Joint Sitting - 27 March 2007

TUESDAY, 27 MARCH 2007 __


Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 12:00.

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



The SPEAKER: Hon members, the presiding officers have, in terms of Joint Rule 72, called a Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces for the purpose of unveiling the new emblem of Parliament. The unveiling will be preceded by a brief debate. I now call upon the Deputy Chairperson of the NCOP.

The DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP (Ms M P Hollander): Madam Speaker and Mr Chairperson, Mr President, Chief Justice Langa, Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members of Parliament and special delegates, distinguished guests, fellow South Africans, sanibonani, molweni nonke [greetings to you all.] Namhlanje senza imbali. [Today we are making history.]

Today’s Joint Sitting of Parliament will go down in history as a day on which the representatives of the people of South Africa raise the maskt for a new emblem. The new symbol of identity for the people’s Parliament is an occasion on which we recommit ourselves to ensuring that ours is a parliament that the masses of our people, regardless of race, could truly experience as their voice.

Our Parliament retained inherited traditions and symbols, such as the parliamentary procession, the Mace and the Black Rod, but decided to transform them accurately to reflect the present democratic values of the present South African society.

Early during our new democratic order, Parliament engaged in a process to transform the parliamentary symbols. That process culminated in the design, manufacture and launch of the new symbols for each of our Houses. To this extent, the National Assembly introduced a new Mace in September 2004, known as The “People’s Mace”. The NCOP introduced a new Black Rod in February 2005.

Obviously this important task was not the end as we still carried the old emblem of Parliament, which represented the Westminster tradition, and features a heraldic shield that represented the former four provinces, that are: the Transvaal, the Free State, the Cape Province and Natal, of which the Union and later the Republic of South Africa was composed. It contained the old South African Coat of Arms even beyond the unveiling to the nation of their new Coat of Arms in the year 2000.

The old emblem was not representative of the will and the voice of all the people. It was foreign to the majority of the members sitting in this House today. Under the old emblem, many laws of oppression and injustice were adopted. Surely the old symbol was destined to change in a country that, like today, continues to make history. One of the priorities of the Third Parliament, which came into effect in 2004, was to complete the process of transforming our parliamentary symbols. The last important piece, which represents the face of the institution, was the emblem.

Guided by the decision of the Joint Rules Committee, we then set out on a course to change the symbol of our identity. The process began in earnest last year with nation-wide campaigns calling on all South Africans to give our Parliament a face. The process, from the beginning to the end, was imbued with enthusiasm. South Africans, young and old, sat down to draw an image they felt best represented Parliament. Some of us were drowned in tears at witnessing the passion with which some of the designers talked about this national institution.

One youth, obviously very excited at the opportunity, vowed to get rid of the male lion in favour of a female lion. More interesting was the fact that images similar to or reminiscent of many of the features of the national Coat of Arms and the colours of the national flag were very sharp in their designs – a demonstration that this institution should be defined with clear reference to what these important national symbols represent.

The process we followed in coming up with the new emblem we are unveiling today was one that was open to all sorts of ideas and views. It is worth noting that no single submission was received suggesting that the old emblem should stay, nor did we receive any special submissions or a petition from a concerned South African, or a group of South Africans in this regard until today. Gompieno re dira hisetori. Senza imbali. [We are making history.]

At this point one may ask, “A new emblem for Parliament, so what?” The significance of our new emblem is that it gives our Parliament corporate identity. Emblems have been used on battlefields to identify military units in medieval times.

Our new emblem is there to remind us about our people. It is there constantly to remind us of our commitment spelt out in the Preamble to the Constitution, which is to heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; labour foundations for democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by the law; improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and to build a united and democratic society and a South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

The history we are making today must allow us to tell the story of our Parliament. It must give us the opportunity to tell the story of the sons and daughters of the country without any incentive other than the desire to change the lives of the people for the better, toil to ensure that they contribute to the transformation of our society. These are the public representatives who often find themselves having to choose between a stable family life and a life serving the people of their country.

