in terms of the improvement of the lives of our people.

Nevertheless, I would say to the hon Godi that I do not believe that those tensions that might exist within parties would adversely effect the forthcoming elections. It’s necessary that the parties should act very firmly against this kind of behaviour, but we all must indeed ensure that those elections are peaceful, free and fair. Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Mr N T GODI: Deputy Speaker, I thank Comrade President for the reply. I must confirm that as a leader in the PAC, going around in the country, I have come across such instances where some of our comrades act in ways that seem to emphasise the personal needs over the organisational needs.

From your response, I think that there are two things that came out, which I think are a challenge and on which we’d be interested to hear your opinion; one, the need to find cadres or people to deploy who will remain loyal to the vision of the people and who will be able to resist the temptations of those who would want to corrupt them to be able to make a quick buck or to get rich in the fastest and shortest possible way; two, the challenge of seeing that at the local government level you have the carrot of the tenders, which becomes the basis on which these fights and this jostling occur.

Has the government not thought of a way in which some of these functions, especially around infrastructural development, could revert back to government responsibility rather than being tendered out as private responsibility? Thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, Comrade Godi … [Laughter.] [Applause.] … one of the things that we have to do is indeed to ensure that the provisions of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act are honoured.

This is a critical legal instrument in terms of dealing with this issue that both of us are addressing. However, in the end this problem is not a government problem; it’s a problem of parties.

The members of the DA have just heckled and said: “Especially the ANC” … and they added, “… including the PAC”. They haven’t yet said: ”… excluding the DA.” [Laughter.] [Applause.]

This is a problem of the parties, and, indeed, I think that all of the parties have a very serious challenge in terms of responding to this, because – and I’ve said this a number of times before – it’s quite obvious that there is very prevalent in our society a very, very strong acquisitive, materialistic spirit; it’s quite clear. Hence this drive for people to acquire wealth as quickly as they can, without regard for any legality in the way you’ve just indicated.

Therefore, the particular problem with local government is that here you’ve got ward councillors. You need people who are respected by the communities that they represent. You need precisely the kind of person that you describe, who’s loyal to the concerns and interests of the ordinary people. The parties have to find these people, and have to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the self-seekers do not emerge triumphant.

If we don’t do it, then indeed we are going to face crises with regard to local government. Even the interventions that are being made, such as Project Consolidate, for instance, which will attend to issues of personnel, structure, manner of functioning, and so on, won’t succeed as well as they should and can if the people who sit on these positions of authority in our councils are self-seekers.

However, that is a challenge that all parties must respond to: the DA, the IFP, the ANC, the UDM, the PAC, the FF Plus, everybody . . . [Interjections.] . . . even the new ones. [Laughter.] [Applause.] Thanks, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Mr B M SOLO: Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank Mr President for the clear answer with which he has provided us.

A new system of local government has been established since 2000, in terms of Chapter 7 of the Constitution. Accordingly, local government becomes an integral part of a developmental state.

Ndiyeva ukuba impendulo yakho ithi onke amaqela ezopolitiko kufanele athathe inxaxheba ukuqinisekisa ukuba abantu abanyulwayo ngabantu abathembekileyo, ngabantu abaza kukwazi ukusebenzisana nabantu bazalisekise iimfuno zabantu.

Kodwa ke, kwimithetho ekhoyo kukho nendawo ethi abantu nabo mababe nendima abayidlalayo kwiikomiti ezisekiweyo ngokwaseburhulumenteni. Ndiyabona ukuba loo nto ibalulekile, Mongameli. (Translation of Xhosa paragraphs follows.)

[I understand your reply, to the effect that all political parties must ensure that elected members are honest and are people who are able to assist communities to fulfill their desires.

Nevertheless, in the existing policies there is a clause stating that people must participate in committees set up by government. I think that is important, Mr President.]

Given the huge challenges facing local municipal councillors and their communities, can the hon President share with this House his views on how his Office can assist in ensuring that local government gets more focused in its mandate in terms of the Intergovernmental Relations Act? Thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Yes, hon member, we decided that rather than continuing with the practice of holding provincial izimbizo, we should hold municipal ones. And as you would have seen, we are engaged in that process precisely because of the critical importance of this sphere of government.

One of the things that we always look at during those izimbizo is the issue to which you referred, of the role of the people. Indeed, you are quite correct, that it’s critically important that the people should make an impact on what happens to them.

This is the sphere of government where you come closest to the realisation of the vision that “the people shall govern”. And therefore the ward committees are very important with regard to this.

So in all of the izimbizo that we’ve held, we always meet all of the ward committees in the districts to discuss with them how they are functioning, what their problems are, and so on; and indeed there are problems. One of them, in some areas, has to do with funding. Despite the fact that the law says that the municipalities must provide the necessary resources to ensure that the ward committees function properly, you find, in some local municipalities, that such funds are not made available, with the result that the ward committee members are not able to do the work that they are supposed to do.

You find other problems, such as that even when the ward committees are functioning properly and report, through the municipal speakers, on issues raised by the people, these matters never reach the councils so that they can respond to the concerns expressed by the people.

So we are, indeed as you are suggesting, hon member, intervening with regard to this. I think that the meetings that we have had now enable us to draw some general conclusions about what is happening, and, therefore, we are in a much better position to impact on all of these questions, in all the municipalities, to make sure that they do indeed function as they should. Thanks, Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Mr W P DOMAN: Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr President, we believe that party discipline is to blame for much of the maladministration, lack of delivery and corruption that we have in the local government sphere.

The then mayors of Kannaland and Beaufort West are cases in point. If their party had adequately dealt with them, the public would not have had to wait for the outcome of protracted legal processes.

So Mr President, I would like to ask you: Do you agree that parties should not only appoint hard-working and honourable candidates, but that they should exercise strong discipline over councillors and hold them accountable for their behaviour, and that we definitely should not reappoint those who have transgressed in the past?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: This must be a historic day, hon member … [Interjections.] … because I agree with you. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

Indeed, I think the hon member is perfectly correct. The parties surely do have a responsibility over the councillors who represent them. We have very democratic and people-friendly laws, and sometimes it’s not so easy to impose party discipline when people have got resort to various kinds of laws to protect them – which is correct; they must have that resort. However, I think that you are correct.

