National Assembly - 25 October 2007



The House met at 14:03. The Acting Speaker took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.


                          NOTICES OF MOTION

Mr G R MORGAN: Madam Acting Speaker, I hereby give notice that on the next sitting day of the House I shall move:

That the House –

1) notes that the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has
   announced that the wild abalone fishery will be closed as from 1
   November 2007;

2) debates the decision of the Minister;

3) notes the social relief measures that he intends instituting; and

4) notes the plan by government to curb the poaching of abalone.

Dr S M VAN DYK: Madam Acting Speaker, I hereby give notice that I intend moving the following motion on the next sitting day:

That this House debates the use, value and appropriateness of restricted access for residential areas and communities.


                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That the House congratulates the national soccer team, “Bafana Bafana”, on winning the Cosafa Cup Final.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Ms S RAJBALLY: Madam Acting Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House-

1) notes that Abduragman Amlay, 21 years of age, was hijacked from a
   garage and murdered on 23 October 2007 in the Western Cape;

2) further notes that one suspect has been caught and three remain at

3) conveys its deepest sympathy to the bereaved family and friends of
   this young victim of crime; and

4) further conveys the need for us to address the crime situation in
   South Africa that claims victims every minute.

Agreed to.


                         (Draft Resolution)

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Acting Speaker, I move without notice:

That the House –

1) notes that Cape Town was ranked the best city out of the country’s
   283 municipalities according to the Municipal Productivity Index
   launched by Municipal IQ on Wednesday, 17 October 2007;

2) further notes that it won this award because of the way in which the
   municipality dealt with poverty, the level of access to basic
   services, its economic activity and infrastructure and because its
   citizens are well qualified;

3) recalls that in July this year Cape Town was ranked by USA’s Travel
   and Leisure magazine as the number one city in Africa and the Middle
   East and claimed tenth spot in the “best city in the world”
   category; and

4) congratulates both the city administration and the residents of Cape
   Town for making it a world class city and a top tourist destination.

Agreed to.

                           SPECIAL SITTING

                         (Draft Resolution)

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

That notwithstanding the hours of sitting of the House as provided for in Rule 23(2), the House on Tuesday, 30 October 2007, sits at 12:00 in order to pay tribute to the Springbok Rugby Team.

Agreed to.

The ACTING SPEAKER: Order! I am a little disappointed. It is very easy for me to call an ordinary member to order, but when the leaders are doing it, it becomes very difficult. It is the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip.

Deputy Chief Whip of the DA, I have just agreed that we should have lunch with the Springboks, but if you go on like this, I think I might have to withdraw that.


                         (Draft Resolution)

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY: Madam Acting Speaker, I move:

That the House extends the deadlines for reporting by the Ad Hoc Committee on Matters Relating to Ex-Mineworkers Union from 31 October 2007 to 22 November 2007.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr R P Z VAN DEN HEEVER (ANC): Madam Acting Speaker, the people of South Africa laid down their lives to live in peace and in a secure environment. Our laws ensure our right to privacy. The DA in the City of Cape Town has broken the law by using taxpayers’ money to spy on their political opponents. [Interjections.]

In their desperate attempt to hold on to power at all cost, they have hired private investigators to monitor and tap private conversations of the opponents and coalition partners. This is reminiscent of the Watergate scandal. Mayor Helen Zille has misused council funds to pay for an illegal investigation that was initiated by the DA for narrow party-political interests.

It is unacceptable that a council could engage in espionage against its own councillors. It is an abuse of power and a knife held on the very throat of democracy. Mayor Helen Zille and Speaker of the council, Dirk Smit who colluded with her, must resign. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr E W TRENT (DA): Madam Deputy Speaker, in reply to a question, it has emerged … [Interjections.] Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

The ACTING SPEAKER: I am protecting you from your own party.

Mr E W TRENT: I thank you, Madam Speaker. [Laughter.] Can I come to the Springboks’ lunch now?

The ACTING SPEAKER: We may have to consider that, now that someone is no longer coming. [Laughter.]

Mr E W TRENT (DA): Madam Speaker, in reply to a parliamentary question, it has emerged that the SA Police Service does not keep data on corruption in relation to the issuing of vehicle clearance certificates. No central database is available relating to investigations into irregularities. There is no collective data available on the number and nature of civil actions taken against our Police Service for issuing vehicle clearance certificates for stolen vehicles.

There appears to be very little co-ordination and no records are kept about corruption, and investigations into it are not carried out. If the Police Service is serious about the theft and hijacking of vehicles, then surely, proper systems should be in place to ensure that all loopholes are closed? Loopholes are an incentive for people to steal vehicles. As long as there are few measures to prevent, track and investigate all incidents of corruption in the system, stolen vehicles will continue to be sold to the unsuspecting public.

Last year, 86 298 vehicles and motorcycles were reported stolen. In addition, how can a state be held liable for fraudulent certificates if there are no systems in place to determine the deliberate and intentional issuing of fraudulent certificates? [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr V B NDLOVU (IFP): Speaker, it is an indisputable fact that South African citizens live for the most part in fear of violent crime and in the knowledge that their safety and security are in peril, each and every day of their lives. The IFP has repeatedly highlighted this national crisis and continues to lament various national and international research surveys which show that South Africa is one of the most violent and dangerous societies in the world. The damage done to our national economy as a result of all manner of criminal behaviour, which is now obviously systemic and endemic throughout our society, is incalculable. The human suffering is a tragedy of immense proportions.

Therefore, the IFP salutes the bravery, hard work and sacrifice of the majority of law-enforcement personnel and encourage increased remuneration for them. We urge government to prioritise increasing professionalism and high levels of training throughout the criminal justice system. We urge citizens to be proactive in supporting community police forums and other self-help community safety initiatives; to immediately and factually report corruption and instances of unprofessional behaviour of police officers and officials of the Department of Correctional Services and Justice and Constitutional Development; to propose that the funds currently allocated to the civilian secretariat designed to help the police in the nine provinces be redirected to finance, recruit and train more police personnel, and build and equip more police stations, and to actively campaign against the politicisation of the SAPS by making appointment of staff to key positions, individuals … [Time expired.] I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Prof B TUROK (ANC): Madam Speaker, I have a bottle of cucumbers here, which has nothing to do with the Springbok lunch, but a great deal to do with South African trade. This bottle comes from Poland. It is sold for R10 in South African shops. The same bottle of South African cucumbers is sold for R21. Why is this so? The answer is that Europe has duty-free access to South African markets, but South Africans who want to export to Europe have to pay a high duty.

In addition to that, these farmers are clearly subsidised by the European Union and so they can penetrate our markets at this rate. I think it is a disgrace. Fortunately, the Department of Trade and Industry, particularly the Deputy Minister, Rob Davies, has been most proactive in fighting for a better deal between South Africa and Europe. However, I will ask that this House support the Ministry to ensure that this kind of thing does not undermine our agricultural sector because there are almost 27 000 people working in the industry, half of whom are permanent workers. The result of this kind of thing will be huge job losses, which we cannot afford. I thank you. [Applause.] The cucumbers are available for you, Madam.

The ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you. [Laughter.] I was going to ask for them because every time an hon member brings any food, it ends up coming this way. [Laughter.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr G T MADIKIZA (UDM): Speaker, the Independent Electoral Commission, IEC, in the celebration of its 10th anniversary, hosted a conference on the state of electoral democracy in South Africa. Over 20 political parties as well as representatives from business, labour, academics and civil society participated. The progress of our democracy since 1994 was noted. However, the participants also acknowledged that there are many challenges facing our democracy. One of the challenges was the funding of political parties.

There was a unanimous agreement by all those present that our democracy could be easily mortgaged if we don’t ensure that there are rules for the funding of political parties, especially from corporate donors. Public funding must be improved to promote democracy. The UDM is therefore happy to inform the nation that all these challenges will be addressed when the political parties meet to compile their own reports, concretise it and take the matter forward with the relevant authorities. I thank you. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mnr W D SPIES (FF Plus): Speaker, vroeër die week het ’n vergadering plaasgevind van komitee-voorsitters saam met die voormalige hoofsweep, mnr Max Sisulu. Tydens die vergadering is kritiek uitgespreek teen die onbehoorlike druk wat deur die uitvoerende gesag op die wetgewende gesag uitgevoer word. Daar is gesê dat die wetgewende gesag genegeer word; onderskat word; en geminag word.

Vandag, in hierdie Vergadering, is daar ’n besluit deur geforseer waar besluit is dat die Kinderwet wat vandag bespreek sou word nie meer bespreek en aanvaar gaan word nie. Is dit toevallig dat hierdie besluit deurgevoer word skaars twee dae nadat die wetgewende gesag, in die vorm van die Maatskaplike Ontwikkelingkomitee, sy rug styf gemaak het en nie ’n wet aanvaar het in die vorm wat die uitvoerende gesag op hom afgedwing het nie? Ons sal graag ’n antwoord in hierdie verband van die betrokke Minister wil kry en ons sal wil weet van hierdie Vergadering: hoe gaan ons verseker dat die wetgewende gesag in Suid-Afrika weer ernstig opgeneem word tot voordeel van die mense van die land? Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans member’s statement follows.)

[Mr W D SPIES (FF Plus): Deputy Speaker, earlier this week there was a meeting of the committee chairpersons and the former chief whip, Mr Max Sisulu. During this meeting the undue pressure put on the legislative authority by the executive authority was criticised. It was said that the legislative authority is disregarded, underestimated and undermined.

Today, in this Assembly, a decision was forced down: the Children’s Bill that was to be discussed today would no longer be discussed nor accepted. Is it coincidental that this decision was made only two days after the legislative authority – in the form of the Social Development Committee – stiffened its resolve not to accept a law in the form that the executive authority had forced on it? We would like to get an answer from the relevant Minister on this matter, and we want to know from this Assembly: How will we ensure that the legislative authority in South Africa is taken seriously again in order to serve the people of this country? I thank you.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Manana C NKUNA (ANC): Muchaviseki Museketeri wa Xipikara, vutomi byi antswela tolo endhawini ya Mukwakwaila eLimpopo. Xivangelo ku ri leswaku ku vekeriwile muchini wo pfuna vaaka-tiko hi ku endla swikombelo swa midende leyi aviwaka hi mfumo hi ku hambana-hambana ka yona. Loko swikombelo swi endliwile, ndzavisiso wu thlela wu endliwa kwalaho siku rolero, kasi kahle a va fanele ku yimela ndzavisiso lowu va nga si nghenisiwa emuchinini lowu. Vaaka-tiko va Mukwakwaila a va ha fambi tendzo to ya eGiyani, eKgapane kumbe eTzaneen ku ya tsarisa. Hinkwaswo swi endliwa swilaveko leswi wi endliwa ko kwalaho.

Hi lava ku tlangela mfumo wa ANC, hi ku tirhisa Sassa, ku endla leswaku vanhu va kota ku kuma swikombelo swa vona hi ku olova. Hi kombela nakambe muaka-tiko un’wana na un’wana loyi a faneleke ku kuma midende leyi a ya tsarisa kwale holweni ya Mukwakwaila laha a nag ta suka a swi tiva leswaku wa denda kumbe e-e. Mundzhuku u ta antswela namunthla eka Mukwakwaila. Inkomu, Museketeri wa Xipikara. (Translation of Xitsonga member’s statement follows.)

[Ms C NKUNA (ANC): Hon Speaker, life is better than it was yesterday in the Mokwakwaila area in Limpopo. The reason is that there is a machine that helps the community to claim for different social grants provided by government. Once the grant is applied for, an investigation is done and on the very same day it gets processed and people do not have to wait for long to get the claim processed. The people of Mokwakwaila do not need to take long journeys to Giyani, Ga-Kgapane or Tzaneen to register. All that is needed is done under one roof.

We commend the ANC-led government for Sassa that enables our people to get access to their grants easily. We would like to ask each and every community member who is eligible for these grants to register at the Mokwakwaila community hall, where they will know if they qualify or not. Tomorrow will be better than today at Mokwakwaila. Thank you.]

                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr P H K DITSHETELO (UCDP): Acting Speaker, we the concerned and optimistic South Africans are heading for a big disappointment in view of the fact that our economy is not growing as fast as it should to enable us to meet our goals such as unemployment reduction and poverty alleviation by 2014. We were hoping that the economy would grow by 6% thereby enabling us to create jobs and reduce poverty.

Unfortunately, only 5% growthwas realised. What contributions or assistance can we South Africans make towards the realisation of our objectives? Where did we go wrong? If we have to call an indaba in order to review our economic policies, then so be it. I thank you.

Mr M J ELLIS: Madam Speaker, I just want to warn you that the Minister of Finance has hijacked your cucumbers. I think it is a very serious matter.

The ACTING SPEAKER: If it is on the question of cucumbers, please take your seat. I know where to find my cucumbers hereafter.