In saying this, I am truly aware that changing the emblem of Parliament will not change some of the perceptions about our institution, or to become what we want overnight. I am saying this fully aware that there will still be those who will continue attacking the vanguard of this premier institution, conveniently ignoring the initiatives that are being put in place to ensure that the integrity of this institution is upheld.

On this important occasion, we appeal that, when doing so, they should avoid sacrificing fact on the altar of fiction. More importantly, the story of this institution must be told by we ourselves through maintaining the decorum synonymous with the positioning we seek and the values we represent. Through advancing the charge towards realising our vision of the people’s Parliament as we make history today, we must not forget the history that the old emblem represents, and the history that this new emblem must bestow on future generations.

As we make history today, we cannot forget to pay special tribute to those who participated in the process of coming up with Parliament’s new emblem from all corners of the country. We cannot forget to thank those who assisted us as representatives of the people in sifting through the thousands of submissions we received and finally coming up with a symbol.

May I end by citing the challenge we faced as the members of the new emblem steering committee at the initial planning stage, which was to ensure that the final product is something that will excite us and behind which we will unite, as was the case with the national flag and the national Coat of Arms. The jury is yours. I thank you. Ke a leboga. Baie dankie. Enkosi. [Thank you.] [Applause.]

Mrs M A A NJOBE: Madam Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon President, colleagues, distinguished guests, this day, Tuesday, 27 March 2007, marks the unveiling of the new emblem for South Africa’s democratic Parliament, which is indeed one of the milestones in our achievements since 1994.

Let us remind ourselves that in 2000 the Joint Rules Committee ruled that all parliamentary symbols should be changed to be in line with our new democratic dispensation. The JRC went further to define the criteria which should be reflected in the new designs. It stated that the criteria should also take into account the features of the new Coat of Arms. It is these criteria that guided the design of the Mace, the Black Rod and now the new emblem about to be unveiled.

Section 42(3) of our country’s Constitution reminds us that:

The National Assembly is elected to represent the people and to ensure government by the people under the Constitution.

It does this, among other things, by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues. I repeat, by providing a national forum for public consideration of issues. To give effect to this constitutional requirement the presiding officers appointed a representative multiparty steering committee. Its main task was to give political guidance in the development and design of the new emblem and to ensure that the people’s parliament’s values and vision are considered during the process.

It was imperative that a national forum be provided for public consideration of this particular issue, namely developing a new parliamentary image and position by designing a new emblem that would be distinctly African, that would depict South Africa’s multicultural society, the unity of our people, a democracy that would break with the past, that would be heraldic while remaining simple and meaningful.

Members will remember that even we as MPs were given the opportunity to participate in the project. Every available space in the parliamentary buildings was used to popularise the project. I wonder how many of us used the vuvuzelas we received here in this very Chamber last year to further publicise this activity. Maybe they are lying forgotten in the cupboards at home.

The ANC is satisfied that the process to design a new emblem for Parliament was transparent and inclusive. Indeed, a national forum for the public to consider the issue was provided. The overwhelming response, as indicated by the large number of entries, has gone a long way to promote Parliament’s values of democracy, social justice and human rights and has promoted its vision and mission. We, therefore, honour the creative collaboration of all who participated in the democratic call for a new design embodying these values. We congratulate and thank the 20 designer finalists, who are with us today, for a contribution that will form part of this democratic Parliament’s history. We appreciate the experts who ensured that heraldic and design specifications were adhered to. But for us as Members of Parliament the end of this phase is actually the beginning of a daunting task. We are challenged to ensure that we involve, educate and inform our constituencies such that they do not only understand the meaning of the emblem, but that they internalise the values it expresses.

Today’s unveiling of the new emblem is not just about changing the 1910 emblem, but it also means changing Parliament’s image and position. Therefore, all of us who function on these premises, both MPs and staff members, must be the face and image of Parliament. We must live up to its values, vision and mission. While accepting that there are still many challenges with changing apartheid symbols and emblems in our country in general, the ANC is satisfied that Parliament has reached the current phase in transforming this institution. I thank you. [Applause.]