Centrally important is indeed that the parties have got to do what you are saying. One of the matters that gets raised by the communities is that in many instances they never see their councillors. They elect the people this year and will see them again in the run-up to the next elections, which is a regular complaint. Again the question must arise: What are the parties doing in terms of ensuring that their members discharge their responsibilities?

So I’m going to write this down in my diary; today I agreed with the DA. [Laughter.] [Applause.] Thanks, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Mr C M MORKEL: Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr President, looking back at the pre- 1994 negotiations, the proportional representation system was introduced in an attempt to reduce tensions in local communities where two parties contest a particular area, and avoid conflict and tensions in that manner.

Now in local government we have both the proportional and geographical representation system. And in certain instances it’s around the geographical representative, the ward councillor, that some of this tension has been taking place, and further potential for conflict is evident in certain communities.

Mr President, would you be prepared to express yourself on the multimember system being proposed by the Slabbert commission and its application at various levels, including local government, potentially?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, no, I wouldn’t. We might want to discuss the question of the electoral system more comprehensively. I don’t think that a response to it now, in this limited way, would help.

Indeed, we might want to discuss it globally and see what we need to do if there is any need for improvement. However, I’m glad that you raised the point about the kind of conflict that arises around ward councillors. Indeed, that has been part of the discussion about the electoral system, that we should design it in such a way that it doesn’t result in that kind of conflict.

Given the age of our democracy and given where we come from, it is necessary to ensure, surely, that the system is democratic and properly representative, but also sensitive to the tensions that can arise if we design a wrong system. However, I think that perhaps another day, hon member, we can discuss this matter a bit more comprehensively. Thanks, Madam Deputy Speaker.

        Contribution made by United Nations 2005 World Summit
  1. Mr D K Maluleke (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:

    What contribution has the United Nations 2005 World Summit – High- level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the General Assembly made to creating a better Africa and a better world?


The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, there were high expectations about this high-level meeting of the United Nations with regard to a variety of matters. One of them had to do with the restructuring of the United Nations, including the Security Council; to quote the outcome document that was adopted by that high-level meeting:

[…the Security Council becomes more broadly representative, efficient and transparent to enhance its effectiveness and legitimacy and the implementation of its decisions.]

That decision was not taken with regard to the restructuring and as you know this would have given the possibility to the African continent, among other things, also to have permanent members on the Security Council, and to that extent, therefore, we can say that the high-level meeting did not succeed to create those conditions for a better Africa and a better world.

The second matter that it had to deal with was the progress report on the Millennium Development Goals. A report had been commissioned by the UN on this matter before this summit, known as the Sachs Report. It was done by Prof Jeffrey Sachs. It is called: Investing in Development – A Practical Plan to Achieve Millennium Development Goals.

In that report Prof Sachs indeed says that Africa is the only continent that will not be able to achieve these goals. He also indicates the sorts of resources that will be required in order to meet those Millennium Development Goals, and it says that for the developing world the cost of meeting the MDGs in all countries would amount to $121 billion in 2006, rising to $189 billion in 2015.

Now, that is $121 billion in 2006. This compares with the 2002 official development assistance of roughly $28 billion. You can thus see that even just looking at this one particular matter, the resources that have been committed to meeting the Millennium Development Goals are not enough. But again, we believe that the Millennium Summit +5 high-level meeting in New York did not attend to this matter adequately.

There is another issue, which relates to the conflict between multilateralism and unilateralism. The outcomes document says that one of the main challenges facing the UN is to reach a security consensus that is –

… based on the recognition that many threats are interlinked; that development, peace, security and human rights are mutually reinforcing; that no state can best protect itself by acting entirely alone; and that all states need an effective and efficient collective security system, pursuant of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

We were not able to arrive at a common response to these interlinked threats and to say what we should do in a multilateral manner, rather than a unilateral manner. So, that is another problem. The Secretary-General of the UN pointed to another problem, which was failure to reach agreement on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. So, I would say, hon member, that in many respects, the high-level meeting did not meet the expectations of the African people, and indeed, I think the expectations of billions of people elsewhere in the world. But it it’s a start, and the matters that are on the agenda are continuing to be discussed by the General Assembly and hopefully it will be possible to make faster progress.

The Prime Minister of Sweden - and Sweden is currently the President of the General Assembly - has taken the initiative to put together a group of countries, including South Africa, to see what we can do to contribute to speeding up of the process of responding to all of these challenges. We have joined that group, and we will contribute whatever we can, because it is important that the objectives that were set should be achieved, sooner rather than later, to create that better Africa and that better world. Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Mr D K MALULEKE: Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to thank the President for his informative response. Mr President, it is quite obvious that an African seat in the UN Security Council will help focus the attention of the United Nations on African affairs. Would His Excellency share with the House the efforts South Africa has made, as well as problems it has encountered, in securing that seat? In what particular ways would South Africa, if it obtained that seat, use it to force development on the African continent?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, there has been a decision of the African Union that none of us are allowed to campaign for a seat on the Security Council, so I am not going to, otherwise I will get myself into a lot of trouble.

The position that the African continent has taken is that with regard to the permanent seats we have to argue for two permanent seats. A further decision in this regard was that we should oppose the creation of a two- tier system with regard to those permanent seats - with some members, the current permanent five, having a right of veto, and the new ones who would come aboard not enjoying that right. The decision was that we should, as the African continent, argue for equality. If the other members have the right of veto, the new ones should have. We would prefer that there was no veto, but clearly experience shows that those who have the veto now are not about to give it up. So, that is the position.

Negotiations took place, I would imagine that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has reported on all of this, with all countries and all groups, and in the end the delegation of African Foreign Ministers agreed with the group which includes Germany, Japan, India and Brazil, that we should not insist on this veto for now. We should get into the Security Council, but continue the struggle with regard to the matter of the veto. This is the position that was explained by President Mogae, speaking here yesterday.

But nevertheless, an extraordinary summit of the African Union decided that we should still pursue this matter of equality of treatment among permanent members, and therefore constituted a group of 10 heads of state to go around and canvas this and report back to an AU summit which will be taking place on Monday next week. So, that group of 10 will report as to what sort of response they had. We will see what decision comes out of that.