                      EVICTION OF FARM DWELLERS

                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr N T GODI (APC): Speaker, the APC adds its voice and strongly condemns the heartless, inhuman and dehumanising eviction of farm dwellers. It is a known fact that this dislocation has taken place on a massive scale since 1994 with some estimates putting the figures of dislocated people at no less than a million.

In any normal country this should have been a major national crisis but, in our case, this has not elicited any forceful and considered political effort. The APC calls on government and the inter-political class in our country to heed the plight of these helpless people and questions the patriotism of the farmers who dislocate our people so heartlessly.

We wish to highlight the plight of a certain family in George on the farm owned by a certain Watson. He ordered this family of 14 off the farm and then ordered them to slaughter their cattle and pigs, threatening to burn their house at night when they were asleep. This family subsequently went to the police, who refused to help them. The APC condemns this unnecessary harassment of these poor people by this heartless farmer.

We also condemn the indifference of the police who generally side with farmers in the rural areas. We call on government to come up with legislation that would give more protection to the destitute and vulnerable farm dwellers. The APC’s last call is that the poor masses must unite against this abuse that is designed to undermine the culture of human rights and human dignity. Thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr C M LOWE (DA): Speaker, yesterday in this House in reply to my question, the Minister of Home Affairs agreed that her department was a national disaster. She agreed with my description of the Department of Home Affairs as a national disgrace. One has to look at the situation down at the refugee centre on Cape Town’s Foreshore, where hundreds of desperate, angry and hungry people are treated in the most appalling manner to see that the Minister is correct. Their dignity has been trampled upon and their human rights are also being ignored.

However, so too do the citizens of our own country where millions of law- abiding and tax-paying South Africans are often forced to confront chaos and indifference in dirty and dysfunctional Home Affairs offices in an attempt to secure an ID document, a passport and registry of birth or death.

There are notable exceptions of well-functioning offices and polite, efficient officials, but these are just that - exceptions. More often than not, the documents they have applied for never reach them or they are recklessly changed to somebody else. Yesterday was the first time the Minister shared the Frankenstein views of her director-general, who has admitted that there was disgrace in the Department of Home Affairs and asked to be given five years to clean up the mess.

It will require more good attention to address the endemic corruption, poor capacity, superior attitude and lack of IT assistance and other technology. It starts with commitment and prioritised funding driven by hands - on political leadership from the Minister. Yesterday, she had the courage to admit that there was chaos in the Department of Home Affairs. If she now shows the same courage to tackle the situation, she will have the complete support from the DA and commendation from the grateful nation.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr D V BLOEM (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC is encouraged by the joint visit of the Portfolio Committees on Correctional Services and Justice and Constitutional Development to Pollsmoor Prison on Tuesday, 23 October 2007.

The growing confidence in the ANC in transforming our prisons into correctional facilities was again demonstrated in the two committees during this visit. The ANC also notes the immense improvement in the Pollsmoor management. Now there is order, discipline and direction.

It further acknowledges the steps taken by the Minister and the national Commissioner to strengthen the management of Pollsmoor following an outcry from the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services with regard to the management of Pollsmoor.

We wish Mr Mkhabela, the area commissioner of Pollsmoor, much more strength in shaping Pollsmoor to be a better institution in order for the department to implement its White Paper without any hindrance.

The ANC is heartened by the seriousness with which the department is reaffirming our commitment to realise the injunctions of the Freedom Charter. Thank you very much. [Applause.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms C N Z ZIKALALA (IFP): Madam Speaker, much has been said about the phenomenal growth of the tourism industry in South Africa as well as the ever-increasing number of foreign visitors who arrive on our shores every year.

This sector is now playing a much more important role and making a greater contribution to our economy. The Springboks’ remarkable victory in the Rugby World Cup and the resultant scenes of jubilation and celebrations throughout our country will no doubt further enhance our reputation as a destination of choice.

The brutality and lack of respect for life and property that is so evident in our society will, however, nullify and undo all the good work that has been done to market South Africa as a tourist destination. The callous murder of internationally recognised musician Lucky Dube, for example, will put the spotlight firmly on crime and the negative aspects of our country. As long as crime is such a prominent feature of our society and people - both foreigners and locals - do not feel safe in our country, we will never reach our full potential with regard to tourism. This is a shame, as our beautiful country has so much to offer. I thank you. [Time expired.]


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms J L FUBBS (ANC): Madam Speaker, the ANC supports the full implementation of the new fishing policy. In the context of the seasonal nature of the fishing industry, we need to review regularly the impact of policies and programmes on employment, income, beneficiation and BEE. However, all these must take into account the strategic objectives of the Marine Living Resources Act.

The decision by Cabinet to support the suspension of wild abalone commercial fishing will ensure the survival of the species and will ensure that our children will, in generations to come, know what abalone is.

In the early years, the catching of abalone was unregulated and landing escalated to a high of nearly 3 000 tonnes in 1965, before declining rapidly in 1970, when the first commercial quota within a total allowable catch was introduced.

The ANC is conscious of the negative impact that the suspension will have on the local fishing community, and we wish to commend government on developing a social plan to mitigate the impact of the suspension. I thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Mr G G BOINAMO (DA): Madam Speaker, it is disingenuous of the government to cry foul over affirmative action outcomes if it does not provide the educational opportunities the prospective affirmative action employees need to become employed. Research has shown that 70% of students who drop out from universities, most of them from previously disadvantaged groupings, do so because of economic need. Yet our universities are paralysed to do anything about this situation as they are still suffering the financial consequences of the measures imposed on them, while at the same time having experienced a real decrease of 3,1% in state subsidies of since 2004.

The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement is the most opportune occasion for the government to show its commitment to its people by responding to the problems which they highlight through their hardships, social protest and through the media.

The students of the University of Johannesburg and elsewhere have spoken. They might not have done so in the terms that we find acceptable, but it does not make their message invalid.

We hope that the Minister of Finance Mr Trevor Manuel, himself an affected student at some point, will remember his roots and address this situation on Tuesday. Thank you.


                        (Member’s Statement)

Ms N F MATHIBELA (ANC): Madam Speaker, the World Health Organisation Africa Region declared 31 August 1978 as African Traditional Medicine Day.

The day has never been celebrated in South Africa. However, it was celebrated for the first time on 6 September 2007. The celebration was held in Limpopo, Sekhukhune District, Elias Motswaledi Municipality, in Tafelkop, in my constituency.

The ANC works tirelessly for the integration of the traditional healing system into the public health system. I thank you. [Applause.]


                       (Minister’s Responses)

The MINISTER OF FINANCE: Speaker, I just wanted to advise that we have consulted a dictionary and the hon Turok has tried to confuse the House. Those are gherkins pretending that they are cucumbers! It is quite a different issue! [Laughter.] So he read the wrong tariff line, but we will leave them for now. They were called cucumbers in the translation from Polish into English. Do not worry about them, they are gherkins! I would like to respond too because I think that the hon Velaphi Ndlovu and the hon Eddie Trent are talking on the same issue, but differently. What the hon Ndlovu raises is very important. What we need to confirm is that, in budgetary terms, the police are reasonably well resourced. If you look at the increase in personnel numbers over the last while, there has been a very significant pick-up. What we need to ensure is that there is local oversight and control so that the issues that the hon Trent raises do not fall through the cracks. This is a matter of systems. I think there is demonstrable proof of the fact that, where you have functioning community police forums as the hon Ndlovu referred to, then for instance, the disappearance of files between a police precinct and the court is significantly minimised. The time spent on the beat, the time spent at work

  • all of those kinds of indicators - improved significantly. That is what we must hold out for. A democracy wants involved citizenry, and I think instances like the community police forums offer those kinds of opportunities. I would like to plead for greater public involvement in that direction.

In respect of the issues on growth, it is not what you are doing wrong. The 6% target is something that we have raised. Part of what we need to understand is that, as a country, we do not have the wherewithal. We have a very poor skills endowment. We do not have sufficient people who have adequate knowledge of maths and science to make a smooth transition from school into a highly productive work environment. It also impacts on the number of people who are ready for training, especially in the engineering disciplines, be it at technikons, in the FET sector and certainly at universities. These issues then impact on the number of jobs we can create.

Part of our endowment is also this need to spend. So we spend next year’s income, and if we can spend the following year’s income as well, then we are very happy. Economies need savings in order to grow and that, I think, would be amongst the two greatest challenges that continue to confront us. It would not be a dissimilar position in other parts of the world.

I am not quite sure what the hon member was raising because “zama zama” [try] this way, that way, from affirmative action to the students at the University of Johannesburg - I think it is a “zama zama” kind of statement.

Let me say that I was never a disaffected student; I went to work after school. However, I am an affirmative action appointee. So I don’t know what he is saying about me and how useless I am because I am an affirmative action appointee. Nevertheless, we will leave that debate.

The key issue is that we should invite the hon member to read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the requirements of democracy in this country along with the Employment Equity Act and then take a fresh approach to what needs to happen in this country. The legislation is clearly there and we have to ensure that we continue to train people for absorption into the economy. Thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

UNGQONGQOSHE WEZEMISEBENZI YOMPHAKATHI: Phini likaSomlomo, ngithanda ukuphendula nje umbuzo obuzwe umfowethu we-DA mayelana noMnyango Wezasekhaya. Ngiyathokoza nokho-ke ukusho ukuthi uNgqongqoshe nomqondisi woMnyango bayavuma ukuthi inkinga ikhona, njengoba naye eshilo. Bazozama futhi ngendlela abangenza ngayo ukuthi bazixazulule lezo zinkinga abazibonayo eMnyangweni, ukuze phela abantu bakwazi ukuthola izimfanelo zabo. (Translation of isiZulu paragraph follows.)

[The MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS: Speaker, I would like to reply to the question asked by the hon member from the DA concerning the Department of Home Affairs. I am indeed glad to say that the Minister and the director- general accept that a problem exists, as she indicated earlier on. They are also going to try in the best possible way to resolve those problems which they come across in the department so that people are able to receive what is due to them.]

I think it is also important for us as hon members to appreciate that, when the Minister realised that there were challenges, she, on her own, working with her colleagues - the Minister of Finance and the Minister for the Public Service and Administration - set up a task team to investigate what the challenges actually are that need to be addressed within the Department of Home Affairs. Following this, they agreed collectively on the way forward in order to address those challenges.

I think our approach should be to support the department and the Ministry in the work that they are doing, because, clearly, from the outcomes of their own investigation, there is a particular course of action that they have to take and have taken. I am sure we have read in the newspapers about some of the officials who have been suspended as a result of the alleged corruption. This is an indication that there is commitment and a political will to deal with the problems that are there. I really think that what we can do is to give as much support as possible to enable the department to know where specific problems occur, particularly in those offices that we know of, so that they can attend to them. Thank you very much, hon member.

I would also like to respond to the member of the ANC who raised the issue of the improvement that has been seen in service delivery, particularly on the accessibility of the offices of the SA Social Security Agency that deals with social pensions. I think, if one reflects on what the hon member has said, we can all agree that the various interventions to improve the infrastructure, even in rural areas and to bring service delivery closer to the people, will go a long way towards improving the lives of our people generally. Thank you.

                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES: Madam Speaker, the decision taken with regard to abalone, or “perlemoen”, is certainly a very important decision. Just to advise the House, as you may be familiar, this decision is taken in conjunction with another decision which is that the impact of the decision on abalone will be accompanied by a social plan negotiation led by the Department of Labour. Those of you who are familiar with this legislation would know that there are three phases to it: Consultation to try and avoid job disruptions; attempts to find other employment and bringing about training in the industry. In fact, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is also taking steps right now to see if alternative forms of employment could be provided. So the decision is definitely accompanied by steps to ensure that the impact on the community is mitigated.

I think this is a step that deserves the support of all parties. Preserving our natural marine resources is critical. In fact, one of South Africa’s great advantages in this area is precisely that we have managed our fish stocks very well and, on a scientific basis, we must continue to do this.

Regarding the short-term damage to communities, you should know that we will use the other measures this government has put in place to ameliorate those effects. Thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

The MINISTER OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES: Speaker, the joint visit by the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services and the Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development is a step in the right direction for the criminal justice system. I would also like to encourage the Social Development Portfolio Committee to do as we have done with a number of young children who should not be in our prisons.

I would also like to encourage the women caucus of Parliament to do the same. It was quite shocking to see, during the visit, that there are women with children in prison, as well as women expecting children.

So if we all come together to assist the criminal justice system to deal with some of these cases, then surely - what I keep on saying day-in and day-out - correctional service is a societal responsibility. It does not rest with Correctional Services or with Ngconde Balfour only, but with all of us. Thank you.