Nk N F MAZIBUKO: Somlomo, ngendlela engijabule ngayo namhlanje sengathi ngingacula ihubo, kepha imithetho yesishayamthetho ayingivumeli. Kodwa-ke engithanda ukukusho ukuthi: (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[Ms N F MAZIBUKO: Madam Speaker, I am so happy today that it makes me feel like singing a hymn. However, the Rules of this House do not allow that. But what I would like to say is this:]

Kajeno ke mokete wa thabo. Kajeno ke mokete wa thabo mona mo Aforika. Ke mokete wa thabo hobane kajeno re kopane mona, hobane re tlo etsa mosebetsi o moholo haholo. [We are gathered here today to celebrate because a great occassion is taking place in Africa.] Namuhla sigubha umkhosi omkhulu, oyingqophamlando lapha eNingizimu Afrika. Uyingqophamlando ngoba saqala ngokukhululwa emakhamandeleni engcindezelo. Manje sesimbula uphawu oluzohlanganisa zonke iziNdlu, kwiNdlu Yomkhandlu Kazwelonke kanye neNdlu Yomkhandlu Kazwelonke Wezifundazwe. Ngithemba ukuthi nabo bonke abantu lapha eNingizimu Afrika nabo bazohlangana.

Namuhla, malungu oMkhandlu Kazwelonke noMkhandlu Kazwelonke Wezifundazwe, lo msebenzi esiwenza lapha namhlanje ubonakalisa ukuthi lolu phawu esiluvezayo namhlanje luwuphawu olukhombisa ukuthi bonke abantu eNingizimu Afrika babe neqhaza abalibambile ukuze sibe lapho sikhona namuhla. Namuhla siyakikiza, sihlaba umkh osi sithi, “Bayede ma-Afrika amahle.”


Nk N F MAZIBUKO: Niyibekile induku ebandla. Bomasupatsela, badimo, nazo zonke izinkokheli ezikhona nesezadlulayo, lapho zikhona zithokozile. Njengoba nonke nimenyiwe ukuthi nizokwethamela lo mgubho, nize nithi uma niphindela emuva nishumayele leli vangeli. Nize nifundise intsha, abadala kanye nezingane ukuthi lolu phawu lusho ukuthini.

Uma sengiphetha, ngoba okuningi sekukhulunyiwe futhi angifuni silokhu sigida ndawonye, ngithi lokhu yisiqalo sezinto eziningi ezisazokwenzeka, ezinhle. Nginethemba lokuthi, uma sihlangene sonke, sizokwazi ukwakhana, sibumbane, sifundisane, sibe munye. Maluju! [Ihlombe.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Today we are celebrating a big event, a record-breaking event in the history of South Africa. It is record-breaking because first we were set free from the chains and shackles of oppression. And now we are unveiling a symbol that will unite the Houses, the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces. I hope that all the people of South Africa will also be united.

Today, hon Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces, the work that we are doing here shows that the symbol we are unveiling is the symbol that shows that all people of South Africa played a role in order for us to be where we are today. Today we are ululating and celebrating and we salute you all, “Hail, good Africans!”


Ms N F MAZIBUKO: You have made your mark. And all the present and the past leaders, wherever they may be, are happy. To all of you who are invited to this celebration, you are cordially asked to preach this gospel when you go back home. You are to teach the youth, the elders and the children what this symbol means.

In conclusion, I do not want us to go round in circles because a lot has already been said. I am saying: This is the beginning of many good things to come. I hope that if we are all united, we will be able to build one another, be together, educate one another and be one. I rest my case! [Applause.]]

Mev D VAN DER WALT: Agb Speaker, Voorsitter van die Nasionale Raad van Provinsies, agb President, kollegas en gaste, vandag vier ons die inhuldiging van ’n nuwe embleem vir ons Parlement, ‘n embleem wat, onder meer, eienskappe soos ons multikulturele samelewing, die eenheid van ons mense en die statuur en waardigheid van die instelling moet weerspieël.