It is only after that, once this matter has been settled, whether we are getting two members and so on, that the African Union will engage the question as to who those two members should be. It is in that context that we are prohibited from canvassing. We will see what the continent decides with regard to this matter. Thanks, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, hon President, one of the outcomes of the United Nations 2005 World Summit was the following:

We acknowledge that good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.

The major expected outcome of the African Peer Review Mechanism is to arrive at international best practice codes for good governance.

In the light of the fact that Zimbabwe provides a prime example of flagrant disregard for the rule of law, and that our government has steadfastly refused to openly challenge the deplorable conditions under which our neighbours are living, will the President tell us what contribution our government will make towards creating a better Africa and better world, while we seem to be failing to create a better SADC region, where one of the member countries is causing untold suffering to its own people? Thank you. [Interjections.]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Madam Deputy Speaker, the United Nations 2005 World Summit - High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the General Assembly, did not discuss Zimbabwe at all. The matter did not arise. The question that we are dealing with is the outcomes of this high-level meeting of the United Nations.

However, we can discuss Zimbabwe and its challenges. Last week, for instance, I had to receive a delegation from the opposition party, the MDC, who had come to raise some concerns about what was happening. They asked us to intervene, which we did. I am quite sure they will return and ask us to further pursue those matters. So, I have said this many times before, that from our point of view the way we should approach the situation in Zimbabwe is to see what contributions we can make to assist the people of Zimbabwe to solve their problems. That is why I am saying that the MDC came to ask us whether we could help them to solve their problems. And we tried, as we would.

We will continue to do that, and again, as we have said, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Zimbabwe is not a province of South Africa. So, we cannot instruct them. We cannot compel them. But what we can do is engage them, whether ruling party, opposition party, or other forces, to contribute what we can to the solution of this problem.

I have yet to be convinced that there is any other approach that would help Zimbabwe to solve its problems. I know that you might, if I issued a statement later this afternoon denouncing Robert Mugabe, very well applaud me, and say: “Mr President, very well done.” But, will that have solved the problems of Zimbabwe? [Interjections.] It might have made me popular in your eyes, but will it have solved the problems in Zimbabwe? I doubt it. [Applause.]

Mr D H M GIBSON: Chairperson, Mr President, Government and opposition both support the reform of the United Nations, and in particular the Security Council. I can say something that you can’t, which is that we strongly support the claim of South Africa to one of the proposed new seats.

President Mogae spoke very directly yesterday, and talked about better half a loaf than no loaf at all, and he was referring to the tactics of some of our brothers, which have contributed to the fact that reform of the Security Council seems to have come to a halt.

Our hon Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated a while ago that if this summit failed to come to grips with reform, it could even be a decade or more before a real chance came again. I would like to ask you, Mr President, what steps are we going to take, together with our allies and partners in Africa, and our friends in other places in the world, like Japan, Germany, Brazil and India, to get the reform momentum going again?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, I would like to believe, hon Gibson, that the 10 African heads of state and government who were charged with this responsibility to interact with people - other countries and regions and so on – by the time they report back on Monday, will give us a good sense of what we will be able to achieve, also regarding this matter of the veto. I think we should wait for that, because what they might well communicate, in terms of the interactions that they have had, that the African continent might have to adjust its position in this regard. I have indicated that the Prime Minister of Sweden, the hon Göran Persson, had taken an initiative to put together a group of countries to look at what it is that can be done to speed up this process of the reform of the United Nations. He asked us to serve on this group, which we have accepted. The group will work with the Secretary-General, and as I have indicated, currently Sweden is also the President of the UN General Assembly.

It is our belief that that grouping, which is broadly representative of the regions of the world and countries at different levels of development, etc, has a possibility to produce some outcomes, which would be accepted by consensus by everybody else. So, nothing has stopped. We have not reached a dead-end. I would hope that the forthcoming summit of the African Union, having received a report from this committee of 10, would have a possibility to reflect on this matter, perhaps in the context of what President Mogae was saying.

They might come back and say that the rest of the world - which was the report of Foreign Ministers - is of the view that we should proceed to restructure and that we should leave this veto matter for now - although we should continue to fight for it, or its removal for everybody, but that we should move. It may very well be that they might come back with that report. I don’t know, but I think we should wait for that. I am quite certain, though, that the forthcoming summit will look at this matter quite seriously, because I do not get a sense on the continent that the continent wants to stall the process of reform, but it seems to want a process of reform that is equitable. But how much equity we can reach tomorrow of course depends on a lot of things. But I think it will move. Thanks, Mr Chairperson.

Dr P W A MULDER: Chair, Mr President, the FF Plus agrees with the whole attitude from your side of being more pragmatic in handling the situation of an African seat on the Security Council. I also agree with what was said yesterday by the President of Botswana.

I am convinced that the present position of the African countries will delay a seat, even for 10 years, as the Minister has said. My question is: How permanent is this African decision? You said we can’t force Zimbabwe, but we can engage with them. Can we engage with these countries to try to convince them? Is there some possibility that this position will change? Because I can’t see any movement on this issue as long as their position is firmly set, namely, no seat without the veto.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, when the Foreign Ministers reported at the last extraordinary summit of the AU on their consultations, and came with a proposal that we should, for instance, agree with the G4 - Brazil, India, Japan and Germany – to have these permanent seats without the veto, the general view was that perhaps the Foreign Ministers had not done enough consultation. This principle of equity, equality of treatment, seems so obvious as a principle that to have it rejected and saying that we are going to have a two-tier system of representatives looked at bit strange, and therefore I am saying the view seemed to be that the Foreign Ministers did not consult sufficiently, and did not bang tables hard enough to assert our rights. Therefore it was decided to take the matter to a higher level. It was decided that the heads of state and government themselves had to deal with this – ten of them.

So, presumably by the time they report on Monday they will have done this consultation, which they thought the Foreign Ministers had not done - which they had. I am saying all of this, hon Dr Mulder, to say that the nonacceptance of the Foreign Ministers’ report was not so much based on an ideological conviction as on the belief that the Foreign Ministers had not consulted enough, hadn’t pushed our case hard enough.

Presumably the heads of state and government would have consulted enough, pushed our case hard enough, and then we will see what kind of response they get. If they come back to say that everybody agrees we should have permanent seats with right of veto, we will all applaud. If they say that they had consulted, but that the rest of the world did not agree with us, then obviously Africa cannot subtract itself from this process and say that unless we get these permanent seats, with right of veto, we are not going to sit there, because the rest of the world might very well move forward.