                        (Minister’s Response)

UMPHATHISWA WEZOPHUHLISO LOLUNTU: Sekela-Somlomo, bendifuna ukucacisela laa nkosi ibithetha phaya kwela cala, ukuba eza zinto ibithetha ngazo azinanto yokwenza nesigqeba solawulo. Akukho namnye uMphathiswa obandakanyekayo kwiinkqubo eziphuma kwiNdlu yoWiso-mthetho yeSizwe. Laa nkqubo imiswe ngabo ngenxa yeengxaki ezikhoyo kulawulo lwale Palamente. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Acting Speaker, I would like to explain to the hon member who spoke from that side of the House, hon member Spies, that the things he spoke about have nothing to do with the executive. Not a single Minister is involved in the issues emanating from the National Assembly. The process surrounding that Bill was stopped by Parliament as a result of problems within the management of Parliament.]


                         (Draft Resolution)


That the Consideration of Report of Portfolio Committee on Social Development on Children’s Amendment Bill stand over.

Agreed to.

                      CHILDREN’S AMENDMENT BILL

                         (Draft Resolution)


That the Second Reading debate on the Children’s Amendment Bill stand over.

Agreed to.

The DEPUTY MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Acting Speaker and hon members, the Department of Provincial and Local Government is committed to ensuring that local government delivers services to the people. To achieve this objective, one of the key tasks for us is to continually reflect on the legislative and institutional context of local government and, taking into account our experiences over the past 10 years, propose policy and legislative refinements.

The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill of 2007 is one important step in this direction. As you may be aware, other processes will follow, notably a major review of local government and the White Paper process on provincial government currently underway in government.

The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill effects amendments that refine, adjust and align core local government legislation such as the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act of 1998, the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act of 1998, the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act of 2000 and the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act of 2004. It also repeals legislation that has become redundant.

The policy intentions of the amendments contained in the Bill serve to, among others, specifically improve fiscal alignment, planning and budgeting, promote the uniform interpretation and application of the law, enhance performance management in local government, further refine and remove impediments in the implementation of municipal property rates, promote practices in good governance and ensure alignment among legislation pertaining to local government.

The Department of Provincial and Local Government welcomes the additional amendment adopted by the portfolio committee that strengthens ward committees’ public participation and the undertaking and implementing of development projects in the ward. This significant improvement in the role of the ward committee provides further opportunities to deepen democracy and community involvement in local development projects.

Lastly, I would like to thank the members of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, under the able leadership of Mr Lechesa Tsenoli, for the lively discussions and for thorough and rigorous deliberations on the Bill itself. Undoubtedly, his long experience in matters affecting local government enriched the deliberations by the committee.

I would also like to thank all stakeholders who provided useful criticism and insight on various clauses of the Bill. I urge all Members of Parliament to vote for the adoption of this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr S L TSENOLI: Acting Speaker, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, our conclusion is that it has been very useful interacting with the department and Ministry on this legislation. It has also been extremely useful to interact with others who showed interest in local government related matters to get to hear their views on the proposed amendments to these various pieces of legislation. We thank those organisations and individuals who responded to our request to make submissions both in writing and orally. These submissions served to throw light on a variety of issues we are looking at. By clarifying issues in that manner, hearing it from practitioners and those who apt to think about these things, it enabled the committee to deepen its understanding of what was there before it and by leading to the amendments that today we invite the House to approve.

In the nature of dialogue and debate, not every proposal and contribution from the stakeholders as mentioned above was accepted. What is before the House, however, is in fact the majority of the issues that we came to agree on which strikes a median that best represents what we think was intended to be the object of the legislation. As the Deputy Minister has already indicated, we are quite ready and beginning to be active in the process of evaluating the White Paper on Local Government which gave birth to this legislation. Also, out of practice and reflection on the implementation of this legislation, we are generating further ideas that will inform that process of review and possible further amendment later. The recommendations and amendments in this legislation today include, as was already indicated by the Deputy Minister, important aspects of improving financial management.

I would like to pause and say that one of the most useful events which took place this week was the launch of the report on city finances published by the South African Cities’ Network. Its conclusion is encouraging, saying that great improvements have been made in local governments’ finances, despite perceptions that in fact the situation is different. This legislation before us contributes to that further improvement.

It also relieves municipalities in some very important aspects which otherwise would amount to potential administrative burdens. The recommendation we made around support for local government for ward committees comes from our listening to the cry of ward committee members and residents in these areas which are served by ward committee members that they be given additional support. We were also responding to the reality on the ground that many of the innovative municipalities in the country have already begun to grant funds to communities run by ward committees to undertake development activities in their wards. What we are doing is providing a legislative framework within which it can be done and supported by all within government. This is an important contribution to deepening democratic practice and the question of funding of communities in undertaking an initiative so that they are themselves in charge of development, supported by an active state. This is a current issue that must be appreciated by all of us.

Of course, there are issues that relate to relationships of the various spheres of government that are being cleaned up by this legislation. An active relationship must exist between the Minister for the Public Service and Administration and the Minister for Provincial and Local Government in undertaking the issues that relate to staffing, recommendations and regulations, for example, that relate to discipline. This must be done in collaboration and co-operation.

We are encouraged by the degree to which we receive speedy responses to our request for comment. There are often incorrect perceptions that collaboration between us in Parliament and others is not necessarily adequate to handle and be incorporated into the work we are doing here and what others believe correctly to improve legislation.

We are convinced that by taking on board a holistic view of this contribution, we have been able to accommodate the best, in our humble opinion, of what was presented to us so that the legislation that helps to drive development is responsive to the issues raised. It is in fact also a very important part of implementing our task from our local government manifesto to make local government work. These activities must be supported by all within government. We believe that the amendments to date are not only useful in creating a basis for further strengthening of municipalities to be able to undertake their task along with other spheres of government, but to rid this country of poverty and service delivery deficits that characterise many of our communities to date.

We support this Bill as amended, and thank all stakeholders for their contributions. We hope they will do so in future. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mnr W P DOMAN: Waarnemende Speaker, as daar nou ’n erkenning is dat in plaaslike regering eerstens groter beheer oor finansies moet kom en tweedens dat die stryd teen korrupsie deur raadslede en amptenare verskerp moet word en derdens ondersoeke en ingryping deur die Minister en LUR’e by wanbestuurde munisipaliteite opgeskerp moet word, dan is dit hierdie wetsontwerp.

Iemand het êrens wakker geskrik en die DA verwelkom al die klousules wat begin luister na die noodkreet daar buite rondom beter bestuur en die vasvat van skuldiges. Hierdie wetsontwerp het aanvanklik 37 veranderinge aan vier bestaande wette voorgestel en die DA wil die provinsiale plaaslike regeringsdepartement van KwaZulu-Natal bedank en gelukwens met ’n skitterende voorlegging. Die agb Tsenoli het maar liewers daaroor stilgebly toe hy dankie gesê het, maar waar was die ander agt provinsies wat sekerlik daagliks in die praktyk ervaar wat kan verbeter in hierdie wetgewing? (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)

[Mr W P DOMAN: Acting Speaker, if there is now an admittance that there must firstly be greater control over finances in local government; secondly that the fight against corruption by councillors and officials must be heightened; and thirdly that investigations and intervention by the Minister and MECs at municipalities where maladministration is prevalent must be sharpened, then it is this Bill that will help us do that.

Someone somewhere has woken up and the DA welcomes all the clauses that are listening to the call for help regarding better management and clamp-down on culprits. This Bill initially suggested 37 changes to four existing Acts and the DA wishes to congratulate the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Provincial and Local Government on an excellent presentation. The hon Tsenoli decided to keep quiet when he said thank you, but where were the remaining eight provinces that must surely experience, on a daily basis, in practice what can be improved in this Bill?]

It is also shocking that, from the South African Local Government Association, Salga, who, according to their website, is on the cutting edge of local government, the committee heard absolutely nothing. Is it because their loyalties and those of the MECs’ departments - those eight who did not make any submissions - were divided between what the Minister and the department wanted and what the unions and the municipalities wanted in a number of clauses? It was disappointing that the committee did not want to accept a few good proposals from the KwaZulu-Natal department that would improve governance, but was prepared to accept the change from a non- governmental organisation on ward committees. That, in my mind, is going to create difficulties for municipalities. This is one of the three reasons why the DA will not support the Bill.

Ward committees should not be allocated funds and resources to undertake their own projects. The real possibility exists that these projects will be outside the integrated development plans of municipalities, accountability for such funds will be a serious concern, and there is even a possibility that ward committees will want to exert power over council officials to execute their projects.

These are some of the problem areas municipalities are going to run into with this late new clause that the ANC has put into the Bill. More fundamental, however, is our concern that clause 13 determines that a staff member of a municipality must resign when he or she is officially declared by the Independent Electoral Commission as a candidate for elections. Of course, such officials should not be working during the canvassing period, but we believe that this clause will be found to be unconstitutional if challenged. We agree with the union proposal that unpaid leave would have been the correct measure.

Lastly, we agree with the unions that clause 14 is an intrusion in the bargaining process in local government. In fact, it is an intrusion in the local government sphere by national government that Parliament is today asked to allow the Minister of Provincial and Local Government also to consult the Minister for the Public Service and Administration before the former issues regulations on staff members. This is clearly a precursor towards a single public service, and this clause does not respect the constitutional position of the local government sphere.

We are, however, glad that the department and the ANC withdrew two other clauses because we also felt that they were unconstitutional. We are worried that these pieces of legislation come to Parliament and the constitutionality of these is not checked very clearly beforehand. Thank you. [Applause.]

Dr U ROOPNARAIN: Chair and colleagues, I am just standing in for my colleague Mr P F Smith, who is a member of the portfolio committee.

The Bill comprises a set of amendments to various statutes affecting the local government system including the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, and the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act. In the main, the IFP is not unhappy with the proposed amendments to the law. We recognise that the local government system evolves and, on the basis of practice and experience, certain changes become increasingly necessary.

Then there are the issues of alignment of various laws and technical amendments which serve to correct defects in the principal Acts. These then get packaged as a general amendment Bill, which is what we have before us today.

Though we are happy with the general thrust of the Bill, this is not to say we are delighted with each and every clause. For instance, the notion that municipal employees should resign from the municipality once they become formally accepted by the Independent Electoral Commission as candidates in national, provincial or local elections is all very well, but if we have regard to the position of state employees and municipal elections, then we see that some flexibility may be required. Teachers, for instance, who resigned but were not successful in the last local government elections were subsequently reinstated in their posts. Surely this is both desirable and necessary. We believe a similar provision to this should have been inserted. Everyone has a right to stand for political office. The notion that this must entail losing one’s job irrespective of one’s success or one’s position on a list is problematic.

On the other hand, some clauses are clearly needed and some we support. For instance, we strongly endorse the principle that the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, may set an upper limit on the percentage by which the total revenue derived from rates on all property categories or rates of a specific category of properties may be increased. We tried to have a similar provision included in the principal Act but without success. We further trust the Minister will, after promulgation, promptly act on this empowering provision to curb the number of councils which seem to have no regard for the consequences of sometimes totally unreasonable rate increases. That was quick! [Time expired.]

Mr G T MADIKIZA: Chairperson and hon members, the local government legal framework consisting of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, Local Government: Municipal Systems Act and the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act is in need of amendment to ensure better implementation of these laws.

The Bill before us seeks to address this in a number of ways. Firstly there is the issue of amendments to the Constitution of the country which require consequential amendments to all the affected local government Acts. These relate to the definition of the municipal financial year and the effect thereof on the boundary determinations. The Bill also clarifies the question of staff members’ participation in national, provincial and local government elections as candidates. The remainder of the Bill deals with a variety of technical matters that are aimed at streamlining the functioning of local government especially in terms of the administration of property rates. Finally the Bill provides for certain important fail-safe measures such as municipal managers’ appointments not exceeding five years as well as amending clause 20 to ensure that important investigations can be initiated by the MEC if the council fails to do so. The UDM finds this amendmending Bill very important and significant under the circumstances. I thank you.

Mr H B CUPIDO: Chairperson, the ACDP’s greatest concern about local government in general is the greater lack of capacity to deliver according to the needs of our taxpayers. Unlike paying taxes to the National Treasury, people paying their rates and taxes on a monthly basis out of their own pockets want to see that what is delivered is of the best quality in terms of both service and administration from their local municipality. We are aware that capacity-building is taking place in municipal administrations and that continued in-house training is taking place.

We are aware of what the SA Local Government Association and other institutions are doing to capacitate our officials. The Local Government Laws Amendment Bill intends to strengthen the Minister’s hand in establishing evaluation systems by which performances of staff members will be measured. However, it is of no use if staff members are well trained but do not have the skills to deal with people. Knowledge combined with people skills will result in good local government officials. This does not mean that local government is failing. There is enough evidence that millions of South Africans are benefiting from the work being done by dedicated staff members. We suggest government take a fresh look at the present system of municipalities and see if it would not be better to have smaller and more manageable municipalities instead of the present large catchment areas which are difficult for administrators to manage efficiently. Thank you.