Die opdrag aan die ontwerpers was dat die nuwe embleem ook die veranderde nasionale wapen in ag neem en dat dit betekenisvol en eenvoudig moet wees, en natuurlik moet dit waardig, heraldies en kenmerkend van Afrika wees. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Hon Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon President, colleagues and guests, today we celebrate the unveiling of a new emblem for Parliament. This emblem must reflect, inter alia, characteristics such as our multicultural society, the unity of our people and the stature and dignity of this institution.

The instruction to the designers was that the new emblem should take into consideration the changed national Coat of Arms and that it must be meaningful, simple and of course dignified, heraldic and be characteristic of Africa.]

The most important element of Parliament’s new symbol is its slogan, “We, the people.” We are here for the people. We are called public representatives, because we present the interests and needs of other people. We serve them.

That is an ideal that is not always remembered. It is sometimes forgotten that members were chosen to present the interests of other people and not their own interests, that they were chosen to fight for the needs of other people and not their own needs and that they are accountable to those other people and not to themselves. So, it is a timely reminder for this Parliament that we must remember at all times that the people come first, that we are here for them and not for ourselves and that, first and foremost, we serve at their discretion.

Significantly, this ideal was reflected in the process behind the creation of this new symbol. It was inclusive, consultative and took into account the views of all South Africans. In fact, as a process, it is an excellent precedent for this Parliament to follow in many its other duties and functions. Ek dank u. Ke a leboga. Thank you. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: I will now call upon the hon M B Skosana to address the House.

An HON MEMBER: Malibongwe! [Praise!]

Mr M B SKOSANA: Bengithi lokho kushiwo kwabesifazane kuphela. [Uhleko.] [I thought that is only said to women. [Laughter.]]

Madam Speaker, Chairperson, His Excellency the President, hon Ministers and hon Premiers, hon Members of both Houses of Parliament, Chief Justice, distinguished guests, today is the culmination of what turned out to be a process of extreme diversities, particularities and beliefs expressed through various political, social and cultural formations, including individual consultants, youth and women who participated in the development of this new emblem of the Parliament of South Africa. We salute them.

Every level of human interaction or debate on this matter, apart from being enlightening commitment, became an inescapable reflection and reminder of a society and people undergoing painful but imperative transition; people from a melange of backgrounds struggling to understand each other. Dr Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, in My People my Africa, said:

Kenya’s Mao-Mao uprising, Angola’s rebellion, the massacres in Congo, riots and killings in South Africa; all soon to be written in the blood permanently on the highway of history and all soon to be written in the bleached bones of the desert of time. All were started by one thing; the total lack of understanding between black and white and the utter failure of one race of human beings to understand what goes on in the minds of other races.]

We hope that this new emblem carries images of this Parliament for a better understanding, which is so vital for true reconciliation and nation- building.

There is one other fundamental idea that lies ahead of us that has the potential to preoccupy us for many years to come. It is the struggle to convince certain sections of the South African population as well as some international interests that South Africa is in Africa and it is of Africa … [Applause.] … and that she should be allowed to embrace the African identity and values as her own. Nurture this, guided by the noble precepts of peace, social justice and economic democracy, in short - ubuntu botho”[People first].

Mr President, Your Excellency, I am sure you will agree with me when I conclude by saying that it should not be alienating on these memorable occassion for this House or this gathering to commend the British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, the British people and the Church of England for acknowledging and expressing regret for their role in the horrendous slave trade, which was abolished 200 years ago.

This terrible practice imposed immense suffering upon generations of African people. Today we rejoice with Africa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr L M GREEN: Madam Speaker, hon President, Ministers and members, the FD is very pleased with the new parliamentary emblem. The new emblem is the result of an intense public participation process, giving many South Africans the opportunity to submit their proposed design of the new emblem to Parliament.

However, we could only choose a few selected design agencies, but to all of those who entered the process, your participation is noted and it is appreciated. What we have here today is a break from the past and we are ushering in a new tradition symbolically captured in the symbol.