So, I don’t think that one would have an ideological position such as that one would indeed, regardless of what the rest of the world says, get into a position of take it, or leave it. I don’t believe that that would happen. Thanks, Madam Deputy Speaker.

     Remarks by President regarding civil society organisations
  1. Moulana M R Sayedali-Shah (DA) asked the President of the Republic:

    (1) Whether his remarks on Wednesday, 28 September 2005, that civil society organisations represent the wishes of their international donors, is supported by the actions or statements of any particular organisations; if not, what factors did he take into consideration in reaching the conclusion that civil society organisations are not reflecting the needs or views of ordinary people; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether he or the Government is planning any interventions to limit the ability of civil society organisations to determine their own priorities and modus operandi; if not, what action is he planning with regard to these organisations; if so, (a) what interventions and (b) when;

    (3) whether he intends inviting civil society organisations to respond to his remarks; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? N2054E

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: I must apologise, Chairperson, for referring to you in the feminine case. [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Thank you, Mr President.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: The hon member wants to know about the remarks I made on Wednesday, 28 September 2005, regarding the independence of civil society organisations.

What I said, twice, was in the context of the discussion of the African Peer Preview Mechanism. What I said twice at two different meetings is that there is a general view around the African continent, and there is a question that is asked around the African continent, which is: Do we have a genuine African civil society? A question is raised around the question of the funding of civil society organisations. What I am saying is that I can give the hon member a whole lot of reports, which will show him that this is correct. There is a concern around the continent about this. That is what I talked about.

It is a genuine concern around the continent, and it gets expressed like this. It’s an important part of the discussion about the peer review system, which we will come to, because the peer review system is a review of countries, and therefore, the issue arises about the role of nongovernmental organisations and civil society in those countries with regard to meeting the challenges of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

The issue of foreign funding is a matter of very regular discussion among the NGOs themselves, so I was not being particularly creative or inventive when I raised this matter. It is very much on the agenda of the NGOs very regularly.

For instance, Fazila Farouk wrote an article in one of our papers in 2002. She was reporting about an international conference of NGOs which met specifically to discuss this question. In the article, she said:

NGOs around the world are asking the same question: how can we survive without international donor funding?

She said the conference –

… was motivated by the need to steer Southern NGOs away from a detrimental dependence on international donors that are driven by Northern agendas.

It’s a regular, standard issue that is discussed within the NGO community. So it’s not anything particularly new.

I am going to quote from Kisiangani Emmanuel’s review of a book called Agenda Setting and Public Policy in Africa:

Most local NGOs, however, depend on foreign funding to run their operations. Foreign funding institutions on the other hand prescribe particular programmes that they fund. This restricts the local organisations to programme choices that are already determined by the funding institutions.

Local NGOs need to overcome their dependency on external donor funding. This will help them to develop their own original approaches, and present courses of action for influencing policy in their respective countries.

There are many of these things that I can cite. Terence Smith at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal had the following to say:

Prior to 1994, NGOs in South Africa enjoyed a remarkable degree of freedom and independence from donors. Donors imposed minimal controls on what recipients spent funds on. After 1994, however, the donors have arguably had much more of an influence on what South African NGOs do, and how they do it. This has occurred primarily through the criteria that donors set for who and what they will and won’t fund, which has limited the freedom NGOs have to determine what kind of work they will undertake.

And so on.

Larger institutional donors whose criteria are usually set by political imperatives in the home country leave little room for negotiation or influence by recipient donor organisations in the country.

I am saying that I can quote many of these things. This is a particular challenge. I mentioned that I have also been told that around September 2003, one of these donor organisations offered a sum of R80 million to fund NGOs in what was called a “civil society advocacy programme”. It was said that these moneys were going to be provided and various NGOs needed to be found which could then challenge the government in the run-up to the 2004 elections with regard to delivery, with regard to various matters.

The issue was not acted on because there was a debate that went on for quite a long time between the donor and the people who were supposed to administer the funds.

So, I am saying that I do not believe that there is anything new about this. NGOs are very, very familiar with this subject, and there is no particular reason why there is a need for us to hold a conference with them about matters that they are discussing. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. [Applause.]

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: Thank you Chairperson and hon President. Mr President, with all due respect, if one took your argument that civil society organisations represent the wishes of their international donors, while it may be true in some instances, but as a generalisation, to its logical conclusion and extended that argument to the political domain, then one may easily deduce – and I am not saying that it is true – that the ANC is in fact doing the bidding of its foreign donors, because it received funding during the struggle and continues to do so even in post-apartheid South Africa. [Interjections.] I am not saying that it is true.

Furthermore, are you not then sending a wrong signal, for example, to foreign countries such as the G8 group of countries, whose financial assistance we require in order to realise the Nepad initiative. Aren’t we then saying to them: We don’t want your money; it’s dangerous; it’s not safe to take your money?

What about the role NGOs are playing in South Africa and continue to play in the social, political and economic life of this country? These kinds of remarks, if they are not specific and qualified, can have a demoralising effect on the NGOs. Thank you. [Time expired.]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: The hon member has not listened. [Laughter.] What I said was that this issue is actually a matter that is very actively discussed by the NGOs themselves. I didn’t say anything at all that they are not considering themselves. They are looking at specific interventions and manners in which they should act in order, precisely, to avoid this danger.

The hon member might think that this is perhaps a piece of juicy political meat, but the fact of the matter is that the NGO community itself is concerned about this matter. I think that if we want to engage this issue, we should engage it with a view to assisting the NGO community to address the matter. I think that is what we should do.

As I was saying, I can quote lots and lots of things from the NGOs. The reason why you hold an international conference of NGOs by NGOs to discuss the issue of what they should do to ensure that the foreign funding doesn’t compromise them is because there is a problem.

Two staff members of the Republican Party in the United States’ House of Representatives in 1996 raised this question about US Agency for International Development, and said – this is the Republican party – that this programme is not so much support for the Mandela government as support for AID’s undisclosed political activities within the South African domestic political arena, involving the most difficult, controversial issues in South Africa. By funding advocacy groups to monitor and lobby for changes in government policies, and even setting up trust funds to pay for legal challenges in court against the new government’s action or inaction, AID is, in some respects, making President Mandela’s task more difficult.