Mr S A MSHUDULU: Chairperson, I wish to support this Bill on behalf of the ANC. As was mentioned earlier, this debate happens at a time when the ANC is reviewing its policies as well as allowing all South Africans to make input in terms of how best service delivery can be improved. The areas that I will cover will be for emphasis, as most members, including the Deputy Minister, have already covered these.

It is important to share that it is common practice that strategic people, when confronted with challenges and bottlenecks in the implementation of policies or programmes, will of course employ strategic analysis mechanisms. The same has happened with the Department of Provincial and Local Government, which is the implementer of the policies and the laws we make.

It is also important that I remind you of the mandate that is guided by the fundamental principles that are enshrined in our Constitution. There is a section 152 that is very important, more so because we see South Africa as a developmental state. It states that local government is to provide democratic and accountable government, to ensure also the provision of services to communities, and to encourage the involvement of communities. It is important that at all times, as some sectors would say, it is a case of ”nothing about us without us”.

It is important that we attach even more value to people-centred and people- driven service delivery. In our engagement, just to add on to what the chairperson has alluded to, we made some observations that people usually assume that when the municipal financial year-ends are aligned with national objectives, things are well and proceed smoothly. There are also assumptions that double dipping - which is the term used when a public servant who has earned money from this department and the other - in relation to what was alluded to where public servants would even stand for election whilst compromising their productive role, would occur.

Also, in the absence of an assessment report on the implementation of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill which is an area that is of concern, you would know that not all municipalities had, and neither did people know that there were evaluation rolls. People have been lamenting about municipalities not having capacity. The department has tried to address the bottlenecks in ensuring that, whilst we are engaged in the long- term process of policy review, the relevant Acts are amended for smooth application. Hence it touches on the question of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act in order to align the financial year-end.

Also, as it relates to the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, you would know that there are consequential amendments to address what was earlier raised in terms of authorisation and adjustments of powers and functions, which are a concern. Above all, this alignment was meant also to regulate the participation of municipal staff members, as I said earlier, in local government.

On the issue of the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Bill, it also allows for the quantifications in terms of cost of relief measures to be dealt with through a municipal budget, and also to allow municipalities not to value public service infrastructure if there is no intention of levying it. It is important that revenue rates be kept.

Lastly, to rationalise local government laws, as the Deputy Minister alluded, all the apartheid laws, through this process, will be repealed and we will then be having our democracy as well as our transformation process being rolled out without any hiccups. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mnr P J GROENEWALD: Voorsitter, die FF Plus sal nie hierdie wysigingswetsontwerp ondersteun nie om verskeie redes. Kom ek gee vir u twee: Die een is dat daar nou ’n wysiging is in terme van munisipale bestuurders wat verwys na hulle kontrak van vyf jaar en wat binne ’n maand na ’n verkiesing moet verstryk. Maar die belangrikste wysiging is waar daar opgetree moet word teen ’n munisipale bestuurder waar so ’n bestuurder by ’n vorige munisipaliteit bedrog, diefstal en korrupsie gepleeg het en voordat dissiplinêr teen so ’n munisipale bestuurder opgetree kan word, spring hy maar net na ’n ander munisipaliteit, soos wat gebeur het in die munisipaliteit van Matlosana. Die Openbare Beskermer kon nie eers teen hom optree nie want hy pleit net eenvoudig die audi alteram partem reel; hy kan nie ’n geleentheid kry om sy saak te stel nie.

Die ander aspek is die aspek rondom eiendomsbelasting. Daar word nou wel ’n wysiging ingevoeg om te sê dat die agb Minister ’n maksimum perk of limiet kan stel in terme van die persentasie van die totale inkomste in terme van eiendomsbelasting. Die bestaande wet maak daarvoor voorsiening dat die agb Minister ’n perk kan plaas in terme van die persentasie uit die rand. Ek vra vir die agb Minister al die afgelope drie, vier jaar stel asseblief daardie perk. Maar die Minister doen dit nie, want daar is munisipaliteite wat tot 800% toename in eiendomsbelasting het, maar die agb Minister tree nie op nie. Hoekom verdere wysigings as die Minister dit nie gebruik nie? Ek dank u. (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr P J GROENEWALD: Chairperson, the FF Plus will not support this Bill for various reasons. Allow me to give you two: the one is that there is now an amendment which deals with municipal managers which refers to their contract of five years which may not be extended beyond one and then not longer than a month after an election. But the most important amendment is where action should be taken against a municipal manager who previously committed fraud, theft and corruption at another municipality and, before disciplinary action could be taken against such a manager, he would just jump to another municipality, as has happened in the municipality of Matlosana. The Public Protector could not even take action against him because he would just simply cite the audi alteram partem rule – he cannot get an opportunity to state his case.

The other matter is the aspect around income tax. An amendment is being made that the Minister may set a maximum limit in terms of the percentage of the total income tax. The current Bill provides that the hon Minister may put a limit on the percentage of the rand. I have begged the hon Minister for the past three or four years to set that limit. The Minister did not do it, because there are municipalities which have up to an 800% increase in property tax, but the hon Minister does nothing. Why further amendments if the Minister does not use them? I thank you.]

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson and hon members, we in the UCDP welcome the fact that the Act has been scrutinised closely so that it can pave the way for good governance. The fact that municipal financial year has been so aligned that it is different from the conventional financial year is also welcomed.

Members of the ward committees have up to now been exploited as they depended on the crumbs that fell from the tables of the bureaucrats for compensation. That is being corrected by the amendment of section 73 of Act 117 of 1998 to the effect that their out-of-pocket expenses have to be paid by the council. Much relief has also been brought by the introduction of the office of the deputy executive mayor.

Of great significance is that staffers who stand for election as candidates should resign on receipt of their certificates of candidature to the council, provincial or national election as well as nomination as delegates to the NCOP. This is most welcome and we hope it will cover even the staff in the Public Service. If necessary, the Constitution may also be amended to cater for this provision. The concerns of the Public Service Commission, PSC, on this matter have been heard loud and clear and are fully noted.

The UCDP also welcomes the clause that no councillor may be party to or a beneficiary under a contract for the provision of goods and services to any municipality. We hope that municipal managers will, unlike bureaucrats in central government, take joy and pride in declaring their interests while the council would also respect the confidentiality of whatever will be declared. The UCDP supports this amending Bill.

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, there has been much debate and reservation expressed on the independence of local government as a constitutionally recognised, independent yet co-operative sphere of governance.

We have always described local government being hawk eyes at community level. It has been ascertained that the independence and running of local government has always been respected, but that all three spheres of government remain answerable to the people under the provisions for transparency and free access to information.

In view of the amendmending Bill, the MF acknowledges that a number of crucial matters have been addressed, such as demarcation and corruption, and that we certainly hope these will in future circumstances serve to curtail possible issues. We believe that rates remain too high and that the amendment in relation to this shall hopefully serve to address ratepayers’ dilemma. The MF supports the Local Government Laws Amendment Bill. I thank you.

Mr M T LIKOTSI: Chairperson, the Bill is aimed at amending various local government laws of our country to remove bottlenecks that hindered service delivery.

In the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act of 1998, the Bill attempts to normalise the limitation of boundaries in line with provided systems. It falls short of addressing the limitation of contested boundaries and tackle outstanding applications of prospective metro municipalities such as the Mangaung Local Municipality.

In the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act of 1998, the standardisation of ward committees has been a factor. Resources to ward committees and the allowances of ward committee members are challenges that must be addressed. The Bill is pussyfooting around this matter. In the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act of 2000, the Bill will address the ceremonial status of the deputy executive mayors who will get full recognition as office bearers. The APC proposes that clear roles and functions of the Deputy Executive Mayors must be spelt out. Property rates must be regulated. The APC supports the Bill. Thank you.

Nkosi M NONKONYANA: Mhlalingaphambili, malungu ale Ndlu abakekileyo, iinkosi zam zonke mazithambe isicaka sizolile. Ndibamba ngazo zozibini kuwe, Mgcinisihlalo, ngokuba undifekethise, ukuze nam ndiqongqothe umongo, ndihleze kweli thambo, ukuze ndishiyele umkhuluwa wam, uMphathiswa, iqwele.

Inene abakhalazayo abazange baphela, basamana ukumanamana nabanye. Umbutho wesizwe i-ANC wakhiwa ngeenjongo zokukhulula abantu beli lizwe bonke kwidyokhwe yengcinezelo nakwisandla esirhabaxa soorhulumente begcuntswana, iintsapho zabo ezazingamaphandle kunye nabaxhasi babo oo-Boreman, abathetha inkosi ithetha.

Loo mhlaba neendonga zawo uncangathi ligazi lamadelakufa. Sinyanzelekile, njengombutho wabantu beli lizwe, ukuba simana siyiguqula imithetho ngeenjongo zokuphucula iintlalo zabo. Njengoko ulawulo lusezandleni zabantu, siyiguzule imithetho yoorhulumente bangaphambili bengcinezelo. Siyakhile imithetho emitsha ngenxa yamava ngolawulo nemiceli-mingeni esihlangabezene nayo.

Sindulula kule Ndlu ibalulekileyo imithetho yoomasipalati ukuze intlalo yabantu bakowethu ibe ngcono kunangaphambili.

Inguqu imnandi kwabayithandayo, kodwa ikrakra okwencindi yekhala kwabangayifuniyo. Abanye bayaqonda ukuba urhulumente we-ANC uyakuthandwa nangakumbi ngabantu kwaye njengokuba sifaka le mithetho iivoti ziya kuya zisanda ngoko. Yiyo loo nto umntaka kaBoreman emana ekhunyuluka okoko ndiqalile kweli qonda, kwaye esaza kukhonyuluka phambi kokuba ndikhwelele kulo.

Inguqu kwimida yoomasipala kufuneka ingadali ntlupheko kubantu bakowethu. Kananjalo kuyafuneka simana sikhumbuzana ukuba le mida yoomasipala mayingavuseleli ingcinga yamaphandle. Singabantu belizwe elinye, abanembono enye nabanenjongo enye yokuphuhlisa zonke iingingqi neziphaluka ukuze bonke abantu beli lizwe bazuze intlalo entle nobomi obuhle kwiindawo zonke.

Kungenxa yesi sizathu sibone kufanelekile ukuba ibhodi enoxanduva lokuguqula imida ikwenze oko inike ingqwalasela kunyaka-mali. Asibuyi ngamva kwinyathelo lokuqinisa amanqwanqwa karhulumente wentando yesininzi, ngakumbi kulawulo loomasipalati. Amabhunga ooceba kwimida yoomasipalati, i- ward committees ngokwamakhumsha, kuyabonakala ukuba lifikile ixesha lokuba siwakhuthaze kumsebenzi omhle awenzayo ngokuthi siwabuyisele imbuyekezo kwinkcitho ayenzayo.

Siyazi ukuba ooceba bayafuna ukuba banikwe imali njengabameli boluntu. Okwakaloku nje, lo mcimbi sisawuqwalasele, kwaye sigunyazisa ukuba bafumane izibonelelo kwiingxowa zoomasipala babo, ethembeni lokuba ucuntsu akazi kufana noshici. Mhlalingaphambili namalungu ahloniphekileyo, kuyavuyisa kakhulu ukubona nokuva abantu beli lizwe bethabatha inxaxheba kwiinkqubo zale Palamente ekhokelwa yi-ANC ngokuthi rhoqo bazise izimvo zabo ngaphambili. Sithi, enkosi kuni mawaba nani mawasakazi akowethu. Nangamso!

Ingqokelela yooceba be-DA kunye negqwetha eliqeshwe ngumasipala walapha eKapa, nabo baphosile esivivaneni. Kungumnqa kuthi ukubona abantu nemibutho yabo bethabatha ithuba lokuba bazithethele ngokwabo, kodwa lize lithi iqela elithi lona lilelikhulu kwaphikisayo lihambe liye kuqasha ummeli, ekubeni bekufanele ukuba bathathe imali bayinike abantwana balapha eKapa ukuze impilo nentlalo yabo ibe ngcono kunangaphambili.

Kucubhula ngentsini kwaye kukwacaphukisa ukufumanisa ukuba kukho izimvo ezihlabanayo kwiqela elinye. Yiva ooceba be-DA xa besithi kuthi iikomiti zeziphaluka, okanye iiward committees, mazingabhatalwa koko zinikwe izixhobo zokusebenza, zandiswe ukusuka kwi-10 ukuya kuma-20.

Igqwetha elithunywe ngumasipala okhokelwa yi-DA lithi lona ezi komiti mazibhangiswe ngoba ayikho imfuneko yazo. Kuyacaca ukuba eli qela liphikisayo liqela lasekunene, elineempembelelo zamanxaxha asekunene noontamolukhuni. Bakho abasadla ngendebe endala. Simana siliva linyemba i- ANC. Inene iqaqa aliziva kunuka! [Inzwi.] (Translation of isiXhosa speech follows.)