The values and standards embedded in the new emblem do not mean that what previously existed was of no consequence. We are sure that the designers must have sifted coherently through the techniques and values that underpin the workmanship of those who created the previous design, checked the integrity and professionalism of that, whilst colleagues borrowed from them and yet had to come up with their own unique design based on their own set of philosophical standards that led to the creation of this new emblem.

The primary objective of the new emblem is to reflect the basic values upon which our Parliament is built and that is to create the impression that this country is based on participatory democracy.

The mix of diverse challenges that eventually came together in shaping the emblem’s uniqueness is an indication of the talent vested in this country, in which all, irrespective of race, colour or creed, have a place and the privilege to shape the nation in true rainbow fashion.

Another distinct objective in the design of the new emblem was to reflect a new beginning, one away from the past oppression and racism, portraying an image of the people’s struggle and victory over diversity. Today the acceptance of this emblem shows that these qualities were achieved and that this emblem will have a place of pride in our Parliament.

Another feature of this emblem is its distinct African influence, which gives credence to the multifaceted nature of the African culture in all its colourful richness and intense simplicity. We are proud of the designers and take notice of their wide cultural mix, who applied their minds to extract the deep wisdom found both in indigenous and global knowledge systems which are interconnected with Africa’s historical experiences and to come up with a product which is goes beyond intellectual pride and exclusivity.

The emblem shows that African culture is a renaissance from which all major knowledge systems can trace their origins, yet currently remain interwoven in order to develop alongside one another towards a more integrated future and global knowledge society. The new emblem indicates that we belong to each other locally and globally. South Africa has a Constitution that is based on social justice, fundamental human rights and participatory democracy.

In conclusion, this country has been in the forefront in bringing hope to the world, showing that transition government can achieve peacefully negotiated political settlements. This is what we need in the rest of Africa. Today we celebrate our democratic homecoming through the symbolism of this emblem, which inspires us to a united future of peace, wealth and global leadership. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr H B CUPIDO: Madam Speaker, hon Chairperson, hon President, with the unveiling of this new emblem of Parliament today, South Africa is again moving forward. Parliament can now be seen as a leader in bringing and implementing changes in our country that have a positive effect on the lives of our people. One must really compliment the way the process was managed and the active involvement of every individual who played such an important role in putting together this new emblem for Parliament. The general principle in most democracies is that Parliament makes its own rules and procedures which are based on the notion that Parliament is a sovereign body of state representing people who elected them as Members of Parliament and to make decisions on their behalf. The South African Constitution brings a wonderful difference to our democracy in the sense that it compels government to consult the people who put them in power.

My opinion is that the participation and great involvement of people from outside of this House were the best I have experienced thus far. Schools, learners and the greater public became excited about designing and creating something for the nation that is new and original.

The role played by Heraldry, the Department of Arts and Culture, the Department of Education and all the other experts on the panel, must be commended. The new emblem of Parliament unveiled here today surely represents the cultures and historical backgrounds of most South Africans today. The new emblem is an important break from the Westminster system of the past.

The emblem designed by South Africans under a strong African influence now becomes a product of African. It is a product of South Africa. It is proudly South Africa. The ACDP welcomes this new step informing a deepening democracy in our country. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mong M J G MZONDEKI: Ke a leboha Modulasetulo, Spikara, Mopresidente wa naha, bomphatho, maloko a Palamente a hlomphehang, baeti ba bohlokwa le setjhaba sa Afrika Borwa ka kakaretso. Le nna e re ke tshwaele hore letsatsi lena, ke letsatsi la bohlokwa haholo. Mosebetsi wa kajeno ke ntshetsopele ya morero wa rona re le mokgatlo, mmoho le setjhaba ka kakaretso, wa ho netefatsa hore, re feela re fetola maphelo a batho.

Ke ntshetsopele ya tjhebelopele ya Palamente ya rona ya Afrika Borwa ya ho aha Palamente e kgonang ho mamela ditlhoko tsa batho. Ke netefatso ya hore ke Palamente ya batho ka batho, e atamelang batho bohle. E ne e se ele nako e telele haholo baahi ba Afrika Borwa ba tiiseleditse matshwao a Palamente a se nang moelelo ho bona, a bileng a ba hopotsa ka kgatello.