This was the Republican Party talking about US government funding; they were staff of the Republican Party in the US House of Representatives.

This is precisely the concern the NGOs have – that they don’t run into this problem. So, if the hon member wants to intervene in this matter, he should read what the NGOs say about this, and maybe he can contribute something to help them to find a solution. Thank you, Madam. Oh, sorry, Chairperson.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Mr President, we went way over the time as prescribed, and I allowed you to conclude, but we will have to observe the time for the responses.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: He mustn’t call you “Madam Speaker”! [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Yes, we can strike a deal, Mr President.

Mr B A D MARTINS: Your Excellency, hon Mr President, whilst the important role of civil society organisations is acknowledged and accepted as a basic tenet of a healthy democracy, would you nevertheless care to comment on the most cherished myth that they operate in a political, ideological and class vacuum? I thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Hon member, I wouldn’t imagine that they would themselves claim that they are operating in such a vacuum, because I think that people get together to serve particular purposes and are advocates for something or the other.

One of the NGOs here - I remember it was some time back, it must have been around 1999 – appealed for funds from abroad on the basis that once Nelson Mandela leaves and Thabo Mbeki takes over as President, human rights are going to be challenged, and therefore they should get money to fight for the protection of human rights. They wouldn’t say that they were operating in a political vacuum. No, I think that all of us have got particular purposes that we pursue. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mrs C DUDLEY: Chairperson and hon President, as you have expressed the fear that foreign donors expect the NGOs they are funding to pursue a particular agenda, the ACDP’s question is: To what extent does the Government itself direct a particular NGO to pursue a given agenda when the NGO receives state funding? Thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, this would be true also, that governments - whether here or anywhere else in the world – would give funding to NGOs in order to support, encourage and promote government programmes.

The difference is that these are matters that are domestically decide, and have got to do with the domestic agenda. The democratically elected Government says that we must address the challenge of poverty, and can civil society please join us in this. That is an agenda that is decided by the people themselves, not an agenda that comes from outside. Somebody else might say that you are wrong about the issue of poverty. I, coming from the North, have decided on a different thing.

So, of course, no government is going to hand out public funds for purposes with which it does not agree, obviously. I am saying the issue that is raised is the impact of forces out there in terms of directing national policies, simply because they have got funds, and NGOs don’t have. I think that is a very important distinction in terms of the impact of the funding on the NGOs. Thank you.

Mr T E VEZI: Chairperson, hon President, are you aware of any civil organisations which are aligned to the ruling party who have betrayed the party in any way? Thank you. [Interjections.]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Shenge, can you help? No, I don’t. [Applause.] I am trying to think what . . . [Interjections.] Pardon? No, I really don’t. Thank you, Chairperson.

Progress with national unity and new patriotism; moral regeneration and social cohesion programmes; and youth empowerment

  1. Prince N E Zulu (IFP) asked the President of the Republic:

    1) whether any progress has been made in the country in terms of national unity and new patriotism; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    2) whether the moral regeneration and social cohesion programmes are making an impact in our society; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(3)     whether youth empowerment in rural areas is receiving priority
      attention; if not, why not; if so, how?  N2048E

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, this obviously is an important question, but perhaps not that easy to answer. Clearly, the matters, which hon Prince Zulu is raising - national unity, new patriotism, moral regeneration, social cohesion - are of course matters that are very important in terms of the future of our country. The report prepared by the Presidency, Towards a Ten Year Review, which details the extent of progress that has been made towards the realisation of these goals, indicated what had happened in all sorts of areas.

I’m quite sure that the hon member is aware that all the interactions we have with various sectors of South African society, as government, are targeted at ensuring that we are able to act together as South Africans within the context of that national unity and new patriotism. A point of focus of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter this year has been to emphasise that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

But research on the subject - social cohesion, new patriotism and so on – I think hon member, indicates that we are indeed making some progress. For instance, surveys conducted in 1994, 1996 and 1999 would show this. In 1996, 65% of South Africans indicated that they were often or very often proud to be South African. In the following year, 1997, 85% said that they were very proud to be South Africans. And much later, in 2004, 96% of respondents indicated that they were proud to be South Africans.

I think that you can see that there is this growth and development with regard to this matter of national unity, new patriotism and a sense of pride in what the country is doing. So, yes, indeed I would say that we are making progress, bearing in mind where we come from - which, I am sure, the hon member is very familiar with, and bearing in mind that our racist past is always lurking away there somewhere in the shadows. And indeed, it will take time to overcome this. But you can see it in responses, for instance, to the decision of Fifa to award us the right to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. I think the response in the country generally indicated that sense of cohesion among our people.

The Moral Regeneration Movement also is an example of what we seek to achieve with regard to all these matters. Currently, the process of the development of a draft charter of positive values, which is an initiative which comes from the religious leaders, is designed to give ordinary South Africans an opportunity to make inputs into this process of developing these positive values. I have been informed that road shows have already taken place in some provinces. Of course this document will come back to a moral regeneration conference, as planned sometime during November this year.

But nonetheless, all of these things obviously need time in order to take effect. But I’m quite certain that we are making progress with regard to all of these.

We decided sometime back on an Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme and targeted particular rural nodes to focus on the matter of rural development, particularly those areas which were worse than others, if that is at all possible. In part, this was to address the question that the hon member has asked concerning youth empowerment in rural areas. So, the programmes with regard to that integrated and sustainable rural development indeed do say quite specifically that they need to focus on the youth and on women. So, indeed, I’m sure that with regard to that, some progress has been made – not sufficient, not fast enough – but the matter is being attended to. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Prince N E ZULU: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr President, I am also quite aware of the long distance we have walked together in our new democracy and the efforts made and the successes that have been attained. But, putting together national unity, new patriotism, moral regeneration and social cohesion gives expression, Mr President, to your powerful and meaningful speech of 21 May 2004 on that very same podium. However, no impressive returns - I am not saying, “no returns” - have been attained.