[Chief N NONKONYANA: Chairperson, hon members of this House, I humble myself to all of you, and I want to convey my gratitude to the hon Chair for affording me this opportunity so that I can add my views to this debate before my big brother, the hon Minister, can conclude it.

Indeed the cynics never stop, and they are always criticising progress. The ANC was formed with the aim of releasing all the people of this country from oppression and segregation by the minority regimes, and their families who were outside including their supporters like hon Doman who do not respect authority.

This soil and walls are full of the martyrs’ blood. We are obliged, as this organisation, to always change the laws with the aim of improving people’s lives.  Since the government has come into the hands of the people, we have done away with the oppressive laws of former regimes, and we have passed new laws because of the experience of governing and the challenges that we have come across.

We pass municipality-related Acts in this august House so that our people’s lives can be better than before.

Change is good to those who like it but bad to those who hate it. Others feel that the ANC-led government is getting popular, and as we are changing the laws, the votes are going to increase in number. That is why the hon Doman is grumbling as I am speaking here, and he is still going to continue doing so until I leave this podium.

The changes in border demarcation of provinces should not create poverty for our people. We should continue reminding each other that these demarcation changes in municipal borders should not be a reminder of the homeland system. We belong to one country; have one objective of developing all our areas and regions so that all the people who love this country can have a good living and a great life in all areas.

It is for this reason that we decided that the Municipal Demarcation Board that is responsible for the changes in borders should do that with a specific regard to the financial year. We are not moving backwards in terms of strengthening the democratic government especially local government. It is clear that the time has come for us to encourage ward committees by refinancing their official expenditure.

We know that the councillors, as public representatives, also need money. As of now we are still looking at this matter, and we authorise that they get financed from their municipal budgets. We hope that will be enough.

Chairperson and hon members, it is with great pleasure that I note that people of this country take part in the programmes of this ANC-led Parliament by coming forward with their concerns. We would like to thank you, children of the soil. 

A group of DA councillors together with a lawyer employed by the Cape Town Metro were in the news. It is rather strange to see that as people and their parties are participating in debates and speaking their minds, you find a party that regards itself as the leader of the opposition going out of its way to hire a lawyer instead of taking that money and improving the lives of Cape Town’s poor children. 

It is both funny and angering to see that there are conflicting ideas within one party. Listen to the DA councillors when they say that ward committees should not be remunerated, but should be given working tools, and their number should increase from 10 to 20.

The lawyer hired by the DA-led municipality is saying on the other hand that these committees should be abolished since they are useless. It is clear that this opposition party is a rightwing one, and has serious rightwing tendencies. They are still conservative. You are always critical of the ANC. You need to assess yourselves first. [Interjections.]]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Order hon members, can the member just finish the speech. We are also running out of time.

Nkosi M NONKONYANA: Phambi kokuba ndikhwelele kweli qonga, banga bonke abantu kweli lizwe, ngakumbi abantu bakowethu ababona ukuba bona kufuneka bahlohle ezabo izisu, nabanobuqhophololo nobuqhwemesha, bangaqonda ukuba sisifakele isihlomelo sokungavumeli ooceba kunye namagosa kamasipala ukuba baxhamle. Kungoko ke sisithi, enkosi mhlalingaphambili. [Laphela ixesha.] (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[Chief M NONKONYANA: Before I leave this podium, I wish to ask all the people of this country - especially our people who tend to think they have a right to be selfish and corrupt – to think twice because we have added a section in this law that guards against such acts of councillors who benefit through corruption. With those words I thank you [Time expired.]]

The MINISTER FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Chairperson and hon members, our system of local government, in its current democratised form, has been in place since 2000. We are today proposing to amend aspects of the core local government legislation and, in some instances, to repeal legislation, which has become anachronistic.

As has been said by earlier speakers, the Bill concerns itself with the ongoing attempt to improve the ability of the local government system to discharge its obligation to the people. It is critical to the functional health of local government and to the efficacy of the system of government as a whole.

On behalf of the Ministry and the Department for Provincial and Local Government, I would like to join hon Deputy Minister Hangana in thanking the chairperson and the majority of the members of the portfolio committee for their support and co-operation. Their helpfulness and enthusiasm was crucial in ensuring that the version, which is finally before the House today, is enriched by historical lessons drawn from our shared experience of what is happening on the ground. The positive attitude of the majority of the committee members stands in stark contrast to the negative reaction typically associated with the cynical minorities who object to the Bill.

I am sure that the people of this country will appreciate the goodwill and reasonableness displayed by most parties in the committee and in the House. After all, our people know that each country has its own problems.

Even as members of the committee proposed some amendments to the original draft, we understood that their proposals were based on the clear intent to help sustain the positive developmental momentum which is abroad in our country. We are acutely aware that to the extent that we want to make our system of government more effective, what we have taken is necessary albeit not sufficient. It is for this reason that we once more draw attention to the two related processes, which are currently underway: the formulation of the White Paper on Provincial Government and the review of the White Paper on Local Government.

In this regard, we invite you hon members of this House to share your thoughts and experiences with the rest of our people in order to ensure that we get a product which will be cherished for all posterity. Thank you. [Applause.]

Debate concluded.

Bill read a second time (Democratic Alliance dissenting).


                      (Subject for Discussion)

Mr C T FROLICK: Chairperson, hon members, when starting this debate, it is appropriate to quote that clause in the Freedom Charter that says that: “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, united in our diversity.”

On numerous occasions from this platform, President Mbeki, in various speeches - either during the state of the nation addresses, or in reply to other debates, or in reply to questions - referred to the issue of social cohesion. More recently the matter was sharply raised one afternoon during Questions to the President.

One of the outcomes of such interactions and discussions was that the task was conferred on us in this House to debate this matter and also to move forward towards a common understanding on the importance of and the strategies needed to achieve this goal. This will hopefully set us on the path to identifying those issues that we need to confront and address through collective action in order to put our country on a path towards the realisation of a national democratic society.

This debate comes at a time when all of us – the entire nation – are still basking in the glory of being confirmed as Rugby World Cup champions. The scenes of sheer jubilation and joy at the momentous success the nation achieved bear testimony to the fact that we are a winning nation that can proudly take its place among the nations of the world.

When you interact with the players and management of the team, it is clear that they have come to realise the pivotal role and substantial contribution that they can make towards the sharing of our common values and in ensuring that we can take up our place and contribute towards the building of a new world order.

This also illustrates the potential and ability of sport in general to unite people across gender, race and cultural lines. However, rather than just celebrating social unity at key points of victory on the sportsfield, we have to strive towards a united nation by improving the lives of the disadvantaged as a key element of building a unified nation. Such significant victories achieved on the sportsfield must be utilised as building blocks to achieve our objective of building one nation, united in our diversity.

I am thus reminded of the following statement from the 2007 state of the nation address, when President Mbeki said:

We are duty-bound to ask the question: Have we all fully internalised our responsibility in building social cohesion and promoting a common sense of belonging, reinforcing the glue that holds our nation together?

It is my humble submission that we must continuously work towards the creation of this national identity and that our efforts should be fundamentally focused on strengthening a sense of belonging. It is also clear from our experiences that national reconciliation and social cohesion will not happen on their own; it requires collective action from all political parties, visionary leadership and demands that we focus on the bigger picture.

The ultimate goal of a national democratic society has not been reached yet. Therefore, in this debate, we will try to highlight some of the key elements of that national democratic society we are striving to realise. One of those elements is a united state based on the will of the people, without regard to race, gender, belief or geographic location.

A second element is the establishment of a dignified and improved quality of life among all the people by ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all our citizens.

A third element is the restoration of the birthright of all South Africans regarding access to land and other resources.

The ten-year macro-social report of government highlights the progress made in the attainment of these objectives. This report:

… points to our transition from an inhumane society characterised by racism, division, inequality, injustice to a society that is ostensibly caring, open and democratic, committed to the ethos of nonracialism, nonsexism and freedom.

It further reflects on the positive mood and confidence that has been developing in the economy since 1994, the enormous strides that have been made in the delivery of basic needs, including housing, education, health, social development, sport and recreation, and it also focuses our attention on the trajectory of accelerated delivery, acceleration in growth and social cohesion.

Some of these macrotrends have been discussed in this House and I will just repeat a few of them.

The macro-social report highlights the changes that are taking place in our society and the migration that is taking place from the rural areas to the urban areas where there is better economic potential, with the resultant sprawls of informal settlements in our major cities and towns.

It also focuses on the opportunities that have been created for the youth to take advantage of professions that have now opened up, and opportunities in the arts and other areas. However, it also focuses on the marginalisation of young people who do not have the skills required by this economy.

Although we have a better gender representation in all organs of state, we also see slow progress in the private sector, and serious manifestations of poverty and human abuse taking place.

There is better advocacy and access in relation to the rights of people with disability, but there is still a huge legacy of marginalisation that we need to address. Although there is a greater focus on the rights of children, the issue of unacceptable levels of child poverty and abuse is a serious concern.

It is in this context that we need to focus on the issues of social exclusion and inequality, and recognise that all our people do not have equal access to education, health, employment, housing and economic wealth. A tremendous amount of work still needs to be done. Unless we achieve this, the goal of social cohesion will remain elusive.

The ANC-led government, in all spheres of the state, is striving to confront these challenges and also requires the support of all political parties to decisively deal with poverty and underdevelopment. Challenges for the implementation of programmes aimed at providing a better life for all our people should thus not be used as a celebration of failure. Instead, concrete proposals and action are needed and required from all South Africans to make democracy work to the benefit of all our people.

It is thus fundamentally important that we remain guided by the principle that we can only claim to be human if we give full attention to the wellbeing of our fellow South Africans. The isiXhosa proverb that goes “umntu, ngumntu ngabantu” [I am because you are.] is appropriate. This is one of the key elements that all of us, as we share and as we have seen with the wondrous victory that we achieved on the rugby fields, can also achieve in society. Thank you.

Mrs D VAN DER WALT: Voorsitter … [Chairperson], let me start by saying that this topic typifies what is wrong with the ANC. While our country and its people suffer from widespread poverty and a generally low standard of living, the ruling party concerns itself with those typical nationalist issues which do little more than appease the ANC’s lust for empty rhetoric.

The issue of social cohesion: What does that mean to the average South African? Nothing. Here are some real issues on the other hand which this House would do well to debate and which have much more significance for the South African people.

One, the issue of the Health Minister’s performance. Two, the issue of service delivery riots that continue to break out across the country. Three, the issue of Advocate Pikoli and his suspension. Those are real issues with real consequences, both for ordinary people and for the nature of our democracy. Interestingly, those are also the issues the ANC wants nothing to do with. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis and what does the ANC want to talk about? The construction of a cohesive nation in the building of a national democratic society!

If the ANC wants to build a national democratic society, then it needs to start acting like a democratic party. It should stop using the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, to bug its own people. The President should stop interfering with the independence of our prosecuting services. The Commissioner of Police should take a voluntary suspension and the ANC should stop trying to control and clamp down on the media.

Those are just a few basic starting points. Once we have got the basics right, then we can start to talk seriously about building a truly democratic society. And, if we are going to be serious about ideas like social cohesion, then we need to be serious about determining who constitutes a South African citizen.

Since 1994, the ANC government has distinguished between South African citizens. It often refers to “our people”, like President Mbeki did in 2002, when he said that South Africa’s international sport teams should be prepared to lose because the government was bringing our people into the teams. I mean who are “our people”? Thank goodness the Springboks and Jake White did not listen to the President, because I can assure you, winning the World Cup has done much more for South Africa and South Africans than losing it would ever have done.

My point is, we cannot have ideas like “our people” and “their people” if we are going to unite behind those democratic principles that define our Constitution. Then the ANC needs to learn that we are all South African citizens. We are all equal and all have a role to play in making this country a better place. Dankie [Thank you].

Mr A M MPONTSHANE: Hon Chair and colleagues, for a country subjected to the indignity and divisiveness of slavery, colonialism and apartheid, South Africa emerged from our own dark ages as a deeply divided society along race, class, ethnic, gender and cultural lines at the dawn of democracy.

The successful negotiation process or what some people called a negotiated revolution, and a constitutional democracy, did much to bridge the divides I have mentioned above. We have come a long way in only thirteen years to forge a nation of sorts to some form of social cohesion, but we still have a long road ahead with many formidable challenges to overcome.

When I read the topic for today’s debate, I wondered what the hon Frolick meant by social cohesion. As I am not much of a mind reader, I consulted the Internet and found the following definition: “Social cohesion is the ongoing process of developing a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunities based on a sense of trust and hope.” If this is what is meant by this subject, it is indeed a lofty ideal to aspire to. It is even more so when one considers the great variety of cultures, languages, customs and traditions to be found in South Africa. All of this, of course, is protected in our Constitution.