Hona ho pakilwe ke tshusumetso, boitelo le kgothalo e kgolo eo baahi ba Afrika Borwa ba e bontshitseng nakong eo ba neng ba fuwa monyetla wa ho tshwaela le ho fana ka maikutlo a bona mabapi le letshwao lena la Palamente. Ka bongata ba bona, ba baholo le ba banyane, ho sa kgathaletsehe maemo le mmala wa bona, ba dumellane ka hore letshwao lena la kgale, ha le hlalose maikutlo a rona a puso ya batho ka batho; a hlompho; a tekatekano le tokoloho.

Modulasetulo, letshwao lena le letjha le fana ka phephetso ho rona, haholo baemedi ba setjhaba. Re tshwanela ho netefatsa hore dintle tsohle tse hlaloswang ke letshwao lena, di ya phethahala. Hona ho ka bolela hore re ka nna ra tshwanela ho hlahlobisisa mokgwa oo re tsamaisang Palamente ka ona.

Na ebe re fihlella bohle, kapa re fumanwa ke bohle? Na ebe re na le ditlhoko tsohle tsa ho phetha mosebetsi wa rona ka bokgabane? Eo ke yona phephetso. Empa haholo-holo re tshwanela ke ho ruta setjhaba ka moelelo wa letshwao lena le letjha. Ho etsetsa hore e sebe letshwao feela, empa e be letshwao leo e leng karolo ya bophelo ba rona, re le rate; re le sebedise ho aha setjhaba sa ka moso se ikamahantseng le ditokelo tsa botho ka bomotho.

Ka hona re dumela hore re tshwanela hore re nke letshwao lena re le ise dikolong, re le ise mekgatlong ya rona ya mahae, re be le lona mane dikantorong tsa rona tsa dipalemente, re ikonke ka lona.

Modulasetulo ke dumela hore e nngwe ya diphephetso tse kgolo ke ya puo ya setjhaba, ho bua le setjhaba ka mokgwa o utlwisisehang ho bohle. Hona ho kenyeleditse mokgwa wa ho buwa dipuo tsohle ho kenyeletsa le tsa matsoho le mongolo wa difofu. Re le ANC re ananela diphetoho tse etsahalang Palameteng ya rona, jwalo ka ho isa Palamente bathong, jwalo ka ha NCOP e etsa.

Empa re dumela hore re na le bokgoni ba ho etsa le ho feta mona. Ha tsena di ka phethahala, letshwao lena le letjha, le ka ba le moelelo o phethahetseng. Ha ke phethela ke rata ho leboha baahi bohle ba Afrika Borwa, haholo batjha, ka seabo seo ba bileng le sona ho bopeng kapa ho hlahiseng letshwao lena le re etsang motlotlo ha kana.

Re kgonne le hore re utulle talente eo ke tshepang hore e ne e ntse e hatelletswe ke ona matshwao ana a kgale. Ke tshepa hore talente ena eo re e boneng ha re na ho e tlohella feela. Haholo-holo nakong eo re hlokang batjha ba tsebang botaki le ba nang le kelello e tjhatsi ya ho tla ka diphethoho, ha re ba aheng.

Ke motlotlo le ho bataki ba bontshitseng talente ya bona tsatsing lena, haholo-holo hobane hona le ya tswang lebatoweng la ka la Welkom, Pula! [Mahofi.] (Translation of Sesotho speech follows.)

[Mr M J G MZONDEKI: Chairperson, Madam Speaker, President of the country, colleagues, hon Members of Parliament, distinguished guests and the South African nation in general, let me also note that this is a very important day. Today’s theme is to further our plan as a party, together with the community as a whole, to ensure that we indeed change the people’s lives.

This is to further the vision of the Parliament of South Africa, to build a Parliament that can listen to the needs of the people. It is a confirmation that this is a people’s Parliament that is accessible to everybody. It has been a long time that South African citizens endured the emblem of Parliament that did not hold meaning and which reminded them of the era of oppression.

