National Assembly - 22 August 2007



The House met at 15:08.

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




Various portfolios of Cabinet working collectively in implementing Asgisa and Jipsa

  1. Mr D H M Gibson (DA) asked the Deputy President:

    Whether various portfolios of Cabinet have managed to work collectively in implementing the (a) Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, Asgisa, and (b) Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition, Jipsa,; if not, which portfolios have been found inadequate regarding the abovementioned categories; if so, which portfolios have excelled? NO1828E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Deputy Speaker, hon members, the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa is a multisectoral intergovernmental programme that depends on integrated actions within government and between government and other role-players in society. So, co- ordination is an important aspect and, in fact, without co-ordination, it just would not succeed.

Asgisa also exists because we acknowledge the challenge and the need for greater co-ordination, and that inadequate co-ordination and fragmented responses to the challenges that we face collectively compromise all of us. I will just give a few examples to illustrate how this co-ordination is happening, and how the different departments are actually working together.

In the area of infrastructure, for instance, the Department of Public Enterprises – that is the key role department – the Departments of Transport, Minerals and Energy, Water Affairs and Forestry, Housing, Public Works and Provincial and Local Government, as well as state-owned enterprises, are all working together. An amount of R415,8 billion in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework period, from 2007-08 to 2009-10, has already been committed to various projects, and progress is being made as a result in the infrastructure for transport, energy, ICT, water and sanitation. All of this would not be possible if the departments that are key to this work were not co-ordinating and co-operating.

Where we have faced challenges in the environmental impact assessment, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has stepped in and attended to the backlogs, and in fact has facilitated a much smoother process in order to ensure that there is progress. Some of the projects that are making progress include the construction of the 2010 Fifa World Cup stadia, phase one of the Gautrain project, the expansion of the Cape Town and O R Tambo International Airports, and Eskom already spending considerably on its generation capacity programme. Of course, the massive infrastructure that is needed by Eskom includes the two new open-cycle turbines in Mossel Bay and Atlantis, and these are the first power stations built in the area.

So, to respond to the question, therefore, about co-ordination, the answer is a resounding ``yes’’; we wouldn’t be able to make this progress and give these concrete examples if the departments that are charged with this responsibility were dragging their feet.

In the area of skills, again, we have seen progress. The Department of Labour and the Department of Education, which are critical departments, have worked very hard to bring to Cabinet the National Qualifications Framework, and obtain an approval. This is something, as you know, which is very complex, and we have been waiting for it for some years now.

The Department of Education is already addressing the shortage of engineers through future budget allocations, and we have worked very intensively with the Treasury, Science and Technology and the other departments that are users of engineers. I must also commend the higher education institutions and the universities of technology that also worked with us in this regard.

The Department of Provincial and Local Government is working with us on addressing one of the areas identified in Asgisa, which is the capacity for regional planning and planning in municipalities. The SA Mining Development Association and the Department of the Public Service and Administration are amongst the organisations that are working in this area.

The Department of Defence has also put in its peacetime capacity, and is assisting in providing its training facility which, in the main, is assisting to upgrade young people in their maths and science, and this is one of the biggest programmes that we are going to see in Asgisa targeting young women.

The Department of Home Affairs has assisted in facilitating the ease with which we are able to import skills. The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Independent Development Trust, led by the Department of Public Works, have also worked very hard to ensure that we significantly reduce the number of unemployed graduates that we are unable to absorb in the economy. Many of these young graduates are now in different parts of the world as well as in South Africa. We now have a total of 11 000 graduates that have been placed in South Africa and abroad because of these partnerships which also include the Umsobomvu Youth Fund.

On sector developments, again, we have identified the sectors. The Department of Trade and Industry is the lead department. We are working with the private sector. The three key departments – tourism, business process outsourcing and biofuels – have also been looked into in detail, and they are at different levels of implementation. Of course, the industrial strategy has also been pronounced, including the promulgation of new sectors in areas of focus.

On the second economy, we haven’t made as much progress as we had hoped for, especially working on a much more acceptable conceptual framework for all of us, but that has not stopped us from implementing aspects in this area. One of the programmes that we have begun to implement, other than the ongoing programme the different departments are implementing, is the jobs for growth programme, which targets job creation for women. This evening, we will be cementing our collaboration with Old Mutual, which is supporting this programme, and which will allocate R20 million over a period of three years for microcredit.

On governance and service delivery, we focused on capacity for local government, but we began to realise the importance of having the same intervention at provincial level as the Siyenza Manje at local government level. Indeed, much progress has also been made with regard to Project Consolidate. As we speak, there is a total of 85 municipalities whose capacity we have addressed through the location of 281 experts, which have been developed.

In the macroeconomic and governance areas, there is ongoing interaction between the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank, and the national and provincial treasuries have worked very hard to support municipalities in order to improve the capacity and the performance of municipalities, and that is beginning to bear some fruit.

I’m not pretending, for once, that there aren’t problems, that some things couldn’t be faster, but it would be disingenuous of me to say that departments are dragging their feet, as the question suggested. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr D H M GIBSON: Thank you, Deputy Speaker. Hon Deputy President, you have invested a great deal of energy and a lot of your personal prestige in promoting the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa, and the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition. If South Africa grows significantly, you will no doubt be able to claim some of the credit, together with the hon Minister of Finance. If South Africa does not grow significantly, I suspect that you will probably have to accept the whole of the blame yourself.

Criticism of Asgisa is that it is not really a definite programme as such and that, to an extent, it is something of a wish list. One of its weaknesses is that the Deputy President has no direct authority over people, management or enforcement.

I would like to ask you whether you are prepared to consider discussing with the President his giving you the authority to nominate specific people, to nominate specific departments, and to nominate specific projects and dates by when they have to be delivered.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I have to emphasise besides that I am not Asgisa. I am Phumzile.

This work is being done by the different departments. If you choose to see the fact that it is not a definite programme as a weakness, I think that is an opinion, because that is what it is, and it is meant to be a co- ordinating capability. We have looked at the way in which we can strengthen the ability of the co-ordinating unit, which is the Presidency, to get things done faster, and at the last Cabinet lekgotla, we had quite a discussion about how we could do that.

So, it would not mean that I have to nominate and have my own people, but the co-ordinating approach that we are proposing, which we are fine-tuning, just would mean that the work that we are already doing will enable not just myself, but cluster leaders to push and pull the departments that may be the slowest to work faster, but also to ensure that we have a much easier way to take advantage of those departments that have stronger capacity, bigger budgets and more people.

So we are concerned about co-ordination and we are doing something about it, although possibly not as dramatically as you are suggesting.

Mr H J BEKKER: Madam Deputy Speaker, the IFP is very supportive of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative process, and particularly the initiatives that are coming from government, so much so that we indeed consider ourselves as partners in this process, and we will support every effort, furthermore, to get more skills and more training to be done, particularly as far as job orientation and career orientation are concerned.

Even at the times of the KwaZulu-Natal government, this was at the forefront of the IFP’s agenda and we will continue fin this way for the future.

I would like to know from the Deputy President, with regard to the crisis in terms of the shortage of tradespeople, what is being done, particularly with regard to the acute shortage of mechanics, and the ordinary type of trades – the electricians, the plumbers and the welders. In this regard, we know that there are initiatives, but if the Deputy President could perhaps just inform us what the present state is and, if available, what the figures are in terms of how many people are in training. Thank you. [Time expired.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon member. In addition to what we are expecting as an output from further education and training colleges, the sector education and training authorities, especially the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education and Training Authority Merseta, and the Mining Qualifications Authority, Seta, we have asked the other Setas that did not see themselves as lead Setas in the production of artisans also to come to the party and, even to reallocate their funding. I’m asking hon members who are dealing with the issue of Setas to lobby for me that some of the other Setas must reallocate, in accordance with the national priorities.

We are seeing that the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority, and some of the other Setas are beginning to adjust their funding so that they can also contribute towards the production of artisans, because they are also users, but somehow, they will probably get some of their supply from Merseta, which is the biggest Seta involved in the training of artisans.

We have gone back to parastatals that historically trained artisans and asked them to reopen their training facilities. We have also asked companies, mining companies in particular – my old friends – also to use the facilities that they have to provide for the training of artisans. Some provinces have actually initiated their own provincial training, so that in their own right, independent of what we are doing as national government, they have also said that they will take the responsibility to produce X number of tradespeople.

I think what we still seem to be missing a little bit in the system are even shorter courses than the ones that we are producing with the Setas, and with the FETs. These are the ones that, in the old days, were the vocational training facilities. We, together with the Department of Education, have identified that in the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition, and there is therefore an attempt to do that. Some of the employers are actually already doing this, and we are finding a mechanism to accredit them.

Mrs C DUDLEY: Deputy Speaker, and hon Deputy President, you touched on the Education department’s efforts with regard to engineering, and now you have elaborated further. I was going to ask to what extent the Departments of Education and Labour are working with other departments to ensure that industry and skills are developing hand in hand.

Has or will government be critically evaluating our system of sector education and training authorities and further education and training schools and colleges to gauge their effectiveness and potential ability to deliver? For example, has our system been compared with other systems such as China’s vocational schools and colleges with their 100% or almost 100% of students being employed directly after coming out of these vocational institutions, because of the targeted co-ordination between the industry and these particular schools?

In conclusion, has government considered the possibility that Setas and skills development are generally not well placed in Labour and should possibly be moved across to Education? Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Ufuna ukundibethisa ngoMdladlana. [You want Mdladlana to get cross with me.]

Regarding the co-ordination between industry and training providers, yes, we are doing that. It’s much better than it has been. In fact, the 16 critical trades that we are offering in further education and training colleges each came as a result of consultation with industry.

We have even gone further to allocate the trades that certain FETs specialise in, in accordance with the demand for those particular skills in that particular locality. For instance, in Limpopo you will find that we have more training that links to the mining industry. In some of the places along the coast, you will find that some of the FETS do training that is required by the marine industry, etc.

In order to ensure that we perform in accordance with our own standards, but also that we are benchmarking ourselves internationally, we have ongoing interaction with some of the countries that have the same system. I don’t think that we have gone as far as we would like to go.

A particular country and province that we seem to be working with much more closely is Queensland in Australia where we have lots of similarities, even with the pattern and demand for the kind of skills that we are looking for. We are trying to formalise that relationship.