Colleagues, I want to argue that we must go a step further and explore our own African philosophy of ubuntu and appropriate for ourselves those values which are common to us all. If I were to ask everyone here what exactly we meant by ubuntu and what the principles are of such a philosophy, I would get different answers. This shows, therefore, that there is no philosophy which is our own on which we can base our actions, our lives and even our education. If I were to ask on which ideas our education system is based I would get different answers. Then we ask ourselves what can we use, therefore, as a basis for this social cohesion? The answer, I am afraid, is nothing.

Mr G T MADIKIZA: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon members, crime and civil unrest in South Africa are phenomena that presumably inspire discussions about social cohesion. Indeed, the violence that attends both these issues is what is most disconcerting because it is a violence that points to the rage and frustration felt by the perpetrators. In the past two years civil unrest and industrial action have not only increased, but, whereas five years ago they would have been largely peaceful, the current trend is widespread violence, vandalism, assaults, murder and intimidation.

Where does this come from? Some of it can and should rightly be attributed to the history of this country and the legacy of that history. However, we cannot blame the past for the sudden widespread resurgence of violence, crime and civil unrest - there must be other roots.

Firstly, there is the question of patience and legitimate expectations. Democracy was ushered in peacefully in this country because South Africans are inherently patient and tolerant. The vast majority of the people believed that their legitimate expectations would be addressed under democracy if they applied some patience. This sort of frustration will take root in poor communities who face unrelenting poverty, degradation, crime and unemployment day-in and day-out.

Can we say that such legitimate protests – even if the attendant violence is not legitimate or necessary – are undemocratic or run against the grain of social cohesion? People who unite around a common cause are expressing a social cohesion among one another, if not within society at large. It is also a society at large, who does not always acknowledge or feel any social cohesiveness with certain poor communities and settlements.

Secondly, we are a consumerist society. We are seeing signs of backlash against grand capitalism and globalisation. In democracies across the globe, there is a growing disillusionment with the way that the individual and humanity in general are becoming merely cogs within a larger system of commerce and politics, instead of these things being merely expressions of human endeavour.

The important point, however, that I want to make, is that the test of democracy is whether it can, as it should, mitigate and manage these issues. These three factors arise from a sense of disempowerment and frustration. I thank you, Chairperson.

Mr L W GREYLING: Thank you, Chair. Social cohesion is one of those academic terms that is rarely understood, yet used by different people to mean different things. For the ID, social cohesion can be summed up in our party’s overarching slogan as ‘bridging the divides’. We believe that the only way for our country to prosper and for all of us to realise our dreams and aspirations for this great nation, is for the destructive divides of the past to be bridged.

These divides are evident everywhere and we cannot simply take a denialist attitude towards them. We need to recognise the way in which our differences were violently accentuated in the past to prop up a racist ideology. We need to recognise that, in the process, people’s dignity was stripped and all South Africans were denied the opportunity of renewing the bonds of our common humanity.

So how do we deal with our divided past? How do we build a common nationhood in which our diversity is celebrated and respected by all? We firstly need to build a common vision which all South Africans, regardless of political persuasion, can get behind. We need to not only unite, but mobilise all of our people in confronting the enormous socioeconomic challenges that we face as a country. As my leader, Patricia de Lille, stated in Parliament last year, “The problems of the poor are the problems of the rich.” We, therefore, all need to step out of our comfort zones, confront our fears and deep-seated prejudices and start reaching out to each other across our past divides.

In this regard I would like to congratulate Patricia De Lille’s spokesperson, Steven Otter, on the publication of his new book called Khayelitsha, where he lived for two years. I hope his example leads to other white South Africans confronting their fears and truly discovering what it means to share a common nationhood with all South Africans.

It is also important that we in this House show leadership on this issue and consider the ways in which our behaviour influences the attitudes and actions of the broader public. South Africa desperately needs visionary leadership that can mobilise people across all our past divides. Unfortunately, however, this House does not set a good example and we have to find ways of engaging with each other that does not simply perpetuate our old divisions. I thank you.

Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights have played a very important role in our nation-building. Coming from a past characterised by division and racism, the role of human rights in restoring dignity and equality and the building of a national democratic society cannot be overemphasised. However, there are clearly huge challenges facing our nation and these must be confronted as we seek to build a cohesive nation.

We, as the ACDP, believe that the family is the primary unit for social cohesion and nation-building. This is a widely held view. The strength of a nation lies in its families. Healthy families result in healthy communities, resulting in healthy nations.

The decline in the traditional family values has led directly and contributed to absentee fathers who do not pay maintenance, sibling-led households, escalating rates of crime, violence and drug dependency.

Family patterns are cyclic. When a boy has no father or stable role model or if his father is in prison or is a drug dealer, it is almost inevitable that he repeats what he sees and the cycle is perpetual. This is a very serious challenge to social cohesion in our nation.

However, there is hope. There is always hope, and families are showing remarkable resilience notwithstanding being severely tested by the issues of unemployment, poverty, HIV/Aids and high levels of crime.

Clearly, the race issue remains a major challenge in building social cohesion, with whites, coloureds and Asians feeling marginalised, and with black people feeling that there has not been sufficient recognition for the devastating effects of apartheid or sufficient restitution. This is another issue that needs to be addressed.

Another significant challenge to social cohesion relates to poverty and unemployment, and the disparity between the rich and the poor. There must be a greater care for the poor, failing which masses of people will be at the beck and call of any populist leader who promises the earth, but can deliver little.

What our nation needs is to build on the tremendous national pride evoked by the Rugby World Cup Victory, and it is a new heart for each citizen to take hands and to build the nation together and to ask the question, as John F Kennedy did:

Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

Significantly, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the first heart transplant in the world, which took place here in Cape Town. I believe it is significant and that our Heavenly Father would want us to replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh – that we would become more caring of the poor and the sick, the abused and the downtrodden, the widows and orphans and, most importantly, the youth. Let us start living the golden rule of “doing unto others as we would have them do unto us” and in so doing we would contribute to nation-building and social cohesion. I thank you.

Ms A VAN WYK: Chairperson, one single definition of social cohesion does not exist. In the multitude of definitions there are, however, common characteristics. These are, amongst others, shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunities. In other words, we have a common vision and a sense of belonging amongst all our communities; we appreciate the diversity of our people’s backgrounds and circumstances; we create similar life opportunities for people from different backgrounds; and we share in this responsibility. In the South African context, it means addressing the inequalities of the past.

What are some of the key challenges that we face in order to ensure a cohesive nation? While we acknowledge respect and also celebrate our diversities, we should work actively towards reaching social cohesion within this kaleidoscope of diversity. Our diversity should start to fit into an overarching national identity. It should become the glue that binds us together, not serve as the borders that divide us.

Achieving cohesion is not and can never be the responsibility of state and of government on its own. Cohesion cannot be achieved from top down, but will only be successful and sustainable if it involves grassroots and organised civil society. As public representatives, that places a particular responsibility upon our shoulders. In many ways, it provides direction to us on how to approach our parliamentary duties and execute our different political roles.

For example, it means that, while we can, we should be vigilant not only to the extent of criticising in carrying out oversight over the work of the executive, as Parliament, but we also have the responsibility to collectively find solutions for the challenges that we face.

It requires a special kind of opposition, one that would share in this responsibility, join hands in finding solutions and one that would not celebrate perceived failures of programmes aimed at promoting cohesion, but would rather, collectively, take responsibility in addressing the challenges that lead to setbacks. “The ability to accept the responsibility is the measure of a man”, so said Roy L Smith.

Achieving social cohesion demands selflessness and patriotism. Infusing ubuntu into our lives means that there is readiness to sacrifice and that selfless action then becomes the transformative force that is needed in order to achieve the changes required to create opportunities for those who need them most. That selflessness should also be reflected in our Public Service.

The ANC has identified key groups as vulnerable, namely the poor in general, especially those in rural areas; those living in underdeveloped informal settlements; and children, especially those that head households.

In order for us to achieve social cohesion, an intervening developmental state is required. This developmental state needs to intervene in the lives of the vulnerable groups, but also needs to get directly involved in creating equal opportunities to address inequalities.

I believe this should be complemented with redistributive processes that can express the journey to cohesion in concrete terms. We need to determine how we can include the objective to promote cohesion in all the policies of our country. We, as public representatives of our country, have a shared responsibility to create, implement and combine initiatives to escape and overcome poverty.

As the elected representatives of our diverse nation, we share the responsibility to develop measures against discrimination of any kind and to harness and protect the recognition of fundamental rights, and to insist on and ensure effective co-ordination between our social and economic policies.

With acknowledgement to John D Rockefeller Jr, who said that:

… every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

History and generations to follow will judge us. I thank you. [Applause.]

Dr P W A MULDER: Chairperson, in the state of the nation address at the beginning of this year I said, on social cohesion, that we do not really know each other and do not really debate with each other. I also said that a two-minute speech from this podium is not debating.

The President then proposed that Parliament discuss social cohesion and really debate the issues. Today cannot be that final debate as I, again, only have two minutes and I do not see any Cabinet Ministers here.

What exactly is understood by nation-building? Is the ANC’s recipe the only one? Is successful nation-building possible without the consent of all the parties involved? I say no. You cannot force me or anybody else into a recipe of nation-building that we do not agree with. That is why a real, lengthy debate on this discussion is necessary.

After the Springboks’ victory, we suddenly, again, have that positive feeling of success in the country. For many years we had lost it. It immediately changed the atmosphere in the whole country. The majority of South Africans have said that they really do not want conflict and tension. I am not so sure that the same goes for everyone in this House – if I recall some of the speeches in the past.

Why did nation-building fail in several African states with comparable language and ethnic setups as South Africa? Nation-building failed in those countries because some citizens or some ethnic groups were permanent winners, while others were permanent losers. The best recipe must be a situation in which everyone feels like a winner, with no losers.

Meneer, vir permanente harmonie en versoening in Suid-Afrika moet die balans tussen eenheid, aan die een kant, en verskeidenheid in Suid-Afrika gevind word. As eenheid oorbeklemtoon word, vervreem dit taal- en kultuurgroepe. As verskeidenheid oorbeklemtoon word, kan dit na konflik tussen die groepe lei. Deur trots op my taal te wees, en daarom op my taalregte te staan, word vandag verkeerdelik as onverdraagsaamheid teenoor ander tale geïnterpreteer deur sommiges. Deur trots op my kultuurerfenis te wees en vir my eie te veg, word verkeerdelik as meerderwaardigheid gesien; dat ek my bo ander probeer verhef. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Sir, for permanent harmony and reconciliation in South Africa, the balance between unity, on the one hand, and diversity on the other in South Africa should be found. If unity is overemphasised, it could alienate language and cultural groups. If diversity is overemphasised, it could lead to conflict between the groups. By being proud of my language, and therefore insisting on my language rights, it is erroneously interpreted today by some as intolerance towards other languages. By being proud of my cultural heritage, and fighting for it, it is erroneously seen as arrogant; that I’m trying to elevate myself above others.]

You know, sir, research in Europe showed that the nations and the communities of Europe do not mind to become part of the larger European fruit salad, as long as everyone is allowed to maintain their identity by remaining either a banana or an orange within that fruit salad. That is a workable recipe for a country like ours.

Sir, as an Afrikaner, I want to be myself in Africa. Is that too much to ask? If there is a place in the north of Africa for Arabs with their religion and their different - if I may call it – culture, then there should also be a place for me as an African – a South African, but also an Afrikaner - in the south, even though some black intolerants call me a Euro- African. It is interesting how white and black racists are the same.

The trick in a successful society is for minority citizens to be able to feel that they are more than one thing at once – to be able to feel American and black, Scottish and British, Orthodox Christian and Bosnian, Muslim and Indian. Surely, once we get that right, it would be the right recipe in South Africa. Let’s work on it. Thank you.

Mr I S MFUNDISI: Chairperson and hon members, when Bantu Biko wrote his book, I Write What I Like, he meant to make a clean breast of his experiences. I shall also speak from the heart in this debate.

South Africans have turned into a laughing stock regarding our human relations at home. We are known for the ability to pacify worrying nations on the continent yet we are miles apart from one another. To find one another with the government of the day leading, we should work hard and hone our relationships of mutual love, respect, trust, service, tolerance and consultation.

The biblical injunction is love your neighbour as yourself. Do this regardless of their political affiliation, creed, colour or whatever. Love them because they are made in the image of God. In short: ‘Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you’. They will be glued to you.

The relationship of mutual respect expects of us that in order to be respected we should respect others regardless of our status or size of our organisation.

Mutual respect is at its lowest ebb in this country. People need to develop confidence and trust in their government or leaders. If you promise to deliver houses, do not put up incommodious, ramshackle shacks and when questioned say: I promised you a million houses; I never said to what extent they would be habitable. If you promise some party international mediation, by all means deliver. If you do not, your government will always be viewed with scepticism. If you deliver they will trust you.