Instead, Mr President, we have seen turmoil at the University of Zululand, the Ongoye Campus. I believe this very afternoon the turmoil has turned into bloodshed. My question is: If these noble ideas you have don’t succeed, do we have any contingency plan towards it?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, I want to thank hon Prince Zulu. I’m afraid I don’t know what happened at the university and what the issues are. I do think that we have had impressive returns. I think that part of the problem we experience in the country is that it becomes very easy to forget where we come from. Maybe the transition has been too smooth and too good, and so it becomes easy to think that many things are easy to realise.

I think that given the fact of where we come from, we have had impressive returns; not just returns, but impressive returns. [Applause.] And indeed, hon Prince Zulu, I think that we actually don’t have a choice but to stick to this path of national unity, of a new patriotism, of social cohesion, of respect for our diversity, all of these things. There is no other way that you could take. Any other way would result in the destruction of the country. So, if we are failing anywhere, let’s try again and settle it.

I am afraid I really don’t know what has happened at the university. Hopefully, whatever problem there is will be solved. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr S E OPPERMAN: Thank you, Chair. Mr President, a person cannot be a patriot if that person has no respect for the rule of law. The present mobilising of unruly supporters, when high-profile politicians appear in court for criminal charges, borders on the promotion of mob rule. All the more so when the theme of the grandstanding changes from “Give me my day in court” to “Bring me my machinegun”. Mr President, this is a war talk and poses a serious threat to national unity, patriotism and moral regeneration. How will you, Mr President, deal with this, using a lame-duck approach; or will you take off your gloves? Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, I haven’t had gloves for many years. As we were saying with regard to an earlier question relating to the Communist Party, I believe we have to respect the right of people to demonstrate and to express their views. It’s very fundamental, I think, to the practice of democracy in the country.

In any instance where the law might be broken I’m quite sure that the police would take the necessary action to deal with that. I think there should be no stage at which the people come to a conclusion that the democracy that they fought for and which they created is intolerant of them expressing their views by way of demonstrations or any other way. So, I think people must be allowed to demonstrate, and I don’t think each time somebody walks down the street with a banner we should think that the skies are going to collapse. They won’t. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr S L DITHEBE: Thank you, Chairperson. Comrade President, this year, being the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, government has recommitted itself to contributing towards building a South Africa that truly belongs to all. What in your view, Comrade President, is the role of government and the governed in view of the need to nurture and maintain social cohesion, as well as building a caring society within the context of a social system dominated by a market economy, that not only has institutional inequalities but encourages greed and materialism as well?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, that is a difficult question! But I think that, as I was saying just now, we in reality don’t have a choice but to work for that social cohesion, and to work to build that caring society. There are practical challenges that we have to face. We have to fight and defeat poverty, unemployment and the things they produce. You couldn’t have a society where you could say we have social cohesion, we have a caring society, while those problems persist.

So, it has to be part of the central programmes of government that in addressing those issues of social cohesion and a caring society, we fight and defeat poverty and unemployment. That’s critical. We’ve got to say we carry with us this long heritage of the racial division of the country, whether in the schools or in the settlement patterns or in the constitution of rugby teams or whatever. What do we do about that? Gradually, to dismantle this apartheid edifice, which continues to be with us, that must be part of the process of building social cohesion and building a caring society.

We have spoken about two economies here. Fundamental to how the government is approaching that matter is that you must ensure the continued success and growth and prosperity of this first economy, because it is only in that way that we are going to be able to generate resources that we must be able to devote to addressing the challenges of the second economy. That intervention too, even within the context of the market economy, addresses these issues of social cohesion and a caring society.

I must say that in that context, we have looked at other examples around the world about this, and it’s quite clear that in order to address these issues in the context of a market economy, as the hon member is saying, you need government intervention and a deliberate process of the transfer of resources from the rich parts of the economy to the poor parts. Otherwise you can’t have this kind of integration that we are talking about. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr H B CUPIDO: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr President, the national flag of a country can be a great asset by which a growing nation like South Africa can be united and be proudly South African. Are you therefore of the opinion that the national flag and the anthem is promoted well enough in South Africa? If not, has the government perhaps considered embarking on a flag promotion project that would see a national flag on every desk in schools and in workplaces, but not a flag with the emblem of a political party on the one side? The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chair, hon member, yes, I am of the view that we have not promoted these national symbols sufficiently. Indeed, I was very pleased when I saw that the Minister of Education has taken steps with regard to this in the schools. It’s something that, surely, we do need to attend to. We still see, 11 years into our democracy – you would have noticed this in some public meetings – that we still have people who are unable to sing the national anthem, who will sing parts of it. I think it’s a reflection of the concern that you show.

Perhaps there are many members of the Cabinet present here, hon member. Maybe they have heard you. They must then discuss this question: What do we do further to encourage and popularise these national symbols, and to follow the example of the Minister of Education. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Contribution of African Peer Review Mechanism to achievement of objectives of Nepad

  1. Mrs L Maloney (ANC) asked the President of the Republic:

    (a) How will the African Peer Review Mechanism’s review of South Africa contribute to achieving the objectives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and (b) what mechanisms will be put in place to ensure maximum participation in this process? N2056E

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, with regard to this contribution of the African Peer Review Mechanism to the achievement of the objectives of Nepad, the hon member, of course, will be familiar with the fact that the OAU was established in 1963 and its central focus became, naturally, the struggle for the total decolonisation of the African continent. Indeed this became a matter of focus over the decades during the life of the OAU.

With the liberation of South Africa, I think it became clear that the OAU then needed to shift focus and to shift focus to address the very serious problems on our continent of poverty, underdevelopment and the global marginalisation of the continent. It was out of that that the idea of Nepad was born to say the time had come that the African continent should now unite to address these development challenges in order to extricate the millions of African people from these conditions of poverty.

The view was then arrived at that you can elaborate on those development programmes, but you needed the setting, the conditions, within which those programmes would succeed. So, the founding conference of the African Union here in Durban in 2002 adopted a declaration on democracy, political, economic and corporate governance, which set the framework for the peer review mechanism.

So the view was that we did indeed need development to address these problems of poverty and underdevelopment, but then you needed democracy and good governance, peace and security, good economic governance, socioeconomic development, good corporate governance and so on, in order to ensure that you are able to realise these objectives. The peer review mechanism was then agreed upon as an instrument to assist the African countries to achieve these objectives of democracy, good governance, socioeconomic development and so on; as an instrument so that we can evaluate ourselves, so that we can criticise one another, so that we can help one another to develop so that indeed we create the conditions for that development.