There are some, like Baden-Wűrttemberg, I think that’s what it’s called. It is a province in Germany. This is another one … [Interjections.] That is the one. We are also collaborating with them, because there are some similarities, for instance, in the automotive sector.

In fact, next week on Monday, we will be having quite a big meeting with the delegation from there, where we will take these issues forward of international benchmarking and collaborating. Some of their companies which exist in South Africa, such as DaimlerChrysler, are part of that delegation, because they want to help us, for instance, in East London, to ensure that, in that province, in the automotive sector, we are collaborating.

As regards the improvement of the performance of Setas and the ongoing evaluation that is happening right now, what you are raising are some of the challenges that we are trying to resolve, so that we can find each other between the work of the Setas and the demand that is there in the industry.

The transition from training to places of work is again an area in which you probably had not paid much attention until Minister Mdladlana was ready to scream, because he felt that he had produced people for us and we were not absorbing them quickly enough. So, there is much greater energy now that is going towards ensuring that we can have this transition, even looking at the people that are, for instance, receiving grants, who are young, able-bodied and trainable, who must come out of that system, get trained and then we must find a way of absorbing them.

In the National Youth Service, we are also using the same philosophy. The thing that you could help us with in that regard is to encourage the private sector to be receptive, and to also understand that as we send these young people to them, we are not sending angels and perfect people. This is a revolution, and everybody has to play their part and be inconvenienced. They must be willing to take these young people for further training and give them an opportunity to prove themselves.

I don’t think that is happening on the scale on which we would like it to happen, so that remains one of the areas where we have to do intense work.

Mnu L D MADUMA: Sekela-Somlomo, siyiKomiti yeMicimbi leSebe lezeMisebenzi yoLuntu, kwiiveki ezidlulileyo siye senza utyelelo eRhawutini kwiprojekthi eyaziwa njengeGautrain. Sifumanise ukuba kukho izakhono ekuthiwa zinqabile eMzantsi Afrika. Malunga nama-37 abantu abanezo zakhono ababemkile kweli babuyile.

Kubantu abangama-37 abanezi zikhono, abali-16 abaziinjineli ngabantu abamnyama. Thina siye sayithulela umnqwazi loo mizamo eqhutywa phantsi kwe- Jipsa, ekhokelwa nguwe, Sekela-Mongameli. Ngumsebenzi omhle lowo. Amaqela aphikisayo soloko esixelela ukuba abantu abanezakhono bayemka, kukho i- braindrain. Amajelo eendaba awaphindi asixelele xa abo bantu abaneezo zakhono bephinde babuya. Ziziqhamo zomsebenzi wakho ezo, kwaye siwothulela umnqwazi thina.

Okulandelayo, Sekela-Mongameli, … (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Mr L D MADUMA: Deputy Speaker, the Portfolio Committee on Public Works visited the Gautrain project in Gauteng last week. We were informed that there are skills needed there that are scarce in South Africa. About 37 people who have the required skill and who had left the country have now returned.

Out of the 37 skilled people that we have, 16 are black engineers. We take our hats off to the role played by Jipsa which is led by you, Deputy President. Your work is commendable. Opposition parties always speak of the brain drain. Unfortunately the media does not tell us when people with technical skills come back to this country. That is all good work thanks to you, Deputy President. We salute you.

Another thing, Deputy President is that …]

… some of those co-elements of Asgisa and Jipsa are sector strategies and cross-cutting competitive interventions which can be better improved through thorough co-ordination of government programmes. With regard to this statement, are there any plans to better co-ordinate Setas by integrating those which provide similar services with special consideration for those that have not been performing well? I thank you. [Applause.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Yes, hon member. Consideration is bring given to improving articulation between Setas. I think that you should allow the portfolio committee an opportunity to go through this step by step, otherwise we are going to be seen to be negotiating in bad faith if we already have predetermined outcomes. What you can be assured of is that all of this work that has been done is in the best interest of co-ordination and better performance and ensuring that we do not duplicate.

As I have said, for instance, in the area of artisans we can actually see that there are many Setas that produce artisans other than the ones that we tend to focus on. Between and amongst those Setas, we would therefore like to see greater co-ordination, so that you can see that we are producing enough artisans for each of the trade areas that we are looking at.

Furthermore, when it comes to integration, it’s not just the integration between and amongst Setas, it’s also - as we have said- integration between the Setas and other training providers, such as the employers and FETs, so that as these different institutions and role-players in the training space work, they don’t contradict one another.

One of the good things that has also happened as a result of the work done in Jipsa is that the department has gazetted the new regulations that define very clearly who is an artisan; what makes one qualify as an artisan; and how one gets accredited as an artisan. In that way, we are actually going to close the loop as regards some of those areas that are grey areas where people don’t know whether their qualification is valid or not. The Setas will also benefit from this dispensation. Thank you.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, hon Deputy President. Before we proceed to the next question, hon members, I wish to recognise the Deputy President of the Senate of the Czech Republic, His Excellency Mr Jiri Sneberger, and delegation. [Applause.] They are on an official visit to our Parliament. You are welcomed to Parliament.

  Outcomes of recent meetings with Provincial Executive Councils on
                          governance issues
  1. Mr S L Tsenoli (ANC) asked the Deputy President:

    With regard to the recent meetings she held with Provincial Executive Councils to discuss governance issues, what are the (a) outcomes of these meetings and (b) steps that the Government is going to take to follow up on issues raised at these meetings? NO1834E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, I also think that we have been trying to identify teaming opportunities in the Czech Republic. You are welcome. They will be sending some students. [Applause.]

On the question asked by the hon Tsenoli, I have a very long answer. So, I won’t use all of it. But you will get a copy. But just to say, hon members, that the provincial visits and the interactive monitoring and evaluation, both horizontally and vertically, that we have been doing with regard to the government’s programme of action, have, of course, also given us an opportunity to share information with these provinces. We have already visited seven provinces - Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. We are concluding with visits to the Free State and Gauteng in September.

In all of these provinces, we have had common focus areas, which include the presidential izimbizo and looking at how the issues that were raised are being followed up municipalities. We did find that in the municipalities where a follow-up mechanism had been institutionalised, those municipalities did a much better job of following up. Those which did not have the system did not follow up effectively. We have therefore recommended that a follow-up mechanism be established and that the Department of Provincial and Local Government assist in introducing such a system.

We looked at provincial growth in all of the municipalities. Some of the highlights in what we identified in the provinces include, for instance: In the Western Cape, the issue of scarce skills is stronger. We also identified the issue of human settlements which continued to be a problem, especially the location of people in areas that are not appropriate for the location of human settlements. In some cases, of course, the province and municipalities cannot do anything because people engage in land grabbing. But, we have requested that this is one area that needs special attention in the Western Cape.

As a result of the visits, the Presidency will also assist the province in working on an integrated land reform project which will, firstly, look at how environmental heritage, human settlement, as well as development- planning legislation can be streamlined and aligned with national, provincial and local needs so that, again, the use of land in the Western Cape can be significantly improved.

We are also working with this province to address the issue of the sequencing of subsidies for top structures. This issue did not only arise in the Western Cape. This is how the municipal infrastructure grant is used. But, the solution to this problem also lies at national level. So, we are also trying to do our homework at national level.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the province identified - and we also agreed with them - the constraints in the implementation of their GDS. Again, this concerns skills. They have moved very fast in establishing a Jipsa task team which has identified training areas, especially in each of the nodes where they project growth. They have launched a comprehensive human resources plan – we are co-operating with them.

They are one of the provinces that we think will do a spectacular job in this area of human resources, judging by the pace at which they are moving. They are also the best performing province when it comes to co-operatives and the work that we are doing on jobs for growth. Progress has also been made on the Dube trade port.

In the Northern Cape, there is progress in the area of diamond beneficiation in the sense that the state diamond trader will be going to that province. The relevant legislation is being attended to here in Parliament. A training facility is also going to be provided for cutting and polishing.

The Presidency also identified the challenges of financial and project management in this province, and we have paired them with Old Mutual and some companies in the area of project management. On addressing issues of financial management, the National Treasury is the department that is conducting follow ups.

In the North West, the industrial development zone in Mafikeng has made progress. But, we have also asked them to pay more attention to providing greater services around Rustenburg, which is an identified growth area.

In the Eastern Cape, we identified skills, skills and skills. That is the great brain drain that the province is experiencing. Again, not just ourselves but the province has put its own plans in place, working together with the private sector in the Eastern Cape. Their economic cluster is leading this process.

Where there were problems of environmental impact assessment in the Eastern Cape, we found that a lot of progress has been made. You will be aware that there is an IDZ there that is making progress and Coega has also made progress. And, of course … [Time expired.]

Mr S L TSENOLI: Hon Deputy President, issues of governance and their co- ordination clearly emerge as significant findings in what you have just given us as a reply. In what remains of your answer, probably similar issues might arise. What I want to know is, what level of priority should these governance issues, in particular, be receiving from ourselves across the board in order to increase the pace of delivery of those substantial initiatives you have been referring to?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Indeed, hon member, as regards issues of governance, what we did was to disaggregate even within governance, financial management, issuing of tenders, etc - so that for each of the areas that is compromised, we are able to work more directly and mobilise the relevant department to support the province. There is no way in which we cannot prioritise the issue of governance, because it is crosscutting. Where there is a problem in the area of governance, all of the other priorities don’t work.

Another area to do with governance that we found was compromised was the filling of vacancies in some of the municipalities. That is also an area where there is a greater push for municipalities as well as provinces to respond.

Mr W P DOMAN: Deputy President, I am happy that you have referred to municipalities, because we are really worried that provinces are not excelling in their responsibilities towards municipalities.

According to the Constitution, they must assist them. Section 151 even says that they mustn’t impede municipalities to do their duties. We are very worried that MECs are apparently afraid to act against comrades, and they don’t carry out their duties according to section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act. So, Deputy President, I want to ask you: Does the government have plans to equip provinces so that they can execute their responsibilities towards the municipalities and get the officials to deliver to our people?

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Part of the reason why we undertook these provincial visits was precisely to look at how the provinces were supporting the local government. But, in fairness to some of the provinces, they themselves need support. So, even we at the national level need to give them greater support. So, the track record is not even.

There are some provinces where some MECs are working very well and Premiers are very proactive and so on, and in some there are challenges. In those provinces where there is a general exodus of skills and a brain drain, it’s much harder. In those provinces where there isn’t that significant a brain drain, they have a little bit of room to manoeuvre. That is why bringing people in from outside to close the gaps becomes so important.