The question of flexing our muscles when in leadership positions is abominable. Have time for dissent. Listen to differing voices. Bragging and strutting around like a Colossus because you are the majority party is in bad taste. Never be impatient with the views of the minority. Don’t push them aside because those people are white, they are not 100% this or that or they come from some past, because each one has a past about which much can be said. All role-players and leaders should not be too big for their breeches.

If only we can learn to consult, even when we do a good thing, this country will have a cohesive nation. Gone are those days of: “Dis goed genoeg vir hulle” [This is good enough for them]… where people would be given anything that they had to contend with even when they were not happy.

It should be an affront for the government of the day to say: “We are going to change the name of a town or street, or to pass this law because we are in the majority.”

It should be an upfront for the government of the day to say we are going to change the name of the town, street or we pass this law because we are in the majority.

One big threat to social cohesion is lack of consistency in the application of practices. If it is good to retain Venda as a place and have Venda University, good to refer to the Transkei and eMtata, but it is unacceptable to refer to Bophuthatswana and even fight tooth and nail to bury an innocent name such as Mmabatho – know that you are polarising society. With that type of conduct other people will remain disaffected, suspicious, cold and dubious.

For social cohesion to take root, let us use brains, not brawn, just like we did when this democracy was hatched at Codesa. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr B M SOLO: Chairperson and hon members, we need to understand the debate from a historical perspective. When we talk of cohesion, a cohesive and national democratic society, everybody needs to understand in a realistic, meaningful and practical way what we are talking about - not just sweet words and melodic words but thunderous words that move our society away from polarisation to a more human and caring society.

To this end, South Africans have, on many occasions, demonstrated the quest for a moral and just society. We can go back to history from 1912, navigate through to 1955, continue the voyage to 1994, and then from 2004 to date. We saw the establishment of the people’s organisation in 1912 in response to the stealing of their land. The call was for unity to fight for justice and democracy. This call was sharpened in 1955 when representatives of all South Africans made a significant call that South Africa belongs to all who live in it; that all national groups shall have equal rights and that the people shall share in the country’s wealth.

The Freedom Charter which today is embraced by all caring South Africans remains the doyen on guidance on all that we need to do. As we know as a country and society we still, after 13 years, address serious challenges of poverty, informal settlements, dusty roads, poor sanitation, bucket system, lack of basic infrastructure, ill-equipped schools, overcrowded hospitals with long queues, underdevelopment and huge inequalities. What is starkly clear is that this poverty is located within specific areas and specific communities - Indians, Coloureds and Africans - in the worst black communities. This reality is something that needs to be corrected.

This can only be corrected if all of us particularly the English, Afrikaners, Greeks, Portuguese, Italians, French and the so-called White South Africans located in posh suburbs with capital savings, surpluses and mansions, can start agreeing on a comprehensive cohesion programme to build a caring society. Unless we accept the existence of poverty in its extreme, then together we can, in a meaningful way, start dealing with it effectively in an effort to ensure a better life for all. I believe we can act together to deal with these challenges.

Recently, we rallied around the support of our Springbok Rugby Team that participated in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Tournament. Right at the beginning of the tournament, every South African pledged support and followed the progress of the team. As a matter of fact, every time when the Springboks played there, there would be that euphoria, some ecstasy and celebrations at the end of the games.

Oku sikubonile ngexesha kudlalwa umdlalo wamanqam kule veki iphelileyo. Bonke abantu baxelelwa ukuba batshintshe igazi labo libe luhlaza. Kuloo mdlalo, owawubanjwe ngoMgqibelo, uMzantsi Afrika wathi waphumelela, sabona abantu behlangene bephuzana, nabangazange baphuzane ngaphambili. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[We saw this during the final last week. Everybody was asked to change their blood to green. During that match, which was played on Saturday, South Africa won and we saw people united and kissing each other, even those who had never kissed each other before.]

In our democratic dispensation, the ANC-led government has committed itself towards a better life for all. The state should not be seen as perpetuating poverty but rather as minimising it. Poverty alleviation is our commitment to build a caring society.

Ngamafutshane, sifuna ukubona laa nto besiyibona ngoMgqibelo, abantu bephuzana, bethandana, bebulisana – nabangazange babulisane ngaphambili. Ukuze sibe nokulwa ubuhlwempu kwaye sakhe ilizwe elimanyeneyo, kufuneka sonke khe sisuke kubumnandi beendawo esihlala kuzo siye kuba phakathi kwabantu abahluphekayo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraph follows.)

[Briefly, we want to see what we saw on Saturday, people kissing, showing love and greeting each other – even those who have never greeted each other before. In order to eradicate poverty and to create a united country, we need to move from our comfortable homes and go and mingle with the poor.]

The ANC-led government has indeed developed programmes aimed at dealing with social ills to promote social cohesion. Of course, as the ANC, we reaffirm our commitment to redress poverty and inequality. As we know, the ANC-led government has declared 2007 as the year of intensifying the struggle against poverty. It has developed an anti-poverty strategy that addresses income, asset and social poverty with the objective of eradicating poverty and creating employment. However, the ANC government cannot do this alone.

Ndiyakholelwa ekubeni oongxowankulu nabo banegalelo ekufuneka belenzile. Kwakukho umbutho woongxowankulu okwakusithiwa yi-Urban Foundation, owawuhamba uqhayisa ngelithi abantu mabeze ngaphambili kuba baza kubakhela izindlu. Ngoku, njengokuba ixesha lifikile lokuba bancedise ekulweni nentlupheko, manyamalele.

Amadoda asebenzile kwimizi-mveliso iminyaka evileyo eshumini. Kodwa ithi indoda njengokuba isebenza nje, ifane nomntu ongasebenziyo kuba nayo ayina ndlu, ijonge kwalo rhulumente ukuba ayakhele indlu. Uye uxakeke ke ngoku uzibuze ukuba ngaba la madoda asebenza amatye okanye asebenzela oothikoloshe, okanye asebenzela abantu abangenamsebenzi nawo, abafuna ukuhlohla izisu zabo kuphela na. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[I believe that the affluent also have a role to play. There used to be an organisation of affluent people which was known as the Urban Foundation, which used to go around asking people to come forward and they would build them houses. Now, when the time has come for them to lend a hand in the fight against poverty, they have disappeared.

Men have worked in factories for more than ten years. However, even though the man is working, he is no different from an unemployed person because he also has no house. He is looking to this government to build him a house. One then wonders whether people are earning peanuts or are working for tokoloshes, or are employed by people who have a complete disregard for them and are only looking to enrich themselves at their expense.]

The emphasis on the social wage programme is to assist in dealing with social poverty and social problems. Indeed, we need educated and skilled citizens who are healthy and capacitated so that they can benefit from the Asgisa.

Education and health are prioritised as core elements of social transformation.

Ngamanye amazwi sithi, masiqinise kwezemfundo, sikhuthaze abantu bethu ukuba baphile impilo engcono. Xa ndimamela okuthethwa ngabantakwethu kweli cala, eneneni ngathi balahlekile. Ngoku asithethi ipolitiki yeyantlukwano, sithetha ipolitiki ethi singenza njani na ukuqinisekisa ukuba abantu bayahlangana.

Oogxa bethu basaqumbile. Ungambona noNkskz Van der Walt obethetha apha, ukuba usaqumbile, usalwa nangona sisonwabile ngokuba Amabhokobhoko ephumelele indebe yehlabathi kumbhoxo. Mhlawumbi ke kuya kufuneka ukuba sikhe simchwethele nganeno, sihlale naye ukuze simbonise lo mqulu ubalulekileyo kuthiwa nguMqulu waMalungelo. Mhlawumbi emva koko uya kuqonda ukuba sikumzabalazo wokuhlanganisa bonke abantu baseMzantsi Afrika. Unyanisile utata othethe egameni le-IFP, ukuba le ndlela isende, kodwa kufuneka siqale ndaweni ithile, sisebenze sonke ukwakha isizwe esisodwa sabantu baseMzantsi Afrika.

Utata othethe egameni le-FF Plus utshilo ukuba asizi kumnyanzela. Kodwa zange khe ndibone nakweliphi na ilizwe kunyanzelwa umntu ukuba ahlangane nomnye. Into endiyibonayo kweli lizwe kukuba endaweni yokuba sibe siyamanyana, kukho abathi: “Thina asifuni loo nto. Hlalani nodwa, thina sifuna indawo yethu ukuze sizihlalele simhlophe.”

Asiyondlela yokuhlalisana koluntu leyo. (Translation of isiXhosa paragraphs follows.)

[In other words, what we are saying is that we must intensify our efforts in education so that we can encourage our people to live a better life. When I listen to what our colleagues on the other side are saying, I realise that they are truly lost. We are no longer talking the politics of separation. We are talking politics that ask what it is that we can do to ensure that people unite.

Our colleagues are still angry. You can see that even Mrs Van der Walt, who spoke earlier, is still angry. She is still fighting even though we are celebrating the victory of the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup. Maybe we need to bring her this side and show her the Bill of Rights. Maybe she will then realise that we are in the struggle of uniting all the people of South Africa. The hon member who spoke on behalf of the IFP, is right in saying we still have a long way to go. However, we need to start somewhere, working together to build one nation of the people of South Africa.

The hon member who spoke on behalf of the FF Plus did say that we cannot force him. However, I have never seen it in any country where a person was ever forced to unite with others. What I see in this country is that, instead of uniting, there are those who say: “We do not want that. Keep to yourselves. We want our own place in which we can live separately as whites”.

That is not how human beings should live.]

Society by its own nature is social. You develop within the society. You go through the revolutionary system …

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr K O Bapela): Hon member, your speaking time has expired.

Mr B M SOLO: Awusandiphi nomzuzwana na? [Won’t you give me even a second?]

The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mnu B O Bapela): Ndizamile ukukunika umzuzwana. [I tried to give you a second.]

I have been trying to be so tolerant to everybody that I gave them a few minutes or seconds.

Ms S RAJBALLY: Chairperson, we have certainly, as a nation, grown away from the racial divides that apartheid forced us into and the gaps that have been bridged have made us a strong nation. Today we stand as a united, equal and democratic nation.

However, the reality of poverty, social and economic challenges and crime is what is slicing away at our people on a daily basis. We have numerous projects and initiatives that create opportunities for every South African to grow and escape the shackles of a poverty-stricken lifestyle. Yet, we do not always win. The challenges tend to hold us back much more strongly than we can push forward.

The national Constitution has eradicated every divide and our Bill of Rights has liberalised our people immensely. However, we need to go forward and loosen these shackles. We have to address the repercussions we have inherited from the apartheid regime - that is, poverty, crime, lifestyle, education, transport and access to basic services.

The MF recognises that government has been doing this. However, we believe that the roots of these challenges need to be uprooted, opposed and rehabilitated before we are to plant any more seeds that should multiply our democracy to greatness, unity and a nourished people. We do not dream of a problem-free South Africa. The reality is that overcoming each problem makes us stronger, but a great leader once said: Let us fail to have temporary success, rather than have temporary success, only to eventually fail. We have ultimately achieved democracy, but this democracy is set to fail if we do not remove the divide that separates our people. I thank you, Chairperson. [Applause.]

Mr N T GODI: Chairperson, social cohesion relates to, among others, a sense of nationhood and shared national values. Our nation-building efforts will only be successful and sustainable if we premise them on the historical and progressive aspects of the norms and values of the majority. Our struggle for liberation was not just about political rights or limited to economic justice. It also had to take into account the disfigured and mutilated history and culture of the majority. Therefore, our forward march as a nation should take this into account.

Everyone in this country says they are Africans. What does it mean to be an African? What are the values and norms that we must internalise and espouse? If we are all Africans, how do some as Africans become a minority amongst Africans? Some in our country must disabuse themselves of the notion that Africans and their culture can be supplanted by a foreign outlook. We must promote the projection and development of the African personality. I thank you. [Applause.]

Dr S E M PHEKO: Chairperson, the issue of social cohesion and the challenges as part of the construction of a cohesive nation in the building of a national democratic society is a very important topic to debate in this House. I want to state categorically and without fear of contradiction that this task will not be achieved without the eradication of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment in our country if the resources of this nation are not shared equitably according to population figures.

The two-nation syndrome of the extremely rich minority and the extremely poor majority in this country is suicidal. It has consequences of political instability and of instability for our people.

Secondly, sectarianism, racism, tribalism and regionalism must be uprooted. All heroes of our country must be equally honoured and their role in the history of our nation recognised. It is disturbing to see some streets in this very city of Cape Town named after war criminals like Oswald Pirow or towns named after the British Colonel, Harry Smith, and Colonel Benjamin Durban. The last two were involved in the death of King Hintsa. Yet, we sometimes divide the African community by renaming a highway that is already bearing the name of another African man. Chairperson, the culture of “service to the nation first” must be cultivated. The “me first” will kill … [Interjections.] Izwe lethu! [Our country!] [Time expired.]