That is the impact therefore on South Africa of the peer review process that we are now engaged in and it ought to be the case that it helps us to make an assessment as to what progress we are making in terms of creating the conditions to produce that socioeconomic development. What are we doing, what have we done, what do we need to do to make sure that the review produces results which must result in the eradication of poverty.

The particular institution, the mechanism that leads this process, of course, as the hon member knows, is the APRM governing council, which has five government ministers and then representatives of Business Unity South Africa, Disabled People South Africa, South African Youth Council, the Council of Churches, Cosatu, Sanco, National Women’s Coalition, Nactu – all of them representing civil society. In order to ensure that there is maximum participation, of course, this process is being taken down to the provinces to ensure that people in the provinces are also able to engage this, to make their own comments, to do a review of the country.

Again, I must insist that this a review of South Africa and not a review of government, so that we can look at all elements of South African society to see in what ways we can improve so that we do meet these objectives of the eradication of poverty and underdevelopment. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mrs L MALONEY: Thank you, Chairperson and thank you, Mr President. I am very glad about your response and I also want to thank those wise men and women who came up with such a document, a pure African document. Indeed this makes me to be a true South African. I think most of us agree on that.

Nevertheless, I want to know: In your assessment of the current process on the African Peer Review Mechanism, are you satisfied that the broader communities are playing a crucial role in making sure that this programme is a success?

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Chairperson, the process has just started, as the hon member is aware. It has just been launched and I am quite sure that we haven’t by now reached the numbers of people that we need to reach. It is critically important that we have to do more to popularise the process, to use the media to ensure that the population is informed about what this process is and how they can engage it. I am sure that there is a need to do that.

I think the decision to hold a similar kind of conference at provincial level as was held at national level to launch this thing is an important initiative, also to address the matter of ensuring that people are drawn in. The translation of the questionnaire into the various official languages so that people are able to make their own comments and give their own views as to reviewing this country, I think, is a very important intervention to make sure that it reaches out to the people.

Maybe one of the things that could happen, and maybe should happen, is that members of the National Assembly should themselves join the process, apart from the processes that would go on here with regard to this, but also to assist with regard to the mobilisation of the people to intervene in this, because indeed, it is very fundamental that this matter is not just handled by a few people, but that the country actually joins in to look at itself. Out of that must come a programme of action to say what do we do to correct the things that are wrong. I am quite sure that we haven’t reached out sufficiently. We should all of us try. Thanks, Chairperson.

Mr W J SEREMANE: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr President, our affirmative position in terms of both Nepad and the APRM is well known and needs no reiteration. [Interjections.] I hope I’m not gatecrashing into the diary of the President by saying this!

To look at another dimension of the question or to broaden it a little bit, looking at the big picture, if the peer review process leads to unflattering or even unpalatable results or outcomes about some countries, does the AU have the collective political will to encourage or to goad or to compel such defaulting countries to rectify the negative findings of the process about them? Thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: No, hon member, you are not going to get into my diary! [Laughter.]

We have looked at the first two reports of the peer review system. Let me talk about one of them, which has some very sharp comments about pervasive corruption and gives all sorts of instances to demonstrate what is happening to this society.

What is supposed to happen is that there should then be a peer review, which means that the heads of state and government who have acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism will then meet with the head of state and government and a delegation of the country that’s been reviewed to say that, “Well, we have looked at this report. One of the things it says is there is pervasive corruption. What are you doing about it”?

In the context of that, as I was saying, a programme of action should be agreed on in order to address that issue, even to the point of saying, if the country concerned says, “You are asking us to do things and we don’t have the means”, it must be part of the peer review system to say that how can we then help to generate the means in order to address this.

It’s a fundamental condition of the accession to the Peer Review Mechanism that indeed you accede to it saying “I will be prepared to respect what comes out of the peer review system as well as act on that”. This is very fundamental, otherwise it has no meaning.

So indeed, I think that’s what would happen, that when the negative things show up the resolve would be there then to act to assist that country to get out of that kind of negative situation. Thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Ms S C VOS: Mr President, you have correctly identified the need for South Africa to be exemplary as we embark on this historic review, and in a way this is the imbizo to beat all imbizos. This is the imbizo, so do you agree that there is a need for you and us all to encourage the people of South Africa to accept that it is equally important that the APRM process constructively highlights our successes, but equally our failures as we hold up a mirror to ourselves as a country and in a parallel APRM process here in this Parliament? Do you also agree that as part of this process the message must go out from all of the leaders – the leaders in this House and in civil society – that it should not be seen as undemocratic for us all as patriots to hold this mirror up honestly to our country and ourselves, and reflect to Africa and beyond the truths as we know them to be and has seen them to be? Thank you.

The PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC: Yes, indeed, hon member, I would agree. There would be no point to the peer review system if it sought to tell untruths, because the basic aim, as I was trying to indicate at the beginning, is to say we need to create the conditions so that we can succeed with these development tasks that challenge us, that all of us face. What are the things that subtract from the possibility of success? What should we do to improve the possibility for us to achieve success? So I think it is critically important for us to tell the truth.

We were discussing earlier, as you would remember, hon member, what’s happening with regards to selection of candidates for municipalities and municipal councils. We’d allow things to go wrong if we didn’t admit that there are some people, at least, who are driven by the need to access positions of power so that they can get hold of the tenders. If we don’t admit it we won’t correct it, so I do indeed agree with you fully that we should talk truthfully about the successes and the failures.

It would be interesting to see whether, in fact, the country does develop a consensus about the successes and the failures. It would be very interesting to see whether that actually does happen. Thanks, Chairperson. [Applause.]

                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Ms M M SOTYU: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House debates mobilising the nation and all security agencies to fight the current situation with regard to the kidnapping and disappearance of children. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S N SWART: Chair, on behalf of the ACDP, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House debates the issue of rail commuter safety in view of this morning’s collision between two passenger trains, Shosholoza Meyl and the Blue Train, which occurred between De Aar and Victoria West. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr C M LOWE: Chairperson, on behalf of the DA, I hereby give notice that I shall move on the next sitting day of the House:

That the House discusses South Africa’s skills shortages, particularly in engineering and technical fields, as a major impediment to economic growth.