We have actually recommended in the Cabinet lekgotla that we should do a provincial “Siyenzamanje” so that just as we try to support and bring skills to local government, we must also bring skills to provincial government so that it’s not one or the other. But, MECS do act. You remember that Richard Dyantyi acted on Helen Zille in this province.

Mr P F SMITH: Madam Deputy President, we welcome your engagement with the provinces. We think it is very important, of course, that there should be strong engagement at intergovernmental level. But, I would like to ask you whether you would not agree that at some level provinces have been neglected over the past 13 years, and particularly at the policy level.

You know in 1994, when we came into the new democratic environment, as well as in all government departments, there was a plethora of Green Papers and White Papers. But, this didn’t apply to provinces. In fact, only next year is it expected that government will produce a White Paper on the provincial system. Then, every other department – Education, Health, Labour, Science and Technology, you name them- had their White Papers. In fact, most of them were completed during the first term of office. This is being applied to Provincial and Local Government only now.

I would argue that they, in fact, have been pressing policy issues and have been neglected as a consequence. It seems to me, you know, that if you are only going to apply your mind as government after three terms of office - in fact it is the 14th year next year - that we are going to get a White Paper for implementation in the fourth term of office, if this was happening normally … [Interjections.]

The question is: Would you not agree that provinces have been neglected at the policy level in respect of government’s initiatives for a White Paper? [Time expired.]

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: No, I really wouldn’t agree. To begin with, the NCOP debates a lot of the policy imperatives of the provinces. The hon member will also realise and recognise that those people who are on that side of the House, whose parties were in homeland government, had a semblance of provinces. Hopefully they did try to do something that we were then trying to do better. But, I must also say that when people are not in government and they make demands for us to do and do and do, they actually do not realise the damage they do.

So, the task has been very heavy and many of the provinces had to carry a lot, in support of municipalities. We have also had to sequence issues because, again, members on that side of the House have been saying to us local government, local government, and local government. There is just so much capacity in this country for us to address these things. But, the neglect of policy - Hayikhona [Absolutely not]!It has not been neglected. Thank you.

         Progress made by Presidential Women’s Working Group
  1. Ms S P Rwexana (ANC) asked the Deputy President:

    (1) Whether the Government is satisfied with the progress made by the Presidential Women’s Working Group; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (2) whether any plans are in place to improve the group’s effectiveness; if not, why not; if so, what plans? NO1833E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Thank you, hon Chair. Hon Rwexana, overall I am satisfied with the progress made in the presidential women’s working group in dealing with general challenges of women’s integration into all levels of social, economic and political endeavour in our country, bearing in mind that obviously this is a working group. They are not a department.

They have isolated the areas of focus, so that they are not all over the place. Some of the initiatives that they have undertaken, include focusing on the establishment of a retirement fund, primarily for women and making a contribution on issues of access to water and sanitation. They are also focusing on the issue of education.

In relation to … [Interjections.]

Johnny, uyangxola. [Johnny, you are making a noise.]

In relation to the work that the women’s working group has done in this wonderful initiative on addressing the challenge of women and their retirement needs, the proposal that they have made seeks, amongst others, to increase the participation and benefits of women and vulnerable groups in the retirement industry, to widen the savings net and improve the savings culture by bringing into the net individuals that are presently outside, to create a vehicle that mobilises financial resources to act as a force for good, through shareholder activism in Investec companies, and to improve the participation of women in all sectors of the economy.

These women presented to us a picture which shows that in the retirement industries, notwithstanding that women represent one third of the money that is available in that industry, they are about 1% of what is represented in the governance of the retirement industry. So they do not influence how some of these funds are actually used. Therefore, the women are seeking to have a greater share.

But, of course, also of great concern has been the fact that some of the groups that desperately need to be supported at retirement, such as domestic workers, are not covered. However, this work will need to be synchronised with the work that is happening in government in this regard, so that these initiatives can reinforce, rather than in any way work in a fragmented way. So, this is work in progress. When they are ready to report, they will come back to the working group and giver us an update.

There has also been progress in an initiative that is being led by Deputy Minister Thabethe, in the formation of the women entrepreneurs’ fund. This is an initiative that the Department of Trade and Industry has located within the IDC, which they intend to launch in 2007.

In the area of social development, the women have worked with the social cluster, as I have already indicated, to address the issue of access to water and sanitation in poor areas. They have singled out a few municipalities that they are able to work with.

In the area of education they are working with the Department of Education to take up the government’s literacy campaign, such that it benefits women, but they also intend to mobilise women as volunteers in the campaign. As you, know the campaign will start next year and the women’s working group will be one of the NGOs that will join hands with the department in order to make sure that they reach out.

On issues of violence against women, they have come up with proposals. What was decided in the last working group was that they would work with the police, first trying to get the data, municipality by municipality, area by area, so that they are able to understand the patterns of violence against women in different parts of the country; so that, as they deploy their interventions in different parts of the country, they respond to those crimes against women that dominated in a particular area.

They are also supporting the 365 Days of Activism against Violence against Women and Children - a programme that will be launched later. I have to say that they are doing a great job. [Time expired.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): I was going to make an order, but I didn’t want to interrupt the Deputy President, when she called on hon De Lange. There is also too much noise in the House and there is a note from the veterans in the House who are saying they can no longer hear. I will be glad if that noise could be reduced.

So could you be in that order? Please tolerate them. It is better now.

Ms S P RWEXANA: Chairperson, Deputy President, one understands the initiatives and they are quite good, but the concern is about rural women – what progress has been made in reaching out to rural women? And is there any assistance or support for rural women throughout the process? I thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The rural women are part of the working group to begin with. They are one of the biggest working groups, precisely because there was a need to ensure this representation. This issue of retirement fund will also benefit rural women, especially those that work on the farms. Of course, women who are unemployed and so on, as you know the state looks after them.

On the issue of sanitation and water, that is something that affects rural women and it is also a priority of the working group. On the issue of Abet, again, there is going to be bias and women will deploy more of their people to actually work and participate in the campaign in rural areas. They have identified some of the nodes, as potentially the key areas that they will begin with.

Ms C N Z ZIKALALA: Chairperson, I have been covered by Rwexana. I was concerned about the rural women. I thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Covered.

Ms J A SEMPLE: Thank you, Chair. Hon Deputy President, the DA agrees with the principle of the women’s working group – to engage and to interact meaningfully with women of South Africa. This particular working group started of with much fanfare in 2004, following the Women’s Parliament. But after three years, it seems to have actually fizzled out. You are giving us a lot of details about what it does, but not much when it comes to public attention. It almost seems to be symptomatic of a government problem. When things aren’t working, government sets up a working group and then we don’t hear much more about it. But I want to develop further on hon Rwexana’s question. Has this particular women’s working group made any efforts to develop entrepreneurship and opportunities for employment amongst poor working women? I thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I want to start by saying this is a working group. So it is not going to do everything. It has chosen the things that it will not do. But, fortunately, the development of women entrepreneurs is one of those things that they have chosen to do. They have also chosen the issue of access to finance as an area that they will make a difference in with regard to the banking industry and many other institutions that do not do a great job in that regard.

It is for that reason that they have worked with the Department of Trade and Industry. That is why I am telling you that the Department of Trade and Industry will be launching a fund. They have identified across the country, the women that need to be given attention and the terms and conditions under which they will be able to benefit. They have offered themselves to provide the non-financial support to those people who will be receiving the funds, that the Department of Trade and Industry will be given.

Some of them belong to other organisations and they are generating, especially, the mentoring capabilities of the women who are part of the women’s business networks that exist, in order to enable them to mentor. We have seen some of the women who are doing that mentoring work. Yes, it doesn’t come with a fanfare. If people don’t have a fanfare, it doesn’t mean that they are not doing anything.

In the last three years, they have worked on the issue of identifying areas of intervention. They went around the country, speaking to women and that is why they have been able to work and support the Deputy Minister, to bring this fund to the fore.

In addition to that, this area of identifying the retirement fund is a big one. It has never been done in this country. I think that you must be fair on them and give them their due, because they have undertaken a very big task in a very male-dominated, chauvinistic area; and they have done so much work. They have consulted across the board, and they have ring-fenced the amount of money and the things that they will potentially do with the women.

Again, they are going back to the women to consult. They have organised domestic workers alongside the other women and they have compiled data on the needs of women – how much each could pay and how much they would benefit. This is not a working group that is fast asleep. I am sorry.

  Steps to combat drug abuse in communities throughout the country
  1. The Leader of the Opposition (DA) asked the Deputy President:

    Whether, in light of her role as head of the moral regeneration campaign, she has taken any steps to combat drug abuse in communities throughout the country; if not, why not; if so, what steps have been taken in relation to (a) prevention and (b) treatment? NO1829E

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Chairperson, I would like to start by repeating and emphasising something that I’ve said before in this House on the subject of moral regeneration, namely that the most critical intervention that can make this campaign successful depends on the strengthening of the moral fibre of our society, which families, parents and communities need to take responsibility for, so that as you collaborate with government and other stakeholders the centre is holding. This responsibility can never and must never be shifted to schools, government or other agencies, which do not have the responsibility for nurturing children from an early age.

The issue of instilling moral values should always remain a concern of the parties that have a direct responsibility for each child. Having said that, however, a lot of discussion has taken place in Cabinet on this issue, as well as on the issue of drug abuse that the hon member is concerned about. As you know, the MRM is a network. It does not have a regulatory capacity. It also depends on the work that is being done in government. In the case of dealing with the issue of drug abuse, therefore, you will know that the Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency Act, 1992 - Act 20 of 1992 - provides a legal framework for the combating of substance abuse, especially activities related to reducing the demand for substances.

The Act also makes provision for programmes, such as prevention, treatment, aftercare, reintegration and community-based intervention, as well as early intervention to combat substance abuse in the country. It is worth noting that the Act is currently being reviewed to make sure that it correctly addresses some of the problems that were not as well understood, right at the end.

I have to commend the NGOs that are working with the department, because the department would not be able to do even a fraction of the work that they are able to do if it weren’t for some of the NGOs and individuals that are dedicated to this work. However, the overall number of people working in this area work when the problem has already happened. What we are not doing enough is to prevent and I think that is the area in which we are saying that we need to shift our attention and responsibility, and families, parents, I am sorry, but we have to take responsibility.