Mr S SIMMONS: Chair, allow me to thank the hon Frolick for highlighting the importance of this matter. I have, in the past, pointed to the fact that cohesion in South Africa is at the risk of passing our people by. First of all, I believe the question is whether we do indeed have a common understanding as to what cohesion means - because we frequently use the concepts that are being used without any apparent insight, full understanding and appreciation for their true meaning. Secondly, we should ask the question whether we have any consensus as to how cohesion should manifest itself.

With regard to a common understanding of cohesion, the NA believes that cohesion can only be achieved if a conducive political environment exists. The NA believes that the foundation of a conducive political environment is an understanding of basic democratic principles and practices.

Voorsitter, dit bring die vraag na vore of demokrasie binne die Suid- Afrikaanse konteks as voorvereiste vir samehorigheid nie gereduseer word tot ’n numeriese konsep nie. Die ANC-regering regverdig juis die beleidstandpunte met die beginsel van “the majority”. Wel, Voorsitter, die “majority” sluit nie almal in nie. Die NA glo dat demokrasie, as politieke stelsel, primêr as doel het om regverdigheid en billikheid teenoor alle onderdane te verseker. As die regering van die dag beleid skep slegs vir die meerderheid, sluit hy die res uit as ’n suksesvolle teenvoeter vir samehorigheid. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraph follows.)

[Chair, it raises the question whether democracy, as a prerequisite for unity, is being reduced to a numerical concept within the South African context. The ANC government precisely justifies the policy position with the principle of “the majority”. Well, Chair, the “majority” doesn’t include everyone. The NA believes that democracy’s primary goal, as a political system, is to ensure justice and fairness towards all citizens. If the government of the day draws up policy only for the majority, the rest is then excluded as a successful counter to unity.]

Chair, the NA believes that together with other important factors, government policies pose the greatest obstacles in the way of cohesion. The most notable here is the adverse effect brought about by the Employment Equity Act and government’s persistence to turn a blind eye on the matter.

Government should be for all people and not for some people - even if they are the majority. Get this right and you will be dramatically closer to social cohesion. I thank you.

Mnr S E OPPERMAN: Voorsitter, terwyl miljoene Suid-Afrikaners oorweldig is deur die euforie wat deur die oorwinning van die Bokke in die Wêreldbeker- eindstryd teweeg gebring is en dit seker ’n ideale tyd is om gesprek te voer oor social cohesion – samehorigheid – is dit goed dat Jan-Jan Joubert ons gister herinner het aan die woorde van Madiba tydens die Rivonia- verhoor en toe hy 150 000 van ons die dag van sy vrylating in 1990 op die Parade in Kaapstad toegespreek het:

Ek het dit teen wit dominasie geveg het hy gesê –

... en teen swart dominasie. Dit is die ideaal waarvoor ek lewe, maar as
dit nodig sou wees, is ek bereid om daarvoor te sterwe.

Waarlik ’n ikoon wat bereid is om te sterwe in sy stryd teen magsmisbruik, wat die dood in die pot is vir samehorigheid.

Dit was komplekse maatskaplike, ekonomiese, religieuse en politieke prosesse wat die produk van ’n Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing waarmee ons vandag sit, geskep het. Hierdie is ’n realiteit wat nie onderskat moet word nie, en hierdie realiteit benodig evolusionêre prosesse in plaas van “social engineering” om bymekaar te bring wat uit innerlike oortuiging bymekaar hoort. Enigiets anders sal kontraproduktief wees.

Dit is net jammer dat die geskiedenis ons leer dat niemand uit die geskiedenis wil leer nie. Die leuse van ons land, Eenheid in Diversiteit, vorm ’n belangrike onderdeel van die demokratiese bestel waaraan ons vandag bou en waarin ons samehorigheid gesetel moet wees.

Daar is nie net een universele lewensbeskouing nie. Daarom behoort ek aan ’n party wat my persoonlike morele oortuigings respekteer en my toelaat om te stem volgens my gewete waarmee ek moet saamleef. [Tussenwerpsels.] In ’n demokratiese bestel moet hierdie vryheid van keuse gerespekteer word as ons samehorigheid wil uitbou. [Tussenwerpsels.]

Toe ek ’n kind was, het ons gereeld die zai laat loop nadat ons “saamgegooi” het. “Saamgooi” het beteken elke laaitie moes bydra. Die zai was die brood wat ons gekoop het. Almal het saamgegooi, maar net een het gedeel; die zai laat loop.

Daar was egter een belangrike reël. Die ou wat gedeel het, moes laaste vat. Nodeloos om te sê, as die zai geloop het, was niemand ongelukkig nie. Die geleerdes sal dit “even-handedness” noem. Ons laaities het dit beoefen.

Ons, agb lede, sal dit moet toepas as ons wil hê die “social cohesion project,” wat ’n belangrike onderdeel van die Afrika-renaissance moet wees, moet slaag.

Ek wil vanmiddag sê, ’n regering en ’n party wat toegelaat het dat bevoorregte kaders onder die dekmantel van SEB multimiljardêrs geword het terwyl die meerderheid van hulle ondersteuners hulle met moeite voortsleep, het die reg verloor om namens die armes van die land te praat. Ek dank u. [Tyd verstreke.] (Translation of Afrikaans speech follows.)

[Mr S E OPPERMAN: Chairperson, while millions of South Africans are overwhelmed by the euphoria provided by the victory of the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup finals – and it is certainly the ideal time to discuss social cohesion – it is good that we were reminded yesterday by Jan-Jan Joubert of the words of Madiba during the Rivonia trial, and when, on the day of his release, he addressed 150 000 of us on the Parade in Cape Town. He said:

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. It is an ideal which I hope to live for … But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

He is truly an icon that is prepared to die in his struggle against the abuse of power, which is detrimental to social cohesion.

These were complex social, economic, religious and political processes which created the product of a South African society we have today. This is a reality that should not be underestimated, and, to unite that which, out of an inner conviction, should be together, evolutionary processes are needed instead of social engineering. Anything else would be counterproductive.

It is a pity that history teaches us that no one wants to learn from history. The motto of our country, Unity in Diversity, forms an integral part of the democratic system on which we build and in which our social cohesion must reside.

There is not only one universal view of life. That is why I belong to a party that respects my personal moral convictions and allows me to vote according to my conscience. [Interjections.] In a democratic system freedom of choice should be respected if we want to promote social cohesion. [Interjections.]

When I was a child, we usually clubbed together and shared alike. Clubbing together meant that every young man had to contribute. We bought bread. We called it “the zai”. Everyone contributed to the zai but only one shared: we shared and shared alike.

There was actually one important rule: the one who handed out had to take last. Needless to say, once the zai was shared, no one was unhappy. The learned will call it even-handedness. As young boys we practiced it.

We, hon members, will have to practise it if we want this project of social cohesion, which should be an integral part of the African Renaissance, to be successful.

I want to say this afternoon that a government and a party that allowed privileged cadres to become multi-millionaires under the pretext of BEE while the majority of their supporters soldiered on with great difficulty, lost their right to talk on behalf of the poor. I thank you. [Time expired.]]

Mr C T FROLICK: Chairperson, I would like to thank the parties that contributed to this debate. Firstly, let me say that I completely agree with Dr Mulder in that this is most probably not the time and that there is also not sufficient room to discuss this topic in further depth. In fact, you could quite easily see that the first speaker from the DA was clearly out of her depth when she tried to deal with this issue. [Interjections.]

I believe this is the beginning of a process and that it remains the responsibility of all political parties in Parliament to put together the necessary structures and forums to ensure that we carry the process forward, so that is something that requires further attention. Thank you very much for the input.

Ek moet terselfdertyd ook die bydraes van die lede Greyling, Swart, Rajbally, Godi en Pheko beklemtoon deur te sê … [At the same time, I should also emphasise the contributions made by members Greyling, Swart, Rajbally, Godi and Pheko by saying …]

… we are closer than we were when we started. Ons het nader aan mekaar beweeg omtrent hierdie onderwerp. [We have moved closer to one another regarding this topic.]

Of course, in terms of all the political parties, it requires further interaction, because it is quite clear – and maybe that is why it was important to put this topic up for discussion – that we need to ask: What exactly do we mean by social cohesion?

It comes from a time in South Africa just after the dawn of democracy in the mid-nineties, when we realised that the attainment of political power and freedom meant nothing unless we ensured that we dealt with the legacies of apartheid. That is where it comes from. It means that we must eradicate poverty. It means that we must deal with the inequalities that have kept our people apart from one another. That is where the concept comes from.

The previous speaker once again raised the legacy of Nelson Mandela, of whom all of us are very proud. However, Nelson Mandela did not operate as an individual. He was part of a collective; the collective ANC, which introduced and dealt with these concepts and made concrete work of reconciliation, because what it means in essence is that you bring two different people together: One was discriminated against and the other one was the discriminator – and then you say let us forget about the past and try to charter a new way forward.

It requires the willingness to contribute actively towards that project, and if the willingness is not there we shall sit with a serious problem, and maybe that is why that hon member expressed herself in the way she did.

May I further say to Mr Simmons that the wheels of democracy will test the policies of your party in the next election and hopefully beyond that we will be able to discuss social cohesion with you again.

There is hope out there. You know, in my previous career, I was an educator and later a school headmaster. I used to tell pupils in my class to prepare themselves well for the exams that lay ahead, because they would be caught out when they had to make their presentation. It is quite clear that these members were caught out today. [Interjections.] Based on the contribution that you have made I would have failed you. However, there is hope out there. There is hope out there.

Just recently I was fortunate enough to listen to a young white South African – and I want to emphasise the words “young” and “white”. The reason why I want to mention it is that some parties in this Parliament claim to have exclusive access and assert that it is their constituency. Listen to what this young man said at a former Model C school when he addressed a valedictory service. He was addressing young matriculants who were sitting in front of him, who were most probably being bombarded with propaganda saying that they should leave the country because they were not needed here and that this was not working for them. He said to them:

I compare the men sitting before me to our fledgling South African democracy. You are part of the very fabric of where our country is headed. In your first 10 years you were like a toddler learning to walk. Then, as you strengthened, you learned to run, flexed your muscles, burnt your fingers, learned some hard lessons, now come the hard yards as you become self-aware, aware of where you are going and what you need to do to get there.

You are part of it all. The future is a very bright place. South Africa belongs to all of us. You have the power, the skill and the determination to greatly influence where we are going and what we should achieve as a nation.

He then concluded, and this is very important. He said:

I challenge you …

And this is also the challenge that I want to put to the hon member here –

… to wear our country’s colours with pride. I am not talking about a green and gold rugby jersey on World Cup final day. No, wear them in the way you talk about our country, in the way you conduct yourself in business, in politics, socially and in the high regard you must hold for your fellow countrymen and countrywomen. I thank you.


I will definitely use the privilege I have to congratulate you on the manner in which you handled the debate. It was quite honest and open, but obviously there are quite a number of issues that were raised: philosophical questions that need to be engaged and addressed; quite a number of legacy issues were also raised about our history.

I hope that this is the first step of ensuring that we indeed go to that debate where the mechanisms in Parliament will then probably provide for that space where we could reach consensus and identify the areas on which we are still divided and what we should do about those particular areas, whereas, where we have reached consensus, we could then carry on and say what it is that makes us South Africans.

I am glad and happy that all of you were quite optimistic about the future and indeed we are raising issues with a view to correcting them and ensuring that that future belongs to all of us. Thank you very much.

Debate concluded.

The House adjourned at 16:36. ____



National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

The Speaker and the Chairperson

  1. Introduction of Bills
 (1)    The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

     (a)     National Environment Management: Waste Bill [B 39 –
          2007] (National Assembly– proposed sec 76) [Bill and prior
          notice of its introduction published in Government Gazette
          No 30142 of 3 August 2007.]

          Introduction and referral to the Portfolio Committee on
          Environmental Affairs and Tourism of the National Assembly, as
          well as referral to the Joint Tagging Mechanism (JTM) for
          classification in terms of Joint Rule 160.

          In terms of Joint Rule 154 written views on the classification
          of the Bill may be submitted to the JTM within three
          parliamentary working days.
  1. Draft Bills submitted in terms of Joint Rule 159
(a)    Cross-Border Road Transport Amendment Bill, 2007, submitted by
     the Minister of Transport. Referred to the Portfolio Committee on
     Transport and the Select Committee on Public Services.


National Assembly and National Council of Provinces

  1. The Minister of Finance

(a) Report and Financial Statements of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF) for 2006-2007, including the Report of the Independent Auditors on the Financial Statements for 2006-2007 [RP 202-2007].