This was witnessed by the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment displayed by South African citizens when they were given a chance to make inputs and give their opinions with regard to this emblem of Parliament. The majority of them, old and young, irrespective of their status and race, agreed that the old emblem did not express our view of governance by the people for the people, which are respect, equity and freedom.

Chairperson, the new emblem poses a challenge to us, especially to us as the people’s representatives. We should ensure that all the good things portrayed by this emblem are indeed achieved. This could also mean that we need to scrutinise the way we administer this Parliament.

Are we accessing everyone, or are we accessible to everybody? Do we have all the necessary requirements excellently to accomplish our responsibilities? That is the challenge. But the main thing is that we should teach the nation about the meaning of this new emblem so that it does not just remain an emblem, but be an emblem that is part of our lives that we will embrace and use to build the next generation, which will incline towards human rights. We therefore agree that we should take this emblem to schools, to civil society and have it at our offices in Parliament and feel proud of it.

Chairperson, I believe that one of the big challenges is the language of the people, to speak to the nation in a way that is understood by everybody. This encompasses expressing it in all languages, including among others Sign Language and Braille.

We, as the ANC, appreciate the changes taking place in our Parliament, like Taking Parliament to the People, as the NCOP does. We believe that we can do more than this. If all these things can be accomplished, this new emblem can have complete meaning.

In my conclusion I would like to thank all the citizens of South Africa, especially the youth, with their role of designing or producing this emblem that makes us proud.

We also managed to discover the talent that I believe was subdued by the old emblem. I hope this talent will not be left unutilised. This comes especially at a time when we need youth with art skills and sharp minds to bring about changes. Let us nurture them.

I am so proud of the artists that showcased their talent today, especially one of them, who comes from my region, Welkom. May peace prevail! [Applause.]] The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Madam Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr President, the Chief Justice, hon members, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it’s an honour for me to be part of this historic occasion.

I rise to give praise and acknowledge the community of artists in our country. These are the people who have once more risen to the national call to design yet another symbol for our country, the face and identity of Parliament. I am talking about artists who have, in our recent past, come up with our national flag, amongst other things, a flag that is flying high amongst those who have been in the firmament for many centuries but it is swaying head above shoulders, proudly representing our country among the nations of the world, a brand that is recognised far and wide by many.

Today, this community has come forward once more and has given us something to be immensely proud of. These are men and women who, with a brushstroke, a hammer, pen and chisel, have brought to life an emblem, pregnant with meaning that appeals to all and continues to bring together cultures that now blend and dance together in harmony.

It is a celebration of our uniqueness while at the same time bringing into sharp focus all those aspects that make us diverse and all the more interesting. The pomp and ceremony that often precedes and follows announcements of this nature more often than not overlooks the heartbeat in the form of faces and identities of the men and women who toiled for months on end to bring to life a concept that continues to mend, to heal and to knit the scars on our national psyche.

Today, Parliament is shedding the old scheme and we will be proudly displaying a brand new identity that will leave a huge footprint in the annals of our history, representing our Parliament, both locally and internationally. We all know the importance of this moment in our political history, as many of the speakers have outlined this earlier on.

The emblem was designed by a group of 20 artists chosen from more than 2 000 entries, with a design studio finalising the product. Before we unveil the emblem, let us unveil the 20 faces. [Applause.]

Madam Speaker, who are these people? South Africa, let me introduce you to some of the national heroes and heroines who responded to the national call for the country’s need for a symbol that will unite carve and forge a new path for us to follow! They were drawn from the length and breadth of all provinces. They tell a heartwarming story of people from all the different walks of life, united in a singular purpose.

For 21-year-old Noel Franzen, a freelance artist, who has had his work exhibited in Sweden, his fortunes took a dramatic turn. He used to work for a Cape Town-based NGO, and is now working as a graphic designer for a local design studio. When asked how he felt about participating in the project, he quoted from the Book of Romans 5:2 and said:

For by faith God has brought us to this place of highest privilege, where we now stand and we can confidently and joyfully look forward to becoming all that God has in mind for us to be.