Government, of course led by the Department of Social Development, is currently also rolling out the national drug awareness programme known as “Ke Moja”, which means “No, thanks. I’m fine!” Is that how it is pronounced? “Ke Moja”, is aimed at equipping young people in and out of school to resist drugs when offered by their peer groups in particular. We are partnering with the UN office of drugs and crime and the provincial governments, as required by the National Drug Master Plan.

Regarding treatment, the Department of Social Development is assisting persons affected by substance abuse and their families to overcome these problems. The Department of Health is responsible for detoxification and dispensing medicines if there is a need, while the Department of Social Development is responsible for the provision of a range of psychological services.

It is clear that this is a challenge that is preoccupying many of us and I would just like to add my voice in that we can do more and I also pledge that in moral regeneration we need a lot of support in order to mobilise the families and parents to also play a role. For me they are the biggest missing link in this work.

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Chairperson, Madam Deputy President, I appreciate the information and the DA also welcomes this week’s launch of the National Drug Master Plan, as well as the President’s recent comments on helping to combat the spread of tik in the Western Cape.

The DA will obviously give our full support to these plans, but I believe we need some immediate concrete action and have some proposals that I want you to consider. Would the government, firstly, urgently consider the upgrading of pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient in tik, to a schedule 5 drug, which will make the manufacturing of tik far more difficult and, secondly, ensure that dedicated resources are given to the fight against abalone poaching, which is closely linked to the tik trade? Thank you.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: To the extent that that is a technical proposal that I do not want to pretend that I understand in detail, I will only say that I will pass it on to the relevant departments so that the experts can look into it. I am sure if it has the good intentions that I am sure it has, they should be able to find a way of using it in improving the work that they do.

Nk C N Z ZIKALALA: Phini likaMongameli, siyakhathazeka kakhulu ngoba lapha komabonakude kunemidlalo esebenzisa ulimi olungathandeki nolungakhi izimilo, ikakhulukazi uma kuza entsheni yethu. Imidlalo nje enjengalo othi Tsotsi, uma ungawulalela kahle, kuningi okwenza ukuthi izingane ziduke zingakwazi ukulandela inqubo efanele ekwakheni izimilo zazo. Angazi-ke ukuthi iPhini likaMongameli kungaba yini ebalulekile engenziwa ngoba miningi lemidlalo. Kukhona ulimi oluqosheme olusetshenziswayo, othi uma uhleli nezingane ufise ukucasha noma uzixoshe uthi aziye ngale esithe uma kukhulunywa kule midlalo yeshashalazi.

IPHINI LIKAMONGAMELI: Nami angiluthandi ulimi oluqosheme. Ngiye ngifise ukucasha uma bekhuluma ulimi oluqosheme ngihleli nezingane. UTsotsi, njengoba wazi, umdlalo wefilimu. Akuwona umdlalo weziqephu esiwubona njalo njalo kumabonakude ngoba nasezindaweni zamafilimu ukhona Tsotsi. Enye into, njengoba ngisho, thina bazali kufanele uma sibona ukuthi ingathi kuzodlala uTsotsi sithi abantwana abacishe sivule olunye uhlelo. Uma kuwukuthi nangu uTsotsi eza, abantwana abavale. [Uhleko.] (Translation of isiZulu paragraphs follows.)

[Ms C N Z ZIKALALA: Deputy President, we are greatly concerned because there are movies on television that are using unacceptable language that does not uphold our morals , especially when it comes to our youth. If one were to listen well to movies such as Tsotsi, one will note that there is much that can make children go astray and not be able to follow the correct ways in building their morals. I don’t know then, Deputy President, what is the best that can be done because there are many such movies. There is vulgar language that is used, language that, when spoken in these movies, in the presence of children, makes one wish to hide or chase the children away.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: I also don’t like vulgar language. When I am seated with the children and vulgar language is spoken, I also wish I could hide. Tsotsi, as you know, is a movie. It is not a serial that we watch every day on television, because Tsotsi is also found in cinemas. The other thing, as I have already said, is that we, as parents, when we become aware that Tsotsi is going to be screened, must tell our children to turn off the TV and switch to another channel. If Tsotsi is coming, children must switch off. [Laughter.]]

But also, hon member …

… yiyo le ehlupha kakhulu ngemidlalo eqosheme. Ngakho ngikushiyela kini njengamalungu ahloniphekile ePhalamende ukuthi nilungene lolu daba nisebenzisane nathi, kodwa-ke ngibabekile abamaphephandaba ngoba bona bafuna yonke into nje ibe ngudede. Kufanele kesibonisane ukuthi, nokho, lento iyazibulala izingane ngoba kweminye yale midlalo yilapha befundiswa khona ukuthi badle nezidakamizwa. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[… is the most troublesome when it comes to explicit movies. I therefore leave this to you as the hon Members of Parliament to intervene in this matter and to co-operate with us. Do not forget, however, the role of the media. They just want everything to be explicit. We need to discuss this and agree that it kills the children because, in some of these movies, that is where they are taught to use drugs.] Mr T M MASUTHA: Chairperson, Comrade Deputy President, thank you for your very encouraging and inspiring response to this question.

In its recent oversight visit around the country focusing on substance abuse, the Portfolio Committee on Social Development noted with concern the escalation of substance abuse, especially the so-called designer drugs such as tik and Nyope in our communities. What advice or intervention can the Deputy President offer for families and communities who are at the coalface of this challenge to lift up their spirits and give them a sense of hope?

IPHINI LIKAMONGAMELI: Hhayi, ungiphethe uMasutha ngalo mbuzo onzima kangaka. Ngimnika uNqgongqoshe Zola Skweyiya nePhini lakhe. Masibakhuthaze ukuthi mabasebenze, ikakhulu uma ngibona nemibutho yentsha namasonto, ukuze kuthi uma abantwana beya esikoleni noma esontweni noma emihlanganweni yentsha, bathole intshumayelo efanayo ngodaba lokusebenzisa kahle izidakamizwa. Ngiyalazi nePhini LikaNgqongqoshe umhlonishwa uShabangu ukuthi ungomunye wabantu, njengephoyisa elikhulu, oyilwayo kakhulu lendaba yezidakamizwa. Ngithi-ke ukubambisana nokusebenzisana nawo wonke lamaqembu kahulumeni kanye namaqembu omphakathi kubalulekile kakhulu. Ngiyabonga. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Oh no, Mr Masutha is really on to me with this very difficult question. I am referring him to Minister Zola Skweyiya and his deputy. Let us encourage them to work, especially with reference to youth and church organisations, so that when children go to school or go to church or youth meetings, they may get the same message about the proper use of drugs. I know that even the Deputy Minister hon Shabangu, as the chief constable, is one of the people who are fighting drug abuse. I am therefore saying that the co-operation and working together of all these governmental and community groups is very important. Thank you.]

Dr S E M PHEKO: Chairperson, it is indeed an honour. First of all I would like to say that before battles are won on the battlefield they are won in the mind. [Interjections.] If we allow our television, for instance, to continue doing what it is doing there is no way we can win this battle.

There is so much to be done, so much that has been lost and I am always surprised that the television looks like nothing is happening and Eurocentric values are the ones that are being perpetuated. Violence is the order of the day. Some things have been said here that we all hide … [Interjections.]

I just wanted to ask whether we should not control what goes into the television? That is not suppression of information.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Umbono lowo ongaxoxwa amaqembu ehlangene. [That is an opinion that can be debated by all the parties.]

                         PEACE AND SECURITY
                              Cluster 1


       Bail granted to suspects of serious and violent crimes
  1. Ms A van Wyk (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:

    Whether it is her or her department’s viewpoint that bail is being granted too easily to suspects of serious and violent crimes; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what steps will be taken in this regard? NO1827E

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: May I thank the hon member for the question. I am not in a position to comment on whether bail that is granted by our courts is granted too easily in respect of serious and violent crimes. I am certain that the hon member knows as well as I do that the decision whether or not to grant bail is made by the judiciary. This decision is made after an assessment of the facts available to the judicial officer and where necessary evidence by the accused and the prosecution.

I don’t find it necessary to deal with all the factors that are taken into account when bail is considered safe, except to remind the hon member that the court takes into account inter alia the interest of the public. I am confident, however, that such a decision is made by the judiciary in most instances having regard to all the circumstances of the case.

I think often when we look at these matters it does seem to us, when we look at the case subjectively without knowing the facts, that it may well look as if the courts are lenient or actually strict on bail. But I think the important thing for us is in each instance to try and establish the facts on which the decision was made. I think in the vast majority of cases our judicial officers do apply their minds correctly and vigorously and in the few cases where we may find that that is not so, that I think is just human error and frailty.

Ms A VAN WYK: Thank you, Chairperson, and thank you, Deputy Minister. Deputy Minister, I agree with what you have been saying, that it is the decision of the judiciary as regards the bail they give. However, there is a perception amongst the public, as you said as well, and in the media, and I think we find that the police also actually get demoralised sometimes, because of bail that has been granted.

I think this perception is strengthened when somebody out on bail actually commits another crime, and often when that happens it gets blown up in the media even more. We find that some communities even resort to vigilantism as a result of bail they feel has been granted too easily to perpetrators. Is there a way that the justice system, together with communities and police forums, could look at the policy to strengthen the input of communities in the granting of bail as such?

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: I think you have touched on the correct point. I think the issue is public education, public education and public education. I think that often all of us use issues that are very sensitive like bail or sentencing to mobilise communities when we shouldn’t be doing so. I think we should spend more time on educating communities on what factors are taken into consideration.

I do believe that the police forums that you have mentioned need to be completely re-examined and re-used, which the Department of Safety and Security is doing to try and assist us in this process.

Of course, nothing is stopping a community from communicating to the prosecutor what their views are and the prosecutor can lead the evidence from that community to say that they are totally opposed to this. If you’ve got the police forums to fulfil that function, where you liaise and interact with the prosecutors, that would be a mechanism through which we could deal with this. But I think we must support our courts in trying to get their decisions legitimised in the eyes of our people and that will only be done through public education. Thank you.

Mr L K JOUBERT: Thank you, Chairperson. Deputy Minister, we are of the opinion that the law concerning bail is quite adequate. It is the application that is lacking. If the law, as it stands, is properly applied we would not have the repeated crimes by those out on bail or the situation where an accused sits in prison for up to 5 years awaiting trial. The question is: What steps have been taken to ensure that the law is properly implemented by all concerned, also the prosecutors, the investigators, etc? Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: I agree with you, hon member. I think the law is very adequate. In fact, we have one of the stricter bail laws around and it has been found constitutionally sound by our courts.