Ms D M RAMODIBE: Chairperson, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House discusses the report of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council with a view to further advise on steps that our country should take to ensure rapid economic growth and reduce unemployment. [Applause.]


(Consideration of Report of Ad Hoc Committee on Appointment of Deputy
                          Public Protector)

There was no debate.

Question put: That the nomination for the appointment of Adv Mamiki Shai, as Deputy Public Protector, be approved.

The House divided:

AYES - 257: Abram, S; Anthony, T G; Asiya, S E; Asmal, A K; Baloyi, M R; Beukman, F; Bhamjee, Y S; Bhengu, P; Bhoola, R B; Bloem, D V; Blose, H M; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Bonhomme, T J; Booi, M S; Botha, N G W; Burgess, C V; Cachalia, I M; Camerer, S M; Carrim, Y I; Cele, M A; Chalmers, J; Chauke, H P; Chikunga, L S; Chohan-Khota, F I; Coetzee, R; Combrinck, J J; Cronin, J P; Cupido, H B ; Cwele, S C; Dambuza, B N; Davidson, I O; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Didiza, A T; Dikgacwi, M M; Direko, I W; Dithebe, S L; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; du Toit, D C ; Ellis, M J; Farrow, S B; Fihla, N B; Fubbs , J L; Gabela, L S; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E ; Gerber, P A; Gibson, D H M; Gigaba, K M N; Gillwald, C E ; Godi, N T; Gololo, C L; Goniwe, M T; Greyling, C H F; Gumede, D M; Gumede, M M; Hanekom, D A; Hangana, N E; Hendricks, L B; Hendrickse, P; Hogan, B A; Huang, S; Jacobus, L ; Jankielsohn, L; Jeffery, J H; Johnson, C B; Johnson, M; Jordan, Z P; Kalyan, S V; Kasienyane, O R; Kati, Z J; Khoarai, L P; Khumalo, K K; Khumalo, K M; Khumalo, M S; Khunou, N P; Kohler-Barnard, D; Komphela, B M; Kota, Z A; Kotwal, Z; Labuschagne, L B; Landers, L T; Lekgetho, G; Lekgoro, M K; Lekgoro, M M S; Likotsi, M T; Lishivha, T E; Louw, S K; Lowe, C M; Ludwabe, C I; Luthuli, A N; Maake, J J; Mabandla, B S; Mabena, D C; Mabuyakhulu, D V; Madasa, Z L; Madella, A F; Madlala- Routledge, N C; Maduma , L D; Madumise, M M; Magubane, N E ; Magwanishe, G B; Mahlangu-Nkabinde, G L; Mahlawe, N M; Mahomed, F; Mahote, S; Maine, M S; Makgate, M W; Malahlela, M J; Maloney, L; Maloyi, P D N; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, D K; Manana, M N S; Mapisa-Nqakula, N N; Mars, I; Martins, B A D; Mashangoane, P R; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathibela, N F; Matlala, M H; Matsemela, M L; Matsepe-Casaburri, I F; Matsomela, M J J ; Maunye, M M; Mayatula, S M; Mbombo, N D; Mdladlana, M M S; Mdladlose, M M; Mentor, M P; Meruti, M V; Mfundisi, I S; Mgabadeli, H C; Mkhize, Z S; Mkongi, B M; Mlangeni, A; Mngomezulu, G P; Mnguni, B A; Mnyandu, B J; Moatshe, M S; Modisenyane, L J; Mofokeng, T R; Mogale, O M; Mogase, I D; Mohamed, I J; Mohlaloga, M R; Mokoena, A D; Molefe, C T; Moloto, K A; Monareng, O E; Montsitsi, S D; Moonsamy, K; Morgan , G R; Morobi, D M; Morutoa, M R; Morwamoche, K W; Mosala, B G; Moss, L N; Moss, M I; Mpontshane, A M; Mshudulu, S A; Mthembu, B; Mthethwa, E N; Mtshali, E; Mzondeki, M J G; Ndlovu, V B; Ndou, R S; Ndzanga, R A; Nefolovhodwe, P J; Nel, A C; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngaleka, E; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngculu, L V J; Ngele, N J; Ngema, M V; Ngwenya, W; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J ; Njobe, M A A; Nkabinde, N C; Nogumla, R Z; Nonkonyana, M; Nqakula, C; Ntombela, S H; Ntuli, B M; Ntuli, R S; Ntuli, S B; Nxumalo, M D; Nxumalo, S N ; Nzimande, L P M; Olifant, D A A; Oliphant, G G; Padayachie, R L; Pandor, G N M; Phadagi, M G; Phala, M J; Phungula, J P; Pieterse, R D; Pule, B E; Rabie, P J; Radebe, B A; Rajbally, S ; Ramgobin, M; Ramodibe, D M; Ramotsamai, C M P; Ramphele, T D H; Rasmeni, S M; Rwexana, S P; Saloojee, E; Schippers, J; Schneemann, G D; Schoeman, E A; Sefularo, M; Sekgobela, P S; Selfe, J; Semple, J A; September , C C; Seremane, W J; Sibande, M P; Sibanyoni, J B; Siboza, S ; Sigcau , Sylvia N; Sikakane, M R; Simmons, S; Sithole, D J; Skhosana, W M; Skweyiya, Z S T; Solo, B M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Surty, M E; Swart, S N; Swathe, M M; Tobias, T V; Tolo, L J; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala-Msimang, M E; Tshivhase, T J; Tshwete, P; Turok, B; Van der Heever, R P Z; Van der Merwe, S C; Van der Walt, D; van Schalkwyk, M C J; Van Wyk, Annelizé; Vezi, T E; Vundisa, S S; Wang, Y; Xingwana, L M ; Xolo, E T; Yengeni, L L; Zulu, N E.

Question agreed to.

Nomination accordingly approved in accordance with section 2(A) of the Public Protector Act, 1994


   (Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Justice and
                     Constitutional Development)

There was no debate.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Chairperson, I move that the Report be adopted.

Motion agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

The House adjourned at 16:19. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Bill passed by Houses – to be submitted to President for assent
 (1)    Bill passed by National Council of Provinces on 26 October 2005:

        i) Road Accident Fund Amendment Bill [B 64B – 2003] (National
           Assembly – sec 75)