Ladies and gentlemen, Temple Samuel of Khayelitsha said: “I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that I would be part of a group that will be given such a huge task.’’ Samuel is an aspiring artist and a second-year student who studies Animation. He is a Gospel artist who will be releasing his first album and hopes to own his own design studio in future.

Born in Iran, and now based in Pietermaritzburg, Amal Ma’ani Hessari is a qualified graphic designer who has sold his artwork to institutions like the United Nations, British Telecoms and the Northern Bank. When asked about his participation in the project, he said:

It has been an honour to be part of a historic process, creating a change to carve the process of democracy. We are all a part of making South Africa a leading light for the rest of Africa, and to show the rest of the world that people from different cultures and religious background can come together and produce something wonderful.


Gilbert Tsie is a Fine Arts graduate and a high school teacher from the Free State: He announced that he felt proud to participate in a project where African symbols representing unity and diversity in Parliament were used for the creation of the emblem.

Limpopo-based Humbulani Raphalalani added:

Many received the chance to achieve greatness and to be honoured as heroes but more often than not they fail because their timing was wrong. I am glad to be given the opportunity and to have used it.

Louis Nkosi of Mpumalanga is a self-employed artist who specialises in portraits and cartoons. He said: “I would like to thank Parliament for giving me the opportunity of being a tool that has made South African voices to be heard.”

Gauteng-based Penny Harris announced that it is an honour for a creative person to be given such a powerful platform and an opportunity to be a part of the design team that produced the emblem. Despite being dyslexic Harris studied for an honours degree in Fine Arts.

Morné Leander from Gauteng is a graduate of graphic design as well, who is aspiring to own his own design studio one day. He added that transformation happens from within and projects like these help encourage and transform the way people think. He also said we are getting there.

Lehlohonolo Moagi is a Gauteng-based artist and designer. I am from the North West province, and I am telling you so that you do not think I had any influence. Lehlohonolo said:

This activity represents yet another step in a journey for freedom. It also reflects the conventions of different energies in the freedom stream. This innovative initiative symbolises a people’s wish.

Ka Setswana ra re tlhako ya morago e gata mo ya pele e gatileng. [There is a Setswana saying that previous actions set precedents for those that follow.]

It means we are standing on the shoulders of our predecessors who fought for this freedom we are celebrating today. This emblem marks yet another era, one that celebrates the achievement of a people. We are leaving footprints for generations to come, to follow in preserving this democracy.

As we look at Parliament’s emblem today, let us remember that this is a symbol made for us by our very own community of artists who continue to carve different notches and leave lasting impressions on our historical annals. With each step and symbol we continue to put together a future our children and children’s children will be proud of.

Motlotlegi Moporesidente wa Aforika Borwa, gompieno re le Palamente ya bosetšhaba re eme ka dinao rra re a binabina, re a tlolatlola, re a ipela ka gonne Aforika Borwa o bontshitse gape gore o na le diganka, banna le basadi ba manontlhotlho. (Translation of Setswana paragraph follows.)

[Hon President of the Republic of South Africa, today, as Parliament, we are jubilant because we are proudly celebrating the fact that South Africa has proved once again that it has excellent heroes and heroines.]

We celebrate our diversity; we continue to weave a tapestry of hope by restoring dignity to our people. I thank you. [Applause.]

The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon members, that concludes the proceedings of the Joint Sitting. After I have adjourned the Joint Sitting, members and guests should please remain in their places until the procession has left the Chamber. [Interjections.]

Order! I now come to the main course on the menu. [Interjections.] Order! We will now proceed to the unveiling of the emblem. The unveiling will be shown on the screens in other venues within Parliament at the same time.

A brief explanation of the symbolism of the new emblem will be given when the emblem is unveiled. The presiding officers will thereafter present the President, as Head of State, with a sculptural representation of the new emblem on behalf of Parliament.

The Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces adjourned the Joint Sitting at 12:52.