I also agree with you that there are instances where it could be applied better. Obviously, there are many instances where there is not even a bail application. People are released on bail beforehand by either the police or the prosecutors and that could create problems.

One of the issues we are looking at is to create specific directives and circulars, and train the police and the prosecutors accordingly, to make sure that they use the bail system much better than they are doing. I think that if you were to compare things with a few years ago you would see that things have improved dramatically. I also think that the old issue of training, training and training is very important. Once we’ve got the systems in place then we have to keep on training the people that implement those laws. That is the only way we can make it work better.

Steps taken by SAPS with regard to the increase in illegal immigrants in Limpopo

  1. Mr P J Groenewald (FF Plus) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:

    (1) What steps is the SA Police Service taking to defend farmers in Limpopo against the increase in illegal immigrants, especially from Zimbabwe;

    (2) whether the SAPS is arresting or will arrest farmers who hand over illegal immigrants to the police; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;

    (3) whether it is his and the SAPS’s position that there is not an increase in illegal immigrants; if not, what is the position with regard to the provincial commissioner’s (name furnished) assertion in this regard; if so, what is the reason for this conclusion;

    (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter? NO1823E

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, the reply to the question is: The rural safety plan is the vehicle that we use for the protection of the farming community. The rural safety forum is utilised to address security and crime concerns and it is a forum where farmers raise their concerns and contribute to reach solutions.

The rural safety forum is very active and does good work. The right of farmers to protect their property and to effect citizen’s arrests on their property is recognised.

Generally speaking, the SA Police Service will not arrest a farmer who has arrested an illegal immigrant on his or her farm. This does not mean, though, that unlawful vigilante types of actions and violence are condoned. Any person effecting a citizen’s arrest, as is the case with the police, is liable, criminally and civilly, for his or her actions. It is important that, where a person is arrested on private property, statements are made to the police on the circumstances of the arrest in order to enable the police to assess the illegality or otherwise of the arrest and whether the person should be further detained. Should the arrested person lay counter complaints of assault, for example, the SA Police Service must investigate those complaints and must take such steps as are appropriate in the circumstances.

It is true that there is an increase in illegal immigrants into Limpopo. However, the numbers cannot be established with certainty as the illegal immigrants do not cross the border through ports of entry. Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, ek verwelkom die antwoord van die agb Minister. Hy het uitdruklik gesê dat boere wel die bevoegdheid het om mense in hegtenis te neem wat op hulle eiendom oortree, en dit is aanvaarbaar dat die persone binne die regte en reëls van die reg moet optree.

Maar wil die agb Minister tog asseblief met sy kommissaris in Limpopo kommunikeer, want dié kommissaris, kommissaris Sengani, dreig die boere dat hy hulle in hegtenis gaan neem. Ons weet die gemeenskapspolisiëringsforum is baie aktief en ons verwelkom die feit dat die agb Minister erken dat daar ‘n toename is van onwettige immigrante, spesifiek in Limpopo. Sy kommissaris, daarenteen, ontken dit heeltemal. Hy sê daar is nie so iets nie.

Agb Minister, nou weet die boere van Limpopo dat hulle binne hul regte mag optree. Maar my vraag aan die agb Minister is: Wat gaan hy doen met sy kommissaris in Limpopo, kommissaris Sengani, wat blykbaar nie weet wat aangaan nie? Hy weet nie wat die toestand daar is nie en hy dreig die boere. Dankie, Voorsitter. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Mr P J GROENEWALD: Chairperson, I welcome the reply of the hon Minister. He has expressly said that farmers do have the power to arrest people who trespass on their property, and it is acceptable that the persons should act within the prescripts of the law.

But would the hon Minister please communicate with his commissioner in Limpopo, as this commissioner, Commissioner Sengani, is threatening the farmers that he is going to arrest them. We know that the community policing forum is very active and we welcome the fact that the hon Minister is admitting that there is an increase in illegal immigrants, specifically in Limpopo. On the other hand, his commissioner is denying this completely. He says there is no such thing.

Hon Minister, the farmers of Limpopo now know that they may act within their rights. But my question to the hon Minister is: What is he going to do about his commissioner in Limpopo, Commissioner Sengani, who apparently does not know what is going on? He does not know what the circumstances over there are and he is threatening the farmers. Thank you, Chairperson.]

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: At the time that the police commissioner in Limpopo made the statement, he did not know that we have an increase in immigrants entering Limpopo illegally. At the time he made that comment that was not evident. It was much later that we picked up that, indeed, there was an increase in illegal immigrants entering Limpopo.

The second point, of course, is that the commissioner was not talking about people who were legally effecting citizens’ arrests. He was talking about people who were acting in illegal ways as they were effecting those arrests. It had nothing to do with the ordinary arrests that citizens will effect, because that is part and parcel of what happens all the time. It does not relate only to farmers. People have the right to effect a citizen’s arrests, including farmers. That is not in dispute at all. Neither did the relevant commissioner dispute that fact. He was talking about some of the illegal methods that are being used with respect to this matter.

Nksz M M SOTYU: Ndiyabulela, Mphathiswa. Ukubethelela kwimpendulo oyinikileyo, manditsho ukuba kwiinyanga ezidlulileyo saye sahambela kwimida yeli loMzantsi Afrika, siziikomiti ezahlukeneyo zePalamente, ukuya kuzibonela ngawethu okuqhubeka khona. Saye safumanisa ukuba amafama kule mida asebenzisa abaphambukeli kweli. Kuthi kwakuba kho ingxabano phakathi kwawo naba baphambukeli, abaqweqwedise abase emapoliseni.

Ngaba uyavumelana na nam, Mphathiswa, ukuba ukusetyenziswa kwaba bantu, esibabiza ngokuba ngabaphambukeli kweli, luxhaphazo nolwaphulo-mthetho, kwaye aluvumelekanga? Lulwaphulo-mthetho into yokusebenzisa umphambukeli, uthi xa ungafuni kumhlawula umqweqwedise umse emapoliseni. Ngaba uyavumelana nam ukuba loo nto asisoze siyivumele? Enkosi, Mhlalingaphambili.

UMPHATHISWA WEZOKHUSELO NOKHUSELEKO: Njengokuba senditshilo, lungu elibekekileyo, umntu ozama ukubamba namphi na omnye umntu esebenzisa iindlela ezingekho semthethweni, yena ngokwakhe loo mntu ungumaphuli- mthetho. Ngoko ke amapolisa anelungelo lokumbamba naye loo mntu. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[Ms M M SOTYU: I thank you, Minister. To support your answer, I would like to tell you that months ago we visited the borders of South Africa as different committees of Parliament, to see what was happening. We discovered that farmers along the border employ illegal immigrants. When there is a quarrel between the employer and the immigrants, the employer immediately reports them to the police so that they can be arrested.

Do you agree with me, Minister, that the employing of illegal immigrants in this country is exploitation, constitutes a crime and is not allowed? It is unlawful to employ illegal immigrants, and when farmers do not have money to pay them they report them to the police. Do you agree with me that we cannot allow that? Thank you. The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: As I have already said, hon member, a person who tries to effect a civil arrest using illegal methods, is himself a criminal. Therefore, the police have the right to arrest him.]

There is a situation, and I hope this is going to be addressed by the new inquiry into issues that relate to the farming communities by the SA Human Rights Commission. There is going to be another inquiry. There was an inquiry and unfortunately the results of that inquiry were not published. But there is going to be another one.

When we undertook the inquiry into attacks on farming communities, one of the things that did come to the fore was what the hon member has referred to, namely that there are undocumented foreign nationals who are employed on some of these farms and the relationship between them and their employers has not always been a good one. But the point I am making is that there is going to be another inquiry, which is being undertaken by the SA Human Rights Commission, which I hope will look at those matters again, because there was an inquiry that was done. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mrs C DUDLEY: Thank you, Chair. Hon Minister, to all intents and purposes, of course, Zimbabwean illegal immigrants are innocent economic refugees fleeing starvation and human rights violations in their homeland. What role does the SAPS play in the detention regime at Lindela and what priority is being given to South Africa’s obligation toward migrants and the need to pass constitutional scrutiny, especially considering the influx of these immigrants that you have described?

Has there been sufficient planning and capacity-building within the SAPS in the most affected areas in order to facilitate a safer and more secure environment for all concerned? Is the SAPS, for example, geared to cope with the special needs of illegal child immigrants unaccompanied by parents, and are SAPS personnel being trained to deal humanely and effectively with these children specifically and illegal immigrants generally? Thank you, Chairperson.

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, I’m sure you do appreciate that this is a totally new question. The question which I was dealing with relates to the issue that was raised by the hon Groenewald. But this one is a completely new question and therefore I am asking the hon member to put that question in writing so that we can respond to it. I do not want to respond in an ad hoc fashion to an important question such as the one she is posing. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mnr R J KING: Voorsitter, ek wil terugkom na die agb Minister se antwoord aan die agb lid Groenewald - en verskoon my as daar vir my ’n bietjie onduidelikheid is. Agb Minister, die onwettige instroming oor die Limpopogrens is beslis geen nuwe probleem nie en was beslis al male sonder tal ’n agendapunt tussen u, u nasionale kommissaris en u provinsiale kommissaris.

As die provinsiale kommissaris dan in die openbaar en voor ons kollegas in die NRVP verklaar dat daar nie so iets soos onwettige immigrante is nie, dat die boere in hegtenis geneem sal word as hulle teen betreders optree, dat die Grondwet almal vry verklaar en dus ook onwettige immigrante vry verklaar, en dat dié immigrante géén probleme in Limpopo veroorsaak nie, is my vraag aan u: Hoe kan enige redelike, normale mens anders as om te glo dat hierdie belaglike standpunt in werklikheid ook u en kommissaris Selebi se standpunt is? Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Mr R J KING: Chairperson, I want to go back to the hon Minister’s reply to the hon member Groenewald – and pardon me if I am not clear on this. Hon Minister, the illegal influx across the Limpopo border is definitely not a new problem and has been a point of discussion time and again between you, your national commissioner and your provincial commissioner.

If the provincial commissioner declares in public and before our colleagues in the NCOP that there is no such thing as illegal immigrants, that the farmers will be arrested if they act against trespassers, that the Constitution declares everyone to be free and therefore also declares illegal immigrants to be free, and that these immigrants are not causing any problems in Limpopo, my question to you is: How can any reasonable, normal person believe anything but that this ridiculous viewpoint is in reality also your and Commissioner Selebi’s viewpoint? I thank you.]

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, I’ve responded to that question. It does not matter how you rephrase it; it is the same issue and I want to repeat, firstly, that we have a relationship with these farmers that some of you are talking about. It must not be like these are strangers that we have no interaction at all with. We have an interaction, particularly in terms of our own strategy. As I have indicated, we have a rural safety platform that these farmers are using in order for them to interact with us. And on those questions of security we are working together.

I have already given a response to the issue of what the commissioner said or did not say and I think I’ve done my duty.

Mechanisms put in place to address the shortage of staff experienced over weekends

  1. Mr D V Bloem (ANC) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:

    Whether there are any mechanisms in place to address the shortage of staff experienced over weekends; if not, why not; if so, what progress has been made in this regard, with particular reference to the prevention of escapes over weekends? NO1802E

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chair, the reply to the hon member is that correctional centres operate at 46% of the weekly establishment. This was calculated based on current realities in the respective centres. Managers in the respective regions are trained to operate in a security environment and are therefore expected to ensure that security is not under any circumstances compromised, based on the roster system that we use.

Disciplinary action is taken against negligent behaviour that leads to escapes. This should act as a deterrent to such actions. The Department of Correctional Services has phased in the seven day establishment which should be implemented by the 2008-09 financial year. During the implementation phase the department will not function with the week-and- weekend establishment.

As an essential service institution the department is expected to operate on a 24-hour, seven-day basis in fulfilment of its responsibilities. Additional staff have been recruited for the purpose of implementing the White Paper on Corrections in South Africa in order to beef up security at operational correctional centre level. The staff were allocated to both internal and external custody.

The department has begun to train its own personnel at the coalface of service delivery to become rehabilitation officers, in line with the new paradigm. This is in order to professionalise the service rendered to offenders, which is in compliance with the requirements of the White Paper on Corrections.

The department has appointed 2 446 officials in the custodial and support occupational class during March 2007. As part of the seven-day establishment, these appointments will also ensure that there are sufficient personnel available to ensure the performance of critical functions over weekends. Thank you.

Mr D V BLOEM: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Thank you, Minister. I appreciate the efforts that you and the department are making in addressing this challenge. But, Minister, don’t you think that the department must reconsider going back to a six-month training programme at the colleges - that is at Kroonstad and Zonderwater - before any new official can be deployed into the prisons? Thank you very much.

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Our trainees in both colleges go for three months and spend nine months at the centres before they can get their certification at the end of the year. We still believe that we are on the right track, because we need more and more officials to make sure that we fill all vacancies that we have within Correctional Services. We will sit down with the chairperson of the portfolio committee and listen to the proposal that he is putting to us. We are quite amenable to that proposal.

Mr J SELFE: Chairperson, if I heard the Minister correctly, he said that the weekend establishment is some 46% of the normal week establishment. On our recent oversight tour, we came across many correctional centres that have one third or less officials actually on duty over weekends. In one particular case there were so few officials on duty over weekends that they could only perform essential services.

Now this obviously poses a threat to security and undermines rehabilitation. Much as the Chairperson has said, the shortage of staff can be alleviated if those officials who have finished their learnerships can be accredited by the Seta. Once this happened, thousands of officials would be able to work on their own and we would be able to put more officials into the system. What steps is the Minister taking to speed up this accreditation process?

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: As I have said in responding to the chairperson, the managers in our respective regions have been trained to operate in the security environment in a better way. They are therefore expected to ensure that security is not compromised under any circumstances.

Coming back to what Mr Selfe said, there is no system that can fit all these centres. These centres differ and we don’t have one system. We try to make sure that security is not compromised at any of them. In terms of their accreditation, we do push very hard that once they come back from colleges, going to the centres, we get our Seta to accredit them and we are pushing very hard to make sure that they get accredited as they work in the centres. Thank you.

Mrs S A SEATON: I have to a large extent been covered by my two previous colleagues. There is no doubt that there is still a major shortage in the department and, yes, we appreciate what has been done but I really do think that it is time that we do a lot more as regards staff shortages.

Minister, what I want to know is: When we have had escapes and problems over weekends and after hours has a study been done to ensure whether, in fact, at those institutions or those correctional centres the matter has actually been due to a lack of staff at that particular time?

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Thank you very much, hon Seaton. There is a shortage of staff in some instances and we are trying to address that. Since we have opened the colleges, they are operating quite well. We are trying to get more and more of those staff members and recruits to come in.

But I may take a shot at you, hon Seaton. I always like doing that; to take a shot at you. The IFP was running this department and you never raised some of those issues. That’s just taking a cheap shot at you.

Mrs S A SEATON: On a point of order, Chairperson: There are escapes which are happening at the moment and we are dealing with issues that are happening that right now. There are problems this year, lots of them.

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: That’s not a point of order. She is trying to defend herself. And please, don’t …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hon Minister, can I appeal to you to respond to the question.

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Yes, let me continue, I am responding. I just took a pot shot at her. I love doing that. The escapes over weekends . . . Don’t abuse me, hon Seaton, please. I am a young person, don’t do that to me.

We have looked at the escapes over weekends, and in none of the escapes, including Empangeni Qalakabusha, has anything told us that there was a shortage of staff. Nobody has said that. I have sat in Qalakabusha for days looking at that and you cannot sit in Parliament and tell me that there is a shortage of staff there. There was collusion, unethical behaviour and corruption. End of story.

Mr H B CUPIDO: Chairperson, hon Minister, CCTV is being used with success to combat crime in many of our cities and towns and it is also used in correctional centres to monitor the movement of inmates and staff members. What steps have been taken in order to prevent staff from, say, circumventing or disabling the CCTV systems in our centres? Thank you.

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Hon member, we have taken that into account as well. We have put CCTV in 66 of our centres and we are rolling it out to other centres as well. It has also worked successfully with us. Again, starting from the last escape, we were able to track those offenders from the time they left to the time they went to the gate. That’s why we were able to suspend 17 of those officials, whom I inherited from whoever was running this department before.

         Department’s approach to use of languages in court
  1. Mr G B Magwanishe (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:

    What is her department’s approach to the use of languages in courts?

    NO1799E The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: I thank the hon member for this question. The multilingualism language policy adopted by government hasn’t changed in our Constitution. In terms of this policy, any accused person in a trial or a litigant or a party to a lawsuit has the right to use any official language of their choice when appearing in a court of first instance.

The state provides court interpretation services in criminal courts, if the language used by any person, which is usually English or Afrikaans, is different from the official language of choice of the litigant or accused. The department is also continually improving the competence and capacity of interpreters to provide sign language and other commonly spoken languages like Swahili and French, where there is a need for such interpretation.

There is, however, a need to provide guidelines for the manner in which court proceedings are typed and recorded. This is a sensitive matter because not only is the typed record of the court proceedings relevant to the litigants, but it becomes more crucial when the matter is appealed to a higher court, even up to the Constitutional Court, or if it is a reportable judgement, which must be accessible for research and jurisprudential purposes. This is a matter which is currently under discussion and which will form part of the issues that will be covered by the policy document on the transformation of the administration of justice, which the department is working on. This is being done to facilitate a broader dialogue on the matter. Mr G B MAGWANISHE: Chairperson, I’d like to thank the Deputy Minister for his comprehensive reply. I would like to know whether the department is considering introducing indigenous languages as part of the LLB degree curriculum. Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Obviously, that’s a slightly different issue with regard to legal education. I’m not aware that there is something specifically being done about this, but I am aware that some of the universities have again raised with us the issue of whether we should be relooking at the issue of the LLB being change from four to five years, as well as, of course, what the content thereof should be. But, there are no further processes taking place, these are just informal issues that have been raised. I cannot give you a specific answer that there is a decision like that at this stage.

Dr J T DELPORT: Voorsitter, ek ken die agb Adjunkminister goed genoeg om te weet dat hy nie gaan wegskram van hierdie opvolgvraag deur te sê dis ’n substantiewe vraag nie – hy ken mos sy departement en die onderwerp. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Dr J T DELPORT: Chairperson, I know the hon Deputy Minister well enough to know that he is not going to shy away from this supplementary question by saying that it is a substantive question – after all, he knows his department and the subject.]

I want to ask whether you will consider, in order to alleviate the whole question of language use, adding to the whole policy that when appointments are made of prosecutors and magistrates that you will take cognisance in the appointments of the language proficiency of that appointee in relation to the language profile of the relevant community?

Laat ek vir u ’n eenvoudige voorbeeld noem: Gestel ons stel in Tsolo of iewers, ter wille van die diversiteitsprofiel, ’n Indiër-dame of blanke man aan wat g’n woord Xhosa verstaan nie. Wat gaan ly daaronder? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Let me give you a simple example: Suppose we appoint, in Tsolo or somewhere, for the sake of the diversity profile, an Indian lady or a white man who don’t understand a single word of Xhosa. What is going to suffer because of that?]

Efficiency suffers!

Net so kry ons op Joubertina, waar Engels ’n vreemde taal is, om van Xhosa nie eens te praat nie, ’n Xhosasprekende landdros met géén kennis van Afrikaans nie. Net so gaan ons plekke hier aan die Weskus kry … [Similarly, in Joubertina, where English is a foreign language, not to mention Xhosa, we have a Xhosa-speaking magistrate with no knowledge whatsoever of Afrikaans. Similarly, we will find places along the West Coast …] Should we continue to allow ideology to undermine efficiency? [Time expired.]

Die ADJUNKMINISTER VIR JUSTISIE EN STAATKUNDIGE ONTWIKKELING: Ek dink dit is ’n baie belangrike vraag wat jy daar vra, maar ek dink die einde, hoe jy hom geëindig het, is ’n bietjie moeilik. Die saak is nie ideologies nie. Die saak gaan oor ons grondwetlike beginsels, en die grondwetlike beginsels is dat ons veg vir nierassigheid en vir geslagsgelykheid. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: I think you have asked a very important question, but I think the way you’ve ended it, is a bit difficult. This is not an ideological matter. This matter deals with constitutional principles, and the constitutional principles are that we are fighting for nonracism and for gender equality.]

Nonracialism and nonsexism are the priorities.

Nou, as dit die geval is, dan moet ons baie versigtig wees as ons ’n beleid inbring soos wat jy voorstaan, want anders gaan ons al die apartheidsneigings en –tendense wat bestaan weer ingrawe. Die probleem gaan wees, as ’n mens net Xhosasprekende mense aanstel in daardie areas waar Xhosasprekende persone woon, en Afrikaanssprekendes in Afrikaanssprekende gebiede, dan gaan ons net dupliseer wat onder apartheid bestaan het. Maar ek sê nie dat dit nie in ag geneem moet word nie; ek dink dit moet in ag geneem word.

Ons het ’n klomp gevalle waar landdroste of aanklaers, nadat hulle in ’n gebied, veral in die landelike gebiede, aangestel is, glad nie touwys gemaak kan word nie, want hulle kan glad nie hulle werk doen in daardie omgewing nie, en die departement het nie altyd die kapasiteit om vir hulle tolke te reël nie. So ek dink dis ’n baie moeilike saak wat jy aanraak, maar ’n belangrike een, want aan die een kant wil ’n mens hê die werk moet effektief gedoen kan word, en aan die ander kant wil ons nie ingrawe wat onder apartheid plaasgevind het nie.

Ek dink dus dis ’n debat wat ons aan die gang moet hou, en as julle voorstelle het oor hoe dit gehanteer kan word, kan julle dit asseblief voorlê. Dankie. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Now, if that is the case, then we should be very careful when we introduce a policy such as you propose, lest we again entrench all the existing apartheid inclinations and tendencies. If one appoints only Xhosa-speaking people in those areas where Xhosa-speaking people reside and Afrikaans- speaking people where Afrikaans-speaking people reside, then the problem will be that we will merely duplicate what existed under apartheid. However, I am not saying that it must not be taken into account; I think it must be taken into account.

We have a number of cases where magistrates or prosecutors, after they have been appointed, especially in rural areas, cannot be orientated at all, because they cannot do their work in that area, and the department does not always have the capacity to arrange interpreters for them. So I think it’s a very difficult, yet important, issue that you have touched on, because, on the one hand, one would like the work to be done efficiently while, on the other, one does not want to entrench that which occurred under apartheid.

Thus, I think this is a debate that we should keep alive, and if you have proposals as to how it should be handled, you should please submit them. Thank you.]

Application by Mr Tony Yengeni to be outside Cape Town Magisterial District

  1. Mr J Selfe (DA) asked the Minister of Correctional Services:

    (1) Whether Mr Tony Yengeni has applied to be outside the Cape Town Magisterial District on 27, 28 and 29 June 2007; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) when was the application received, (b) what was the response and (c) what was the reason for such an application;

    (2) whether any restrictions were placed on him during this period; if not, why not; if so, what was the nature of the restrictions? NO1810E

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Chairperson, all parolees in the whole country - and we have something like 200 000 parolees and probationers - have a set of rules and regulations that they follow and they are looked after by community corrections and supervision. They all fall under their own community corrections and supervision. They all have to apply in writing to be able to move out of their magisterial districts.

Yes, Mr Tony Yengeni submitted an application to leave the magisterial district of Cape Town on 27, 28 and 29 June. The application was received on 21 June wherein Mr Yengeni, as he is a member of the national executive committee of the ANC, applied to attend the national policy conference in Midrand in Gauteng.

With regard to part (b) of the question, the head of community corrections in Cape Town granted permission to Mr Yengeni to leave the magisterial district. Concerning part (c) of the question, I have already said refer to (a) above that there was an application that was written.

Lastly, no, community correction orders do not make explicit provisions for probationers who are leaving their magisterial districts having been given prior approval. All applications for related concessions outside of that magisterial district are considered on their own merit and where necessary restrictions are placed. Thank you.

Mr J SELFE: Thank you for that reply, hon Minister, but I do find it extraordinary that this particular parolee has restrictions placed on him when he is in the Cape Town Magisterial District but no restrictions placed on him when he is at the ANC policy conference. I find that odd. But what it is, is further evidence of the preferential treatment given to this particular parolee that started when he was released as a category four offender, which is virtually unheard of, and that the Minister went to Malmesbury to persuade him to accept the parole conditions.

I would like to ask the hon Minister what he thinks the rehabilitation benefits of Mr Yengeni attending the ANC policy conference are, and whether all other parolees are entitled to go to similar functions. Thank you.

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: I am trying my best not to be amused by this. The benefits surely, hon member, will be felt by the parolee or wherever the parolee goes to. That is the first point, and that is something I do not want to respond to. The influence of those that are with him - that is right, yes.

I did not go to persuade him to accept parole conditions. That is done by the parole board and by the case management committee of that particular centre. I don’t have to try and make people accept those conditions. So, in that case, you are wrong again.

As regards the issue of preferential treatment, hon Selfe, you sound like a broken record. [Interjections.] So, if you believe that by repeating that time and time again you will be convincing anybody, wrong, you are convincing yourself. Please continue doing it and we will make a pop hit out of that, a hit song. You say it is very odd. I don’t see what is odd - he is not the first parolee to apply as many parolees do so and there is nothing odd in that, nothing extraordinary in that at all. So, I should try and get a record company to record you so that you have your own DVD talking about preferential treatment. Goodbye. [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! The next supplementary question on screen is from hon Mahote.

Mr S MAHOTE: By answering hon Selfe, the Minister has answered my question. Thank you.

     Ten courts with the biggest backlog in maintenance matters
  1. Ms M V Meruti (ANC) asked the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development:

    (a) Which 10 courts have the biggest backlog in maintenance matters and (b) what special initiatives have been undertaken in these courts to ease the backlogs? NO1801E

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, the answer to this question is very substantial - seven pages. I will hand the answer to the member afterwards. I will just try and single out one or two aspects for now.

The ten courts which we have listed have the highest turnover in maintenance matters based on their high volumes. The highest is Johannesburg, which receives 8 762 payments a month into it and 7 014 payments out of it. In between there are Pretoria, Pietermaritzburg, Umlazi, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Verulam, Mitchells Plain, Durban and the tenth one is Bellville, which receives 1 920 payments and pays out 1

  1. This was over a period of six months from January to July this year.

I also have tables here for you that show the numbers of maintenance cases received in the ten highest recipients and those that have been finalised in those courts. The numbers are in the table and I am not going to read them. But the courts are New Brighton, Welkom, Alberton, Market Street, Brakpan, Mamelodi, Pretoria, Bafokeng, Standerton, and Thohoyandou.

With regard to (b), I would like to draw the hon member’s attention to our reply to question 256, where we highlighted the extent to which Operation Isondlo has improved and strengthened the maintenance system. Operation Isondlo and other initiatives aimed at improving services in respect of maintenance have been very successful. They have not only led to a substantial improvement in creating greater access to maintenance support for women and children, but have also led to improved awareness and therefore have increased the numbers.

This has consequently also contributed to assisting the very poor who are dependent on the support they receive in the form of maintenance. During the 2006-07 financial year we paid out R4,9 million of unclaimed monies to beneficiaries throughout the country. Many of these were traced by us.

The interventions of Operation Isondlo include the following: extending maintenance services to all main courts and most periodical courts country- wide; successful clamping down on maintenance defaulters by outsourcing the tracing of them; and educating the public on their rights.

There is no doubt that the demand for services regarding maintenance has increased drastically since we launched this operation. We have, however, increased our capacity at courts, and we have now employed a further 658 new officials during the 2006-07 financial year to support this increase.

These posts also include maintenance investigators, legally trained maintenance officers, administration clerks for the maintenance courts and 83 legal interns. In addition, the NPA has also allocated resources to support the project in the form of 10 senior maintenance prosecutors in the nine provinces and 52 specialist prosecutors to conduct maintenance case trials.

Furthermore we have also, during this period, traced 891 people, as I have said, to pay out unclaimed maintenance claims to the value of almost R5 million. I will supply the rest of the answer to the hon member. Thank you.

Ms M V MERUTI: Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon Minister for his detailed response. I think the community can be very proud of the work that Justice is doing. A number of people have been employed since these courts have been set up. Is it possible to actually tell us how many of these people have been employed, and also what has been done about the training of maintenance officers, because we need a pool of experienced maintenance officers who will be able to deal with general maintenance issues professionally, at the same time sensitising them to the various problems of the maintenance clients.

The main idea is therefore to train candidates to solve problems of maintenance and to provide efficient maintenance services which are user- friendly, especially to the poor, and inspire confidence in the maintenance service. I think the Minister has already responded to the other question. Thank you.

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, as I indicated, hon member, just during this financial year we have employed 658 new officials. I don’t have the specific breakdown but they include maintenance investigators, legally trained maintenance officers, administration clerks and 83 legal interns.

On the prosecuting side, we have employed two more senior maintenance officers, particularly in the Eastern Cape, and 52 specialist prosecutors to conduct the maintenance trials. So, we are increasing that pool and during the next financial year we are going to try and increase it further.

In terms of training, of course we are training all these members extensively and creating special courses for them at Justice College. I don’t have the details here but I can provide you with the details if you need them. Thank you.

Mr L K JOUBERT: Chairperson, maintenance, by definition, concerns those in need - normally women and children, the most vulnerable group of our society. If there is a delay they are the ones that suffer and sometimes even go hungry. I appreciated the Deputy Minister’s answer and it is clear that something is being done. But my question: Is that, is the Ministry prepared to issue an instruction or directive that maintenance matters should receive the highest priority?

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Absolutely, they do enjoy the highest priority, particularly with Operation Isondlo. The operation actually has a whole lot of facets - including trying to find defaulters and taking them to court and some of them actually land up in prison when they don’t want to pay the money. Other officials will actually go out and find the people who have not come to collect their money and we have paid out R5 million that was lying there and no one was claiming it. We have given it to beneficiaries. Of course, on the tracing side, we have now increased the number of maintenance investigators who go out and find information on these men who are not paying.

This receives a very high priority in the department and we are trying to make it work better and we are giving more resources to this matter. All the regional offices have this as one of their main priorities to deal with. Thank you.

             Establishment of ammunition disposal plant
  1. Mr S B Ntuli (ANC) asked the Minister of Defence:

    Whether his department has established an ammunition disposal plant following the deadly situation established by the Portfolio Committee on Defence during its oversight visit in 2005 to De Aar; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NO1825E

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Chairperson, the Department of Defence has not yet established an ammunition disposal plant. The department is currently engaging with Denel to finalise the process of establishing a permanent DoD ammunition disposal capability.

Since the visit of the Portfolio Committee on Defence to De Aar as a measure before the erection of the plant, the department has instituted a risk reduction programme through which ammunition that poses an immediate danger is disposed of. To that effect, several ammunition ranges have been qualified for this purpose and related equipment has been procured.

Mr S B NTULI: Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon Minister for his reply.

NgesiZulu sithi: “Esuka muva ikholwa izagile.” [In isiZulu we say: “A slow starter suffers the consequences.”]

We are saying that because weapons that have now become obsolete, such as those we saw in De Aar and those in Jan Kempdorp, are actually life- threatening. Therefore, it would be appreciated if this programme could soon be realised so that any possibility of a further explosion could be avoided.

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Chairperson, in order to avoid the danger to which the hon member has alluded we have instituted a risk reduction programme so as to identify equipment that is on the verge of exploding and neutralise it and then remove equipment that is still safe to safer locations inside the base.

Secondly, we have engaged with the local government and the provincial government to ensure that the community, especially those in informal settlements, does not move onto the precincts of the base and that those who are already situated there are in fact moved further away.

We are dealing with this issue as a matter of extreme urgency. Because of the disaster that occurred in Mozambique, when there was a similar situation in which ordinances that were dangerous exploded and then, of course, destroyed not only the base but the entire surrounding residential area and caused a very high loss of life, we are very, very sensitive to this matter.

I may just add, of course, that we are dealing with this matter not only at home, but also in Mozambique and several other surrounding countries. Thank you, Chairperson.

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: Hon Minister, you will agree with me that the issue of the ammunition disposal plant is long overdue and that it constitutes unfinished business of the Department of Defence.

Way back in early 2005, the Department of Defence, when reporting to the Portfolio Committee on Defence on its strategic business plan for the financial year 2005-06, stated that a plan was available to dispose of obsolete and unusable ammunition and that this plan would be forwarded to the committee; that there was a task team consisting of the ANC, ACC, DTI and Department of Science and Technology that would investigate the feasibility of purchasing or acquiring a disposal plant at a cost of, I think, R600-800 million, to be established at Jan Kempdorp.

At the time we had also raised some concerns about establishing a fixed unit, as the movement and transportation of unstable ammunition over long distances to the plant would pose a serious threat to life and property, including the environment. We were later told that the Department of Defence would be investigating the possible acquisition of a mobile disposal unit which would have addressed our concerns. It is over three years since we were told that the department had a plan and there was talk of acquiring foreign funding.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Hon member, I regret I allowed you some injury time but even that has expired now.

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: Can I ask a question, Chairperson?

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Your time has expired, hon member.

Moulana M R SAYEDALI-SHAH: Okay, that’s fine.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Minister, I’m not sure whether there is a question for you, but you may respond if you wish.

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE: Chairperson, I think the question is implied. I think what the hon Mr Shah is saying is that we haven’t delivered on what we promised to do. I would like, first of all, to say that the plan has been passed. In between we had to do something which members of the committee are also aware of, namely deal with the question not only of implementing but also managing the budget regarding the prioritising and reprioritising of issues.

Therefore, the plan is there and it has been passed. We have modified it because we had to acquire mobile ammunition disposal units. We have done this and we have been moving them from place to place instead of moving dangerous armaments along the roads to particular points. For instance, mobile plants that were donated by the British, which we are using to deal with the disposal of ordinances in Mozambique, form part of that equipment. The equipment we are presently using in Jan Kempdorp is part of those mobile units.

Those mobile units can only deal with equipment up to a certain size, because you need a permanent fixed capability which can then deal with much bigger equipment. That is the big acquisition in this regard and we are finalising negotiations with Denel.

There is nothing at present that we cannot effectively deal with. That is why I can say without hesitation that the fairly dangerous situation in Jan Kempdorp has been significantly reduced and in due course we will be able to say that we have not only been able to sort that out but the equipment will even be available to assist neighbouring countries in the Southern African region.

Performance criteria used to assess National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi

  1. Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked the Minister of Safety and Security:

    (1) (a) What performance criteria are used to assess National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, (b)(i) when and (ii) how often do these performance assessments take place and (c) who conducts the assessment/performance review;

    (2) whether these performance assessments are public record; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?NO1814E

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Chairperson, a standardised performance management and assessment framework, inclusive of generic criteria for heads of department, has been prescribed by the Public Service Commission. In terms of that framework, the National Police Commissioner is assessed on criteria such as strategic capability and leadership, programme and project management, people management and empowerment, financial management and so on.

A formal performance assessment occurs after completion of a specific financial year. A formal performance assessment is conducted by a panel appointed by the Minister. The panel is being chaired by the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission. Members of previous panels included a Minister within the same Cabinet cluster and the chairperson of the relevant portfolio or standing committee.

The performance assessment of the National Commissioner, as is the performance review and rating of any employee within government, remains confidential and is therefore not for the public record. Thank you.

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Thank you, Chair. Minister, in relation to these performance appraisals, and specifically the one done on Commissioner Selebi, I was wondering if you would give this House details of any performance bonuses paid to him. And if such bonuses are indeed paid to him, how much does he get as the commissioner who oversees safety and security in a country which Interpol says has the highest levels of crime anywhere in the world for a country not at war?

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Well, I wasn’t asked a question about his bonuses, and I would not know that off-hand. So, if the hon member needs that information, let her write so that I can get the relevant information.

Ms M M SOTYU: Thank you very much, Chairperson.

Mphathiswa, kuza kufuneka ukuba sifake isikolo. [Minister, we need to educate people.] Members of Parliament are advised to read their documents. There is a document that is available to Members of Parliament where heads of department are evaluated by an independent commission. I think that she must just go into her Internet and get that information.

Mphathiswa, sendikuphendulele. [Minister, I have already answered on your behalf.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): I don’t think there is a response to that.

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: It seems she is doing the Minister’s job for him.

There just seems to be a definite move within the ANC to promote mediocrity or worse. Some of those who were turned out of Parliament as a result of Travelgate revelations are now highly paid mayors and the like. It seems to the DA that, indeed, there are many, many citizens in this country who agree that rewarding Commissioner Selebi for doing, or rather, for not doing his job falls into that category.

I would like to take your advice, Minister, and I will put it in writing, and I do hope for a change you do give us the details that we ask of you and that I won’t also have to resort to the sort of tactics we have to resort to to winkle these answers out of you. [Interjections.] Thank you.

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): What is your question, hon member? [Interjections.]

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: I was thanking the Minister. I will ask a question if he will allow me. I do still have time. Will you allow me, Minister, or are you taking my time? Thank you. [Laughter.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Hon Barnard, I was saying to you that you have a few seconds left; just pose your question. [Interjections.]

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: I was going to ask a question, but the Minister …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Order! I was reminding you before your time expires to ask your question.

Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: Thank you. Perhaps you could tell us, Minister, if we could have any indication from you as to whether you have decided to relieve Mr Selebi of the job that he has patently failed at.

The MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY: Well, since you are dispensing advice to the Minister, I am also going to dispense advice to you.

Firstly, please learn to listen when people speak. My answer was that it has never been the practice in this government to give details of personal assessments of people who work for government. I have said that.

But, secondly, you also seem to give political advice. Well, some of us are schooled in politics and if you therefore want to give political advice I am going to give you political advice as well. You belong to a party that is in opposition to the ANC. It is a party that follows policies which are designed to retain the privileges that many of the members of that party have enjoyed over many years. I can give you a lot more advice on political questions.

The fact of the matter is that the information that this member requires in the first instance includes matters that are not part of the original question she has posed. Therefore, I am not going to answer those questions, but I will be happy to engage with the hon member. Let her ask the questions that she wants to ask and I am going to engage with her. Thank you. [Interjections.]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr G Q M Doidge): Order! Order! Order! Order! Order! Hon members can I have order, please?

That concludes question time. Outstanding replies received will be printed in Hansard.


The House adjourned at 17:09. ____



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 Assembly on 21 August 2007:

     (a)     Health Professions Amendment Bill [B 10D – 2006] (National
          Assembly – sec 76)

National Assembly

  1. Referral to Committees of papers tabled (1) The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on Minerals and Energy for consideration and report:

    (a) Accession to the Framework Agreement for the International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.

    (b) Explanatory Memorandum to the Accession to the Framework Agreement for the International Collaboration on Research and Development of Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems.

(2)     The following papers are referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Defence and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence:

      a) The President of the Republic submitted a letter dated 20  July
         2007 to the Speaker of the National Assembly informing  Members
         of the Assembly of the employment of the South African National
         Defence Force in Zambia.

      b) The President of the Republic submitted a letter dated 27  July
         2007 to the Speaker of the National Assembly informing  Members
         of the Assembly of the employment of the South African National
         Defence Force in the Union of Comoros.

(3)     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Public Enterprises for consideration and report. The Report of the
    Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements is referred to the
    Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consideration:
    (a)      Report and Financial Statements of Transnet Ltd and the
         Group for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent
         Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.

(4)     The following paper is referred to the Portfolio Committee on
    Public Service and Administration for consideration:

    (a)      Report of the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Financial
         Misconduct for 2005-2006 Financial Year [RP 13-2007].


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Social Development
 a) Report of the Central Drug Authority (CDA) for 2005-2006 [RP 6-
  1. The Minister for Public Enterprises
 a) Report and Financial Statements of South African Airways
    (Proprietary) Limited (SAA) for 2006-2007, including the Report of
    the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007.

 b) Report and Financial Statements of Denel (Proprietary) Limited for
    2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the
    Financial Statements for 2006-2007.
  1. The Minister of Arts and Culture
 (a)    Report and Financial  Statements  of  Business  and  Arts  South
    Africa  (BASA)  for  2006-2007,  including  the   Report   of   the
    Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007  [RP
  1. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

    (a) Convention on the Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources in the South East Atlantic Ocean (SEAFO), tabled in terms of section 231(2) of the Constitution, 1996.

    (b) Explanatory Memorandum to the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Fishery Resources in the South East Atlantic Ocean (SEAFO).

National Assembly

  1. The Speaker

    a) Report of the Public Protector on an investigation into an allegation of misconduct by the Minister of Transport, Mr J Radebe.


  1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Transport on the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990 (OPRC Convention), dated 22 August 2007:

    The Portfolio Committee on Transport, having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990 (OPRC Convention), referred to it, recommends that the House, in terms of Section 231 (2) of the Constitution, approve the said Convention.

Request to be considered.